Yankees Final Report





Best Player: General manager Brian Cashman hesitated before giving the nod to 21-year-old catcher Jesus Montero, who completed his second year with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. "You have Dante Bichette Jr. and Mason Williams, and they were very impressive (in short-season ball)," Cashman said, "but it's Montero."

After a slow start at Scranton, Montero bashed 11 home runs in the second half (only one International Leaguer hit more), while going 13-for-89 (.333) with five homers in his final 10 games to earn his first big league callup. "We have known this young man can hit," big league manager Joe Girardi said of Montero, who went 6-for-20 with two homers in his first five games as DH. "We are going to take a look at him and see what he can do."

Best Pitcher: The preseason award would have gone to either righthander Dellin Betances or lefty Manny Banuelos. Each impressed in big league camp and carried the "untouchable" tag. However, Cashman advocated for Triple-A righthander Adam Warren, who went 6-8, 3.60 with 111 strikeouts and 53 walks in 153 innings.

"Warren took another step toward being ready to compete for the major league rotation in 2012," Cashman said of the 24-year-old, taken in the fourth round of the 2009 draft from North Carolina.

Keep An Eye On: Lefthander Jose Quintana made 12 starts and 18 relief appearances for high Class A Tampa, so the 22-year-old provides quantity. As to quality, the Colombian went 10-2, 2.91 with 88 strikeouts and 28 walks in 102 innings.

"Quintana emerged and handled his transition from bullpen to starter very well," Cashman said. "He averages 90-91 (mph) on his fastball with a strong feel for a curve and improved feel for a change, which gives him a full starter's repertoire."

YANKEE DOODLES

• Though he hit just .268 on the year, Tampa center fielder Abe Almonte hit .350 (50-for-143) during a 34-game hitting streak that ended Sept. 3. He came within three games of matching the Florida State League record of 37 games set by Clearwater's Harold Garcia in 2010.

• Banuelos and Betances threw complete-game gems in both ends of a doubleheader for Scranton against Pawtucket on Aug. 29. They combined to pitch 14 innings while striking out 14 and allowing three hits and two runs.