BBDP May 6th: Who’s hot now?

gary sanchezA couple of weeks ago, BBDP highlighted the top performers on the Yankees farm. Things change rather rapidly in baseball and there’s a new list of players who have been on a hot streak for the past week or so. As is the tradition, the players will be featured starting from the highest level and moving down.

Zoilo Almonte has been en fuego for the past nine games. In his last nine, he is 14/40 (.350) with three homeruns and four doubles. He has brought his season numbers to .286/.324/.505/.829. He is a guy who has been known to play extremely well once he has mastered a level, and he appears close to that point with Triple-A. Still Just 24, he still has time to make his mark in the majors if he can figure things out at the highest level. He has six homeruns on the young season, which puts him on pace for about 30 in a 125 game schedule. That’s legit power.

Ramon Flores has also been on a 10 game tirade. He is 15 for his last 41 (.366) with seven walks, bringing his OBP in the last 10 to .458. He has two homeruns in his last five games. His season numbers are now .283/.395/.475/.870 with two homers, two triples, and nine doubles. He’s really making some noise and could be on the verge of his breakout season.

Jose Pirela has a little five game hitting streak going. He is eight for 21 (.381) during that stretch, with two triples and two doubles. He’s not hitting for much power right now, but hopefully this streak sets him off. His overall numbers are weak at .263/.278/.389/.665 with one homerun, two triples, and five doubles, but there is hope he can turn it around. The way things are right now Solarte and Zelous Wheeler would have to cool off significantly to give Pirela a shot at a major league job.

Ronnier Mustelier is 14 for his last 39 (.359) and has hits in nine of his last 10 games. The only problem is he is hitting for almost no power whatsoever. In terms of extra base hits, he has three doubles on the season, and that’s it. That’s not going to cut it for a guy who lacks defensively. He’s always a utility option though if a couple of other guys go down, and he’s not a bad one either.

Mark Montgomery has continued his solid play although he has let up a run in each of his last three appearances. Over his last 10, he has 16 K in just 13 IP, with a 2.08 ERA. With the bullpen merry-go-round that Joe Girardi has been running, it would almost be shocking if he didn’t get a shot at some point. He still has some control issues to iron out though, as he has seven walks in the last 13 innings he has pitched.

Moving on to Trenton, Kyle Roller is taking the term raking to new levels. In 18 games he has eight homeruns, six doubles, and a batting line of .409/.481/.864/1.344. There is no chance he can keep this up, but it’s been an impressive ride so far. Consider this; if he was to hit homeruns at this rate over a 150 game schedule, he would hit about 60 homeruns. He’s old for his level, no question about it, but these eye-popping numbers have to get your attention no matter what level you’re at. Over his past 10 games he is actually improving on that average. He is 17 for his last 36 (.472) with four homeruns and three doubles. He’s easily the hottest player on the farm right now.

Another guy who has stayed hot is Gary Sanchez, and the power is now really coming along. He is 11 for his last 39 (.282) with four walks, three homers, and two doubles in the last 10 games. His overall season line is now .284/.370/.484/.855. For a catcher, these numbers are fantastic. At this rate he will move up to Triple-A by the end of the year.

Branden Pinder is a farm comeback player of the year candidate. After struggling mightily last year, he is off to a phenomenal start. In 14.0 IP, he has no earned runs, just one walk, and 15 K. His WHIP is 0.5 and his BAA is .125. He’ll get moved up to Scranton quickly if this keeps up.

Manny Banuelos is back! He’s hitting 97 mph on the gun already, and in seven appearances over two levels (High-A and Double-A), he has a 2.89 ERA and 21 K in 18.2 IP. He has only walked three batters. Look out, here comes Manny.

Zach Wilson has been seen as more of an organizational guy over the years, but he may be shedding that tag this year. If he keeps up his current pace, he will certainly do that. He’s got hits in each of his last 10 games, and is 17 for his last 37 (.459) with three homeruns and three doubles. On the season he is .341/.368/.511/.880. I fully expect a regression to the mean, but the kid is making a name for himself so far and deserves recognition. He’s 23 years old so the time to make a move is now.

Peter O’Brien is still absolutely ripping apart the FSL. He has hit .351/.385/.740/1.114 over the past 10 games with three homeruns, three doubles, and a triple. This brings his season totals to .333/.366/.695/1.061 with nine homeruns, nine doubles, and a triple. This puts him on pace for 40 homeruns on a 125 game schedule. It looks like he’s about as ready as he’ll ever be for Double-A, but he still needs time at catcher and Gary Sanchez stands in the way. In the meantime, look for O’Brien to continue to mash.

One of the biggest surprises of the year has been Dante Bichette. Most felt he would fall off, but he’s proving to be a consistent hitter after he changed his approach between last year and now. Over his last eight games, he is 10/31 (.323) with two homeruns and two doubles. His season totals are now .311/.419/.485/.905 with three homers and nine doubles. The recent power surge is encouraging. If he can continue that he will be well on his way to breaking out in a major way. One of the better storylines of the year so far.

Jake Cave is another guy who has been on fire for the past 10 games. He is hitting .357/.372/.452/.824 over that time period with a homerun and a double. On the season he has a .766 OPS. He’ll look to add more speed and power to his game as the season goes on.

Dan Camarena has been consistently good since the beginning of the season for Tampa. The only issue is his defense has been consistently bad behind him. He has 11 earned runs in 29.2 innings, and 11 unearned runs to match that. His ERA on the year is 3.34 and he has 24 K on the season. Both he and his defense behind him hope to be better going forward, but the early results are pretty good.

Dietrich Enns has picked up right where he left off last season. He has 16 K in 16.1 innings with a 1.1 ERA. He has struggled more with walks this season as he already has seven, but those all came in two outings. He’s only let up two runs on the whole season so far, so look for him to be a shutdown guy out of the pen going forward.

Nick Goody made his first appearance today, and he made his presence felt. He threw 1.0 innings of no hit ball and struck out two of the three batters he faced. It’s been a long road back for Goody but it will all be worth it if he looks as good as he did before Tommy John surgery. He should be in Double-A before you know it.

Charleston has a bunch of guys who are playing great baseball right now. Mike Ford continues to swing the bat well. He’s been quite consistent. Over his last 10, he’s hitting .313/.405/.438/.843. He’s drawing walks consistently and getting on base in just about every game. He’s 22 years old so he’ll have to make his moves quickly, but there’s still time for him.

Brady Lail has really stepped up his game over the last three outings. He has pitched to a 2.11 ERA over his last three with 11 K in 17 IP. He has just two walks during that time. He has the look of a pitcher who is going to keep his team in the game every time out. With the improvement in his stuff from last year, the sky is the limit.

Caleb Smith has been completely untouchable in Single-A. He has 33 K in 27.1 IP, and hasn’t let up an earned run in his last four outings. He had a start on April 24th where he struck out 13. He is absolutely dominating the league and has a BAA of just .144. If he is able to keep the ball down more he could advance quickly to High-A.

Luis Severino is a 19 year old phenom in this league. He has thrown 25.0 innings so far, and struck out 29 batters. His ERA is a paltry 2.16, good for second best in the system. His walk rate is 3.0 per nine innings, which is still a bit high, but overall he has looked fantastic.

Philip Walby has also been dominant here. In 11.1 IP, he has 18 K and is the owner of a 1.59 ERA. He’s not going to be here long if he keeps this up.

Nick Rumbelow has been even more dominant. He has 18 K in just nine innings of work, and has not let up an earned run yet. He’s yet another reliever who should move quickly up the Yankees ranks.

Ian Clarkin finally made his first start in Low-A, and he did not disappoint. He had five shutout innings of four hit ball with no walks and five strikeouts. He’s off to a great start, and it’s not all that surprising. There will be more good things to come from Clarkin.

That’s all I have for this addition. I’m looking forward to the returns of Greg Bird, Jose Ramirez, Matt Snyder, and Tyler Austin, which are all apparently going to happen soon. We all know that’s not always the case though.

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5 Responses to BBDP May 6th: Who’s hot now?

  1. Celerino Sanchez says:

    Flores is interesting. When was the last time the Yankees had a 22 year old power hitter at AAA?

    • For a power hitter in AAA, you'd have to go all the way back to Jesus Montero.

      • Celerino Sanchez says:

        The Jesus Montero era seems like so long ago. The last one before Montero was Robinson Cano (unless you count Austin Jackson). Hopefully Flores will work out better than Montero. With Soriano and Ichiro's contracts expiring, the might actually be room for a rookie in the outfield next year.

  2. Well Celerino, I wouldn't exactly call Flores a power hitter. I think as a major leaguer if he hits his ceiling he'd tap out at 15 homeruns a year. He has superior plate discipline though and could certainly be a factor in the Yankees outfield as soon as next year if things continue to go well for him.

  3. Rafal Kuciarski says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t include Aaron judge on here.

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