2005 Tampa Position Prospect Review

We look at the peripherals stats of the Tampa hitters from 2005, examining the guys who played a majority of the season with Tampa, those who had a minimum of 150 at-bats with the team and did not collect more than 150 at-bats at a higher level.

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Yosvany Almario-Cabrera - OF

Drafted in the 18th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, Cabrera has a solid contact hitter with one of the more polished games at the lower minor league levels. Of course, that is to be expected from a 25-year old playing the A-level. He has shown a great deal of consistency in his solid batting averages, good extra-base hit percentages, and rather low walk ratios since being drafted. The true measure of his value as a prospect won't be determined until he is tested at the higher levels. Almario-Cabrera should see ample time with the Trenton Thunder in 2006 where it will be his first true benchmark.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.286

.333

.349

.204

.059

16.4

192

A

Charleston

.316

.348

.516

.341

.037

36.7

155



Erold Andrus - OF

A product of the Yankees' Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) team, Andrus had a breakout season with the Battle Creek Yankees at low-A ball in 2004. Entering the 2005 season with a .294 career batting average, the switch-hitting Andrus fell into his first down year as a professional. He just didn't make enough consistent contact at the plate. The good news is he avoided prolonged slumps, never going longer than three games without a hit. He also chipped in with a solid walk ratio and an acceptable extra-base hit percentage for corner outfielder that is still developing. Andrus, despite the rather low batting average, should be a fixture in the Trenton outfield in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.241

.311

.334

.256

.083

27.9

461



Matt Carson - OF

The Yankees' 5th round pick of the 2002 draft out of BYU, Carson has been one of the more underrated five-tool talents in the farm system. However, the writing could have been on the wall for the 24-year outfielder with his performance in Tampa in 2004 (.171, 3 HRs). Carson, like Andrus with Battle Creek a year ago, looked like a world beater in the Midwest League but struggled making consistent contact in the Florida State League in 2005. Carson, who hit for a very good extra-base hit percentage in his two stops this past season, did not provide in the clutch all year long and he failed to draw one single walk in 99 plate appearances at AA-Trenton. He'll need some more seasoning in Trenton next season, which will most likely be a pivotal one in his development.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.192

.208

.273

.150

.000

31.6

99

A

Tampa

.252

.330

.389

.202

.088

30.9

321



Justin Christian - 2B

Signed as a free agent out of the Independent Frontier League in 2004, the speedy leadoff hitter wound up leading his Staten Island club in home runs last season. Offensively, Christian is one of the more exciting and intriguing prospects in the Yankees' farm system. The good news: as his peripherals show below, Christian posted above average numbers in every category, especially his extra-base hit percentage for a leadoff hitter. The bad news: Christian was way too old for the levels he has played in over the last two seasons. He's going to have to show the exact same type of success at the highest minor league levels to become an elite prospect. His speed, a plus tool, makes him a future Major Leaguer as a pinch-runner at minimum. Christian should be a major contributor to the Trenton Thunder next season.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.306

.371

.476

.367

.092

36.0

372

A

Charleston

.290

.393

.430

.200

.123

27.6

100



Rudy Guillen - OF

A free-agent signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2000, Guillen had a brutal season in 2004 with the Tampa Yankees, earning a repeat spot on the 2005 Tampa club. Not much changed a year later. Guillen posted average numbers in batting average, but had below average walk ratios and extra-base hit percentages, especially for a corner outfielder. Guillen is a five-tool talent that has seemingly regressed more so than progressed. The good news is he reached the AA-level and he doesn't turn 22 years old until November. 2006 will most likely be a make or break year for Guillen. He should be one of Trenton's starting outfielders next season and the Yankees are hoping he can resurrect his power game.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.257

.289

.330

.261

.044

14.3

109

A

Tampa

.260

.305

.362

.245

.047

23.8

389



Hector Made - SS

A free-agent signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, Made had a very solid campaign with the Battle Creek Yankees in 2004, hitting .289 with 30 doubles. He began the season in high-A Tampa and a series of nagging injuries cost him consistent playing time. As a result, Made never truly found his groove in 2005. He was an exceptional clutch hitter in his two stops between Tampa and Charleston, but his walk ratio and extra-base hit percentage were less than adequate. With the likes of C.J. Henry, Eduardo Nunez, and Ramiro Pena now becoming priority prospects at the shortstop position, Made has to turn things around in a hurry. Right now he'll most likely find his way back to Tampa to begin the 2006 season.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.218

.266

.259

.346

.066

16.2

170

A

Charleston

.310

.360

.364

.346

.065

12.5

129



Tommy Rojas - C

Drafted in the 30th round of the 2000 draft, Rojas has been a clutch hitter in his minor league career but hasn't shown enough power to become a legitimate starting catching prospect at the Major League level. Rojas, while not spectacular, was more than solid with Tampa this past season. His walk ratio and extra-base hit percentage were above average for a catcher and he once again provided in the clutch, hitting .313 with runners in scoring position. Rojas will be Trenton's starting catcher in 2006 and with another solid year next season, Tojas will be himself into reserve catching discussions with the Yankees, possibly as soon as 2007.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.276

.348

.386

.313

.087

25.3

272



Jon-Mark Sprowl - C

Acquired from the Diamondbacks in the Raul Mondesi trade with Arizona in the summer of 2003, Sprowl combined with Rojas to form a very solid tandem behind the plate for Tampa in 2005. Offensively, Sprowl is very much like Rojas. While Sprowl's batting average wasn't where he would have liked, he was very solid in his walk ratio and extra-base hit percentage. The problem is though that at 25 years old, Sprowl hasn't hit enough in the Florida State League, his second straight year in the league, to open enough eyes. It seems highly unlikely that he'll be back for a third tour of duty with Tampa. He should join Rojas in Trenton next season.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.228

.338

.321

.250

.128

26.2

184



John Urick - 1B

The Yankees' 22nd round pick in the 2003 draft out of Oklahoma State University, Urick battled injuries in 2005 and the inconsistent playing time effected his overall play. Urick had a breakout season with Battle Creek in 2004 in his first taste of long-season baseball. As disappointing as his batting average was this past season, Urick's peripherals were awfully good with Tampa. 43.2% of his hits went for extra bases, an extremely above average percentage for a first baseman. His walk ratio was also very solid, so while his season might look like a disappointment overall, his peripherals show that there's a lot to be encouraged about. Urick will be Trenton's starting first baseman in 2006.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.238

.316

.409

.237

.086

43.2

340



Hector Zamora - 3B

Zamora was the Yankees' 21st round pick out of San Jose State way back in the 2002 draft and played his third consecutive season with Staten Island in 2004 before skipping a level this past season to play third base for Tampa. Zamora has always posted solid peripheral numbers, especially in his walk ratios. He has good gap power and his batting average, while a little lower than normal, wasn't too far off from his career .264 average heading into the 2005 season. Zamora could figure into the Trenton mix next season.

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

RISP

BB/PA

XBH

AB

A

Tampa

.241

.331

.348

.237

.105

33.8

282



_____________________________________________________

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