Plenty Of New Faces On The Mound
More than half of the Latin American pitchers attending Dominican Instructs were signed just this year, including the likes of right-handers Kennedy Agramonte [2.61 ERA, 80 K's in 62 innings] and Edwin Rodriguez [3.48 ERA, 53 K's in 51.2 innings], and left-hander Yoely Bello [3.25 ERA, 42 K's in 36 innings].
The other pitchers signed in 2010 who will be attending are right-handers Daury Aquino, Gean Batista, Gustavo Camilo, Joel De La Cruz, Alexander De Los Santos, Johansel Delgado, Samuel Garcia, Andres Mateo, Melvin Mercedes, Julian Nunes, Elvin Perez, Yunior Perozo, Reynaldo Polanco, Derbin Reyes, Angel Rincon, Eduardo Rivera Yean, Joel Rodriguez, John Saavedra, and Dubeny Soto.
The left-handers from the '10 class in attendance include Hector Bello and Maikol De La Rosa.
Only Jose Ramirez [6-5, 3.60 ERA] and Wilton Rodriguez [who pitched for the GCL Yankees and Staten Island Yankees as well in 2010] pitched in the long-season leagues this past season, and both will bring a veteran presence to Dominican Instructs on the mound.
The other pitchers attending are right-handers Rony Bautista, Victor Beriguete, Erick Canela, Dawerd Cruz, Nestor DeLeon, Felipe Gonzalez, Warlin Jimenez, Edison Mejia, Deivi Mojica, Jose Pena, Ramon Rodriguez, Gabriel Santana, Israel Tolentino, and Cesar Vargas, and left-hander Juan Heredia.
Youth Behind The Plate
The Yankees have sent ten Latin American catchers to Dominican Instructs and only three - Gary Sanchez, Jhorge Liccien, and Damian Taveras - have played an official minor league game outside of the Dominican Republic and all three played for the Gulf Coast League Yankees this past season.
Only Jackson Valera ['08] and Francisco Duran ['09] of the remaining catchers were not signed in 2010. The others were, including Alfredo Castellon, Rainiero Coa, Eduardo De Oleo, Julio Pina, Isaias Tejeda were signed this past year.
Youth, Youth and More Youth In The Infield
Only four of the sixteen Latin American infielders attending the Dominican mini-camp have played an official minor league game in the United States: Jorge Alcantara [.229, 2 RBI], Anderson Feliz [.273, 4 HR, 27 RBI], Reymond Nunez [.222, 3 HR], and Jose Rosario [.245, 2 HR].
Utility man Melvin Aquino [.263] and second baseman Claudio Custodio [.217] each had five home runs in the Dominican Summer League this past season. They will be accompanied by Rafael Polo [.323, 9 triples], Gian Carlos Arias [.264, 3 HR], Ali Castillo [.333, 21 BB & 10 K's], and newcomers Christopher Tamarez, Renzo Martini, and Jhoan Gomez.
Jose Javier, Jerison Lopez, Jamiel Orozco, and Fernando Perez round out the crop of Latin American infielders going to camp.
Tools Abound In The Outfield
The strength of the Dominican Instructs crop is in the outfield, headlined by ultra-toolsy outfielder Ravel Santana. Santana hit .322 with ten home runs and stole 22 bases for the DSL Yankees2 this past season.
Yeicok Calderon, while not even comparable on the defensive side of the ball, did nearly as well as Santana offensively, hitting .339 with eight home runs and 43 walks in 69 games. Word around Yankee insiders is the switch-hitting Sandy Brito is the name to remember among this year's crop. He hit just .199 with three home runs in his debut season this past year but he reportedly has Santana-like tools.
Staten Island's Kelvin De Leon [.236, 12 doubles, 6 HRs], and Gulf Coast League's Kelvin Duran [.221, 10 SBs] and Eladio Moronta [.107 in nine games] are the only Latin American outfielders attending mini-camp who played outside of the United States in 2010.
Ericson Leonora, Daniel Lopez, Miguel Angel Mojica, Mikelson Oliberto, Jose Polanco, and Josias Sanchez round out the 79 Latin American players attending the Yankees Instructional League camp in the Dominican Republic.
Sanchez Headlines Dominican Instructs Roster
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