Scouting Yankees Prospect #13: Angelo Gumbs

Gumbs is a truly dynamic talent

The New York Yankees selected then outfielder Angelo Gumbs in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Torrance High School in California before moving him to second base. He was in the midst of a breakout season last year when a torn triceps injury ended his season prematurely, but he still offers one of the highest offensive ceilings in the organization.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Angelo Gumbs
Position: Second Base
DOB: October 13, 1992
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"I think the season went good," he said. "Towards the end of the season for me which was about halfway through the season I feel like I finished out strong and excelled in all parts of my game.

"I felt I made a big jump hitting, being able to sit back on the offspeed pitches better, and defensively I felt I made a big jump too."

He hit .272 with 24 extra-base hits and 26 stolen bases in just 67 games with the low-A Charleston RiverDogs as a 19-year old in 2012 before tearing a tricep in his left arm in mid-June and ending his season a couple of weeks later.

"I was facing a pitcher and he threw me a changeup," Gumbs said. "I was fooled and I don't know if tried to stop or what, but I kind of hyper-extended it and it tore.

"I was a little overwhelmed by it. We put in all of this work over the year to do what we do during the season and right when I started feeling good and swing the bat anytime and get a hit I go out with a tricep injury. It was a bit devastating and overwhelming."

He missed a little more than the final two months of the season, a season in which the highly confident athlete entered the year with some pretty lofty goals.

"My goals at the beginning of the season were to hit around .300, have more hits than strikeouts, have a good OPS, 20 home runs, and 40 stolen bases, so it's a pretty high standard that I've set for myself," Gums said prior to the injury.

While it will never be known if he would have come close to reaching his numerical goals or not, the fact is the injury could not have come at a worse time. After getting off to a slow start in the beginning of the year, hitting just .208 in his first 20 games, he had found his groove before going down with the injury.

He was hitting a robust .297 over his final 47 games, including an OPS that was approaching .800, which is quite the feat for a teenage middle infielder.

"He's a guy that's come a long way from the beginning of the season," Charleston manager Carlos Mendoza said. "Everyday he will flash a little something either defensively, offensively, or even running the bases.

"He's playing with more confidence. He started off the year kind of slow, but know everything is starting to click, he's playing with more confidence, and now he's a different player."

A super athlete even in his amateur days, tools have never been his problem. What he has been working on, however, is the mental side of the game in order to bring those tools together better and make them more game useful.

"The mental game is something I'm always looking to improve," Gumbs said. "Watch the game, play the game, and just stay locked in every pitch [and] just know where I have to be for cut-offs.

"It's more the mental stuff that I'm working on. I've made a lot of progress on multiple things. Defensively, staying more relaxed and smooth and letting my body work with itself. A lot of mental clock work, like knowing the runner and knowing if there's time to make a play or not.

"Offensively, I've been staying through the middle of the field, right-center, gap to gap, left-center and trying to keep a good approach. I've been more consistent which has been a big part of my progress this [past] year.

"In the batting cages I've been doing a lot of soft tosses and tee work. Defensively I've been working on keeping my hands loose, just do what feels natural and don't try to do too much."

As good as he has been physically, including boasting some of the best pure bat speed around, it's been his maturation as a baseball player that has really stood out in the two plus years he's been in the farm system and things are really beginning to click for him.

With a fiance and a son, part of the reason has been the fact that unlike many of his young peers he already has a family of his own and that has forced him to grow up a bit quicker than most.

"It's not only myself that I have to work for and provide for, it's also family and I want to give them everything I didn't have as a child growing up," he said. "I want to be able to take care of them in the way that they deserve so they have a bright future in front of them also."

In fact, the California native has moved his family to the Tampa-Clearwater area to be closer to the Yankees' minor league complex. That added motivation surely shows up in the way he goes about his business as a pro athlete.

"He's being a baseball player," Mendoza said. "He's coming into the park and creating a routine, getting in the cage, get your work in, take some extra ground balls.

"Playing everyday has given him a lot of confidence. This kid has a lot of talent so it was just a matter of time and now we're seeing it.

"He's got a big future. This is a guy who can do everything. He runs, he's got power, he can field the ball and he can do good things for you.

"I just want him to keep doing what he's doing and he's got a good chance to be a pretty good player. I just want him to stay focused, play the game, stay relaxed, and just enjoy."

As good as Gumbs has been in his short career thus far, the harsh reality is he has so much more room to get better and that only speaks to his vast ceiling.

"I feel like I need to improve my pitch selection, swing at strikes, and be a smarter hitter overall," Gumbs admitted. "Defensively I just need to keep focusing and keep getting better. Last year I definitely saw the hard work paying off.

"I feel like I'm more of a second baseman now. Before [last year] I was still having thoughts of the outfield but now I feel like a second baseman.

"There's still things to learn and still things to work on. I feel like the sky's the limit, I just need to keep my dedication and work hard. I feel like I can be a big impact player in the future," he concluded.














2012 Charleston .272 257 14 7 36 40 26 18 60 .320 .432
2011 Staten Island .264 197 11 3 29 32 11 20 57 .332 .406
2010 GCL Yankees .192 26 1 0 0 1 3 1 3 .222 .231

Batting and Power. Gumbs has the two basic essentials to be an electrifying hitter - amazing bat speed and an ability to use the entire field. When he's at his best he is going up the middle to the opposite field and lacing liners into the gaps. He is a patient hitter early in counts, one who is adept at getting into good hitting situations, and then he will be very aggressive in those circumstances. While he has the ability to be a high walks guy, he just hasn't made that a priority yet but it could develop down the road. He has average big league power and the very quick bat could push that into the above average range long-term if things break right.

Base Running and Speed. Gumbs' stolen base totals would suggest he's a plus runner when it actuality he is more like an above average runner. However, there are few as aggressive as he is and his lack of hesitation in the running game really serves him well. For example, he will on occasion get picked off by a pitcher but still wind up stealing second because he does not flinch or hesitate. He should be a 30-plus stolen base threat annually.

Defense. Gumbs can still be erratic at second base at times but that is only because he is still relatively new to the position. His progress defensively has been nothing short of remarkable. He shows above average range and sometimes exceptional lateral quickness, good hands, and a strong arm. He'll have his short-term hiccups but he has plus long-term defensive potential.

Projection. Gumbs has all of the tools to be a dynamic player on both sides of the ball; great bat speed, a patient approach at the plate, a willingness to use the whole field, average or better power, and above average speed. He is simply a superb athlete who is learning to become a consistent ball player and he just turned 20 years old this offseason. A family man too, he take his profession as a ball player very seriously and only cares about being the best. He has the ceiling of a Brandon Phillips type player, one who could hit for a good average despite not walking much, and one who can do a lot of different things on a baseball diamond.

ETA. 2015. Had it not been for the injury-shortened season Gumbs would have been a lock to begin the 2013 season in high-A Tampa. However, while the smart money says he'll be back in Charleston to begin the season for some more seasoning, he still should see ample at-bats in the Florida State League before the year is up.

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