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Yankees Prospects: Arizona Fall League in review

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This year's Arizona Fall League Yankees had a wide variety of talent scattered amongst them–from top prospects to minor league fodder. Whether they performed well or clearly didn't accomplish much this Fall, it all means something for the organization.

OF Tyler Austin - 19 G, 79 PA, .304/.392/.449, 21 H, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 12 K, 4 SB, 2 CS
After resuscitating his value towards the end of the year, Austin continued his hot hitting when he was finally healthy enough to play Fall ball. Unfortunately, his run of good fortune came to an end when he ended up colliding with Greg Bird in the outfield and suffered another bone bruise, this one in his knee. The Yankees just placed him on their 40-man roster, so not only must they feel confident in his health, but they must think very highly of what he managed to do this year in order to raise his stock back up. If Austin continues to hit like this, the Yankees might be forced to find a place for him in the big leagues, whether they use him in the outfield or behind Mark Teixeira at first base.

3B Dante Bichette - 20 G, 82 PA, .260/.317/.274, 19 H, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 18 K,SB, CS
Like Austin, Bichette was able to reinvigorate his value by fixing his swing and actually showing some potential with his bat. While he's been passed by on the third base prospect depth chart, there's still an outside shot that he can offer some kind of value if he can continue to hit. His biggest problem is that he may not end up having a position, and for someone like that, he's going to need to hit for more power than he's shown.

1B Greg Bird - 26 G, 115 PA .313/.391/.556, 31 H, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 13 BB, 23 K, SB, CS
Greg Bird is amazing. After missing some time with a back injury this year, the organization's top first base prospect ended up having a solid season that allowed him to move into their top 20 prospect list. They let him play in the Fall to make up for his lost time and he ended up putting together perhaps the best performance anyone could have asked for. He didn't just continue to find success, he utterly dominated the league, winning the MVP Award and adding some exciting buzz around his name. With Mark Teixeira's failing health and slipping overall value, we could be seeing Greg Bird within the next two seasons.

RHP Caleb Cotham - 10 G, 13.1 IP, 6.08 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 18 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 14 K
Cotham was an odd choice for the Arizona Fall League this year. At 27, he's a year away from minor league free agency and hasn't offered anything of promise yet. He seems to be just a warm body, but it's disappointing they couldn't have sent a body with more potential.

RHP Kyle Haynes - 10 G, 11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 11 H, 7 R/3 ER, 8 BB, 9 K
The Yankees received Haynes from the Pirates in exchange for Chris Stewart. The 23-year-old reliever had a mediocre start to his Yankee career and extended that mediocrity into the Fall. He might see time in Double-A next year, but if his control doesn't improve we won't be hearing much more of him.

C Kyle Higashioka - 6 G, 27 PA, .409/.480/.682, 9 H, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, SB, CS
After undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Yankees gave their 24-year-old catcher a few more reps in the AzFL. He saw limited action, but he did hit well in a small sample size. If Austin Romine is lost to waivers this offseason, Higashioka could get some playing time in Triple-A as a stopgap until Gary Sanchez can take the next step. He's not going to be a major league option, but expect to see his name around the organization in 2015.

OF Aaron Judge - 24 G, 106 PA, .278/.377/.467, 25 H, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 13 BB, 22 K
The Yankees outfield prospect continued his torrid debut season with a solid showing this Fall. He was no Greg Bird, but it's good to see that he can still be effective this late into his year. Judge ended up with over 600 plate appearances, and after so much success, it won't be surprising to see him in Double-A already. He might not be the power behemoth that everyone expected, but he seems to be able to handle the bat for just about anything. It will be important to see how he keeps things going in 2015 and whether or not he can be this good going forward.

RHP Alex Smith - 10 G, 10.1 IP, 10.45 ERA, 7.79 FIP, 25 H, 15 R/12 ER, 8 BB, 7 K
There has never been much excitement surrounding the generically named Alex Smith, and at 25 and still in A-ball, don't expect to hear too much more. However, this year in his first full year at High-A, the righty put together a fairly solid season that the Yankees clearly wanted to see more of. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Smith absolutely tanked in his time with the Scottsdale Scorpions, making it easy for the organization to see that 2014 was an aberration.