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Baby Bomber Bonus Recap: A review of the 2015 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

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Tyler Austin .235/.309/.311, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 8 SB, 81/26 K/BB, 299 PA
It seemed like Austin had turned a corner last year, but in 2015 the bottom completely dropped out for him. He was such a non-entity at the plate this year that he was eventually demoted in order to get him out of the way of better players. He was designated for assignment, but at only 24, the organization is likely not completely done with him yet.

Greg Bird .301/.353/.500, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 27/11 K/BB, 150 PA
In his age-22 season, it didn't seem like he'd get too much time in Triple-A, but he dominated there and ended up becoming an integral part of the major league team in the second half of the season.

Ben Gamel .300/.358/.472, 10 HR, 64 RBI, 13 SB, 108/46 K/BB, 551 PA
A fringe prospect over the last few seasons, Gamel's season–complete with 14 (!) triples–should earn him player of the year in the organization. His 2015 might not change his overall outlook, but it should earn him some consideration as an injury replacement next year.

Slade Heathcott .267/.315/.343, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 6 SB, 61/18 K/BB, 271 PA
In the offseason Slade was designated for assignment and brought back, but it was clear that this was likely his last chance to prove himself to the Yankees. In 2015, he stayed healthy long enough to show he could hit, and even saw time in the majors, though he wasn't exactly injury-free. He might actually be considered for a major league role next spring.

Aaron Judge .224/.308/.373, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 6 SB, 74/29 K/BB, 260 PA
After his domination of Double-A, Judge was moved up to Triple-A and it looked like it would be only a matter of time before he pushed his way into the majors. Unfortunately, something stopped working for him and he struggled the rest of the year. The Yankees aren't necessarily worried about him going forward, but it's not what you want.

Jose Pirela .325/.390/.433, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 5 SB, 22/24 K/BB, 259 PA
Pirela has been a fascinating name for Yankees fans for a few years now. He's hit in the minors, but never seemed to be much of a prospect until finally get a chance in the majors. So far he hasn't hit much, and with several middle infielders above him on the depth chart, who knows if he'll ever get a prolonged chance to hit or if he even deserves one.

Rob Refsnyder .271/.359/.402, 9 HR, 56 RBI, 12 SB, 73/56 K/BB, 525 PA
Surrounded by controversy and drama, Refsnyder seemed to be abandoned in the minor leagues for a majority of the year. He got a brief call-up, but struggled after going back down and didn't get another shot until September. It was one of the more bizarre decisions the Yankees have made, but perhaps they've seen the light.

Kyle Roller .232/.339/.390, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 136/60 K/BB, 499 PA
Roller's season should finally put to bed the notion that he's actually a major league player and worthy of a spot on the Yankees roster. He's already 27 and a strikeout machine, so I wouldn't be surprised if he pursues a career overseas at some point.

Austin Romine .260/.311/.379, 7 HR, 49 RBI, 53/22 K/BB, 366 PA
Designated for assignment, Romine clawed his way back to near-relevance this year, to the point where they put him back on the roster and gave him a token call-up at the end of the year. He'll be 27 next year, and if Gary Sanchez has passed him in the depth chart, it looks like he'll be stuck as a Quadruple-A player going forward.

Gary Sanchez .295/.349/.500, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 28/11 K/BB, 146 PA
Reaching Triple-A at the age of 22, Sanchez finally flipped a switch that many fans and evaluators have been waiting to see. His offensive onslaught earned him a brief call-up at the end of the year should make him a much more valuable asset with which the Yankees could use in a trade.

Caleb Cotham 1.74 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 31.0 IP
Injury long destroyed any value Cotham might have once possessed, but a move to the bullpen this year made him an interesting asset for the 2015 season. He proved to be below-average in the majors, but it was quite a turnaround for the 27-year-old, when it seemed like he was closer to being released than promoted a year ago.

Joel De La Cruz 3.25 ERA, 4.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 61.0 IP, 15 G/7 GS
De La Cruz was pushed between Trenton and Scranton all year, but at one time he was given a major league call-up, though he never got in a game. It's doubtful he ever gets another chance as he'll likely be organizational filler from here.

Jacob Lindgren 1.23 ERA, 11.9 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 22.0 IP
Lindgren dominated at the Triple-A level, earning him a call-up a year after he was drafted. Unfortunately, his first stint in New York didn't go so well as he needed surgery to clear out his elbow, but he should get another chance in 2016. He just needs to work on those control issues.

Jaron Long 4.94 ERA, 5.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 17 G/16 GS, 85.2 IP
It's very possible that we've reached the apex of Jaron Long's career. After shooting through the system, the 23-year-old finesse pitcher hit a wall in Triple-A and was demoted back to Trenton where he produced only mediocre numbers.

Bryan Mitchell 3.12 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 75.0 IP
Mitchell finally had a decent minor league season, but it all fell apart when he was called up to the majors and stunk up the joint. At this point it's hard to know what he can offer the major league team because he hasn't shown the ability to put it all together.

Diego Moreno 2.18 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 26 G/4 GS, 53.2 IP
Acquired in exchange for A.J. Burnett, Moreno finally put up a season that was worthy of attention. He got some experience as a starter and made a small impact with the Yankees, but an elbow injury cut his season short. His future is dependent on his current health, but it's hard to say much about his future before we know what his role will be.

James Pazos 1.09 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 33.0 IP
He's been on the prospect fringe for a few years now and in 2015, Pazos finally took that extra step to get to the majors. His strikeout numbers made him an interesting replacement for Chasen Shreve down the stretch, but he needs to be careful with his walk-rate if he wants to stay in the picture.

Branden Pinder 2.80 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 35.1 IP
Up and down all year, Pinder provided solid depth both in Triple-A and at the major league level. He'll likely be in the same position next year, but he's not likely to become someone of irreplaceable value any time soon.

Nick Rumbelow 4.27 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 52.2 IP
In 2014, Rumbelow moved up four levels and reached Triple-A at the age of 22. This year, he put up mediocre numbers in Scranton, made his major league debut, and continued to be mediocre. Hopefully he can turn this around next year in Triple-A to become the backend-type the Yankees expect him to be for the major league team.

Luis Severino 1.91 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 61.1 IP
Before he came up to the majors in the second half of the season, Severino proved he was no match for Triple-A. He won't be starting the year in Scranton next year.

Tyler Webb 2.84 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 38.0 IP
If Webb had continued his season the way it had been going, it's very likely he would have been among this year's call-ups. Unfortunately, he was shut down with a hand injury in June and never got the opportunity. He's going to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, so he should have enough work under his belt to contribute at the major league level next year.