Advertisements

Prospect Profile: Trey Amburgey

Embed from Getty Images

Looks like the Yankees have granted Erik Kratz’s wish. In case you haven’t noticed, the ex-Yankee has tweeted on multiple occasions in advocation of Trey Amburgey getting a chance in the majors (here, here, and here among many other tweets). And now, Amburgey reportedly will join the Yankees for tonight’s game against Boston.

No word on a corresponding roster moves, but we could see Darren O’Day shifted to the 60-day IL to open up a 40-man spot. Then, the Yankees should option one of Brooks Kriske or Albert Abreu to Triple-A in order to open up a 26-man spot. Alright, now that roster machinations are out of the way, let’s get to know Amburgey a bit more.

The Particulars

  • Position: OF
  • Born: 10/24/1994
  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6′-2″
  • Weight: 210

Background

The 26 year-old outfielder hails from Lake Worth, Florida, and attended St. Petersburg College in the Sunshine State. The Yankees picked him in the 13th round of the 2015 draft and paid him a $100,000 signing bonus.

The Story So Far

Amburgey raked his way through rookie ball and short-season A-ball right after the draft, spending 37 games with the GCL Yankees and another 21 with Staten Island. In sum, he batted .346/.399/.523 (170 wRC+) between the two levels. It was undoubtedly a very hot start for the late round pick, who needed to hit in order to progress as an outfield tweener.

2016 wasn’t as kind to Amburgey as his professional debut season. He started off well in Single-A Charleston, posting a 139 wRC+ with more walks than strikeouts, but got hurt and missed roughly two months. It’s not clear what the injury was, but it must have been relatively serious to miss that much time. After rehabbing in the GCL, Amburgey returned, but this time for High-A Tampa, where he recorded a so-so .274/.313/.381 (99 wRC+).

In 2017, Amburgey went back to Tampa and seemingly stalled out. He hit a measly .236/.296/.382 (97 wRC+) as a 22 year-old. Amburgey got the bump up to Double-A Trenton for 2018, but again posted a pretty mediocre triple-slash line: .258/.300/.418 (97 wRC+). He became first-time eligible for the Rule 5 draft after the ’18 season, and unsurprisingly, the Yankees left him exposed. No one took a chance on him, either.

Amburgey hit better in 2019, where he spent the full campaign with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. There, the righty posted more power (.219 ISO, 22 homers) and had a .274/.329/.494 (106 wRC+). That undoubtedly was an improvement, but it was nothing like what we’ve seen from Amburgey this year repeating the level.

By the way, Amburgey didn’t make the 40-man roster again that winter (2019), leaving him available for the other 29 clubs in the Rule 5. Again, no one took a flyer. And with the 2020 season banged, he had no chance to push for a spot on the 40-man the following season.

This year, Amburgey owns a .312/.379/.582 (149 wRC+) line for the RailRiders. He also set a franchise record for consecutive games reaching base (42). He’s definitely old for the level, now 26, but he it’s better to blossom late than never. One important caveat: Triple-A is using the 2019 MLB rocket-ball until they run out of supply, so offensive numbers may be a bit inflated.

Scouting Notes

There simply isn’t much in the way of scouting data online for Amburgey. That’s understandable for a 13th rounder out of a Florida JuCo who is old for his level and hasn’t really performed until this season. That said, there are a couple of things worth pointing out.

Amburgey’s taken a big leap in hard contact this year. He’s got a 92.4 MPH average exit velocity in Triple-A, which would be a top-20 mark in the MLB. My understanding is that he used to sit in the mid-to-high eighties in the past, so this is a marked improvement. And as you may have noticed, the Yankees have a ton of guys hitting for more power in the minors this year. Seems like a pretty big success in terms of player development.

As good as that average exit velocity number is, there’s a downside. Most of Amburgey’s success has come on the short side of a platoon. Check this out:

YearOPS vs. LHPOPS vs. RHP
20211.341.746
20191.017.731
2018.821.677
2017.842.620
2016.747.528
2015.726.884

It definitely looks like Amburgey could be a lefty-killer, which could help against Boston’s Eduardo Rodríguez and Martín Pérez this weekend. But over the long-term, it likely limits Amburgey’s ceiling to a bench role in the majors.

Defensively, Amburgey can play all three outfield positions but is best situated in one of the corners. He’s not a bad runner, and is considered a tick above average, but decent-to-good speed doesn’t necessarily equate to good defense in center.

Prospect Lists

Amburgey snuck on to MLB Pipeline’s top-30 Yankees prospects in 2016 as the 30th best prospect in the organization. That came after his strong professional debut in the GCL and New York-Penn league. Other than that, you won’t find him anywhere. He didn’t perform much over subsequent years, and corner outfielders who don’t hit and are old for their level just aren’t going to sniff prospect writers attention.

2021 Outlook

Going into this year, I don’t think many folks had Amburgey on the major league radar. Sure, he had been in major league spring training, but the Yankees’ outfield looked absolutely loaded going into the regular season. So much for that. Now, he’s in the big leagues thanks to a myriad of injuries and underwhelming performances on the major league roster.

With Giancarlo Stanton not (yet) playing the outfield and Miguel Andújar and Clint Frazier on the injured list, Amburgey has a chance to play a decent amount for the time being. He, Brett Gardner, and Tim Locastro will wrestle for center and left field on a nightly basis for the time being, and I presume we will see a platoon. I figure that Gardy and Locastro will start against right-handers, and Locastro and Amburgey will start against southpaws.

Advertisements

Previous

DoTF: Jasson Logs 2 Hits in Tampa Debut; Waldichuk is Great Again

Next

Boston Red Sox Season Preview: July 15 to July 18

13 Comments

  1. MikeD

    Always happy to see a long-time minor leaguer called up. I’m not quite sure I put him in the “prospect” category, but that’s perhaps more a question of semantics. If nothing else, he can tell his grandkids he was a major leaguer and, oh yeah, he gets gold-standard, life-time medical coverage. Not saying he won’t stick around for a few years as a major leaguer, but he could just as easily disappear after his call-up. Platoon corner OFers, particularly those on the short end of the platoon aren’t in demand. He’ll really have to mash to make it a career, unless he can figure out RH’d pitching. Hasn’t so far in the minors. Last, he is hitting with the rocket ball in AAA.

    So two rookie OFers debut tonight. One for the Yankees, one for the Sux. One is considered a legit, top prospect. The other a non-contender. Here’s hoping the Yankee non-prospect has a better career! We’ve seen weirder things. Oh, like Jacoby Ellsbury being considered a stud, can’t miss prospect and Brett Gardner a non-prospect. So far the latter has 43 career rWAR and the former and his 31 career WAR is in the witness protection program.

  2. Tim Loceddardstro

    And now Nestor is on the covid IL. There goes our ace for the Boston series. No club has done worse with containing the virus than the Yankees, the one with the most resources. Why hasn’t the entire training/medical staff been fired?

    • Billy

      Because of Covid?

      • MikeD

        There is no doubt that the Yankees medical staff is as complicit as China in the global spread of the virus!

  3. Daniel Milano

    This nightmare is fault of Brainless Brian. No team has a all right handed hitting lineup. Plays right into Boston and Tampa Bay hands. Maybe we need Slade Heathcott,Dante Bichette Jr ( Bo would have been nice )Eric Jagelio, Kyle Holder, Cito Culver,Austin Jackson, Dustin Flowers, Jack Cave , Rob Refsynder, Mason William, Billy McKenny or good old Jacoby Ellsbury. Cashmen should have been fired over 10 years ago. Him and Oppenheimer can’t draft for scap. Fire Cashmen, Boone and trade Sabcgez, Wade, Stanton,Torres, German, Chapman , Britton, Cessa, Green and Voit. Scrap this year. Lose a lot of games and get pick number 5 , ala Boston Red Sox. Hey McFly Hal. Wake up.

  4. Cary

    Great article Derek & spot on.. Any idea why the Yankees are hanging onto Gardy right now instead of just bringing up Park – who could play shortstop, second base and center field?

    Adding Locastro was a really strange move with Ambugey and Park around. Seems like the Yankees must not be very high on Park.

    • MikeD

      Saying Park can play CF is similar to saying Wade can play CF. Sure, you can park them out there, no pun intended, but that doesn’t mean they can really play CF. It still surprises me somewhat (although not really) that year after year, some Yankee fans question why Gardner is around. They seemed to have not noticed he is the one guy who consistently answers the bell, which is kind of critical with this collection of injury-prone OFers. More than ever, I would think those fans would appreciate it with all the injuries the team absorbs. Gardy does look like Father Time has finally caught up to him at the plate, so they’ll need to address that moving forward, but keeping the one true CFer around, the one who stays healthy, isn’t a question that needs to be asked. Locastro? I mean, he has 44 OPS+ and is another RH’d hitter. You’re not replacing Gardy with Locastro. I’m happy to see Amburgey get a call, but he’s not a CFer either, and maybe at best he’s a platoon bat who is just here until Andujar or maybe Frazier returns.

  5. Tim Loceddardstro

    As long as he doesn’t take playing time away from Locastro I’m fine with it, Derek. Locastro has been a good little spark plug and he even showed some pop in Houston. Trey will be a massive upgrade over Gardy, especially vs LHP. Boone has ran Gardy into the ground playing him every day in CF. The guy is 37 years old and can’t handle that pounding anymore. He’s also an upgrade over Clint who is on the DL for vertigo and next month will be attacked by birds. Cash shoulda just kept Tauchy who has his Giants in first place. Trey will be a nice addition until Miggy returns. Let’s see what the kid can do. It’s not like he can do any more damage.

    • Cary

      The fact that the Yankees are using 26 man roster spots for Locastro, Andujar & Gardy speaks volumes as to how bad this team is in key spots. Then they compound things by sitting Stanton who should be a full-time help fielder. By DHing Stanton the Yankees cripple themselves.

      Stanton’s offensive value is completely negated by sitting him on the bench as a DH. In fact if the Yankees dumped him, which would be a stupid move, and just brought in an average outfielder who could provide average offense and average defense they would lose exactly one more game over the course of the second half of the season.

      That’s what sitting Stanton translates to. Andujar’s value was once thought to be offensive but since he doesn’t get on base unless he gets a hit his offensive values extremely low. Locastro also has incredibly low offensive value and has no business even playing for the Yankees. Yes he hustles. Yes he had an opposite field home run. Unless he completely transforms himself however, he isn’t a difference maker.

      Neither is Amburgy. Yankees should just play Stanton in the outfield. I have no idea what they’re doing right now.

      And yes, Gardy has to play center field because the Yankees have nobody else capable. He doesn’t look run down to me. He looks physically stellar. He just isn’t performing and he’s holding back the team substantially because he’s being overplayed and he gets way too many AB’s. Only the Yankees could do this. In fact they signed up for it this off-season willingly.

      Cashman had to know the chances of Aaron Hicks playing more than 100 games was pretty darn slim. To have Gardy as the only backup plan is ridiculous.

      Better teams with better right-handed pitching feast on the Yankees by running out all the right-handers as the game wears on. The Yankee offense has a differential of +1. Tim Lokastro is not an impact player.

      It’s time to trade for a center fielder, dump Locastro & Gardy, demote Miggy and convert him to a right fielder in the miners where his arm and lack of range might be more appropriate for him and then move Stanton into the outfield.

      Amburgey doesn’t appear to be the answer either. Trading for a fourth outfielder like Andrew Benintendi would make some sense. The Yankees need to be figuring out a way to punish right-handed pitching.

      Right now the Yankees have horrendous left-handed hitting.

      • Tim Loceddardstro

        I ain’t gonna read all that, Cary, but you’re preaching to the choir in terms of Stanton. I’ve been saying for years that he needs to be in LF. Why a 31 year old with the body of a greek god can’t stand for 2 hours in LF without self-destructing is beyond me. That would open the DH for Judgey, Voit or Gary. And in NL parks he’s useless.

        LoCastro certainly belongs. He runs, he hits, he fields, he throws, he hit for power in Houston. He’s one of the few 5 tool players that we have and deserves more playing time not less. And I’d rather put a tree stump in LF than trade for Benintendo. He’s a Red Sock and always will be.

      • MikeD

        Ok, so reading this we’re more in agreement than not. I don’t believe they need to cut Gardner, but they need to replace him as the starting CFer! The Stanton issue has been a consistent theme of mine. There is exactly ZERO evidence that playing Stanton in the OF will make him more likely to be injured. There is evidence that just DH’ing him has increased his soft-tissue injuries. I wouldn’t put Stanton in LF, especially after not playing the OF for so long. I’d put him back in RF where he’s comfortable, and frankly it’s the easiest of all the Yankee OF positions to play. Stanton’s a solid RFer. Not in Judge’s class, but that’s the point. Judge’s OF skills are a bit wasted in the short RF. I’d move Judge to the more challenging LF. The Yankees preference is a strong defensive LFer, which is why Gardner played out there so much, that is until he’s been forced into more regular CF duty because Ellsbury and then Hicks decided they had an affinity as permanent members of the IL.

        Hicks isn’t going anywhere, so what they may want to consider is having Hicks take over the Gardner role. The 4th OFer. On paper he’s better suited for it than even Gardner because he legitimately can play all three OF positions effectively. He’s a switch hitter, high OBP guy, and maybe, just maybe, reducing his playing time proactively will limit injuries. Go into the season playing on him being a 120-game OFer not a full-time OFer. Of course, that means they will need to find a full-time CFer, preferably a lefty. Not sure who that is!

    • Steel

      I can get behind some of what you’re saying but this sentence legit made me laugh out loud: “Cash shoulda kept Tauchy who has his Giants in first place”; I love how it makes it sounds as if Tauchman is leading the giants (or is even a significant contributor at all). Dude is actually worse with them then he was with us and that two month stretch two years ago was a clear outlier. He’s hitting .180/.292/.295.

      • MikeD

        Never take Eddard’s posts seriously. They’re blog performance art. They should be appreciated for their intended humor.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén