The top of the New York Yankees farm system isn't in great shape right now – Manny Banuelos hit the disabled list once again last week, and Dellin Betances continued his struggles. However; there is good news. A few lower-tier prospects have performed well this season, emerging as prospects to "keep an eye on". One of those prospects – Bryan Mitchell – continues to be an intriguing pitcher, and he had another great week in Low A. It may be time for him to move up a level soon.
Continue reading for more on Mitchell and a Yankees hitting prospect, who finally appears to be breaking out of a slump, in this week's Minor League Update.
Pitcher Of The Week: Bryan Mitchell (11 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6 BBs, 13 Ks)
This marks the second consecutive week Mitchell has earned 'pitcher of the week' honors. He's been absolutely lights out in May, going 3-0 in five starts. He's pitched 29 innings, walked 11, and fanned 34, with an ERA of 1.55 and a GO/AO ratio of 2.33.
Here's what I had to say about Mitchell's upside last week:
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.
At 21 years old, he's not considered young for his league – Class A, South Atlantic, so given his early-season success and age, it's plausible that Mitchell could get the promotion to High A Tampa fairly soon.
Hitter Of The Week: J.R. Murphy (.385 average, 2 Doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 BBs, 3 Ks, 1 SB)
Murphy is beginning to show signs of life after a horrendous start to the 2012 season. In his last 10 games, he's batting .317, with a BB:K ratio of 5:4, with an OPS of .855 – more than 200 points above his season average.
Here's what I had to say about Murphy's potential earlier in the season:
He probably won't stick at catcher because of his defense, but has a decent enough hitting tool - although he hasn't shown sings of it this season - to at least make it as a major league bench player.
It's encouraging to see Murphy break out of his hitting slump a bit. He has the ceiling of a slightly above average regular on a good team, but he's more likely to become an average player, or even a hitter off the bench.