John Sickels Ranks the Yanks

Over at MinorLeagueBall, John Sickels ranked the Yankees prospects:

1) Jesus Montero, C, Grade A: I know that his position is up in the air, but I love this bat so much that I’m going to give him a straight Grade A. This is a Mike Piazza/Manny Ramirez type bat.

2) Austin Romine, C, Grade B: Not in Montero’s class as a hitter, but he’s not bad, should improve further, and is much better defensively.

3) Manny Banuelos, LHP, Grade B-: Borderline Grade B. Intriguing young lefty, undersized but has a very good arm and has performed quite well thus far.

4) Zach McAllister, RHP, Grade B-: Strike-throwing-ground-ball-generating-inning-gobbler with advanced pitching feel. A fifth starter, long reliever, or trade bait in New York.

5) Slade Heathcott, OF, Grade B-: Excellent tools, will have to see how his skills develop, and if he overcomes concerns about his makeup from high school.

6) Mark Melancon, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline C+. Relief prospects are hard to grade, especially if they aren’t going to get a chance to close, but I really like Melancon. Great stats in the minors, with very good stuff.

7) Gary Sanchez, C, Grade C+: Scouting reports point to enormous offensive potential, but would like to see him in game action before ranking higher.

8) John Murphy, C, Grade C+: Scouts like the bat a lot, but raw defensively. As with Sanchez, need to see what balance he finds between tools and skills.

9) Kelvin De Leon, OF, Grade C+: Broken record: great tools, lots of power potential, questions about plate discipline, need more data from higher levels.

10) D.J. Mitchell, RHP, Grade C+: Picks up tons of grounders, throws strikes, very athletic, needs better secondary pitches to reach his full potential.

11) Wilkin De La Rosa, LHP, Grade C+: Live-armed lefty needs sharper command. Great trade bait.

12) David Adams, 2B, Grade C+: Power spiked in the Florida State League. If he maintains that, could be a nice surprise in Double-A in ’10.

13) Corban Joseph, 2B-3B, Grade C+: Sleeper prospect, hits for average and controls zone well, might develop some power to go with it.

14) Adam Warren, RHP, Grade C+: Polished college pitcher could develop into another inning-eater type.

15) Neil Medchill, OF, Grade C+: Excellent power from the left side in the New York-Penn League, but batting average/OBP against better pitching are in question.

16) David Phelps, RHP, Grade C+: Looks like a sleeper to me, finished season with brilliant run in the Florida State League. Notre Dame product.

17) Andrew Brackman, RHP, Grade C: He’s horrible as a starter, but has a chance to develop in the bullpen.

18) Jose Ramirez, RHP, Grade C: Can hit 95-96 MPH and pitched well in rookie ball; sleeper candidate to emerge in ’10.

19) Jeremy Bleich, LHP, Grade C: The Yankees like him a lot more than I do, but I can’t rate him higher than this given how badly he pitched in Double-A.

20) Bryan Mitchell, RHP, Grade C: Live arm, cost $800,000 to buy away from North Carolina, will need time but has a high ceiling.

OTHERS (All Grade C): Sean Black, RHP; Gavin Brooks, LHP; Jairo Heredia, RHP; Jamie Hoffman, OF; Brandon Laird, 3B; DeAngelo Mack, OF; Melky Mesa, OF; Juan Miranda, 1B; Hector Noesi, RHP; Ivan Nova, RHP; Eduardo Nunez, SS; Kevin Russo, 2B; Romulo Sanchez, RHP; Graham Stoneburner, RHP; Brad Suttle, 3B; Pat Venditte, RHP-LHP; Kevin Whelan, RHP.

Notable absences include: Dellin Betances, Alan Horne, Chris Garcia, and Reegie Corona, amongst others.

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