The Yankees are pretty well set at second base for the foreseeable future, with Robinson Cano manning the post as one of the best in the game. But the Yankees would not be the Yankees without having an embarrassment of riches. This is particularly true of their minor league system, where New York consistently scout and groom many prospects, spending a lot of money and resources to get the players they want into the fold.
Although he came out of the draft hoping to play center field, Angelo Gumbs has been playing second base so far in his professional career. Selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 MLB draft, Gumbs played his high school ball in Torrance, California- which has also produced major league players like Steve Kealey, and Fred and Jason Kendall.
Scouts rave about Gumbs’ athletic ability, and tools that make him capable of being above average in just about every statistical category one can imagine. In particular, he has blazing foot and bat speed, and many believed that he was the best overall athlete in his draft class. His athleticism is so superior that even though he is playing second base for now, he is definitely capable of transitioning to another position if needed.
Despite being only 18 in 2011, his second season as a professional player, Gumbs has been filling up the stat sheet all year with the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League. He has displayed excellent extra base power that is seldom seen for someone so young. Specific information about his stats on the season is available at http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=gumbs-001ang.
After having seen him play in person, I am excited to see how Gumbs will progress through the minors. I may only be a fledgling expert, but the athleticism of Gumbs stands out on the field to an amazing degree. He will spend at least the next few years in the minor leagues, but given his talent, has an excellent chance to develop into a star player, who could become one of the next great players for the Yankees.
Angelo Gumbs Interview:
How did you first get interested in baseball?: It first started when we used to go to my Dad’s games all the time with my Mom. We played baseball, slow pitch softball, and fast pitch softball. I’d go to the games and when I was two years old I would pick up a bat and pick up my bottle and use it as a bat.
Did you have a favorite team or player growing up?: No pro team. My favorite player is Roberto Clemente. I’m Puerto Rican, and he is Puerto Rican. He was the most humanitarian person that I know of… just an idol for me.
What was the draft process like for you?: I kind of looked at the teams interested in me and looked at things they were saying when I was communicating with them. I felt that I would go between the first and the third round.
After you signed, did you do anything special for yourself or your family?: Well I had a big draft party and congratulated me. I bought my Dad a car and paid off both of their [parents] bills. It was the first few things I used my money for.
What is the craziest thing you have seen so far as a professional ball player?: I’ve seen myself hit a ball and knock a Pirate’s pitcher’s hat off.
A Pirate pitcher’s hat?: Yeah. Didn’t hurt him. Kind of went like this [leaned body way back in mock surprise] and the ball took it off cleanly.
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