Who’s hot on the farm? Low-A Charleston

Feature Sized – Charleston RiverDogs pitcher Freicer Perez in the dugout during a game against the Lakewood BlueClaws at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, SC on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Low-A Charleston

Ryan Lidge – He’s a catcher out of Notre Dame that the Yankees picked up in the 20th round. He’s a switch hitter, and extremely patient, although he hasn’t shown much power yet. He’s one of those defense first catchers the Yankees usually draft to fill out rosters in the minors. So far, though, he has hit really well. In his first 16 games as a professional, he has a .292/.424/.313/.736 line with a double and 10 walks. Not much of a prospect as things stand right now, but he’s relatively new and we have limited information on him so far, so a lot can change.

Carlos Vidal – He has been on the 7-day DL since 8/7, but before that he was on a tear. He is 12 for his last 34 (.353) with four walks and six doubles. That’s good for a .421 OBP and a .529 slugging percentage. That brings his season line to .304/.363/.374/.737 with 13 doubles, a triple, and a homerun. Not a bad line, but he’ll have to improve his power output as he moves up if he wants to be considered a legitimate prospect.

Brandon Wagner – 21-years-old, 1B – Wagner has had a solid year in his full-season debut. He’s hitting .287/.393/.417/.810 with seven homeruns, 19 doubles, and a triple. He has a discerning eye at the plate and good power for his size, but I can’t say I understand placing him at first base. I’d like him much better at 2nd, and I think he could play third as well. I’ll be interested to see what position they put him in this offseason.

Steven Sensley – 21-years-old, OF – Sensley has had an unbelievable start to his career, smashing 13 homeruns already. It was impressive that the Yankees were able to get him where they did, and he is still relatively young too. He has hit four homeruns in his last 10 games, so the power surge has continued. He has a .304/.381/.625/1.006 line so far this season, and has 13 HR, 15 doubles, and two stolen bases.

Diego Castillo – 19-years-old, SS – Castillo has been absolutely en fuego. He is 18/43 over his last 10 games and has six walks. That’s good for a .419/.490/.512/1.002 line. That brings his season line to a much more realistic .269/.318/.323/.640. That’s still not bad for a 19-years-old in Low-A. It seems like he has finally figured out this level, which bodes well for next year for him.

Isiah Gilliam – 21-years-old, RF – The Yankees got Gilliam in the 20th round, which is starting to look like a steal. He has had a solid season, and has been really good also over his last eight games. He’s 11/34 (.324) with four walks (.394 OBP), and three doubles (.411 SLG). On the season he has a .267/.341/.456/.797 line with 30 doubles, three triples, and 13 homeruns. That’s a solid first full season if I ever saw one.

Oswaldo Cabrera – 18-years-old, SS – Ever since being demoted to Staten Island, Cabrera has been hitting really well. That includes after he was promoted back up to Low-A Charleston. When he was demoted, his season line was .208/.267/.280. Since then he has brought his season line to .243/.302/.319/.621. In his last 11 games, he is 12/42 with 2 homeruns, two doubles, and three walks. That’s good for a .286/.333/.476/.819 line. That’s some major improvement, which is what you want to see from an 18-year-old in Low-A. Hopefully it carries over into next season, where he could put himself on the prospect map with a good performance.

Dermis Garcia – 19-years-old, 3B – Garcia is a bit of an anomaly. He strikes out a ton, but he also walks a lot and hits a bunch of homeruns. In his last 10 games, he is 9/31 (.290) with three walks (.352 OBP), and three homeruns with three doubles (.645 SLG/.997 OPS). The crazy part though is that he has 13 strikeouts in that span, which is unreal. He is still very young, and has explosive talent, so he has plenty of time to correct the problem. For now, he sits at .250/.364/.528/.892 with 13 homeruns, nine doubles, and a triple in 50 games this season. If he continues to play like this, it won’t matter how much he strikes out because he will be a top prospect.

Freicer Perez – 21-years-old, RHP – Perez has come along magnificently for the Yankees. This season has been his best as a pro, and that comes as a guy who was a sleeper heading into the season. Over his last 10 games, he has a 2.48 ERA with 58 K to 16 BB in 54.1 innings. On the season, he has a 2.88 ERA with 107 K : 39 BB in 112.2 innings, a career high. He has continued to improve as the season drags on, and is proving to be a real beast. I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him in Double-A at some point next season, he’s that good.

Phillip Diehl – 23-years-old, LHP – Diehl had a slow start but he has really come on strong as of late. In hiw last eight appearances, he has thrown 20 innings, has struck out 30 (13.5 K/9) while allowing just two earned runs (0.9 ERA). He has walked six during that time frame. His season line is a 3.51 ERA, 74.1 innings, 94 K : 23 BB, and a .241 average against. Looks like he was a good find in the 27th round, someone who might end up being very useful going forward; especially if he has had an uptick in stuff.

Rony Garcia – 19-years-old, RHP – Much like Freicer Perez, Rony Garcia makes a big jump this season. He has the kind of talent that is comparable to Luis Severino. In his 10 starts this season, Garcia has 48 K to 15 BB in 58.2 innings. He also has a 2.45 ERA on the year. If he’s not in the back end of some top 100 lists by season’s end, he should be. Next season is going to be a breakout year for him, I’m calling it now.

Alexander Vargas – 20-years-old, RHP – It appears the Yankees have a lot of faith in this young man, putting him in Low-A after a brief stint in Staten Island. He has a 92-93 mph fastball currently, and a plus changeup with a developing curveball. His fastball has a lot of sink to it, and he generates a ton of ground balls. He’s the type who could be an innings eater in the near future. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on.

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24 Responses to Who’s hot on the farm? Low-A Charleston

  1. Steve S. says:

    Greg, these updates are great! Thanks. In my never ending quest to find the next great thing, I found this guy in the in the Dominican Summer League. I don't know if you follow him yet. His name is Antonio Arias. He's 19 and he started at 17. His first two years were pretty much what you would expect from someone so young, but this year he has broken out. He's an outfielder. He never struck out too much, but this year he's cut his strikeouts even lower. Also .he walks a lot. He shows great plate discipline for a kid so young. Best of all, he's hitting .386 this year after hitting in the .230's the first two seasons. Also has more rbi's than his first two seasons combined with less than half the at bats. Also has the same amount of extra base hits this year as his first two seasons combined. A lot of "also's". lol. Looks like he has decent speed, but not exceptional.

    • gcorcoran says:

      He was one of the 2014 international spending spree signings. Actually it was a bad sign that he was sent to the DSL this season, but I have a feeling it was related to visa issues, although I have not been able to confirm that with anyone. Hopefully we will see him stateside next season so we can get a better guage on whether or not this breakout is real.

      • Steve S. says:

        Kudos to you Greg. You are on top of everything. Your comprehensive, in depth review of the system is as good as it gets.

  2. Vargas is pretty impressive IMO

    • gcorcoran says:

      He's been really impressive. I'm thinking he'll tick up to mid-90's before it's all said and done, and if he can get a third pitch going he'll have legitimate mid rotation ceiling.

  3. Steve S. says:

    Perez has been fantastic lately. He threw another gem the other day. The depth of pitching in the system is extremely impressive.

    • gcorcoran says:

      I'm a huge fan of Freicer. If he is not in the top 100 by season's end then there's something wrong with the ranking systems.

  4. tom says:

    OTT, about the brawl. Sanchez' comment was

    “I was in the dugout and I saw Romine rolling on the [ground] with the other guys,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “At that moment, just instincts take over, because you want to defend your teammate. That’s your family out there.”

    Speaking of defending your teammate, what the hell did you behave like an immature punk toward your very own teammate, Clint Frazier? Jesus!

    Cabrera assumed that Romine wanted a fight by taking mask off? If so, managers should get in fight with HP every time they take mask off when they argue strike and ball, eh?. Good one, Jose.

    • gcorcoran says:

      Hey Tom, when did Sanchez behave like a punk to Frazier? I didn't see this. That's messed up if true!

      • tom says:

        After he was pulled out of Romine-Cabrera tussle by Frazier. It is good thing he was like a silly rebel teenager instead of an actual gangster. Still, shoving him off in any degree of power is not cool.

  5. tom says:

    Greg, I don't think Perez made a leap there. Perez had 2 years under his belt and was considered as "an older prospect" when he was developed into Charleston.

    According to wiki, Severino was merely ranked as 9th prospect for Yankees so we should not get upset if Garcia won't make it on top 100 for 2018. However, we should expect he will be placed on top 30 after this season ahead of Luis Medina and Everson Pereira who are already on top 30 today. Jorge Guzman too. You said that he is comparable to Severino then his FB is well above 95 mph. Yes?

    • gcorcoran says:

      tom, I'm not sure who you are referring to with Garcia. I don't believe Dermis is a top 100 guy yet, although he has that potential if he can cut down on the strikeouts and increase the average/obp.

      Freicer Perez belongs in the top 100. The top 100 rankings don't mean much to me though, as I know that Perez has that kind of value on the trade market, which is all that really matters. Perez is a top 100 guy, plain and simple. If the pundits don't rank him there, it's only because they are tired of ranking so many Yankees in the top 100, or else they just somehow missed him.

      Jorge Guzman is in the same boat. He has a 100+ mph fastball, a 90 mph curveball, and a changeup. They are all making rapid progress. He's gonna fly through the system next year. IMO he is now a top 50 prospect. He too has that kind of value on the trade market, and quite frankly I don't care and won't be upset if he too misses out on the top 100. It would just prove how arbitrary those lists are if these guys miss out.

      • tom says:

        I talked about your synopsis for Rony Garcia. While he won't be in the top 100 I expect he should be ranked above Medina, Pereira and Guzman in Yanks' 2018 pre-season top 30. Unless you tell me that Garcia merely has lighter pitching repertoire otherwise will be a mistake.

  6. tom says:

    Dermis Garcia– Florial and his offensive prowess gets me excited up but I am sick of striking out too much. I hope both can hit for average among those certain pro and con. 240 ba, 30 hr, 95 rbi, 170 k will not be overlooked for wRC on my book.

    How is his defense at 3B?

    • gcorcoran says:

      So far looks like he'll stick but he still has work to do to hit that goal.

      I'm okay with Florial's strikeouts because I think many of them are a function of poor strike zone of Low-A umps. I think he'll drop into the average range as time goes on and his other numbers will be very similar. Dermis has a lot of work to do. I'm glad he's getting a taste of Low-A because he will probably start there next season and hopefully by then he will figure out how to cut down on the strikeouts a bit.

      • tom says:


        Do you plan to post up GCL prospects? Too raw to review? I only interest in 17 years old Roansy Contreras,one of top IFA pickups last year. I know he has been struggling but what is his current repertoire? thanks.

  7. tom says:

    OTT, apparently I didn't wash old school crap away. I am happy that the Hip Hop weekend is over. What a stupid idea.

    Anyway, how come nobody stand up every time Judge comes to the plate? Disrespect. lol.

    I can't believe Twins conned Yankees into giving up Littell. Twins are holding 1.5 lead for 2nd WC spot and Garcia has yet to complete 6 innings for Yanks. ugh!

  8. Eric says:

    Just bring Montgomery back up and cut ties with Garcia ASAP. I don't care about innings limits because when the rosters expand on Friday they can monitor Montgomer's innings that way. In the meantime, they can pitch him now and then use all the extra arms they will have come Friday. Sometimes the Yankees over think things when the easy answer is right in front of their own face. When Garcia pitches it is like giving games away.

    • Steve S. says:

      I agree. He has been terrible. With the loss tonight and losing a game to Boston, it raises the stakes that much more. I'm not sure Garcia is up to the challenge. I can't believe they keep running him out there. Sometimes Cashman falls in love with his acquisitions. See Stephen Drew and currently Aaron Hicks as examples. I never thought Hicks had the goods. I hope he makes me eat these words. He's 24 for his last 132 if anyone hasn't noticed. That's .182. How he's gotten a pass on this so far is beyond me. Especially with his resume.

  9. tom says:

    OTT, just wonder if it is possible that Yankees can sign Otani for the remaining bonus in the IFA spending pool and then immediately extend the contract for whatever term Otani and Yankees come to an agreement?

  10. Jerry says:

    I'd be shocked if there are not rules in place to prevent that. But who's to say they could not do something with a handshake, wink wink. As long as Tanaka has had a great experience playing for the Yankees, he's a weapon to entice Otani to join them and let's face it, the Yankees are the team that no matter where you go, people know the Yankees. It's our turn to outdo the Red Sox and get this player.

    • tom says:

      There is no rule for that but someone told me that the commissioner would take a serious action against that anyway. umm.

      Red Sox should go ahead and sign Shohei Ohtani. That way Yankees can have Shohei Otani. lol. Which name is correct?

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