Category Archives: Winter Leagues

Torres becomes youngest ever to win AFL batting title and AFL MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Yankees’ prospect SS Gleyber Torres was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League today. Torres, just 19, became the youngest player to win the AFL batting title. He hit .403.

Torres is also the youngest MVP in league history.

Yanks trade McCann; MVPs announced; AFL ends.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

 

The Yankees traded Brian McCann to the Astros for two young righty minor league pitchers. In his three seasons with the Yankees, McCann hit 69 HR but only hit .235. The emergence of Gary Sanchez made McCann expendable. The Yanks will pay the Astros $11MM of the $34MM remaining on his contract.

In return, the Yanks get Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. Here is what MLB Trade Rumors has to say about them:

Abreu is the more highly regarded of the two; as J.J. Cooper of Baseball America explains, he throws a live fastball that occasionally nears the triple-digits. With a four-pitch arsenal, he perhaps has a chance to stick as a starter. Still, he only just turned 21 and struggled with his command last year at the Class A and High-A levels.

Guzman, meanwhile, has even more velocity, with his heater ticking up to 102-103 mph at times. Cooper notes, though, that he’s more effective when he’s operating at a slightly lower velocity (in his case, the upper-nineties). While the long-term outlook suggests that Guzman will end up in the pen, he is said to have a promising slider and also a change-up that’s in the works. The 20-year-old has yet to move past Rookie ball, but showed big strikeout ability (12.2 K/9) in his time in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues last year.

Abreu, 21, was 3-8, 3.72 between low and High A in 2016. 16 starts, 8 relief appearances. 115 K in 101 2/3 IP.

Guzman, 20, was 3-4, 4.05 in Rookie League ball. 8 starts, 5 relief appearances. 54 K in 40 IP.

MLB announced its MVPs yesterday, Mike Trout of the Angels and Kris Bryant of the Cubs.  For Trout, it’s his second MVP (he won in 2014) and he has finished 1st or 2nd in MVP in each of his five full seasons in the bigs. He is still just 25 years old.Bryant, 24, was the ROY last year and now wins the MVP in just his second MLB season.

No Yankee received MVP consideration (meaning at least a 10th place vote).

The Arizona Fall League ended yesterday. They have a championship game Saturday but Scottsdale and Yankees’ prospects will not be playing in it. Only Tyler Wade played in the final game, and he went 1 for 3, scored a run and drove in two in a 6-6 tie. Wade ended the AFL at .241. He had a SF yesterday and stole 3 bases, giving him 10 for the AFL.

Former MLB catcher and manager Russ Nixon died recently. He was 81. He played from 1957-1968 for Cleveland, Boston, Minnesota, and Cleveland again. He was the catcher when Roger Maris hit his 61st HR. Nixon later managed the Reds and Braves. He hit .268 with an OPS+ of 84.

Kaprielian, Torres, and others shine in AFL. Tanaka 7th in CYA voting, Miller 9th.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Arizona Fall League will be coming to an end soon, and in his final appearance, James Kaprielian was great.

Kaprielian (2-3, 4.33) pitched 4 1/3 innings, gave up 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks and struck out 4 in Scottsdale’s 4-0 win.

Here is how other Yankees’ prospects did in the game.

Nestor Cortes, 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 4.70.

J.P. Feyereisen 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 5 K.  2.57.

2B Gleyber Torres 3 for 4, scored 2 runs, had a double, drove in a run, struck out once. He is now hitting .403 in the AFL. Nope, that is not a typo. .403! The 19-yr.-old, acquired in the Chapman trade, has already won AFL player of the week twice and seems to be a shoo-in for the AFL MVP.

LF Tyler Wade 0 for 3, walked, struck out. .235

3B Miguel Andujar 0 for 4, RBI, struck out. .284.

MLB announced the Cy Young Awards. In the AL, Rick Porcello. In the NL, Max Scherzer. Scherzer had won one previously in the AL with Detroit. Justin Verlander’s fiancee, model Kate Upton, wasn’t too happy about Verlander losing out, as shown by some Twitter posts she made. Verlander actually got more first place votes than Porcello, but less total points. Two writers left Verlander off the ballot. Hmmm, maybe Verlander and Upton now understand the electoral college as well? (Just kidding). The key is that although Verlander had 14 first place votes to Porcello’s 8,26 voters had Porcello 1st or 2nd, while only 16 voters had Verlander 1st or 2nd.

The Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka came in 7th in the voting. Andrew Miller, who started the season with the Yankees then was traded to the Indians, came in 9th.

One thing that hurt Tanaka (14-4, 2.07) was that so often he pitched well, but wound up with a no-decision because of the Yankees’ struggling offense.

The AL and NL MVP’s will be announced tonight.

Yankees Notes: Girardi 5th in Mgr. of year; AFL Notes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi finished 5th in voting for AL Mgr. of the Year, won by Cleveland’s Terry Francona.

The NL Mgr. of the Year was Dave Roberts, giving the Dodgers the Mgr. and Rookie of the Year (Corey Seager) thus far.

In Arizona Fall League action, Scottsdale won 8-6. Here are the Yankees’ prospects today:

Tyler Wade, CF, 1 for 3, scored 2 runs. SB. .250.

DH Greg Bird. 1 for 3, RBI. Scored a run, walked, struck out. .215.

Yankees Notes: Sanchez 2nd in ROY voting. AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez finished 2nd for the AL Rookie of the Year voting, losing the award to Detroit’s Michael Fulmer. Fulmer got 26 first place votes to Sanchez’ 4.

What hurt Sanchez was that he played in only 53 games. What a 53 games it was, .299-20-42, but in the end, the voters went with the fact that Fulmer played a full season in the bigs as opposed to 1/3 of a season for Sanchez.

In he Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 9-1.

Gleyber Torres was 1 for 3, walked, struck out, .379. He DH’d.

Miguel Andujar (3B) went 0 for 4, struck out twice, .302.

Good game for Wade in AFL.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Yankees’ prospect Tyler Wade went 2 for 2, walked twice and scored two runs in Scottsdale’s 4-3 loss in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday.

He is hitting .244 in the league. He played RF yesterday and is playing various positions to increase his versatility.

Gleyber Torres went 1 for 4 and stole a base. He is hitting .382. He played SS yesterday and has been alternating between SS and 2B.

Brody Koerner started the game. 4 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks, 3 K. 5.85.

Nestor Cortes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 6.00.

There are no games on Sunday and this will be the final week of action.

Arizona Fall League: Andujar continues to impress.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Scottsdale lost on Friday 5-2, but Yankees’ prospect Miguel Andujar continues to impress.

3B Andujar went 2 for 4, scored a run, tripled, and struck out once. He is hitting .322. Between he and Gleyber Torres (didn’t play, .392), a couple of Yankees’ prospects are really shining in the Arizona Fall League.

LF Tyler Wade was 1 for 3 with a walk. .209.

P J.P. Feyereisen pitched 2 innings. 0 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.00.

As the offseason goes on, I won’t report on any trade rumors but just report when/if something gets done, free agent signing or trade, after it has been made.

A couple of things have occurred. Howie Kendrick was traded to the Phillies.Kendrys Morales signed with Toronto.

The Braves signed both R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon. Both are 42 and older.

As far as the future is concerned for the Yankees, I am excited. Yes, 2017-2019 could be full of growing pains, but I am looking forward to say, 2020 and beyond. Here are some youngsters I am excited about. If just a few of them make it and succeed….

C Kyle Higashioka
1B Greg Bird and 1B/OF Tyler Austin
2B/SS Gleyber Torres
2B/SS Jorge Mateo (may be moved to CF? Has been taking instruction there. Runs like the wind, and with Torres, Didi, Castro, could be Ellsbury replacement?)
3B Andujar
LF Clint Frazier
RF Aaron Judge
UT Rob Refsnyder and Tyler Wade
CF Dustin Fowler
OF Blake Rutherford

P Chance Adams
P Justus Sheffield
P Dietrich Enns

Add them to Gary Sanchez, and…

There are more. Not all will make it. Some may be included in a trade. But I see talent there, a few years away and am excited for the future.

As for who is currently there that the youngsters may replace, that is a story for another day.