DSL Q&A with Pat McMahon - Part II

We sat down with Yankees Coordinator of International Development Pat McMahon for a Q&A session. In part two of this two-part series we get his thoughts on the various prospects in the Dominican Summer League, including thoughts on new signees Griffin Garrabito and Erick Mendez, the emergence of Cesar Diaz and Dario Unda, how Jordan Ovalles and Daris Vargas are developing, and much, much more!

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about outfielder Dario Unda who, from scouts I talk to, seems to be another one of these Flores-like, hitter-first types.

McMahon: Dario is another interesting guy. He's new to us. He's a corner outfielder that his tools play average but the bat has been good. He's got some doubles so we'll just have to see if the power will play as he continues to mature and grow, and get stronger.

PinstripesPlus.com: How about Wascar Rodriguez? He doesn't seem to be the same kind of player, at least judging by the numbers

McMahon: Wascar has tools, good throw, decent run, but the thing is Wascar is working on cutting down the strikeouts. He'll look like an All Star one week and then struggle the next so he has to work on the consistency.

PinstripesPlus.com: Outfielder Andy Diaz is another name that I've come across with scouts as a guy with some ceiling to him.

McMahon: Diaz is another young interesting player for us. We're excited about his future. He can play all three outfield positions and he's really performed. The strikeouts are high but he's got a lot of walks too. He's got some triples, some home runs, some doubles. He's more of a corner outfielder than a centerfielder but we think he's got the chance to be a real good player. He's young.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move back to pitching. Right-hander Adonis Rosa put up some great numbers this year. What can you tell us about his game?

McMahon: He's a young pitcher and he's one of a bunch of what we call emerging pitchers. Our pitching coaches have done a great job with his delivery and work. The thing that he's done is throw the ball in the strike zone and that to me is a positive because if he we can get the fastball command continued there will be some progress.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know there are scouts and coaches who were pretty big on Daris Vargas' arm but wanted to see more pitch-ability. I know the walks were a little high but did you see the pitch-ability come around somewhat?

McMahon: That's what it is, development. He has an above average arm. He'll tough 95 mph so there's arm strength, but the consistency of his secondary pitches needs work, his delivery staying north-south is something he's working on and continue to grow with to get better. .

PinstripesPlus.com: Jordan Ovalles? Where's his development right now?

McMahon: The same with him -- he has swing and miss stuff. One of the developmental programs with our coaches and they've done a great job, we're working very diligently on fastball command and keeping the ball in the strike zone. That's been a big focal point for us. He continues to make strides in that way. His walks are a lot less and that's a real positive sign.

PinstripesPlus.com: You know Victor Rey was one of the big names a couple of years ago before getting hit in the face with a pitch. Where is he right now mentally and developmentally?

McMahon: How one handles that becomes somewhat difficult. Although he's shown signs in continuing his development, that's hurt it. He's a taller, bigger young man but he's trying to get stronger and bigger to get some exit speed off of his bat.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know he hasn't played much but let me ask you about one of the new signings, Griffin Garrabito. What are your early impressions?

McMahon: He's a high-energy young player that has some tools that can play shortstop, although he can move to different positions. I wouldn't use the word 'toolsy' -- like [Jorge] Mateo is 'toolsy' - but this kid is a good player, and the energy and awareness are big things to me. He possesses that kind of 'bounce around' makeup. Those are characteristics in young players that move forward, the game makeup stuff coupled with tools with the way they perform are big, big components in that success equation. That game awareness as we call it in the industry is really important to me, that I and we are big on. He's an exciting young player to watch play.

PinstripesPlus.com: He almost sounds like Jose Pirela, Francisco Cervelli hybrid, no?

McMahon: There you go.

PinstripesPlus.com: Like Garrabito, outfielder Erick Mendez was just signed this year and only got into a handful of games. What are your early impressions?

McMahon: Now he becomes a toolsy guy. He's a guy that has strength, is well put together, he's got bat exit speed, and is just playing centerfield and doing well. He's more of a strong, thick-bodied guy that could equate to more power numbers. Remember [Abraham] Almonte? That would be his body type, although doesn't run quite as well but is stronger. He can play centerfield.

PinstripesPlus.com: Just a general question -- which of these guys are beginning to emerge as guys we should watch out for next season?

McMahon: Let me answer with a general response and I think this would be good for your readers to know; so often there's a guy, for example Welfrin Mateo could play in the States right now but the DSL season starts after the [MLB] Draft. The numbers don't always match up to where you want to put guys all of the time. Welfrin Mateo needs to play everyday but he hadn't played everyday and this was his second full season. So playing everyday here in this league, which is a very good league, gives him the opportunity to perform and to work on game skills, and as a lot of people don't know but you do, a lot of Dominicans don't get to play a lot of baseball in youth. So us to teach them the game -- fly ball relays, communication, popups -- it's a critical component in the success equation...they need to play! Where young Americans play everyday in high school or even in Little League, it's a different deal. That's a critical part in the teaching equation here; the discipline, the self-discipline, time and game awareness, those components along with the educational system add to that. Having said that, he needs to play everyday. Going there to sit on the bench and play a little bit, his development is delayed.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let me ask you about Ricardo Ferreira. He didn't play a whole lot this yer but he had 22 walks and 15 stolen bases in just 18 games this year. What's his deal?

McMahon: Shortstop-second base, second base-shortstop, above average run and he's learning to switch-hit. He just started hitting left-handed. He had a bunch of stolen bases before he got hurt and he had a finger issue and we wanted to monitor that. That was a huge loss. He was really performing well. He's an 80 runner and can really fly. He's an interesting guy for us. He has game awareness and skills, and can play shortstop. He's an exciting young player.

PinstripesPlus.com: How about outfielder Cesar Diaz?

McMahon: Switch-hitter, he's a little older but he converted a week before the season started to play second base for us. He performed well for us. He was a centerfielder and now he's playing second base. He gives some versatility. The thing about Cesar is he walks more than he strikes out. It's a left-handed bat that has really improved and done a good job.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's end on your thoughts on Jose Infante?

McMahon: He grew up in the United States. He grew up in New York but he's a Dominican. He converted from the outfield to the infield. He's been playing shortstop in a bunch of games because of the injuries to Rodriguez and Ferreira, and he's done okay.

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