4. Right-hander Mike Wright pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees and is considered the fourth-best pitching prospect in the organization. The Orioles’ third-round choice of the 2011 draft, Wright has plus-fastball velocity and a solid changeup, but the 6-foot-5 product from East Carolina needs to develop a better breaking ball to project as anything more than a relief pitcher at this point.
Showalter would mention Wright regularly when discussing the organization’s pitching prospects last season, and the 23-year-old split time between Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie in his first full season in the system. In 20 combined starts for the Keys and Baysox, Wright went 10-5 with a 4.06 ERA and struck out 80 batters in 108 2/3 innings.
A hamstring injury shortly after his promotion to Double A cost him more than a month midway through last season, but he is someone to watch if you’re looking to see a pitching prospect not named Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman make strides this season. The other young arm to watch is 19-year-old left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, though neither he nor Wright have ceilings approaching those of Bundy or Gausman.
5. While Monday’s B-lineup in Sarasota wasn’t indicative of the “real” Yankees, there’s no ignoring how much power has been zapped from a once-feared lineup. New York had already lost 94 homers from their 2012 total with the departures of Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, and Russell Martin before the Yankees lost outfielder Curtis Granderson and his 43 home runs from 2012 due to a broken forearm suffered on Sunday.
The injury will keep the left-handed slugger out for 10 weeks as Granderson joins Alex Rodriguez (18 home runs) on the disabled list to begin the season. Needless to say, there will be immense pressure on the likes of Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Derek Jeter as the Yankees figure to see an improved American League East this season.
The subtraction in Bronx power even leaves one to wonder what Yankees of yesteryear such as Danny Tartabull or Darryl Strawberry are up to these days.