With Spring Training rapidly approaching, the Yankees have officially announced this year’s non-roster invitees. 14 prospects made the cut, with Banuelos headlining the group, and attending for his second year in a row. Along with the prospects, 13 players signed to minor league contracts will try out for the 2012 club. With 27 invitations to spring training, 67 players will head for their Tampa facility.
Amongst the right-handed pitchers, recently signed Manny Delcarmen, Matt Daley, and Adam Miller will try out for a bullpen position. Prospects Daniel Burawa, Ryan Pope, Graham Stoneburner, Adam Warren, Kevin Whelan, and Chase Whitley will also attempt to stand out amongst a total of 25 right-handed pitchers this year. Three more pitchers signed to minor league deals will join the club this offseason, left-handed pitchers Hideki Okajima, Juan Cedeno, and Mike O’Connor. Manny Banuelos will be the only non-roster prospect making the trip, though newbie Cesar Cabral, who is on the 40-man roster, should catch some eyes.
With so much catching depth in their farm system, five catchers made the cut. Leading the list, positional top prospect Gary Sanchez should capture attention, followed by Jose Gil, Kyle Higashioka, and J.R. Murphy. Only Gustavo Molina will join the catching platoon on a minor league contract. On the infield, Jayson Nix, Doug Bernier, and Bill Hall will attend via minor league deals, while first base prospect Jorge Vasquez will compete for a DH position. In the outfield, Dewayne Wise and former Colorado Rocky, Cole Garner, will team up with prospects Colin Curtis and Brett Marshall.
I look forward to watching Banuelos, Sanchez, and Murphy the most. Along with Dellin Betances, Austin Romine, David Adams, and Zoilo Almonte, I expect to hear and see a lot from the minor leaguers this year. Cole Garner, Matt Daley, Adam Miller, Cesar Cabral, and Brad Meyers are probably the most likely players to have break out preseasons and make the club; they’re in a must watch category. For more information on what bullpen arms to watch, take a look at my article, Getting To Know Your Bullpen Candidates.
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