There will be at least one team in the New York Yankees organization who will play in the playoffs this season. The Double-A Trenton Thunder, who currently sits in second place of the Eastern League Conference, is playoff bound.
Trenton has a 63-57 record and is 7-3 over their last 10 games. New York Yankees No. 7 prospect outfielder Slade Heathcott leads the team with a .261 avg and is second on the team in runs (59), home runs (8), RBI (49) and stolen bases (15). Over the last week Heathcott has turned it on with the bat and if he continues to excel could find himself in the bigs by next September.
LHP Nik Turley, the Yankees No. 17 prospect, leads the team in wins (9), strikeouts (119), ERA (3.74) and WHIP (1.31). Turley has four major league pitches including a 92 mph fastball that he commands on both sides of the plate, he freezes hitter on a nasty curveball and a changeup that has could bite down and away. Similar to Yankee LHP great Andy Pettitte he always keeps his team in games even without his best stuff. Turley was able to work with Andy in Spring Training and the comparisons are uncanny. Hopefully, he continues his development and ends up being in the Yankee rotation for years to come.
Yankees No. 1 prospect catcher Gary Sanchez was recently promoted to the Thunder this past week and in 20 at-bats had 6 hits with 2 RBIs and is batting .300 in the small sample size. Sanchez is the catcher of the future and needs to show he can hit at all levels in the minor leagues. Gary has made great strides defensively and continues to show he could be the answer behind the plate for years to come.
Last year the Thunder made it all the way to the Championship game, but lost to the Akron Aeros. The Eastern League playoff system is a two-round system best three-out-of-five format. The first and second place teams meet in the first round of each division, then the winner's of each division meet for the championship. Trenton won it all in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008
Thunder playoff tickets are currently on sale at trentonthunder.com or by calling 609-394-3300 x 101. All tickets will be available for pickup at the Will Call window once the Thunder clinch their exact playoff spot.
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