Our long national nightmare is over, finally, with the return of minor league baseball. All four of the Yankees’ full season affiliates will be in action tonight, so it will be an opportunity to see a plethora of Yankee prospects in action. We will certainly have more in depth minor league discussion throughout the season, but today I just want to give a broad overview of tonight’s action, a few players to watch (on both teams), and the starters for the game.
AAA Scranton will be facing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (one of the great minor league team names) the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and managed by Ryne Sandberg. David Phelps will take the hill for the Yankees against against Vance Worley, a solid prospect who has put together a decent minor league career up to this point. With a strong start to the season, Phelps could put himself at the head of the line to take a major league rotation spot should injury, ineffectiveness, or Freddy Garcia strike. The IronPigs do not have much in the way of legitimate prospects on their roster, but do have a lot of AAAA retreads such as Jeff Larish, Brandon Moss, and Delwyn Young who could all hit very well in AAA. Scranton’s lineup will be highlighted by Jesus Montero, as he looks to take his disappointment at not making the major league roster out against inferior AAA competition. Brandon Laird and Jorge Vazquez will also provide significant pop. Donnie Collins will be the top source of info about the SWB-Yankees, as he’ll be blogging for the Times-Tribune, former stomping grounds of LoHud’s Chad Jennings.
AA Trenton will be taking on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the AA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays tonight. The Thunder will send Steve Garrison to the hill to face Zach Stewart, who in December 2009 was the top prospect in the Toronto system according to BA. The Fisher Cats have several exciting prospects to watch, including Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria (an excellent fielder with a decent bat), speedy centerfielder Anthony Gose, and catcher Travis D’Arnaud, a strong defender with a solid bat. For the Thunder, Austin Romine, Melky Mesa, and Corban Joseph are some of the exciting bats to watch in what should be a strong Thunder team. For more news and information on the Thunder, we are lucky enough to have two of the most dedicated bloggers in the business on the Trenton beat. Josh Norris runs an excellent blog over at the Trentonian, while Mike Ashmore covers the team for the Hunterdon County Democrat.
High-A Tampa will start off the season against the Lakeland Flying Tigers, a Detroit affiliate. Trevor Feeney, a non-prospect for the Tigers, will start against an undetermined Tampa Yankee, though Brett Marshall would be a good candidate as the best starting pitcher prospect on the team. There is nobody really of note in the Lakeland lineup, and very little of the Tampa roster has been posted to this point. Abraham and Zoilo Almonte should be two interesting guys to watch. The lack of information on the Yankees is likely the result of the fact that there seems to be no beat writer blogging about the team. Too bad, hopefully they can get someone on that.
Low-A Charleston will take on the Lexington Legends, an Astros affiliate. Shane Greene, a 2009 draftee by the Yankees, will take the hill against Michael Foltynewicz, the Astros’ first round draft choice in 2010. Two other first-round picks are on the Legends’ roster, outfielder Delino Deshields Jr. and shortstop Jioavnni Mier. The Riverdogs’ lineup should be pretty stacked, with Gary Sanchez and Slade Heathcott among the notable prospects. Lake Morris of the Post and Courier looks to be the best information source here.
We’ll definitely have some interesting minor league coverage here at TYA, so stay tuned!
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