Staten Island, NY - Six former Staten Island Yankees have been sent to the Arizona Fall League this year playing on three different teams. The Arizona Fall League is considered the top fall league, showcasing some of the top prospects of the 30 Major League Clubs.
This fall, 28 former first-round draft picks were selected to the teams, including former Staten Island Yankees’ Dave Parrish (2000) and John-Ford Griffin (2001). Games began on October 1.
The New York Yankees sent seven of their prospects to the Maryvale Saguaros, four of who played for
Staten Island at one point in their minor league career. Parrish, Andy Phillips, Jason Anderson and Bryan Grace are all playing for Maryvale, while Griffin and Willy Mo Pena are the other two former Baby Bombers in Arizona. Griffin (AA-Oakland) is playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, and Pena (AAA-Cincinnati) plays for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
The Staten Island quartet was joined by Drew Henson, Marcus Thames, and Adrian Hernandez, all from the Columbus Clippers.
Anderson was selected in the 10th Round of the June 2000 draft. He spent the entire 2000 season in Staten Island, winning the NY-Penn League title. He rejoined Staten Island in August of 2001. While in Staten Island, he was 11-6 in two seasons with a 3.17 ERA. In 2002, he started the season in Tampa before moving to Norwich and then Columbus, where he finished the season with a 5-1 record and a 34.1 ERA, striking out 28 in 34.1 innings pitched, notching seven saves.
Grace played for Staten Island in 1999 after being selected in the 16th Round of the 1999 draft. In eight games in Staten Island, he was 0-4 with a 5.68 ERA. Grace spent most of the 2002 season in Tampa, posting an 8-6 record with a 2.86 ERA. He was third in the Florida State League in pitching.
Parrish was also a member of the 2000 NY-Penn League Championship squad, where he hit .240 with 20 doubles, 29 RBI and 29 runs scored. The catcher spent the 2002 season with the Eastern League Champion Norwich Navigators, where he hit .238 and was named one of the top prospects in the Eastern League.
Phillips started 2002 in Norwich, before being promoted to the Columbus Clippers. While with the Navigators, he hit .263 with 54 hits in 51 games. While in Columbus, the second baseman hit .305, was third on the team in hits (83), tied for second in doubles (24), second in home runs (19), and third in RBI (51). He was joined teammate Parrish as being named one of the top prospects of the Eastern League. He was a member of the inaugural Staten Island squad in 1999 after being selected by the Yankees in the seventh round that year. He hit .322 in Staten Island. Of his 75 hits, 25 were for extra bases.
Griffin was traded to the Oakland Athletics with Jason Arnold and Ted Lilly in the deal that brought Jeff Weaver to the Yankees. Griffin hit .143 in limited action for AA Midland. He had seven at-bats in two games before an injury forced him to sit for the rest of the season. The 2001 first round pick started 2002 with the Tampa Yankees before he was promoted to Norwich on June 20. He hit .328 for the Navigators before getting traded. Pena became the first Staten Island Yankee to get called up to the Major Leagues. He had one at bat for the Reds, with one hit. He spent the season at AA Chattanooga where he hit .255 with 23 doubles and 11 home runs. He was traded to the Reds in March of 2001 in a deal that brought Henson back to the Yankees.