Staten Island Yankees Season In Review

Eric Jagielo can be a real impact bat

The Staten Island Yankees had a disappointing season in 2013, finishing the year with a 34-41 record and seven and half games out of first place. We take a look at where was the team's greatest depth, which prospects stood out, which ones could be 'sleeper' prospects down the road, and more.

The Team

Despite finishing their season on a great 9-2 run in their last eleven games, the Staten Island Yankees' season was done in by two separate long losing streaks; an eight-game losing streak from July 23-30 and a six-game losing streak from August 11-17 right around the All Star break. In fact, the team went just 6-19 from July 23rd through August 17th.

Pitching-wise they finished 8th in the 14th team league in ERA [3.19], ninth in WHIP ratio [1.27], and walked the fourth most batters [242], but on a positive note they tied for third in most strikeouts [606].

Offensively they finished seventh in the league in runs scored [295] and OPS [.651], eighth in team batting average [.236], eleventh in stolen bases [44], and dead last in strikeouts [669]. However, they did finish third in walks [241], and fourth in both doubles [121] and home runs [38].

The Greatest Depth

While it would seem offensively, at least power-wise, that the Yankees would have their best collection of prospects at the plate, ironically the better depth is on the mound.

Top Pitching Prospects

The top pitcher on the staff was right-hander Rookie Davis. Not only did he post a 2.36 ERA this season and nearly strike out a batter per inning pitched, but he saw his fastball soar up to the 93-95 mph range, his changeup become a much more consistent pitch, and even improve an already solid curveball.

Right-hander Giovanny Gallegos turned in a rather disappointing showing this season, going 2-8 with a 4.27 ERA. However, while the numbers and his stuff fluctuated over the course of the season, the fact is it was the first time he had pitched so much. He tired down the stretch and it led to a 5.95 ERA and a .345 opponents' batting average in the second half of the season. He still has innate strike-throwing ability though, and two above average pitches that flash plus potential.

The surprise of the staff was 14th round pick Caleb Smith. The southpaw has great control if a 90-93 mph sinking two-seamer that he hides very well. It also has some late life to go along with the movement and opposing batters take hacks like it's coming in on them at 95 mph plus. Throw in a swing and miss changeup, he has the potential to be a very good prospect in the coming years.

Reliever Nick Rumbelow often gets compared to another former LSU "Nick" -- Nick Goody -- for his low to mid-90s fastball with good command and swing and miss breaking ball, a curveball that can range anywhere from 80-86 mph. He posted a 2.35 ERA this season and allowed just 12 hits in 23 innings. He could be a fast riser through the farm system.

The Biggest 'Sleeper'

Arguably the biggest 'sleeper' prospect from the Staten Island pitching staff is 6-foot-8 David Palladino, this year's 5th round pick from Howard College. The New Jersey native sits in the 92-93 mph range and has flashed 96 mph on the gun, and his secondary pitches, while still needing a lot of work, flash some long-term potential as well. He is going to be a bit of a project, especially mechanically, because of his taller size, but while he could take some time to develop the ceiling is too vast to ignore.

If you're looking for a deep REM 'sleeper' it could possibly be right-handed reliever Andury Acevedo. The former shortstop has dropped his arm slot to a very low three-quarter delivery, almost side-arm, and he is still maintaining a 93-94 mph fastball that can get higher at times. The development of his breaking ball will go a long way towards defining his long-term potential, but there's some potential in his game.

Top Position Prospects

If you throw out the late-season call-up of shortstop Abiatal Avelino [already covered in our GCL Yankees' review], the Staten Island team did not boast many legit position prospects in 2013.

The cream of the crop and arguably the only legit position prospect from the team is third baseman Eric Jagielo, this year's top overall draft selection by the Yankees. He hit .266 with 21 extra-base hits in 51 games with Staten Island, and the power is legit. He has a propensity to take pitches to left-center to right-center, and has the look of a long-term doubles machine who could develop into a plus home run hitter someday. Defensively, however, he has some work to do at third base. The arm strength is merely average and he's not exactly rangy, prompting some scouts to believe he could switch over to first base down the road. But he has the look of an impact bat.

The Biggest 'Sleeper'

While Staten Island doesn't have a whole lot of top position prospects right now, they could have some 'sleeper' candidates. First baseman Bubba Jones has reshaped his body the past two years and he's becoming a pretty consistent hitter overall. He had 17 doubles this past season and his game is slowly developing. Still, he'll need more power to become one of the better prospects down the road.

Outfielder Brandon Thomas has tools galore - power, speed, defense, switch-hitting ability, and he's a physical specimen -- however, he's going to need to make more contact to make better use of his tools long-term. Michael O'Neill doesn't have nearly the same set of tools outside great speed, but he has some great intangibles worth noting. Still, like Thomas, there's too much swing and miss right now [O'Neill had 93 strikeouts in just 64 games this season] to be considered one of the better prospects.

Catcher Trent Garrison [good contact hitting, above average defense] and Yeicok Calderon [great power but a defensive liability with too much swing and miss] could also fit into the 'sleeper' category, but perhaps the deepest 'REM sleeper' is second baseman Derek Toadvine.

His seven stolen bases in thirteen attempts help seriously disguise the fact that he's a 70 runner at minimum. He can run like the wind, he's patient at the plate, and he makes contact. There won't be much power to be tapped though, but if the Yankees can get him to play small ball he could be an infield version of Brett Gardner if things break right.

Not Just Yet

Right-handed reliver Philip Walby, this year's 12th round pick, has a power fastball that sits 92-94 mph and his herky-jerky delivery gives him Tyler Clippard-like deception, making him a long-term 'sleeper' in his own right. However, he simply pitches too often behind in counts and walks far too many batters [30 in 36 innings] to get on the prospect radar just yet. The talent is clearly is there but there are a lot of kinks to iron out.

Right-hander Sam Agnew-Wieland has a deep enough repertoire to potentially become a long-term starting possibility -- that's the good news. The bad news is he needs to pare down his arsenal if he's to remain in the bullpen and he doesn't have a clear out-pitch among his secondary offerings. Still, there's a solid low-90s fastball that should give him some opportunities for success while he works on his secondary pitches.

Shortstop Jose Rosario, catcher Isaias Tejeda, and outfielder Daniel Lopez each have some positive traits that give them a shot down the road -- Rosario's athleticism and untapped power, Tejeda's power and contact hitting ability, and Lopez's plus speed and defense -- but all three lack the offensive consistency needed to make that next step in their development at the current time. They have talent but they're running out of time to tap more of it.

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