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Thread: Yankee Prospects

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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #17: Jeff Marquez

    Scouting Yankee Prospect #17: Jeff Marquez
    By Frankie Piliere
    Date: Jan 28, 2005

    The Yankees selected Jeff Marquez in the 1st round of the 2004 draft. Marquez has earned tremendous confidence from the organization with a mature approach along with a lethal combination of a sinker and an outstanding power changeup. It's these reasons that he's our Yankee's prospect #17. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

    Vital Statistics
    Name: Jeff Marquez
    Position: Starting Pitcher
    DOB: August 10, 1984
    Height: 6' 2"
    Weight: 190
    Bats: Right
    Throws: Right

    Although the selection of Jeff Marquez seemed to come out of nowhere in 2004, the Yankees have shown that they go to no limits in their player scouting. Marquez was a late bloomer at Sacramento City College and credits his development to the coaching staff there. In fact, Marquez entered the school as a 145 pound freshman who got zero attention from scouts out of high school. ďGoing to a good college program really helped me a lot,Ē said Marquez. ďThey really helped me with my mechanics and getting stronger and helped me a lot as an all around pitcher.Ē He made a wise choice, electing to redshirt his first year there in order to get stronger and build up for the 2004 season. It ended up being one of the best career moves a player could make. Marquez went on to have a dominating 2004 campaign and suddenly the Yankees were hot on his trail after he had pushed himself onto the draft day radar screen.

    The Yankees did take Marquez, 41st overall in the draft in fact. And, it didn't take long for him to prove his worth. He was sent to the GCL where, as a 19 year old, he was simply dominating. After a few appearances, he had to be sent to Staten Island. Yet again, he put on an outstanding show. However, he admittedly wore down near season's end. "I think I might have been a little tired physically and mentally," Marquez told PinstripesPlus.com. "But, my arm wasn't really tired. But, not to make excuses, but in my last two starts, I really hated the mounds I pitched on. It was in Williamsport and Jamestown. One of my starts it was raining and I kind of lost it. I got a little frustrated with everything going on around me. I don't usually get frustrated but I think I was wearing down a little bit. Once I got to mini-camp I kind of got a new start." Not only did he get his fresh start in mini-camp but a huge vote of confidence from the organization as well.

    When Jeff Marquez arrived in Tampa after the season ended, he was a bit deflated by his slow end to the season. But, that changed quickly once he spoke with pitching coordinator, Nardi Contreras. "Marquez just has the look of a real fast mover in this system and just a very good pitcher," Contreras told PinstripesPlus.com. "He is the type of guy that would fit right in there with that changeup he has. He has three established pitches and he is a really determined kid. He pushes hard to move to the next level and I think he'll be pitching in their rotation come 2005. He just showed us a lot when he came to mini-camp this year. He held up nicely health wise for a first year player and showed that he made the necessary adjustments when he needed to. If he shows more of that in Spring Training next year, I think he'll be in Tampa to start the season." A statement such as this shows a tremendous amount of confidence from the organization and Marquez sure appreciates the praise. "We had a long talk about that," the sinker baller said. "Here's basically what he told me. He was like if you keep doing what you're doing now, you are going to move faster through this system than you can possibly imagine. He said he was really impressed by me. It made me feel good to know they thought so highly of me." Look for Jeff to a big part of the Tampa Yankee staff in 2005 as a 20 year old.

    Repertoire. Two-seam fastball, Four-seam fastball, Changeup, Curveball

    Fastball. As even Jeff Marquez says, he is not a power pitcher. That is simply not what he is all about. However, he can still bring it with some good heat. Marquez's fastball is usually in the low 90's and topping out around 94 MPH. He does have what some would call a power fastball, but his fastball is used more so to get groundballs. He chooses to rely on the location and command of his two seam sinking fastball. He will get a lot of ground balls using that pitch. He sets up his two seam fastball with a riding four seam fastball. The four seam fastball, which he was able to develop in mini-camp, is going to be an enormous weapon for him. Now, he will be able to change a hitter's eye level, going up in the zone with the four seam and down with his nasty sinker. Expect Jeff to add even a little more heat in the coming years when he adds more bulk to his frame. Then, he will be one of the rare yet devastating power sinker ball pitchers.

    Other Pitches. Besides the sinker, the pitch he bases his game around, Jeff Marquez also possesses another truly dominating pitch. That pitch is his changeup. A true power changeup, it is used as his best strikeout pitch and he can make hitters look foolish at the plate. To put it in perspective, this changeup is where his comparisons to Pedro Martinez stem from. They are different style pitchers but by the time Marquez makes it to the show, his changeup could be one of the or the best in the game. Not to mention, he really has found a feel for it and knows just the right situations to spring it on the hitter. It is definitely his best weapon in his arsenal. Jeff also possesses a curveball, but he calls that his worst pitch even though it is not all that bad. It is a solid curveball but he uses it more as a show me pitch.

    Pitching. There is no better way to describe Jeff Marquez than a classic sinker ball pitcher. However, he is a very special kind of sinker ball pitcher. He is a guy who throws the ball with above average velocity and plus movement on his sinker. Right now he is not your typical strikeout pitcher but just by picking up some extra velocity with maturity, he could develop into one. But, his game is groundball outs, broken bats and weak hacks. He can make those weak hacks happen with his devastating changeup. Marquez has excellent command of his fastball and changeup but he is simply just learning to bring a little bit more of a breaking ball to the table with him. He takes an aggressive approach on the mound and he has the attitude that he can't be beat by anyone.

    Projection. If you take the Yankee organization's word for it, the sky is the limit for Jeff Marquez. Although he may not be the ideal number one starter on a staff, Marquez still has the potential to be a tremendous number two type of starter. But, if he can get a little stronger, he may be able to become that ace material type of starter. He has two dominating pitches to work around with his sinker and his changeup. The Yankees are looking for him to fly through the system perhaps faster than any other pitcher despite his young age. He seems like the ideal type of Yankee pitcher, someone that can get up there quick and help just as fast.

    ETA. 2007. We have now heard how fast the Yankees expect Marquez to get through the Yankee Farm System and this ETA reflects that notion. In 2005, the Yankees will likely have Marquez spend the full season at high A Tampa as Nardi Contreras told us he would. Then, in 2006, he should begin the season in AA Trenton. And, since the Yankees plan to move him aggressively, he has a good chance of being sent to AAA Columbus later in the season. After that, he has an excellent chance of breaking into the big leagues sometime during the 2007 season.
    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
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    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #16: Jason Jones

    Scouting Yankee Prospect #16: Jason Jones
    By Patrick Teale
    Date: Jan 30, 2005

    The New York Yankees selected RHP Jason Jones in the 4th round of the 2004 draft out of Liberty University. Jones has exhibited some of the best control among the Yankees pitching prospects. It is this reason that Jones ranks #16 among the Top 50 Yankees Prospects. Here's a scouting report on Jason Jones. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

    Vital Statistics:
    Name: Jason Jones
    Position: Pitcher
    DOB: November 20, 1982
    Height: 6'5"
    Weight: 225
    Bats: Right
    Throws: Right
    How Acquired: The New York Yankees selected RHP, Jason Jones in the 4th round (129th Overall) of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft out of Liberty University.

    As good a draft as the Yankees had in 2004, the name Jason Jones might not be the first name to jump at you as a future Major Leaguer. However, Jones might actually be the most polished player among the 2004 draftees and could easily be the first 2004 Yankees' draftee to reach the Majors. Jones is the epitome of a late bloomer. Overlooked by professional and collegiate scouts while in high school, you can hardly blame them. Armed with a fastball that sat only in the 84 MPH range, Jones lacked the "live arm" that scouts search for when scouting the high school ranks. Jones' success was predicated on his above average command and was offered a scholarship from only Western Carolina University and Liberty University. Growing up a Baptist while playing for Arlington Baptist High School in Baltimore, Maryland, Jones opted for Liberty.

    In college, Jones worked with Liberty pitching coach Randy Tomlin tirelessly to improve his mechanics and beef up his velocity. Jones was used as a spot middle reliever his first year, but began throwing a little harder, improving his fastball to 86 MPH. Jones made a name for himself in 2002, setting the school record for wins with eleven. As good an accomplishment as it was, Jones took it in perspective. "I set the school record for wins, but that was more because we had tremendous hitting on that team", Jones told PinstripesPlus.com this offseason. But perhaps even more impressive than his won-loss record (11-5) was the marked improvement in his velocity. Jones started throwing his fastball even harder, getting it into the 88-89 MPH range during his 2002 season. But Jones wasn't done improving his speed. "I did play for the Torrington Twisters later that summer before my junior year in the New England Collegiate League and I remember I broke 90 MPH for the first time in the All-Star Game", Jones said.

    Gaining more confidence and momentum from his improved velocity, Jones' progression hit a speed bump. A stress fracture to the femur in his left leg and a bone bruise from an injury sustained in the weight room in the fall before his junior year, sidelined him for the entire 2003 season. Jones had to recover from the injury and struggled in the early part of the 2004 season for Liberty. It took Jones nearly nine months to rehab from his injury, but he peaked at the right time. With the 2004 MLB Draft only a couple of months away, Jones finished his season with two strong performances in his last two starts. "My last two starts of the year I threw a 4-hitter and a 6-hitter and I carried that momentum into the workouts at Yankee Stadium when I was invited there before the draft. And after pitching well there, much to my surprise, the Yankees selected me in the fourth round. I was thrilled", Jones told us. Again, as great as his stretch run was, it was the added velocity that turned the heads of the Yankees. Jones, who threw just 84 MPH as a high school senior, consistently was clocked in the 90-92 MPH his final year at Liberty, even reaching as high as 94 MPH.

    Jones carried his momentum into his professional debut with the Yankees in 2004, going a combined 5-4 in two stops between Staten Island and Battle Creek. In 79 1/3 innings, Jones walked just 6 batters and exhibited some of the best control among all the Yankees' pitching prospects. So what was the reason he had more success in the professional ranks than he had in college? "Well like I said, having that year off and being injured, it took me a while to get back to where I wanted to be", said Jones. "I think I was pitching so well towards the end of my college season and into the workouts that the momentum carried me a little bit into my first season with the Yankees. But I think it was more because I started pitching to my strengths. I finally figured out the mental aspects of pitching and figured out things for myself. I was also able to get a lot more movement with my 2-seam fastball this past summer. I was able to throw more inside and out with my location. I was throwing more inside in college. I just learned to mix up my pitches better and when to throw the right pitch."



    Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.

    Fastball. Jones throws both a 2-seam fastball and a 4-seam fastball. Only able to throw about 84 MPH and being considered more of a "soft tosser" in his amateur days, Jones relied on his location earlier in his pitching career. He's been able to add a lot more velocity over the last few years, and is now able to consistently bring his 4-seam fastball in the 90-92 MPH, touching the radar gun as high as 94 MPH at times. Even though he's been able to throw harder, he has not lost his fantastic location or command. Jones also throws a 2-seam fastball with great sinking action, a pitch he says is probably his second best pitch behind his slider. His 2-seamer is in the 88-90 MPH range. He's able to throw both fastballs inside and outside with great command.

    Other Pitches. Jones has a decent curveball, averaging about 73-75 MPH. He compliments his fastball and curveball with a devastating slider that has tremendous late breaking action, tailing away from right-handed batters. His slider, which averages 81-83 MPH, currently works as his out pitch despite not throwing too many in the NY-Penn League in 2004. Jones figured out pretty quickly that he would have to incorporate his slider and curveball more upon his promotion to Battle Creek last season. Jones completes his repertoire with a developing changeup, a pitch that has been the focus of he and the Yankees' pitching coaches since the Instructional Leagues last fall. His changeup also averages about 81-83 MPH and should be a big time pitch for him as he progresses through the minor league system.

    Pitching. As we've already mentioned, Jones' success in his early years was solely due to his tremendous command. Not being able to throw as hard as he would have liked, Jones had to be all about the location. As he has improved his mechanics and his velocity since his high school days, his control has never wavered. The end result is a pitcher with an average MLB fastball with fantastic control and good location of his pitches. He's not a strikeout pitcher. With his great command and ability to work all over the plate, Jones is up on the mound trying to throw the timing off of the batters and allow them to put the ball into play. He makes the hitters work and never gives in. Jones is a gamer on the mound and works very quickly, which helps keep his defense behind him very alert.

    Projection. Jones is a big presence on the mound and with his aggressiveness, he's able to keep his pitch counts low. Big-bodied and strong, Jones is an innings eater and projects to be a solid starting pitcher down the road. He does not throw hard enough to be a prototypical front-end starter, but his command is impeccable. In fact, some scouts have compared Jones to Greg Maddux because of his pinpoint control. Right now, Jones projects to be a very solid middle-of-the-rotation starter down the road where he could truly excel.

    ETA. 2007. The combination of Jones' fantastic professional debut in 2004, his mature approach on the mound, and the depth of starting pitching prospects at the lower levels, indicates that Jones will most likely begin the 2005 season in the Florida State League with the Tampa Yankees. A strong first half of the season could bring a promotion to AA-Trenton by season's end, which would put Jones within a year away from the Bronx after that point. As polished as his game is, he should be the first 2004 Yankees' draftee to make it to the Majors.
    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #15: Jonathan Poterson

    Scouting Yankee Prospect #15: Jonathan Poterson
    By Patrick Teale
    Date: Jan 31, 2005

    The Yankees drafted Jonathan Poterson as a supplemental 1st-round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, 37th overall, out of Chandler High School in Arizona. Growing up as a switch-hitting catcher, Poterson has perhaps the highest power projection of any Yankee farmhand. It is this reason Poterson ranks #15 among the Top 50 Yankees' Prospects.

    Vital Statistics:
    Name: Jonathan Poterson
    Position: Outfield
    DOB: February 10, 1986
    Height: 6'1"
    Weight: 215
    Bats: Both
    Throws: Right

    Let's get this out of the way immediately: Jonathan Poterson may have more power projection than anyone else in the entire Yankees' farm system. "He was the strongest kid on the team and just hits absolute bombs", says fellow GCL teammate Jason Stephens. Prized pitching prospect Christian Garcia was also impressed with Poterson's power. "Poterson has more power potential than anybody I've ever seen", Garcia told PinstripesPlus.com.

    Growing up a lifelong Yankees' fan because his father was a Yankee fan, Poterson grew up in Brentwood on Long Island before his family moved out to Arizona when he was five years old. Poterson first hit the prospect scene as a junior for Chandler High School in Arizona when he hit a very respectable .465 with six homeruns, but really turned the collective heads of Major League scouts his senior year. Despite playing through a hamstring injury as a senior, Poterson hit .431 with 14 homeruns and carried his hot hitting into the pre-draft workouts at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees fell in love with his power.

    Showing his power was for real, Poterson was crushing ball after ball into the right field upper deck at Yankee Stadium before the draft, cementing his status as a future Yankee farmhand. "Even, though I knew I had that kind of power, it just felt special that I was able to do that. Just playing where all those great players have was special but actually hitting balls out of there into the upper deck was unreal", Poterson told us.

    Drafted out of Chandler High School as a switch-hitting catcher, Poterson started switch-hitting when he was just nine-years old. Not wanting to put anymore stress on his sore hamstrings after being drafted, the Yankees moved Poterson to left field in the Gulf Coast League after he signed with the Yankees for $925,000. Poterson struggled early on in his professional debut, but finished up the 2004 season strong. "People look at his batting average last year and don't realize that he was hitting something like .060 mid-way through the season", said Christian Garcia. "Poterson's just a hitter. You can tell that by how much improved down the stretch. He was our best hitter at the end of the season. He's a great hitter to all fields and he'll put up some huge power numbers. As a hitter, he reminds me of Chipper Jones, especially from the left side of the plate. He's going to be great."

    In fact, Poterson has already drawn comparisons to several of the game's great hitters. Jason Stephens thinks Poterson looks like another great power hitting outfielder. "He kind of reminds me of Lance Berkman. You know, a switch-hitting outfielder that hits for a lot of power", said Stephens. As if being compared to Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones wasn't enough, Evan Tierce, one of Poterson's fellow outfielders on the GCL Yankees last season, went one step further. "He kind of reminds me of Albert Pujols. They both have the same short follow through in their swings", said Tierce. "If he learns to put the ball on the bat more his upside is ridiculous. He has good speed for a guy his size and he is very teachable. The thing that impressed me the most about him was his clutch performance. He always came through in the big situations and was not fazed at all when the pressure was its highest."




    Batting and Power. Forget the .202 average Poterson posted in his professional debut last season. He's a much better hitter than his 2004 average indicates. Poterson put a little too much pressure on himself in the early going, causing him to over-swing at times. He's got plus power from both sides of the plate and uses all fields when he's hitting. Poterson is a more patient hitter than his strikeout-to-walk ratio suggests. Even still, Poterson led the GCL team in walks last season. As is the case with most young sluggers, Poterson simply needs more experience. Poterson projects to be a .300 hitter in his prime with fantastic power. He has the ability to hit 35+ homeruns as he matures.

    Base Running and Speed. Poterson has very good speed as a catcher, but has average speed as an outfielder. Considering he is as strong as they come, Poterson is very athletic and can move well for a big kid. Poterson has natural base running instincts. He won't be a catalyst on the base paths, but he won't be a liability either.

    Defense. Drafted as a catcher out of high school, it remains to be seen if Poterson will be used as a catcher by the Yankees down the road. The early prognosis is Poterson will remain in the outfield to better utilize his hitting skills. Defensively in the outfield, Poterson is a work in progress. He has good natural ability but needs to learn to take better routes on balls hit his way. Poterson does have a very good arm as a result of playing catcher most of his life, so he does possess one plus tool in the outfield.

    Projection. It is hard to imagine that Poterson will be moved back to catcher, simply because of his hitting potential. That said, the Yankees may be tempted to move him back behind the plate as a result of trading top-catching prospect Dioner Navarro to the Diamondbacks. Right now however, Poterson projects to be a starting left fielder someday, hitting in the heart of the order. Poterson's overall hitting potential, especially in the power department, project him to be a top run producer at the Major League level. He has All-Star caliber talent. Poterson just needs to tap that potential and progress like everybody thinks he can. 2005 could be a breakout year for Poterson and he could have a meteoric rise in the prospect rankings next season. He has that kind of talent!

    ETA. 2008. Despite great power potential, Poterson will still only be 19-years old when the 2005 season opens up. With a strong Spring Training, Poterson should land in low-A ball with the Charleston Riverdogs. That would put him on a pace, barring serious injury, of reaching the Majors by 2008 when he'll still only be 22-years old.
    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #14: Abel Gomez

    Scouting Yankee Prospect #14: Abel Gomez
    By Frankie Piliere
    Date: Feb 1, 2005

    The Yankees signed Abel Gomez on February 28th of 2002 and in his first two seasons on U.S. soil, the southpaw has showcased an explosive fastball with a raw physique and approach. With that being said, he is considered to be one of the top raw arms in the system. It's these reasons that he's our Yankee's prospect #14.

    Vital Statistics
    Name: Abel Gomez
    Position: Starting Pitcher
    DOB: November 29, 1984
    Height: 6' 0"
    Weight: 155
    Bats: Left
    Throws: Left

    It is not too often the Yankees do what they did with Abel Gomez in 2004. Perhaps it is true testament to how talented he may be. Gomez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in February of 2002 and made his way onto the United States scene in 2003. It quickly became apparent after he joined the Gulf Coast Yankees that season that he could be a truly special talent. However, incredibly raw and rail thin to the point of almost being unhealthy, the organization knew he was a project, but one that could have a huge reward when it was all said an done. Even as an 18 year straight out of a far lesser quality of life in the Dominican Republic, hard throwing Abel made a major statement in his first professional season.

    After an excellent season in 2003, in which Gomez dominated by striking out over ten batters per nine innings pitched, no one seemed to notice where Abel was headed until he showed up on the Battle Creek Yankees roster. It was a bold move, no doubt about it, considering how raw he appeared to be. Not to mention, there were doubts as to whether his body was up to the task of full season ball just yet. But, he soon proved he was more than up to the task. He did have his ups and downs in 2004, but overall, the organization had to be thrilled with the amount of innings he was able to pitch effectively despite it being only his first full season. But, to play it safe, they sat him out of mini-camp in order for him to rest up. Needless to say, this hard throwing southpaw opened a lot of eyes as the number two starter for Battle creek in 2004. His manager, Bill Mosiello had nothing but praise for him in his chat with PinstripesPlus.com. "As far as ceiling, he could be the real deal," the Battle Creek skipper told PinstripesPlus.com. "Maybe, he could be a left handed Pedro Martinez type. His arm motion is so smooth and fluent. He utilizes his strong arm even though he doesn't have a big body. Also, he probably weighs no more than 145 pounds and doesn't look like he used to eat too good. Once we get him filled out, he could be a real special kid. Not to mention, he is left handed."

    Out of nowhere he seemed to come but Abel Gomez seems like he is for real. And, the Yankees are not the only ones noticing his progress. In fact, he was one of the prospects that the Diamondbacks were asking for in one of the proposed Randy Johnson deals. Luckily, he was able to avoid being dealt for the time being. But, it just goes to show you, the baseball world is very aware of this young man. If he can solve his troubles with command of his fastball, he could quickly become an elite pitching prospect. But, as his Battle Creek pitching coach, Steve Renko puts it, "You just never know what you are going to get from him." What the Yankees get from him in 2005 could be what propels him to the next level of prospect status.

    Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

    Fastball. This is where the live arm of Abel Gomez comes into play. It is also the reason that Abel Gomez is the best and most intriguing lefty pitching prospect in the Yankee system. His fastball is consistently above 90 MPH despite his slight and shorter frame. The organization is very excited with his ability to throw around 92-93 MPH, sometimes cranking it up to 94 MPH. Even at his size and age, Gomez is and projects to be a power lefty pitcher. Not to mention, his fastball offers some good, late life that makes hitters look bad. In this respect, he is quite similar to fellow pitching prospect, Eric Abreu. He can make hitters look foolish just with the natural deception of his fastball and the good movement he produces. But, the only thing holding him back at this point is his lack of command with his fastball. He has displayed improvement in this department over the past calendar year but it still remains his largest glaring weakness. That will be the difference maker between him being average and him being dominating. Also, Gomez is a prime example of a fluent arm motion and effortless arm speed. He needs it to produce the plus velocity he has despite his small frame.

    Other Pitches. Here's the deal with Gomez. He doesn't have tremendous secondary stuff. However, he actually has far better command of his off speed stuff than he does with his fastball. Right now, Abel has a solid breaking ball that was, at times, slightly above average in 2004. When it was on, Gomez became nearly unhittable. If he can maintain his breaking ball and possibly fine tune it into an above average pitch, it is obviously going to make him all the more dangerous. What the organization really marvels at though is Abel's rare ability to change speeds extremely well. Despite being a power arm, he has an advanced feel for his changeup. To be honest, he has far more control of these two pitches than he does with his fastball. When he has all three going at once, he can look like a totally dominating starting pitcher. His off speed pitches will remain solid or better so there is no need for concern here.

    Pitching. He's got the power but can he harness the control? That is the big question with hard throwing lefty, Abel Gomez. He has an outstanding heater but, at times, it seems like he can't locate it at all. However, most scouts seem to believe this is a problem that he can grow out of with age and experience. If that is so, he is going to be a tough one to beat. He has good command of his secondary stuff even though it isn't dominating at this point. He produces tremendous arm speed with a fluid, effortless motion. Gomez will also have to put some more bulk onto his frame as well. That should help his velocity go up even a little more. He is already able to produce excellent velocity even though he is listed at a generous 6 feet tall.

    Projection. It is said so often about young pitchers like Abel Gomez so it may begin to get played out. But, his success is going to hinge on the command of his fastball. He has shown improvement over the past year so there is progress being made. If he can develop more consistency with his above average heater, he profiles as a potential number two starter. It is too early to call him an ace type of pitcher because of his small frame. We'll have to wait and see how his 155 pound body holds up health wise before making such a statement. But, he does have the raw ability to be an above average big leaguer starting pitcher.

    ETA. 2008. Usually, the Yankees like to move players in Abel's situation more cautiously but it doesn't appear that they are taking that path with this southpaw. At the age of 20, Gomez will be young for High A ball in 2005. Then, in 2006, he should have a ticket to AA Trenton. Barring any setbacks, he should be ready for AAA in 2007. After that, he could get a shot to break in as a 23 year old in 2008.
    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Re: Scouting Yankee Prospect #15: Jonathan Poterson

    you're teasing me with these guys that will be ready in 2008. This guy sounds like the future for the yankees in RF. Although i'll take the Pujos comparisons with a grain of salt till i see him play for myself.



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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #13: Rudy Guillen

    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #12: Eric Abreu

    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

  8. #8

    Default Yankee Prospects

    I don't follow the yankees so i dont know much about their minor leagues. Who is their top minor leaguer?

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    Default Re: Yankee Prospects

    I am in the process of getting to that. I have been posting lately their top prospects on reports. I will see if a Super-Mod can get me a thread dedicated to just New York Yankees' prospects.
    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Scouting Yankee Prospect #11: Chien-Ming Wang

    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

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    Default Re: Yankee Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by reilly07
    I am in the process of getting to that. I have been posting lately their top prospects on reports. I will see if a Super-Mod can get me a thread dedicated to just New York Yankees' prospects.
    Will do, I'm going to use this thread. And i guess i can stickie it as well.



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    Default Adding payroll Yanks' best hope

    The challenge for the Yankees every year is to add World Series championship No. 27. Losing to their most bitter rival, the Red Sox, in history-making fashion doesn't add to the pressure to win. The Yankees already put enough of that on themselves.

    However, blowing a 3-0 lead to Boston in the American League Championship Series did highlight New York's shortcomings. The big league team lacked pitching depth in its aging rotation and particularly in its bullpen. With a payroll of $190 million, that's an indictment of both the Yankees' choices of how to spend that money and the farm system's inability to develop low-cost players to fill holes.

    Changes were forthcoming whether the Yankees had held onto their lead or not. Albatross contracts such as Jason Giambi's (owed $82 million over the next four seasons) and Kevin Brown's ($15 million in 2005) will be next to impossible to move. That leaves New York with little flexibility, and the only way to improve the club may be to take the payroll well past $200 million.

    The Yankees will have to get help from outside the organization because their farm system has little to offer in the upper levels. Second baseman Robinson Cano, catcher Dioner Navarro and right-hander Chien-Ming Wang could contribute in New York in 2005, though none is a lock to receive much playing time.

    A series of conservative and essentially fruitless drafts from 1998-2002 are the root cause for the upper-level talent gap. That cost scouting director Lin Garrett his job, as he was reassigned and put in charge of international scouting after the 2004 draft.

    His last effort might have been Garrett's best, as the organization is excited about a quintet of right-handers, led by high schoolers Philip Hughes and Christian Garcia and also featuring collegians Jeff Marquez, Brett Smith and Jesse Hoover. Add in the development of 2003 draftees Steven White and Tyler Clippard, and the Yankees have started to build up their minor league mound corps.

    The Yankees have reshuffled their minor league operation. Vice president Damon Oppenheimer, who had overseen player development, now will focus on scouting. The new farm director and field coordinator is former Astros minor league hitting coordinator Pat Roessler, a former assistant coach under Newman at Old Dominion.

    New York continues to rely heavily on its Latin American department. In addition to Cano and Navarro, infielder Marcos Vechionacci and outfielders Melky Cabrera and Rudy Guillen also intrigue the Yankees. They have the resources to be a factor in the pursuit of every major international (and, of course, domestic) free agent.

    Just being a player isn't enough for Steinbrenner and the Yankees. It's not good enough when their payroll dwarfs that of every other team. And it hasn't been good enough to win a World Series in the 21st century.

    1. Eric Duncan, 3b
    Age: 20. Ht.: 6-3. Wt: 210.
    Bats: L. Throws: R.
    Drafted: HS-Florham Park, N.J., 2003 (1st round).
    Signed by: Cesar Presbott.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.

    Background: When his family moved from California to New Jersey when he was in fifth grade, Eric Duncan was on his way to becoming a Yankees fan. Duncan, whose father Hal idolized Mickey Mantle, grew up admiring the stars of the recent New York dynasty, such as Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill, his favorite player. Less than a year after being drafted 27th overall in 2003, he found himself working out next to Jeter at the club's winter facility in New York. Duncan had committed to Louisiana State, where the coaches considered him the nation's top prep hitter likely to go to college. Once the Yankees selected him in the first round though, it was clear he wasn't going to school. Duncan improved his draft stock by hitting six balls out of the Great American Ballpark during a predraft workout for the Reds, who strongly considered him at No. 14.

    Strengths: An advanced hitter for his age, Duncan has significant power. He doesn't have a perfect swing or one that's exceptionally short, but it's a simple stroke that he repeats easily, and he generates good bat speed. His left-handed pull power should make him an ideal fit for Yankee Stadium, and he's not afraid to go the other way. He overpowers pitches left over the plate. Duncan impressed the Yankees by showing up to spring training in excellent shape, adding muscle and quickness during the offseason. Low Class A Battle Creek manager Bill Mosiello likened Duncan's work ethic and approach to another left-handed slugger Mosiello had coached at the University of Tennessee: Todd Helton. Duncan thrived after a promotion to high Class A Tampa, improving both his plate discipline and his defensive consistency at third base.

    Weaknesses: Duncan's arm is average at best because he short-arms the ball and doesn't always follow through properly, a correctable flaw. His agility and first-step quickness also are a little below hot-corner standards. With repetition and experience, the Yankees believe he'll be an average defender at third. He tends to get a little pull-happy as many young sluggers do, and he slumped late in his stint at Battle Creek when pitchers exploited that weakness. New York correctly deduced that Duncan was getting stale against Midwest League pitching and with a mediocre team and challenged him with a promotion. He responded by making more consistent contact against tougher competition.

    The Future: Duncan was pushed aggressively this year in part because the Yankees needed to showcase their most talented minor leaguer as trade bait. Alex Rodriguez is entrenched as New York's third baseman and is signed for six more seasons. If the Yankees could somehow unload Jason Giambi, Duncan could give them a powerful, cheap option at first base. He probably needs two more years of minor league at-bats before that could happen. In the interim, he remains New York's most valuable bargaining chip.

    2. Robinson Cano, 2b
    Age: 22. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 170.
    Signed: Dominican Republic, 2001. Signed by: Carlos Rios.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.

    Background: Cano's name was tossed around in trade rumors as the Yankees unsuccessfully tried to acquire Randy Johnson at the July 31 deadline. A confident player, Cano plays as if he belongs in the majors. His father Jose pitched briefly in the big leagues.

    Strengths: Cano's arm is his best tool and rates as a 65 on the 20-80 scouting scale. More important, he can hit. He has good bat speed and a fluid swing, allowing him to catch up to good fastballs. His improving plate discipline helped his power numbers increase; he set career highs in walks and slugging in 2004.

    Weaknesses: Cano hasn't handled left-handers well, with just seven extra-base hits in 130 at-bats against southpaws above Class A. He's a below-average runner for an infielder, and his lower half figures to get thicker as he gets older. However, he has solid infield actions and the Yankees refute reports that he has below-average range.

    The Future: If Miguel Cairo leaves via free agency, Cano could be a platoon option in New York for 2005. More likely, he'll head back to Columbus for a full season in Triple-A.

    3. Philip Hughes, rhp
    Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 220.
    Drafted: HS-Santa Ana, Calif., 2004 (1st round). Signed by: Jeff Patterson.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: New York had Hughes ranked higher on its 2004 draft board than 23rd overall, but that's where it got him. After geing drafted, Hughes joked that he had been raised a Red Sox fan but was pleased to be with the Yankees.

    Strengths: His stuff, size and control have the Yankees comparing Hughes to Roger Clemens. He has similar velocity with a fastball that touches 95 mph and sits at 90-94, and he generates it with an easy, fluid motion. His fastball also has late life up in the strike zone. Hughes changes a hitter's sightline with a slider that at times has good bite and depth. He's also shown good arm action on his changeup.

    Weaknesses: Hughes was shut down more than a month after his pro debut with a sore elbow that turned out to be nothing more than tendinitis. He returned with two excellent outings in August before breaking his toe after kicking a door. He also threw well in the Yankees' fall minicamp, dampening concerns about his health.

    The Future: The Yankees consider Hughes a high school power arm with the polish of a college pitcher. So if he's healthy, he'll move quickly. He'll start 2005 at their new low Class A Charleston affiliate.

    4. Steven White, rhp
    Age: 23. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 205.
    Drafted: Baylor, 2003 (4th round). Signed by: Steve Boros/Mark Newman.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: White set a Baylor record with 28 career wins. As a senior, he led the Bears to within one victory of the College World Series. He didn't turn pro until March 2004, and tragedy struck during his holdout when he discovered the body of his mother Brenda, who had died at home.

    Strengths: White's fastball, which had reached the mid-90s early in his college career, bounced back to touch 95-96 mph late in the 2004 season, though he pitched more at 92-93. He showed better control of the pitch the more he threw it. He showed more power and command with his curveball, which always had been inconsistent at Baylor. He rarely gets rattled.

    Weaknesses: White pitches off his fastball nearly 80 percent of the time, and he lost some of the feel for his changeup in the process. He needs to refine it to combat left-handers at higher levels.

    The Future: White's development was an important step for the Yankees, who could use an innings-eater as soon as possible. He fits that profile, but needs at least a year to hone his secondary stuff. He'll start 2005 in Double-A.

    5. Dioner Navarro, c
    Age: 21. B-T: B-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 190.
    Signed: Venezuela, 2000. Signed by: Ricardo Finol/Carlos Rios.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: Navarro entered the year as the organization's top prospect but struggled early, then recovered to earn promotions to Triple-A and New York. He singled off Toronto's David Bush for his first big league hit.

    Strengths: Navarro has a compact swing that helps him make consistent hard contact from both sides of the plate. He's a gap-to-gap, line-drive hitter and isn't afraid to take a walk or work deep counts. A converted infielder, he has a strong throwing arm that helped him nab 33 percent of basestealers in 2004. His receiving skills are average.

    Weaknesses: Navarro showed up at Double-A Trenton overconfident after his 58-game trial there in 2003, and his play suffered. An attempt to get stronger in the offseason backfired, as he came in overweight and lost some bat speed.

    The Future: A strong finish helped Navarro salvage an otherwise lost season, but he's not ready for New York yet. He'll need at least another year and must re-establish himself as the heir to Jorge Posada.

    6. Christian Garcia, rhp
    Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 175.
    Drafted: HS-Miami, 2004 (3rd round). Signed by: Dan Radison.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: The strong-armed Garcia committed to South Carolina as a catcher prior to his senior season at Gulliver Prep. Then his new high school coach, former University of Miami pitching coach Lazaro Collazo, put Garcia on the mound with electric results. Garcia helped Gulliver Prep win the state 3-A championship in a game played at the Yankees' Legends Field in Tampa, then signed for $390,000.

    Strengths: His combination of size, projection and pure arm strength gives Garcia a high ceiling. He has easy velocity on his fastball, working at 93-94 mph and topping out at 96. With more experience and refinement, he should throw even harder. His curveball, at times a true power hammer, could be a better pitch.

    Weaknesses: Garcia is still raw on the mound. His changeup needs work, and he must learn how to set up hitters and hold runners. He sometimes falls in love with his curve and doesn't throw his live fastball enough.

    The Future: Garcia could start 2005 in extended spring training before a June assignment to short-season Staten Island. A good spring would land him in low Class A.

    7. Marcos Vechionacci, inf
    Age: 18. B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 170.
    Signed: Venezuela, 2002. Signed by: Ricardo Finol.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: Vechionacci has grown four inches since signing out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old. He's so mature at the plate that the Yankees promoted him from extended spring camp to Tampa as an emergency fill-in in May. Later, he starred in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

    Strengths: Vechionacci can hit. His advanced approach includes plate discipline, smooth swing mechanics and the ability to use the whole field. He shows developing power as well. His greatest improvement in 2004 was his willingness to stay back on breaking balls. Defensively, he has excellent tools with a plus arm, body control and natural infield actions.

    Weaknesses: The Yankees need to determine Vechionacci's best position. He has played more at third base while also seeing time at shortstop and second base. How he fills out and whether he can maintain his average speed will determine if he can play at short.

    The Future: Vechionacci seems primed to move quickly through the system. He's likely to start 2005 in low Class A as a shortstop.

    8. Melky Cabrera, of
    Age: 20. B-T: B-L. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 170.
    Signed: Dominican Republic, 2001. Signed by: Victor Mata/Carlos Rios.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: Cabrera signed for $175,000 in 2001 and has quickly developed into one of the organization's better hitters. He was slated to appear in the Midwest League's all-star game before getting a promotion to high Class A, where he showed the best power of his career.

    Strengths: Cabrera's swing and hand-eye coordination make him the best hitter for average in the system. One club official compared his offensive game to Jose Vidro's. Cabrera has a quick stroke from both sides of the plate, with quick hands that allow him to catch up to quality fastballs. He punishes breaking balls and lashes line drives from gap to gap. He has an above-average throwing arm.

    Weaknesses: An average runner, Cabrera projects as no more than an average defender in center field. There's some thought that as he matures physically and slows down, he'll have to move to an outfield corner. His approach and swing are geared more toward line drives and contact, so he doesn't profile as well on a corner.

    The Future: The Yankees have time to figure out where Cabrera fits. His advanced approach will enable him to begin 2005 in Double-A.

    9. Bronson Sardinha, 3b/of
    Age: 21. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195.
    Drafted: HS-Honolulu, 2001 (1st round supplemental). Signed by: Gus Quattlebaum.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: Sardinha is the youngest of three brothers in the minors (Dane plays for the Reds, Duke with the Rockies). He has yet to find a home defensively, having played shortstop as well as left and center field before trying third base in 2004. There, he ranked third in the minors with 43 errors.

    Strengths: Sardinha is a polished offensive player who uses a textbook swing to handle both left-handed and right-handed pitchers. He shows the ability to make adjustments within at-bats and isn't afraid to work deep counts. He's an efficient basestealer and average runner.

    Weaknesses: The Yankees blame Sardinha's high error totals on lapses in concentration. With Eric Duncan behind him and Alex Rodriguez ahead of him at third base, Sardinha likely will return to the outfield in 2005. He never has shown much power at the plate, and he tries to cheat on good fastballs in an attempt to hit homers.

    The Future: Sardinha's development hit a speed bump in the Arizona Fall League when he broke a finger on his glove hand just before the season started. He'll return to Double-A in 2005.

    10. Chien-Ming Wang, rhp
    Age: 25. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200.
    Signed: Taiwan, 2000. Signed by: John Cox/Gordon Blakeley.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: Wang signed for $1.9 million out of Taiwan in 2000, and he's close to paying dividends after being deterred by shoulder surgery in 2001 and a shoulder strain in 2003. He shined for Taiwan in the 2004 Olympics, going 1-0, 1.98 in two starts.

    Strengths: Wang has one of the best fastballs in the organization. His fastball velocity returned to its pre-injury level late in 2004, as he worked at 92-95 mph and touched 97. He showed durability by logging a career-high 149 innings. His splitter and slider are solid-average pitches.

    Weaknesses: While Wang's fastball has excellent velocity, it tends to get straight. He needs to use his changeup and splitter better against left-handers, who tattooed him for a .307 average in 2004. Wang's medical history isn't encouraging, and he pulled a hamstring in the Triple-A International League playoffs, knocking him out of the organization's fall minicamp.

    The Future: Wang will get a chance to break into the big league rotation in 2005. He's the Yankees' best option for a low-cost, young starter.
    "Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income."-Logan Pearsall Smith

    Useless Fact of the Day
    :
    Plants pollinated by insects account for a third of the total human diet.

    Days since Michiganís last victory over Ohio State in football: 2327 and still counting!!!

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    Default Re: Yankee Prospects

    3. Philip Hughes, rhp
    Age: 18. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 220.
    Drafted: HS-Santa Ana, Calif., 2004 (1st round). Signed by: Jeff Patterson.
    2004 statistics: Baseball America Player Finder.


    Background: New York had Hughes ranked higher on its 2004 draft board than 23rd overall, but that's where it got him. After geing drafted, Hughes joked that he had been raised a Red Sox fan but was pleased to be with the Yankees.

    Strengths: His stuff, size and control have the Yankees comparing Hughes to Roger Clemens. He has similar velocity with a fastball that touches 95 mph and sits at 90-94, and he generates it with an easy, fluid motion. His fastball also has late life up in the strike zone. Hughes changes a hitter's sightline with a slider that at times has good bite and depth. He's also shown good arm action on his changeup.

    Weaknesses: Hughes was shut down more than a month after his pro debut with a sore elbow that turned out to be nothing more than tendinitis. He returned with two excellent outings in August before breaking his toe after kicking a door. He also threw well in the Yankees' fall minicamp, dampening concerns about his health.

    The Future: The Yankees consider Hughes a high school power arm with the polish of a college pitcher. So if he's healthy, he'll move quickly. He'll start 2005 at their new low Class A Charleston affiliate.



    This guy is getting some good press at camp. The 19 year old threw batting practice to Posada, Arod, Giambi, and Matsui. Afterwards was reacting to the praise he got from the players and torre.



  14. #14
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    Default Re: Yankee Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by smug

    This guy is getting some good press at camp. The 19 year old threw batting practice to Posada, Arod, Giambi, and Matsui. Afterwards was reacting to the praise he got from the players and torre.

    More praise for this young guy as he threw two scoreless in a intersquad game yesterday.



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