Ex-Cat Refsnyder among Yanks’ best prospects

2014-08-03T19:15:00Z 2014-08-03T22:37:02Z Ex-Cat Refsnyder among Yanks’ best prospectsBy Andrew Cockrum Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Robert Refsnyder’s breakout season in the New York Yankees’ farm system caught the attention of MLB.com this week, when they released their updated top prospects lists.

The 2012 College World Series hero vaulted to No. 6 on the Yankees’ top prospects list and was also honored as the 10th-best second base prospect in all of minor-league baseball.

Refsnyder is the first University of Arizona alum to appear on an organization’s Top 10 prospects list since left-handed pitcher Daniel Schlereth was the fifth-best prospect for the Detroit Tigers in 2010. The last former Wildcat position player to be tabbed a Top 10 prospect was Jason Donald in 2009 as the Philadelphia Phillies’ No. 4 player.

Refsnyder has combined to hit .323 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs this season between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton.

Three up

Alex Verdugo, CF, AZL Dodgers (Dodgers’ rookie affiliate)

The former Sahuaro Cougar is up to 32 hits for the season including nine doubles, which are tied for the second most in the Arizona League. Verdugo was ranked by MLB.com as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 10th-best prospect earlier in the week.

Luis Gamez, RHP, GCL Braves (Braves’ rookie affiliate)

Gamez improved his record to 2-0 for the season when he earned a win for the Braves during a relief appearance on Friday. The Cienega High graduate has not allowed an earned run in his last seven games.

James Farris, RHP, Boise Hawks (Cubs’ Low-A affiliate)

The ninth-round draft pick out of Arizona back in June made his professional debut Thursday with a scoreless inning of relief. Farris struck out the first batter he faced, Max Pentecost, who was the Toronto Blue Jays’ first-round pick.

Three down

Ryan Perry, RHP, Harrisburg Senators (Nationals’ Double-A affiliate)

The Marana product, who has spent most of 2014 on the disabled list, was released by the Washington Nationals on July 21. Perry appeared in six games this season between Double-A Harrisburg and the Gulf Coast League Nationals.

Nick Cunningham, RHP, Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles’ Class-A affiliate)

The ex-Wildcat was tagged with his fourth consecutive loss Tuesday when he yielded a season-high 10 runs and seven hits in three innings to the Hickory Crawdads. Cunningham’s ERA is up to 11.63 since joining the Shorebirds in early July.

Seth Mejias-Brean, 3B, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds’ Double-A affiliate)

Mejias-Brean’s average has dipped to .228 in the Southern League with just six hits in his last 34 at-bats. The UA and Cienega alum did produce his second home run as a Blue Wahoo on Thursday.

Player of the week

Mike Colla, RHP, Montgomery Biscuits (Rays’ Double-A affiliate)

The former Arizona Wildcat set a career high when he won his seventh game of the season Thursday in the Biscuits’ 12-2 victory at Jackson, Tennessee.

Colla went six innings, scattering two hits and two runs, while striking out five. After surrendering his only walk of the game with two outs in the first inning he retired the next 13 Jackson batters, that included a stretch of three consecutive strikeouts.

The win was Colla’s third in his last four starts, in which time he allowed just three earned runs and struck out 22 batters in 24 innings.

The right-hander finished July with a 1.77 ERA in six starts, the third-best mark in the Southern League.

Colla’s 93 strikeouts this season are the most on Montgomery’s pitching staff, and 16 away from matching his career-high of 109 he set in 2011 with Double-A Altoona in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system.

The big number

1 Home runs for James Lynch after knocking out his first of the season on Thursday for the Bluefield Blue Jays. The former Pima Aztec’s home run came in a pinch-hit opportunity in the ninth inning.

Coming up

  • Thursday: Brad Mills will make his third start for the Buffalo Bisons coming in a doubleheader at Durham, North Carolina. The Arizona grad has a 3.86 ERA and one win since joining the Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate.

He said it

“I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I compete … I just go out there and get fired up and know that I’m going to shut the game down to help my team win the game.”

— Bryce Bandilla about his success out of the bullpen with the High-A San Jose Giants. The UA product recorded three saves this week and did not allow a run to lower his ERA to 1.05.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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