Who's hot on the farm? Low-A Charleston
Ryan Lidge – He’s a catcher out of Notre Dame that the Yankees picked up in the 20th round. He’s a switch hitter, and extremely patient, although he hasn’t shown much power yet. He’s one of those defense first catchers the Yankees usually draft to fill out rosters in the minors. So far, though, he has hit really well. In his first 16 games as a professional, he has a .292/.424/.313/.736 line with a double and 10 walks. Not much of a prospect as things stand right now, but he’s relatively new and we have limited information on him so far, so a lot can change.
Carlos Vidal – He has been on the 7-day DL since 8/7, but before that he was on a tear. He is 12 for his last 34 (.353) with four walks and six doubles. That’s good for a .421 OBP and a .529 slugging percentage. That brings his season line to .304/.363/.374/.737 with 13 doubles, a triple, and a homerun. Not a bad line, but he’ll have to improve his power output as he moves up if he wants to be considered a legitimate prospect.
Brandon Wagner – 21-years-old, 1B – Wagner has had a solid year in his full-season debut. He’s hitting .287/.393/.417/.810 with seven homeruns, 19 doubles, and a triple. He has a discerning eye at the plate and good power for his size, but I can’t say I understand placing him at first base. I’d like him much better at 2nd, and I think he could play third as well. I’ll be interested to see what position they put him in this offseason.
Steven Sensley – 21-years-old, OF – Sensley has had an unbelievable start to his career, smashing 13 homeruns already. It was impressive that the Yankees were able to get him where they did, and he is still relatively young too. He has hit four homeruns in his last 10 games, so the power surge has continued. He has a .304/.381/.625/1.006 line so far this season, and has 13 HR, 15 doubles, and two stolen bases.
Diego Castillo – 19-years-old, SS – Castillo has been absolutely en fuego. He is 18/43 over his last 10 games and has six walks. That’s good for a .419/.490/.512/1.002 line. That brings his season line to a much more realistic .269/.318/.323/.640. That’s still not bad for a 19-years-old in Low-A. It seems like he has finally figured out this level, which bodes well for next year for him.
Isiah Gilliam – 21-years-old, RF – The Yankees got Gilliam in the 20th round, which is starting to look like a steal. He has had a solid season, and has been really good also over his last eight games. He’s 11/34 (.324) with four walks (.394 OBP), and three doubles (.411 SLG). On the season he has a .267/.341/.456/.797 line with 30 doubles, three triples, and 13 homeruns. That’s a solid first full season if I ever saw one.
Oswaldo Cabrera – 18-years-old, SS – Ever since being demoted to Staten Island, Cabrera has been hitting really well. That includes after he was promoted back up to Low-A Charleston. When he was demoted, his season line was .208/.267/.280. Since then he has brought his season line to .243/.302/.319/.621. In his last 11 games, he is 12/42 with 2 homeruns, two doubles, and three walks. That’s good for a .286/.333/.476/.819 line. That’s some major improvement, which is what you want to see from an 18-year-old in Low-A. Hopefully it carries over into next season, where he could put himself on the prospect map with a good performance.
Dermis Garcia – 19-years-old, 3B – Garcia is a bit of an anomaly. He strikes out a ton, but he also walks a lot and hits a bunch of homeruns. In his last 10 games, he is 9/31 (.290) with three walks (.352 OBP), and three homeruns with three doubles (.645 SLG/.997 OPS). The crazy part though is that he has 13 strikeouts in that span, which is unreal. He is still very young, and has explosive talent, so he has plenty of time to correct the problem. For now, he sits at .250/.364/.528/.892 with 13 homeruns, nine doubles, and a triple in 50 games this season. If he continues to play like this, it won’t matter how much he strikes out because he will be a top prospect.
Freicer Perez – 21-years-old, RHP – Perez has come along magnificently for the Yankees. This season has been his best as a pro, and that comes as a guy who was a sleeper heading into the season. Over his last 10 games, he has a 2.48 ERA with 58 K to 16 BB in 54.1 innings. On the season, he has a 2.88 ERA with 107 K : 39 BB in 112.2 innings, a career high. He has continued to improve as the season drags on, and is proving to be a real beast. I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him in Double-A at some point next season, he’s that good.
Phillip Diehl – 23-years-old, LHP – Diehl had a slow start but he has really come on strong as of late. In hiw last eight appearances, he has thrown 20 innings, has struck out 30 (13.5 K/9) while allowing just two earned runs (0.9 ERA). He has walked six during that time frame. His season line is a 3.51 ERA, 74.1 innings, 94 K : 23 BB, and a .241 average against. Looks like he was a good find in the 27th round, someone who might end up being very useful going forward; especially if he has had an uptick in stuff.
Rony Garcia – 19-years-old, RHP – Much like Freicer Perez, Rony Garcia makes a big jump this season. He has the kind of talent that is comparable to Luis Severino. In his 10 starts this season, Garcia has 48 K to 15 BB in 58.2 innings. He also has a 2.45 ERA on the year. If he’s not in the back end of some top 100 lists by season’s end, he should be. Next season is going to be a breakout year for him, I’m calling it now.
Alexander Vargas – 20-years-old, RHP – It appears the Yankees have a lot of faith in this young man, putting him in Low-A after a brief stint in Staten Island. He has a 92-93 mph fastball currently, and a plus changeup with a developing curveball. His fastball has a lot of sink to it, and he generates a ton of ground balls. He’s the type who could be an innings eater in the near future. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on.