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Category Archives: Winter Leagues
A quick look at how Yankees prospects are doing in the Arizona Fall League.
C Austin Wells (#6 prospect) 10 games, .306-1-10.
OF Elijah Dunham (#24 prospect) 11 games .395-2-10
INF Andres Chaparro 9 games .250-1-8
P Clay Aguilar 1-0, 15.00
P Harold Cortijo 0-0, 6.75
P Zach Greene 0-0, 0.00
Wells bat is not a question. It’s his defense that has scouts wondering if he can stick at catcher.
Houston has won the AL pennant, beating the Red Sox in 6 games. They face the winner of the Dodgers/Braves series in the World Series. Right now the Braves are up three games to two, with games 6 and if necessary 7, both in Atlanta.
I have family outside of LA, so go Dodgers. No matter who wins in the NL, I’ll be rooting for the NL team in the World Series. No forgiveness to Houston for the cheating scandal of a few years back, although I do respect Dusty Baker, who was not involved in that.
For Houston, it is their third pennant in the last five years. They won the WS in 2017, and lost it in 2019.
Meanwhile, Yankee prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League are P Clay Aguilar, P Harold Cortijo, P Zach Greene, P Tanner Myatt, C Austin Wells, Infielder Andres Chaparro, and Outfielder Elijah Dunham. Wells is the organization’s #6 ranked prospect, Dunham #24. They all are playing for the Surprise Sagueros. Through 5 games, Wells is 9 for 18, 3 doubles, a triple, a HR, and 5 RBI. Wells hitting isn’t a problem, but the question is whether his defense will keep him at catcher.
Jon Heyman predicts that the Yanks will sign both free agents SS Corey Seager and P Robbie Ray this offseason. We’ll see.
Betts (AL) Yelich (NL) win MVP honors. Yanks finish 12, 19, 20 and 22. Final AFL stats for Yanks’ prospects.
Mookie Betts of Boston won the AL MVP quite handily, getting 28 of the 30 first place votes. Mike Trout of the Angels finished as the runnerup for the fourth time (Trout has won the award twice). Trout got one first place vote, and Betts’ teammate, J.D. Martinez, who finished fourth, got the other.
As for Yankees, Aaron Judge finished 12th, Giancarlo Stanton 19th, Didi Gregorius finished in a tie for 20th (he was also 20th last year) and Aaron Hicks finished in a tie for 22nd.
Christian Yelich of Milwaukee won the NL MVP, getting 29 of the 30 first place votes (the only other one going to Jacob DeGrom of the Mets, who finished fifth). Javier Baez of the Cubs was the runnerup.
The Glendale Desert Dogs Arizona Fall League season is over with a 12-18 record. Here is how Yankees’ prospects did:
SS Thairo Estrada .238-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .197-0-9
CF Estevan Florial .178-0-8
SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 9.15
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.20
RP Matt Wivinis 0-1, 1.50
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 11.57
Yanks retain infield depth. Re-sign minor leaguer Urshela. Twins’ Mauer retires. Catching up with the AFL.
The Yanks have apparently re-signed Gio Urshela, 3B, to a minor league contract to provide minor league depth.
Urshela, 27, finished last year at SWB. In 167 MLB games, with Cleveland and Toronto, he has hit .225-8-39, OPS+ 57. He is known more for his defense.
In 2018, he only played in 19 MLB games, all with Toronto, and hit .233-1-3 in 43 at bats.
Twins C/1B Joe Mauer, 35, has announced his retirement. Mauer was a 6x All-Star, won 3 batting titles, the 2009 MVP (he finished in the top 10 three other years), 5x Silver Slugger winner. He also won 3 Gold Gloves. His 162 g. average was. .306-12-80, OPS+ 124. He hit .275-0-1 in 10 postseason games.
On baseball-reference.com, Mauer is listed as the 7th best catcher of all-time, between Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey.
Catching up with the Arizona Fall League, the Glendale Desert Dogs, who have some Yankees’ prospects on the team, are 10-15. The season ends next Thursday, Nov. 15 and the Desert Dogs have been eliminated from the playoffs. Not too good numbers by these guys:
SS Thairo Estrada .250-0-7
1B Steven Sensley .179-0-7
CF Estevan Florial .169-0-8
SP Jordan Foley 0-2, 10.34
RP Hobie Harris 1-0, 4.50
RP Matt Wivinis 1-0, 1.59
RP Kyle Zurak 0-1, 16.20
The Yanks had three finalists for Gold Glove awards, but no winners. LF Brett Gardner lost out to KC’s Alex Gordon again. Aaron Judge lost out in RF to Boston’s Mookie Betts, and P Masahiro Tanaka lost out to Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.
From MLB.com, the list of winners.
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs; Freddie Freeman, Braves (TIE)
2B: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
SS: Nick Ahmed, D-backs
LF: Corey Dickerson, Pirates
CF: Ender Inciarte, Braves
RF: Nick Markakis, Braves
P: Zack Greinke, D-backs
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Matt Olson, A’s
2B: Ian Kinsler, Angels/Red Sox
3B: Matt Chapman, A’s
SS: Andrelton Simmons, Angels
LF: Alex Gordon, Royals
CF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
P: Dallas Keuchel, Astros
In the Arizona Fall League on Saturday night, Yankees’ OF prospect Estevan Florial, playing for the west, had a triple and a walk and scored a run as the West edged the East, 7-6.
Aaron Boone has interviewed for the Yanks’ vacant managerial position, the fourth candidate after Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, and Hensley Meulens to do so.
Boone is the first to do so who doesn’t have previous coaching or managerial experience.
Chris Woodward of the Dodgers is probably slated to be interviewed next.
MLB.com has stated that Hal Steinbrenner has said that there will be less than ten candidates.
Some candidates, like Raul Ibanez, and Brad Ausmus have taken themselves out of consideration by stating that they weren’t interested at the present time.
From the NY Post:
Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 13. Position players arrive on Feb. 18 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 19.
Their spring training schedule begins on Feb.23 against the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. They will visit the Mets on March 7 in Port St. Lucie and host their crosstown rivals on March 10.
The exhibition season ends for a second straight year in Atlanta, where they play the Braves on March 26 before they open the regular season in Toronto on March 29.
The Arizona Fall league has their championship game today, but Scottsdale isn’t one of the teams, so for the Yankees’ prospects, their Arizona Fall League is over.
Aaron Judge finished 2nd in the MVP voting to Jose Altuve. I thought the vote would be closer, but it was no contest. Altuve received 27 of the 30 first place votes to win quite easily. Judge got 2 first place votes and 27 votes for second place.
In the NL, it was a razor-thin victory for Giancarlo Stanton, who won by just 2 points over Joey Votto. Both received 10 first place votes out of 30 but Stanton, barely, got more support up top than Votto.
Other Yankees to receive consideration were Didi Gregorius, who finished in a tie for 20th, and Gary Sanchez, who finished in a tie for 22nd.
We have a spelling correction. It’s Ohtani, not Otani, for the Japanese sensation.
In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 7-4.
DH Thairo Estrada 1 for 4, RBI. .342
RF Estevan Florial 2 for 4, scored 2 runs, triple, struck out 2x. .286
The Yanks interviewed Hensley (Bam-Bam) Meulens yesterday for the managerial opening. Meulens was a top and failed prospect for the Yanks in the late 1980s, early 1990s. He has been a hitting coach and bench coach for the Giants and as such, won 3 rings (2010, 2012, 2014) and has managed in the WBC (Netherlands, featuring Didi Gregorius) and in winter ball. Meulens speaks five languages.
Of course, if the Yanks select someone like Meulens, they would break their managerial color barrier. No Yankees manager has been anything but white.
Maybe if Elston Howard would have lived, instead of succumbing to a heart condition at the age of 51, he would have become manager of the Yankees. We’ll never know.