Trenton Thunder Recap with Mike Ashmore: Part 1

ST PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Pitcher Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 28, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

I reached out to Mike Ashmore, a beat writer for the Trenton Thunder, and asked if he would be willing to do a little recap of the Double-A season. As he was the first time, Mike was more than willing to help me out. To read some of Mike's stuff, which is fantastic, you can follow him on twitter and check out his blog, Mike Ashmore's Thunder Thoughts.

Frank: Talk a bit about what you saw from Manny Banuelos before he was promoted. Did he have more to work on in AA or was he ready for the next step?

I'd have liked to have seen Manny stay in Double-A a little longer just to see if he could improve on his consistency.There was never any doubt that the stuff and the talent were there, but he could just never string together that stretch of two or three starts where he didn't run into trouble...heck, there really wasn't any one start that I saw where he flat out blew me away. Was it probably time for him to be challenged at the next level? Sure. I just wasn't 100 percent sure he showed that he was ready for it.

Frank: Dellin Betances, same question.

Mike: I think he was more on the right track than Banuelos was at the time of his promotion, although he still had a ways to go in terms of consistency as well.  I think his Triple-A results showed that he probably could have stood to stay in Trenton a little bit longer, but overall his numbers were probably a little better than he actually pitched...he just needs to go deeper into games in the future. He barely averaged five innings per start, which won't cut it at any level.

Frank: What did you see from Austin Romine in his second year at Trenton?

Mike: Improvement, but not drastically so. I thought he got more consistent with the bat, but he wasn't getting as many extra-base hits as he had the previous season...thought his defense was about the same as it was last year, which is to say it was above average but not spectacular. Would have really liked to seen him show me more in terms of throwing guys out. But he also endured quite a few injuries this year, so it's hard to hold too much against him.

Frank: Pick one position player and a pitcher who have the best chance at being impact players at the Major League level. Why did you choose them?

Mike: I don't really think there's a true impact position player who was on the team this year. I mean, that Jeter guy will probably be OK, I guess...but in all seriousness, I guess Romine if I had to pick. I'm not sure he's a starting catcher anywhere in the big leagues as of this second...there are a lot of concerns as to whether he can hit over the course of a full season at the top level...but I think he's a guy who can definitely have a long big league career and at the very least break in as a backup who could develop into something more. He's still just 22 years old.

Pitching wise...that's tough, because you're picking between Banuelos and Betances. I'd have to pick Banuelos, just because he's a lefty...but if Betances can settle into a specific role in the big leagues, he could be something to watch. He could be very nasty out of the back end of the bullpen if the Yankees so chose to go that direction with him...

Check back within the next few days for part two.

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