Despite losing to the Pirates 3-1 in Instructional League action on Friday, falling to 2-1 on the schedule, speed was the name of the game for the Yankees. On a day when the positional prospects ran the 60-yard dash before the game, the Yankees later threw Dellin Betances, Grant Duff, and Tim Norton among others on the mound.
During their early morning workouts at the minor league complex, the Yankee positional prospects participated in the 60-yard dash time trials. Running two at a time, the most interesting tandem was the combination of Jose Tabata
and Eduardo Nunez
. After Nunez took the lead on Tabata in their head-to-head matchup, he quickly shifted over into Tabata's lane, essentially blocking Tabata's path, before winning by a few steps, prompting Tabata to call for a 'do-over'.
In his second attempt to beat Nunez, Tabata fell to the same set of circumstances, watching Nunez take the lead on him and moving into his lane once again and drawing the cheers and jeers of his peers.
With coaches and scouts timing each runner at both the 30-yard and 60-yard checkpoints, in the end, Tim Battle
wound up with the fastest time in the 60-yard dash. Somewhat surprisingly, Seth Fortenberry
clocked the fastest 30-yard time. However, it should be pointed out that Brett Gardner
did not participate.
Mitch Hilligoss has been putting on impressive batting practice displays in the cages the last two days. Aside from routinely spraying line drives into both alleys, he flashed his power with a couple of long home runs each day.
The batting order on Friday: Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, Duncan, Jose Tabata, Colin Curtis, Jesus Montero, Tim Battle, Mitch Hilligoss, Francisco Cervelli, and Prilys Cuello.
Dellin Betances - While the positional prospects displayed their speed in the time trials, Betances once again showed his power and speed on the mound. Even though he walked three batters in his two innings of work, some on very close calls by the umpire, he was averaging 94-96 MPH with his fastball and when he struck out Pirates' big leaguer Brad Aldred on a sweet 2-2 changeup, everybody walked away quite impressed.
Tim Battle is still learning to allow the ball to get deeper on him in an effort to avoid getting out in front of pitches so much. In the game, he went 0-2 with a strikeout but he did manage to swipe two bases before later being picked-off leaning off third base.
Brett Gardner - Even though he wasn't allowed to flash his plus speed in the 60-yard dash earlier in the day, Gardner made up for it in the game. He began the game with an infield single, legging out a hit and stole a base with relative ease after walking in his third at-bat of the day. He finished the day going 1-3 at the plate and scored the only run of the game.
Reegie Corona has been coming off the bench each of the last two games. Taking grounders at second base, shortstop, and third base in pre-game workouts, Corona went 1-1 with an RBI single in his only at-bat of the game.
Grant Duff also showed some speed on the mound. Despite somewhat shaky command in his first inning of work, Duff was painting the strike zone with 93 MPH fastballs in his second inning of work, retiring the side in order.
Zach McAllister was equally or arguably even more impressive than Betances and Duff on Friday, pitching a perfect two innings against the Pirates. He's throwing more four-seam fastballs than when he first signed and he too was in the 93 MPH range at times.
Tim Norton gave up two of the three runs on Friday, both unearned. He was quite dominant in his first inning of work, peppering the plate with 92-94 MPH fastballs before a pair of errors in his second inning became his undoing before he served up a two-run double.