Today, I'm going to wrap up my look at the Yankee farm system by evaluating both of their A-ball clubs, the Tampa Yankees and Charleston RiverDogs. Luckily for fans the Evil Empire, there is some talent hidden in the Yankee system even if it is buried in Single-A.
There's no reason to pretend I have anything else meaningful to say before getting into the stats, so here you go:
|Tampa Yankees Batting Stats|
Twenty to twenty-one is considered age appropriate for High A Ball. That means Erold Andrus, Rodolfo Guillen, Hector Made and Joshua Ellison. Of that group, none have shown plate patience or power. That's more likely to make Red Sox fans than Yankees fans happy. Even though it isn't what we're really looking for, they also aren't hitting for average.
I suppose the biggest positive you can find is that they don't strike out very much, but that really seems to be more an effect of refusal to work the count than anything else.
Urick and Zamora should probably get a look in Double-A, but they need to start climbing through the system soon since both are close to being old for Triple-A and are still languishing in Tampa. It shouldn't be hard to find room for them, at least. Both Columbus and Trenton, for lack of a better word, suck.
|Tampa Yankees Pitching Stats|
I know I promised that there was talent and I wasn't lying. His name is Tyler Clippard. 10.32 K/9 is outstanding. 2.91 BB/9 is very solid. 3.55 K/BB is excellent. He's also giving up less than one gopher ball per nine. The kid is a legitimate prospect and if he continues to dominate should get a promotion in the not-to-distant future.
Abel Gomez, Brett Smith and Michael Knox are the other age appropriate pitchers on the team. Bret Smith is terrible, but both Gomez and Knox are putting up strong strikeout numbers even if their control has not yet developed. Power numbers are more important than control at this point anyway.
Knox is only a reliever, though, and his sample size is incredibly small. Gomez, despite his inability to find the strike zone on occasion appears to only be wild outside the zone as he has allowed only one ball to leave the yard this season.
The rest of the staff is not particularly impressive. Jason Jones and his obscene 0.81 BB/9 jumps out as does Paul Thorp's 3.57 K/BB. Both probably deserve to get a look in Double-A.
The team is, as the others, relatively old with a median age of 23 and an average mark of 22.6.
|Charleston RiverDogs Batting Stats|
The appropriate age for Low-A ball is "Under 21." If you can legally drink, you shouldn't still be here. That means Tim Battle, Marcos Vechionacci, Estee Harris and Irwil Rojas. None of them have quite reached one walk per ten at-bats, but Battle and Harris are very close. And Battle is only 19! Battle and Harris also have shown that they can hammer the ball putting up XBH% of .455 and .486 respectively. Unfortunately, although Tim is managing a respectable .262 BA, Estee can't seem to break .200.
Amongst the legal drinking age crowd, 23 y/o Cody Ehlers and 22 y/o Jordan Devoir stand out. Ehlers is drawing a free pass at a freakish rate. and is doing so while rarely striking out and hitting for respectable power. Ehlers is also batting .294 (.286 at the time the stats were originally compiled). I'm not sure why he's still in Low-A. Promote him and see if he can do that against better competition. Devoir, in 45 AB's, is drawing walks and hitting for reasonable power, but can't make consistent contact. I only mention him because nobody else is even managing that.
Cabrera, Gonzalez and Jones deserve honorable mention for having decent batting averages and Marcos Vechionacci deserves it for being only 18.
|Charleston RiverDogs Pitching Stats|
Learn the name Philip Hughes. If the New York Yankees weren't so insistent on trading away all of their talented minor leaguers, I'd suggest that Yankee fans go order jerseys with the kid's name on them.
Hughes and Christian Garcia are the only age appropriate prospects on the staff, but they are very impressive. Hughes is quite possibly the best prospect the Yankees have. At only 18 y/o, Philip is punching out 9.43 per nine while walking only 2.1. 4.50 K/BB is just amazing. Garcia is nearly matching him in the strike out numbers, but his control is no where near Philip's.
No other member of the Charleston staff is under 22, but a number of them are dominating. T.J. Beam, Josh Smith, Saydel Beltran, and Michael Gardner are all posting K/BB ratios of over 4.00. Remember, 2.00 is good and 3.00 is what you expect out of a top level prospect (at the appropriate level). Only Beam has pitched a substantial number of innings, however. If he's going to be given a shot, Beam needs to be promoted relatively soon as he's already old for Triple-A.
Again, the team is old for its level with both the average and median age at 22.
Update [2005-6-16 0:17:55 by Richard B. Wade]: I left off the spreadsheets this time. If people want them, let me know and I'll add them.