The Pulaski Yanks have released their first roster, and from the looks of it, it may be as loaded as I had expected the SI Yanks to be - though they're setting about a record a day as is. So let's take a look, shall we?
Pitchers: Like the entire team the pitchers are a mix of recent drafts and IFA scores.
1. Nick Nelson: Nick was the fourth rounder this year who had both pitched and played the field for his JuCo team. Yanks expect him to gain velo, as guys like Joba and Kap did, now that he's just going to be a pitcher.
2. Jeff Degano: Jeff was the hard throwing LHP in search of a change that the Yanks popped last year. He was old for his draft class owing to collegiate TJS and both could and should start moving if the change has come along through EST.
3. Greg Wissert: This RHP was the 18th Rounder out of Fordham in this year's draft. Good athlete, as Diamond Gems has already proven.
4..Julian Aybar: RHP Julian is already 24 and a former Cub. He has; however, struck out more than a batter per, while keeping his walks, WHIP and ERA low as a reliever. Could move quickly.
5. Abel Duarte: Another RHP who is just 22 and has had some mediocre splits so far. There must be something there, though, because they've kept him around. Has been a starter, but as 6'1" and 190, he'll head to the pen soon if he doesn't come correct.
6. Philip Diehl: This year's lefty 27th rounder. Just 22 and a great interview. Kind of slender and will be interesting to see if they can build him up a bit.
7. Braden Bristo: Braden a 6 foot RHP was this years 23rd rounder and from the same Louisiana Tech pitching staff that dould give us Diehl four rounds later.
8. Miles Chambers: This is one of the guys from Cal State Fulerton. A husky-ish reliever who could join the long train of Major League relievers the Yankee system has been producing.
9. Will Jones: Will should probably be on an innings count, as he was the horse of his division 2 school's staff and we are not savages.
10. Tyler Honohan: Senior Righty out of Stony Brook, picked admidst all of those preps on Day 3.
11. Icezack Flemming: Ice Flemming, which is what they better be calling him, was last year's 26th rounder. He's a strikeout guy who needs to clean up the walks and hits a bit, but still had a good first year out of the pen last season.
12. Spencer Mahoney: Spencer is a right handed pitcher whom the Yanks signed after last season ended. Spencer was an infielder in college, so this could be interesting.
13. Juan Jimenez: Juan has been in the system from DSL to GCL since 2011 and is now 23 or will be this year. His relief work has gotten better but he has to do a better job of limiting hits.
14. Zach Wasserman: a 25 year old reliever who was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants.
15. Chad Martin: Last year's 30th rounder. Just 22 he's a starter who seems to pitch to contact. Can't remember if this was the hot prep pitcher who got hurt or not. Probably in the rotation to start.
16. Alex Bisacca: Last year's 35th rounder, a strikeout reliever.
17. Cody Hamlin: RHP, undrafted out of Arizona. 23 year old reliever.
18. Rafael Lara: a 21 year old right handed starter. Diminutive when he signed. Needs an out pitch.
Some age on the staff, and no teenagers, but a pretty talented group that should see some emerge.
Infield: This is where it gets exciting.
SS Wilkerman Garcia: Possibly the gem of the IFA class of `14. A real live shortstop with all the right actions and he can hit! Teenager.
3B Dermis Garcia: On the other hand, he could prove the gem of that big class. He got the biggest bonus and that's because he had the biggest bat. Dermis had a bad back in year one after impressing in instructs. If healthy this year and playing everyday he should start putting up big numbers. Teenager.
2B Welfrin Mateo, 20, put up good numbers in the DSL for two years before getting some exposure in the GCL.
1B: Tim Lynch, this year's ninth rounder and the old man of the group. He's also an on base machine who could really help these young guys learn to grind.
UT Kevin Cornelius will be 24 next month and was drafted by the Yanks twice before they actually got him. He crushed the GCL last year as an older player, and really shouldn't be on Pulaski. We'll see how this works out. He's mostly played 3B.
CF Estevan Florial might actually have been the gem of 2014, but identity issues kept the Haitian Sensation from signing till later. Teenager.
RF Isiah Gilliam, last year's overslot JuCo with big batting practice power, but has to turn it into game to game power. Had a decent debut.
LF Ben Ruta the speed merchant out of Wagner and this year's 30th round
UT Andy Diaz is 21 and may have a contact issue to work on as he's K'd almost half of his pro AB's.
Catchers: None of the name brands here.
C Victor Rey is now 20 and they have been converting him from 3B to C. The hit tool has yet to impress.
C Brian Reyes will turn 21 this week and has always been a catcher. His D is ahead of his O.
So there you have it. this year's Pulaski Yanks, complete with exciting young talent like Garcia, Garcia, Florial, Gilliam and Ruta. And not so young talent like Lynch, Cornelius and some of the pitchers. They were the best team for much of the year in the Carolina League last year, and starting Thursday, they should be again.