2014 Midseason top 50 Yankees prospects

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This season the post draft top 50 prospects is no different than any other year. The only difference is that the Yankees acquired far more talent in the international free agent (IFA) market this year than in the draft. Unfortunately we do not have enough information on the new IFA signings to include them in the rankings. It’s just too difficult to tell anything meaningful about 16-year-olds who pro scouts have had limited looks at. Suffice it to say, however, that this top 50 list will be substantially more impressive next season at this time.

Without further ado here is my midseason list. Of note, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, Austin Romine, J.R. Murphy, Shane Greene, Chase Whitley, Zoilo Almonte, Preston Claiborne, Jose Ramirez, and Masahiro Tanaka are all ineligible for this list because they played in the majors this year. I will do a separate piece on where they would have ranked though, so you can look forward to that. Note, some of the stats here are about a week old, but not much has changed in that time anyway.

1. Gary Sanchez – ”the Sanchize” C, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, RHB, 21 (previous rank: 1) – Despite the emergence of John Ryan Murphy as a viable big league starting catcher, Gary Sanchez is still the best catcher in the system. He has had attitude issues, which seems to be a recurring theme with him. That said, he still has nine homers and 17 ..read more

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Yankees will decide tomorrow whether to place Texieira on the DL

Mark-Teixeira

The Yankees have a tough decision to make tomorrow, and it has to do with whether they will place Mark Teixeira on the disabled list.

“It’s just seeing how he feels after three or four days (of rest),” Girardi said. “And then we’ll decide if we think it’s going to be in the near future that he would play, or if we’re going to need the 15 days. If it’s going to be 12, 13, 14 days, it probably make sense to get a player.”

Teixeira has been on the bench for four straight days after getting an injection for his strained lat. Without Teixeira in the lineup, the Yankees don’t have much depth at first base; Kelly Johnson was the first basemen but he’s on the disabled list with a strained groin. That leaves Brian McCann (who is the Yankees primary catcher), Chase Headley (although he’s a more experienced third basemen) and Francisco Cervelli (who is now the Yankees catcher) as options.

“I’ve got like 11 other guys I can run out there,” Girardi jokingly stated. “I talked to Chase (Headley) about it. Chase said he would feel comfortable going over there. I would not be afraid to put Brendan Ryan there. I would not be afraid to put (Zelous) Wheeler there.”

But if the Yankees are going to be without Mark Teixeira for more than a week, then they’re going to have to add someone with flexibility. However, Girardi will cross that bridge tomorrow. All that matters today is the Yankees win this game and take the series against the Texas Rangers.

“We’ll get through today,” Girardi said. “And we’ll probably have something tomorrow and we’ll ..read more

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Yankees got a discount with Brett Gardner

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When the Yankees signed Brett Gardner to a four-year $52 Million extension in February, I was pleasantly surprised Gardner decided to avoid free agency and gave his current employers a discount. I was also surprised the Yankees committed to Gardner for the next five years (2014 included) when they had just signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 Million deal.

When the Yankees signed Ellsbury, I thought to myself ‘Why did the Yankees sign Ellsbury for when they have Brett Gardner?’

Five months later and 2/3 of the season complete, I still ask myself that same question. Not to knock on Jacoby Ellsbury because he is a very good player, but Brett Gardner has been the Yankees best player all season long, and in 2014, he makes the least out of all the veterans.

Gardner hit his 10th home run of the season last night against the Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish, and that 10th home run has Gardner in a three-way tie for second place in the home run category with Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, two players who I felt were slightly overpaid.

Gardner took the discount from Yankees because he loves playing in New York and he can’t imagine himself playing for another team; he hopes to finish his baseball career with the Yankees. But, I can’t help but wonder if Gardner sold himself a little short by not going into the free agent market and testing the waters. With the numbers Gardner is putting up this year, it’s pretty easy to picture him getting an offer for $100 Million from another team. Jacoby Ellsbury did and aside from one breakout season, he’s the same player as Gardner.

Gardner’s ..read more

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Yankees to scout Cuban defector Rusney Castillo

Yankee Stadium 2

When Rusney Castillo takes the field at Alex Rodriguez Stadium on Saturday Morning, Major League Baseball will be there to scout him and that includes the New York Yankees.

According to the New York Post, Castillo, 27, has been cleared by Major League Baseball to sign with a ball club and many teams have show interest in the outfielder. Castillo has been compared to Shane Victorino, Leonys Martin and Dayan Viciedo, the latter two who are also Cuban defectors.

“He reminds me of Viciedo, not with the power, but with the way he plays and he has very good speed,’’ a talent evaluator said of Castillo, a 5-foot-9, right-handed hitter. “He is not [Yasiel] Puig. Some teams think he is a fourth outfielder but others believe he can be more.’’

Castillo is represented by Roc Nation Sports, an agency that has superstars Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia on their roster.

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Gardner homers in rain shorted 2-1 victory over Rangers

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The last time the Yankees were in a rain shortened game, they walked away with the loss. This time, the Yankees had another rain shortened game but they were able to come away with a 2-1 victory against Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

The Yankees scored their two runs in the third inning on a balk by Francisco Cervelli and a home run by Brett Gardner. Gardner now has 10 home runs on the season, which is the first time he’s hit double digits in the home run category in his career.

David Phelps pitched five great innings, giving up one run on seven hits and striking out three before the rains came in.

What’s Next?

– The Yankees will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound for the series finale against the Texas Rangers. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. and the game will air on the YES Network.

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Yankees have limited options at first base

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With Mark Teixeira sidelined and Kelly Johnson on the disabled list, the Yankees don’t have many options at first base. For now, the Yankees have Brian McCann as the first basemen, a plan they didn’t anticipate on having when the season began.

“He’s probably going to have to play there a good portion of the time,” Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees have considered Chase Headley, Francisco Cervelli and even Brendan Ryan but for now, the Yankees are without a true first basemen. Brian McCann is comfortable playing at first base but Teixeira’s injury causes uncertainty. Teixeira was supposed to be out of the lineup for three-to-four days and it’s already the third day.

“I think you see how he feels tomorrow, then you make a decision about what would be a target date,” Girardi said. “… I said we would examine him after three or four days to see where the pain is, then if the pain has subsided, maybe you take some next steps. You take some light swings in the cage, and you see. But if the pain hasn’t subsided, then you can’t get to Step Two.”

While the Yankees don’t know about Teixeira’s condition, they do know this: the roster spot currently taken by Chris Leroux is temporary and it’s just until the Yankees bullpen has recovered from their 14 inning marathon. So who will the Yankees call up?

“Could be an outfielder,” Girardi said. “Could be a first baseman.”

The person they call up could solely be based on Mark Teixeira’s condition going forward.

Some Notes

– After last night’s game, which pitchers are unavailable?

“Probably stay away from Warren. Then ..read more

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Brett Gardner wins third Yankees Heart and Hustle Award

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The Heart and Hustle Award was created by the Major League Baseball Players Association in 2005 which is an award presented to a player from each team who demonstrates passion for the game of baseball and embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game. The MLBPAA selects 30 winners, one player from each team and towards the end of the season the MLBPAA will select one winner from the 30 nominees.

The MLBPAA selected the winner of the Yankees 2014 Heart and Hustle Award and the winner is Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner. This is the third time Gardner won the award representing the Yankees; along with this year, Gardner won the award in 2013 and 2010. Gardner will be recognized for winning the award in an upcoming Yankees home game and he is officially a nominee for the 2014 MLB Heart and Hustle Award. Dustin Pedroia won the MLB award last year and Mike Trout won in 2012.

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Yankees put Kelly Johnson on the DL

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The New York Yankees have placed Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. As a corresponding move, the Yankees have called up LHP Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. To make a move for Leroux on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have designated RHP Bruce Billings for assignment.

Johnson was pulled from yesterday’s game after feeling tightness in his groin. He was ultimately replaced by Ichiro Suzuki. In 77 games with the Yankees this season, Johnson is hitting .219 with 6 home runs and 22 RBI’s.

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