Banuelos, Not Montero, Named Yankees Top Prospect by ESPN

ESPN’s Keith Law recently updated his top prospects list to reflect how the first half of the season has impacted the rankings. Three Yankees had three players in the top 50, one of only three teams to do so, but the biggest news is that catcher Jesus Montero is no longer listed as the Yankees top prospect. That designation goes to left handed pitcher Manny Banuelos.

Both players dropped in the rankings, Montero from 4th to 21st and Banuelos from 12th to 18th. The reasoning behind Montero’s drop is because hit patience at the plate and particularly his power numbers have dropped this season. His slash line is just .289/.346/.418, not terrible but certainly not no. 4 prospect worthy either. Law is also not sold on the idea that he can stick behind the plate calling him a first base/DH type.

Banuelos’ drop is due to the command issues he has faced this year, although Law points out that he has struck out 24 and walked just four in his last 19.2 innings. That is enough cause for optimism that he didn’t drop further.

These rankings are arbitrary and in the long-term scheme of things they mean nothing. However it does show that Montero has taken a slight step back since repeating Triple-A and his trade value will probably accurately reflect that.

It isn’t all bad news for the Yankees. right handed pitcher Dellin Betances jumped from no. 73 in the preseason rankings to no. 34. Law notes that he is still having trouble repeating his delievery and is getting by on raw stuff as he dominates in Double-A. Encouraging, but it means that Betances is probably still a ways away from the Bronx.

No other Yankees were mentioned in the top 50 article, but it is safe to assume that righty Andrew Brackman has fallen off the face of the Earth and that Gary Sanchez has probably taken a step back as well. Catcher Austin Romine is really not considered in these types of articles anymore.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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