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Yankees Prospects: Trenton Thunder scouting report 6/9 - 6/11

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The Thunder took two of three from the Erie Seawolves. They've now won ten of their last eleven games.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After an off day, the Thunder rode an eight-game winning streak into a three game series with the Erie Seawolves, the Tigers' Double-A affiliate. As many of you are aware, the Tigers are prone to trading away a lot of their prospects for big league assets so, unsurprisingly, there wasn't a ton of standout talent on the Erie roster that got into the three games I saw.

Yankees Impressions

Aaron Judge - Aaron Judge is becoming a maddeningly frustrating hitter to evaluate. At the conclusion of the series he sat at being seven for his last 38. That includes even more of his usual swinging strikeouts on breaking balls and changeups. However, when he did get hits, he was hitting the ball hard and looked right as rain. Slumps happen and all, but it's times like these when the worst-case scenario for Judge becomes all too obvious. I'll likely be singing his praises from the rooftops in the next few weeks, of course, but goodness this stuff scares me.

Greg Bird - Bird's shoulder injury isn't bothering him anymore. On Wednesday he also looked good in the field and got his hits. Bird has outstanding makeup and draws nothing but praise from his coaches for his demeanor in the clubhouse. He went the other way in clutch situations a few times this series and if he can get his knocks while also displaying his calling card power, there's potential for a real star here.

Eric Jagielo - Jagielo played yet another game at first base this week. The move across the diamond didn't faze him and 2013's highest Yankee draft pick kept chugging along at the plate. I haven't seen enough of his work to give a full grade, but it's clear that Jagielo is still in the process of learning the position. That being said, he's been making the basic plays correctly and I think he'll be a passable defender at first. The issue will be finding him playing time there now that Greg Bird is back, if the Yanks really are souring on Jag at third.

Jake Cave - Cave has declared war on baseballs. He's been hitting anything in the zone hard of late, and a lot of them are going in for hits. You can pretty much pencil him in for a great diving catch in center field for every game too. I'm still figuring out if that's Cave being really good in the field or having a case of Matt Kemp-itis (awful range and positioning that forces him to dive for balls). Either way, Cave is a very impressive player and seems destined for the big leagues to me.

Mark Payton - Payton was caught in the flurry of roster moves this week and was shipped back to Tampa after Wednesday's game. It's a shame, because Payton had shown that he was capable of playing at the Double-A level. He was making hard contact at the plate and smacked two hard singles on Wednesday. He's also shown he can field well and showcases plus speed. He'll be back before the year is out, this was simply a matter of logistics. Al Pedrique spoke very highly of Payton and believes he'll probably be back before the season is out.

Kyle Haynes - Haynes is still in the process of being stretched out as a starter. He began the year as a multi-inning middle reliever, but the Yankees have decided that his future could lie in the rotation.

Miguel Sulbaran - Sulbaran came over from the Twins in the Eduardo Nunez trade prior to the 2014 season. A lefty starter, Sulbaran has a very arm-heavy delivery. He has Aaron Harang-levels of leg usage in his delivery and doesn't throw particulalrly hard from a three-quarter arm slot. This was my first time seeing Sulbaran, but he was nibbling at the strike zone all night with breaking balls and changeups. His fastball didn't go over 90 MPH very often and he almost seemed afraid to go to it. Not very impressive, but it's the only game I've seen him in. Reserving solid judgment for now.

Sergio Santos - The former closer made his Yankees org debut on Thursday with a scoreless sixth inning. Santos struck out two against the meat of the Erie batting order, but was not locating well with his pitches. Perhaps that's just Santos shaking off the rust, but it's also not surprising to see from a pitcher who's had his career derailed by a shoulder injury.

Nick Goody - Goody fired a quick perfect inning Wednesday night to nail down a save. The former LSU Tiger is being groomed for endgame work and he's nails on the mound. He's a shoo-in to make the Eastern League All-Star squad and could be shipped to Scranton after the game, depending on the shape of the roster at that time. He's got very little left to prove in Double-A.

James Pazos - Pazos, a big lefty reliever, continues to impress in limited time this season. He gave up a home run on Wednesday, but otherwise looked very good. His secondary stuff plays up very well and he spots his low-90's fastball fairly well. Trenton deploys Pazos against righties and lefties alike, and while LOOGYs don't really exist in Double-A I don't see Pazos being thrown into that role anytime soon. His inning total for the season is still in the single digits due to a spring training injury, so unless he absolutely steamrolls all competition, he'll stick in Trenton for a while.

Johnny Barbato - Barbato has a wonderful curveball in his arsenal, and he pretty much does whatever the hell he wants with it. Strike a man out? Sure. Get someone to roll over for a ground ball? Sure. It's incredible. The problem is that Barbato's fastball is sometimes far too predictable and misses its mark every now and then. When Barbato is right, he's very fun to watch. When he's not, things can get ugly. There's talent here and it's seeping through more often.

Tigers Impressions

Wynton Bernard - Bernard was the one Seawolves position player that genuinely impressed me. Bernard plays a solid center field while showing off plus speed on the basepaths, solid baserunning instincts and good contact skills. He's drawn Rajai Davis comps and I can see the similarities. Bernard seemed to constantly be on base over the course of the series and was in the middle of nearly every offensive showing the Seawolves mustered. There's a lot to like here and he could have a future as a second division regular if the tools keep carrying him well. Bernard is one of those players that sticks out like a sore thumb among his teammates because of the talent he possesses. Part of that is the way Erie's roster currently looks, but part of it is also Bernard being pretty good at this whole baseball thing.

Josh Turley - Turley looked plain nasty on Friday. A left-handed starter at age 24 out of Baylor, Turley boasts a wipeout slider and a changeup with bite to compliment a low-90's fastball. The entire Thunder lineup looked very off balance against him. He worked seven innings of two-run ball, with both runs coming in an inning that started with a once-in-a-blue-moon Cito Culver triple. It would have been shocking had runs not scored that inning. Regardless, Turley had a great outing and his season ERA is down to 2.97.

The Thunder will hit the road for the weekend before returning home on Tuesday to face the Reading Fightin' Phils. The Phillies Double-A affiliate has become a fascinating squad as they boast uber-prospect J.P. Crawford, outfielder Roman Quinn, and pitchers Aaron Nola, Jesse Biddle and Zach Eflin. It should be a hell of a series.

Nicolas Stellini is a staff writer at Pinstripe Alley, where he writes about the Yankees and covers the Double-A Trenton Thunder. His national coverage can be found at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @StelliniTweets.