Yankees Circle Back To Josh Stowers

The Yankees scouted college outfielder Josh Stowers at Louisville and were prepared to draft him in the second round last year—if the Mariners hadn’t drafted him first.

The Yankees got their man on Jan. 21 when they traded second base prospect Shed Long to Seattle for Stowers. New York had just acquired Long from the Reds as part of the return for Sonny Gray.

“We had him rated in the vicinity of 50th (overall), close to the bottom of the second round,’’ scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said of Stowers, who went 54th. “He can run and is a basestealer who plays center field and has power. He is a very good athlete. The ceiling on him is he has power and speed.’’

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Stowers hit .260/.380/.410 In 58 games for short-season Everett, contributing five home runs, 15 doubles and 20 stolen bases. The 22-year-old righthanded hitter ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the Northwest League.

Even though the Yankees have dealt outfield prospects Blake Rutherford, Dustin Fowler and Billy McKinney in the past two years, the system still has Estevan Florial and Clint Frazier, who has recovered from concussion issues that ruined his 2018 season.

Now they have added Stowers, who enters his second pro season with an intriguing blend of power and speed.


—The Orioles returned Rule 5 lefthander Nestor Cortes Jr. to the Yankees in mid-April after he ran up a 7.71 ERA and allowed 10 hits and four walks in 4.2 relief innings. He found his footing at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by recording a 3.71 ERA over 23 games (18 starts) in which he struck out 96 and walked 37 in 111.2 innings.

The Yankees invited Cortes to big league camp after his loud season in the Dominican League this winter. He went 2-0, 1.71 in eight starts for Estrellas de Oriente, allowing 26 hits in 42 innings and fanning 45 compared to 10 walks.

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