Well, I don't know about you all, but June flew by for me. I can't believe we are already in July, but here we are. Let's take a look at how the Yankees' farm teams did last month and what the rest of their season may hold. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: The RailRiders currently hold a half game lead over Rochester for the top spot in the North Division of the International League. They went 18-11 in June, including five-game and seven-game win streaks. They ended June on a sour note, however, taking five straight losses. They lost their first game of July as well, but managed to turn around and stomp Pawtucket last night to stop the skid.
The RailRiders continue to find success primarily through their batting. While they have some strong pitches both in the rotation and in the bullpen, Scranton's overall pitching numbers has them generally in the middle of the pack. Batting is another story entirely. As a team, Scranton is hitting .271/.342/.384, for the highest average and on base percentage in the IL. Their slugging percentage is second.
Mason Williams, who was rewarded with his first taste of the big leagues earlier this month before hitting the DL, had started June on a tear in Triple-A. He hit .351/.429/.432 with just two strikeouts in ten games. Ramon Flores, who also made his first stop in the Bronx this year, is back in Scranton and continues to have success. He went .304/.385/.446 in fifteen games in June, with a pair of doubles and a pair of homers. Luis Severino had a shaky May, when he was first called up, but he settled in nicely in June and you have to wonder how long the Yankees will let him sit in the Minors. He started five games last month and had a 1.41 ERA to show for it. He did not give up a single home run, walked just seven while striking out 21, held opposing hitters to a .170 batting average and held a WHIP of 0.81.
Trenton Thunder: The Thunder had a very streaky June, generally either winning quite a few games in a row or dropping them. They ended up going 15-11 for the month and hold the lead in the Eastern League Eastern Division by a game over New Britain with a 43-36 record. Unlike Scranton, however, the reason for Trenton's success is not as clear.
The Thunder's work at the plate has by and large put them in the middle of the Eastern League. They have a slashline of .256/.322/.369. While they haven't necessarily proven to be the biggest threat to get on the bases, the Thunder has shown they are formidable once they are on base. They have swiped 71 bags so far this season, the fourth most in the EL, but they have only been caught 22 times, which is the least in the EL.
What the future holds in store for Trenton, however, is very much up in the air. They have lost some major players like Aaron Judge to promotion, and it now appears that Eric Jagielo will be sidelined for a while with a knee injury. Jagielo had hit .283/.292/.348 for the Thunder in twelve games in June. Nick Goody continues to be a strong arm out of the pen, holding opposing hitters to a .154 average in June and owning a 2.45 ERA and 0.55 WHIP. In eleven innings he struck out 20 and did not walk a single batter. Eric Ruth also continued his good work, going 2-1 in five games in June with a 1.88 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He struck out 23 and walked eight. Opposing hitters managed just one homer off the righty, who held hitters to a .221 average.
Tampa Yankees: Tampa has already finished the first half of the season, going 34-36 and ending three games behind Clearwater and Daytona. In the FSL and SAL, playoffs are dictated by the winners of each half of the season, so the Yankees have a chance to make it up, however, whether this is feasible is another discussion entirely. The Yankees went 11-13 in June and will need some major help on offense if they truly want to compete in the postseason.
Tampa's batting is truly sad. Their slashline of .235/.300/.325 has them just out of the bottom of the FSL, thanks to the abysmal showings of Palm Beach and Jupiter. In most other offensive statistics, the Yankees are in the middle of the FSL, yet their 82 stolen bases are just four less than league leader Fort Myers. Theoretically, a team that can steal that many bases should also have the speed to stretch some singles into doubles and so forth, yet the Yankees have the second least doubles in the league with 96. Tampa's pitching is what is keeping the team in the mix. They own a 3.11 ERA, which is nothing that exciting in the FSL, but the Yankees' pitchers are getting a lot of strikeouts, owning the FSL with 629 so far, with just 206 walks. Their 1.19 WHIP is just .01 less than Clearwater.
Tyler Wade had done well for Tampa so far this season, but he struggled mightily in June, hitting just .179/296/.226. Ericson Leonora had struggled in May, but put together a nice June with a line of .265/.276/.566, hitting six homers, two triples and three doubles. On the flip side he struck out twenty times and did not draw a walk.
Charleston RiverDogs: Charleston is having a similar season to Tampa. They are 37-41 right now, having gone 34-36 in the first half and ending five games behind Savannah. They went 13-14 in June. Much like Tampa, their offensive struggles are one of their primary concerns, as they are hitting .246/.318/.355 as a team. Each of those is the second or third lowest in the SAL. The RiverDogs are a team that is to be reckoned with on the basepaths, however, as they have 148 stolen bases, the second most in the league. Asheville has an astounding 175. Charleston leads the league in one category, which is, unfortunately, strikeouts. They have struck out 664 times, drawing just 215 walks.
Pitching is not much of a strong point for the RiverDogs either. They have a team ERA of 3.51 and while they have 646 Ks, they also have the second most walks in the league at 288. Charleston pitching has limited some damage, holding opposing teams to just 29 homers, the third least in the SAL.
Austin Aune continues his strong year, with a line of .273/.313/.580 in June, with 20 RBIs and five homers, three triples and six doubles. Jorge Mateo also did well in June, going .263/.333/.368 with sixteen stolen bases, three triples and four doubles.