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    by Published on 07-02-12 02:32 PM

    June brought plenty of drama for the Yankees’ minor league affiliates. Charleston and Tampa both had their All-Star Breaks and struggled through continued bad weather and postponed games. Empire State and Trenton continued to surprise me with strong 2012 campaigns and the short-season teams finally got underway.

    Empire State Yankees:
    Despite my concerns for the Yankees Triple-A affiliate at the start of the season, the Yankees continue to prove that you can’t predict baseball. This is even more surprising, given that their supposedly formidable starting rotation has been a major disappointment. The Yankees went 17-14 in June and sit just 2.5 games behind Lehigh Valley.

    Pitching was going to be the story of the 2012 Empire State season, and while that has been true, it has not been for the reasons we expected. Manuel Banuelos continues to battle various injuries and has only played in six games this season. Dellin Betances‘ struggles with consistency has sent him back down to Trenton and D.J. Mitchell has also been having trouble on the mound as of late. Ramon Ortiz and Adam Warren have held together the Empire State rotation lately, with strong performances in June.

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    by Published on 07-02-12 12:13 PM

    Via MLBTR and Ben Badler:

    The Yankees have signed Venezuelan catcher Luis Torrens for $1.3MM, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America [EDIT: subscription required, sorry]. Torrens is ranked as the second-best international prospect in this July 2nd class.

    The 16-year-old is a former shortstop and third baseman who converted to catcher in February. Staying behind the plate would obviously enhance Torrens’ value but Badler writes that teams have been drawn to him for his bat.

    Yanks’ catcher prospect ranks get a bit deeper now.

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