Wednesday, August 24, 2016

21 Autographs

Yesterday I went to my first Staten Island baseball game in weeks. Look, I've been busy this summer okay? Stop staring at me like that!

Anyway the summer is nearing an end which means that I only have a limited number of Staten Island Yankees games left. Every one counts. Especially now that the official Staten Island team set is out. Obviously I got to work on that this time. As the title suggests I got 21 signatures, and you bet I'm showing them all.

First I got David Sosebee.
The Staten Island Yankees (and most minor league parks) do this cool thing where they set up a table on the concourse of the stadium so that fans can get two of the players chosen to be there's autographs. David Sosebee was one of them. Sosebee was the Yankees' 28th rounder last year and he's done pretty well in the Staten Island bullpen this year.

Next I made my way over to the dugout and got Drew Bridges.
Bridges was the Yankees' 20th round pick in 2013. Bridges possess some potential with the bat. He's improved quite a lot from last year and is one of the better hitters on the team this year. He was so good that he was picked to the NYPL All Star Game last week. Dude's a pretty nice guy and it'd be nice to see him get rewarded for his improvements.
Sidenote, dig the jersey on Bridges. I believe this was a jersey worn by the SI Yanks on July 10th to support the Special Olympics NYC.

Pretty cool.

Next up is Kane Sweeney is a special Star Wars Night themed jersey.
Kane Sweeney's had an alright season this year. He has a fair amount of power and can handle himself just fine at first base. He was even promoted to Charleston for a brief while this year.

Here's the manager, Mr. David Bialas.
Bialas is really nice. He was a long time org player in the Cardinals farm system and eventually made a name for himself as a coach after his playing career ended. Some Padres and Cubs fans might remember him as their bullpen coach.

Next I got Nick Solak.
Solak was drafted by the Yankees in the second round this year. He's arguably the SI Yankees' top prospect, and definitely the top hitting prospect on the team. Offensively he's having a great season and he was even selected to the NYPL All Star Game. Also he got a card in the NYPL Top Prospects set. In an organization jammed with high quality infielders, Solak adds yet another layer of depth at second base.

While we're here, let's briefly talk about the card design for the SIY team set this year. I love it. It reminds me of Stadium Club with it's full bleed photography. Also dig the white area on the bottom where the signatures can go. That's a very cool touch and I like it.

Oh and here's the back if you were curious about what the backs looked like. Very spiffy in my opinion.

Next I got David Palladino.
At 6'8" Palladino is huge with lots of potential on the mound (the Yankees really love their tall pitchers). Palladino's days as a starter are largely over and now the Yankees have converted him into a reliever in order to see if he can be of use out of the bullpen in the future. Hey, it worked with Betances.

The starter for the game was Freicer Perez.
Armed with a fastball that can reach 99 mph, curveball and change up. At 6'8" he's also a giant who possesses so much potential as well. So much so that he was even one of the Yankees' top 30 prospects on before the trade deadline happened. Perez has been one of the more interesting pitchers on the SI Yanks this year. With a good season under his belt, it wouldn't surprise me if he reached Domingo Acevedo levels of hype soon.

Here is Ben Ruta.
Ruta was drafted by the Yankees in the 30th round this year. Ruta's been used in more of a fourth/fifth outfielder role this year so it's tough to gauge what exactly the Yankees have in him. Ruta used to go to Wagner College which was one of the colleges close enough to Staten Island so that Wagner's baseball club could play at the SI ballpark against the SI Seahawks, meaning he used to play in the SIY ballpark before as an amateur.

Eduardo Navas is an interesting lower level catcher for the Yankees. It appears as though he could fill a Kyle Higashioka-type of org guy/org catcher role going forward.

Here's Brian Trieglaff.
Trieglaff was drafted by the Yankees in the 13th round this year. The former TCU reliever has had his moments in the SIY bullpen. The sample size so far is too small to indicate what happens next year. I will say this though, Brian was a pretty cool dude and was really nice.

Another catcher, Jerry Seitz.
Seitz is another interesting lower level catcher in the org. It's far too early to even remotely guess who or what Seitz is. But in limited chances he's done pretty well this year.

Next is Brooks Kriske.
Brooks Kriske has been low-key one of the better relievers on the team this year. Striking out a batter an inning, the college reliever and his low 90's fastball could turn out to be a dependable middle reliever in the big leagues one day.
Also, another cool jersey!

Here's another cool jersey and cool guy, Radley Haddad.
The non-drafted free agent catcher has had a career thus far as an org-guy filling the catching spot on rosters. Considering how much the Yankees have concentrated on the development of catching prospects like Montero/Sanchez/Romine/Murphy/Torrens, guys like Haddad are important in terms of depth and just plugging in roster holes. Also, as previously stated, Haddad is a cool dude. I wish him the best.

This isn't really an autograph, more of just an inscription on a certified autograph.
Nathan Mikolas came to Staten Island earlier this month and I've been meaning to get him to inscribe the certified 2014 Bowman Chrome autograph I had of his. He did and I like it. It's another big addition to my inscribed certified autograph collection.

Here the position player-turned-pitcher, Claudio Custodio.
Claudio Custodio has been in the Yankees system for a while now. Originally he was signed as a position player but after his bat never came around the Yankees turned him into a pitcher. Custodio's had some success in the bullpen.

The former top prospect and current hitting coach, Eric Duncan.
Fans of the Yankees probably remember Duncan from his days as a top prospect back in the mid 2000's. Unfortunately his career never turned out that way but Duncan is still playing a pivotal role as a coach and in developing players so they can reach their full potential.
I asked Mr. Duncan for an inscription and he delivered. What a cool guy.

Angel Aguilar has some impressive power. The key going forward will probably be hitting consistently. He hit well enough in the GCL but he hasn't quite replicated that success in Staten Island or Charleston. That said, the guy is still 21 and has been pushed aggressively so far. Now that he's at an age appropriate level it'll be interesting to see if his development really takes off.

Yancarlos Baez, another notable top international prospect the Yankees had.
Baez hasn't had the best season to date but he has had his moments like a walk-off hit. It's still too early to write off Baez though. The Yankees didn't give him a big bonus for nothing.

Kendall Coleman has been used in a fourth outfielder role this season but he's still not without promise. Coleman has the defensive chops to be an outfielder and he certainly has power. BTW, Kendall drove in the one run scored in the game yesterday, the walk off hit in the bottom of the ninth. He's also a pretty nice dude and easy to interact with. Also, another Star Wars Night jersey!

My last autograph of the day was Timmy Robinson.
The 21st rounder of this year has had an okay pro debut. He's been pretty much the SI Yankees' everyday center fielder and he's hitting relatively consistently with power. That's impressive. I'm very eager to see where his development goes.

And that was my haul for yesterday. I still have a few more cards in the team set to go. Hopefully I can finish it off next time.

The game itself appeared to be a pitching battle.
Once again I left after the first inning but according to the final box score it was a Staten Island Yankees victory by a score of 1 to 0 over the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Orioles affiliate). Perez and Justin Kamplain kept the Ironbirds scoreless for nine innings and the Yankees won in walk off fashion.

I actually managed to find two used baseballs in the stands today as I was waiting for players to come out. Pretty lucky eh? For price balls these two are some of the cleanest baseballs I ever held. Of course they have marks and dirt and everything and were obvious used, but the fact that you can make out all those words (also note how good the MiLB logo is), means that these were relatively new or unused before going to the stands.

And that was my latest SI Yankees game. As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

2016 IP Auto Count: 57


  1. Great day at the park for you, ZZ! I like the team set this year. The signature bar is a nice touch, although it could be s touch bigger. Still, any design with autograph collectors in mind is appreciated.

    Those Special Olympics jerseys are very fun as well.

  2. 21!!! I think I'm heading out tomorrow to the Black Bears game. I'm hoping the team sets will be around. I couldn't find any last time. If I see last years on discount I'll pick you up one for TTM's.

    1. Thanks Matt I appreciate that but don't feel like you have to go out of your way.