No repeats this week and the entire cadre of hitters are making their Season Two MLPW debut.

Minor League Players of the Week (v5):

Brett Marshall, 21, RHP, A+
11 IP, 12 K, 4 BB, 10 H, 3 ER
Notable: 10 GBO, 7 FBO

NoMaas Ranking – #16

The lone bright spot on a Tampa Yankee team that is currently tied for last in the Florida State League (10 – 20), Marshall has had his fair share of struggles this season, but strung together two strong starts this past week including a nine strikeout effort on May 2nd. Brett’s somewhat dubious beginning to 2011 (2 – 4, 6.75 ERA) is mainly the result of two bad games, the first one being his season opener (4 IP, 6 ER) and the second one being a complete and utter disaster on April 22nd (1.2 IP, 8 ER). Since then, Brett has made three solid starts (16.1 IP, 2.76 ERA, 2.43 K/BB), displaying results more in line with what we should expect from the talented young Texan.

If one digs a little deeper, we see that Brett has been pretty unlucky with runners on base this year (47.6 LOB%) as well as batted balls (.337 BABIP), which has helped inflate his ERA (3.61 FIP vs. 6.75 ERA). Throw in Marshall’s groundball ability (1.39 GBO / FBO in 2011) and we can reasonably expect some beneficial regression moving forward for Tampa’s ace. And boy do they need it, with virtually every other pitching prospect at A+ struggling, most notably Jose Ramirez (8.14 ERA, 1.890 WHIP). Luis Sojo’s club desperately needs Marshall to keep his streak going and lend some stability to a troubled pitching staff (5.33 Team ERA).

Corban Joseph, 22, LHB 2B, AA
.348/.444/.739 in 27 PAs
Notable: 3 3B, 1 HR

NoMaas Ranking – #14

Until David Adams returns to action, Corban Joseph is the best active Yankees’ second base prospect. Since being drafted back in the 4th round of the 2008 draft, Joseph has been renowned for his strong plate approach (.369 OBP, .64 BB / K career) and it’s carried him to the upper reaches of the minors in only a scant two years. After struggling in a Trenton preview last year (.647 OPS in 130 PA), Corban has seemingly adjusted to the Eastern League (.819 OPS in 112 PA). He’s striking out a higher clip than in the past (22.3 K% in 2011, 16.7 K% career), but he’s still drawing his free passes (9.8 BB% in 2011, 10.6 BB% career) and a little hot streak can quickly get his peripheral numbers back to normal levels. Regardless, it’s very strong production for a 22 year old at the most challenging level of the minors. While Corban’s bat has never really been in question, his defense is not similarly regarded.

The big question mark when talking about Corban Joseph is his defense. There’s been speculation for a long time now that Joseph is destined for third base, where his bat doesn’t play nearly as well. When we questioned Yankees Senior VP of Baseball Operations Mark Newman about Joseph last year, he said about what you would expect, never going so far to call him a good defender but to say he does certain things well and is improving overall. Joseph’s long term value and viability is intrinsically tied to his ability to competently play second base and we’ll likely find out this year at Trenton just where we can expect to see him play in the future.

Honorable Mentions:
Dellin Betances, 23, RHP, AA
5 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 1 ER

Generated nine groundball outs versus only two fly ball outs in this start. Great to see him not miss a beat.

Melky Mesa, 24, RHB CF, AA
.318 / .400 / .545 in 25 PAs

Hopefully this is the start of a long hot streak for Melky. He hasn’t exactly inspired with his play thus far (.558 OPS, 31.0 K%, 2 SB / 5 CS).

David Phelps, 24, RHP, AAA
6 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 ER

Phelps just keeps putting up numbers. He’s going to help the Yankees, whether it be in their bullpen or someone else’s rotation.

Rob Segedin, 22, RHB 3B, A
.455 / .538 / .818 in 26 PAs

Better week than Joseph, but he’s two levels lower and the same age.