DSL Q&A with Pat McMahon - Part I

We sat down with Yankees Coordinator of International Development Pat McMahon for a Q&A session. In part one of this two-part series we get his thoughts on the various prospects in the Dominican Summer League, including thoughts on Carlos Vidal, second baseman Welfrin Mateo, how Pedro Urena and Kevin Gonzalez are developing, and much, much more!

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's start off with outfielder Carlos Vidal. Obviously he hit really well this year and walked more than he struck out. What kind of tools does he have?

Pat McMahon: He's an outfielder for us from Colombia that's new to our system and just signed before the season started. He's a left-handed hitter whose bat is interesting and he's performed. He's OPSing [nearly] 1.000 -- the OPS is an important metric so he's an interesting young player for us. He has some tools to play. He plays all three outfield positions. His walks are above his strikeouts and that's an important aspect for me for a young guy to become a quality player. He only hit one home run but there's a lot of doubles so when they get stronger and bigger those can equate to some home runs with time. We hope it plays for him and it looks like that will play for him.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is it a surprise he's done as well as he has in his first year given where he's from? Colombia isn't exactly the baseball hot-bed that the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are.

McMahon: I think you're exactly right. It's a wonderful compliment to our International scouting department to find some of the better players in all countries.

PinstripesPlus.com: By your description he sounds a little Ramon Flores-like to me. Are they comparable?

McMahon: Yes, I wouldn't say they are very different.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Angelni Mateo. I realize he hasn't played quite as many games but he's another guy batting quite well this season.

McMahon: Mateo is a new catcher that's joined the system. He's performed very well early on. He's had a hamstring injury hamper him. His tools are more average right now but he's been performing.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about shortstop Yancarlos Baez who was somewhat recently promoted to the Gulf Coast League. Let's talk about the development of his game right now.

McMahon: I'll tell you he's a quality teammate, a quality worker, his work ethic has been outstanding. He's a toolsy middle infielder that is a taller middle infielder; he's an above average runner and being promoted to the United States is exciting to everyone here. He's still learning to switch-hit, particularly left-handed, but it plays up in games. He's performed pretty nicely. He possesses an awful lot of range so he gets to a lot of baseballs and he's a tall guy so sometimes he might not get the proper hop, and he possesses a really good arm. A lot of times a young guy like that will sit back on a ball and the ball plays them when he tries to use his arm. He's working hard to go get the good hop and let his arm play to game speed. So he's working on that aspect of his game. We're excited about his progress.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know it's not the DSL but let me ask about you about Angel Aguilar. His power production this year seems a little surprising. Is it surprising to you?

McMahon: That's a really interesting young man for us. He's really been performing well when given the opportunity. I am so proud of him and his development. With strength and development his doubles are turning into home runs, kind of like we were talking about with Vidal potentially happening down the road. I think the hitting coaches have done a great job with him. His personal work ethic has been outstanding and he's got an outstanding internal game clock, using his arm and play the defensive game really well. It's a credit to his hard work and a credit to our hitting coaches both here and there.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about another shortstop -- Yonauris Rodriguez. It seemed like he was doing really well before his season-ending injury, no?

McMahon: Yeah he had a wrist injury. He got hit by a pitch unfortunately and he just got out of his cast [last week] so he's working on his base running and things that he can. That's a tough injury for his development because he had been performing extremely well. He was swinging the bat well. He'll be back for Instructional League.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move to the other side of the middle infield and talk about second baseman Welfrin Mateo. He put up some solid numbers this year.

McMahon: Oh yeah I'm excited about Welfrin. He has performed well. He's had the opportunity to play everyday this year and he's really taking advantage of that. He plays with energy and life, he's stolen some bases, and he's learning to play the game. He's a good player.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is he the second base version of Jorge Mateo?

McMahon: He doesn't run quite as well [as Mateo] but few do. He runs fine though. He's got a good arm and I'm excited about his bat. He can be an offensive second baseman for us.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about outfielder/first baseman Pedro Urena. He's putting up some power numbers this year. What can you tell us about him?

McMahon: He's an interesting player for us. He's more of a power bat guy for us who can play in the outfield who can also play some first base. He's a decent outfielder. He's an average first baseman and an average outfielder, and he's young. He's got a lot of power, he just needs to cut down on some of the strikeouts. He's working on that and made some significant progress and improvement, and you hope that continues to play out. Power hitters strike out and that's okay as long as they continue to hit home runs; and he does have walks too. He runs okay for a bigger person and he's got some home runs, and that's exciting to us.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let me ask you about catcher Jerry Seitz, not exactly a popular surname in Latin American countries it seems.

McMahon: No, he's Venezuelan. He had a hammate injury, a hand injury before, but he's playing full-time now. At catcher his receiving skills are good, the throw skills are good, and his bat plays. He's had an outstanding year and we're very excited about his progress. He's a solid guy right now.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to some of the pitchers, beginning with Fernando Jose. What can you tell us about his game?

McMahon: He's an interesting story. He had an arm injury [an elbow bone spur removed] and he's doing great now. He throws the ball in the strike zone and he's got some strikeouts, he competes, and he's throwing a pretty good two-seamer. He was before the injury up in the mid-90s but he pitches in the 90-91 mph range with his two-seamer. His breaking ball and changeup are works in progress.

PinstripesPlus.com: Raudy Guzman is a guy whose name has come up in the past and he seemed to have a terrific season down there this year. Talk about his progress.

McMahon: Raudy continues to improve, grow and mature. He has shown a good work ethic. The exciting thing about him and one of the things we work on as an organization from a developmental plan is fastball command. Fastball command is a huge component. The guys who can pitch at the upper levels can command their fastball. He's shown he has improved significantly throwing the ball in the strike zone. He's walking less and shown some real swing and miss capabilities. He pitches in the low to mid-90s, his changeup is an above average pitch, and his breaking ball is his secondary pitch that he's working on.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to Corby McCoy -- what can you tell us about his progress?

McMahon: Corby has shown significant improvement over the course of this year. He's averaging a strikeout an inning and he's worked on piecing his delivery together, commanding the fastball, and trying to cut down on the walks. He continues to improve. He's a left-hander with a good pitching frame so he's a guy we just hope can continue to develop. He touches 92 mph, his breaking ball is more curveball than slider, and his changeup keeps getting better.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move back to hitters and talk about first baseman Kevin Gonzalez. He's a young kid who, at least by the bio numbers [6-foot-3, 230 pounds], appears to be pretty big. Talk about his game.

McMahon: Kevin was signed as a catcher who moved to first base and he's a left-handed bat. He has worked very hard with our strength and conditioning coaches on his body composition makeup. He's lost a lot of weight. He's had a couple of injuries. He had an achilles issue but his bat is very interesting to us. He really had an outstanding pre-season for us where he OPS'ed over 1.000 and once the season unfolded it's come down to some degree. Technically he's an outstanding hitter. He's working on his explosion [through the zone] and we're pleased with his progress.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned he lost weight -- how much weight did he lose?

McMahon: Upwards of 25-27 pounds.

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