Following Andrew's thorough recap of the Gulf Coast League Yankees' teams yesterday, today we move up a level to review the high points and players to watch that spent their season with the Staten Island Yankees. As with the GCL teams, Short Season-A players only played an abbreviated season. It's not always easy to get a great grasp of how a player will do once they are playing a full season based on the results from the lowest levels of the minors, but we will work with what we have here.
First base prospect Connor Spencer had, by far, the best results of anyone who put on a uniform for Staten Island in 2014. Drafted in the eighth round of the 2014 draft, Spencer wasted no time in putting his name on the prospect map with a .364/.389/.444 batting line in 51 games. Even though he didn't manage to hit a home run in his first taste of professional baseball, his 14 doubles were among the Staten Island leaders. Left fielder Chris Breen led all Staten Island Yankees with eight home runs in 63 games. He also notched 16 doubles and five triples, but struck out 71 times.
After struggling with Low-A Charleston before being sidelined with an injury, Luis Torrens returned a level lower with Staten Island to put up an impressive .270/.327/.405 batting line in 48 games. The young catcher is only 18 years old, so he's still three years younger than the average Short Season level player. Second baseman Ty McFarland also had himself a nice professional debut after being drafted in June with a .278/.345/.430 batting line and 17 doubles in 62 games. With 19 errors, however, it's reasonable to say that he'll need to work on his defense a bit.
Big right-hander David Palladino led the Staten Island Yankees in innings pitched with 67.2 and a 3.72 ERA. The 2013 5th round pick was repeating the level and pitched to nearly identical results except ERA in slightly more innings. On the good side, Palladino struck out more batters and lowered his batting average against from .270 to .236 while walking a few more batters than in the previous year. Ethan Carnes and Matt Wotherspoon pitched extremely well out of the SI Yanks' bullpen, each with ERAs a few ticks under 2. Carnes allowed seven earned runs in 32.1 innings while closing out nine games and striking out 35 batters. Wotherspoon was another 2014 draftee that made an immediate impression with a 1.97 ERA in 32 innings while striking out 29 batters.
The Yankees' 18th round pick from 2014, Justin Kamplain, split his time between Staten Island and Charleston in his first season of professional baseball. The left-hander absolutely dominated the New York-Penn League with a 0.73 ERA in 21 innings before being promoted to Low-A. Kamplain struck out 25 and allowed only one earned run with Staten Island while holding opposing batters to a .129 average against him. Jordan Cote, who the Yankees selected in the third round of the 2011 draft, struggled for the first time as a professional after putting up two good seasons in the Gulf Coast League. His 6.49 ERA in 51.1 innings for Staten Island left a lot to be desired, but hopefully he will find a way to regain numbers that more closely resemble what he was able to do against Rookie Ball batters.
Even though players who have made it to Staten Island are a bit more advanced than those who are simply in Rookie Ball, it's still a bit difficult to get a grasp of what kind of prospects they may be after only half a season worth of sample size. Luis Torrens seems to be the biggest name of this bunch, but Justin Kamplain's results shouldn't be ignored even if they did come over so few innings. Most of these guys will be bumped up to Charleston next season where they will get a chance to show what they have over the course of a full season for the first time.