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Wilkerman Garcia (Bryan Green)


Yankees 2014 International Free Agent Class Had Up and Down Debuts

In 2014 the New York Yankees spent big in the international market signing 10 out of the top 30 prospects available.  The big spending spree caused the Yankees to be limited in the next few signing periods but the huge amount of talent that it brought in restocked the talent in the lower levels.

One of the 2014 signings made an appearance above Rookie-ball in 2015 that was infielder Danienger Perez.  Perez, 18, was promoted to the Staten Island Yankees after making appearances for both the Dominican Summer League Yankees and the Gulf Coast League Yankees.  In 240 at bats over 67 games between the three teams he hit .246 with 20 doubles, 5 triples and a homerun.  Perez split the season between second base and shortstop almost equally but can find himself firmly on the right-side of the infield as he moves through the system.

Hoy Jun Park, the South Korean shortstop, has impressed the Yankees development staff with his instincts in the field.  Several of them saying he is advanced for his age.  At 19 years old during the 2015 season he made his professional debut with the Pulaski Yankees.  Park hit just .239 in the Appalachian League over 56 games with 11 doubles, 3 triples and 5 homeruns.

One of the better debuts belonged to shortstop Wilkerman Garcia who split the 2015 season between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League.  Garcia, 17, appeared in just 2 games for the DSL Yankees before heading to Tampa.  With the GCL Yankees he hit .281 over 121 at bats with 6 doubles, 3 triples and drove in 18 runs while drawing 24 walks.  Garcia has been drawing rave reviews from Yankees coaches and that just intensified after the 2015 instructional league.

Right-handed pitcher Gilmael Troya is another 2014 free agent signee that split the season between the Dominican Republic and the Gulf Coast League.  The 6-foot 178-pounds right-hander out of Venezuela pitched to a 1.80 ERA over 60 innings between the two teams, earning a 4-3 record while striking out 67 batters.

One of the most disappointing debuts came in the person of infielder Dermis Garcia.  Garcia, 17, sat out much of the season with an injury before making his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Yankees.  After 69 at bats over 23 games he hit just .159, striking out 25 times.  While listed as a shortstop he played 22 games at third base this past season, likely sticking at the corner spot as he moves through the system.  He committed 9 errors in 59 chances at third base, earning 32 assists and was part of 3 double plays.

Shortstop Diego Castillo made his professional debut with the DSL Yankees in 2015, hitting .331 in 239 at bats over 56 games.  He hit 11 doubles, 8 triples and drove in 30 runs while walking 16 times.  Castillo, 17, played 53 games at shortstop, committing 21 errors in 266 chances while turning 23 double plays.

Miguel Flames, 18, was one of the top prospects in the 2014 International Free Agent class.  The young prospect was originally listed as a catcher but spent only 9 games behind the plate, opting instead to play 41 games as a first baseman, where he committed just 4 errors as compared to the 5 errors he had as a backstop.  At first he was part of 23 doubles plays.  His biggest impression was made at the plate where in 54 games he hit .317 with 9 doubles, 5 triples and 3 homeruns while driving in 40 runs.

In 53 games top prospect Juan De Leon, ranked as the #2 prospect in the 2014 class by Baseball America, hit just .226 in first professional season.  Out of the 42 hits he had he had 2 doubles, 4 triples and 3 homeruns while driving in 23 runs.  De Leon, 18, spent most of the season in right field, playing 41 games there as opposed to 8 games as a centerfielder.

Brayan Emery, 17, hit just .192 over 61 games in the DSL.  Most of the season he played in left field but also had some time in right.  18-year old Nelson Gomez hit .243 over 58 games while outfielder Jonathan Amundaray played in just 13 games, hitting .111.  Other members of the 2014 IFA class that made their debuts in 2015 were Pablo Olivares, Raymundo Moreno, Lisandro Blanco, Jason Lopez, Leobaldo Cabrera, Antonio Arias, and Frederick Cuevas among others.


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