Thursday, February 11, 2016

Keith Law Likes the Yankees System, What a Concept!

The New York Yankees have focused on their farm system more in recent years than most of us have seen during our lifetime's and the dividends are finally starting to pay off. The team is not only developing their own usable MLB caliber pieces like Luis Severino and Greg Bird but they are also using their players to not only acquire players but acquire players in a smart way. The Yankees are finally getting it right in the prospect department and it truly shows when a Yankees critic like Keith Law takes notice.

Now you may be saying, Keith Law is a Yankee critic? Since when? Well since last year and every year that Luis Severino has been in the Yankees farm system as a notable or top prospect. Now the fact that Law is a Yankees critic is my opinion much like the fact that he didn't like Severino or list him on any of his Top 100 prospects list is his opinion and we're both entitled to it, I just don't agree with Law's. Now that Severino has graduated from prospect status Law actually likes the Yankees system again, what a concept.

This week alone Law ranked the Yankees system the 13th best in Major League Baseball while naming four Yankees prospects to his annual Top 100 Prospects List. The usual suspects showed up for the Yankees, Aaron Judge (36), Jorge Mateo (55), Gary Sanchez (57) and James Kaprielian (87).

Law likes the Yankees system and so do I, again... what a concept!

Yankees Sign RHP Armando Galarraga

The New York Yankees have not signed a major league free agent all winter long but they did make a bit of a splash today when they signed Mr. should have been perfect Armando Galarraga. The Yankees aren't signing him hoping that he will harness that stuff that made him almost perfect during his playing career though, no, the team signed him to be a minor league pitching instructor. What an opportunity for Galarraga to potentially get his coaching career started and what a treat for the young arms in the Yankees system to pick the brain of a pitcher that not only made it to the big leagues and spent five seasons but also the brain of a pitcher who, for one day, was almost perfect.

Welcome to the organization Armando.

Yankees Announce 2016 Promotional Schedule Including Mariano Rivera Day?

The New York Yankees know how to throw a party and the organization knows how to honor their own no matter how big the stage. We've seen it recently with Derek Jeter day, Jorge Posada day, Joe Torre day, Bernie Williams day and even Mariano Rivera day but one of these men is going to get another day all to himself in 2016. That man is the Sandman, Mariano Rivera. The Yankees announced their promotional schedule for the upcoming season and Rivera will be honored on Sunday, August 14th with a "Mariano Rivera Monument Park Plaque Dedication." Cool!

See below for the entire list of upcoming giveaways and promotions from the Yankees.

Lane Adams Clears Waivers, Gets Invite to MLB Camp

The New York Yankees added another minor league option to their spring training camp this week, kind of, when they invited Lane Adams down to Tampa. I say kind of because the Yankees recently had Adams on their 40 man roster and designated him for assignment to make room for Ronald Torreyes for a second time as well. Adams cleared waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders and received his second invitation to Yankees spring training camp this season.

Adams fits the mold of may outfielders currently on the Yankees roster already. He's fast and he has a dependable glove but there is one major difference between him and say Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel or Mason Williams. Adams can hit right-handed which is an obvious need for the Yankees going forward. Adams also has a minor league option remaining meaning he can potentially be part of Brian Cashman's Scranton Shuttle that is in the plans with the team's final bench spot.

TGP Prospects Night Open Thread featuring Yonauris Rodriguez

Admittedly this video is about a year old but there surprisingly isn't much information on him on Youtube. Yonauris Rodriguez signed with the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic in July 2013 for a whopping $575,000 during that huge international spending spree that New York went on. Rodriguez is a right-handed hitting shortstop and Baseball America's Ben Badler has many good things to say about him.

One of the best defensive shortstops in Latin America is Yonauris Rodriguez, a 16-year-old who trains with Angel Perez and plays in the Dominican Prospect League. At a wiry 6 feet, 150 pounds, Rodriguez will stick at the position because he has good hands, a strong arm and good range. He's a hard-nosed player whose glove is ahead of his bat.

Yankees Set 2016 Thunder Coaching Staff


The New York Yankees announced that former Major League outfielder Bobby Mitchell will manage the Thunder for the 2016 season.

A 7th round selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 Amateur Draft, Mitchell played 202 games over four seasons in the major leagues for the Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins. Mitchell was a member of the 1981 World Championship team and becomes the fifth Manager in franchise history to have played in the major leagues.

"I am honored to be a member of the most prestigious and successful organization in professional sports," said Mitchell. "I grew up a huge Yankee fan, so it is truly a dream come true for me. I enjoyed my visits to Trenton as a coordinator when they were an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and look forward to a successful season as the Trenton Thunder Manager."

Since his retirement from playing in 1986, Mitchell has served as an Outfield, Base Running & Bunting Coordinator for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres and Montreal Expos.

Mitchell began his managerial career in 2006 with a two-year stint leading the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High-A, LAA). He then led the Angels' Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees, for three seasons. In 2008 he guided the Bees to a 24-2 record to begin the season en route to a division championship and the second-best overall record in the Pacific Coast League with an 84-60 mark. Mitchell moved back into a roving role for the 2011 season with the Angels before beginning a two-year stint as a Manager with the Chicago Cubs' Rookie League affiliate in the Arizona League. He led the 2012 AZL Cubs to the playoffs with a 37-19 record, the third time in his managerial career that his team advanced to postseason play.

Joining Mitchell on the coaching staff will be Hitting Coach P.J. Pilittere, Pitching Coach Jose Rosado, Defensive Coach Justin Tordi and Bullpen Coach JD Closser. Athletic Trainer Lee Meyer will also return to the Thunder for a third season and the team's Strength Coach will be announced at a later date.

Hitting Coach P.J. Pilittere returns for a second season with the Thunder and fifth overall as a coach in the Yankees system. In 2015, he oversaw a Thunder offense that included a trio of future major leaguers, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams as well as top prospects Aaron Judge and Eric Jagielo. Pilittere was a 13th round selection of the Yankees in 2004 and went on to play in 470 minor league games where he hit .264 with 77 doubles, 16 HR and 183 RBI. P.J. was a catcher for the Thunder during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons where he helped the Thunder win their first two Eastern League Championships in '07 and '08.

Jose Rosado also returns for a second season as Pitching Coach with the Thunder. Prior to his stint in Trenton, Rosado spent four seasons with the Gulf Coast Yankees as a pitching coach. He spent five seasons as a pitcher with the Kansas City Royals where he went 37-45 with a 4.25 ERA in 125 games. Originally a 12th round selection in the 1994 First-Year Player Draft, Rosado was named to the 1999 All Star Game in Boston as the Royals' lone representative.

Defensive Coach Justin Tordi joins the Thunder after serving in the same position with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in 2015. Tordi was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 41st round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Florida. He earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2005 while playing shortstop for the national runner-up Gators. He played four seasons in the Reds' minor league system reaching double-A in 2008 and 2009.

JD Closser was named Bullpen Coach for the Thunder after serving as a coach for the Tampa Yankees (High-A) in 2015. A former major league catcher for the Colorado Rockies, Closser completed a 13-year playing career in 2011. Closser appeared in 160 games for the Rockies across the 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons. He batted .239 with 10 HR and 48 RBI in his major league career.

Athletic Trainer Lee Meyer returns to the Thunder staff for a third season in 2016. Prior to his time in Trenton, Meyer spent two seasons with the Tampa Yankees and one season each with Charleston and Staton Island.

The 2016 season, the 23rd in franchise history, will begin at ARM & HAMMER Park on April 7 when the Thunder host the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers) at 7:00 p.m. Groups, season tickets, Pic-A-Plans and mini plans for the 2016 season are on sale now at or by calling 609-394-3300.

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the San Francisco Giants?

We’re drawing closer and closer to the beginning of Spring Training, the report of pitchers and catchers and presumably we’re drawing closer and closer to your fantasy draft. We’ve gone over many of the teams around the league and showcased some of the sleeper talent and the young talent that could make an impact not only now but later on in the season as well and this time will be no different as we showcase the talent currently in the San Francisco Giants organization. Since it’s Prospects Month and all we won’t waste much time on Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija or Buster Posey as you likely already know those names and know they can all help your team out so I would rather spend the time looking at a few names you may or may not know. 

The trio of Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Matt Duffy are probably household names by now but some people either don’t watch West Coast baseball or they don’t watch National League baseball so I’ll touch on them briefly just in case you are one of them. Crawford is a defensive shortstop that hit 21 home runs and knocked in 84 RBI’s last year. That’s great for a shortstop but that’s phenomenal for any player inside AT&T Park in San Francisco so grab him if you can. Belt is an injury concern but when he’s healthy he’s a 30 home run guy and a pretty good first baseman as well and is likely worth the risk after a long winter to rest and rehab. Finally Duffy broke out a bit last season batting .295 with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases and should continue to improve as he enters his prime. He’s not the best third baseman in the league but he’s adequate and sometimes it is adequate and not the super stars that win you your league. 

Those are names you likely know but unless you were watching the Giants last September you don’t know the name Jarrett Parker. Parker is an outfielder that broke out in a big way last September for the club batting an even .400 with six home runs and 14 RBI in just 40 at bats. Parker won’t hit .400 all season and he may not even break camp with the team unless an injury occurs but it’s those players that show you that the big stage doesn’t bother him that generally have the most success in fantasy and I truly believe Parker fits that mold. 

Finally you have the trio of Clayton Blackburn, Adalberto Mejia and Tyler Beede. None of these three will likely break camp with the club but at least one, if not all three, may make the Major Leagues this season if and when an injury occurs. Currently San Francisco has some combination of Jake Peavy and Matt Cain in their rotation and there are obvious concerns and question marks with both of their health and effectiveness entering 2016. Any one of these three could come up and get significant starting time if an injury occurs so keep them on your watch list. 

There you go, we went into extra innings for this post. Rather than bring you three potential players or prospects we brought you a whopping seven. Maybe they help, maybe they won’t but it doesn’t hurt to keep them bookmarked just in case. You never know when you might need someone for that second half push next season. Enjoy and tell a friend!

TGP Top 29 Prospects List - #19 Cale Coshow

Welcome to the teens as we countdown our Top 29, well technically Top 30, Prospects List here as a part of our Prospects Month. There is an absolute ton of talent in this Yankees system and there is already an absolute ton of talent on my personal list. I have a feeling I have shaken things up a bit ranking Tyler Wade so low and I may catch some flak for ranking this relief pitcher so high, Mr. Cale Coshow.

Coshow has been in the Yankees system since the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft and has worked his way all the way to the Trenton Thunder of Double-A. With 33.1 innings pitched in Double-A last season he could easily be in Triple-A before the temperatures really start lighting up your thermometer and in a pinch he could conceivably be MLB ready by the end of the season.

Coshow has seen his K numbers go down the more he has risen through the system which can be worrisome but he gets players out, he doesn't walk a ton and the sky is the limit on this 23-year old. For these reasons and the fact that he is so close to being considered MLB ready I have him ranked #19 and one spot ahead of my personal favorite relief pitching prospect right now, Chance Adams.

19. Cale Coshow
20. Chance Adams
21. Miguel Andujar
22. Jonathan Holder
23. Tyler Wade
24. Nick Rumbelow
25.Jordan Montgomery
26.Trey Amburgey
27. Ben Gamel
28. Austin DeCarr
29. Thairo Estrada
30. James Pazos

Meet a Prospect: Five Prospects in One

The New York Yankees have been adding as much minor league depth as they can find in recent weeks and rather do Meet a Prospect posts for every one of them I figured we could lump them all into one big post. Those names include Jose Rosario, Richard Bleier, Juan Silva, Sebastian Valle and Cesar Puello.

These write-ups come courtesy of LoHud Yankees Blog:

Sebastian Valle - Catcher

In the past: Once thought of as a top catching prospect, Valle has never reached the big leagues, but he’s still just 25 years old, he has some Triple-A experience, and he’s coming off a pretty good year in Double-A with a .754 OPS. He’s played in Mexico this winter.
Role to play: The Yankees are pretty thin at catcher in the upper levels, and Valle gives them an option who could be a Double-A regular, a Triple-A backup or even a Triple-A regular. Given the uncertainty of Gary Sanchez’s situation, the Yankees need some options behind the plate.

Jose Rosario - Utility

In the past: Primarily a middle infielder in the low minors, Rosario has shifted to a true utility role in recent seasons. His entire career was spent with the Yankees, so they’re signing a known commodity. He was still putting up pretty decent numbers as recently as 2014 when he was in High-A.
Role to play: Has played every position except catcher and first base, so he fits any franchise as an organizational utility man who can plug holes anywhere. Seems to most naturally fit the Double-A roster, but he could fill a bench role in Triple-A if necessary.

Richard Bleier - Left-handed starter

In the past: Has been both a starter and a reliever, but he most recently pitched as a starter through most of the 2015 season. And he put up really good numbers with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP between the two levels. Doesn’t strike out many guys, but doesn’t walk many either.
Role to play: This should be familiar, because it’s another bit of upper-level rotation depth. Probably not necessarily a next-in-line option for the big leagues, but certainly a guy who can provide innings in Double-A or Triple-A. If he can repeat his 2015 numbers, Bleier could put himself more firmly on the radar. But this looks a Double-A/Triple-A swingman as much as anything.

Juan Silva - Outfielder

In the past: Left-handed hitter with experience at all three outfield positions. He turns 25 in January and just got his first Double-A and Triple-A experience. Doesn’t have huge stolen base numbers, but in 2014 he was named the fastest and best baserunner in the California League.
Role to play: There’s not much room in the Triple-A outfield, but Silva could fit the Double-A roster. He’s shown some speed and on-base ability, and the Yankees like those two things. Another left-handed hitter, but he mostly fits as another option for Double-A (and he fits the Yankees’ mold).

And the Cesar Puello writeup was done by myself:

Puello missed much of the 2015 season with a back injury while inside the New York Mets organization. Puello was flat out released in August after an up-and-down tenure with the Metropolitans. Puello was suspended for 50 games after the whole Biogenesis clinic was shut down in Miami and is the only player to not reach the majors after the suspension. Puello was once a top outfield prospect for the Mets before the suspension, injuries and ineffectiveness dampened his career.'s Pipeline Updated Top 30 Prospects List

Major League Baseball's Pipeline showcases their Top 30 prospects for each and every MLB team across the league and constantly updates the list periodically throughout the season and offseason. Two members of the Yankees Top 30 prospects according to's Pipeline were Rookie Davis and Eric Jagielo and both were traded in the deal that brought Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees.'s Pipeline has updated their Top 30 adding Nick Rumbelow and James Pazos to the list so I figured I would bring you the updated list here in honor of Prospects Month. How does it compare to my list? Hint, it doesn't.

1. Aaron Judge
2. Jorge Mateo
3. James Kaprielian
4. Robert Refsnyder
5. Gary Sanchez
6. Ian Clarkin
7. Jacob Lindgren
8. Tyler Wade
9. Kyle Holder
10. Brady Lail
11. Drew Finley
12. Mason Williams
13. Bryan Mitchell
14. Hoy Jun Park
15. Dustin Fowler
16. Luis Cessa
17. Luis Torrens
18. Miguel Andjuar
19. Juan De Leon
20. Dermis Garcia
21. Abiatal Avelino
22. Slade Heathcott
23. Jordan Montgomery
24. Cale Coshow
25. Domingo Acevedo
26. Leonardo Molina
27. Thairo Estrada
28. Ben Gamel
29. Nick Rumbelow
30. James Pazos

Congrats to both Rumbelow and Pazos. They are two reliable arms that will likely be a big part of the Yankees bullpen in 2016. Stay well fellas.

This Day in New York Yankees History 2/11: No Second Team in the Bronx

On this day in 1915 New York Giants President Harry Hempstead rejected the International League's request to put a team in the Bronx. The shift of the International League's Jersey City to the Bronx, already home of the New York Yankees, was going to be a way to prop up a failing minor league franchise. This was also attempted to try and keep the invasion of the Federal League out of New York.