Baseball is here and the major league rosters are decided, however, the minor league affiliates are still being finalized. That means players are on the move and not all of them can fit. Some of the more disappointing players have been released by the Yankees organization and will have to figure out where they will go from here -- to a new organization or a new career.
The Yankees released seven minor league players, including RHP Kenedy Agramonte, RHP Zach Arneson, RHP Adam Smith, RHP Zach Varce, RHP Derek Varnadore, 3B Kevin Mahoney, and OF Kelvin De Leon.
Agramonte was signed out of the Dominican Republic before the 2010 season, but has remained in rookie-ball for the last three years after transitioning to the bullpen. At the age of 23, he has a 2.03 ERA with a 4.6 BB/9 and 11.5 K/9 in 115 innings pitched.
Drafted in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Arneson reached High-A Tampa in 2013 where he struggled to the tune of a 9.97 ERA in 21.2 innings. In his professional career, he has a 6.49 ERA with a 6.5 BB/9 and 9.1 K/9 in 51.1 innings out of the bullpen.
Taken in the 25th round of the 2011 draft, 24-year-old reliever Adam Smith was finally taken down by persistent control issues. After his second season with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs, Smith posted a 4.0 BB/9, which was actually his career-best. In three seasons he accumulated a 4.81 ERA, a 6.1 BB/9 and 8.1 K/9 in 63.2 innings.
Varce was taken in the 11th round of the 2010 draft and reached High-A Tampa in 2013 at the age of 25. He's been extremely limited by injuries, only pitching 19 innings over the last two seasons, but overall he thew 131.1 innings and put together a decent line with a 4.45 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.9 K/9.
Varnadore was picked in the 9th round of the 2012 draft, making him both the highest pick and the prospect with the least time as a professional out of this group of cuts. The 23-year-old reached Low-A in 2013 and had a 3.66 ERA with a 2.4 BB/9 and 6.6 K/9 in 118 innings. That's really not bad.
Mahoney was taken all the way back in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft and finally reached Triple-A for the first time in his career this past season. He's moved all around the diamond, spending time at first base, second base, third base, and even saw some time in the outfield. There was one time he even pitched! He hit .252/.344/.404 in his five seasons, which is a better line than Cito Culver and Dante Bichette have mustered. Unfortunately, with no prospect hype to speak of and after undergoing surgery at the age of 26, it's no wonder the Yankees released him.
Probably the biggest disappointment on this list is Kelvin De Leon, who the Yankees signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.1 million, the second biggest bonus paid out during the 2007 international signing period. In six seasons, he only managed to play 21 games in High-A, all of which took place in 2012. Most of his time in the organization was spent in Low-A Charleston where he was relatively unimpressive. He hit .236/.304/.371 as a professional hitter, but it's not all bad. Amazingly, he's still only 23 and has already made over a million dollars, so he's set for life and has plenty of time to enjoy it!
The Yankees had already released a grand total of 33 minor league players back in December, so if you're keeping track at home, that's now an even 40! An entire 40-man roster of career-minor leaguers has been dropped by the Yankees organization in three months!