Some players proved quick to adapt at the professional level, some were repeats that needed more Class-A short-season playing time. Come next year, there will be new draft picks assigned to New York Penn. Who needs a second run in New York Penn?
And who showed they can take it to the next level and (hopefully) not look back?
There were a few glaring numbers & performances that made the repeats harder to narrow. So that list is shorter.
As I'm sure you know, these are just guesses based on observation all season.
*Saxon Butler, 1B/DH, Staten Island Yankees- Power, patience, plate-discipline, and presence. At the plate he was constantly composed and adjusted with each at-bat, sometimes within the at-bat, which led to a league leading 10 home runs & a promotion to Class-A Charleston. If he continues at that pace, look for Butler to see Double-A pitching as early as 2014.
*Taylor Guerrieri, Hudson Valley Renegades, Tampa Rays- Like a diamond in the rough. The RHP shined after some cleaning up and gave one of the most outstanding pitching performances of the NYPL Championship Series. He didn't lead the league in any category, but he pitched when it counted. His maturity on the mound and ability to slow the game down became more evident with each outing. He finished the season going 1-2 with a 1.07 ERA. Give him the ball a level higher and let him fire it up. When he channels that endless energy of his, he's hard to beat.
*Luis Mateo, RHP, Brooklyn Cyclones, New York Mets- What he sometimes lacked in control, he made up for with his ability to bounce back after tough moments. He allowed contact, but rarely allowed it to hurt him or his team. His league-leading 80 strikeouts wasn't all that impressed. In 73.1 innings he gave up just 9 walks and 2 home runs. Minimal damage and an ability to command all his pitches earns him a shot at the next level.
*Jeff Ames, RHP, Hudson Valley Renegades - Ames led the Renegades pitching staff in every category, striking out 70 batters. And, count it, allowed just one home run. That was over 64 innings in which he took the loss once, finishing the season 6-1. He can struggle with control, leading to 20 walks, but beyond that he made his second year of professional baseball look pretty easy-breezy.
*Jake Depew, Catcher, Hudson Valley Renegades - This might not seem like a strong candidate for a promotion, but he deserves a shot at a more competitive level. He was a consistent driving force on the team, particularly with his pitchers. His relationship with Guerrieri seemed instrumental in the pitcher's impressive growth throughout the season. Depew finished 2012 with three years of pro-ball under his cleats, but his production was down from 2011. Still, his discipline at the plate was noticeable. He was never afraid to wait for his pitch. In turn, he could be a better contact hitter with more playing time to develop his still-raw talent.
*Brandon Nimmo, Outfielder, Brooklyn Cyclones - He needs to get used to that grueling schedule. Nimmo struck out 78 times (third in the league), but also excelled in a number of key areas. He worked 46 walks (second in the league) and showed his ability to drive in runs with 40 RBI (5th overall). His lopsided results and tendency to free-swing hurt him as the season winded down. Physically he tired, but mentally he often appeared overwhelmed.
*Josh Warner, RHP, Williamsport Crosscutters, Philadelphia Phillies - Warner got hit hard a lot in his team-leading 81 innings of work. He led the league in hits allowed with 86 and got tagged for 38 earned runs. The lack of home runs surrendered, 5, is a promising sign as was his solid performance throughout July. Even a half a season back in short-a could do him good.
*Tyler Greene, SS, Williamsport Crosscutters - His 85 strikeouts were the most in the league, though he showed good contact in a career-high 84 games between the South Atlantic League and New York Penn. It could take another season of short-season to get him physically and mentally prepared for a longer schedule and more competitive league. His 46 hits showed he's on the right track.