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Leonardo Molina with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in 2014 (Bryan Green)

GCL Yankees Fall In Championship Finale

Success in the Gulf Coast League is not necessarily about wins and losses. It is more of a league of individuals trying to play as many games as possible, learn and improve as quickly as possible, and position themselves to move onward and upward as soon as possible. In that sense, missing the playoffs is not that big of a deal, nor is a losing season for that matter. But when a team reaches the championship game of any league, it becomes important and it’s disappointing to lose. It must have been disappointing, then, for the GCL Yankees 1 on Monday after getting blasted by the Red Sox 8-1. The Red Sox are the champions of the Gulf Coast League in 2104, and the Yankees 1 will have to settle for runners up.

The Yankees were down 6-0 before they put a run on the board, so it is hard to say this was much of a game at any point. The Red Sox scored single runs in the first and second innings against Manolo Reyes, although Reyes didn’t make it out of the second inning and Hayden Sharp walked in the second run after entering the game with the bases loaded. Reyes has struggled with control all year, in fact he probably pitched in the GCL strictly because of it, and today was no different. He allowed five base-runners and only recorded five outs.

It would be difficult for any of the first four Yankees 1 pitchers to claim he was effective today. Reyes, Sharp, Matt Marsh, and Jonny Drozd all were touched up for runs in short stints. The only pitcher with a clean line was Joey Maher, who finished the game. Sharp allowed a home run to Red Sox shortstop Javier Guerra and Drozd gave up a two-run shot to 2014 first-rounder Michael Chavis.

Leonardo Molina had two hits for the Yankees, and Bryan Cuevas and Thairo Estrada had one apiece. Cuevas’ hit was a triple, and Estrada knocked him in.

With an overall record of 40-24, the GCL Yankees 1 can feel good that a combination of so many players from so many backgrounds came together to win at such a high rate. The Yankees organization can feel really good about putting two Gulf Coast teams on the field and having them both win divisions and combine for a record of 75-49. Hopefully that translates to continued success as these players develop.

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