13 Mitch Abeita R/R, 5-10, 195, 25 y/o
2011 stats: Tampa; .221/2/20
2012 forecast: As of now, Abeita is the Thunder’s backup backstop. With the bizarre happenings at the big league level, however, things may change. Gustavo Molina could be sent to Trenton as a sort of trickle-down after Francisco Cervelli was assigned to Triple-A. Unlikely? Sure. But it could happen. Abeita is in his fifth year in the Yankees organization and is a career .243 minor league hitter with eight home runs in 1,025 plate appearances. He threw out a very impressive 47% of attempted basestealers last year (35 for 75) with Tampa and if he can hit more like he did in 2010, he could steal some playing time away from Jose Gil.
32 Jeff Farnham R/R, 6-1, 190, 24 y/o
2011 stats: Charleston; .232/2/12
2012 forecast: Farnham caught Andy Pettitte’s simulated game a few days ago. That might be the last meaningful thing he gets to do for a bit. The 24-year-old is slated to be the Thunder’s third catcher this season, and it’s unlikely he starts the season on the active roster. He’s somewhat oddly played in Staten Island in 2010 after seeing some time in Charleston the year before, and he returned to the RiverDogs to play in 42 games in 2011.
55 Jose Gil R/R, 6-0, 205, 25 y/o
2011 stats: Scranton; .250/0/0. Trenton; .253/6/35
2012 forecast: Gil is in his eighth season in the Yankees organization, and will be in Trenton for a fourth year. Gil played in 79 games last year between Trenton (73) and Scranton, which was the most action he’d seen since 2007. But this is the first time he’ll be the starting catcher for the Thunder after being behind Austin Romine for all or parts of the past two years. It’ll be interesting to see what he does as “the guy,” as the Venezuelan-born 25-year-old showed he could be an offensive force on occasion last year.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com // Twitter: Mashmore98