Eastern League Prospects: Glynn Davis, Gary Sanchez and Yankees Relievers
In the Eastern League, baseball prospects are just a step or two away from a Major League debut. Sometimes, the best prospects in baseball will jump from Double-A to the show, but this group of players is still developing and a year or two away from MLB. After a handful of scouting pieces on the best prospects scouted in a series between Trenton (Yankees) and Bowie (Orioles), these notes on select Yankees and Orioles prospects empties the notebook so to speak. Gary Sanchez is the headliner, but several names can fill big league roles — especially if negotiations with David Robertson go wrong.
Top-100 prospect Gary Sanchez didn’t produce in game action, but his physical tools and approach at the plate stood out amongst Eastern League prospects. Sanchez is a massive man with easy power. In spite of a pedestrian walk rate, Sanchez worked counts waiting for a pitch to drive. When Sanchez is unable to square up the ball, he’s an easy out because of terrible 4.6 season home-to-first times.
out of the bullpen, Yankees’ Jaron Long is not a starting pitching prospect in spite of a sub-three ERA across three levels. The undrafted Ohio State product features an 88-90 MPH fastball, touching 92, and a mid-80s change-up. The change has arm-side run and is Long’s best pitch. Long threw strikes, but command was suspect. The result was numerous hard outs, which would result in extra bases against better competition.
A pitcher with this profile never headlines modern day major league bullpen. Consider him an up-and-down guy who has the ceiling of a long reliever. For a player who wasn’t drafted, this would be an amazing outcome.
With David Robertson turning down the Yankees’ qualifying offer and reportedly seeking a Jon Papelbon contract, the organization’s reliever depth chart may be in line for a shake up — especially in the Eastern League where finishing school has begun. This year’s Trenton roster featured two pitchers who were once considered future ace relivers in Danny Burawa and Mark Montgomery.
Burawa has struggled with his control in the past, but was able to keep the ball in the strike zone in Trenton. Burawa has a mid-80s slider and change-up, but lives off of a 92-96 MPH fastball. While most pitchers took a bit off for their warmup tosses between innings, Burawa warmed up at 100% velocity.
Dellin Betances currently occupies a spot in the Yankees bullpen once reserved for Mark Montgomery. After a big 2012 season, Montgomery has struggled to keep the walks in check and his stuff has depreciated. Montgomery’s fastball was down to 88-90 MPH for Trenton and his off-speed pitches were flat. Despite the 0.83 ERA in his 17 game Eastern League stint, it would be shocking to see the right-handed reliever figure in the Yankees’ 2015 plans.
Ben Gamel is worth keeping an eye on. The left-handed batter had a poor year at the plate, but offers plus speed with base stealing ability. If he figures things out, it’s possible he becomes a poor man’s Brett Gardner.
Glynn Davis: Eastern League Athlete
The Orioles’ Glynn Davis is a few weeks away from his 23rd birthday, but has a projectable build. Noticeably lanky at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, Davis’ advanced age and slow progress are red flags. In 96 Double-A at bats with the Bowie Baysox, Davis walked twice and struck out 20 times. The right-handed hitter has a lethal combination of poor strike zone discipline and above average contact skills that keeps the strikeouts in check, at bats short and contact weak. However, one can’t teach plus-plus speed. And with consistent times around 4.1 seconds to first base, he’ll return to the Eastern League with an other chance to figure it out.
17 Nov 2014 / Fabian McNally /
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