Patrick Teale

We sat down with Yankees pitching coordinator Danny Borrell for a Q&A session to discuss the lower-level pitching prospects.

We sat down with Yankees' minor league pitching coordinator Danny Borrell for a Q&A session. In part seven of this multi-part series we get his take on the debuts of Gilmael Troya and Daniel Alvarez, what progress he saw from Alexander Vargas, how Dallas Martinez looked in his return from injury, which is the real Jean Ramirez, and much, much more!.

PinstripesPlus.com: Before we move on to some more specific pitchers I have just one general question -- you guys as a farm system have been noted more recently for your bats than the arms and yet we've talked about numerous pitchers now with some pretty significant ceilings too -- obviously there's guys like Kaprielian and Acevedo, and Rookie Davis, who are obviously huge impact arms, but there's another sizable group with Haynes, Coshow, Koerner, Carter, etc, who are all flying under the radar, no?

Borrell: Those guys obviously have the talent to do it. We just have to make sure we're putting them in the right avenue, the right lane for them to succeed. We feel as if we're going in the right direction with these guys putting our big arms in the rotation. We have to steer them in the right direction and let them do what they do. They can do it and we certainly have them obviously. We might be a little biased but that's alright.

PinstripesPlus.com: Moving on to the Gulf Coast League guys let's start off talking about Gilmael Troya. He was just signed last year and not only skipped the Dominican Summer League level but pitched rather well in the GCL in his debut season. Talk about your initial impressions of him.

Borrell: He's an 18-year old kid who knows how to pitch. He has three quality pitches right now. I've seen his fastball up to 93-94 mph but he's comfortably 90-91 mph. He spins his curveball really well, there's some nice late bite to it, and he's got a great feel for a changeup. He's put together well. He's a good sized kid and he just turned 18. He knows how to pitch, he can sequence well, he uses all of his pitches, and from where I saw him last year in the Dominican to this year he's already gotten stronger.

PinstripesPlus.com: So there's some ceiling to his game?

Borrell: Oh without a doubt. He's got some quality ceiling. Troya can certainly be a guy.

PinstripesPlus.com: I want to ask about Dallas Martinez because he appeared prior to his shoulder surgery to be one of these guys who could blossom into one of the better pitching prospects. I know the numbers were good this year but what did he look like upon his return from surgery?

Borrell: His stuff is very reminiscent of every other guy who has gone through shoulder surgery; they start slow and as the game goes on they get stronger. That was Dallas. The game would start and he's be in the mid-80s and in the third inning he'd go 90 mph and then up to 92 mph, and then up to 94 mph. He's got a very big velocity range but that's pretty common with these shoulder [surgery] guys. For me it's just him getting out there and getting the reps, just getting some innings and hopefully he can maintain that strength and the velocity we saw in the third inning and hopefully get that from the get-go and stretch it out for four, five, six innings and go from there.

PinstripesPlus.com: How were his secondary pitches?

Borrell: About the same; the quality got better as the game went [on]. The curveball is there. He spins the curveball well, obviously, and the changeup is -- he can throw it, he can throw it with aggression and conviction, and it's got some fade to it. Just like any of the other guys in the GCL, especially with him coming back from surgery, he just needs innings and hopefully we can get the most out of him.

PinstripesPlus.com: What about Daris Vargas. Reports over the last year or two said he had a big arm but had trouble throwing strikes. What can you tell us about him?

Borrell: Obviously he pitched himself out of the GCL and got to Charleston at the end [of the season]. He's a little more advanced in age but experience-wise he's much younger. Fastball, slider, change; the fastball is up to 97 mph and averages 93-94 mph, he gets a ton of ground balls, and he throws strikes. He's got a quick slider too. Let's see what we have next year and hopefully he'll put himself into the discussion. Obviously he saw a lot of progress because he was statistically speaking our best guy [on the GCL Yankees2 team] and that's why he was promoted up to Charleston. He proved to us he could go out there and throw strikes with some power and that's why he went [up].

PinstripesPlus.com: Sticking with the Vargas', how did Alexander Vargas look in his first taste of the United States this year? The numbers weren't great this year but they weren't too bad either.

Borrell: Considering he should be a junior in high school it was a very, very successful season. I saw a guy that got stronger throughout the season. He was touching 94-95 mph at the end and he got bigger, which is always a good thing. He'll average 90-91 mph and later in the year he was averaging 92 mph which is always a good sign for us, he got stronger. He spins a nice curveball and Nardi Contreras did a great job with him just getting the break and spin rate to increase, and he always had a nice changeup. He showed that he could answer the bell every five to six days, and as a 17-year old kid, now 18, that's a really big deal. I'm a big fan. He's so far away but he certainly opened our eyes and continued to progress.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Jean Ramirez because reports on him are all over the place.

Borrell: He's an enigma because he's 90-92 mph and then his last two weeks of the season he was 94-97 mph. I saw him last year in the Dominican and he was 93-95 mph with a big league slider. He's 6-foot-6 and he throws from a big angle, and when he wants to do it he's a good pitcher. He showed us at the end of the year that he's going to have to continue to work hard because he has the potential of not just opening our eyes but everyone else's.

PinstripesPlus.com: Talk about Anyelo Gomez because I know there was some excitement surrounding him entering the season.

Borrell: He was a position player so he's young, athletic, and the kid has great arm action. I've seen him up to 95-96 mph. Obviously he was hurt a lot this year but he was healthy at Instructs and did a nice job answering the bell every four to five days. He'll be back with us next year in a starting role, hopefully he can stay healthy, and get on a roll. He's always thrown strikes and we really worked on his curveball at Instructs, and hopefully he can build on that.

PinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell me about Daniel Alvarez?

Borrell: He's mostly 88-92 mph but he's got that Ty Webb deceptive fastball. It plays a lot harder than you see it and he spins the crap out of his curveball. The one outing he had up here in the States he had like six or seven strikeouts and all of them were on his curveball. He's got a Major League curveball and a lot of deception with his fastball. We're going to try to get him stronger and he just turned 18 years old. He's got a chance.


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