New York Yankees Arizona Fall League Player Preview

Josh Stowers, Charleston RiverDogs. Photo credit @ZelePhotography on Twitter and @ZelePhotography on Instagram.
So it’s that time of the year! Some of the top prospects in baseball head to Arizona to get a little more work in and show off their stuff in front of top evaluators and hope to be ready for more playing time and a higher level next season. This year the Yankees are sending Daniel Bies, Glenn Otto, Donny Sands, Josh Stowers, and Brandon Wagner (and two others not announced as of press time) to Surprise to play for the Saguaros. Hitting coach Ken Joyce of the Staten Island Yankees will be hitting coach for the team as well. Here’s a little about each guy the Yankees are sending.

Daniel Bies, RHP
With their 7th round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft (217th overall), the New York Yankees selected Bies. One of the biggest pitchers in the 2018 draft, Bies is 6’8” 245 pounds. His fastball runs between 92 and 94. His fastball plays up a little bit thanks to his height and and the plane he is able to get the ball on. He owns an above average breaking ball. Bies had Tommy John Surgery in high school and red shirted his first year at Gonzaga. He tends to leave balls over the plate which results in too many hard hit balls and runs being scored. In 2019 across three stops he posted a 3.33 ERA over 92 innings in 24 games (8 starts) along with 5 saves. He also struck out 105 (27.0% K%) while walking 33 (8.5% BB%).

Glenn Otto, RHP
The Yankees selected Otto with their 5th round (152nd overall) selection in 2017. Otto who ranks number 36 on my updated Yankees Top 50 prospects for the Yankees is a 6’5” 240 pound starter out of Rice University. Otto owns three pitches. His fastball sits 93-97. His curve is a nice pitch, and when it is on has a 12-6 drop that falls out of the strike zone and can be very effective. It is a true strikeout pitch, sitting at 79-81. He does not use his change as much and that’s a work in progress. Its mid-80s offering does have some life to it. The Yankees probably want him to work on being a starter in the AFL as he has split time between the rotation and the bullpen in his career and was in the pen for all but 2 games with Rice. In 2019 across three stops he put up a 3.23 ERA over 61.1 innings in 17 games (14 starts). He had 74 strikeouts (27.9% K%) and 36 walks (13.6% BB%).

Donny Sands, C
Sands is a curious case. 2018 was an injury plagued year for Sands as he appeared in only 27 games and didn’t begin his season until June because of a broken forearm. Healthy in 2019, the 2015 8th round pick played at High-A Tampa, hitting only .221 in 68 games, with 12 doubles and 22 RBI.

Josh Stowers, OF
Stowers, number 14 on my Top 50, was selected by the Mariners in the 2nd round in 2018 (54th overall). He came over to the Yankees when they traded Sonny Gray to the Reds. Stowers has a great arm and speed to burn. He played both RF and CF with Class-A Charleston. He hit .273 with 35 steals in 105 games. The power is a work in progress, hitting only 33 extra base hits on the season. I’m sure with a little work in the weight room he will increase his extra base power.

Brandon Wagner, 1B
Since being drafted in 2015, Wagner has earned praise from the Yankees coaches for his ability at the plate. He has a great eye and uses a patient approach to work the count in his favor, although sometimes letting very hittable pitches go by. With 149 strikeouts on the season (32.3% K%), he’s looking to lower that in 2020. He has proven he can be a versatile player in the field, playing first base, second base, third base, and the outfield. He’s also is player with the potential to hit for power. Wagner swatted 21 homers and 21 doubles in 122 games in 2018 with Tampa and Trenton but struggled mightily with only 8 homers and 12 doubles and a .177 batting average in 117 games with Double-A Trenton in 2019.

I’m very excited for the AFL and especially watching Stowers work on his extra base hit swing and baserunning. Enjoy the Fall prospecting!




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