A sea-change from last week’s MLPW as the system pitchers (most notably the AA staff) posted impressive performances.

Minor League Players of the Week:

Pitcher:
Hector Noesi, 23, RHP, AA
16 IP, 11 K, 1 BB, 15 H, 2 ER

Previous wins: Week(s): 1, 5, 8 – Month(s): May

At this point, Noesi’s performance is almost comically good. He hasn’t gone fewer than 6 innings in any start at AA, and if we give him a mulligan for his first start at Trenton (easily his worst one), his AA line would look like this:

4 GS, 29.0 IP, 25 K, 5 BB, 24 H, 4 ER.

Those stats are good for rate statistics of:

7.76 K/9, 1.55 BB/9, 5.0 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP, 1.24 ERA.

Obviously, his control coupled with solid (if not spectacular) strikeout numbers is what pops out when you look at Noesi. To be fair, it’s always been his calling card (9.21 K/9, 1.50 BB/9 in 270.2 IP) and will aid him greatly as he continues to work his way through the minor leagues. If he hadn’t already been promoted this season, another month and a half of work like this would probably warrant a move to Scranton. As it stands, I expect Noesi to stay at Trenton for the rest of the season, possibly getting a bump at the end to get a look at AAA, similar to Zach McAllister last year.

Mark Newman believes Noesi is going to be a major league pitcher. Whether he will be performing those duties with the Yankees or another team is the biggest question mark surrounding Hector Noesi at this point, given his almost-neurotically consistent performances.

Position Player:
Jesus Montero, 20, RHB C, AAA
.320/.320/.880 in 25 PAs

Finally.

Jesus appears to be breaking out between his honorable mention last week and the assault he laid on pitchers most recently — a barrage which included two triples, two doubles and a home run. Even with his rough start to the season (.703 OPS so far), there have been some positives. His 8.8% walk rate on the year is a considerable step up from last year (7.4 BB%) and the power is still there (.151 isoP). A big factor in his uninspiring performance this year is his BABiP (2010: .279, Career: .340), which is somewhat strange as his line drives on the year are up from last year (20.0%, 18.8% respectively).

Still only 20 years old, reasons for Jesus’ struggles can be found outside of cold statistics. The Yankees are committed to keeping Montero at catcher and he is expending a lot of time and energy working to improve and sharpen his abilities there. His bat will play in the majors. The work he does in the minors now will determine where it does and, by his own account, he wants to be behind the plate in the MLB. There’s no doubt that Montero’s greatest value to the Yankees will be as a catcher, especially as Jorge shows the signs of wear and tear that comes along with donning the mask, chest protector and leg guards for 16 seasons.

Honorable Mentions:

Zoilo Almonte, 21, SHB CF, A
.348/.348/.522 in 23 PAs
Nice year so far for Zoilo, but the strikeouts are a bit worrisome (25.5 K%).

Andrew Brackman, 24, RHP, A+
11 IP, 16 K, 2 BB, 10 H, 6 ER
The earned runs aren’t pretty, but continued control is the real noteworthy tidbit here.

David Phelps, 23, RHP, AA
13 IP, 17 K, 1 BB, 10H, 4 ER
The Phelps-Noesi tandem gives Trenton a tough, durable front-end of the rotation.

Eduardo Nunez, 23, RHB SS, AAA
.414/.414/.793 in 21 PAs
The power in that line has been noticeably absent on the season (.089 isoP).