Thursday, February 25, 2016

TGP Prospect Night Open Thread featuring Chance Adams

Chance Adams is a relatively unknown commodity in the Yankees farm system right now despite being drafted in the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft. Adams was drafted as a reliever but the Yankees are giving him a shot at the starting rotation and the team has been rewarded with some great outings and innings from the right-hander. Adams absolutely tore up three minor league affiliates last season in his professional debut and will look to at least see one or two of those affiliates in his rear view mirror come this time 2017. 

Adams could be the first 2015 Draft pick to reach the Major Leagues for the Yankees. Not Will Carter, not James Kaprielian and not Kyle Holder. Chance Adams. Remember the name and remember this short video of him pitching in the Florida State League. Enjoy. 

Quick Hit: Don Mattingly, Marlins Channeling Their Inner Yankee

The New York Yankees are one of the few franchises in the four major sports in North American and one of the few Major League Baseball franchises that actually ban facial hair on their players. I say one of the few and not the only franchise because a new team is joining the fray for 2016, the Miami Marlins. Former Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly is the new manager of the Miami Marlins and he is bringing some of his “Yankee” with him.

Obviously this is a first for the Marlins and a first for Mattingly as a manager, the Los Angeles Dodgers did not choose to enact to facial hair ban while he was managing there. Manny Ramirez thanks you for it too. Now truth be told this is probably an organizational call and Mattingly is just the one enforcing it but still, most places won’t report it as such and Mattingly will get the brunt of the blame.

Facial hair or no facial hair the Marlins head into 2016 looking for their first winning season since the 2009 season and their first trip to the playoffs since their World Series victory in 2003. Whatever works, right?

Meet a Prospect: Alan Cockrell

Alan Cockrell was named the New York Yankees assistant hitting coach prior to the 2015 season and the team responded with the second best offense in all of Major League Baseball. Jeff Pentland, the head hitting coach from 2015, was fired after the season and Cockrell has accepted a position as the team’s main hitting coach and will work side-by-side with former Triple-A hitting coach and current Yankees assistant hitting coach Marcus Thames. Not many players and fans knew much about Cockrell before the 2015 season and not many know him today, until now.

Atlee Alan Cockrell was born on December 5, 1962 into a Christian household. Cockrell spent his High School days at Joplin, Missouri’s Parkwood High School where he represented the Parkwood High School Bears. The Bears were the team’s football team, not the school’s baseball team as you would expect, and Cockrell was the team’s starting quarterback. During his tenure there, three seasons as the starting QB, Cockrell led the team to a 31-3 record with 3,499 yards, 44 touchdown passes, 1,541 rushing yards and 36 rushing touchdowns and even kicked 154 PAT’s with eight field goals. Cockrell did it all including the year when he led the Bears to a perfect 14-0 season outscoring their opponents 653-33 and a Missouri State Class 4A High School Championship in 1980. Cockrell’s efforts there led him to take a scholarship at the University of Tennessee to be the team’s starting quarterback.

Cockrell was the first ever true freshman to start for the Volunteers when he did so in 1981 but five games into his Tennessee football career he suffered a major knee injury that threatened his college and professional career. Cockrell led the Vols to a 6-5-1 record in 1982 and a 9-3 season in 1983 including a Florida Citrus Bowl win over Boomer Esiason and the Maryland Terrapins in his final game with the school. The San Francisco Giants drafted Cockrell in the first round of the 1984 Draft, 9th overall, and his love for baseball drowned out any aspirations to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League.

Cockrell played nine seasons in the minor leagues for five different organizations before finally making his Major League debut in 1996 with the Colorado Rockies. Cockrell had a strikeout against Billy Wagner and a double off future Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine in Atlanta before playing in his final MLB game on September 29, 1996. Cockrell bounced around various minor league affiliates inside the Rockies organization as a manager and hitting coach before returning to the Majors as the Rockies hitting coach in 2007. Under Cockrell the Rockies slugged their way to a National League Championship and a trip to the World Series before running into the red hot Boston Red Sox. Under Cockrell the Rockies led the league in on-base percentage, batting average and total hits although it was not enough to keep Cockrell in a job after the team fired him before the 2009 season.

Cockrell was named the Seattle Mariners hitting coach in 2010 replacing Alonzo Powell but unfortunately for him he was the first out four coaches who were relieved of their duties alongside then manager Don Wakamatsu. Cockrell was out of the game completely until the New York Yankees came calling in January of 2015.

Cockrell and his SwingPath Coach training device he invented will now bring his talents to New York to be their hitting coach. How will the Yankees offense respond? I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned, either way congrats to Cockrell. After the career, the setbacks and the life in the game that you’ve had you have definitely earned your stay here in the Bronx.

TGP Prospects Month Top 29 Prospects List - #5 Robert Refsnyder

Without further blabbing on Robert Refsnyder I'll try and keep this quick. Refsnyder is one of those guys we all know by now, he made two separate stops in Yankee Stadium in 2015 and he was the team's starting second baseman against Dallas Keuchel in the AL Wild Card Playoff Round game last season. We all know there are defensive concerns associated with Refsnyder and we all know why, he was drafted as a right fielder out of Arizona University and is still learning the position and the infield as a whole. There is likely nothing I can tell you about Robert Refsnyder that you don't already know except for the fact that he is the 5th best prospect on my person Top 30 Prospects List as a part of Prospects Month 2016.

5. Robert Refsnyder
6. Domingo Acevedo
7. Dustin Fowler
8. Wilkerman Garcia
9. Ian Clarkin
10. Brady Lail
11. Jacob Lindgren
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Drew Finley
14. Mason Williams
15. Slade Heathcott
16. Abi Avelino
17. Hoy-Jun Park
18. Luis Torrens
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: Domingo German

Domingo German was the fifth piece to move in the trade between the New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins on Friday that saw the Yankees David Phelps and Martin Prado and the Marlins Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones change teams. German is an intriguing prospect, although is likely to start in High A Ball in 2016, after coming out of the Marlins and Mariners systems as a highly touted right hander.

When Seattle traded him to Miami he was their 6th best prospect in their system and when Miami let him go to New York he was considered to be their 8th best prospect in the system. German, a native of the Dominican Republic, showcased his talent's in this years Futures Game where he threw a perfect frame as he continued to build on a strong season in Low-A as a starting pitcher. German is 21 years old and entering his age 22 season is likely headed to Tampa with the Tampa Yankees.

German hits 94 MPH with his sinking fastball and compliments it with a slider he is working on and what is considered to be an above average changeup. German posted a 9-3 record last season with a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts and 123.1 IP while striking out 113 and only surrendering 25 walks.

German missed the 2015 season with Tommy John surgery and looks to come all the way back in 2016.

2016 Pre-season Top 30 Yankees Prospects (via The Bronx Empire)

by: Ben Embry from The Bronx

Ladies and gentlemen, it's prospect season!  And every high profile baseball publication/website is in the process of issuing their Top 100 overall and top 10 system rankings.  I like to publish my own and have been doing so for the past few seasons.  Before I reveal my top 30 prospects in the Yankees system let me make this disclaimer: I'm not a scout, nor am I pretending to be one.  These rankings do not reflect my personal opinion but rather the collective opinions of publications like Baseball America and ESPN as well as other blogs dedicated to the Yankees such as River Ave Blues and Bronx Baseball Daily.  My only involvement is doing a weighted average of the source material.  Without further delay, here's the top 30 prospects in the Yankees farm system:

1Aaron JudgeRF1992
2Jorge MateoSS1995
3Gary SanchezC1992
4James KaprielianSP1994
5Wilkerman GarciaSS/3B1998
6Domingo AcevedoSP1994
7Dustin FowlerCF/RF1994
8Rob Refsnyder2B/LF1991
9Ian ClarkinSP1995
10Tyler WadeSS1994
11Jacob LindgrenRP1993
12Drew FinleySP1996
13Brady LailSP1993
14Miguel Andujar3B1995
15Luis TorrensC1996
16Mason WilliamsCF1991
17Hoy-Jun ParkSS1996
18Slade HeathcottCF1990
19Luis CessaRP1992
20Kyle HolderSS1994
21Abiatal AvelinoSS/2B1995
22Ben GamelRF1992
23Thairo EstradaSS1996
24Trey AmburgeyOF1994
25Jordan MontgomerySP1992
26Leonardo MolinaCF1997
27Jeff DeganoSP1992
28Chance AdamsRP1994
29Dermis Garcia3B1998
30Austin DeCarrSP1995

I tend to agree with this board and in fact the first 6 picks match what I ended up with last Fall. I was way low on Fowler, which happens every year in some way or another. Sometimes when you're reading the tea leaves you just mis-interpret how well guys are liked or not liked. I thought two years ago the industry was relatively high on Jaron Long and ranked him 30th in my postseason rankings. Then the pundits weighed in and it was clear that was nowhere close.

I also do separate rankings for hitters and pitchers, which can be found here. First the hitters:

1Aaron JudgeRF1992
2Jorge MateoSS1995
3Gary SanchezC1992
4Wilkerman GarciaSS/3B1998
5Dustin FowlerCF/RF1994
6Rob Refsnyder2B/LF1991
7Tyler WadeSS1994
8Miguel Andujar3B1995
9Luis TorrensC1996
10Mason WilliamsCF1991
11Hoy-Jun ParkSS1996
12Slade HeathcottCF1990
13Kyle HolderSS1994
14Abiatal AvelinoSS/2B1995
15Ben GamelRF1992
16Thairo EstradaSS1996
17Trey AmburgeyOF1994
18Leonardo MolinaCF1997
19Dermis Garcia3B1998
20Jhalan JacksonOF1993
21Juan de LeonCF/RF1998
22Nelson Gomez3B1997
23Tyler AustinRF/1B1991
24Miguel FlamesC/3B1997
25Diego CastilloSS/2B1997
26Brayan EmeryRF1998
27Donny Sands3B1996
28Carlos VidalLF1995
29Angel AguilarSS/3B1995
30Alexander PalmaRF1995

And now, the pitchers:

1James KaprielianSP1994
2Domingo AcevedoSP1994
3Ian ClarkinSP1995
4Jacob LindgrenRP1993
5Drew FinleySP1996
6Brady LailSP1993
7Luis CessaRP1992
8Jordan MontgomerySP1992
9Jeff DeganoSP1992
10Chance AdamsRP1994
11Austin DeCarrSP1995
12Domingo GermanSP1992
13Cale CoshowSP/RP1992
14Ty HensleySP1993
15James PazosRP1991
16Nick RumbelowRP1991
17Jonathan HolderSP1993
18Jordan FoleySP/RP1993
19Chaz HebertSP1992
20Nestor CortesSP/RP1994
21Vicente CamposSP/RP1992
22Caleb SmithSP/RP1991
23Johnny BarbatoRP1992
24Nick GoodyRP1991
25Tyler WebbRP1990
26Simon de la RosaSP1993
27Josh RogersSP1994
28Gilmael TroyaSP/RP1997
29Alexander VargasSP1997
30Luis CedenoSP/RP1994

Any thoughts? Let me know at @thebronxempire on Twitter. I love the conversation. Have a good day!