The Gulf Coast League featured some of the most promising youngsters in the entire Yankees system.
Kelvin De Leon, the Yanks top IFA from a year ago, had a very nice American debut. The 18-year-old right-fielder batted .269/.330/.438 in 56 games. His discipline could use some work, as he K'ed 61 times against just 16 walks, but that isn't surprising to see from such a young batter. A great sign is that he's already showing power.
The Yanks second-round pick this year, J.R. Murphy (photo), signed quickly and was able to play nine games near the end of the year. The 18-year-old catcher hit .333/.405/.485, and allowed four steals in four attempts with a passed ball.
Slade Heathcott (also 18), the Yanks first-round pick, debuted in the GCL, though he only played three games, hitting .100/.182/.100. He had an assist and no errors in two games in centerfield.
On the pitching side, Jose Ramirez was the team's best pitcher, compiling a 6-0 record with a 1.48 ERA in 61 innings. The 19-year-old righty racked up 53 K's against 16 walks with a miniscule .803 WHIP. He got promoted to Tampa late in the year where he threw three scoreless innings.
19-year-old Nik Turley (who's 6'7") made his second go-round in the GCL, having a very solid season: 54.1 ip, 2.82 ERA, 46 K's, 23 BB, 1.25 WHIP.
Alan Horne, 26, made his post-Tommy John debut with a 2.86 ERA in 28.1 innings (though he collapsed in Tampa and Trenton).
Manny Barreda, last year's 12th-round pick, had a truly phenomenal year: 23.1 ip, 1.93 ERA, 25 K's, 7 BB and a sick .729 WHIP.
The GCL Yankees finished first in the Northern Division with a 33-27 record, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the.
My best guesses as to who will start where:
Murphy and Heathcott will have another turn in the GCL, while De Leon, Ramirez, Turley and Barreda look to start in Charleston. Horne should begin 2010 in Tampa, but they'll look to promote him quickly.