The Arizona Fall League is underway and we are one step closer to the World Series, with that it is time we bring back the Pinstriped Prospects off-season mailbag. We asked out followers all week to send in their questions about the New York Yankees minor league system and many did just that. This week we talk about prospect surprises, Vicente Campos, Aaron Judge and Connor Spencer.
Mike Remy: What prospect do you see surprising everyone this year?
This is a tough question. A lot of factors can weigh-in on it. Personally I feel that shortstop Kyle Holder will surprise everyone and hit for a decent average while maintaining his stellar defense. But my big prediction is you will see Domingo Acevedo in the high-minors before the end of the 2016 season.
Stanley Gorczynski: Whats the outlook for Vicente Campos? Before his surgery some saw his upside beyond Pineda. Thanks
This past season his stats were pretty bad, but that is usually what is expected from a pitcher coming back from injury. The good news was that he threw 54 1/3 innings, which helped shake off some rust and even pitched some games in the instructional league. I believe he is a free agent, there is a chance the Yankees re-sign him to a minor league deal and see what he can do.
Michael Remy: Do you see Judge on the opening day roster?
Aaron Judge will open the 2016 season as the starting right fielder for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. After his promotion to Triple-A last season he struggled, hitting just .224 in 61 games at the minor leagues highest level. He still has some stuff to work on in the minors but I would not be surprise to see him in MLB later in the season if he mashes.
David Ewell: What happened to Connor Spencer in 2015? He had a very nice season with Staten Island in 2014 and I didn’t see him playing in 2015. Hopefully, he will be back in 2016.
Spencer was on his way to a great season with the Charleston RiverDogs in 2015 until he suffered a broken hamate bone in his hand and had to be placed on the disabled list. In 49 games this season he hit .290 with 9 doubles and 23 RBIs and he was the RiverDogs lone representative in the SAL All-Star Game but did not play due to the injury.
— Wayne MacDonald (@NYYCPT23) October 7, 2015
Luckily the couple of years or so there is a lot of money that is set to come off the books. In my opinion it works out well with Mark Texiera’s contract expiring at the end of 2016 we will have Greg Bird ready to take his place everyday, he is ready now even. When Carlos Beltran‘s contract is up, Aaron Judge should be ready to take his place.
The question is what are the Yankees going to do with their left-handed hitting outfielder depth. Does Slade Heathcott fit in as the fourth outfielder for 2016? I hope so, I think he deserves it. Mason Williams is likely going to be back in Triple-A and used as a mid-season replacement in case of injury. We also have Jake Cave and Ben Gamel who could find there way to the majors in 2016. In my opinion it makes sense to package one of these upper level outfielders with some of the Yankees other depth at catcher or the bullpen for a piece they need.
That is it for this week’s Pinstriped Prospects Mailbag, if you have questions about the Yankees minor leagues submit them at this link and you could be featured!