A couple of lower tier prospects in the Yankees system had posted big weeks recently. Find out who performed well, and which prospects you should be keeping an eye on in this week's Yankees Minor League update.
Pitcher Of The Week: Bryan Mitchell (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 Ks, Win)
Mitchell is one of the more intriguing prospects in the Yankees farm system. He was drafted straight out of high school in 2009, in the 16th round, so he's still fairly young, and at 21 years old he's right in line with the average age of other pitchers in Low A.
Command issues, injury issues, and a bout of homesickness have held Mitchell back from reaching his full potential. Based on his stuff alone, he could be a very good number three pitcher, or a low-end number two. It appears he's finally realizing some of his potential this season.
Mitchell is 4-2 for the Charleston RiverDogs, with an ERA of 2.63 and 39 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. He's still struggling with control a bit, but his strikeouts are up and his batting average against is way down.
His fastball – which sits in the mid-90s – and curveball, are already borderline above average pitches. If Mitchell learns to harness his stuff he could start flying up the system, and blossom into a nice middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Hitter Of The Week: Ramon Flores (.357 average, 2 Doubles, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 BBs, 4 Ks, 2 SBs)
Flores is putting together a nice season, and this is already his second 'hitter of the week' honors. However; he lacks significant upside to get excited about. Here's what I wrote about him two weeks ago:
He's one of the more polished hitters in the system and possesses a great eye at the plate. Problem is, he doesn't have a ton of upside and projects as a solid MLB player, but nothing special.
There's not a lot more to be said. Since he's still only 20 years old, there's still room for improvement, but I don't see him as anything other than a replacement level player in the majors.
Top 10 Prospect Spotlight: Dellin Betances
Betances had a pretty miserable week. He started two games, totaling 8.1 innings. In those two starts he allowed 5 runs and walked 9 batters. His lack of control continues to be a serious problem. His stuff remains that of a frontline starter – represented by his decent strikeout numbers and low batting average against – but unless he completely harnesses his stuff, he'll probably never be a successful major leaguer.
At 24 years old, Betances is on the verge of not even being considered a prospect anymore. He may be better suited out of the bullpen.
Top Prospect Spotlight: Mark Montgomery
I'm cheating a bit here, because Montgomery isn't considered a top 10 prospect in the Yankees system – relievers rarely are – but that doesn't mean he can't be a productive major leaguer, and be one relatively soon. Here's what I wrote about Montgomery two weeks ago:
The 2011 11th-round pick is a one-pitch - a devastating slider - pitcher, which is why he projects as a late-inning reliever in the Majors. His slider is already a good enough pitch to get big leaguers out, which is why he could move through the system quickly. His fastball is average, sitting at 91-92
I love Montgomery and think he has a great chance to become a key component at the back end of the Yankees bullpen within the next few years. He's a ground ball pitcher who's shown the ability to miss a lot of bats during his time in the minors. He's absolutely dominating High A this season, and should be on the fast track to Double A.
This week he appeared in two games, recording one win and one save. He pitched 3.1 innings, allowed 1 hit, 1 walk and fanned 9 batters. In other words, 9 of the 10 outs he recorded this week were of the strikeout variety. Keep an eye on this guy.