I made my first visit to Charleston, S.C., on Friday night for a matchup of two of the most prospect-laden teams in the minors this year, the Charleston RiverDogs (affiliated with the New York Yankees) and the West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates), giving me a look at several of the best prospects in each of those organizations. Here are some thoughts based on that game.
• Charleston center fielder Mason Williams, the top prospect in the Yankees' organization right now (given Manny Banuelos' severe control problems in Triple-A), showed his broad base of skills Friday night, including excellent range in center field and good reads on balls hit into the gaps. At the plate, he glided on to his front side when I saw him last year, but is now keeping his weight back much better and has more time to recognize and react to changes in speed.
It did appear in the game that he was trying too hard to hit for power, dropping his back shoulder too much and pulling off the ball in the process; I think there will be plenty of power there when his body matures. He also didn't show the kind of approach he had developed by the end of last season, seeing four pitches in three at-bats before a particularly wild Power reliever (whom I'll discuss below) walked him on four pitches, most of which ended up over on The Citadel's campus. (Small sample size warnings apply.)