The newest name to know in the Yankees organization is Brando Mayea.
This past week, the Yankees agreed to an estimated $4.35 million deal with the powerful outfielder from Havana, Cuba, who has been compared to a “mini Gary Sheffield” by one talent evaluator. Mayea was rated as the No. 9 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s International Top 50 list.
The Yankees, who have a base signing pool of $5,284,000, have not confirmed the agreement. The deal is pending a physical.
Mayea, 17, is considered a premium athlete with advanced tools for his age, uncommon bat speed and power. He is aggressive in the batter’s box and is gaining a better understanding of the strike zone.
According to MLB Pipeline, Mayea has a mature frame with plenty of upside because he is strong and twitchy. Once a shortstop, scouts believe Mayea could remain in center field, but he could also move to a corner outfield spot.
Mayea figures to soon join the top big-money international talent in the Yankees’ farm system, a group that includes No. 2 prospect Jasson Dominguez, a switch-hitting outfielder who signed for $5.1 million in July 2019. The club is also closely watching No. 11 prospect Roderick Arias, an 18-year-old switch-hitting shortstop who signed with the club for $4 million in January.
Each week, we invite newsletter readers to share a treasured Yankees-related story or anecdote. This week, we feature Mike Convey’s unforgettable interaction with a memorable Bomber:
Seventy years ago, I was standing outside Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. I was 6 years old, trying to get autographs before a Spring Training game. The older boys were much more aggressive and successful in their pursuit of the players’ autographs. When I finally succeeded in having Gil McDougald agree to sign my ball, my pen ran out of ink. I remember being upset, and he told me not to worry. He sought a pen from other fans to sign my ball. He not only signed the ball, but conversed with me. That started my love affair with the Yankees and baseball.
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Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte memorably took the ball in Mariano Rivera’s final appearance on Sept. 26, 2013. Who was the pitcher that followed Rivera?
A. Jim Miller
B. Cody Eppley
C. Boone Logan
D. Matt Daley
THREE STRIKES WITH ... ADAM WARREN
A familiar face popped up at the Yankees’ Fantasy Camp in Tampa, Fla., this week. Adam Warren pitched for eight seasons in the Majors, seven with the Yankees, compiling a 3.53 ERA over 323 career games from 2012-19. This marked his first turn as a guest instructor.
Is this a pretty good sign that you’re retired now? Your pitching days are over?
Yeah, there’s no more attempt to come back or do anything like that. I’m happy with it. I had a great career and didn’t really leave anything out there. No regrets. I had Tommy John in ’19, rehabbed in ’20 and the Yankees were great with me, trying to rehab me and give me a chance. I played in ’21 [at Triple-A] and felt pretty good, but the velocity never came back like I wanted it to. With guys throwing as hard as they are today, 92 or 93 [mph] wasn’t cutting it anymore. I accepted that, but I gave it one more good shot.
When you think back on your career, what is your favorite moment as a Yankee?
Just putting on the pinstripes, but I think the players I got to play with and experience. Seeing Mo’s [Mariano Rivera] last year and [Derek Jeter’s] last year, playing with Andy Pettitte, being around [CC Sabathia] every day -- those relationships are what I’ll remember. And just being able to interact with the fans. Even like this week, I got to interact with guys that remember when I pitched. It’s just nice to be remembered. Putting on the pinstripes was by far the highlight of my career.
What did you learn by sharing a bullpen with Mariano?
Just how consistent he was. He was the same guy every day, whether he blew the save -- which wasn’t often -- but he had the same routine. He was unwavering, no matter what the circumstances were. I think just seeing how consistent he was made me realize it was important to develop that kind of routine, that kind of mentality, especially as a reliever. You have to be the same guy every day, have the same routine, and that’s going to get you locked in to perform when your name is called.
Manager Joe Girardi’s call to the bullpen was for Daley, then a 31-year-old right-hander who had made five previous appearances for the Yanks. Daley struck out the Rays’ Ben Zobrist to end the top of the ninth inning, then marveled in the dugout as Rivera remained on the bench, taking in the scene. Daley is now the Yankees’ director of professional scouting.
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