Minor league spring training is officially underway down at the Himes Complex in Tampa and with that the first workout groups have been released. Among those on the Triple-A roster are players such as former first round picks Cito Culver and Dante Bichette who could find time in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.
The initial workgroups also include prospects who will find themselves with lower-level affiliates this season. Players such as Ian Clarkin, Jeff Degano, Kevin Cornelius, Abiatal Avelino, Mark Payton, etc fill the spots as they wait for players to be reassigned from major league camp.
Let’s take a look on some prospects to watch on the Triple-A work out roster.
Jeff Degano – LHP
Former second round draft pick, Jeff Degano, is a prospect that could find himself quickly moving up the rankings and the system in 2016. As he moves further away from Tommy John he will find more consistency in his stuff. In a recent interview he told us that this off season he worked on perfecting his changeup to go along with his two-seam and four-seam fastballs. While James Kaprielian gets all the attention out of the 2015 draft class pitchers, Degano could be one of the best pitchers from the class.
Jonathan Holder – RHP
Holder is a former college closer who has become one of the better starting pitchers in the Yankees farm system in 2015. Over 3 levels he earned a 7-6 record with a 2.52 ERA, with the majority of his time coming at Advanced-A Tampa. This coming season he will likely head to Double-A Trenton Thunder to
Jordan Montgomery – LHP
Another pitcher that emerged in 2015 was left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery. The tall lefty threw 134 1/3 innings over 25 games between the Charleston RiverDogs and the Tampa Yankees in 2015. He uses a fastball that hovers around 90-miles per hour, an above-average changeup along with a curveball and cutter to keep batters off balance. He will be likely taking his talents to the Trenton Thunder in 2016.
Will Carter – RHP
Drafted in the 14th round of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Alabama, Will Carter is a prospect that could find himself moving quickly through the Yankees farm system. An advanced college reliever that was coming off of Tommy John surgery. In 17 2/3 innings over 9 games for the Staten Island he earned a 1-1 record with a 2.04 ERA. He uses a low-90s fastball with an above-average changeup to get batters out.
Angel Aguilar – IF
One of the many middle infield prospects in the Yankees lower minors, Aguilar struggled a bit in 2015 in 87 games for the Charleston RiverDogs where he hit .229. Aguilar played 3 different positions for the RiverDogs, with 39 games at shortstop, 26 at second base and 13 at third base. He will turn 21 in 2016 and will likely see a return to the South Atlantic League.
Carlos Vidal – OF
Carlos Vidal had a breakout season in 2015 where in his first season in the United States he hit .303 over 60 games for the Pulaski Yankees. While he is a center fielder now, he profiles as a left-fielder long term and has earned comparisons for former Yankees prospect Ramon Flores with more power. Vidal possess good speed and has the tools to be above-average in the field and if he continues his hot hitting he can find himself in the top prospect conversation soon.