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.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Justin Shackil Interview
Without further adieu, here's the video:
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Baseball America's Top 30
1. Jesus Montero
2. Austin Romine
3. Arodys Vizcaino (dealt to ATL)
4. Slade Heathcott
5. Zach McAllister
6. Manny Banuelos
7. Gary Sanchez
8. J.R. Murphy
9. Jeremy Bleich
10. Andrew Brackman
11. Bryan Mitchell
12. Mike Dunn (since traded to ATL)
13. Corban Joseph
14. Eduardo Nunez
15. Mark Melancon
16. Ivan Nova
17. D.J. Mitchell
18. Melky Mesa
19. Kelvin DeLeon
20. Jose Ramirez
21. Graham Stoneburner
22. David Adams
23. Caleb Cotham
24. Hector Noesi
25. David Phelps
26. Adam Warren
27. Kevin Russo
28. Dellin Betances
29. Jairo Heredia
30. Jamie Hoffmann
Of this list, eight players (Montero, Dunn, McAllister, Russo, Nova, Bleich, Nunez and Melancon) have seen time in Trenton, while five (Mitchell, Adams, Romine, Bleich, Noesi) are projected to open the season with the Thunder.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Question No. 4 - Reinforcements, anyone?
Mitchell's name came up during a conversation with Yankees pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras last season. Here's what he had to say.
"Mitchell just went from Charleston to Tampa. He’s a kid that during instructional league learned his change-up and learned the curveball. He’s got real power sink with his fastball, so I believe he’s going to come fast. He’s a very good athlete."
Contreras also mentioned Brackman during last season's chat.
"Brackman is learning delivery, learning what it is to be in professional baseball — this is his first year coming off the injury, so he’s learning. That’s where he’s at, he’s in Charleston learning the game of professional baseball."
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Jose Gil gets invite to camp
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Question No. 5: How about the outfield?
Center field, it seems, is all but guaranteed to Austin Krum, who did a solid job replacing the demoted Seth Fortenberry, who opened 2009 in Trenton. Fortenberry had major issues with the bat, though, and wasn't nearly making up for it in the field. Even his much-hyped arm -- honored by Baseball America as tops among the system's outfielders -- was nowhere to be found.
Krum came up in June and immediately acted as a sort of Brett Gardner Lite. He hit .272 with the team, drove in 14 runs and swiped 11 bases in 13 tries. He also flashed an above average -- if at times inaccurate -- arm.
The bigger question is: Who will serve as Krum's bookends in right and left fields?
Although I'm not terribly sure Thunder fans want to hear this, Edwar Gonzalez may once again fill one of those slots.
After a 2008 season during which he acted as a key piece in the middle of the Thunder's order, the 27-year-old had a big letdown in 2009. He hit just .232 with a paltry four home runs and 37 RBIs. Part of the reason for the downturn -- more, in fact, than Gonzalez may let on -- could have had to do with a shoulder injury he suffered in the season's early going.
Gonzalez was on the shelf from April 25 until May 14, and wasn't nearly the same after that. Consider that when he went down he was hitting .326, but was so sapped after resuming his season that the average dropped 94 points.
If the 2008 and early 2009 Gonzalez shows up, then the Thunder could be in for a pleasant surprise. If not, then it may be a return to the tepid that ultimately did them in last season.
Joining Krum and Gonzalez, I think, will be Dan Brewer, a 22-year-old from Illinois who split last season between Charleston and Tampa, seeing success at both stops. He accrued a season line of .306/.393/.828 with six home runs, 48 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 30 tries.
He also made just three errors in the outfield last season (adding one at first base) and threw out four runners attempting to advance.
Just looking at the stats, Brewer seems like another Krum type, but with a bit better bat.
Yankees invite five more to camp, including Laird, Pope and Vazquez
INF Brandon Laird, 22, hit .266 (120-for-451) with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 75 RBI in a career-high 124 games with Single-A Tampa in 2009, tying for third among all Yankees minor leaguers and leading the Florida State League in RBI. Following the season, played with the Surprise Rafters and was named to the Arizona Fall League Top Prospects Team. Laird was originally selected by the Yankees in the 27th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He is the brother of Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird.
RHP D.J. Mitchell, 22, made his professional debut in 2009, combining to go 12-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 25 appearances (24 starts) with Single-A Charleston and Single-A Tampa. Among all Yankees minor leaguers, ranked second in strikeouts (125), tied for second in wins and ranked fourth in ERA. Mitchell was selected by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and is attending his first spring camp.
RHP Ryan Pope, 23, spent the 2009 season with Double-A Trenton, going 5-12 with a 4.78 ERA in 26 appearances (25 starts) and striking out 106 batters with only 34 walks. Pope was selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, becoming the first player ever drafted out of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
INF Jorge Vazquez, 27, was a 10-year veteran of the Mexican League prior to signing with the Yankees in December 2008. He made his Double-A debut in 2009, batting .329 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI in 57 games for Trenton before missing the final two months of the season on the disabled list with a left wrist sprain. He played for Team Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic prior to the season, batting .294 (5-for-17) with one home run and five RBI in five games.
RHP Dustin Moseley, 28, made three starts with Los Angeles-AL in 2009, going 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA, before being placed on the disabled list in April with right forearm tightness. He also underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left hip in August. In 64 career appearances (23 starts)—all with the Angels—has gone 8-7 with a 5.41 ERA. Moseley was originally selected by Cincinnati in Compensation Round A (34th overall) of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Yankees re-sign Gonzalez, Bush and Vechionacci
I'll have more on this later.
Question No. 6: Who will do the backup catching?
Thunder announce new broadcasting team
Monday, February 8, 2010
Yankees Invite 20 to Spring Training
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Question No. 7
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Question No. 8
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Question No. 9: Who's on ... shortstop?
Monday, February 1, 2010
With opening day (featuring the World Series trophy) just 64 days away -- and pitchers and catchers reporting in just more than two weeks -- now seems as good a time as any to ask a few questions about what the Thunder might look like against the Erie SeaWolves come April 8.