Results tagged ‘ Gary Sanchez ’

Yanks coordinators talk Sanchez, Clarkin and Lindgren

By Mark Emery / MiLB.com

Inevitably and for infinite reasons, big-name prospects get snubbed from MiLB.com’s Organization All-Stars series every offseason.

Our 2014 Yankees feature ran on MiLB.com today. For informed input regarding the picks, I spoke with hitting coordinator James Rowson and pitching coordinator Danny Borrell.

In addition to discussing the 12 players who were honored, we talked about several notable prospects who narrowly missed being named to the list, including catcher Gary Sanchez (New York’s second-ranked prospect and MLB.com’s No. 69 overall) and lefties Ian Clarkin (NY’s No. 4) and Jacob Lindgren (NY’s No. 9). While Sanchez was outperformed at his position, Lindgren’s innings total was simply too small. And as for Clarkin, his omission had to do with both performance and time on the field.

Here is what the experts had to say about that trio of Top 10 prospects.

sanchezGary Sanchez, Trenton (110 games): In the Double-A Eastern League this past season, the recently-turned 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic posted a .270/.338/.406 slash line with 19 doubles, 13 home runs, 65 RBIs, 43 walks and 91 strikeouts. Behind the plate, he compiled a .980 fielding percentage and threw out 38.9 percent of would-be basestealers (37 of 95) during his fifth professional season.

“I think Gary is still developing,” Rowson said. “I think Gary is a great talent. I think throughout the industry everyone knows the amount of talent he has. He’s still a young kid and he’s continuing to develop offensively and defensively, just overall I think. You can’t rush that. There’s no specific timetable on when that’s going to be ready. But when you look at the raw skills and the raw talent, he’s as talented as anybody out there.”

clarkinIan Clarkin, Charleston (16 games), Tampa (one game): A year after making just three starts, the 33rd pick of the 2013 Draft appeared in only 17 games this past season. Over 75 innings, he went 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA, piling up 75 strikeouts against 23 walks. He ended the season with a .258 average against and a 1.25 WHIP.

“He was limited, and that’s obviously one thing that doesn’t count, is the extended spring training innings,” Borrell said. “He had his innings, and he came up to Tampa and made his one start in Tampa, and we just shut him down after that. We’re going to build on that coming up next year, but heck, Ian went from, once again, extended up to Tampa as a 19-year-old.

“From the kid I saw when we drafted him in 2013 as a first-rounder, kind of wild, kind of erratic with his fastball, and then he comes to Spring Training this season and then comes up to Tampa for his last start, man, the curveball is obviously a great pitch, it’s going to be a plus pitch for him. The changeup is going to be another plus pitch. His fastball control in the zone was so much better than it was after he signed. So, a testament to him and how he adjusted.”

lindgrenJacob Lindgren, GCL Yankees 1 (one game), Class A Charleston (four games), Tampa (six games), Trenton (eight games): The 21-year-old from Mississippi State was taken by the Yankees in the second round of the June Draft, and in his first season he worked his way up from the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League all the way to the Double-A Eastern League. In 25 frames spread over 19 games, he went 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA, ending with 48 strikeouts, 13 walks, a .135 opponents’ average and a 1.00 WHIP.

“That guy is as filthy as they come,” Borrell said. “I’m sure he’ll be knocking on the door of New York soon, especially with his combination, fastball/slider.”

Prospect Roundup: Games of June 20

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com features:

Frankie Viola pins remarkable return on knuckleball

MiLB.com news:

Brawl yields seven suspensions, Pirates 1B Stetson Allie to DL

MiLB.com game stories:

Red Sox LHP Henry Owens dazzles in second shutout for Sea Dogs

Red Sox 1B Tim Roberson drives in seven for Greenville

Red Sox CF/2B Mookie Betts delivers clutch hit for PawSox

Cubs SS Javier Baez gets three hits, drives in four for I-Cubs

Cubs C/OF Kyle Schwarber goes yard in second game with Kane County

Brewers 1B Nick Ramirez goes long twice in Stars’ romp

Mariners RHP Dylan Unsworth changes attitude, piles up 12 strikeouts

Rays RHP Nolan Gannon fans eight over six scoreless frames

Nationals 3B Brandon Laird homers for fourth straight game

Reds RHP Sal Romano tosses six scoreless for Dayton

Other top prospect performances:

Yankees C Gary Sanchez, Double-A Trenton: 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R — After hitting .316 in April, Sanchez has struggled in the Eastern league, hitting .222 in 38 games since. The homer was his first of June and just the third extra-base hit he’s had this month.

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Prospect Roundup: Games of May 26

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com game stories:

Cubs SS Javier Baez leads Iowa with bat, glove and legs

Padres C Matt Branham hurls six hitless innings for Missions

Orioles 1B Christian Walker homers twice, leads EL with 14 blasts 

Yankees C Gary Sanchez keeps on hitting for Thunder

Mets LHP Darin Gorski tosses first career shutout for B-Mets

Padres RHP Matt Wisler returns to form in first PCL win

Angels OF Mike Fish belts two homers, including walk-off

Rays RHP Ryne Stanek earns first win in fourth start post-surgery

Indians RHP Joseph Colon goes the distance for ‘Ducks

Other top prospect performances:

Cubs 2B Arismendy Alcantara, Triple-A Iowa: 4-for-4, 2B, 3B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB — A little bit of everything from Alcantara in this game. The 22-year-old has been hot of late (1.131 OPS over past 10 games), but his recent run has been overshadowed by double-play partner Javier Baez. (more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of May 23

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com news:

Albuquerque looking to move on from Olivo-Guerrero incident

MiLB.com game stories:

Cardinals LHP Marco Gonzales turns Midland’s patience against it

Tigers RHP Jonathon Crawford fans nine over seven shutout frames 

Mariners OF Leon Landry hitting .700 over past six games

Rangers RHP Luke Jackson keeps curve in command in gem

Rays C Jake DePew tosses 3 1/3 scoreless frames in extras win

Yankees 3B Dante Bichette Jr., busts out with five RBIs

Marlins 1B Felix Munoz collects five hits in Greensboro blowout

Yankees LHP Jeremy Bleich fans 10 over seven shutout frame

Padres OF Yeison Asencio goes long twice in five-hit game

Mariners 3B D.J. Peterson goes long twice for Mavericks

Other top prospect performances:

Pirates OF Gregory Polanco, Triple-A Indianapolis: 1-for-5, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB, 2 K — Polanco’s three-run blast — a long ball most would require a nine iron to hit — tied the game for Indianapolis in the fourth inning. For all he’s done this season to prove his readiness for the Majors, the homer was just Polanco’s sixth.

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Prospect Roundup: Games of April 27

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com game stories:

Nationals OF Michael Taylor belts three homers

Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino dominates in longest pro outing

Orioles 3B Manny Machado doing damage in California League

Rockies 3B Ryan McMahon belts grand slam, drives in six

D-backs RHP Aaron Blair delivers best start yet for Hawks

Pirates OF Josh Bell plates a career-high five runs

Reds RHP Jon Moscot tosses eight scoreless frames

Tigers LHP Kevin Ziomek strikes out six in eight-inning gem

Other top prospect performances:

Indians RHP Trevor Bauer, Triple-A Columbus: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K, HR — Bauer has been exception with the Clippers, posting a 1.40 ERA in four starts and striking out 28 batters in 25 2/3 innings. The homer was his first allowed. The 23-year-old spent the offseason retooling his unique mechanics, and all evidence points toward him having figured some things out. (more…)

Prospect Roundup: Games of April 9, 2014

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com game stories:

Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker fans 10 in rehab outing, says he’s 100 percent

A’s Russell out month-plus with torn hamstring

Red Sox LHP Henry Owens strikes out nine in 6/23 scoreless

Kansas City OF Brett Eibner drives in nine

Yankees 3B Eric Jagielo homers in third straight game

Mariners RHP Edwin Diaz hits 96 mph, strikes out eight

Astros 2B Tony Kemp plates career-high six

Mets RHP Akeel Morris fans nine over three innings

Red Sox OF Manuel Margot goes yard twice              

White Sox RHP James Dykstra retires 17 straight

Other prospect performances of note:

Houston C Max Stassi, Triple-A Oklahoma City: 1-for-3, HR, BB, RBI, R — Backstop has homers in consecutive games, hitting .333 thus far for the RedHawks.

St. Louis OF Oscar Taveras, Triple-A Memphis: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R — Second homer of the season for Taveras, though he’s hitting just .192 with six strikeouts in 26 at-bats.

Washington OF Steven Souza Jr., Triple-A Syracuse: 3-for-4, HR, BB, 5 RBI, R — 2007 third-rounder finally started to put things together in 2012, raked in 2013 and is continuing to thrive in his Triple-A debut, hitting .278 with a .458 on-base percentage and a .903 OPS through six games.

Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman, Triple-A Buffalo: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 8 K — Blue Jays righty now has 12 strikeouts in 10 innings over two starts, but the walks piled up for him at Lehigh Valley.

Tampa Bay OF Jerry Sands, Triple-A Durham: 3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI — Former top Dodgers prospect is destroying the International League right now, slashing .370/.433/.815 with six doubles and two homers in seven games.

San Francisco OF Gary Brown, Triple-A San Francisco: 3-for-5, 3B, 2B, 2 R, RBI — A second three-hit game in four days may be a sign that the ex-top Giants prospect is putting two poor seasons behind him.

San Francisco LHP Ty Blach, Double-A Richmond: 6 IP, 5 H, BB — Blach got 10 ground outs compared to five fly outs while out-dueling Baltimore prospect Eduardo Rodriguez.

Minnesota 1B Kennys Vargas, Double-A New Britain: 2-for-3, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R — First Double-A homer for the big first baseman, who entered 2-for-20 with the Rock Cats.

Philadelphia RHP Severino Gonzalez, Double-A Reading: 7 IP, 5 H, ER, 4 K — The 21-year-old has a 1.50 ERA with seven strikeouts and just one walk through two starts.

New York (AL) C Gary Sanchez, Double-A Trenton: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs — Second straight multi-hit game for Sanchez, who’s batting .364 with 1.143 OPS in six Double-A games this year.

Chicago (NL) RHP C.J. Edwards, Double-A Tennessee: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K — Edwards boasts a 0.93 ERA through two Double-A starts, though he’s also walked five in 9 2/3 frames.

Miami C J.T. Realmuto, Double-A Jacksonville: 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Oakland 3B Renato Nunez, Class A Advanced Stockton: 3-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, R, K — Twenty-year-old is hitting .355 with .975 thus far.

Chicago (NL) 1B Dan Vogelbach, Class A Advanced Daytona: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, R — First FSL homer for Vogelbach, hitting just .182 thus far.

St. Louis RHP Marco Gonzales, Class A Advanced Palm Beach: 5 IP, 3 H, 7 K — Gonzalez posted a 1.62 ERA in four Florida State League starts last season, continued to dominate in first start of 2014.

Colorado SS Trevor Story, Class A Advanced Modesto: 3-for-5, 2B, SB, 2 K — Rockies prospect is hitting .387 with 1.102 OPS through seven games in return to California League.

Atlanta RHP Lucas Sims, Class A Advanced Lynchburg: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 K

Houston CF Teoscar Hernandez, Class A Advanced Lancaster: 2-for-4, HR, 3B, BB, 2 RBI, R

Texas RHP Collin Wiles, Class A Hickory: 7 IP, 6 H, 6 K — The 2012 first-rounder has tossed seven scoreless innings with six hits, one walk and six strikeouts in his full-season debut.

Miami LHP Jarlin Garcia, Class A Greensboro: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 K — Garcia has 11-to-1 K/BB ratio through 10 innings in his full-season debut thus far; posting 0.90 ERA, .194 average against.

Minnesota RHP Aaron Slegers, Class A Cedar Rapids: 6 IP, 4 H, ER, 6 K — Quality start from the 6-foot-10 2013 fifth-rounder.

San Francisco SS Christian Arroyo, Class A Augusta: 3-for-4, BB, 2 RBI, R, K — 2013 first-rounder was just 2-for-23 in SAL heading into Wednesday.

Oakland RHP Bobby Wahl, Class A Beloit: 5 IP, 7 H, ER, BB, 7 K

Arizona RHP Aaron Blair, Class A South Bend: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K — Fun duel in South Bend last night between Blair and Wahl, a pair of promising right-handers from the 2013 Draft.

Colorado 3B Ryan McMahon, Class A Asheville: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, 2 K — Homers on consecutive days for the 2013 second-rounder.

Cincinnati RHP Nick Travieso, Class A Dayton: 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 1 BB, 6 K — Travieso with a 9-to-1 K/BB ratio through 11 innings in return to Midwest League.

Prospect Roundup: Games of April 8, 2014

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

MiLB.com game stories:

Indians RHP Dylan Baker perfect in Mudcats’ debut

Indians 1B Jesus Aguilar goes yard twice for Clippers

Red Sox RHP Allen Webster grounds up Syracuse

Phillies C Cameron Rupp goes yard again

Cardinals LHP Kyle Helisek tosses six one-hit frames

Braves P Frank Lafreniere, Royals P Austin Fairchild duel in Sally

White Sox RHP Andrew Mitchell spins five hitless innings

Angels 1B C.J. Cron belts walk-off blast for Bees

Padres RHP Joe Ross unfurls six scoreless innings

Whitecaps win home opener three months after ballpark fire

Other prospect performances of note:

Los Angeles (NL) OF Joc Pederson, Triple-A Albuquerque: 2-for-3, HR, 2B, BB, RBI, R — Pederson has homered in three of his past four games, going 8-for-14 with four walks ever since going 0-for-3 on Opening Day. The Palo Alto, Calif., native is hitting .471 with a laughable 1.630 OPS thus far for the ‘Topes.

Minnesota RHP Trevor May, Triple-A Rochester: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K — After two straight years in Double-A, the right-hander made his Triple-A debut a good one. May has big stuff, evidenced by his 9.44 K/9 in 2013, but has needed to cut down on the walks. Dropping a goose egg in the BB column is as good a start as he could have.

Toronto LHP Sean Nolin, Triple-A Buffalo: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, BB, 7 K, HR — Strong 2014 debut for the 24-year-old, who now boasts a 1.54 ERA in four Triple-A starts in his career.

Chicago (AL) 3B Matt Davidson, Triple-A Charlotte: 3-for-5, 2B, R — The 23-year-old third base prospect has eight hits this season, and five have been doubles, while posting a .348 average.

Houston C Max Stassi, Triple-A Oklahoma City: 2-for-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI, R — Overshadowed with the ‘Hawks by George Springer, Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana, Stassi is hitting .333 through five Triple-A games, belting his first homer at the level Tuesday.

St. Louis SS Aledmys Diaz, Double-A Springfield: 4-for-5, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI, R — The Cuban shortstop who signed this offseason for $8 million over four years is handling Double-A test well, hitting .412 with a 1.036 OPS through six games. Has also struck out five times without walking in 17 at-bats.

New York (AL) CF Mason Williams, Double-A Trenton: 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, K– Speedy center fielder suffered his first strikeout of the season but also picked up his second and third doubles. Encouraging start for the toolsy Yankees prospect, who has to overcome a mixed reputation due to a history of lackadaisical play and behavioral issues.

New York (AL) C Gary Sanchez, Double-A Trenton: 3-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, R — Hitting .333 with 1.121 OPS through five games.

Kansas City OF Jorge Bonifacio, Double-A Northwest Arkansas – 1-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, R — Bonifacio’s only hitting .095 this season but added a grand slam for his first homer of the season Tuesday and also boasts a .296 OBP thanks to six walks in six games.

San Diego RHP Matt Wisler, Double-A San Antonio: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 7 K, HR — Eleven strikeouts and just one walk for the Padres’ prospect in his first two starts with a 3.38 ERA.

Colorado RHP Eddie Butler, Double-A Tulsa: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 7 K — Butler has 12-to-1 K/BB ratio through 12 IP with Tulsa so far in 2014.

Pittsburgh OF Josh Bell, Class A Advanced Bradenton: 2-for-4, 3B, 2B — 21-year-old outfielder is hitting .412 with a 1.235 OPS through four games, three of which have been multi-hit efforts. Switch-hitter has as many extra-base hits (four) as strikeouts.

Miami RHP Austin Brice, Class A Advanced Jupiter: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K — Brice has finally reached Jupiter after two years at Greensboro.

Arizona 3B Brandon Drury, Class A Advanced Visalia: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, K — Drury’s homered on alternating days through the first six games of the season, belting three round-trippers and posting a 1.080 OPS in his first exposure to the California League.

New York (AL) 3B Eric Jagielo, Class A Advanced Tampa: 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R — 2013 first-rounder has homers in consecutive games and is breaking out after 0-for-10 start. Still has 10 strikeouts in 22 plate appearances, though.

Atlanta SS Jose Peraza, Class A Advanced Lynchburg: 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R, SB — 19-year-old hitting .318 with two steals, two doubles in five games.

Chicago (AL) OF Courtney Hawkins, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem: 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R — Super toolsy 2012 first-rounder is off to a fantastic start with Dash, hitting .421 with three homers, 1.481 OPS through five games. Not a full reclamation just yet, but a very encouraging sign for 20-year-old.

Oakland SS Daniel Robertson, Class A Advanced Stockton: 3-for-5, HR, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R — Monster day for the 20-year-old Ports shortstop. 2012 first-rounder is hitting .480 thus far in the California League.

Oakland OF Billy McKinney, Class A Advanced Stockton: 2-for-7, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 K — Oakland’s No. 2 prospect has three homers through five games.

Pittsburgh SS JaCoby Jones, Class A West Virginia: 3-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R — Very promising start for 2013 third-rounder. Hitting .381 with 1.028 OPS in full-season debut. Toolsy LSU product is playing shortstop exclusively this season after splitting time between the infield and outfield in college.

Toronto OF D.J. Davis, Class A Lansing: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, R — First full-season homer for the 2012 first-rounder, slashing .294/.381/.529 in first five Midwest League contests.

Colorado 3B Ryan McMahon, Class A Asheville: 1-for-3, HR, 4 BB, 5 R, K in two games — Impressive day for McMahon, who stretched his OBP to .435.

Los Angeles (AL) RHP Elliot Morris, Class A Burlington: 5 IP, H, 6 K — Stellar debut for the Angels’ 2013 fourth-rounder. The 21-year-old struck out 25 in 27 1/3 IP with Orem in 2013.

Prospect Roundup: Games of April 6, 2014

By Jake Seiner/MiLB.com

MiLB.com Game Stories:

Blue Jays’ Dwight Smith Jr., takes Cole Hamels yard twice

D-backs’ Archie Bradley throws five scoreless innings

Yankees’ Gary Sanchez powers Thunder through big inning

Lexington Legends turn first triple play in team history

Dodgers’ Joc Pederson off to fast start for ‘Topes

Astros’ Carlos Correa belts first California League homer

Reds’ Ben Lively flirts with perfection

Astros’ David Martinez throw five perfect frames

MiLB.com Bonus Story:

Pirates’ Jameson Taillon to have Tommy John surgery

Other prospect performances of note:

Chicago (AL) 3B Matt Davidson, Triple-A Charlotte: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI – Four of Davidson’s five hits this season have been doubles. Good looks for the White Sox prospect, who some expected to begin the season in Chicago.

Pittsburgh OF Gregory Polanco, Triple-A Indianapolis: 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R – First Triple-A homer for Polanco, who is playing right field in anticipation of a midseason callup to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh RHP Nick Kingham, Double-A Altoona: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K – Better news for the third-ranked right-hander in the Pirates farm system. Curve manager Carlos Garcia reported seeing increased maturity and concentration from Kingham this spring.

Chicago (NL) SS Javier Baez, Triple-A Iowa: 1-for-2, HR, RBI, R – Baez was benched to start Sunday after being ejected from Saturday’s game, but came off the bench to hit a game-tying solo homer in the seventh inning.

Seattle RHP Victor Sanchez, Double-A Jackson: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 1 HR – Solid debut for the 19-year-old prospect.

Pittsburgh C Jin-De Jhang, Class A Advanced Bradenton: 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R – First FSL home run for Jhang, who was aggressively promoted to make room for Reese McGuire at Class A West Virginia.

Colorado OF David Dahl, Class A Asheville: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, R – First full-season home run for Dahl, who played in just 10 games with Asheville last season.

Arizona OF Stryker Trahan, Class A South Bend: 2-for-3, HR, BB 4 RBI, 2 R – First full-season homer for the converted catcher. Two of his four hits have gone for extra bases.

San Francisco OF Gary Brown, Triple-A Fresno: 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, SB, 3 R

Texas RHP Sam Wolff, Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach: 5 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K – 2013 sixth-rounder was a senior sign out of New Mexico, worked a perfect first four innings in his first professional start.

Seattle OF Gabriel Guerrero, Class A Advanced High Desert: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 1 R – Mavericks outfielder is hitting .571 through four games with two extra-base hits. Stellar start in the California League for the 20-year-old.

Houston SS Carlos Correa, Class A Advanced Lancaster: 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R

Los Angeles RHP Jonathan Martinez, Class A Great Lakes: 6 IP, 2 H, 11 K – stellar 2014 debut for the 19-year-old Venezuelan.

Notable Quotables: Thoughts on the Top 100 – 21-30

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com

The Minor League season has come and gone, and sadly, that means Notable Quotables will be heading into hibernation until the games start up against next spring. We’ll still have plenty of regular content, both here on the blog and over at MiLB.com, but to celebrate the end of the 2013 season and the temporary end of this column, we’re going to bring you a “Best Of” from this summer featuring each of MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects.

Below, you’ll find prospects 21-30 (also see: 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100). And over the coming weeks, we’ll bring you more thoughts and reflections from and about the best prospects in the game.

A quick note: Though we managed to feature just about every Top 100 prospect this season, there are a few who evaded our eyes/tape recorders for one reason or another. In that case, rather than leave you hanging, we’re going to drop in one fun fact or statistical quirk of note that hopefully reveals a little something about the player.

21. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Sanchez on his declining walk rate this season:

“It’s absolutely something I’ve paid attention to. … Obviously I walked quite a few guys last year. It’s something the Blue Jays and I wanted to work on this year, and by doing better at it, hopefully it shows I’m taking the things I need to work on seriously.

“Last year was really just a foundation year for me. … It was about learning to pitch every fifth day and getting used to doing that for six or seven months. Now that I’m moved on from that, I’m working on building off that and trying to take things to the next level.”

Aaron Sanchez

22. Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs
Almora on having to miss the start of the season with a broken hand:

“It was super-frustrating. It was actually the first game of Spring Training. … For it to happen like that and to have to miss the beginning of the season, it was tough for me.

“To be honest, I worked my butt off. I worked all morning and whatever I could do baseball-wise, I did it. I just didn’t stop. They told me not to rush it, and that was the best advice that anyone’s ever given me. But you still, as a baseball player, you want to get out there as soon as possible to help your team hard. It was super-hard to control my emotions.”

480 Almora Kane County Cougars

23. George Springer, OF, Houston Astros
Springer on adjusting to Double-A after struggling at the level in 2012:

“You have to understand who you are as a player, understand how other teams will attack and play you. … You have to know the strike zone as a hitter and know what it is you’re trying to do. All that has to be made up before you step into the box.

“You focus in on getting a good pitch to hit, and that helps you slow the game down. It’s just one of those things where, with experience, things will slow down. You go out and attempt to slow it down by just slowing it down, strange as that sounds.”

24. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners
Hultzen on rehabbing a shoulder injury:

“I got some good work down in Arizona. Now I’m just trying to do what I was doing before, so it was nice to be able to do that, nice to be back competing in Tacoma. … I’m feeling good. It’s good not to worry about how my arm feels, just get back to pitching. I want to make sure I finish strong, do my best to prevent any other injury.

“I think any time you miss time, it’s hard and it’s difficult to watch every day, not being able to be out there. I was taught a lesson, never to take for granted what we’re doing.”

25. Mark Appel, RHP, Houston Astros
Appel on the lifestyle adjustment of turning pro:

“The grind is a little bit different than college. … In pro ball, you’re basically playing a game every day. In college, you’ll have two, three, maybe four days off during the week. I’m still getting acclimated to the throwing program.

“In college, we have the grind of the academics that you don’t have in pro ball. Going to class every day, doing your homework, study sessions, tutoring — you don’t have that. It can really wear on you. It’s more of a mental wear than a physical wear. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve been getting accustomed to is playing every day, but it’s become second nature.”

480 Appel Paul R Gierhart MiLB

26. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs
Daytona manager Dave Keller on Soler’s progress learning English:

“What ends up happening with foreign players over here is that as soon as they start learning the language, they find out the American players, the English-speaking players, they can’t wait to communicate with them. We take communication for granted sometimes. We have all different kinds of crazy things in the world now, technology that we use to communicate, and we often communicate worse. With all the texting and email and everything else, sometimes it just boils back down to talking and using the same language.

“He’s learning English, and the American players are helping him. Everybody understands you can’t be embarrassed to say something that doesn’t sound like it should. That’s something a lot of Latin players go through. From his standpoint, he’s still learning, and that’s helped him open up as a person.

“He’s getting there. I know during Spring Training a month-and-a-half ago, he had no idea when I’d start talking to him. … During Spring Training, he didn’t understand much English, so I tried to talk to him slow in English. He knows I speak Spanish. All the Latin kids know I’m bilingual, so it’s easy for them to speak Spanish with me when they want, but that doesn’t help them. I tried to talk slow, and that’s how you learn. Sometimes, he’ll say, ‘Oh, oh, too fast.’

“He’s warming up to the whole atmosphere well. It’s really nice to see.”

27. Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees
Tampa manager Luis Sojo on Sanchez’s plate approach:

“When he’s on, his best weapon is to go the opposite way, left-center. He’s so strong, and he knows how to hit. When he’s good, he hits the opposite way. That’s something that’s really going to work down the road. Good hitters do that. Every time you see a good hitter, they can hit the other way. For his young age, he’s very good.”

MiLB: SEP 02 Class A Advanced - Tampa Yankees at Lakeland Flying Tigers

28. Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Boston Red Sox
Bradley on handling baseball’s mental challenges:

“It’s definitely baseball, it’s a humbling sport. … You gotta be able to take the goods with the bads, stay as consistent as you possibly can. Get back to the basics, do what has helped you be successful and stick with that. Sometimes you get out of rhythm, out of sync. Maybe you’re doing too much thinking, but once you get back to doing what you do, everything else will start flowing into place.”

29. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Bowling Green manager Jared Sandberg after Guerrieri’s injury led to Tommy John surgery

“He threw the pitch, and you could see him grimace right after. … We all went out there, and there was no real debate as to whether to keep him out there. We took him out, and we’ll get him re-evaluated when we get home.

“He didn’t fight it at all or anything like that. I wasn’t a pitcher, but any time you feel something in your elbow, it’s a concern. This guy’s a fighter and a fierce competitor, but he trusts the organization and the doctors, so we’ll see where we go from here.”

30. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Zimmer on adjusting to life in pro ball:

“I think it always takes a little bit when you go to a new place, to settle in and fall into that routine. You sort of get that going after you’ve been there a little bit, and it’s been a good adjustment here. … It’s a little different at first, but everybody in this organization has been great. It’s a lot of fun and I’m glad to be here.”

zimmer480

The Untouchables: Prospects staying put come July 31

By Sam Dykstra

We’re in July now (hope you and yours had a happy Fourth), and in baseball, that means two things: the Major League All-Star Game and the Trade Deadline.

You could argue that July 31 is one of the key dates in the game. It’s when some teams decide they’re going to make a playoff push and sell (all or part of) the farm to make that happen. Conversely, it’s when under-performing squads sell their Major League parts to stock up the Minor League system as part of that “There’s always next year” attitude that’s always difficult to swallow.

Obviously, all that movement has its effects — positive and negative — on the Minor League systems involved in each deal. Sometimes it’s just tinkering, like the Geovany Soto-for-Jacob Brigham last year between the Cubs and Rangers, and other times it can drastically change an organization’s depth, like the Angels’ Zack Greinke deal that netted the Brewers Jean Segura, Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena.

With that in mind, there are certain players that general managers just refuse to deal. OK, OK, maybe refuse isn’t quite the right word. Any player can be traded for the right price. Nonetheless, there are certain guys in the Minors right now whose names you will hear in a lot of trade rumors but should be considered for all intents and purposes untouchable. In fact, that’s what I’ll call them — the untouchables.

(Note: I’m only discussing the prospects of contenders here, and although it’s still early, I made the cutoff of a contender at seven games out of a playoff spot. No one expects a team out of contention to deal one of its great prospects, so there’s no point in listing them here. Also, only prospects in the Minors are listed. Wil Myers and Gerrit Cole would have made it, but both are already with their respective big clubs.)

Xander Bogaerts, Boston: Before the season, began if someone told you Boston would have a surprisingly strong year, you’d expect that would mean contending for a Wild Card spot. That’d represent a nice bounceback season for the Sox and would best even the most optimistic expectations by fans and pundits alike. And yet they stand now, not only at the top of the AL East but also with the best record in the entire AL. They’ll assuredly be buyers come the 31st.

Just don’t ask about Bogaerts. After putting together a dandy .311/.407/.502 slash line in Double-A Portland, Boston’s next big thing is just one step away from the bigs at Triple-A Pawtucket with potentially a clear path to the Majors next season. Shortstop Stephen Drew, who is on a one-year deal, has been solid defensively but hasn’t produced with the bat, meaning the position could be open in 2014 for Bogaerts or Jose Iglesias to take with the other taking third. Given the star potential the Aruba native possesses and his proximity to the Majors, it’s very difficult to see a trade out there that includes Bogaerts going elsewhere.

Xander

Oscar Taveras, Michael Wacha, St. Louis: Sitting just two games behind the Pirates in the NL Central and 1 ½ games up for the first Wild Card spot, the Cardinals seem well-situated to qualify for their third straight postseason. They may also be in a unique position compared to other contenders. The help they seek might already be in the organization.

Top prospect Taveras has battled an ankle injury the past few months but mashed enough in 46 games with Triple-A Memphis that he could be considered for a Major League spot in the coming months, if healthy. Wacha, on the other hand, has already been with the big club for a three-game stint and showed he can hold his own (4.58 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) while up there. They are the two jewels in the Cardinals crown of a system, and considering the team wouldn’t have to wait long to enjoy them, they’re safe where they are.

(Note: I didn’t include Cardinals No. 2 prospect Carlos Martinez here for a reason. Nobody — St. Louis included — seems sure whether his future is in the bullpen or in a starter’s role.)

Aaron Sanchez, Toronto: The Blue Jays made the biggest waves of the 2012-13 offseason by acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle & Co. from the Marlins as well as R.A. Dickey from the Mets. Of course, they lost some pieces in the process. Most notably, they broke up their lauded trio of arms with Noah Syndergaard heading to the Mets system and Justin Nicolino going Miami’s way.

The one they clung to was Sanchez, and because of that, don’t expect them to let go of him in any trade talks this time around either. Pitching for Class A Advanced Dunedin, the 20-year-old right-hander owns a 2.73 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 52 2/3 innings. He missed a month with shoulder issues but has made a pair of three-inning starts since his return. No doubt any response to a call by the Blue Jays, who sit 6 ½ games out of the AL Wild Card race after a lackluster start, will start with the other team asking for Sanchez. It will likely be answered with a (polite) hang-up.

Aaron Sanchez

Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees: Like the above prospect who shares his name, Sanchez isn’t likely to move anytime soon because he’s more or less a lone standout in a dried-up system. Sure, Mason Williams (34), Tyler Austin (66) and Slade Heathcott (89) also feature in MLB.com’s top 100 list, but all three have underperformed this season and are candidates to drop in the rankings when they are updated.

Sanchez, meanwhile, continues to plug along as one of the best catching prospects in the game. The 20-year-old slugger owns a .273/.333/.478 line with 12 homers and 55 RBIs at Class A Advanced Tampa. By continuing to put up such solid numbers as he’s gone up the chain, he’s only improved his standing in the organization. Unless the Yankees want their prospect cupboard to be completely barren, they’ll hold onto Sanchez at the end of the month.

Francisco Lindor, Cleveland: Let’s face it. There was talk that the Indians would contend for a Wild Card spot this season, but did you really expect they’d be this close to division contention? At best, they seemed maybe a year away from challenging the Tigers. And yet here we are.

What we can expect though is that Lindor won’t be going anywhere soon, even if the Tribe decides it’s going to go for it all this month. Known primarily as a great fielder, the Puerto Rico native has taken a huge step forward this year with the bat for Class A Advanced Carolina. He has improved from last year in all three categories (.310/.379/.420 vs. .257/.352/.355) and remains a decent threat on the basepaths with 19 steals. Oh, and that’s all come as the youngest hitter in the Carolina League at just 19 years of age. Lindor is the Indians shortstop of the future. There is no trade Cleveland would make that includes him at this point.

Lindor

Addison Russell, Oakland: Like Lindor and the Carolina League, not many 19-year-olds get to play in the California League. In fact, right now there’s just one, and it is Russell. His play has ebbed and flowed — he owned a .208/.280/.425 line in May and .333/.367/.622 in June — but there’s a lot to like, given the age. MLB.com’s No. 41 prospect plays a premium position at shortstop (for now) and is already showing signs that he could grow into one of the best power hitters there.

The A’s haven’t been ones to trade away their best talent for Major League help, although seeing them contending for a playoff spot around Deadline time is more of a recent phenomenon. (Noted exception: A.J. Cole was dealt in the offseason in the Mike Morse-John Jaso trade last offseason, but only after his stock dropped after a rough year at Stockton.) They stood pat when they were 3 ½ games out last year, and now that they find themselves atop the AL West, Billy Beane might choose to do the same again, even if outfield or starting pitching help would be nice. Either way, it would be a massive surprise to see him ship Russell’s potential away this early in his development.

Addison Russell

Archie Bradley, Arizona: I can’t put it any plainer than this. Bradley isn’t going anywhere this July. He’s always been a highly touted pitching prospect, but as has been said here and several other places, he’s taken another big step this season. The 20-year-old right-hander made five dominating starts at Class A Advanced Visalia and carried that success to Double-A Mobile, where he is 6-3 with a 2.04 ERA with 69 strikeouts and a .211 opponents’ batting average in 70 2/3 innings (12 starts). In the next round of rankings, he will challenge Dylan Bundy and Taijuan Walker as the game’s best pitching prospect. The D-backs aren’t going to let that go, especially if he could be in the Majors for a brief stay come September and for good as early as the start of next season.

To give you an idea of where Bradley stands in Arizona trade talks, consider this tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney:

Coming soon: Prospects who could be moved come July 31

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