There aren’t many days when the Yankees can be guaranteed a win, but Friday was one of those days. The GCL Yankees 1 beat the GCL Yankees 2 by a score of 4-1. The consolation for the Yankees 2 was no bus trip.
The Yankees 1 did all of their scoring damage against Rolando Calvo, a 22-year-old native of Panama making his American debut. Calvo had a successful stint in the Dominican Summer League last year, but today he surrendered four runs in 4.1 innings, three of them earned. The Yankees 1 got RBI from third baseman Donny Sands, catcher Victor Rey, and designated hitter Jordan Barnes. Sands, an eighth-round draft pick out of high school earlier this month, had the only multi-hit game for either team. It is also worth noting that Victor Rey was formerly a prospect at third base, and this was the first full professional game he’s caught. He was once struck in the face by a ball in the Dominican, and that derailed his development for a while.
Friday was the first appearance of Yonauris Rodriguez in the Gulf Coast League (Yankees 2) after putting up .333/.432/.444 numbers in the Dominican League in 34 games over the last two seasons. Rodriguez battled a wrist injury last year, but he was a fairly high-dollar sign for the Yankees in 2013. At age 18, he is a wiry athlete who is probably known more for his defensive ability than his bat at this point, but his performance suggests a well-rounded player may be developing. He will share time with Yancarlos Baez, who is a similar player, and Griffin Garabito will likely continue to play second base.
The notable pitching performance of the day came from Abel Duarte, a 21-year-old Dominican pitching in the Gulf Coast League for the first time. He went six innings for the win, giving up three hits and one run while striking out four.