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Trade acquisition Stowers among 6 Yanks in AFL

Outfielder was acquired in January in deal with Mariners
@JimCallisMLB
September 24, 2019

Josh Stowers' first full year in professional baseball began and ended with unexpected stops on his itinerary. In January, seven months after the Mariners had made him a second-round pick out of Louisville, Seattle dealt him to the Yankees for Shed Long. New York had just acquired Long in the

Josh Stowers' first full year in professional baseball began and ended with unexpected stops on his itinerary.

In January, seven months after the Mariners had made him a second-round pick out of Louisville, Seattle dealt him to the Yankees for Shed Long. New York had just acquired Long in the Sonny Gray trade with the Reds, but they preferred a prospect whom it wouldn't have to add to the 40-man roster in the near future.

Daily Yankees AFL updates | Saguaros roster & stats | Yankees Top 30 prospects

Stowers spent the entire 2019 season in low Class A, batting .273/.386/.400 with seven homers and 35 steals in 105 games. Afterward, the Yankees decided to challenge him with an assignment to the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, where he'll face much more advanced pitching.

"It definitely wasn't something I was expecting to happen, especially after my first full season," Stowers said. "But in Spring Training, I played up with the Double-A, Triple-A teams, so I feel like I'll be just fine. Maybe a little bit of an adjustment period from facing low A pitching to what I'm going to see now, but I feel like I'll handle my own."

Stowers, 22, has started slowly in the AFL, going 1-for-15 (.067) with six strikeouts in his first four games. His lone hit was a home run off White Sox right-hander Vince Arobio in Surprise's opener.

Though he lacks a true plus tool, Stowers shows some ability to hit for average, draw walks and use his solid speed to steal some bases. He has a chance to play center field, though he spent most of his time this summer in right field, and he'll need to increase his power output to profile as a regular on the corner. His below-average arm may land him in left field if he doesn't stick in center.

Stowers finished strong in the South Atlantic League, batting .354/.479/.469 with nine extra-base hits, nine steals and 21 walks in 28 games during the final month of play. A right-handed hitter, he's at his best when he maintains a patient approach and doesn't worry about hitting home runs. Stowers hopes to build on the momentum he developed down the stretch in Charleston.

"In August, I really found some things that clicked in my swing," Stowers said. "[In] June, I went on the injured list and kind of started off slow coming back in July. So I just want to take those adjustments I made in August and bring them into here, just use this to prove myself and show that I can handle the upper levels and hopefully kind of springboard it into next year."

Yankees hitters in the Fall League

Donny Sands, C -- Drafted as a third baseman in the eighth round in 2015 out of an Arizona high school, Sands moved behind the plate after his first pro season. He continues to improved defensively, but struggled offensively in 2019, batting .221/.283/.310 with two homers in 68 games in high Class A.

Brandon Wagner, 1B/3B/2B -- Wagner broke out by slamming 20 home runs in high Class A in 2018 but slumped to .177/.289/.279 with eight homers in 117 Double-A games in his encore. Power and patience are the best attributes of the 2015 sixth-round pick from Howard (Texas) JC in 2015, though both regressed this year.

Yankees pitchers in the Fall League

Daniel Bies, RHP -- In his first full pro season, the 2018 seventh-rounder from Gonzaga made an appearance in Triple-A and logged a combined 3.33 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 92 innings between three levels. Bies works with a 90-95 mph fastball with metrics that are more impressive than its velocity, features a changeup as his best secondary pitch and gets good extension in his delivery.

Derek Craft, RHP -- A 16th-round pick from Texas-San Antonio in 2018, Craft stands out most with his 6-foot-8 frame and a fastball that he can run into the mid 90s. He has yet to make his full-season debut and spent 2019 in Rookie and short-season leagues, putting up a 2.70 ERA, .183 opponent average and 39 strikeouts in 30 innings.

Aaron McGarity, RHP -- McGarity's fastball attributes and extension are similar to those of Bies, and he also employs an effective slider and changeup. A 15th-rounder in 2017 from Virginia Tech, he posted a 2.50 ERA with a 69/12 K/BB ratio in 57 2/3 relief innings between three levels this year, peaking in high Class A.

Glenn Otto, RHP -- The Yankees converted Otto from reliever to starter after taking him in 2017's fifth round out of Rice, but he lost most of '18 after surgery to remove a blood clot from his pitching shoulder, and he missed two months this year with a ribcage injury. Otto can dodge bats with his 92-97 mph fastball and his spike curveball, using them to record a 3.20 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 56 1/3 high Class A innings.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.