Baseball America came out with its top 20 Gulf Coast League prospect list today and 3 Yankees were featured on it. Dante Bichette (1), Ravel Santana (2) and Claudio Custodio (9) all made the list. Let’s take a look at how the group performed in general.
As a group, the GCL team did very well. Dante Bichette showed an extremely advanced approach all season which culminated in his MVP award for the season. Ravel Santana led the team with 9 HRs and was 4th overall in the league. Santana is an extremely athletic, plus power center fielder with an above average glove. Baseball America says his arm grades as a “70-80″ tool, which is about as good as it gets. He suffered a nasty ankle injury which ended his season but make sure you keep an eye on him the future. Claudio Custodio is probably a name most of you are unfamiliar with. He’s a SS, with a good glove and range but an arm that fits better at 2B. At the plate, he doesn’t have power but does have a good approach and some ability to reach base. He also led the GCL in steals, with 26.
Offensively, there were other standouts for the GCL Yankees. Christopher Austin, otherwise known as Tyler Austin, showed a lot of ability in the GCL and the NY Penn league. After posting a .517 wOBA for about a month, he was bumped up to the Staten Island Yankees and continued to hit .323/.402/.542. The Yankees drafted him in the 13th round of the 2010 draft as a catcher out of Georgia but he’s moved to a corner infield spot for now where his bat plays fine at this point. When he was drafted, the reports were plenty of raw power and a strong arm. I’m not sure his1st professional season could have gone any better.
Matt Duran, the 2011 4th round pick, also performed nicely in his limited time with the GCL Yankees. After signing towards the end of July, he basically had a month with the team where he hit .301/.365/.506 as an 18 year old.
The pitching wasn’t quite as impressive as the hitting for the GCL squad.
One nice development was 19 year old Taylor Morton who was a 9th round pick a year ago making his professional debut. Morton’s report from last year indicated a low 90s fastball that touched 95 and a plus circle change with good fade. He didn’t miss a ton of bats, but for a raw 19 year old the results were pretty solid. Corey Maines also pitched well in his professional debut. The 2011 pick is a sinker/slider guy and showed the ability to miss some bats. Of course as a college pitcher, the GCL shouldn’t have been too difficult. It’s always nice to see positive results though.
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