Young Trio Turns Heads In Yankees Camp





TAMPA—Two pitchers far removed from the glamour rounds and a fourth-round outfielder who received first-round money all turned heads at Yankees minor league camp.

Righthanders Shane Greene and Zach Nuding pumped high-octane fastballs on their way to assignments in the low Class A Charleston rotation. Signed for $1.4 million out of last year's draft, Mason Williams awed instructors with his defense and speed.

"They are nice finds by our scouts, a huge plus," farm director Mark Newman said.

The 21-year-old Nuding netted $265,000 as a 30th-round pick last year out of Weatherford (Texas) JC.

In 2009, New York doled out $100,000 to sign 15th-round pick Greene, also out of a two-year college program, Daytona Beach (Fla.) CC. The 22-year-old's draft stock tumbled because he had elbow surgery while in college.

Late in spring training Greene reached 95 mph with movement, while Nuding registered two ticks higher. "They make for a nice situation," Newman said.

Greene spent the past two summers almost exclusively in short-season ball, first in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and then with short-season Staten Island. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound righty finished 2010 by making four starts for Charleston, where he fanned 22 in 20 innings.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Nuding and Williams, a speedy center fielder, were teammates a year ago on the GCL club. Nuding made one two-inning start, while Williams batted 4-for-18 (.222) in five games.

Newman raves about the 19-year-old Williams' defensive ability, and he runs well enough to have earned fastest baserunner honors in the system. "He can swing the bat well," he said of the Winter Garden, Fla., prep product. "He can really run and has plus, plus instincts as an outfielder."

YANKEE DOODLES

• The Yankees installed Edwar Gonzalez, who spent much of the past three seasons as an outfielder with Double-A Trenton, as hitting coach for the GCL club. He replaced John Rodriguez, who left his post to attend to a family situation at home in New York.

• Teenage lefty Manny Banuelos struck out 11 and allowed eight hits through his first 10 spring-training innings. As a result, he stuck around big league camp even after older pitching prospects like Andrew Brackman (Triple-A) and Dellin Betances (Double-A) received optional assignments.