The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Minor league and winter league notes

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 15, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Mason Williams had three hits on Wednesday, two hits on Thursday, and a flight back to Florida this morning.

The Arizona Fall League season has ended — the championship game is Saturday, but the Yankees’ players aren’t involved — and it ended with two good games from Williams. Overall, his production was solid but largely underwhelming. He played in 22 games and had a hit in all but five of them. He didn’t hit for much power, but he did a decent job getting on base. His final slash line was .267/.330/.337 with six doubles, eight walks and 18 strikeouts. He hit .400 against lefties.

What to make of it? Maybe nothing. The Fall League wasn’t likely to have a significant impact on Williams’ prospect status one way or the other. Basically, it seemed to reinforce what we already knew about Williams: That there’s something to like about him, but there still some work to be done.

A few other end-of-the-week notes from winter ball…

O'Brien• The weird Fall League of Peter O’Brien ended appropriately. He had two hits in his last 12 at-bats, but he also had four RBI in his final two games. O’Brien hit just .190 in Arizona, but he led the Scottsdale team with 19 RBI and four home runs. None of his teammates had more than two homers, and only four Fall Leaguers went deep more times than O’Brien did. He struck out 26 times and walked only twice, but he did slug .413.

Vidal Nuno made his final Fall League appearance more than a week ago on November 6. He finished his Fall assignment with one earned run in his final 13 innings. He got off to a brutal start — an 8.10 ERA through two starts against much lower-level competition — but he finished strong, and got a total of 19.2 innings after having missed a good chunk of the season with that groin injury.

• Three straight multi-hit games for Zoilo Almonte down in the Dominican this week. He got a turn in center field on Wednesday — he’s done that occasionally in the minors as well — and he’s hitting .305/.352/.427 through 82 at-bats. Remember that Almonte missed a lot of time in the second half of the season, so he needs this playing time.

Garcia• Two straight multi-hit games for Cuban outfielder Adonis Garcia, who continues to bounce around the three outfield positions (and even got another late-inning assignment at third base on Tuesday). Garcia is in Venezuela hitting .287/.333/.448. He’s been significantly better against righties than against lefties.

• Borderline prospect Jose Pirela continues to rake in Venezuela. The guy has 16 hits in his past seven games, and he has 14 extra-base hits in a total of 31 games. He putting up a .347/.432/.525 slash line while playing second base and left field. This is not the first time Pirela has put up big numbers, yet the Yankees have never shown any indication that they think of him as an organizational stand out. Even in Venezuelan winter ball, though, this sort of offensive production really stands out.

• You know who continues to struggle offensively this winter? Musty! Playing in Mexico, Ronnier Mustelier is hitting just .224/.333/.271. He’s taking a bunch of walks, but he’s had only three extra-base hits, none of them homers.

Maruszak• Back to the Fall League, late-addition Addison Maruszak had a nice but short stint. Getting time at all four infield position, Maruszak got just 32 at-bats and hit .281/.452/.344 with twice as many walks (10) as strikeouts (5). Maruszak can play absolutely anywhere — he’s even spent some time at catcher — and has occasionally shown some ability to hit. I’ve always liked him as one of these you-just-never-know utility types.

• None of the Yankees relievers sent to the Fall League did much to really stand out. Upper-level lefty Fred Lewis probably had the best stint. He went 11 innings without an earned run, and his 1.18 WHIP is rock solid. Lefties hit .214/.313/.214 against him. He was good, but maybe not the overwhelming results that might land him a 40-man spot. … I’ve said it before, but it seems like every year some Yankees pitcher leaves Arizona with brutally bad numbers. This year it’s Brett Gerritse with a 9.26 ERA and 1.97 WHIP through 11.2 innings. … James Pazos had a much better ERA than Gerritse with a 1.74, but that stat kind of masks the other numbers. Pazos allowed 13 hits and 7 walks through 10.1 innings. The bright side is that he’s a lefty, and he held lefties to a .200 average.

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