Instructional League Notebook: 9/25/2018

The annual Florida Instructional League has begun in Tampa with the Yankees having their first game on Tuesday.  Here are some notes from the game.

Albert Abreu started Tuesday’s match-up against the Pirates. Abreu threw three scoreless IP. He allowed 0 hits, one walk, 1 HBP, and struck out 4. Of his 44 pitches, 24 were for strikes. He threw 26 fastballs, sitting 94-95 m.p.h. He struggled with fastball command at times, including drilling one-hitter with a 0-2 heater but showed an overall improvement in stuff. His curve was sharp, and he showed a tendency to start lefties off with breakers, often backing it up. The curve sat 76-77. Abreu also threw a slider, or more accurately, a faster version of the curve. When it was on, it flashed some tight spin but overall was flatter with less tilt.

Jordan Foley followed up Abreu and threw three innings as well. He allowed four hits and two runs. Foley looked tired especially as the game wore on. His stuff lacked life, especially his slider. The release point was inconsistent as was his balance throughout his delivery. Foley also walked two men and struck out 2. He struggled to extend the plate inside against lefties.

Hobie Harris followed Foley for a two-inning stint in which he allowed two singles and no runs. He struck out 3. His fastball sat 93-95, and he flashed a tight spinning curve as well.

Anderson Severino closed out the game striking out the side. He did allow a single and a walk but was plagued by two passed balls that allowed a run to score. His FB showed good life, topping out at 96. He also flashed a hard-breaking hammer at 84 that generated swing-and-miss.

Offensively, the Yankees looked just as tired as the pitching staff. Their young hitters were aggressive, often missing hittable pitches, and getting themselves out. They did bang out five hits, six walks, and scored four runs. A summary of each hitter’s performance is below.

Brandon Lockridge, Centerfield

0-2 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout. The walk came in a lengthy at-bat, seeing nine pitches, but consistently fouled off hittable fastballs at 90-92 m.p.h. He flashed a fringe arm on a throw from CF to 3rd base.

Dom Thompson-Williams, Centerfield

He took over for Lockridge in the 6th. 1-2 with a stolen base, run scored, and a strikeout. The hit was a first-pitch squibber to 3rd.

Thairo Estrada, Shortstop

Crushed a first inning HR and finished the day 1-3. Estrada was clocked 4.43 home-to-first. He played steady defense in 6 innings at SS.

Wilkerman Garcia, Shortstop

Garcia entered the game in the 6th. Finished 1-2 with a single. The single came from the right side of the plate. Good use of hands lined a low curveball to CF. He showed soft hands and good athleticism in the field.

Donny Sands, Catcher

Drew 2 walks in his only two plate appearances. Defensively, he was 1-2 on stolen base attempts but also made two throwing errors. Most of his throws lacked carry and accuracy despite a 2.02 pop-time.

Jason Lopez, Catcher

Entered in the bottom of the 6th as a pinch-hitter. Went 1-2 with a walk and a long double that nearly left the park. Struggled with four passed balls on the day.

Brandon Wagner, Second baseman

Wagner’s bat will carry his profile, so it was nice to see him add some versatility on the infield after playing 1B-3B in my previous looks. No issues with the one ground ball hit his way. At the plate, went 0-2.

Ezequiel Duran, Second baseman

Entered in the 6th and went 0-3 with a strikeout. Overly aggressive, he put himself into poor counts and had trouble with curveballs.

Anthony Seigler, Designated Hitter

The 2018 1st round pick went 0-2 with two walks. After popping up the 1st pitch, he saw in his 1st at-bat, showed mature patience at the plate, seeing 16 pitches in his next three at-bats.

Nelson Gomez, Third baseman

0-2 with a strikeout. Was aggressive, lunging at most pitches, instead of trusting his strong hands.

Kyle Gray, Third baseman

Entered in the 6th. 0-2 with a strikeout.

Dermis Garcia, First baseman

1-2 with a single. The base hit came on a high fastball that Garcia roped for a line drive over the SS. His next at-bat hit a first-pitch missile right at 3B for an out. Improved balance and patience compared to earlier looks.

Eric Wagaman, First baseman

Entered in the 6th. 0-2 with a strikeout but did reach on an error and scored a run.

Canaan Smith, Left fielder

1-2 with a strikeout. The hit came off a left-handed pitcher.  He saw 11 pitches in two at-bats. He did chase a high fastball for the strikeout.

Evan Alexander, Left fielder

Entered in 6th and went 0-1 with a walk. Alexander reached on an error and stole two bases, eventually scoring a run. Was thrown out attempting to steal third after drawing a walk.

Anthony Garcia, Right Fielder

0-2 but reached on an error but he showed an above-average throwing arm in right field.

Stanley Rosario, Right Fielder

0-2 with a strikeout. Tried to pull everything which is consistent with his GCL performance. He did throw out a runner at home plate with a strong, accurate throw.