New York Yankees Top Hitting Prospects | Touch’em All 2012

The New York Yankees system has been plagued with injuries in 2012, both hitters and pitchers alike. Despite that, this a pretty good system. We’re going to take a look at the Yankees organization hitters for this season.  Now that all leagues are underway, there’s a lot of players to talk about. Some that most people know about, some that they are just starting to hear about, and then some that they will hear about in the very near future. Let’s get right down to business.

AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees

Corban Joseph 2B – Age 23 – The 2008 4th round pick isn’t considered a top prospect in the Yankees organization.  However, the organization felt he was worthy of a promotion to AAA after posting  a triple slash of .314/.412/.430 with a 13/15 K/BB ratio 86 at bats in AA.  For the season he’s hitting .278 with 6 HR and a 27/28 K/BB ratio over 169 at bats.  It’s possible that he could get a brief call up later this summer.

AA Trenton Thunder

Jose Pirela SS – Age 22 – The 5’10” Venezuelan brushed our radar in 2010 when he stole 30 bases in the SALLY, however it came with a .693 OPS.  He had a pretty below average existence in his debut in the EL in 2011.  Back again at AA in 2012, Pirela is hitting .376 with 3 HRs and 5 SB to go with a 13/13 K/BB ratio over 109 at bats.  Not bad for a guy who spent over a month on the DL after taking a 95 mph fastball to the helmet in April.  He’s splitting time between SS and DH.

Abraham Almonte OF – Age 22 – While he’s the official translator for Jose Pirela, Almonte is letting his bat speak for him this season.  In his 7th season in the Yankees organization, he’s hitting .283 with 4 HRs, 4 Triples, 13 Doubles, and 29 SB to go with a 51/33 K/BB ratio over 283 at bats.  He’s always been a threat to steal 30+ bases in a season; this season he could steal over 50.

Zoilo Almonte OF – Age 23 – While he’s not Abraham’s brother, he too is a Dominican following a similar path in his 7th season in the Yankees organization.  After posting back to back double/double HR/SB seasons in the FSL in 2010 and 2011, Almonte earned a promotion last summer to the EL.  He’s back in AA in 2012 where he’s hitting .272 with 5 HRs and 9 SB to go with a 47/11 K/BB ratio over 162 at bats.  Almonte spent almost a month on the DL early in the season as a part of the endless parade of injuries to the Trenton team.  He’s one of the Yankees better prospects to watch.

Cody Johnson DH – Age 23 – The former Brave was the 24th overall pick in the 2006 draft.  He is the owner of 121 minor league HRs, so it comes as little surprise that he has 16 in 221 at bats on the season.  Sadly, it comes with a sub .250 avg and a billion strikeouts.  Worse even, it now comes with a serious hamstring injury that happened on Thursday night.  He could be done for the season.

High-A Tampa Yankees

Ramon Flores OF – Age 20 – Flores is hitting .283 with 2 HRs and 9 SB to go with a 51/25 K/BB ratio over 276 at bats on the season.  He’s looking like a potentially useful reserve outfielder in the majors in a few years.

J.R. Murphy C – Age 21 – The 2009 2nd round draft pick is one of the Yankees better prospects and has a good chance of remaining behind the plate.  He’s hitting .248 with 4 HRs and 4 SB.  He also has a 38/23 K/BB ratio over 238 at bats.  After a fairly slow start, he’s hitting near .300 with a .523 slg % over his last 10 games in the pitcher friendly FSL.

Low-A Charleston RiverDogs

Tyler Austin OF – Age 21 –  A breakout prospect that should be in front of us soon in the FSL,  Austin is hitting .336 with 14 HRs, 5 Triples, 21 Doubles, 54 RBI, 63 Runs, and 15 SB in the Sally.  He also has a 61/28 K/BB ratio over 238 at bats.  While his .391 BABIP is on the lucky side, his .317 ISoP is just sick. He’s one of our favorites and should be on everyone’s radar now as he climbs the Yankees ladder and well as the prospect ranks.

Gary Sanchez C – Age 19 – The next Jesus Montero?  Or the 1st Gary Sanchez?  Whatever the case is he’s hitting .310 with 12 HRs, 19 Doubles, 51 RBI, 38 Runs, and 10 SB to go with a 59/16 K/BB ratio over 239 at bats.  He’s hitting .389 with 4 HRs over his last 10 games.  To consider him anything less than one of the best prospects in the Yankees organization and an emerging prospect in baseball would be an understatement.

Mason Williams OF – Age 20 – After an outstanding season in 2011 in the New York-Penn League, Williams is following it up with a good 2012 campaign in the Sally where he’s providing more pop to go with the speed.  He’s hitting .311 with 6 HR, 4 Triples, 17 Doubles, and 18 SB along with a 27/16 K/BB ratio over 246 at bats.  It’s scary to think how good he will be once his pitch recognition improves and he works counts deeper into his favor.  There’s an argument that could be made as to who the best hitter on the Charleston roster, as well as the entire Yankees farm system between Austin, Sanchez, and Williams.

Angelo Gumbs 2B/SS – Age 19 – The 2010 2nd round draft pick is hitting .273 with 7 HRs and 22 SB to go with a 56/17 K/BB ratio over 249 at bats.  Defensively he’s still below average, but making progress.  This RiverDogs team is one of the fastest in the minors and Gumbs may be the fastest guy on the team.  He’s an interesting prospect.

Dante Bichette 3B – Age 19 – The 51st overall pick in the 2011 draft, his bloodlines are well established.  After and impressive debut in 2011 in the GCL that got the Yankees nation aflutter, the young corner infielder got off to a slow start in the Sally in 2012.  He’s hitting .264 with 1 HR and 2 SB along with a 56/25 K/BB ratio.  He’s slowly building steam and could be in for a big summer.  This is about the time he joined the Yankees last season.

Cito Culver SS – Age 19 – drafted with the 32nd overall pick before Gumbs in 2010, Culver is in a 6 for 41 slump.  He’s hitting .212 with 2 HRs and 13 SB.  He’s also got a 61/38 K/BB ratio over 245 at bats.  It’s a shame as he was off to a pretty good start on the season, trying to prove people wrong about being a reach in the 1st round.  He should turn it around this summer.

Short Season Staten Island Yankees

Ravel Santana OF – Age 20 – It’s an ugly start for the highly touted Dominican prospect.  He’s 0 for 11 with 8 K’s in the early going.  After hitting nearly .300 with 9 HRs and 10 SB over 162 at bats in the GCL in 2011, we are anxious to see what he can do this season.

Claudio Custodio  2B – Age 21 –  The late bloomer from the Dominican hit .325 with 26 SB over 157 at bats in the GCL in his 2011 US debut.  He’s off to a slow 1 for 15 start on the young New York-Penn season, but he should be an interesting one to watch.  He’s a little old for the league, but given his limited experience we are interested in what he can do.

Taylor Dugas OF – Age 22 – The 2012 8th round pick is off to a nice 7 for 15 start. He hit .349 with 8 HR and 8 SB to go with a 22/41 K/BB ratio over 241 at bats with the University of Alabama this season.  He was a very patient hitter in his 3 seasons at ‘Bama, posting a 80/127 K/BB mark.

Saxon Butler 1B – Age 21 – The Yankees 2012 33rd round draft pick is off to a 4 for 14 start with 1 HR.  He hit .340 with 15 HRs over 259 at bats with Samford University this season.

Matt Snyder 1B/DH – Age 22 – The 2012 10th round pick is just 1 for 16 to start the season.  In his 4th season at Mississippi in 2012, Snyder hit .332 with 12 HRs over 238 at bats.

Rookie Gulf Coast League Yankees

Slade Heathcott OF – Age 21 – One of the top Yankees hitting prospects, Heathcott is rehabbing his way back from off-season shoulder surgery and is off to a 4 for 17 2012 start. He should work his way over to the FSL this summer.

Jerison Lopez 2B – Age 20 – After 3 seasons in the Dominican, Lopez is off to a 8 for 19 start with 2 SB in his US debut.

Austin Jones 1B – Age 19 – The 2011 7th round pick is hitting 6 for 19 with 3 Doubles in the early part of the GCL season.

Miguel Andujar 3B – Age 17 – Signed with the Yankees last off-season for $700,000, it is worth noting that the Yankees thought enough of him to bypass the DSL and go right into the GCL as the youngest member of the team.  He’s off to a 5 for 20 start.  Keep an eye on him.

More than likely, some of the 2012 draft picks will be on this roster.  High school position players, such as Austin Aune OF and Nathan Mikolas OF in particular.

Rookie Dominican Summer League Yankees 1 & 2

Jose Figueroa OF – Age 19 – From Mexico, hitting .446 with 2 HRs, 6 Triples, 5 Doubles and has a 10/11 K/BB ratio over 56 at bats.

Christopher Tamarez SS – Age 18 – The Dominican is hitting .316 with 6 Doubles and 2 SB along with a 15/9 K/BB ratio over 76 at bats.

Bryan Cuevas SS – Age 18 – Another Dominican, hitting .372 with 4 Triples, 5 Doubles and 3 SB to go with a 14/6 K/BB ratio over 78 at bats.

Barfil Munoz OF – Age 18 – He’s been 18 for less than a month and is hitting .278 with 5 HRs and 18 RBI.  He’s struck out 20 times with 8 BB over 72 at bats.  The young Dominican is putting on quite the display of power right now.

Jorge Mateo SS – Age 17 – From the Dominican, Mateo just turned 17 yesterday.  He’s hitting .255 with 1 HR, 1 Triple, 2 Doubles, and 4 SB to go with a 11/12 K/BB ratio over 55 at bats.

That’s it for the Yankees organization hitting report.  Check back soon for the pitchers and more.

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