The New York Yankees have re-signed outfielder Edwar Gonzalez, who played a key role in the Trenton Thunder’s championship season.
Gonzo hit .295 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI for the Thunder after being called up from Tampa in early May. Overall, he hit 20 home runs between Tampa and Trenton, and you could make a case that he’s jumped over Colin Curtis on the organizational depth chart.
If nothing else, he’s one of just a handful of guys with legitimate power in the system who are close to being big league ready. The concern would be that last year was a career year and that he may have peaked, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see him start the year in Scranton as a third or fourth outfielder.
In other news, the team has signed 1B Jorge Vazquez. If I’ve got the right guy, he can rake. He’s got video game numbers in the Mexican League. I wonder if he could start the year in Trenton…I’d imagine Juan Miranda would start in Scranton.
The Yankees have also released RHP Stephen Artz, RHP Jason Kiley, RHP Gabriel Medina, RHP Mike Obradovich, RHP Rob Semerano, RHP Drew Shetrone, LHP Tim Dennehy, LHP Shawn Joy, 1B Roy Gomez, 2B Chris Kunda, 3B Brian Chavez, OF Taylor Holiday, OF Erik Lovett, OF Matt Morris (thanks, Baseball America!)
Because it’s early in the morning and I have nothing better to do Because I love giving you all the information I can, here are some brief looks at each of those players:
Artz – Righty reliever split 2008 between Charleston and Tampa, posting a 4-2 record with a 3.63 ERA in 29 total appearances. Good BB/K numbers (7/34) but the opposition was hitting him to the tune of a .318 average. He’s a former top indy ball prospect, as the Yankees plucked him out of the United League.
Kiley – Was picked in the 25th round in 2007. Went 2-1 with one save and a 4.24 ERA in 20 relief appearances with Staten Island this year. At 6′ 5″, 235 pounds, it’s my professional opinion that he’s a pretty big dude. Similar to Artz, his BB/K numbers (3/21) were good, but the average against (.294) was not.
Medina – Was the D2 Pitcher of the Year in 2006 out of Emporia State, and was picked by the Bronx Bombers in the 15th round that year. Spent three years in the Yankees system, but never made significant progress.
Obradovich – Signed as a UFA in June, Obradovich started out in the Gulf Coast League and eventually made it to Staten Island, even making a cameo appearance in Tampa inbetween. A righty reliever, he went 3-1 with six saves and a 3.49 ERA in 22 total appearances. He walked just three batters and struck out 36, and held batters to a .198 average. I, uhhh…guess that wasn’t good enough?
Semerano – Is a 27-year-old righty who hasn’t advanced past A-Ball in his career. He went 4-1 with a 5.09 ERA in 22 relief appearances with Tampa last year after spending the prior four seasons in the Oakland system.
Shetrone – Was signed out of the independent Northern League in June and was assigned to Staten Island. He went 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 22 appearances, walking 10 and striking out 46 in 41 innings of work.
Dennehy – Was the Yankees 26th round pick in 2007. Spent last year with Staten Island, where he went 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA in 16 relief appearances. A 22-year-old lefty, he struck out 16 batters in 22 innings of work.
Joy – Signed as a UFA out of Southern Illinois, the undersized southpaw was 1-1 with four saves and a 3.66 ERA in 15 games for the GCL Yankees. He walked seven and struck out nine, and batters were hitting .303 off of him.
Gomez – Was signed by the Yankees in 2003, and spent four years playing in the Dominican Summer League before coming stateside just this year. Played for the GCL Yankees, Staten Island and Tampa, driving in nine runs in 68 at-bats.
Kunda – Had been in the Yankees organization since 2006, and made a brief appearance in Scranton this season, going 1-for-3 with two RBI in two games. Did not perform well in Tampa this year, hitting just .145 in 45 games with a .369 OPS
Chavez – Picked in the 32nd round by the Yankees in 2007. Played in just 10 games between Staten Island and Tampa last year, and had a .167 career average with two walks and 28 strikeouts.
Holiday – The Yankees 19th round selection just one year ago, Holiday spent all of 2008 in Single-A Charleston, where he hit an underwhelming .215 with two home runs and 29 RBI.
Lovett – Was picked in the 42nd round this year and was sent to Staten Island. He played in 23 games, hitting.273 with three home runs and 11 RBI.
Morris – The Yankees 23rd round pick in 2007, Morris split the season between Staten Island and Charleston. He finishes his two-year stint in the Yankees farm system with a .207 career average, two home runs and 15 RBI.
Chad Jennings, who has fine taste in photo selection, weighs in with his thoughts over on his blog. I’d say Chad’s blog is a must-read…but I think you guys know that by now.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com