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Yankees prospects 2014 season recap: Tampa Yankees

Recapping the 2014 season of the Yankees' High-A affiliate, the Tampa Yankees.

The Yankees' High-A affiliate in Tampa was home to some of the most exciting prospects in the system at various points throughout the 2014 season. Their first round pick in the 2013 draft, Eric Jagielo, spent his entire season at Tampa while he was joined by fellow first round pick Aaron Judge, 2014 draft pick standouts Jacob Lindgren and Mark Payton, and top pitching prospect Luis Severino.

Jagielo's season was abbreviated a bit by an injury that shortened his season to 85 games. The Yankees were aggressive in starting Jagielo out in High-A for his first full season, and the third baseman had pretty good results there with a .259/.354/.460 batting line to go along with 16 home runs. Hopefully the numbers look a little better this time next year, but it was still far from a bad season for Jagielo. Fellow third base prospect Dante Bichette Jr. found himself in the middle of a resurgent season after being promoted to High-A Tampa to begin the year. Bichette's prospect start had fallen after stalling out over the past few seasons in Charleston, but some work with his former big league player father seemed to pay off as DBJ hit .271/.352/.410 with nine home runs before being promoted to Double-A Trenton toward the end of the season.

Although Greg Bird only hit seven home runs in his time with the Tampa Yankees this season, the first base prospect who had a breakout year in 2013 put up another good run with a .277/.375/.442 batting line. A back injury caused Bird to miss time at the beginning of the season, so his statistics weren't as dazzling as they were a year ago. Still, he found his power stroke in a big way after his promotion to Double-A Trenton following the trade of another big power bat, Peter O'Brien. Outfielder Jake Cave turned in a really great season for Tampa, batting .304/.354/.395 in 90 games. His impressive numbers with Tampa earned him a promotion to Trenton at the end of the season as well. Fellow outfielder Mark Payton was only drafted in June before he immediately made his presence known by earning a promotion from Charleston to Tampa in his first season as a professional. The move up in the system didn't slow Payton down any, as the former Longhorn hit .286/.396/.495 in 26 games with Tampa.

On the pitching side, Luis Severino threw 20.2 innings for the Tampa Yankees on his way to blowing through nearly as many levels as Jacob Lindgren did this season. Severino pitched to a 1.31 ERA and has certainly put himself in the conversation as the Yankees' best overall prospect. Miguel Sulbaran, who the Yankees received in the Eduardo Nunez trade with Minnesota, tossed the most innings for the Tampa Yankees with a 3.52 ERA in 115 innings. There were basically zero expectations for the left-hander, seeing as he was traded for Nunez, so his success at the High-A level is really heartening.

Daniel Camarena put up a 2.35 ERA in 88 innings for the T-Yanks after spending all of last year with Charleston. Jaron Long, also putting his name on the map with such an impressive year, briefly spent time in Tampa before traversing three levels on the season. Long had a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings for Tampa, and was certainly one of the best stories from the farm in 2014. Nick Goody and Nick Rumbelow, two of the better relief prospects in the system (non-Lindgren division), each spent a bit of time with the Tampa Yankees this season with a 2.35 and 2.39 ERA, respectively. It's quite possible that at least one of them will find their way into the big league bullpen as early as next season.

The best part of the Tampa Yankees having so many good performances in 2014 is that it means those guys are one step closer to hopefully being able to make an impact at the big league level. It is, of course, not all good news. Cito Culver turned in yet another lackluster year for the Tampa Yankees, further proving that anointing him as Derek Jeter's heir was insanely off base. Second base prospect Angelo Gumbs also failed to impress at the High-A level this year. Despite that, it's hard to deny that the season was overwhelmingly positive at the High-A level, which is a very welcome sign after struggling to find many positives from the farm at all after 2013.