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Yankees Top Ten Positional Prospects Scouting Report
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Positional Prospects

Brett Gardner: OF; Birthplace: Holly Hill, CA; Opening Day Age: 23
Acquired: Selected by Yankees in 3rd Round (109th) of 2005 amateur entry draft
2005 Minor League Club(s):Staten Island (A)
2005 Minor League Stats: .284 AVG, 5 HR, 32 RBI, .377 OBP, .376 SLG
NEW - Scouting Report »


Eric Duncan: 3B/1B; Birthplace: Florham Park, NJ; Opening Day Age: 21
Acquired: First round pick in 2003
2005 Minor League Club(s):Trenton (AA)
2005 Minor League Stats: .235 AVG, 19 HR, 61 RBI, .326 OBP, .408 SLG
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Jose Tabata: OF; Birthplace: Anzoategui, Venezuela; Opening Day Age: 17
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2005
2005 Minor League Club(s): GCL Yankees
2005 Minor League Stats: .314 AVG, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 22 SB, .382 OBP, .417 SLG
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C.J. Henry: SS; Birthplace: Oklahoma City, OK; Opening Day Age: 19
Acquired: First round pick in 2005
2005 Minor League Club(s): GCL Yankees
2005 Minor League Stats: .249 AVG, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 17 SB, .333 OBP, .381 SLG
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Austin Jackson: OF; Birthplace: Lewisville, TX; Opening Day Age: 19
Acquired: Eighth round pick in 2005
2005 Minor League Club(s): GCL Yankee
2005 Minor League Stats: .304 AVG, 0 HR, 14 RBI, 11 SB, .374 OBP, .405 SLG
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Eduardo Nunez: SS; Birthplace: San Jose De Ocoa, DO; Opening Day Age: 18
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004
2005 Minor League Club(s): Staten Island (A)
2005 Minor League Stats: .313 AVG, 3 HR, 46 RBI, 6 SB, .365 OBP, .427 SLG
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Marcos Vechionacci: 3B/SS; Birthplace: Valencia, VZ; Opening Day Age: 19
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2002.
2005 Minor League Club(s): Charleston (A)
2005 Minor League Stats: .252 AVG, 2 HR, 62 RBI, 16 SB, .314 OBP, .348 SLG
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Melky Cabrera: OF; Birthplace: Santo Domingo, DR; Opening Day Age: 21
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent on November 13, 2001
2005 Minor League Club(s): Trenton (AA)/Columbus (AAA)
2005 Minor League Stats: .269 AVG, 13 HR, 77 RBI, 13 SB, .319 OBP, .402 SLG
NEW - Scouting Report »


Tim Battle: OF; Birthplace: Riverdale, GA; Opening Day Age: 20
Acquired: Third round draft pick in 2003
2005 Minor League Club(s): Charleston (A)
2005 Minor League Stats: .259 AVG, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 40 SB, .335 OBP, .455 SLG
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Kevin Thompson: OF; Birthplace: Fort Worth, TX; Opening Day Age: 26
Acquired: 31st round draft pick in 1999
2005 Minor League Club(s): Trenton (AA)/Columbus (AAA)
2005 Minor League Stats: .296 AVG, 14 HR, 71 RBI, 43 SB, .394 OBP, .483 SLG
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Kevin Howard: 2B/3B; Birthplace: Hinsdale, IL; Opening Day Age: 24
Acquired: Traded from Cincinnati along with Ben Himes for Tony Womack
2005 Minor League Club(s): Chattanooga (AA)
2005 Minor League Stats: .296 AVG, 12 HR, 70 RBI, 13 SB, .346 OBP, .428 SLG
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Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner
Challenging Brett Gardner to a foot race is a bad idea. In all likelihood, all you'll end up with is dust in your face and a bruised ego. Just ask fellow Yankees center-field prospect and speedster Tim Battle, who lost a 40-yard dash to Gardner while in the Instructional League last year.

Gardner, who was drafted out of the College of Charleston with the Yankees' third-round pick in 2005, is widely recognized as the fastest man in one of the more athletic farm systems around.
Scouting Report

Batting:
Gardner is a contact hitter who has shown some gap power. He’s got a good approach at the plate with excellent plate discipline.

Baserunning/Speed:
This is Gardner’s best tool. He grades out as an 80 runner (the top grade given by scouts). He can steal bases effectively now and will improve as he continues to get better reads and breaks. He can greatly impact the game on the bases.

Defense:
Gardner’s speed is a game-changer in the field as well. He can track down just about any ball in the air and covers a tremendous amount of ground. His one flaw defensively is his arm, which grades out as a 40.

Estimated Time of Arrival:
With his speed, Gardner could be a very useful backup with the Yankees by 2008 and he should be ready to become an every-day leadoff type in the Bronx by 2009.

2005 TeamABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSBAOBPSLG
Staten Island (A)2826280915323949193.284.377.376



Melky Cabrera

Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera was signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2001. He won’t turn 22 until August and, despite a few noteworthy stumbles along the way, has made a steady progression through New York’s system since starting out in the Dominican Summer League as a 17-year-old.

He got his first taste of the big leagues last summer as an emergency call-up and struggled. Cabrera is back in the Bronx again and looking to make more on an impression than he did in 2005.
Scouting Report

Batting:
Cabrera’s ability at the plate is his ticket and any success he has there will ultimately provide his full-time ticket to the big leagues. His ability to handle off-speed pitching is a plus. He relies on quick wrists and a good eye to recognize the breaking ball though it wasn’t until this season that he consistently showed an ability to keep up with a plus fastball. A little more patience at the plate wouldn’t hurt.

Baserunning/Speed:
Cabrera has never stolen more than 13 bases in a season, equaling that number last year while splitting time between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Columbus. He’s no speed burner but given the right circumstances he could steal 20 bases in a season.

Defense:
Cabrera is solid defensively, never having committed more than four errors in a season. While his play in the outfield during his two stints with the parent club has provided a few less-than-stellar moments, overall Cabrera is capable of playing well defensively and has a better than average arm.

Estimated Time of Arrival:
Cabrera’s arrival time is now. He’s in the Bronx while Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui are on the mend though unless he performs other worldly, he’ll be back in Columbus shortly afterwards. Whether Cabrera has a full-time future in New York remains to be seen. But if the Yanks don’t pick up Sheffield’s contract next year Bernie Williams retires, there will be openings.

2005 TeamABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSBAOBPSLG
AA Trenton4265711622310602872112.272.320.408
AAA Columbus10115253031791520.248.309.366
Yankees: Majors191400000200.211.211.211
2006 TeamABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSBAOBPSLG
AAA Buffalo47818311106120.383.444.553
AAA Columbus12219476242410931.385.430.566





Austin Jackson
Austin Jackson was the Yankees’ eighth-round draft pick in the 2005 draft out of high school in Denton, Texas. Most teams stayed away from the 6-foot-1 185-pound outfielder because they believed he was committed to playing basketball at Georgia Tech.

Yankees area scout Mark Batchko realized New York would be able to sign him, and the Yankees lured him way from the basketball court for $800,000, an eighth-round record.

Now concentrating on baseball full-time for the first time, he could take off very quickly.
Scouting Report

Batting:
Jackson has a long arcing swing with full extension, which could generate power once he grows into it. He lunges into pitches at times, but has shown the ability to stay inside the ball and hit the ball the other way with authority. He’s got tremendous bat speed and athletic ability, which should allow him to adjust as he moves up. He’ll need to pull the ball more if he wants to add power as a real skill. He showed a willingness to draw walks in his pro debut.

Baserunning/Speed:
Jackson has above-average speed, but isn’t considered a burner. He makes the most of his speed with good baserunning instincts as evidence by his 11-for-13 success rate in the Gulf Coast League last summer.

Defense:
Jackson is a smooth defender in center field with tremendous leaping ability. His arm strength is adequate and should be playable in center, especially considering he makes accurate throws. He uses his quickness and athletic ability to track down balls in center.

Estimated Time of Arrival:
Jackson will move to full-season Charleston this season at age 19. If he moves one rung at a time, that puts him in line to hit the Bronx in 2010. However, look for Jackson’s baseball skills to become more polished the more time he focuses on it instead of splitting between two sports. Barring injury, he should be ready for New York by 2009 at the latest.

2005 TeamABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSBAOBPSLG
GCL Yankees14832451130141826112.304.374.405


Credit: Kevin T. Czerwinski & Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com




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