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Artur Strzałka at the Yankees complex in 2014 (Artur Strzalka's Facebook)

Pinstriped Prospects Mailbag: Flores, Rutckyj, Strzalka, & More

Welcome to the Pinstriped Prospects Mailbag. If you have a question on any of the New York Yankees prospects or the Yankees minor league affiliates in general send it to us and you could be featured!

From Adam:
Does Ramon Flores have a legitimate chance to make the big club team as a 5th outfielder out of Spring Training? I like the kid a lot and would love to see him in pinstripes as early as April.

The only way I see Ramon Flores making the MLB roster out of Spring Training is if one of the Yankees regular outfielders goes down with an injury. It could also come down to who the Yankees select as their starting second baseman. If Refsnyder starts the year at second and the Yankees need to fill an extra bench spot, it is likely to go to Jose Pirela who can play infield and outfield.

From Kenny:
Did Evan Rutckyj’s move to the bullpen help his status as a fringe prospect, or did it take away what little prospect shine he had left? Thanks in advance.

It is tough to say, the Yankees have always had a plethora of bullpen arms in their minors who can contribute. Right now they have a lot of left-handed relievers who are ahead of him. The 2015 season will be his big test, it is likely he will be in Trenton where if he has a strong performance he can gain back some of that prospect luster.

From Geehoon:
Is there a way to compare prospects in different years other than rankings from BA or BP? For example, who would you consider the best prospect among 2006 Hughes, 2011 Banuelos, and 2014 Severino?

That is tough. Looking through statistics at the minor league level is one way but it only tells part of the story. At any given level, any given team the quality of play is different and not consistent. You have to factor in many things including the level of the play, quality of umpires, age comparison, etc. You can compare based on scouting report and where they are at their development at their age. Again that has many inaccuracies just like going on scouting. There is no definitive way to compare guys from different years at different points in their development.

From David:
Do you have any info on a polish player the Yankees signed named Artur Strzalka? I only found one photo on a polish baseball Twitter page of him with a Yankee uniform on and it said signed with the Yankees, there’s no info on him on the Yankees website and I can’t find his name on any of their minor league rosters, I think he’s a pitcher, any info on him would be great. Thank you

Thanks for bringing him up. The Yankees signed Artur Strzalka last July but he has yet to make his official professional debut. Last season Artur spent his time at the Yankees complex in the Dominican Republic where he worked with Yankees coaches. Right now it is safe to say his talent is pretty raw and needed sometime before he is in games. With signings like this the Yankees usually do wait a year before they make their professional debut in a game so they can have an extended look at them at their complex.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it probably? Probably not. That is not saying that Mitchell cannot break camp with the big club. There are several injury concerns in that Yankees rotation and all it would take is one guy to go down for Mitchell to break camp. More than likely Mitchell would start the season in Triple-A to further his development.

That is it for this week’s edition of the Pinstriped Prospects mailbag.  If you have a question feel free to send it to us here.

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