Scouting Yankees Prospect #28: Angelo Gumbs

Gumbs has speed and defense already

The New York Yankees selected middle infielder Angelo Gumbs in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Torrance High School in California. A speedy centerfielder and shortstop at the amateur level, the Yankees have begun transitioning him to second base and they not only love his versatility, they like his upside too.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Angelo Gumbs
Position: Second Base
DOB: October 13, 1992
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

He signed too late to see any significant minor league action in 2010, hitting just .192 in seven games for the Gulf Coast League Yankees with three stolen bases, but he did catch the organization's collective eye with a strong performance in two Instructional League camps.

"I think my Gulf Coast League season went fine but it was only seven games," Gumbs said. "Between that time and now though I've learned a lot, and I think the deeper I get into it the more I've been progressing."

A centerfielder by trade who had also played some shortstop in high school, the Yankees, who drafted Cito Culver as a shortstop in the first round, quickly moved Gumbs over to second base.

"When I went to the Dominican [Instructs] I played second base and that has been the toughest adjustment, playing second base," he admitted. "Everything is on the other side of the diamond.

"I have to charge for bunts now and there is so much more to think about. I think I did a pretty good job considering I have a lot of learning to do over there. I have lots of hard work ahead of me."

A natural athlete with great hands, he has taken to the position quite well in the early going and his transition to the professional game with the bat has been seamless as well.

"I think I've been holding my own pretty well having that confidence every time that I step to the plate that nobody can get me out and doing everything I can not to go down," he said. "I think I've done pretty good. My quick hands, I think that's my best attribute."

Those quick hands are the first things everybody notices when watching him, including his Gulf Coast League manager and coach during Instructs, Tommy Slater.

"I think he's adjusting well," Slater said. "The thing about 'Angie' is the ball really sticks in his glove. That's important for an infielder. I know we've got a lot of work to do with that adjustment over at second base with the double-play feed and the double-play pivots, some throwing stroke stuff, but the ball sticks in his glove.

"He's a young player but he already hits the ball to all fields well. Between the GCL, the Instructional League, and the Dominican Instructional League, he hit the ball the other way well and with some authority. He's another guy who barrels the ball."

If his hands are his best attribute, his versatility has to be a close second and that's a rare trait for players at the lower minor league levels.

"I do think so because a lot of times when you get called up to the big leagues it's not where you want to play, it's where the team needs you. I think it's a big part of my game, being very versatile," Gumbs said. "The versatility really comes in handy."

The plan right now for Gumbs, a speedy gap hitter, is to allow him to learn on the job at second base and let his natural athleticism take over.

"I just want to have quality at-bats this coming year and be smart on the base paths," he said. "And defensively do my role in order to help the team out.

"I think my game is ready for Charleston. Everywhere is a little different, but I know myself and I know my game. I have the type of game that no matter where I go, I can adjust."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2010 GCL Yankees .192 26 1 0 0 1 3 1 3 .222 .231


Batting and Power. Gumbs has fantastic bat speed and he has a knack for getting the barrel of the bat on the ball. He doesn't try to do too much at the plate and he uses the whole field too, all good signs that he should be a good contact hitter at the professional level. He doesn't have great home run power, but that bat speed does allow him to generate power into the alleys and therefore he gets a lot of extra-base hits. That in itself could give him decent home run power long-term as he learns to become a better hitter.

Base Running and Speed. Gumbs is flat-out fast and he is one of the better athletes in the organization. Like anyone his age [he just turned 18 years old this offseason], he still has to learn the nuances of reading pitchers' moves, but he has the natural speed to be an impact base stealer.

Defense. Gumbs' top-notch speed gives him exceptional range defensively and he is about as sure-handed a defender as there is at the lower minor league levels. Both a centerfielder and a shortstop, however, he still has a lot to learn about the second base position. He might have some growing pains in the early going, but long-term he projects to be a plus defensive player. His arm is a plus tool at second base as well.

Projection. Gumbs is extremely young and it is very early in his development, but his up-the-middle versatility, plus defensive potential, plus speed, and excellent bat speed, already safely projects him as a future big league utility man. There is some hidden power in his bat, however, so he also has a pretty big ceiling as a potential big league starting second baseman and leadoff man. Think a speedier and right-handed hitting version of Orlando Hudson for his ceiling.

ETA. 2015. Gumbs' versatility could give him an outside chance to break camp with the Charleston RiverDogs in 2011, but the smarter money says he'll land a starting job in the short-season leagues, most likely Staten Island.

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