Baseball America is the place to go to for information on minor leaguers and over the next couple of weeks they are publishing their Top 10 lists for each organization. The Yankees aren’t going to be published until next week, but the good guys over at River Ave Blues got a hold of the list early.
So here it is:
- Jesus Montero, C: “may be the best all-around hitter in the minors, capable of hitting .300 with 30-plus homers annually … best-case scenario is that he develops into the second coming of Mike Piazza”
- Gary Sanchez, C: “has a higher ceiling than anyone in the organization, including Jesus Montero”
- Dellin Betances, RHP: “If Betances can build on the progress he made last season, he’ll be a frontline starter for New York … he still could wind up in the mix to eventually replace Mariano Rivera“
- Manny Banuelos, LHP: “has the poise to move quickly, and now he has frontline stuff”
- Andrew Brackman, RHP: “For some scouts, Brackman’s whole is less than the sum of his parts, earning comparisons to A.J. Burnett and Kyle Farnsworth”
- Austin Romine, C: “Montero has more star potential with his bat, Romine is a more well-rounded player … may become trade bait”
- Hector Noesi, RHP: “lacks the breaking ball to pitch near the front of a rotation, but his fastball command should allow him to be a No. 4 or 5 starter”
- Eduardo Nunez, SS: “Yankees see him in the Chone Figgins mold as a utility player”
- Slade Heathcott, CF: “physically resembles Brett Gardner and has some similarities to New York’s left fielder, but Heathcott should develop more power and has a stronger arm”
- Brandon Laird, 3B: “profiles as a third baseman in the Kevin Kouzmanoff mode … could become trade fodder”
There are quite a few changes from last year mostly because the Yankees traded away a few of their prospects last offseason (Austin Jackson and Arodys Vizcaino to name two). Betances and Brackman also jumped pretty high because they finally had a strong and healthy season.
Dropping a bit is Banuelos and Romine. It’s not that either player got worse (Banuelos actually got better), but the emergence of Sanchez was huge and Betances had a huge season which outshined Banuelos’.
Overall this is a very impressive list. All 10 have a realistic shot at contributing to a major league team in a real capacity. Outside of Sanchez and Heathcott we could be seeing all of them very soon as well.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this list is that some big names, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Graham Stoneburner, and J.R. Murphy couldn’t crack it. Jeremy Bleich also could have made this list if he was healthy.
Things are looking good for the Yankees minor league system right now. Hopefully most of these players will help the Yankees directly, but it could be in an indirect way as well if they are used in trades. I am a fan of their minor league system right now.