Yesterday, from a cold and clammy seat in Your Name Here Stadium, I watched the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Railriders administer a brutal, 12-2 whuppin' to the chaffed butts of the hometown Syracuse Chieves.
I had come to apply IT IS HIGH scientific analysis protocols to the 22-year-old Clint Frazier, a jacked-up redhead outfielder, who went 1-for-4 with an opposite field double. Frazier hit a pair of towering popups, reminiscent of Jesse Barfield in his final Yankee incarnation. He also runs much faster than you'd expect. After a terrible start, due to his hair being cut, Frazier's average has been steadily climbing, now to .244.
I also came to check out Dustin Fowler, a 22-year-old LH outfielder who has been on a recent tear. He went 2-for-6 with his 5th HR, lifting his average to .293. Today's NY Post slathers him with ink, so I'll go pass. (But he looked good.)
There were others: Brigadoon Refsnyder continues to hit - 3-for-4, now batting .293. The guy is a line-drive machine. I cannot believe he wouldn't provide more offense and defense at 1B than Chris Carter. But the Yankees made that decision moot when they wrote the check last winter. And speaking of first base, Ji-Man (He-Man) Choi, a 26-year-old Korean refugee by way of the Angels, blasted the ball all over the lot. He hit a towering CF home run, went 3-4 and boosted his average to .353 (in 85 at bats.) Last year, the guy hit .170 with the Angels (in 112 at bats), after absolutely crushing the Pacific Coast League (.346.) If he keeps hitting, Choi deserves to be on our radar. He could be a late-bloomer.
But one kid shone above the others: 22-year-old, lefty-hitting 2B Tyler Wade, whom you may remember just missed making the Yankee opening day roster at SS, after a solid spring training. Wade went 4-for-6 with a HR, a double and two singles. Twice, he snagged grounders deep behind second base - saving a run from scoring and converting one into a force out. He wears 23, a sacred number, and finished the day hitting .321.
I don't know how Wade fits into Yankee plans. Above him sit Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro. Below him is Gleyber Torres and the usual scrum of Single A can't-missers. That probably makes him trade bait, but let me state for posterity: If we trade him, we damn well better get somebody good in return. This guy is going to be a solid MLB infielder.
Sadly, I cannot report much more, because Minor League Baseball refuses to allow bloggers the access needed to perform their work competently and scientifically. The little, tin-headed clods would rather play footsie with the kind of data that, as you know, is fundamental to IT IS HIGH scouting reports. Of course, I'm talking about stool samples. And yes, the fuddy-duddies refused my simple request. You'd think I was asking for the Hope Diamond wrapped in the Shroud of Turin after it was coated with the menstrual fluid of Betty Crocker. Without the standard stool sample chemical analysis, there's no way to fully project Wade's future. What is this, a police state? As far as I'm concerned, the terrorists have won.