New York Yankees: Updating Fans on the Top Minor League Catching Propects
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The three Yankee catching prospects who get the most attention are Jesus Montero, Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez.
Let’s take a look at how these three farm hands are doing right now.
Sanchez is the youngest of the trio.
He is only 18 years old and playing with the Charleston River Dogs in the Sally League.
Sanchez is 6’2” and weighs 220 lbs., which makes him almost as big as Jesus Montero who often hears reports he is too big to catch in the major leagues.
Sanchez is almost certain to add some size as he matures. So one has to wonder why most list him as an almost certain Big League catcher while dismissing Montero’s chances to stick in the majors as a backstop.
Through the end of April, Sanchez has been struggling in the Class A League.
In 16 games Sanchez is hitting only .209 with one home run and seven RBI.
But more alarming is that Sanchez has struck out 25 times while getting only 14 hits in the 16 games.
The Yankees invested $3 million in this kid when he was only 16 years old and playing in his native Dominican Republic.
Which Prospect Will Eventually Catch for the Yankees?
Austin Romine is 22 years old and is working for the second straight year at the Yankees Double A farm in Trenton.
Romine is 6’0” and weighs 220 lbs.
So far this season, Romine has three homers and 15 RBI in 18 games. He is hitting .306. His OPS is .883.
Jesus Montero plays at Triple A Scranton for the second straight year.
This 21-year old has been listed as one of the top Yankee prospects since he was signed out of Venezuela when he was about a month short of his 17th birthday.
Heading into this season Montero was rated as the ninth best prospect in all of baseball on MLB.com.
After starting on fire at Scranton and hitting close to .500, Jesus has cooled to a high boil.
He is still hitting .365 after 17 games and 74 at bats.
But he has only one home run and five RBI in those plate appearances. And he has struck out 13 times.
The Yankees are overloaded with minor league catchers.
At Scranton alone they have five players listed as catchers.
These include Jose Gil, AJ Pilitere, Ryan Baker and now Gustavo Molina in addition to Montero.
Molina was reassigned when Francisco Cervelli was recalled to the Bronx. Molina is not a prospect. He is a spare tire.
He was signed when none of the kids seemed ready to go to New York out of Spring Training and Cervelli was hurt.
But it is going to be very interesting over the next few years to see what the Yanks do with all these catchers, especially Montero, Romine and Sanchez.
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