Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Well, that's all she wrote! The curtain has closed on yet, another Arizona Fall League season.

Unfortunately, there would be no Championship in the cards for the Scottsdale Scorpions and the Yankee prospects. Led by current Tampa Yankees manager Jay Bell, the Scorpions finished the AFL season with a 12-17-1 record. Though the record was not too great, I personally did get to see some good things from the Yankee prospects as I was able to attend a few games this season. In fact, this list of the top breakout prospects in the league this year highlights some of the Yankee prospects I was impressed by most. Check this out from MLB.com:

(Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images via AP)
"Albert Abreu, RHP, Yankees' No. 7 prospect: If he's in New York's top 10, he obviously wasn't completely off the radar, and he was a big part of the Brian McCann deal. But after just 53 1/3 innings in his first season with the organization due to a shoulder issue, all in A ball, there were questions. Abreu still needs to work on his command, but a 2.60 ERA and .219 batting average against in 27 2/3 IP with premium stuff certainly answered some of them this fall.

(Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images via AP)
Cody Carroll, RHP, Yankees' No. 25 prospect: The 25-year-old reliever took off in 2017 with a full-time move to the bullpen, pitching well in Double-A. With a fastball up to 98 mph and a slider, both coming from a hard-to-pick-up delivery, Carroll didn't give up a run in 11 2/3 AFL innings, allowing only two hits and striking out 18...

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Thairo Estrada, SS, Yankees' No. 17: After hitting .301 in Double-A at age 21, perhaps Estrada should be more on the map. Hitting .342 this fall won't hurt, nor will his outstanding defense at shortstop for Scottsdale. "

While those 3 were not the biggest names of the Yankee prospects, they each showed a lot of promise and a glimpse of the future.

Speaking of the biggest names the Yankees assigned to the AFL... Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial and Billy McKinney all looked solid.

In 5 starts Justus Sheffield had a record of 2-2 with an ERA of 3.10. In all, he pitched a total of 20.1 innings recording 22 strikeouts and issuing only 3 walks. While I only got to catch a couple of his starts, he left quite an impression. I could definitely see Justus pushing to make it to the Bigs in the very near future.

Kim Contreras photo | @cu_As
Estevan Florial finished the season batting .286 with 5 doubles and 2 triples while collecting 4 RBI's. While he is a top prospect, you could tell he still has some developing to do. His main issue was the strikeout, as he whiffed 29 times in 70 at-bats. The kid just turned 20 though... so there is plenty of time. He may be the centerfielder of the future, but the Yankees seem alright in the outfield right now, so there is no real reason to rush the kid.

Photo: Baseball America
Billy McKinney. We love him here at BYB. McKinney batted .279 hitting 5 doubles, 1 triple, and a home run while collecting 20 RBI's. Billy was sent to the AFL to get some work at first base. Besides playing some first, Billy also played some in left field and handled the DH spot as well. Billy could be in the Bronx as early as next season. It's exciting.

(Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images via AP)
Others Yankee prospects to compete in the Fall League this year were infielder Kyle Holder and relief pitcher Andrew Schwaab. Holder appeared in 11 games batting .333, collecting 3 doubles, a triple, and a home run collecting 6 RBI's. Kyle also only struck out 4 times in 45 at-bats.

(Zachary Lucy/Four Seam Images via AP)
Schwaab pitched a total of 11.1 innings striking out 8 and walking 7. He ended the season with a 6.35 ERA surrendering 8 earned runs. All stats can be found here on the Arizona Fall League site.

The Arizona Fall League is an incredible experience.  Something I love watching being out here in AZ.  If you ever get a chance, you should come check it out.  You never know... you may be looking at a future Yankee All-Star!

--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer
Twitter: @sevn4evr

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