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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Yankees sign two independent leaguers

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jun 30, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees signed two independent league players.

One press release:

Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 3B Yurendell DeCaster is trading in his RedHawks pinstripes for a set of Yankees pinstripes.

The All-Star third baseman has had his contract purchased by the New York Yankees today and will report on Tuesday to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Triple-A affiliate for New York in the International League.

DeCaster, 29, joined the RedHawks this spring and was arguably the top player in the Northern League this season. Entering tonight’s play, DeCaster was leading the Northern League in hits (54), doubles (14), home runs (13), RBI (43) and slugging percentage (.682). He was batting .344, good for fifth in the league, and was second in runs scored with 36.

DeCaster was selected to the Great Plains team for the 2009 Northern League All-Star Game earlier today and was the top vote-getter in the league but will not participate in the game.

“For my money, he is one of the best players to ever come through the Northern League, and that is the caliber of player we like to have in RedHawks uniforms” said RedHawks Manager Doug Simunic. “We knew this day was coming and we are glad he can continue his career at the Triple-A level. Hopefully we can see him in Yankee Stadium sometime soon.”

And another …

Add another RailCats pitcher to the road to the big leagues. Hard-throwing left-hander Edwin Walker has been sold to the New York Yankees where he will report to the Charleston RiverDogs (A) of the South Atlantic League, the team announced today.

Walker, 25, becomes the 19th RailCats player – and ninth pitcher – sold to a major league organization since 2002. The Texan returns to the affiliated minor leagues after spending the first three seasons of his professional career (2002-04) with a pair of Milwaukee Brewers farm teams. The Brewers first drafted Walker in the ninth round in 2002 out of Highlands High School in San Antonio.

This season, Walker has been one of the best arms in an excellent RailCats bullpen, posting a 3.26 ERA in 19.1 innings and striking out a whopping 29 hitters. Walker picked up three saves in 16 outings, going 3-0 and holding opposing hitters to just a .194 average. Fargo-Moorhead was the only team in the Northern League to score runs off Walker in 2009, tagging the left-hander in three different appearances, otherwise Walker threw 18.0 scoreless innings against the league’s other four teams. Walker gave up only 14 hits – eight in three outings vs. Fargo – and walked ten.

Walker was signed by the RailCats in April of this year after a fine season with the Chillicothe Paints of the Frontier League in 2008, when he carried a 1.79 ERA and struck out 51 in 45.1 innings to earn a spot in the league’s midseason All-Star Game. Walker also played briefly in 2006 with the United League’s San Angelo Colts. In six professional seasons, Walker has 189 strikeouts in 181.0 career innings and a 4.08 ERA.




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