Friday, February 27, 2015

Yankees Have $2.26M In International Spending Money for 2015/2016

The New York Yankees learned today that the team will have $2.26 million to spend in the 2015 - 2016 International signing period that starts on July 2. Since New York blew their cap out of the water during this signing period the Yankees cannot sign an individual player for more than $300,000 but the team still has a cap nonetheless. I think Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues did the math and that means that the team can sign 7.5 players this signing period at $300K each without going over their spending limit.

Teams can trade up to half of their international cap by sending specific slot amounts, much like the draft is now slotted and capped, and New York may look to do that for the next two seasons since the team cannot make a big splash. Obviously this cash doesn't have all that much value but it is something, especially if it's used as a throw in and the difference in making a significant trade and not making a trade for instance.

This is not a doomsday scenario for New York though as the team signed Luis Severino for $225K, Jorge Mateo for $250K, Abi Avelino for $300K and Angel Aguilar for $60K in recent years.

Brendan Ryan the First Yankees Injury of 2015

It's only February 27th and the New York Yankees already have their first injury of the season, Brendan Ryan. Ryan hurt his back, which going off the top of my head is the second or third such back injury during his Yankees tenure, while doing some weight training before reporting to Yankees spring training camp.

The team is calling this a mild strain and have reported that Ryan will be held out of baseball activities for around five days. This is really nothing to see in my opinion because Ryan is almost guaranteed a roster spot and it's going to be on the bench so he doesn't have much to lose at this point.

ICYMI: Baseball Prospectus Release Yankees Top 10 Prospects

Baseball Prospectus released their Top 10 Yankees prospects list so here's the list HERE with write ups and such. If you're lazy or don't want to leave the blog, and who could blame you, see below for the list.

  1. OF Aaron Judge
  2. RHP Luis Severino
  3. Gary Sanchez
  4. LHP Ian Clarkin
  5. SS Jorge Mateo
  6. 2B/OF Rob Refsnyder
  7. 1B Greg Bird
  8. CF Leonardo Molina
  9. LHP Jacob Lindgren
  10. Luis Torrens

All Players to Undergo Mandatory Domestic Violence Training

All players eligible and on the team’s 40 man roster will have to attend a mandatory education program on domestic violence sometime during this spring training. San Francisco’s based Futures Without Violence program will be conducting the training for all players after Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union agreed earlier in the week.

It’s simple, learn from Ray Rice. Don’t beat your wife, don’t beat your children. If you do then I personally believe you are a lesser human being and you don’t deserve to showcase your God given talents on a Major League Baseball field. That’s your training. Beat your wife, lose your contract.

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: #2

This is the part of the list where it gets a bit anti-climatic. The Top Two Yankees Prospects. I think we all know it is going to be some combination of Aaron Judge and Luis Severino and I think 99 lists out of 100 will have Judge in this #2 spot, including my list. Aaron Judge is the Yankees second best prospect on my list. 

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Judge:

Current Level/Age: High-A/22.7, 6’7/250, R/R
Drafted: 32nd overall (1st round) in 2013 out of Fresno State by NYY for $1.8 million bonus, Agency: PSI Sports Mgmt
Hit: 20/50, Raw Power: 70/70, Game Power: 20/60, Run: 50/45, Field: 50/50, Throw: 60/60

Scouting Report: I saw Judge in his junior year at Fresno State, which you can pretty easily pick out of the video above by uniform colors. I thought he was incredibly talented, but the Giancarlo Stanton comps were ridiculous, as Judge was struggling to perform close to his potential in college at age 21, while Stanton already had about 50 big league homers at that age. The Stanton comps are still ridiculous for the same reason, but, physically speaking, it’s hard to find a comp. Judge is 6’7/250, is a solid average runner underway with a plus arm and plus-plus raw power. Scouts were resorting to comparing Judge to basketball players (LeBron James and Blake Griffin were common ones) to find someone other than Stanton even remotely similar.

In the weekend I saw Judge face Stanford, we was a non-factor at the plate Friday versus 2013 #1 overall pick Mark Appel (on one of the best stuff days of Appel’s life) was just okay on Saturday, then went 5-for-5 with four singles and a massive homer (included on the above video) on Sunday against the weakest pitching of the weekend. I recount that weekend because there were a couple GMs are about 10 scouting directors there that weekend and it encapsulated the amateur experience of scouting Judge: mostly struggled against top arms, excelled against weaker arms and didn’t hit for enough power in games.  These struggles weren’t because he didn’t have the bat speed of physical ability to hit amateur pitching, but his long limbs obviously created contact problems, which is a big reason why there aren’t many 6’7 hitters in the big leagues.

Judge would shorten up to hit singles in college and scouts began to wonder if he could consistently hit for some kind of game power and make enough contact at the same time, which is why he slid to the end of the first round. There were whispers he was stubborn and un-coachable or other various mental explanations for not tapping into his raw ability. Multiple clubs I talked to didn’t have him anywhere close to the first round and some area scouts turned him in as a middle round pick. The Yankees had three first round picks at the end of the round and know that most 45 or 50 FV big league players don’t really move the needle for them, so they were in a position to take a risk and Judge was on the board, as they hoped he would be.

After signing late and sustaining a quad injury that kept him from playing in the regular season, 2014 was Judge’s first pro experience and he has smashed mine and everyone else’s expectations. Some scouts wondered how quickly or if Judge would get out of A-Ball and, this year, he smoked Low-A and High-A for a combined .308/.419/.486 with 17 homers and 89 walks in 543 PA, then raked in the Arizona Fall League: .278/.377/.467 over 106 PA.
He still isn’t completely tapping into his raw power, but no one saw him hitting for good average/on-base and 21 homers in his first full season unless it was all taking place at Low-A. Yankees development people keep telling me that they aren’t responsible for making any notable changes to his swing when I ask what was different this year from past years. The Yankees let kids do it his way in his first season, then they can then make adjustments if things don’t work. It suggests something at Fresno State wasn’t right that Judge is performing so well by dictating his offensive development.

I put his hit/game power grades at 5 and 6, but if Judge can continue this performance at the upper levels, both grades may be a notch light. He’s making adjustments and Yankees’ personnel are all praising his work ethic, makeup and ability to know what’s necessary for him to succeed. The phrase “we just stay out of his way” was thrown around by a couple sources and it seems to be working so far.

Summation: Judge will head to Double-A next year at age 23 and should be challenged, but likely will also get a taste of Triple-A, where he’ll be age appropriate for a top prospect after taking a little while to get going at the plate. If he keeps hitting, he should be in line for an extended big league look in 2016, with a chance for a 2015 September look or a slower path with him sticking by 2017. We haven’t yet found the limits of what Judge can do and he hasn’t even really tapped into his raw power in games yet, so he could struggle at the upper levels or just keep proving scouts wrong.

Upside: .270/.340/.490, 30 homers
FV/Risk: 55, Medium (3 on a 1-5 scale)
Projected Path: 2015: AA/AAA, 2016: AAA/MLB, 2017: MLB

2. Aaron Judge
3. Greg Bird
4. Jorge Mateo
5. Robert Refsnyder
6. Gary Sanchez
7. Jacob Lindgren
8. Ian Clarkin
9. John Ryan Murphy
10. Luis Torrens
11. Tyler Austin
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Miguel Andujar
14. Eric Jagielo
15. Jake Cave
16. Austin DeCarr
17. Tyler Wade
18. Juan DeLeon
19. Dante Bichette Jr.
20. Domingo German
21. Slade Heathcott
22. Nick Rumbelow
23. Jose Ramirez
24. Ramon Flores
25. Gosuke Katoh
26. Chasen Shreve
27. Taylor Dugas

28. Johnny Barbato

Meet a Prospect: Gosuke Katoh

Gosuke John Katoh was born on October, 8th 1994 in Poway California and spent his high school years at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego. Katoh is not a towering presence, unlike yesterday's showcase in our prospects month Aaron Judge, only standing 6'2" and weighing 180 lbs soaking wet but he has produced unforeseen power at the plate in his limited debut. Katoh was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft by the New York Yankees out of High School and signed quickly jump starting his professional career.

Katoh put up big numbers for Rancho Bernardo High School which included playing in 135 games in which his team put up a stunning 107-29 record in his four seasons on the Varsity team. Katoh finished with a career .411 batting average with a .524 on base percentage while bashing 181 hits, 114 RBI's, and scored 169 runs. Katoh slugged .711 in his career and smashed 25 home runs, 35 doubles, and 11 triples in his four years while taking 96 walks and striking out 57 times. Katoh is a smart base runner and base stealer as he stole 38 bags in 51 chances in High School while also doing it with the glove and a .987 fielding percentage. Katoh committed seven errors in his entire High School career and his taking that glove, and all his talents to the New York Yankees.

Katoh's a left handed batter and a second basemen by trade but the Yankees have already said that they are going to try Katoh at shortstop as early as this winter, which may not happen after his finger injury, or next season. Katoh is considered to be a wonder kid with the glove at second base but his arm is the only concern with moving him to the left side of the infield. It will be interesting to see if Katoh fills in a little bit or stays looking like a taller version of Ichiro but for now Katoh is tall and lanky with a compact swing that translates into doubles and gap hitting in the majors. Katoh hits left handed but throws right handed just in case that means something to somebody who thinks that can help him, I just always find that to be an interesting tidbit of information.

Katoh broke out in a big way in his professional debut  with the Gulf Coast Yankees 1 team finishing the season with a .310/.402/.522/.924 slash line with six home runs and 25 runs batted in. Katoh got into 50 games and saw 215 plate appearances with 57 hits, 11 doubles, five triples and four stolen bases in six chances. Obviously he needs a little bit of polishing, but what High School draft pick doesn't, as is evident with his 44 strike outs and 27 walks in 2013. Katoh has a ligament injury that ended his season in the Instructional League but the injury is said to not be serious and will not prevent him from missing time next season. Katoh will look to build on a huge 2013 and mediocre 2014 season this season in 2015. Katoh may be the next big things in New York or he may be a bust and I truly think this will be the season we find out. 

Looking at the 2015 Draft: 2nd Best Prospect

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #2 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #2 prospect, Michael Matuella. Matuella is a Junior at Duke University and a RHP.  

Here is the write up from

2. Michael Matuella
3. Brady Aiken
4. Brendan Rodgers
5. Nathan Kirby
6. Kyle Funkhouser
7. Kolby Allard
8. Daz Cameron
9. Dansby Swanson
10. Ashe Russell
11. Justin Hooper
12. Carson Fulmer
13. Alex Bregman
14. Nick Plummer
15. Trenton Clark
16. Ian Happ
17. Phil Bickford
18. Mike Nikorak
19. Kyle Cody
20. Cody Ponce
21. Riley Ferrell
22. Chris Betts
23. James Kaprielian
24. Jake Lemoine
25. Beau Burrows
26. Richie Martin
27. Kyle Tucker
28. D.J. Stewart

Charlie T. RiverDog Challenges the Harlem Globetrotters' Zeus McClurkin to a Game of D-O-G

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Here is the press release from the Charleston Riverdogs:

CHARLESTON, SC – As the famed Harlem Globetrotters prepare for their appearance at the North Charleston Coliseum next month, the Charleston RiverDogs’ lovable mascot Charlie T. RiverDog has issued a challenge to a Globetrotter to a game of D-O-G.

The shorter version of the backyard game of H-O-R-S-E, will be held at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Tuesday, March 3 at 11:30 am.  Fans are invited to the contest free of charge.
Charlie T. RiverDog, who stands more than 6 feet tall when on his hind legs, has been practicing to face Zeus McClurkin, a 6-8 power forward from Columbus, Ohio, who played collegiately at North Carolina A&T.  Zeus is in his first year with the Globetrotters.

Zeus and his teammates will appear at the North Charleston Coliseum on March 10 at 7pm with the Harlem Globetrotters 2015 “Washington Generals’ Revenge” Tour.  In conjunction with the game of D-O-G, and regardless of the winner, the Globetrotters will donate 20 tickets to the Ronald McDonald House to their upcoming game.
"The history and pageantry that the Globetrotters possess is synonymous with our guiding principle of Fun is Good,” said General Manager Dave Echols. “It really will be fun to have Charlie lace them up with Zeus for a game of D-O-G here at The Joe."

The stakes of the contest have yet to be determined, but it should be known that the RiverDogs do have a history of giving away one-way bus tickets back to Ohio – Zeus’ home state.

The Harlem Globetrotters, known world-wide as the Ambassadors of Goodwill, are celebrating their 89th consecutive year, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages.

Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans-among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents for more than eight decades.

The RiverDogs, the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, begin their season on April 9 with a seven-game homestand that features the Lexington Legends (April 9-12) and the Augusta GreenJackets (April 13-15).  Ticket information may be secured by contact the box office at 843/577-DOGS (3647) or online at  If you can’t make the games, remember that RiverDogs baseball can be heard throughout the season on the flagship radio home, WTMA 1250AM. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 2/27: Pinstripes are Born, Almost Literally

On this day in 1985 Toby Harrah is traded by the Yankees to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Billy Sample and a player to be named later. The 36 year old veteran infielder was originally a member of the Texas Rangers and will become the club's manager for one year in 1992.

Also on this day in 1912 the Yankees announced that they would begin wearing pinstripes on their uniform, something they obviously still do today. The Yankees wouldn't actually start physically wearing them until April 22, 1915 but either way it became a reality.