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Hayden Sharp File Photo (Bryan Green)

Sharp Returns With Win For GCL Yankees

The GCL Yankees 1 took out the GCL Phillies 4-2 in Clearwater, thus opening up a 1.5 game lead on them in the division. The Yankees’ offense banged out 11 hits, including six doubles, and the familiar trio of Billy Fleming, Alexander Palma, and Drew Bridges combined to go 7 for 14 with four doubles.

Today marked the triumphant return of Hayden Sharp to a pitching mound wearing a Yankee uniform in game action. Sharp,21, was drafted by the Yankees in the 18th round in 2011. He was touted as a sleeper prospect and was a pop-up guy in the draft because he was a better-known quarterback prospect in high school, but he was throwing 98 in his senior year. He signed with the Yankees for $200,000, then pitched in the GCL for parts of 2012 and 2013. He then left the organization to give football a try, only to return recently and finally make it to the field today. He threw one inning, struck out the side, and got the win.

Also contributing to the pitching effort with solid outings were Austin DeCarr, Deshorn Lake, and a two-inning, four-strikeout save from Jonny Drozd, who is becoming an interesting guy to watch. Drozd, 22, went undrafted this spring as a senior out of Texas Tech, but he’s a 6’7″ lefty who is having a lot of success against the inexperienced hitters of the GCL. He has put up 15 strikeouts in 10.1 shutout innings to start his professional career. Lefties as tall as Drozd may look like trees, but they don’t grow on them, so the Yankees will likely give Jonny a long look.

The GCL Yankees 2 had a tough day against the Braves, getting swept in a double header and falling out of first place in the process.

In Game One, the Yankees 2 were shut out 2-0, getting only two hits from Jose Augusto Figueroa and one apiece from shortstop Yancarlos Baez, first baseman RJ Johnson, and left fielder Griffin Gordon. Nestor Cortes was the tough-luck loser, going 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on two hits, and striking out five.

The name of Yancarlos Baez showing up in the box score is interesting, and not because you don’t know a lot of people named Yancarlos. Baez, 18, made his United States debut today after playing the first part of the season in the Dominican Summer League. He signed two years ago on July 2 for $650,000 and was injured last year. After a slow start this season, Baez has hit much better of late and got the rare mid-season promotion to the GCL. Whether he is here on the merit of his performance or whether there are injuries involved is not clear, but Baez is a prospect to keep an eye on.

Baez posted another hit in Game Two, one the Yankees 2 dropped 4-1. The Yankees also got two hits from first baseman Jake Hernandez and one apiece from third baseman Allen Valerio, left fielder Frank Frias, and catcher Jesus Aparicio.

Elvin Perez took the loss by giving up two unearned runs in four innings on only three hits. Perez’s ERA lowered to 1.59 with his performance.

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