AA Position Prospect Review

The Trenton Thunder compiled a 70-71 record in 2003 with a very good offense and a not so good pitching staff. This article will review the hitting prospects that played for the Thunder and did not amass a minimum of 100 at-bats at a higher level this season.

Robinson Cano – 2B

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.280

.341

.366

.052

23.9

164

A

Tampa

.276

.313

.377

.044

23.8

366



Cano is a very good hitter that fared quite well at AA this season after collecting over 300 at-bats at high-A Tampa. He does not get in the batter's box to take walks (he drew just 26 walks all season) and will need to learn to do so if he's going to have any sort of success at the higher levels. His strength is his bat and his power. However, Cano did not show the same power as he did last year when he clubbed 15 home runs between two levels. He only hit 6 dingers this season. A full season of AA-ball is expected in 2004.

Jason Grove – OF

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.287

.356

.398

.086

24.3

244

A

Tampa

.270

.329

.381

.087

41.2

63



In limited at-bats, Grove put up some solid numbers in his AA debut with Trenton. Even though he hit a steady .287, a corner outfielder is expected to put up better power numbers than the 17 extra-base hits Grove had. Look for Grove to return to Trenton for another year.

Mitch Jones – OF

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.242

.338

.430

.111

36.6

463



It was tempting to leave Jones and Myrow off this list. Yes, they both posted some good numbers in 2003, but Myrow is 27 and Jones is 26...a little old to be considered a quality prospect. Jones is all about the power. He led the team in HRs (23) and RBI (91). He strikes out way too often: 131 times in 136 games. His peripherals are not good enough for a "prospect" his age.

Brian Myrow – 3B

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.306

.447

.525

.188

57.6

461



The elder statesman of the group, Myrow actually had a phenomenal year. Like Jones, he's too old to be considered a top prospect, but at least Myrow's peripheral numbers translate into decent MLB production. Any player, at any age, that can sport a .447 on-base percentage certainly has to be taken seriously. Myrow drew 107 walks in 137 games for the Thunder this season and had 57 extra-base hits. With Aaron Boone a free agent and with Drew Henson going back to the NFL, it's not beyond the realm of possibility (though highly unlikely) that the Yankees give him a long look in Spring Training next year. If not, Myrow could be an excellent utility player for the Yankees. He's played 2B, 3B, and outfield.

Dioner Navarro – C

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.341

.388

.471

.080

26.7

208

A

Tampa

.299

.364

.467

.080

39.0

197



Navarro is one of the more mature hitters in the entire Yankee system, especially for one that won't turn 20 years old until February and already having success at the AA level. After collecting 23 extra-base hits in his first 52 games at Tampa this year, the Yankees decided to challenge their young phenom with a mid-season promotion to AA-Trenton. Navarro not only did not disappoint, he actually improved on his numbers from the lower level, hitting .341 in 58 games for the Thunder. Navarro is showing it all at the plate already: power, patience, etc. Here's a stat that just boggles the mind, especially when discussing a young player: Navarro had 53 strikeouts this season, and 42 extra-base hits! The sky's the limit for this kid.

Kevin Reese – OF

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.272

.328

.366

.075

22.6

309

A

Tampa

.270

.329

.381

.087

41.2

63



Sure he had 27 stolen bases this year and that's the first stat that jumps off the page. But it's hard to get excited about a speedy prospect that can't get on base too often. He does not have the bat of Cano to be able to get away with a lack of patience at the plate. It would not be surprising to see Reese back at Trenton next year.

Aaron Rifkin – 1B

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.269

.335

.441

.088

35.8

510



Rifkin, like Kevin Thompson, put himself on the Yankee prospect radar after a good season at AA this year. The 24-year old first baseman had 49 extra-base hits (29 doubles, 1 triple, 19 HRs) and was second on the team in RBI with 90. His walk ratio is quite acceptable for a power hitter. Though not invited, Rifkin earned a chance at the Arizona Fall League this year. A trip to Columbus in 2004 is in store for this lefty.

Kevin Thompson – OF

Level

Team

AVG.

OBP%

SLG%

BB/PA

XBH

AB

AA

Trenton

.226

.310

.332

.101

31.1

328

A

Tampa

.331

.433

.552

.164

40.7

163



Kevin Thompson had a very good year in 2003 and is certainly now on the Yankees prospect watch. Sure the .226 average in 86 games at Trenton were somewhat discouraging after his promotion from Tampa. But he still made a nice AA debut, swiping 47 bases with some excellent power at the leadoff spot. Thompson really raked the ball at Tampa, hitting for 22 extra-base hits. He was also an on-base machine, drawing 32 walks in 44 games. Of course, Thompson showed his speed with 16 stolen bases. Like Cano, look for Thompson to get a full season of AA seasoning in 2004. It will be interesting to see what type of numbers he'll post next season.

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