Major League Alumni: Staten Island Yankees

Team: Staten Island Yankees
League: New York-Penn League
Class Level: Short-Season A
Major League Affiliate: New York Yankees
City: Staten Island, New York
Population: 468, 730
Ballpark: Richmond County Bank Ballpark

The Staten Island Yankees began play in 1999 after the Watertown Indians franchise was relocated from Watertown, New York. Staten Island has been affiliated with the New York Yankees since their inaugural season. The Yankees have won seven division titles (2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011) and six league championships (2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2011) over their thirteen year existence.

Some notable alumni that played for the Yankees before making it to the major leagues include:

Andy Phillips (1B): In 1999, Phillips hit .322 with 7 HR and 48 RBI in 64 games with Staten Island in his first professional season. Phillips was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 7th round of the 1999 MLB amateur draft out of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama). Phillips played in 259 career regular season MLB games over 5 seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Cincinnati Reds. He last played professionally in 2009 and 2010, when he was a member of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. He currently is an assistant coach at Alabama, serving as the hitting coach since 2011.

Brandon Claussen (LHP): In 1999, Claussen posted a 6-4 record with a 3.38 ERA in 12 starts with Staten Island during his first professional season. Claussen was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 34th round of the 1998 MLB amateur draft out of Howard College (Big Spring, Texas). Claussen made 58 career MLB starts over four seasons (2003-2006), as a member of the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. He is now retired from baseball and is the owner of Forrest Tire in Lubbock, Texas.

Wily Mo Pena (OF): In 2000, Pena hit .301 with 10 RBI in 20 games with Staten Island in his second professional season. Pena was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1999 out of the Dominican Republic. Pena has spent eight seasons in the majors and played in 599 career MLB games. He has been a member of Cincinnati, Boston, Washington, Arizona, and Seattle. In November 2011, Pena signed a contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League.

Jason Anderson (RHP): In 2000 & 2001, Anderson posted an 11-6 record with a 3.16 ERA in 22 starts with Staten Island during his first and second professional seasons. Anderson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 10th round of the 2000 MLB amateur draft out of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois). Anderson appeared in 32 career MLB games over three seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Cleveland Indians. In 2011, he pitched in 23 games in Independent Ball with the Somerset Patriots (Atlantic League) before retiring from professional baseball on July 19th.  Anderson had his number 19 retired by Staten Island in 2003.

Chien-Ming Wang (RHP): In 2000 & 2002, Wang posted a 10-5 record with a 2.12 ERA in 27 starts with Staten Island during his first and second professional seasons. Wang was signed by the New York Yankees in 2000 as an amateur free agent out of Taiwan. Wang has pitched in 120 career regular season MLB games over the course of six seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals. He led the American League with 19 wins in 2006. Staten Island retired his number 41 in 2006.

Shelley Duncan (OF): In 2001, Duncan hit .245 with 8 HR and 39 RBI in 70 games with Staten Island in his first professional season. Duncan was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 2001 MLB amateur draft out of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona). Duncan has played in 229 career regular season MLB games over five seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.

John-Ford Griffin (OF): In 2001, Griffin hit .311 with 5 HR and 43 RBI in 66 games with Staten Island in his first professional season. Griffin was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (23rd overall) in the 2001 MLB amateur draft out of Florida State (Tallahassee, Florida). Griffin played in 13 games with the Toronto Blue Jays over two MLB seasons. Griffin last played in 2010 in Independent Ball with the Newark Bears (Atlantic League) before retiring in June 2010.

Robinson Cano (2B): In 2001 & 2002, Cano hit .274 with 1 HR and 17 RBI in 24 games with Staten Island during his first and second professional seasons. Cano was signed by the New York Yankees in 2001 as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic. The tree-time All-Star (2006, 2010 & 2011) has played in 1053 regular season MLB games over seven seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees. He won the American League Gold Glove at second base in 2010 and the American League Silver Slugger at second base in 2006, 2010, and 2011. He was a member of the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees. Cano had his number 17 retired by Staten Island in 2007.

Melky Cabrera (OF): In 2003, Cabrera hit .283 with 2 HR and 31 RBI in 67 games with Staten Island during his first professional season. Cabrera was signed by the New York Yankees in 2001 as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Cabrera has played in 871 career regular season MLB games with the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Kansas City Royals. Cabrera is currently a member of the San Francisco Giants after being traded by the Royals in November 2011.

Phil Coke (LHP): In 2004, Coke pitched in 3 games with Staten Island where he posted a 6.75 ERA over 8 innings of work in his second professional season. Coke was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 26th round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft out of San Joaquin Delta College (Stockton, California). Coke has pitched in 206 career regular season MLB games over four seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. Coke was a member of the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees.

Eduardo Nunez (SS): In 2005, Nunez hit .313 with 3 HR and 46 RBI in 73 games with Staten Island during his first professional season. Nunez was signed by the New York Yankees in 2004 as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Nunez has played in 142 career regular season MLB games with the Yankees, over the past two seasons.

Brett Gardner (OF): In 2005, Gardner hit .284 with 5 HR and 32 RBI in 73 games with Staten Island in his first professional season. Gardner was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 2005 MLB amateur draft out of the College of Charleston (Charleston, South Carolina). Gardner has played in 459 career MLB regular season games with the Yankees over the past four seasons. He was a member of the 2009 World Champion Yankees.

Francisco Cervelli (C): In 2006, hit .309 with 2 HR and 16 RBI in 42 games with Staten Island in his second professional season. Cervelli was signed by the New York Yankees in 2003 as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela. Cervelli has played in 181 career regular season MLB games. He was a member of the 2009 World Champion Yankees.

Ian Kennedy (RHP): In 2006, Kennedy made 1 start with Staten Island in his first professional season. Kennedy was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (21st overall) of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of USC (Los Angeles, California). Kennedy has pitched in 79 career regular season MLB games over five seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. He led the National League in wins with 21 in 2011.

Colin Curtis (OF): In 2006, Curtis hit .302 with 1 HR and 18 RBI in 44 games with Staten Island during his first professional season. Curtis was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 4th round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of Arizona State (Tempe, Arizona). Curtis played in 31 games with the Yankees in 2010.

Mark Melancon (RHP): In 2006, Melancon posted a 0-1 record with a 3.52 ERA in 7 games with Staten Island in his first professional season. Melancon was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona). Melancon has pitched in 106 career games over the past three seasons, as a member of the New York Yankees and Houston Astros. Melancon is currently a member of the Boston Red Sox after joining the team via trade in December 2011.

Dellin Betances (RHP): In 2007, Betances posted a 1-2 record with a 3.60 ERA in 6 starts with Staten Island in his second professional season. Betances was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 8th round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of Grand Street High School (New York, New York). Betances has pitched in two career MLB games with the Yankees in 2011.

John Axford (RHP): In 2007, Axford posted a 1-1 record with a 2.22 ERA in 8 games with Staten Island during his first professional season. Axford was signed by the New York Yankees in 2006 as an amateur free agent. Axford has pitched in 131 career regular season MLB games over the past season, as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Axford led the National League in saves with 46 in 2011.

Zach McAllister (RHP): In 2007, McAllister posted a record of 4-6 with a 5.17 ERA in 16 games with Staten Island in his second professional season. McAllister was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of Illinois Valley Central High School (Chillicothe, Illinois). McAllister has played in four career MLB games with the Cleveland Indians in 2011.

Hector Noesi (RHP): In 2008, Noesi posted a record of 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 5 games with Staten Island during his third professional season. Noesi was signed by the New York Yankees in 2004 as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Noesi pitched in 30 games with the Yankees in 2011, his first season in the majors. He currently is a member of the Seattle Mariners after being traded earlier this week as part of the Michael Pineda deal.

~~~~~

For more on the Yankees, check out Yanks Go Yard.

You can follow us on Twitter @Seedlings2Stars and yours truly @drewbalen. You can also keep up to date with all things S2S by liking our Facebook page.

Tags: New York Penn League New York Yankees

comments powered by Disqus