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


Minor League Year in Review: Double-A

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 30, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Trenton was back in the Eastern League finals this season. It got there on the strength of one of the league’s better pitching staffs, along with the league’s most powerful offense. The Thunder hit 162 home runs this season. No other Eastern League team hit more than 125, and half of the teams had fewer than 100.

There were a few more standouts on this roster than on the Triple-A roster, especially if you’re among the real believers in David Adams, Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa.

Player of the Year
RF Zoilo Almonte
Got off to a slow start in April, then missed a month with a hamstring injury, but Almonte ultimately built on the strides he made in Tampa in 2011. He hit .277/.322/.487 while playing mostly right field and a little bit of center. He had six homers at the end of June, then his 14 in the next two months. He still strikes out quite a bit and doesn’t walk very often, but there’s some real pop in his bat, and he’s secured a spot on the 40-man. After a strong showing in big league camp last spring, he could get a longer look next time around. There are holes here — and Tyler Austin is right on his heels — but Almonte has resurrected his prospect status at a time when the Yankees outfield is thin.

Pitcher of the Year
RHP Brett Marshall
With apologies to the out-of-nowhere performance by Vidal Nuno, it was Marshall who led the league in wins while finishing top six in innings and strikeouts. The sinkerballer was a sixth-round pick in 2008, underwent Tommy John surgery early in his career, and has finally put together back-to-back seasons of more than 20 starts. The results have been encouraging, and Marshall will surely jump to Triple-A next season with a chance to surpass Adam Warren as the first in line for a spot start or a long relief job in New York. He was the top prospect in a rotation that also featured minor league free agent Nuno — and his 2.45 ERA after a bump up from High-A — and lefty prospect Shaeffer Hall, who led the team in innings with a steady 3.67 ERA.

Breakout player
3B David Adams
It’s been a long wait for Adams, who had an ankle injury in early 2010 and never fully recovered until this season. The Yankees never gave up on him — they added him to the 40-man roster last winter, despite the fact he’d played fewer than 70 games the previous two seasons — and Adams delivered in a big way with a .306/.385/.450 slash line this season. In late July, he was moved from second base to third base, and in the Arizona Fall League he’s been playing both positions. If the bat continues to develop, he could be a legitimate backup plan should Alex Rodriguez continue to decline or Robinson Cano price himself out of the Yankees plans. For now, Adams is one of the more interesting prospects in the upper levels of the system. He’s finally healthy, and he’s producing.

Disappointment
3B/LF Rob Segedin
Aside from Dellin Betances continuing to struggle after his demotion from Triple-A, and Graham Stoneburner’s injury-shortened season, there was no overwhelming, start-to-finish letdown on the Trenton roster. The disappointments that stand out to me are Segedin and J.R. Murphy, two high draft picks who jumped from High-A to Double-A midseason without inspiring results. Murphy never really got rolling this year, but Segedin had been terrific before the promotion. He hit .297/.362/.448 in Tampa, but only .188/.253/.279 with Trenton. He had similar trouble making the jump from Low-A to High-A last season, so maybe a return to Double-A will ease some of those concerns next season, but he’s never hit for much power considering he’s limited to the four corners.

Prospect watch
CF Melky Mesa
By the end of the year, guys like Mark Montgomery, Tyler Austin and Ramon Flores were adding some prospect muscle to the Trenton roster, but their seasons were more clearly defined in the lower levels. The one true Trenton prospect who made it all the way to New York this season was Mesa, the toolsy center fielder who has the arm, glove, power and speed to be a legitimate big league outfielder. Question is, can he make enough contact to be a viable player? Mesa hit 23 home runs this year, the second-most in the minor league system, nine of which came in a month in Triple-A. In Trenton, he struck out 75 times in 88 games, but he also hit .277/.344/.464. He’s actually cut down on the strikeouts, which is a positive sign, and there’s enough athleticism to dream about what he could be if he put it all together.

Odds and ends
No clue what to make of it, but Addison Maruszak really emerged with a standout season as Trenton’s regular shortstop. Before this, he’d always seemed like a kind of organizational utility man, but this season Maruszak hit .276/.330/.457 while spending time at every infield position and eventually settling in as Trenton’s regular at short. He’ll have to repeat those results to really secure a spot on the radar, but his was an unexpectedly intriguing season. … Along those same lines, utility man Jose Pirela bounced back from a rough 2011, moved away from shortstop, and hit .293/.356/.448 while playing mostly second base and left field. … The minor league system’s home run leader was Trenton first baseman Luke Murton, who hit 25. … The Yankees have already re-signed speedy outfielder Abe Almonte, who’s still clinging to a little bit of prospect status after hitting .276/.350/.392 and leading the organization with 32 steals. … Following a promotion from Tampa, top relief prospect Mark Montgomery had 38 strikeouts and six walks in 24 innings with Trenton. … For most of the year, the standout in the Trenton bullpen was Kelvin Perez, who allowed 47 hits through 71.1 innings.

Big picture

Combine this group with the guys likely to repeat Triple-A next season, and the 2013 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster could be loaded with intriguing young players who could legitimately help in the big leagues if an opportunity presents itself. The bigger prospects are still a step or two lower, but there are some potentially helpful players on the verge in the Yankees organization.

What’s surprising is how quickly the starting pitching depth has taken a hit. That seemed to be an overwhelming strength when this season started, but now upper-level rotation depth thins out quickly after Marshall and Warren. There are some interesting bullpen arms rising quickly, but the setbacks to Betances and Manny Banuelos have really hurt.

The important thing to take from Trenton’s season might be the development of guys like Almonte and Adams, and the late-season arival of Austin and Montgomery.

Associated Press photo of Mesa

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51 Responses to “Minor League Year in Review: Double-A”

  1. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    @whitesox: The #WhiteSox have agreed to terms on a two-year, $29-million contract extension with an option for 2015 with @JakePeavy_44

  2. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    @BNightengale: Gavin Floyd understandably is now out w #WhiteSox along w Myers and Youkilis

  3. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I can’t stand him but if it was a one year deal should the yanks look at Youkalis? Or is he totally shot…..

  4. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Youkalis is Rhed and can play 3b…..he’s also big and hairy

  5. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Nice post BTW chad

  6. Cashmoney October 30th, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    i don’t think he is totally shot. but he def is a candidate to miss 80 games. how much? He still a tough ab when healthy. his numbers with WS were not bad.

  7. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    If they could get Youk as a part time 3B and RH part of a DH platoon then that’d be good…..I would guess he will want a full time job though

  8. Jerkface October 30th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Can’t sign Youkilis with the intent to play him at third. Was making fun of moving him back 2 seasons ago, would be foolish to do the same thing 2 years later.

  9. blake October 30th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    “Can’t sign Youkilis with the intent to play him at third. Was making fun of moving him back 2 seasons ago, would be foolish to do the same thing 2 years later.”

    Mostly DH but play 3B some…..he’s not great there and my argument two years ago was that his body wouldn’t allow him to hold up playing there everyday….

    I don’t think he’d sign up for the role Id want him for…..which would basically be the DH vs LHP and to spell Arod and Tex some on the corners…..

  10. Nick in SF October 30th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    If you thought the Yanks’ offense was too ugly in 2012, you can’t turn to Youk now. You just can’t.

  11. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Blake,

    What happened with the clean a shaved Yankee policy? The switched it to big and hairy? ;)

  12. jmills October 30th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hi, guys. I know things are bad down there, but from my interaction with you, I know you’ll pick it up and be the better for it. Still hoping the little ones can make it out tomorrow ( wish they ( whomever they are ) would make it the last Saturday in October every year. ) We do food drives in my neighbourhood, so I am happily getting together healthy bags of beans, sardines, etc..

    Best, always

  13. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    If they bring Youk in to the fold, the offense would become ugly literally and figuratively

  14. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    That’s a very nice thing to say Jmills… Kids overcome things better than the adults.. My bet is that they will be asking for trick or treats all night long.

  15. Cashmoney October 30th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    One of priority to see if you can lock up Cano…. they have to find out asap. to me, it will change a lot things in lineup composition. where Adams and Murphy comes in as internal option, a bat to replace Cano if he does leave. hard to operate in the dark without Yanks making the one of crucial move first imo.

  16. jmills October 30th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Luis, so true – kids show us how to poke around in the rain ( I used to watch my daughter do it from the kitchen window.)

    So glad you are safe!

    :)

  17. blake October 30th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Ok no Youkka…..I hate him anyways

  18. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Cashmoney,

    That’s something that should be on top of their to do list. It will all depend on the length of the contract. My gut tells me though, that we won’t know anything for a while on Cano’s front

  19. MTU October 30th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Evening.

    I think Marshall will wind up being a Zach McAllister type.

  20. blake October 30th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    @MLBazFallLeague: Week 3 opposing batting average leader: Mark Montgomery (Scottsdale Scorpions/#Yankees) #AFL12

    @MinorLeagueBlog: #Yankees Monster Day for Slade Heathcott 4-5, 2B, 2(3B), 5RBI for Scottsdale today. #AFL

  21. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Jmills,

    I am currently in Miami FL, so I wasn’t at risk at all. But I have been in a hurricane and that’s not a funny thing to go through.

  22. blake October 30th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    “I think Marshall will wind up being a Zach McAllister type.”

    So he will be traded for a kearnsey type….. ;)

  23. Cashmoney October 30th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    we won’t know for sure Luis. but I think the Yanks will have an idea what it will takes to sign him then make decisions accordingly. It’s hard to imaging a boris client will ever give disc this close to FA. I think Cano will be all about the Benjamins. The question is if the Yanks decide that’s the not the price tag they like, would they do something preemptive as in signing a big ticket item.

  24. blake October 30th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Raking in the fall league can put guys on the map quick

  25. jmills October 30th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Hi MTU, blake, etc., only a few months before my Jays pick your brains :) .

  26. blake October 30th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Hey Jmills…..I bet AA makes a bold move for a pitcher this winter….he will do something

  27. jmills October 30th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Luis, enjoy your respite, fully, as there are always enough concerns.

  28. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Cashmoney,

    That could be it… Or Cano’s trade to open up payroll space for the big FA signing.

  29. jmills October 30th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Blake, if AA doesn’t do something,….I’m taking over ( and I’m willing to begin at a compromised wage . )

  30. Cashmoney October 30th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    i think the idea is to be proactive instead of reactive in most of these cases. have options and contingent plans. as much as I am not big fan of Cashman, I would assume he and his ppl are bright enough to have hypothetical roster constructions in the absence of Cano.

  31. UnKnown October 30th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Let’s go Lakers. Should be a fun year.

    Meanwhile, Stern just confused Hurricane Katrina with Hurricane Sandy in Miami during the presentation of the rings at American Airlines. Ouch.

  32. luis October 30th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Cashmoney,

    There are plenty of pieces in the scrap heap to fill the void. ;)

  33. Against All Odds October 30th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    UnKnown October 30th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Let’s go Lakers. Should be a fun year.

    Meanwhile, Stern just confused Hurricane Katrina with Hurricane Sandy in Miami during the presentation of the rings at American Airlines. Ouch.

    ————————-

    I thought I was hearing things

  34. MTU October 30th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    We should get our first choice rumors after the GM meetings in early Nov.

    Usually lot’s of chatter and the groundwork is often laid for future deals.

    Cashman needs to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

    ;)

  35. RadioKev October 30th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    blake October 30th, 2012 at 7:28 pm
    Raking in the fall league can put guys on the map quick
    ———-

    Yep, you can ask David Phelps.

  36. blake October 30th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    @mikeaxisa: Opponents vs Ivan Nova in 2012: .288/.349/.511. Albert Pujols hit .285/.343/.516 this year.

    So basically Pujols was hitting every pitch nova threw

  37. blake October 30th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    The Dodgers have re-signed reliever Brandon League, a source tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). There’s no word on the dollar amount yet but Hernandez reports that the deal is for three years (Twitter link).

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....WppIZwd.99

    If league can get 3 years you gotta think Soriano can…..

  38. Jerkface October 30th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Dodgers are acting like early 00′s Yankees

  39. Cashmoney October 30th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    If league can get 3 years you gotta think Soriano can…..
    ===
    there is no doubt he could get 3 years. the question is whether or not he gets enough to make him disregard that 13 mil for more security. Det might bite.

  40. Tar October 30th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    If Sori opts out, do the Yankees then have the right to make him a qualifying offer? And if he refuses do the the Yankees get a pick? What if he turned around and signed back with the Yankees ala Alex?

  41. blake October 30th, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    The dodgers may be the one dumb owners to take Arods contract

  42. blake October 30th, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    If Soriano opts out then yea the Yanks can make a qualifying offer and yes they’d get a pick if he goes elsewhere…..he’s a free agent if he opts out so Free agent rules apply

  43. Tar October 30th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks Blake. So who do the Yankees make offers to- Kuroda, Swish and Jonesy? :D

  44. blake October 30th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    They may just skip the Q offer with Jonesy and to to a multi year deal

  45. CompassRosy October 30th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    @ProspectInsider: So Brandon League, a setup man, gets $21.5 million guaranteed. Rafael Soriano is smiling somewhere.

  46. blake October 30th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    The dodgers are officially crazy…..sell them Arod ASAP

  47. ron October 30th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Cano,and boras are going to wan’t a gazillion dollars,and 8 years,minimum.
    There is a small chance cano gives the yankees a small break,but if he is a grown up big boy who is not affraid to wander,he will be gone.

    I’d try to trade him for 2 elite prospects.A profar,olt type of deal,then trade granderson for a 2b,or pitcher/catcher/outfielder/3b,then see if hamilton will take a 4/100 million dollar deal,melky for 2 years,extend hughes.
    Then see what we need from there.
    Lose cano,and granderson,gain melky,hamilton,profar,olt,and get cheaper,avoid another arod contract,with more team friendly deals.

    Now cano might not get profar,and olt,but maybe another teams similar prospects.

  48. Cashmoney October 30th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    meanwhile… 3000 miles away in a dark room… Bud’s toupee just flew against the wall…

  49. trisha - true pinstriped blue November 2nd, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    POSTSEASON POINTS

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