The Yankees invited five more players to Spring Training yesterday. Let’s look at these guys a little more deeply.
First up is RHP D.J. Mitchell. Mitchell was not listed in the Yankees’ top ten prospect list however, he had a pretty good showing in 2009. As a 22 year old in Charleston and Tampa, Mitchell posted a combined line of 140.1 IP, 124 H, 44 BB (2.8 BB/9), 125 SO (8.0 K/9, 2.84 K/BB), 1.197 WHIP, and a 2.63 ERA. Though he hasn’t pitched above A+ yet, it looks like Mitchell’s got some skills. Hopefully, he impresses the Major League guys in February and March, then rises quickly through the ranks.
Next is another RHP, Ryan Pope. Pope’s been with the Yankees since 2007 and has a career ERA of 4.26 in 295.2 innings. While the strikeout numbers are nothing too special–only 6.9 per nine innings–he’s displayed good control walking only 2.0 per nine innings. Pope reached Trenton in 2010. Despite good control and the ability to keep the ball in the park (0.4 HR/9), Pope posted an unimpressive 4.78 ERA. This was likely due to his giving up 9.9 H/9. With a little work, Pope can build on his fantastic control and have success in the system in 2010.
The Yankees also signed Dustin Moseley, the only invitee in this batch with Major League experience. Granted, that experience hasn’t been great. His career ERA is over 5 and his career WHIP is over 1.5. His control has been okay, though, as he’s walked fewer than 3 per nine. Dustin’s been a starter for his career, so he’s likely just being brought in to provide some depth in Scranton. In his Minor League career, Moseley’s ERA is 4.36 and he has a 2.21 K/BB.
Powerful Jorge Vazquez joins the three pitchers, as does corner infielder Brandon Laird. The latter has good career minor league numbers–.281/.337/.475–but it’s worth noting that his rate stats have all fallen each year as Laird’s moved up the levels.
Vazquez had his first season in the US in 2009 after nine seasons with three teams in the Mexican League. Despite injury, Vazquez impressed with the bat at AA Trenton. He slugged .578 (.249 IsoP, 17.31 AB/HR) and hit 13 home runs. It’ll be nice to see Jorge face some Major League pitching in Major League camp this year. Hopefully, he unleashes his light-tower power (he slugged over .600 four times in Mexico) on some unsuspecting Grapefruit League pitcher.
Obviously, we’re not going to expect much out of these guys going into Spring Training. Despite that, it’s always nice to see some fresh faces get a chance to show off their skills. Perhaps they’ll surprise us in March and give us some extra minor leaguers to follow on top of the guys for whom we’re most excited.
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