Tyler Austin: Yanks Prospect Leads 10 Candidates Worthy of Minor League POY

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Tyler Austin: Yanks Prospect Leads 10 Candidates Worthy of Minor League POY
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Every year since 1980, the New York Yankees have recognized the best performing hitter and pitcher within its minor league system with what is now called the Kevin Lawn Award. 

According to the Yankees' official website, Lawn is the son of Jack Lawn, President and Chief of Operations of the Yankees who passed away in 1999.

Players to have won this award include Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte.

With the 2012 minor league season winding down, below are five hitters and five pitchers who should be considered for Minor League Player of the Year in the Yankees' organization.

Note: Statistics from MILB.com and are current through September 4.


HITTING PROSPECTS


Ronnier Mustelier (OF/Triple-A, SWB)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
114
449
141
27
3
15
69
35
68
10
.314
.371
.488
.859

Analysis: Mustelier is a 28-year-old who signed with the Yanks in 2011 as a non-drafted free agent (after defecting from Cuba). He has had an outstanding season. A 5'10" 210 lb. right-hander, Mustelier has good speed, and is a nice all-around player. Last 10 games, Mustelier really hit his stride, batting .462 (18 for 39) with a .500/.590/.1090 line.

 

Tyler Austin (OF/Class-A, Advanced Tampa)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
110
413
133
35
6
17
80
51
98
23
.322
.400
.559
.960

Analysis: Excellent 21-year-old outfield prospect who has climbed minor league ranks very steadily. A good athlete with a plus arm, this 6'2" 200 lb. right-hander was not only a SAL Mid-Season All-Star, but he was also selected for the Futures Game. If things go well for Austin, he may find himself playing beside Curtis Granderson in the Bronx next summer.

 

Zoilo Almonte (OF/Double-A, Eastern League)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
106
419
116
23
1
21
79
25
103
15
.277
.322
.487
.808

Analysis: Another stud outfield prospect, this 6'0" 205 lb. switch-hitter has had a good season for the Yankees. While strikeouts are a concern, this 23-year-old has tremendous upside. Last 10 games, Almonte struggled, batting .211 (8 for 38) with a .250/.279/.539 split. Nonetheless, this 2005 non-drafted free agent has continued to develop nicely.

 

Ben Gamel (OF/Class-A, South Atlantic League)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
110 444 136 23 5 2 61 23 71
19 .306 .342 .394 .737

Analysis: Think the Yankees have enough solid outfielders in its farm system? Here is another one in 5'11, 180 lb. left-hander Ben Gamel. The Yankees' 17th-ranked prospect, Gamel turned his game up a notch the past 10 games, batting .421 (16 for 38) with a .450/.500/.950 line. Still just 20 years old, the Florida native has a ton of potential.

 

David Adams (2B/Double-A Eastern League)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
86 327 100 23 0 8 48 38 53 3 .306 .385 .450 .834

Analysis: Finally, an infielder. And a good one at that! Adams has had a nice season in 2012 after battling back from a nagging ankle injury. A sturdy infielder with solid range, this 18th-ranked Yankees prospect has good upside. May make a healthy addition to a major league roster in the near future.

Honorable Mention

Mason Williams (OF), Christopher Tamarez (SS/DSL 1), Bryan Cuevas (SS/DSL2).

 

PITCHING PROSPECTS


Brett Marshall (SP/Double-A Eastern League)

GS W L
ERA
IP
H
ER
BB
SO AVG WHIP
27
13
7
 3.52 158.1
151
62
53
120
.255
1.29

Analysis: Marshall, the Yanks' 20th-rated prospect, has had a strong year at Double-A. Granted, he did get shelled in his last outing (five innings pitched, nine hits and seven runs). This one outing raised Marshall's season ERA from 3.23 to 3.52 (ouch). Regardless, this 22-year-old is slowly learning to master potent weapons at his disposal. The scary thing is that this right-handed EAS All-Star still has room for improvement.

 

Vidal Nuno (LHP/Double-A Eastern League)

GS W L
ERA
IP
H
ER
BB
SO AVG WHIP
31 10 6 2.54 138.1 131 39 33 126 .249 1.20

Analysis: A ninth pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians, Nuno has put together a good season in the Yanks' system. While Nuno has always had good stuff, this season he has really put it all together. Keep a close eye to see if this lefty takes that next step next spring.


Kelvin Perez (RP/Triple-A SWB)

G W L
ERA
IP
H
ER
BB
SO AVG WHIP
48
7
3
1.58
85.2
62
15
40
81
.205 1.12

Analysis: 26-year-old reliever Kelvin Perez has worked worked hard to improve his command. While Perez has struggled a bit since promotion to Triple-A, Perez has a good shot to make the big club next spring should he continue to pitch well. Another EAS Mid-Season All-Star.

 

Nik Turley (SP/Class-A Advanced)

G W L
ERA
IP
H
ER
BB
SO AVG WHIP
24
10
5
3.00
117.0
105
39
45
117
.242
1.30

Analysis: What is not to like about this imposing 6'6", 230lb. left-handed fireballer? Just 22, this 50th-round draft pick of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft has a power arm with good accuracy. Enjoying a breakout year, Yankee fans should be stoked to watch this guy's progress.

 

Rafael De Paula (SP/DSL 1)

G W L
ERA
IP
H
ER
BB
SO AVG WHIP
14
8
2
1.46
61.2
35
10
18
85
.162
0.86

Analysis: This 6'2", 212 lb. right-hander has been terrific this season. Like Turley, this guy has a strong arm with increasingly healthy command. Probably does not qualify for Yankees' Minor League POY, but De Paula has certainly had a top-notch season.

Honorable Mention

Pedro Guerra (RP/Charleston), Chris Cabrera (SP/DSL 2), Chase Whitley (SWB), Erick Canela (DSL 1) and Daury Aquino (DSL 1).

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