Even with their ever-expanding list of injuries, the New York Yankees have seemed to carry out without dipping into their farm system yet this season.
Many of the franchise’s best players were in action this week, looking to make enough of an impression to play in the Bronx.
But as it has become the usual, GM Brian Cashman and the Yankee front office has strung together a group of veterans to keep the team afloat.
How long will the Yankees be able to tread water without bringing up young talent?
I’m not sure, but as Kevin Youkilis took yesterday off it was a stark reminder than something needs to change in New York.
These guys are the future and can make that change.
Let’s see how they did this week.
Stats: 15 G, .275 BA, 14 BB, 9 K, .424 OBP
After a rough first two weeks, Zoilo Almonte has started picking it up for the Railriders.
A key stat here is that since last week Almonte has only struck out once, but has managed to raise his batting average.
This may mean Almonte is starting to see the ball a little better in the newly renovated PNC Field.
Maybe it’s the warmer weather or maybe Almonte is just a slow starter, but this is a good sign for the Yankees and Almonte.
Of the four top outfielder prospects in the New York farm system, Almonte may be the closest to getting a call up.
That is, of course, if he keeps improving.
Stats: 17 G, .171 BA, 16 RBI, 21 K, .286 SLG
It was another week for Dante Bichette Jr. that was marred by struggles at the plate.
The young third baseman has driven in runs, but little else.
His batting average is down from last week as is Bichette’s slugging percentage, which is hovering at .286.
During week three, Bichette collected only one RBI while striking out six times.
Bichette is leading this list of prospects with his 21 K's, which isn’t something to be proud of.
He is only 20, but Bichette needs to start putting it together at the plate if he wants to be the next third baseman for the Yankees.
Stats: 5 G, 1.13 ERA, 1 HR, 1 BB, 15 K
After giving up a home run and his ERA jumping near two in his second week, Mark Montgomery has gotten back to his dominant form.
Although he did walk his first batter of the season this week, he has struck out six batters in his last two appearances.
Opponents are currently hitting .172 against the righty.
With Mariano Rivera on his farewell tour, Montgomery is being groomed in a set up role for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
If there are any injuries to either David Robertson or Joba Chamberlain, Montgomery could be the guy to get the call.
Another great week by Montgomery.
Stats: 8 G, .088 BA, 3 H, 6 K, .139 OBP
Currently Angelo Gumbs is on the seven day disabled list for the Tampa Yankees.
This injury doesn’t necessarily bring down Gumbs’ stock, mainly because it’s not long term.
The Florida State League’s website did not disclose what the injury was.
Gumbs did not play this week, which might be a good thing seeing as he was ice cold at the plate.
Actually, a minor injury may help Gumbs get some rest and start putting it together at the plate.
An injury is never good news, but in Gumbs’ case as long as it isn’t anything serious a little time off may help the second baseman.
Another valuable week was missed by last year’s No. 1 pick.
Ty Hensley is a young and exciting pitcher, with a good build to be a pitcher.
According to Hensley’s twitter page, his recovery from hip surgery is “going great”.
Peace out crutches!!! Back on the feet!!!! Lets go!!!!— Ty Hensley (@TyHensley17) April 15, 2013
Hensley needs to get back and healthy so he can work his way through the organization.
Rather than drudging on about how Manny Banuelos is missing this season with Tommy John surgery and how this is a huge step backward in his progression, I’ll update you on the second of the “Killer B’s”.
That is the massive (6’8”) Dellin Betances.
If Betances were on this list his stock would be down.
Betances has started three games, posting a 13.50 ERA in 8.2 innings for Scranton.
The only positive you can pull from his terrible start is that he only has given up seven walks.
Still, bad news for the 25-year-old fading prospect.
Stats: 10 G, .191 BA, 2 2B, 1 3B, 15 K
Slade Heathcott is an intense, all-or-nothing type of player.
In some respects this is good, but it has helped contribute to Heathcott’s inability to stay healthy.
Well in week three, Heathcott just couldn’t get things to work at the plate.
Heathcott played in only three games last week, but dropped his average by 36 points.
He’s raw, talented and athletic, but Heathcott is proving that he is not ready to get to the next level any time this year.
Stats: 16 G, .250 BA, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 13 BB, .736 OPS
It seems as though every week Tyler Austin flies under my radar.
As the third-best prospect in the Yankee system, the idea that Austin is flying under the radar doesn’t make sense but Austin just doesn’t jump off the sheet.
Scouts grade Austin as being good at everything (power, fielding, arm), but not great at anything.
Nonetheless, Austin continues to be one of the most consistent players in New York’s minor league system.
A .736 OPS, 10 RBI and 13 walks all point towards Austin just being that every day consistent guy.
Another solid week for the 21-year-old Austin.
Stats: 16 G, .274 BA, 9 R, 14 BB, 2 SB, .408 OBP
Unlike Austin, Mason Williams brings a little excitement to the field with his blazing speed and quick bat.
This past week Williams picked up another double and added six walks.
Williams was also able to push his average up nine points, edging closer to .300.
With the speed Williams has, getting on base will be key as he looks to move up from the Tampa Yankees.
Heathcott and Austin may need to start picking it up a little bit with Williams on their heels.
Stats: 17 G, .317 BA, 14 R, 3 HR, 14 RBI, .945 OPS
Every week catcher Gary Sanchez simply doesn’t disappoint.
Sanchez continues to put up powerful numbers at the plate playing in Tampa.
This past week the 20-year-old added another homer and six runs batted in.
It seems like every week I continue to return to the idea that Sanchez should test out other positions.
Sanchez is an athlete at 6’2” and 220lbs, and he is capable of taking the Bryce Harper route of switching to either the outfield or even a corner infield spot.
Sanchez is young and he has the time to start working another spot that is less physically demanding.
He has the potential to be a top hitter in the major leagues in the near future.
The Yankees need to find a way to get him there.