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2003 Wrapups: New York Yankees

With the 2003 season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
October 31, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Columbus International 76 68 .528
AA Trenton Eastern 70 71 .496
A+ Tampa Florida State 68 64 .515
A Battle Creek Midwest 73 64 .533
SS Staten Island New York-Penn 29 43 .403
R GCL Yankees Gulf Coast 26 31 .456
TOTAL 342 341 .501
   * won league championship


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003.

1. Jose Contreras, rhp      Age: 32
Signed to a four-year, $32 million deal on Christmas Eve, Contreras was expected to be an anchor in the Yankee rotation, but found himself in the bullpen after a poor spring training. Sent to the minors after four appearances and a 10.80 ERA, Contreras quickly pitched his way back to the majors, but was sidelined much of the summer with a sore shoulder. Finally healthy, Contreras was 3-0, 1.51 in September and played a key role in the bullpen during the postseason. With Roger Clemens retiring and the Yankee futures of David Wells and Andy Pettitte in doubt, Contreras will be expected to be one of the team's top starters in 2004.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Yankees (MLB) 7-2 0 3.30 18 71.0 52 27 26 30 72
Columbus (Triple-A) 2-0 0 1.20 3 15.0 10 2 2 2 18
Trenton (Double-A) 0-0 0 0.00 1 1.2 1 0 0 2 3
Tampa (High Class A) 0-0 0 4.50 1 4.0 4 2 2 3 5
Staten Island (Short Season) 0-0 0 0.00 1 7.0 2 0 0 0 15

2. Hideki Matsui, of      Age: 29
Signed to a three-year, $21 million deal after winning his third Central League (Japan) MVP with the Yomuri Giants, Matsui played every game on the schedule for New York, and drove in 106 runs despite dramatic drops in home runs and walks from his days in Japan.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Yankees (MLB) 163 623 82 179 42 1 16 106 63 86 2 .287 .353 .435

3. Juan Rivera, of      Age: 25
Rivera spent another season racking up frequent flyer miles between Columbus and New York, and while he's now hit .325 in 199 games at the Triple-A level, he has yet to establish himself against major league pitching enough to be considered an every day corner outfielder.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Columbus (Triple-A) 79 308 47 100 21 0 7 37 26 37 1 .325 .374 .461
Yankees (MLB) 57 173 22 46 14 0 7 26 10 27 0 .266 .304 .468

4. Bronson Sardinha, of      Age: 20
For the second straight season Sardihna had a tough first half and found himself demoted. Hit very well at Battle Creek, with improved power and plate discipline, and after being converted to the outfield in 2002, he's moving back to the infield during instructional league. He will begin 2004 with another shot at Tampa, this time as a second or third baseman.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Tampa (High Class A) 59 212 23 41 8 2 1 17 24 57 8 .193 .279 .264
Battle Creek (Low Class A) 71 269 54 74 16 0 8 41 40 40 5 .275 .374 .424

5. Brandon Claussen, lhp      Age: 24
Claussen made a surprisingly quick return from Tommy John surgery, making his season debut on April 19, just nine months after the procedure. Claussen pitched very well in his major league debut vs. the Mets and was the primary player moving to Cincinnati in the Aaron Boone deal. Claussen was ineffective at Louisville and the Reds shut him down as a precautionary measure in mid-August.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Tampa (High Class A) 2-0 0 1.64 4 22.0 16 5 4 3 26
Columbus (Triple-A) 2-1 0 2.75 11 68.2 53 28 21 18 39
Yankees (MLB) 1-0 0 1.42 1 6.1 8 2 1 1 5
Louisville (Triple-A) 0-1 0 7.47 3 15.2 17 13 13 6 16

6. Drew Henson, 3b      Age: 23
More backward progress for Henson, who repeated Triple-A and saw both his on-base percentage and slugging decrease from the previous season. Now has 556 strikeouts in 501 career minor league games. The most important thing to know about his future may be that the Houston Texans own his NFL rights.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Columbus (Triple-A) 133 483 60 113 40 2 14 78 32 122 8 .234 .291 .412
Yankees (MLB) 5 8 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .125 .125 .125

7. Chien-Ming Wang, rhp      Age: 23
Wang had pitched just 165 innings (all at Staten Island) since signing in May of 2000 for $1.9 million, but the Yankees put him on the fast track, assigning him at the beginning of the year to Double-A Trenton. Pitched well early on, but missed almost a month during mid-season with blister problems, and had a 5.92 ERA in his final 10 starts. Will pitch for his native Taiwan in the upcoming Asia Games.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Trenton (Double-A) 7-6 0 4.65 21 122.0 143 71 63 32 84
GCL Yankees (Rookie) 0-0 0 0.00 1 3.0 2 0 0 0 2

8. Robinson Cano, 2b/ss      Age: 21
Cano went 5-for-5 in the first game of the season and started the year 20-for-40, getting promoted to Double-A Trenton despite managing just four hits in his final 33 at-bats in the Florida State League. Cano, who didn't turn 21 until after the season, played very well at Trenton, but needs to improve his on-base skills, and he doesn't project to ever be a serious power threat.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Tampa (Low Class A) 90 366 50 101 16 3 5 50 17 49 1 .279 .313 .377
Trenton (Double-A) 46 164 21 46 9 1 1 13 9 16 0 .280 .341 .366

9. Danny Borrell, lhp      Age: 24
Last year's Eastern League ERA champ, Borrell was off to a solid start at Triple-A before going down with shoulder soreness. An MRI revealed the worst, and Borrell missed the remainder of the season following surgery for a torn labrum.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Columbus (Triple-A) 4-2 0 2.93 10 55.1 55 24 18 22 30

10. Jorge DePaula, rhp      Age: 24
DePaula was inconsistent most of the year, but put together a fantastic string of starts late in the season (52.1 IP, 0.85 ERA), and spent the final month of the season with the big league squad, limiting the Orioles to just one hit over 6.1 shutout innings in his first major league start.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Columbus (Triple-A) 10-11 0 4.35 27 167.2 168 90 81 57 125
Yankees (MLB) 0-0 0 0.79 4 11.1 3 1 1 1 7


Top Draft Pick:

Eric Duncan, 3b    Seton Hall Prep, Florham Park, N.J.   Bonus: $1.25M
The Yankees had their eye on Duncan throughout the spring, and were more than happy to take him when he was still on the board with the 27th overall pick. Duncan has fantastic hitting mechanics; Rookie-level Gulf Coast League managers rated him the best prospect in the league. A move from third to first base is likely in his future.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
GCL Yankees (Rookie) 47 180 24 50 12 2 2 28 18 33 0 .278 .348 .400
Staten Island (Short-Season) 14 59 11 24 5 4 2 13 2 11 1 .373 .413 .695


Emerging Prospects:

Rudy Guillen, of: Possibly the best athlete in the system, Guillen hit .260-13-79 at Battle Creek, making the Midwest League all-star team as a 19-year old.
Dioner Navarro, c: Nicknamed "Pudgito" because of his size and defensive prowess, Navarro's bat began to match that of Ivan Rodriguez as well. After hitting just .238 in 2002, Navarro shot up the charts with a .321-7-65 campaign in 110 games between Tampa and Trenton, and he doesn't turn 20 until next February.


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average Fernando Seguignol .342
Home Runs Jayson Drobiak 30
Runs Batted In Mitch Jones 91
Stolen Bases Kevin Thompson 63
Earned Run Average Rik Currier 2.17
Wins Brad Halsey 17
Strikeouts Brad Halsey 134
Saves Matt Brumit 24

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