Brian Cashman continues to make the New York Yankees stronger without having to go through the rebuild process. After a Tweet from Henry Schulman in the wee hours of Saturday morning indicated the Yankees and Miami Marlins deal was more or less in place, the #StantonWatch officially began.
Joel Sherman was the first to report that Starlin Castro and two prospects are heading to Miami for Stanton. So, who did the Yankees give up?
(note: as of 12:20 p.m. ET, this is still unconfirmed from both teams. Should anything change, check back here for updated information)
Jorge Guzman, RHP
Guzman was acquired by the Yankees from the Houston Astros in the Brian McCann deal. Here’s what we said at Minor League Ball the day of the trade:
Like [Albert] Abreu, Guzman is a tall and lanky right-hander, standing at 6-foot-2 and 182 pounds. Also like Abreu, he will be 21 for the duration of the 2017 season. But wait, there’s more. He, too, was signed out of the Dominican Republic. And also like Abreu, Guzman throws straight gas.
Guzman is much more raw than Abreu, which is frightening considering how much heat he can harness with his fastball. He hit 97 to 98 on the regular, hitting triple-digits with ease, topping out at 103 according to some reports. He adds in a slider and a changeup, which are still a bit behind but developing nonetheless. That fastball has enough to like that the Yankees can be patient as the other stuff comes along.
Unlike Abreu, most see him as a reliever, which would help him get by with that overpowering fastball a lot easier. The Yankees hope they have a new Aroldis Chapman on their hands, but still just 20 years old over this winter, there is a lot of time to figure it out.
Guzman began the year in extended spring training and finished the year in Staten Island. His work on his command was evident in his 13 starts in the New York-Penn League. Overall the 21-year-old went 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He struck out 88 in 66.2 innings while walking just 18. Guzman was also extremely effective in inducing ground balls, with a 53.3 percent rate of batted balls. That is plenty to like.
He is still young and will likely advance the ladder a bit more quickly now that his mechanics are trending in the right direction. He has a big arm, giving him an elite fastball that hits triple-digits. Should he clean up his slider, it is a strikeout pitch. At the very least, the Marlins have an intriguing closer candidate, and at the most they have a mid-rotation arm.
He impressed our own John Sickels enough that he had him at No. 7 in the Yankees preseason rankings. Here’s what he said:
Age 21, signed by Astros in 2014 from Dominican Republic, another component of McCann trade; posted 2.30 ERA with 88/18 K/BB in 67 innings in New York-Penn League; outstanding numbers matched with excellent stuff, fastball reported as high as 103 and works at 97-99; slider and change-up are erratic but his command of the fastball and the velocity was too much for most NY-P hitters; tremendous ceiling, though we need to see him at higher levels. ETA 2020.
Jose Devers, IF
Devers has some pretty impressive baseball bloodlines. His cousin Rafael Devers graduated to big league stud rookie, but was one of baseball’s best prospects for several years. Jose may not be quite that, but he’s still very intriguing.
The 18-year-old was signed out of the Dominican Republic. He stands at 6-feet and 155 pounds and made his pro ball debut this season. Split between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League, Devers slashed .245/.336/.342 with nine doubles, three triples and one home run. An interesting thing to look at is his strikeout rate. In his DSL debut, he struck out 16 times and walked none in 11 games. Once he jumped to the GCL, he struck out 21 times and walked 18 in 42 games. The Marlins hope the latter tell the better story.
Reports are that right now, Devers is a defense-first shortstop. He showed he can make contact with a quick swing, but there is an obvious lack of power. Still just a teenager and with a frame he can grow in to, there is plenty of room for development.