Run by Josh Norris, The Trentonian's Thunder beat writer, this blog will cover the team, as well as the Eastern League and Minor League Baseball as a whole.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Jose Valdez siigns with Astros
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Yankees Minor League Free Agents
RHP: Paul Bush (Trenton), Michael Gardner (Trenton), Justin Pope (Trenton), Humberto Sanchez (S-WB), Jay Stephens (Trenton), Jose Valdez (S-WB)
C: Brian Peterson (S-WB), Chris Stewart (S-WB)
3B: Eric Duncan (S-WB), Carlos Mendoza(Trenton), Cody Ransom (S-WB), Marcos Vechionacci (Trenton)SS: Doug Bernier (S-WB)
OF: Edwar Gonzalez (Trenton), Freddy Guzman (S-WB), Richie Robnett (Trenton), John Rodriguez (S-WB)
Of the 17 players listed here, two are coaches within the system (Mendoza, Pope), three were acquired by the Yankees midseason (Bush, Robnett, Guzman) and two will get World Series rings (Guzman, Ransom).
There's gonna be a few changes around here ...
In that vein, today we're going to take a quick look at how the Yankees players have done in the Arizona Fall League, and pass along a few things an American League scout said about a couple of the pitchers.
All of New York's players are on the Surprise Rafters, who, after a strong start, find themselves in the cellar of the of the AFL West, behind the Peoria Javelinas. On an individual level, however, there are certainly a few standouts.
First and foremost is outfielder Colin Curtis, who spent parts of this season and last with the Thunder. Overall, Curtis, who was a moderate power threat in Trenton, boasts a batting line .377/.456/1.122. Nearly half of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases (three home runs), and he's racked up 14 RBIs in the process.
Not bad for a guy who some project as a fourth outfielder at best.
The other outstanding Yankees performance belongs to third baseban Brandon Laird, who has not seen any time in Trenton yet, but could be there in 2010. After smacking 13 home runs all season with Tampa, the Cypress CC alumnus has six with Suprise. He's hitting .337/.406/1.046 with Surprise, a marked improvement that could be attributed to either small sample size or facing inexperienced (if talented) pitching.
On the pitching side, most believe the most talented of the Yankees crop is reliever Michael Dunn. In fact, one scout told me this morning that Dunn is going to be "better than Phil Coke" and could be a 7th-inning guy instead of just a situational left-hander.
A former outfielder, Dunn sits at around 93-94 with his fastball and pairs it with a good breaking pitch. He does tend to get into a bit of trouble with his control, but that should subside with experience.
Ian Kennedy, who missed most of 2009 recovering from an aneuyrsm in his pitching arm, has also gotten some innings under his belt in Arizona. With the Rafters, Kennedy has gone 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA. He's given up a hit per inning pitched, but has walked just five in 24 2/3 frames. A scout who saw Kennedy pitch says he is "100 percent recovered" from the surgery and looks the same as ever.
Zach Kroenke and Grant Duff are both also with Surprise, but neither has had spectacular results. Duff has a 2.89 ERA with five walks in 9 1/3 innings, and Kroenke has a 5.28 ERA and has allowed two home runs in 15 1/3 innings.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Some quick offseason doings
- Earlier today, the Red Sox dealt two relievers -- Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez -- to the Marlins for outfielder Jeremy Hermida, a guy still trying to realize his loads of potential. This seems like an extension of the "Buy 'em cheap and hope they produce" strategy that stuck them with John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Rocco Baldelli and Takashi Saito. This time, though, Hermida is expected to be a backup.
- The Angels smartly re-signed outfielder Bobby Abreu to a two-year deal. Abreu had one of the most cost-effective seasons out there in 2009, going .293/.390/.825 with 15 HRs, 103 RBIs and 30 (!) SBs. Good job by Tony Reagins, Arte Moreno and company to get that done quickly. He will make $19 million over the next two seasons.
- The Rays dealt infielder Akinori Iwamura, largely rendered a spare part this season by the emergence of Ben Zobrist as an All-Star at second base. Tampa Bay shipped Iwamura to the pirates, receiving middle reliever Jesse Chavez in return.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
What a Series
In any case, the Pedro vs. Pettitte matchup wasn't exactly the stuff of legend, but the Yankees stalwart did just enough to lead his team through 5 1/3 innings before handing the ball to Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte (whose brilliance in October-November came out of nowhere) and eventually Mariano Rivera, closer nonpareil.
Of course, there also was Hideki Matsui's absolute monster of a game. Six RBIs, tying Bobby Richardson's (who knew?) record, and coming a triple short of what would have been the first cycle in World Series history.
For me, the most gratifying part of this postseason has been the rebirth of Alex Rodriguez, finally getting the monkey (and N.Y. media) off his back. It had become extremely frustrating to defend why having the best player in baseball on your team is not a negative.
All the home runs (first instant replay home run in regular season and WS), RBIs and defensive plays when it mattered most made this one just a little more special.
Congrats to all the guys who got their first rings, and to the four who got their fifth.