Friday, April 07, 2006

Minor League Opening Day

I love the minor leagues. On an off day, where there are no Torre mistakes to speak about, the minor leagues are a good thing to write about. Yesterday the minor league season kicked off.

Not an amazingly eventful day. Sean Henn pitched 5.1 innings of 1 run, 4 hit, 4 strikeout ball. Kevin Thompson went 4-5 with a double. Vechionacci had 3 hits for Class A Tampa. Besides that, not a lot of eventful things to speak of. Except, we know where everyone is now.

Columbus: AAA Columbus has, for the first time in years, an effective squad of young potential major leaguers. Their impressive pitching staff includes Sean Henn, Matt DeSalvo, Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner, Jorge DePaula and Scott Erikson. Eric Duncan, Kevin Thompson, Kevin Reese, and Melky Cabrera are also on the team.

Trenton: AA Trenton isn't nearly as impressive, but still features some interesting characters. Tyler Clippard and Steve White are starting, while the initial crew of J.B. Cox and T.J. Beam are in the bullpen.

Tampa: High-A Tampa is where the story really starts to get interesting, demonstrating how potent the lower Yankee farm system actually is. Phil Hughes, expected to be moved to AA Trenton after a few starts, headlines a starting rotation also featuring Zach Kroenke, Christian Garcia, Alan Horne, and Brett Smith. In the field, the young phenom duo of Marcos Vechionacci and Eduardo Nunez man the left side, with Tim Battle in the outfield. One hell of a team.

Charleston: If you want to talk about a stacked team, just look right at low-A Tampa. Charleston features uber-prospects Jose Tabata, C.J. Henry, and Austin Jackson. Not to mention 2005 pick OF Jon Poterson, the only good catching prospect in the organization Jose Gil, 1B Kyle Larson, and OF toolsy prospect with an awesome name, Wilkins De La Rossa.

Overall, this should be one hell of a minor league season for the Yankees. We could very well end the season with major league ready prospects in Eric Duncan, T.J. Beam, J.B. Cox, Tyler Clippard, Matt DeSalvo, Sean Henn, Darrel Rasner, and Melky Cabrera. And this is all without the 2006 Draft.

Amount left on Joe Torre's contract: 12,987,037 dollars