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Showing posts from February, 2016

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #3: Gary Sanchez

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A name that has seemingly been in the Yankees farm system forever now, catcher Gary Sanchez comes in at #3 on our top prospect list. The Yankees signed Sanchez out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 for $2.5 million at the age of 16. Now 23 years old, the slugging catcher will look to capitalize on his chance to become the backup and future of the catching position for the Yankees.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #4: James Kaprielian

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Since 1996, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes are the only two pitchers drafted by Yankees to win at least ten games in a single season. With the 16th overall pick in the 1st round of last year’s amateur draft — the Yankees highest draft pick in 22 years — the Bronx Bombers coincidentally selected a pitcher from Hughes hometown of Tustin, CA, who will soon look to join this list.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #5: Domingo Acevedo

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Signed as an international prospect at the age of 19, Acevedo comes in at number five on our BBB top prospect countdown. Acevedo was born March 6, 1994 in Villa Los Almacigos, Dominican Republic and has since then transitioned to playing baseball in the United States. He fits the mold as another prospect who went from relatively unknown to highly touted very quickly.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #6: Rob Refsnyder

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Towards the end of the 2015 season, Yankee fans got a glimpse of a long awaited prospect that was believed to be the second basemen of the future. The only real question of the 24-year-old was how his glove would translate to the Major League level. However, he managed to show promise at second and a big bat. Rob Refsnyder, the South Korean native, comes in at #6 on our top prospect list.

Mark Teixeira Wants to Return to the Bronx and the Yankees Should Oblige Him

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So what we've been saying here at Bronx Bomber Blog is now official: Mark Teixeira wants to be a Yankee for life. Now I can already hear the mindless droning of irrational fans crying out "he's a walking DL trip" or "Greg Bird is the future!" 

If you think his shattered shin as the result of a freak foul tip is something preventable or chronic, I can't give you all the help you need in this article. And I certainly do hope Greg Bird can be a part of the future but, with his season ending injury, his already uncertain guarantee of sustained big league success just grew more unsure.
But even if Bird returns and has success like we all wish, both he and Teixeira can still coexist. That's the beauty of the DH. Via SportsWorldReport

BBB Podcast #9: Spring Story Lines, Top Prospects, and the Bullpen

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After a long hiatus, the Bronx Bomber Blog Podcast is back with its 9th episode, featuring Chad Raines, Phil Akre, and Sammy Criscitello. Chad, Phil, and Sammy discuss Aroldis Chapman, James Kaprielian, the Yankees bullpen, some top prospects, and the depth of the Yankees outfield. The young men also discuss Mark Teixeira and his controversial statement of wanting to play until he's 40, how Greg Bird will be replaced, and whether you will be able to spot BBB writers in action in Tampa for some Yankees Spring Training games!

As the season gets started in about 5 weeks, get ready for more periodic podcasts and let's go Yankees!



Podcast by Chad Raines (@chad_rain), Phil Akre (@philakre) and Sammy Criscitello (@scriscitello11)
Follow the Bronx Bomber Blog on Twitter @bronxbomberblog

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #7: Dustin Fowler

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After being drafted in the 18th round of the 2013 MLB draft, our seventh ranked prospect Dustin Fowler elected to sign with the Yankees signing for an over-slot $278k. Fowler endured two lackluster seasons as a professional before breaking out and beginning to reach his full potential in 2015. At 20, Fowler competed in the Arizona Fall League where he continued his career year against competition more “MLB ready” than he. Fowler started the 2015 appearing on most prospects in the 20s, but now, you’ll find him on nearly every person’s top ten Yankees prospect list, and he ranks as the BBB’s seventh best prospect with the potential to hop into the top 5 by the end of the season as he will play this season at 21 years old.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #8: Wilkerman Garcia

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Yankees farmhand Jorge Mateo has received plenty of hype from scouts and Yankees fans alike, as many believe he is the team’s top prospect and shortstop of the future. Unfortunately for Mateo, he may have some tough competition in his road to playing up the middle in the Bronx. At just 17-years old, switch-hitting shortstop Wilkerman Garcia is not as far in his development as the 20-year old Mateo, but some people around the game believe that Garcia has a higher upside. In fact, John Sickels of minorleagueball.com opines that Garcia could plausibly jump up as the Yankees top prospect within the next 12 months.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #9: Ian Clarkin

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Many Yankees fans have said that the team desperately needs a solid left-handed starter to mix up the rotation that currently boasts four righties and the inconsistent C.C. Sabathia. Although the Yankees have no major league-ready southpaws on the farm, a young lefty hurler could join the team’s rotation as early as 2017. Coming in at #9 on the Bronx Bomber Blogger’s top Yankees prospects countdown sits their highest ranked LHP — Ian Clarkin.

James Kaprielian A Key to Both Short and Long Term Success for Yankees

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Spring training has finally begun for the Yankees. The biggest news from camp so far may be the potential suspension for Aroldis Chapman which may include a spring training ban (really?), but in more up lifting news, we are also hearing that last year's top draft pick, James Kaprielian, is turning heads. If you don't know who that is, or how to spell his name, you might want to figure those things out soon.
The Yankees drafted Kaprielian with the same intention as they picked Jacob Lindgren: to get an impact in the majors quickly. And apparently that's a real possibility. Hal Steinbrenner has openly stated he hopes the young starter could reach the major league squad by the end of the year and neither Brian Cashman nor Larry Rothschild have ruled it out either.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #10: Jacob Lindgren

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Since being drafted in the second-round of the 2014 draft, things have escalated quickly like our good friend Ron Burgundy once told us. Lindgren flew through the minors, pitching well everywhere he stopped, before appearing in the big leagues just one-year after being selected by the Yankees. Lindgren comes into 2016 needing to prove that being shot through the system wasn’t any sort of fluke.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #11: Slade Heathcott

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Allow me to preface this by saying that out of all of the prospects in the Yankees organization, Slade Heathcott is my favorite. He may not have the most upside or be the most talented (although he’s close), but he has the most heart out of anybody in the farm system. Heathcott has been through a lot since being taken in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft (yes, the same draft the Yankees were hoping Mike Trout would somehow fall to the 29th pick, and almost did). Once the consensus top prospect in the organization, Heathcott was non-tendered from the Yankees 40-man roster following the 2014 season. It was an uphill battle for the youngster to make his name relevant again, but he accomplished that in 2015.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #12: Brady Lail

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Brady Lail checks into the BBB’s top prospect list at number 12. Since being selected in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB draft, the would-be University of Arizona pitcher has risen through the ranks of the Yankees farm system. Lail has pieced together solid seasons including a 2015 campaign going 10-6 with a 2.91 ERA over 148.1 innings that landed him in triple-A Scranton by the end of the year. Lail looks to continue where he left off and potentially make it to the Bronx before 2016 is all said and done.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #13: Luis Torrens

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The Yankees have seemed to have an abundance of catching depth over the past few seasons thanks to the likes of Austin Romine, J.R Murphy and Gary Sanchez. One catching prospect who turned heads in his first season of pro ball but has since fallen off the map is 19 year old Luis Torrens. Now recovering from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Torrens will look to pick up where he left off.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #14: Tyler Wade

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Wade, who was a 4th round pick for the Yankees back in 2013, comes in at number 14 on our list. Born on November 23, 1994 in Murrieta, California, Wade attended Murrieta Valley High School in his hometown of Murrieta. Wade had committed to go to San Diego State, but the Yankees were able to convince him to sign at the slot value of $371,300.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #15: Drew Finley

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A ballplayer with a strong work ethic and extensive knowledge of the game, 19 year old Drew Finley comes in at #15 on our list of top prospects. Although he’s only reached the Advanced A level of the minors, the right handed pitching prospect looks to have a promising future.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #16: Mason Williams

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Speedy outfielder Mason Williams grabbed the attention of Yankees fans last June when he robbed Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Weiters of extra bases — making an outstanding sliding catch into the right-center field fence at Camden Yards. Unfortunately for Williams, his season came to an end later that week as he injured his shoulder diving back into 1st base in a game against the Tigers. Williams will look to have a rebound season in 2016.

2016 bounce back candidates

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It's inevitable that each team will have not only its share of disappointments, but also pleasant surprises throughout the course of any given season. Heading into 2016, the Yankees have a number of players who could potentially fit the latter category. Although many players over performed in 2015, there were a number of let downs. I've identified five players- Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, CC Sabathia, and Ivan Nova, who line up as bounce back candidates for the 2016 season. While the team's overall success, in my opinion, is contingent on Ellsbury and Gardner forming a potent combination at the top of the lineup, the expectations for Headley, Sabathia, and Nova have been set relatively low. Of course, predicting this could be quite difficult, however I believe these five players have the best chance of bouncing back from disappointing 2015 campaigns.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #17: Bryan Mitchell

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By the time the 2016 season rolls around, Mitchell will be 25-years old. Now 25 is by no means “old”, but for a prospects sake, it absolutely is. Mitchell has seen himself rise and fall through the Yankees systems rankings. He peaked all the way to number 11, by Baseball America, in 2009, and as we head into the 2016 season we have him sitting at number 17. The potential is obviously apparent, but harnessing it all has been the number one problem.

Top 10 things for Yankees fans to look forward to in 2016

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The forecast in New York City may call for cold rain and snow today, but baseball in the Bronx is heating up. This Friday, February 19th, Yankees pitchers and catchers will report to Tampa Bay, FL to begin spring training. With the 2016 season just around the corner, let’s countdown the top 10 things (in no particular order) Yankees fans have to look forward to this season.
Picture from: 15 Minute News

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #18: Chance Adams

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The Yankees face an interesting dilemma when it comes to their 5th round pick from the 2015 draft. RHP Chance Adams was drafted out Dallas Baptist University, and many scouts believe he has the potential to be an elite reliever in the majors. But do the Yankees have other plans for the 6’0” righty?
Picture source: Pinstriped Prospects

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #19: Thairo Estrada

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Signed in November 2012 as an international free agent for only $49,000 along with higher touted prospects Jorge Mateo and Luis Torrens, infielder Thairo Estrada is slowly emerging as one of the most underrated members of the Yankees farm system after conquering short­-season ball as one of the youngest members of the New York­ Penn League in 2015 at the age of 19.

Why the Yankees will win the AL East

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As spring training approaches, I thought it would be a good idea to assess the state of our beloved Yankees. Similar to last season, the Bombers have a number of question marks going into 2016. If most things break right, I can see them winning 90 games or more, likely leading to a division title. On the other hand, if these same question marks aren't answered affirmatively, I envision this team winning between 80-85 games. This piece will be the first of two. Here, I will review what needs to go right in order for the Yankees to recapture the AL East title for the first time since 2012. Wow, I still can't believe it's been that long. The second, which I should write in a week or so, will detail the opposite scenario. While the Yankees do and should control their only destiny, whether or not they end up division champions will equally be determined by the performance of our division rivals, in particular the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. Even though I would love fo…

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #20: James Pazos

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At every stop along the way, Pazos has generally seen a lot of success. He’s been able to fly through the system ranks and was even able to appear in 11 major league games in 2015. We’re still not totally sure about what his usage with the team will be. Could he be the primary guy against left-handed batters? Could he be a multiple inning reliever? Is he even going to make the 25-man roster out of spring training? Even though he comes in as our 20th prospect, he could potentially play the biggest role amongst all Yankees prospects this season.
Picture by: Adam Hunger (Getty Images)

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #21: Hoy Jun Park

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In the July of 2014, when the Yankees were spending big in the international market, the Yankees snatched up Korean shortstop Hoy Jun Park for a smooth $1.2 million bonus. Born in Seoul, South Korea, the 19-year-old shortstop has now one season overseas under his belt as he played the 2015 season with the rookie level Pulaski Yankees located in Pulaski, Virginia.

The Most Notable Yankee Replacements of All Time

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Recently, New York Yankee fans have been “down in the dumps” so to speak about Greg Bird having a shoulder injury and will be missing the 2016 season. Greg Bird was a big hit (sorry for the pun), for Yankee fans in 2015. He showed that the farm system is “working” and the new era of pinstripers are coming in fast and are here to stay. Now, let's be rational. Whether you like it or not, Greg Bird was NOT going to start at 1st base on 1 East 161st Street, barring any injuries. Brian Cashman said earlier in the offseason that “Greg Bird is great, but Mark Teixeira is better” and he is 100% right. Bird could have provided an additional depth for A-Rod and Tex, but Cashman did make it clear he would start at Triple-A. Once the news broke that Bird would be missing 2016, everyone immediately said “Sign Pedro Alvarez! Sign Justin Morneau!”. Sure, decent ideas. So, it got me thinking about “Replacement Yankees.” Going from one player/feature to another with some fans not being happy at fi…

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #22: Jonathan Holder

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Seemingly unable to produce viable talent for years, the Yankees farm system now boasts a solid group of prospects all around the diamond, particularly pitching. One of the promising young arms that is working his way through the system is right hander Jonathan Holder.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #23: Luis Cessa

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When Cessa first came over to America, at age 17, he spent his time as a position player, playing second and third base. After two unsuccessful seasons at the dish, somebody along the way realized Cessa had a good enough arm to pitch. 2016 will be the first season with the New York Yankees organization, hopefully registering some big league innings.
Photo via bcsn.tv

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #24: Ty Hensley

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Right-hander Ty Hensley has been through a lot in his time with the Yankees organization. Since falling into the lap of the Yankees and being drafted 30th overall in 2012, Hensley has endured quite a bit of tough luck. This tough luck has not prevented him from putting up strong numbers, but he has yet to get past low single-A with the Staten Island Yankees as he has only thrown in 42.1 innings to this point.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #25: Ben Gamel

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While the Yankees have their major league outfield set with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, the depth behind them is largely unsettled. Top prospect Aaron Judge is still working on the finer points of his game down in Scranton while prospects Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams have already seen time in the Bronx. Behind this group there aren’t many inspiring names but one outfielder that will look for a role in the majors is 23 year old Ben Gamel.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #26: Abiatal Avelino

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Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Abiatal Avelino signed for $300,000 And was sent to the Dominican Summer League to start off his professional baseball career in 2012. Avelino is listed as a right handed shortstop and second baseman.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #27: Cale Coshow

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Cale Coshow, a 13th round pick in the 2013 draft, comes in at #27 on our prospect list. The 23 year old was born in Edmond, Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University which is located in his hometown of Edmond. Coshow was one of two players from Oklahoma Christian University to be drafted in 2013 as teammate Chris Burgess was drafted in the 26th round by the Phillies.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #28: Nick Rumbelow

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After acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the Reds earlier this offseason, many people around the game of baseball have begun to speculate that the Yankees may have the most lethal bullpen in baseball. Now that the Yankees feature a late inning triple-threat of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and now Chapman, teams trailing after six innings will have their backs against the wall. But who will help bridge the gap from the starters to the back-end of the bullpen? Fortunately, the Bombers have a plentiful crop of young arms who will try to crack the roster. Among this group is Nick Rumbelow. The righty had a cup of coffee in the Bronx last summer, and will look to solidify his spot with the Yankees during spring training.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #29: Vicente (Jose) Campos

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In 2009, Campos was a 16-year old kid from Venezuela hoping to one day make it to the Major Leagues. He had a whale of a second season pitching with the Mariners in the Arizona Fall League. He followed it up with even better numbers in 2011 and wound up ranked the Mariners fifth best prospect in their entire organization. In January of 2012, Campos was traded to the Yankees along with Michael Pineda. He was awarded the same ranking he received in Seattle with New York, but things have been gloomy since Campos arrived. If no progression is made in 2016, don’t expect him to be part of the organization for much longer.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #30: Tyler Austin

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Yankees outfield prospect Tyler Austin presents an interesting case for his 2016 campaign. Just three short years ago (prior to the 2013 season), Austin was a consensus top 5 prospect in the Yankees organization and one of the top 100 prospects in all of baseball. However, underperformance and injuries over the past few seasons have led to him being designated for assignment at the end of 2015 which prevented him from being a September call-up. Austin needs to put together a solid season if he hopes to return to the organization in 2017.

The Battle of the Bullpens: AL East Edition

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Last week I wrote an article comparing the Yankees offensive players to their counterparts on the other four teams in the division. With the news that promising youngster Greg Bird will miss the entire 2016 season this seems like a good time to mention some of the positives the Yankees have going for them. The bullpen in 2016 should be the Yankees strongest area but again not to be outdone as their four AL East foes have also done some retooling. Let’s see where the Yankees stand in the battle of the bullpens.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown: Honorable mentions and how it went down

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In our second season running, the BBB will be bringing you what will become our annual prospect countdown list, starting at 30 and running all the way down to the top prospect in the organization. I anticipating updating this list midseason as well as at the 2016 season’s conclusion. We will post the next prospect on the list daily. So with that, welcome to the official BBB Top Prospect countdown!