After 22 regular season games, the Arizona Fall League has it’s all-star game tonight. One Yankees prospect, left-hander Mike Dunn, is on the West ros
ter. He leads Fall League relievers with 15.26 strikeouts per nine innings. My guess is that Ian Kennedy might have made the team — he leads the league in innings and strikeouts — but he last pitched on Thursday, so he wouldn’t have been available anyway.
You might remember Dunn from his September call-up. He’s a fastball-slider lefty, who can throw in the mid-90s and seemed to make a pretty good impression with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He certainly made himself a go-to reliever down the stretch. Damaso Marte seemed to rediscover himself in the postseason, and Phil Coke pitched well enough to be considered a big league front runner next spring, but Dunn is one of those guys who could make a significant impact in New York next season.
Other noteable Yankees minor leaguers playing winter ball…
• I haven’t talked to OF Colin Curtis since he went down to the Arizona Fall League, but he missed roughly a week starting at the end of October, so he might have been slightly injured. He played again on Friday and he’s hitting .358 with two home runs and four doubles in 13 games.
• C Jesus Montero has just four hits through 15 games in Venezuela. The numbers are bad, but he also missed most of the season half of the regular season with a hand injury. He’s just getting going again.
• RHP Ivan Nova was terrific in the Triple-A playoffs and he seems to have carried it with him to the Dominican Winter League. Through four games, three of them starts, he’s allowed one run in 18 innings. He was lost in the Rule 5 draft last winter — and ultimately returned by San Diego – but Nova might be pitching his way onto the 40-man this winter.
• 2B Reegie Corona is still hitting in Venezuela, .310 through 13 games. He’s also made three errors without seeing any time at shortstop. All at second. I tend to think of him as a notch below Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo and Eduardo Nunez for a potential utility job, but there are plenty who disagree and like his speed and versatility.
• You might remember that RHP Josh Schmidt, kind of an overlooked pitcher in the Yankees system, opened his offseason with 11 scoreless innings in Venezuela. He’s since allowed 17 runs, 12 earned, in 12.1 innings.
• Hard-throwing RHP Romulo Sanchez has seven strikeouts, two walks and no earned runs in his past 6.1 innings, spanning three appearances, in Venezuela.
• Always worth checking on switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. He has a 4.82 ERA through 9.1 innings in Venezuela. Lefties are hitting .188 against him. Righties are hitting .421.
It’s also worth mentioning that Shelley Duncan and Austin Romine were named the Topps Minor League Player of the Year for the International League and Florida State League.