Featuring some new winners for 2011…

Minor League Players of the Week (v8):

Pitcher:
Jairo Heredia, 21, RHP, A+
15 IP, 17 K, 1 BB, 10 H, 0 HR, 1 ER
Notable: Season-high 10 K on June 5th (0 BB)

NoMaas Ranking – Unranked

The 2006 international free-agent is off to a solid season, after spending most of last year at Single-A Charleston. He’s struck out 44 in 45.1, while showing tremendous control with only 8 walks. This is all good for a 5.50 K/BB. His FIP of 2.71 is better than what he put last year at a lower level (2.99). He’s also keeping the ball on the ground at a higher rate than in Charleston (1.70 Groundout/Airout).

This is great progression, and he’s definitely been the best starting pitcher for the Yankees in High-A. He’s had shoulder issues since joining the organization, but if he can stay healthy and continue to put up these types of results, then you”ll soon start to hear the buzz.

Hitter:
Cody Johnson, 22, LHB DH, AA
.466 / .466 / .733
Notable: 2 HRs, 2 2Bs

NoMaas Ranking – Unranked

Drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft by the Atlanta Braves, this is Cody Johnson’s first year in the Yankees organization. He was acquired by the Yankees for straight cash money in November 2010. Johnson is a big boy, listed at 6’4″ 240 lbs. He’s spent part of three seasons at AA, including the current campaign (although one season was only 6 games), and he’s struggled at this level so far in his career: .208/.272/.381 in 481 PA.

But, at least for this past week, Cody put those struggles behind him going 14-30 with two homers and two doubles — good for an OPS of 1.166. While the performance is certainly impressive, one thing that jumps out is that Johnson didn’t walk once over the past week, but struck out 11 times! And therein lies the rub with Cody Johnson. His strikeout rates are enormous. His pit stops in the minors are littered with 40+% strikeout rates, including the 45% he has this year in Trenton.

But for now, we will let Cody enjoy his moment in the sun. Going 14-30 is a pretty big week regardless of how many times you whiff.

Honorable Mentions:

Kevin Whelan, 27, RHP, AAA
3 IP, 4 K, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 2 SV

Has really cut down on the walks this year, leads the International League in saves with 17

Nik Turley, 21, LHP, A
5 IP, 7 K, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER

The 6’6″ lefty starter has a 3.97 FIP in 2011.

Brandon Laird, 23, RHB 3B, AAA
.464/.482/.750, 4 2B, 1 HR

Just starting to hit…could have easily won this week’s MLPW award.

The ‘Brackman is Falling Off the Wagon’ Line of the Week
Andrew Brackman, 25, RHP, AAA
1 IP, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 H, 3 ER, 1 HBP

He was removed from the game before he even let up a hit. His nightmare season continues.