The All-Star break doesn’t mean the Yankees stop working. We’re a little more than three weeks from the trade deadline. And for non-Yankees news, tonight’s the Home Run Derby. Let’s get to some notes from Yankeeland and around baseball.
Yankees send Naehring to scout Bauer
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported (subs req’d) that the Yankees had one of their top talent evaluators at Trevor Bauer’s start in Cincinnati on Sunday. Vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring was the man of the moment, watching Bauer earn a victory while holding the Reds to one run over seven innings.
Bauer is likely the top talent on the free agent market. He has a year and a half remaining on his contract and can last deep into games with his five (or more) pitch arsenal. He carries a 3.62 ERA into the break with a league-leading 132 innings.
In Rosenthal’s piece, he doesn’t mention the Yankees as a suitor for Giants starter Madison Bumgarner, who Bobby wrote about a few weeks ago. Furthermore, potential top target Marcus Stroman has dealt with a pectoral issue and missed a start. Could that injury make the Yankees shy away? Perhaps, even if Stroman is hanging with Gleyber Torres at the All-Star Game (check Stroman’s Instagram story).
If the Yankees veer away from Bumgarner and Stroman, that could leave Bauer as the eye of the Yankees’ focus.
Home Run Derby details and prediction
With no Luke Voit, there’s an unfortunate lack of Yankees in tonight’s Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 p.m.). Still, there’s an exciting field that includes the Mets’ Pete Alonso, Astros star Alex Bregman and the top prospect himself, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The twist for this year? There’s a $1 million prize for the winner, and only three of the eight competitors make at least that much this season. That means there’s plenty of reason for these guys to go all out.
Hardball Talk has the details of tonight’s proceeding and their prediction. I’ll go away from the obvious favorite Alonso and pick Ronald Acuna Jr. Why? Well, why not? He can hit the ball just as far as the rest of ’em.
Deivi ranks 25th on BP’s Midseason Top 50
You don’t need to watch the Futures Game to see high praise for Deivi Garcia, who was promoted to Triple-A after a 1-2-3 outing in the prospect-laden game.
Baseball Prospectus came out with its Midseason Top 50 and appear to be the publication most high on Garcia at the moment, ranking him No. 25. He was the only Yankee to appear on the list, which is topped by consensus No. 1 prospect Wander Franco. (No subs. needed for the list)
BP called Garcia’s stuff “unimpeachable” while touting his four-pitch repertoire and comparing him to Tigers pitching prospect/2018 No. 1 pick Casey Mize. In their “Why he might fail” section, they cite his diminutive stature and the chance he ends up in the bullpen. Still, to see Garcia ranking this high, it’s encouraging!
T.J. Sikkema hits ground running in Staten Island
Through two games in Staten Island, 2019 No. 38 overall pick T.J. Sikkema has allowed just two baserunners while tossing six scoreless innings. The left-hander out of Missouri has made quite the impression on his coaches, according to a profile on Pinstriped Prospects.
“Nobody does it like he does it from the left side,” SI Yanks pitching coach Travis Phelps said of Sikkema.
“That’s back-to-back starts where he’s lights out, honestly … He’s a guy who is a competitor, challenges hitters, has a lot of confidence and it shows out there,” manager David Adams added.
Highly recommend the piece, which goes into Sikkema’s four-pitch mix based off his fastball, his time at Missouri and which pitchers he sees his game as resembling (hint: it’s a couple of Chicago Cubs).
And if you missed it, Derek wrote about what Sikkema brings to the table in his draft profile series.