We are just days away from the 2017 First-Year-Player Draft and just a little over a week away from Opening Day for the Staten Island Yankees. With that, we take a look at some of the potential players heading to Staten Island from Extended Spring Training.
When the Yankees signed Dermis, he was considered the top prospect out of the 2014 International Free Agent class, while Baseball America ranked him as the ninth-best prospect available. After signing for $3 million he moved from shortstop to the hot corner full-time and went on to make his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League where he hit just .159/.256/.188 over 23 games with 11 hits and nine walks. He is considered to have plus raw power, and it shows when he puts wood on the ball It travels far. Last season with the Pulaski Yankees he hit 13 home runs over 57 games with nine doubles and 24 RBIs. He walked 32 times but struck out 79 times.
Like Dermis, Wilkerman Garcia was a part of that big 2014 International Free Agent class, last season. Considered by many to be a steal with his raw talent, he was impressive in his first season in 2015 when he hit .299/.414/.362 over 39 games between the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League. Last season he battled an injury all season that saw him hit just .198/.255/.384 over 54 games in the Appalachian League with the Pulaski Yankees.
Leonardo Molina has some of the best raw tools but has yet to be able to put it together in a game. He was considered the fifth-best prospect in the 2013 International Free Agent Class and in 209 career minor league games over four seasons he has hit .217/.274/.330 with 36 doubles, six triples and 12 home runs in 742 at-bats.
Simon De La Rosa
Simon De La Rosa was one of the Staten Island Yankees starters last season, the 24-year old has been considered a sleeper prospect in the system for a while but has yet to be able to wake up and put things together. Last season with the Baby Bombers he was 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA over 13 starts, striking out 76 batters over 69 1/3 innings of work.
Padilla, 24, was one of the Staten Island Yankees top pitchers last season. He pitched in 14 games, started six of them, and struck out 57 batters over 57 innings. Like De La Rosa is on the older side and could find this being one of his last chances in the Yankees organization.
Welfrin Mateo, 21, is a little-known member of the 2013 International Free Agent class. The Dominican Republic Native has quietly hit .292/.368/.422 over 157 career minor league games including a .298/.323/.424-line last season between the Pulaski Yankees and the Staten Island Yankees. At 21-years old he would be the same age as the majority of the competition in the league.
Acquired by the Yankees in the Brian McCann trade, Jorge Guzman is one of the most interested prospects in the Yankees lower minors. Scouts believe he will start the season in the NY-Penn League and raved about his arm. He is a hard thrower, regularly in the high-90s with his fastball, touching 101-103 several times last year. Last season he topped out in the Appalachian League for the Astros and had an overall 3-4 record with a 4.05 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 40 innings of work.
Garcia, 19, was signed by the Yankees as an international free agent in 2015 and made his professional debut last year. Between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League, he was 3-5 with a 2.28 ERA over 14 games, 12 starts, and struck out 56 batters over 71 innings of work. He throws a fastball that has topped out at 96 MPH, changeup and a curveball with an approach at that attacks hitters and doesn’t back down.
Other players such as Dom Thompson-Williams, Timmy Robinson, and Kendall Coleman could be making a return trip to Staten Island this season. Coleman missed almost all of spring training with an injury. Jeff Degano, who pitched for SI in 2015, could also make the trip north next week. First baseman Tim Lynch is also a likely candidate for Staten Island.
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