There’s about a month left in the season, and there are quite a few players who are poised to finish strong, which is a good sign for next season. This is the longest list yet, which shows there are a ton of players performing well over the past couple of weeks.
Starting from Triple-A and working our way down, here’s how the list looks right now.
1. Kyle Roller – Roller has really had his best season as a pro this year, and he’s not slowing down as the end of the season nears. He is 13 for his last 38 (.342) with four walks in his last 10 games. He has two homeruns and three doubles during that time. That’s good for a .998 OPS. He’s 26 but he’s doing it at the level below the majors now, and that has to be taken somewhat seriously. On the season he’s .304/.394/.550/.944. I’m not sure where he fits in with Teixeira aboard, but in the likely event that Tex gets injured, he could step in immediately at 1B.
2. Taylor Dugas – He has been remarkably consistent this year, and his last 10 games are no different. He’s eight for his last 26 with four walks, good for a .406 OBP. Again, not sure where he fits with the major league team (probably as a 4th-5th outfielder), but it has become apparent that he can contribute. He’s still just 24.
3. Jose Pirela – I know I’ve been harping on this all season, but the guy just isn’t cooling down. He has been on just about every “who’s hot on the farm” list I’ve made. In the last 10 games, he’s hitting a scorching .364, with three doubles and two triples. His OPS is .914. He’s having his best year as a pro as a 24 year old in Triple-A.
4. Adonis Garcia – He hasn’t played since August 4th for some reason, but he is otherwise on fire. He’s hitting .450 (18 for 40) in his last 10 games and has at least one hit in each of the games. He also hit four doubles and a homerun over that time frame, and drew four walks. That’s good for a 1.114 OPS. On the season he’s hitting .322/.357/.481/.838 with nine homeruns.
5. Austin Romine – Now a 25 year old in Triple-A (hard to believe), Romine is quietly in the process of a breakout. He is 13 for his last 38 (.342) with four doubles and four walks (.852 OPS). He is a useful catcher who is buried in the depth chart right now, but will almost definitely play in the majors at some point.
6. Pat Venditte – Everyone’s favorite switch pitcher, Venditte is having a nice statistical season. In his last nine appearances spanning 17 innings, he has a 1.58 ERA and 16 K. All of this, again, in Triple-A. It’s tough to envision a scenario without a bunch of injuries where he gets a real opportunity in the Bronx, but he’s doing his best to force his way in for sure.
7. Bryan Mitchell – Since being promoted to Triple-A, Mitchell has exploded. He has only had one bad outing, and has allowed just two earned runs over his past three outings spanning 17 innings. He has struck out 15 batters during that time, and walked only three, which is huge for him. If he keeps up this newfound success, he could find himself in the Bronx soon, especially with the pitching needs right now. He’s brought his ERA down to 4.27 on the season. That would be his lowest ERA since joining the full season leagues. Definitely good to see improvement with him.
8. Tyler Webb – Doesn’t have the mid 90’s heat you hope for in a late inning reliever, but he sure does strikes people out like one. In 8.2 innings at Triple-A, he has 13 strikeouts and has let up just two earned runs (2.08 ERA). He has held hitters to a .161 average, which is astoundingly low. On the season hitters are just .220 against him. With the Matt Thornton exit, he isn’t likely to stay in Scranton too long.
9. Nick Rumbelow – I have never seen a player move across four levels in one season… until now. Rumbelow threw 2.0 innings for Scranton two days ago, making it his fourth level over 35 appearances. He started at Charleston this season and has steadily moved up. Over that time he has walked 14 batters in 44.2 innings pitched, with 64 strikeouts. His last 9.1 IP he has 17 K and has let up three earned runs.
10. Gregory Bird – No question about it Greg Bird is hot. He has three homeruns in just 5 games in Trenton, and is coming off a 4/4 night where he hit two homeruns and a double. On the season he has 10 HR, 23 doubles, and a triple with a .280/.375/.471/.846 quad slash. Over a 160 game schedule that’s good for about 20 homeruns, which is acceptable at first base. I think he’s capable of much more than that though. Next year he shows everyone why the Yankees think so highly of him.
11. Jake Cave – Cave has really taken to Double-A. He is now 15 for his last 43 (.349) with three walks, two triples, and a homerun in his last 10 games. He has really hit the ground running since the call up. He’s done even better this year than last. The power still needs to come around but he’s definitely improved.
12. Gary Sanchez – 13 for his last 42 (.310) with two homers and two doubles. He has done an excellent job this year and most importantly has really improved his defense. He has hit 12 homeruns so far this season, which is a bit lower than hoped but he has all the talent in the world.
13. Jaron Long – Has excelled at all three levels he’s played at this season. His most recent stop, Trenton, has seen him pitch to a 2.78 ERA with 26 K in 35.2 IP. He is still just 22 years old. It’s crazy to say it but he could actually be the rare example of a non-drafted free agent who makes it to the show.
14. James Pazos – We’re talking 0.61 ERA in his last 14.2 IP with 14 K coming from a hard throwing lefty. Hitters are batting .190 against him in Double-A. That’s really, really impressive. He is one of the three reasons why the Yankees felt comfortable letting Matt Thornton go.
15. Luis Severino – This kid is an absolute monster. He has 118 K in 103 innings so far this season, with a 2.36 ERA and he’s a 20 year old in Double-A. So far in Double-A, he has 20 K in 14.2 innings and a 1.84 ERA. He’s one of the best this system has to offer and if he’s not injured or traded, there’s no question we’ll see him in the Bronx within a season or two.
16. Jacob Lindgren – Lindgren’s latest stop is Double-A, where he flat out dominated in his first appearance. He struck out three in one inning pitched. So far in 14.1 IP he has 33 strikeouts. One of the most ridiculous K/9 rates I’ve ever seen in the minors. I wouldn’t be surprised if after five or so innings they bring him up to Triple-A.
17. Matt Snyder – Going back to before he went on the DL less than one month ago, he is 13 for his last 39 (.333) with seven doubles. He’s a bit on the older side but he can really hit and I’m not ready to give up on him yet.
18. Aaron Judge – he’s nine for his last 29 (.310) with two homeruns, two doubles, and a whopping 13 walks. They are pitching around him with good reason. Overall he has had a mighty successful first season, hitting .318 with 15 homers, 20 doubles, and four triples.
19. Cesar Vargas – over his last 10 appearances in High-A, he has thrown 16 innings of 1.69 ERA ball. He has struck out 22 over that time period. Yet another promising young reliever in the system at just 22.
20. Mike Ford – 13 for his last 29 (.448) with two homeruns in his last nine games. He’s also walked three times and hit two triples and one double. His OPS over the last nine games is 1.327. He’ll probably finish the season out in Charleston, but it will be interesting to see what the Yankees doe with him in 2015 with Bird in Double-A and Matt Snyder possibly blocking him in High-A. Snyder could potentially be moved to DH.
21. Miguel Andujar – Just a few weeks ago his average was .230 and everyone was wondering if this was a lost season for him. Well, he’s got the average up to .258 now and is 10 for his last 33 (.303). He will need to show more power going forward to stick at third, but he has taken steps in the right direction and I expect him to continue to get better as one of the younger players in the league at 19.
22. Rookie Davis – He has had a rough season statistically but he has an opportunity to finish the season with respectable numbers if he keeps up what he’s done for his past six starts. In 32 2/3 innings he has a 3.03 ERA, a 3-0 record, and 23 K. He’s been an inning eating machine this year, which is a good thing. Now he just needs to ramp up the performance a bit.
23. Ian Clarkin – Fresh off a promotion to Tampa, Clarkin has been stellar for his last 10 starts. He has pitched 42.1 IP with 42 K and a 2.55 ERA. His first start in Tampa? 5.0 IP, 1 ER, and 4 K. It looks like the Yankees really have something in Clarkin.
24. Chaz Hebert – Putting together a solid season quietly. He has a 3.11 ERA and 51 K in 63.2 IP so far this season. In his last 10 appearances though, he has been really, really good. He has thrown 47.1 IP, with 39 K and a 1.52 ERA. With a couple more outings he should be able to stretch out and become yet another good lefty arm in the system next season.
25. Justin Kamplain – This 18th rounder is yet another example of how good the Yankees have been lately at extracting late round value in the draft. He has pitched 25.0 innings so far, has 29 K and has let up just one earned run the entire season, good for a 0.36 ERA. His batting average against is just .133. I don’t know much about his stuff except that he is a lefty who was 88-92 with the fastball prior to signing. He was just promoted to Charleston, where he continued his domination and threw four innings with no earned runs and four strikeouts.
26. Connor Spencer – 17 for his last 41 (.415) with three doubles and a triple. He’ll have to hit for more power if he wants to become a factor at first base, but so far he has really impressed with the bat.
27. Jordan Foley – The big right hander has performed well thus far in the New York-Penn League. In 21.1 innings he has a 3.38 ERA and 24 K. His walk rate is a bit high but he appears to be faring well in his first season. Looks like the Yankees see him as a starter long term, so it will be fun to watch this kid going forward. I’m interested to hear what his stuff looks like now that he’s a professional.
28. Billy Fleming – A non-drafted free agent out of West Virginia, Fleming is tearing apart the GCL, as he should be at the age of 21. That said his domination has been pretty profound. In 10 games, he is hitting .457/.535/.629/1.163 with four doubles and a triple. He has only struck out twice thus far. He clearly needs to be tested against better competition, but Ty McFarland and Gosuke Katoh stand in the way for him. He appears to have the ability to play multiple positions in the infield, including SS and 3B, putting him in line for a John Murphy (Single-A version) type of role next season if the Yankees choose to go that route.
29. Dominic Jose – This switch hitting outfielder out of Stanford has been another pleasant surprise in the GCL. That said he’s a college bat in the GCL and thus he should be mashing here. He’s .361/.432/.542/.974 on the season, and even better in the last 10. He’s 12 for his last 31 (.387) with two walks. The major red flag here is that he has a 32.1% strike out rate. That should not be the case in the GCL for a kid coming out of college.
30. Orby Tavares – The 19 year old Dominican lefty has been pretty good so far, with a 2.93 ERA in 27.2 IP over nine appearances. He’s walking too many, more than 4.5 per nine innings. Overall though the numbers are good and he has a lot of potential at his size (6’4) to become a force down the line.
31. Nestor Cortes – I’ve read a lot of comparisons on this small 19 year old lefty to Dan Camarena. So far he’s pitching like it. He’s got good control with just three walks in 18.1 innings, and 21 K.
32. Austin DeCarr – The big 19 year old righty has let up just one run in his last four appearances over 11 innings. On the season he’s pitched 17 innings with 6 walks and 21 K.
33. Jonny Drozd – The big, 6-foot-7 hard throwing lefty has pitched really well so far in the GCL. He is a Texas Tech alum and was a non-drafted free agent signing for the Yankees. So far in 6.1 innings he has no walks and nine strikeouts, allowing just four hits. Opposing hitters are batting .190 against him.
34. Andrew Chin – so far the 21 year old lefty has been solid, with 5.1 innings and five strikeouts with just one walk. He was one of the later round draft picks for the Yankees, but we all know they’ve had a lot of luck with that part of the draft in recent years.
35. Junior Valera – he continues to be a force in the GCL. Yes, he’s 21 already, but he’s a switch hitter batting .340 with a .918 OPS. He has continued to hit well, and is 10 for his last 34 (.294) with six walks in the last 10 games. He also has 12 SB in 29 games.
36. Frank Frias – Continues to swing a hot bat. He’s 11 for his last 36 (.305) with a double, a triple, and three SB with no CS. He’s got 11 SB in 35 games this season. He’s another young kid who has a lot of tools and is performing well. Overall he’s .311/.369/.387/.756.
37. Angel Aguilar – The 19 year old SS is raking in the GCL. In his last 10 games he’s 13/43 (.303) with three homers, three doubles, and two walks. Good for a .911 OPS. On the season he has seven homeruns and eight SB. He often gets lost in the shuffle with all of the good SS in the low minors, but he is hitting .290/.353/.528/.881 this season and looks to be the real deal.