After days of me waiting impatiently by my mailbox, Baseball America's annual prospect handbook has arrived. The top 10 prospects were announced months ago, but I had to wait until today to see prospects 20-31. Here they are, with videos linked to as many players as I can find on my YouTube channel
13 - Bryan Mitchell
17 - Austin Romine
20 - Austin Aune
22 - Greg Bird
24 - Adam Warren
26 - Matt Tracy
29 - Tommy Kahnle
Of those 21 players, I think eight could see time with Trenton this year. I'd expect Flores, Turley, Murphy, Ramirez, Kahnle and perhaps Tracy to start here. If everything goes well, Mitchell and Black could find their way into the rotation by season's end.
That's saying nothing of top 10 prospects Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin and Angelo Gumbs, all of whom could see time at Waterfront Park. BA posits that Jose Campos and Rafael DePaula could start as high as High-A Tampa, though I'd imagine Campos starts back at Charleston. DePaula could start at either Staten Island or Charleston.
Speaking of Tracy, I'd more or less forgotten about him when doing my roster projections. Frankly, I didn't realize he'd got as many innings as he did. Plus, when Tampa's season ended he earned a spot start with Triple-A Scranton. He's plenty qualified for a jump to Trenton in April.
With that in mind, there are now six names in the mix for five Double-A rotation spots:
1. Mikey O'Brien
2. Nik Turley
3. Jose Ramirez
4. Zach Nuding
5. Matt Tracy
6. Shane Greene
If the Yankees take both David Phelps and Ivan Nova on their opening day roster, then there's a chance O'Brien would be bumped to Scranton to start things. If not, then either Greene or Tracy could start the year at Tampa, or someone (Greene would be my best guess) could start the year as a multiple-inning guy in Trenton's bullpen.
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Old friend Andrew Brackman found another home today, reports Baseball America's Matt Eddy. The towering right-hander signed on with the White Sox, who last year did a fine job of taking a former Yankees farmhand and turning him into something worthwhile.
Sources around last year's trade deadline told me the White Sox also had interest in acquiring Dellin Betances and turning him over to Triple-A pitching coach Richard Dotson, whom the organization holds in high regard for his ability to work with young arms.
I'd imagine that'd be the same plan with Brackman, who, for all his issues, still has intriguing stuff. If Dotson -- not to mention big league pitching coach Don Cooper -- can do something with Brackman, it could be a small coup.
Former Scranton reliever Manny Delcarmen has also found a new home. The Orioles, again according to Eddy, snatched him up. Delcarmen was 3-5 with a 4.42 ERA over 39 appearances (two starts) with Scranton.
The Thunder's shortstop situation seems to have gotten a lot clearer over the past few days. Baseball America's Minor League Free Agent Tracker shows that the Yankees have re-signed Walter Ibarra, who was slated to be Trenton's everyday shortstop entering 2012.
Two finger injuries and an Addison Maruszak breakout put the kibosh on those plans and relegated Ibarra to just 44 games. His return ends any thought of Jose Mojica at Arm and Hammer Park and would seem to push Reegie Corona out of the picture.
MLB.com released its list of its top 100 prospects on Tuesday evening. As was to be expected, three Yankees were named. Sanchez checked in at No. 36, Williams at 41 and Austin at 75.