NY Yankees: Stock Up, Stock Down for Yankees' Top 10 Prospects for Week 8
It’s been another week and another injury again for the New York Yankees.
After just getting back from the disabled list, Curtis Granderson once again was hit by a pitch and broke a bone in his left hand.
It’s been a tough season for the Yankees, who have been winning games with a patchwork squad put together by GM Brian Cashman.
The current Yankees team is a mix of veteran journeymen who were picked up as stopgaps and younger players who have been called up seemingly because there were no other options.
Either way, none of the best prospects in New York’s organization has been moved up or down.
Whether this is a sign of a weak system or simply patience for developing players is not clear.
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at how the best players in the Yankees’ farm system did this past week.
10. Dante Bichette, Jr. 3B
Stats: 46 G, .219 BA, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 15 BB, 45 K
Dante Bichette’s bat finally came alive this past week.
The third baseman hit in all but one game last week while putting together three multi-hit games. Bichette was able to collect three hits against Greenville last Friday, including his fourth home run.
This is the second strong week in a row for Bichette, and his numbers are beginning to reflect it. Bichette has yet to prove that he can be patient at the plate. His 15 walks compared to his 45 strikeouts aren’t very good.
Nonetheless Bichette is improving, and if it continues, he will start making some serious headway in his journey towards Tampa.
9. Jose Campos, RHP
Stats: 9 G, 3.94 ERA, 29.2 IP, 27 H 29 K
Jose Campos wasn’t able to do much this week to push his stock up or down.
The righty started last Thursday against Greenville and lasted only four innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs. It wasn’t a great outing, but it wasn’t terrible either.
Campos is only 20 years old and he still has time to mature and build up his control. A good sign from last week for Campos is that he didn’t walk anyone and only two of the runs scored on him were earned.
Campos doesn’t have flashy stuff, but he is consistent and he needs to continue to build up his 2013 season.
8. Ramon Flores, Left Field
Stats: 48 G, .244 BA, 9 2B, 26 BB, 43 K
Ramon Flores didn’t do much offensively last week for Double-A Trenton. Although the outfielder hit safely in all but one game this past week, he did little else.
Flores had a big day on Sunday with a home run and four RBI, but he also struck out six times last week and was caught stealing once.
The story for most of this season has been one of average offensive production for Flores. This is his first full season in Trenton and Flores hasn’t struggled as much as some of the other newcomers.
Still, Flores will need to step it up if he ever wants to be given a shot in this organization that is deep with outfield prospects.
7. Zoilo Almonte, Centerfield
Stats: 47 G, .269 BA, 10 2B, 4 HR, 25 BB, 34 K, 4 SB
Zoilo Almonte was able to end a mediocre week with a bang on Sunday against Durham. Almonte picked up two hits, including a home run, and he drove in two runs and scored twice.
It was a big game for Almonte, who had only one hit leading into the fourth game of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ series with Durham.
The young outfielder was able to also put together two other multi-hit games earlier last week, and finished it with five RBI.
Almonte has grown into a consistent player for Triple-A Scranton. If he can continue his production, the Bronx may be calling if any more Yankees outfielders go down.
6. Mark Montgomery, RHP
Stats: 14 G, 2.31 ERA, 23.1 IP, 6 ER, 30 K
After imploding last Sunday and giving up three earned runs in 1.2 innings, Mark Montgomery got back to normal this week.
The young righty only appeared in one game, giving up only one hit in 1.2 innings while striking out three.
What was alarming about Montgomery last week was his walking four batters in less than two innings, as Montgomery has always had solid control of his pitches.
Although he fought through this past outing to get away with no earned runs and only one hit surrendered, Montgomery still needs to get better if he wants to move to the big leagues.
5. Angelo Gumbs, 2B
Stats: 19 G, .217 BA, 5 2B, 16 K, 4 SB
Since his return from injury, Angelo Gumbs’ stock has continued to rise.
This past week, Gumbs continued to hit the ball and use his speed with three multi-hit games and two doubles.
An alarming statistic for Gumbs, however, are his rising number of strikeouts—he added five more to his total last week.
Gumbs is an exciting young guy who continues to grow on me week to week with his energy and performance.
If he can stay healthy and mature at the plate, Yankees fans will be hearing more about Gumbs in the future. He is still only in Single-A Tampa, but it’s his first season at that level and his production is getting where it needs to be.
4. Slade Heathcott, Outfield
Stats: 40 G, .229 BA, 6 2B, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 46 K, 4 SB
Slade Heathcott has slowly gotten more comfortable playing at the Double-A level.
Heathcott added eight points to his batting average last week and, more importantly, picked up eight RBI.
This past week was huge for Heathcott. His eight RBI may be a sign for more production to come.
The 22-year-old still needs to cut back on his strikeouts and gain some plate discipline. Six strikeouts in a week isn’t great.
Heathcott has fought through slumps from week to week all season, but he has begun to turn it around.
3. Tyler Austin, Right Field
Stats: 48 G, .250 BA, 27 RBI, 32 BB, 48 L, .724 OPS
Once again, Tyler Austin had a consistently mediocre week.
The right fielder had hits in all but two of his games last week, but he had only one multi-hit game. Austin drove in four runs and had a home run and a double.
That’s about all he did, as the young outfielder walked five times and struck out five times as well.
It was pretty much an average week for Austin and is what we’ve come to expect from New York’s third-best prospect in its system.
2. Mason Williams, Centerfield
Stats: 44 G, .235 BA, 8 2B, 22 BB, 31 K, 6 SB
Aside from picking up five hits in two of his games last week, Mason Williams didn’t produce much offensively for Single-A Tampa.
The young outfielder walked twice and struck out three times and added a stolen base.
You can look at it in two ways: Either it’s good that Williams is making contact or bad that he is struggling to hit the ball hard enough to reach base.
Either way, Williams isn’t where he needs to be as the season begins to drive towards summer.
Williams has the tools to be a speedy contact hitter and solid defender, but he just hasn’t been able to put it all together.
The 21 year-old needs to get focused and get better. If he doesn’t, his ranking as the second-best prospect in New York’s system may be in jeopardy.
1. Gary Sanchez, C
Stats: 45 G, .277 BA, 12 2B, 8 HR, 35 K, .827 OPS
Gary Sanchez put together another solid week.
The catcher had four multi-hit games and drove in six runs while picking up three doubles and his eighth home run of the season.
Sanchez has been the Yankees’ best offensive producer among their top young prospects, and he has proven he can be consistent from week to week.
While he is still only 20 years old, Sanchez is still working to become a solid defensive catcher. If he continues to maintain his current success offensively, but still is not getting called up from Tampa, there has to be another reason.
Sanchez can obviously hit, but he needs to get things together behind the plate or find another position.
I don’t think a position move would necessarily hurt Sanchez—especially if he keeps producing the way that he has this season.