BBDP Top 50 prospects: Preseason Edition

MLB: New York Yankees-Pitchers & CatchersThis post is a little bit redundant because not much has changed since the 2012 post season top 50 was released back in September. Some things have changed since then and it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate the rankings from September. It’s also a good time to alter the rankings based on 2013 predictions. Anyway, without belaboring the point, here are the BBDP updated rankings for the preseason 2013.

1. Gary “the Sanchize” Sanchez: C, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, RHB, 22 – This is not the boldest ranking, but he is the new number one prospect for BBDP (Banuelos was number one in September). His catching improved by leaps and bounds in 2012 and I expect continued improvement in 2013. He is Jesus Montero with a slightly less prolific bat, but defense that is worlds better. At this point he’s likely to stick at the position long term. The bat has never been in question. It seems the last thing to come will be his leadership skills, but that will come with maturity. At a premium position with supreme talent, number one was an easy choice. .290/.367 with 20 homeruns is my prediction. Double-A to start 2013.

2. Zachary “Slade” Heathcott: CF, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, LHB, 22 – Won’t be the most popular ranking, but the guy was lauded by scouts as one of the best two prospects in the entire Arizona Fall League. He batted nearly .400 with an OBP of nearly .500. It’s a small sample size but it’s against the best competition in the minors. Since he’s been injured so much, I feel we are just now beginning to see Slade Heathcott’s potential. This is the first time he has been healthy for an extended period of time, and he’s already showing that he’s a superprospect. Speed, defense, power, arm strength, and hit tool. That’s right, five tools. As for why he’s ranked above Mason Williams, it’s because I feel he’s got more power potential. I think we’re looking at 15 homeruns, 25 SB this season with a .300 plus average. Double-A to start 2013.

3. Mason “Mad Mase” Williams:  CF, 6-foot-0, 180-pounds, LHB, 21 – Number one on many lists, and ranked in the top 100 prospects in baseball on every list out there, there aren’t many negatives to his game. The only question mark surrounding Williams now is the non-throwing arm shoulder surgery he underwent this offseason. Hopefully it doesn’t sap him of any power. He’s another five tool athlete and has the potential to be the centerfielder in the Bronx for a long time. His hit tool is off the charts and he’s got good patience to go along with it. He’s shown a penchant for stealing bases as well. .315/.370 with 30 SB and 11 homeruns in 2013. He will start in Double-A.

4. “Stone Cold” Tyler Austin: RF, 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, RHB, 21 – Has a sweet right handed swing and one of the best, if not the best hit tool in the organization. He hits for power, and he’s found a position that suits him in right field. He’s overcome a lot in his life already as he is a cancer survivor, and he hasn’t stopped hitting since getting drafted. He could be contributing in the Bronx as soon as 2014. Another top 100 prospect, this will be a big year for him, to prove that he can handle Double-A pitching. .325/.380 with 13 SB and 25 HR.

5. Manny “ManBan” Banuelos: LHP, 5-foot-11, 200-pounds, 22 – He’s still the best pitching prospect in the organization until further notice. No one has done enough to pass him just yet. When he finally does return to Triple-A, he will be 23 years old, still completely on schedule with his development. Tommy John Surgery is nothing to scoff at, but it is usually a non-issue in terms of recovery for pitchers in this day and age. If and when he comes back in 2014, he could be ready to slide right into the rotation. He’s that good. He’s got three plus pitches, is lefty, and throws a fastball in the mid 90’s. If all of that remains intact when he returns, he could easily slide back up to number one on this list. He is extremely unlikely to pitch this season.

6. Jose “J-Ram” Ramirez: RHP,  6-foot-1, 185-pounds, 22 – By now you’ve heard me gush over this guy several times, but he showed why last season. His fastball was consistently mid 90’s, and he showed a plus changeup and a plus slider. If the numbers from High-A translate to Double-A, he will be a top 100 talent by the end of next season. He’s a major part of that Trenton team which will be loaded with talent in 2013. Prediction: 3.35 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 120 IP.

7. Jose “J-Cam” Campos: RHP, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, 20 – He’s huge and he’s still got some room to grow. He throws the ball in the mid 90’s, and has average secondary offerings. If he can improve those secondary offerings he could develop into a monster. The main obstacle that stands in his way is his elbow. If he can manage to avoid surgery and maintain his stuff, he will be a fast mover. If his stats match his scouting report this season, he’ll be another one to crack the top 100. Prediction: 3.2 ERA, 85 IP, 9 K/9. He’ll likely start in Charleston.

8. Mark “Monte Python” Montgomery: RHP, 5-foot-11, 205-pounds, 22 – What a find Montgomery has been out of the 11th round. It looks like he is going to ride that slider all the way to the major leagues. He could be in the Bronx as soon as this season. His nasty slider may just be unhittable. The best part of it is that he has a fastball that can keep hitters honest too. He’s the best pure relief prospect this team has ever had. Note: Mariano was a starting pitcher prospect basically until he made it to the major leagues. Prediction: 2.1 ERA, 13 K/9, 60 IP. Sounds like he may be slated for Triple-A to start the season.

9. Ramon “Ray-Flo” Flores: OF, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, LHB, 21 – Showed just how good his hit tool is last season by hitting .303/.370 in the pitcher friendly FSL. The only thing missing from his game is power. His swing is similar to Robinson Cano’s, who also took a while to develop his power. At the same stage in their career, they have the same number of homeruns. It’s almost scary. Cano also flew under the radar as a prospect much like Flores has. If the power comes, he’s easily a top 100 prospect. Prediction: .310/.385, 12 HR, 10 SB. He’ll start in Trenton.

10. Austin “BRomine” Romine: C, 6-foot-0, 220-pounds, RHB,  23 – This was the hardest choice because all of the next four deserve to be in the top 10. I went with Romine because he is looking like he could be the starting catcher in New York by mid season. All he needs to do is figure out Triple-A pitching and stay healthy to get there. Last year he had to shake off the rust, now it’s his time to shine. The spot is there for the taking, he just has to grab it. He’s actually still relatively young for a catcher. Prediction: .260/.339, 9 HR.

11. Ty “Beanie Baby” Hensley: RHP, 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, 19 – Sorry for the nickname, the name Ty just conjured memories of 12 year old girls with massive collections of beanie babies. His stuff is no joke though. Mid 90’s fastball, excellent curveball, learning the change. The MRI abnormality looms, but so far it hasn’t slowed him down at all. He could start as high as Charleston this year, but he’ll likely be slated for Staten Island. The competition for that fifth starter position in Charleston is going to be stiff. So stiff that they may opt for a piggy back system. Prediction: 65 IP, 2.67 ERA, 10 K/9. I’m expecting big things.

12. Brett “Fire” Marshall: RHP, 5-foot-11, 200-pounds, 22 – He’ll start in Triple-A and if he’s anywhere near as good as he was towards the end of 2012, he’ll be on the short list for a promotion should an injury occur. The slider was a revelation last season, and he now will be working on a curveball to complement it. He already has a solid changeup. Low 90’s heavy fastball with good sink, he would fit like a glove in NY because ground balls are valuable in the sandbox Yankees Stadium. Prediction: 130 IP, 3.75 ERA, 7 K/9

13. Rafael “RaDe” DePaula: RHP, 6-foot-3, 212-pounds, 21 – Maybe it’s just because of the hype and anticipation, but now that he’s finally going to play in the USA I’m finally ready to move his ranking up. His fastball reaches the upper 90’s, and he controls it. He also has good control of his secondary offerings. He has top 100 prospect written all over him. Prediction: 100 IP, 3.4 ERA, 11 K/9. He’ll start in Charleston.

14. Nik “Turley Bird” Turley: LHP, 6-foot-6, 230-pounds, 22: Turley is probably my favorite Yankees pitching prospect. He’s lefty, he’s big, he throws relatively hard, has above average stuff all around, and he has solid control and goes after hitters. I’ve said it 1000 times before, but if he has another slight uptick in stuff like he did last season, we could be looking at a top 100 talent. He could get promoted to Triple-A by midseason, and may be one of the guys Brian Cashman looks to in replacing Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, and Phil Hughes next season. Prediction: 3.2 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 130 IP.

15. Corban “CoJo” Joseph: 2B, 6-foot-0, 180-pounds, LHB, 23: He managed to hit 15 homeruns last season, which is pretty impressive for a second baseman. He’s a legitimate long term solution to Robinson Cano if he walks this offseason. He’ll likely spend the year in Triple-A to hone his craft, and next year he will either be the starting second baseman, a backup, or traded. He’s got a sweet swing from the left side and he’s one of those classic “scrappy” players everyone likes. Prediction: .284/.360, 18 HR, 9 SB.

16. David “DAdams” Adams: 2B, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, RHB 25 – He fell so much because he got injured already in Spring Training. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but it is just a reminder of how fragile of a player he is. I hate to react to a minor injury like this, but the fact is that he’s now at a position where he is really going to need to hit to stick. That said, he’s got a phenomenal hit tool and plays solid defense. His patience is great, and it’s possible he still has more in the tank in terms of power. Prediction: .310/.380, 11 HR. Destined for Triple-A unless he can somehow earn his way to a bench role with the Yankees.

17. JR “Murph” Murphy: C, 5-foot-11, 195-pounds, RHB, 21 – Murphy has been so focused on his catching that hitting has taken a back seat. Now that he is an above average catcher, he may finally spend some time on his hitting, which is already average for a catcher. He’ll have to improve on his numbers last season, but there’s a strong chance he will. He did hit 9 homeruns last season, and showed good patience at the plate. Prediction: .271/.343, 13 HR. He’ll likely start in Double-A.

18. Angel “The Rink” Rincon: RHP, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, 19 – He’s a real young stud in this organization. His fastball, slider, and change up combo with superior control. He has a mid 90’s fastball and above average secondary offerings including to go along with it. The only reason he’s not high on more of these lists is because of lack of exposure. If he starts in Charleston this year, that will all change. Prediction: 100 IP, 2.45 ERA, 7.6 K/9 in Charleston.

19. Angelo “Bubba Gumbs” Gumbs: 2B, 6-foot, 175-pounds, 19 – His game really became electric last season. As a second baseman he was able to hit for power and average. His season was shortened by injury in 2012, but 2013 will likely be a different story. This year could be his coming out party. One more good season statistically and he’s a top 100 guy. Prediction: .291/.341 with 11 HR and 22 SB

20. Peter “PO” O’Brien: C, 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, 22 – You just don’t find many catchers with the kind of power he possesses. His average should come up next season, but even if he is never a guy with a high average his power should be able to carry him through the minors. Look for a big season from O’Brien with a lot of towering fly balls that leave the park. Prediction: .255/.351 with 23 HR in Charleston

21. Adam “The Warden” Warren: RHP, 6-foot-2, 225-pounds, 25 – He’s getting a bit long in the tooth for a prospect, but he’s also knocking on the door to the major leagues. He had a cup of tea last season and struggled in one appearance, but the team hopes he is ready this season. He will be one of the first call ups when injuries inevitably happen, and he could be this year’s David Phelps if we’re lucky. Prediction: 3.24 ERA, 8 K/9 in Triple-A.

22. Greg “Big” Bird (or GPB): 1B, 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, LHB, 20 – He deserved to be higher than 35, where I ranked him in September. After having time to think it over, the guys power and hit tool are just too good to keep out of the top 30. Just because he’s not a catcher anymore doesn’t mean his tools are any less impressive. He can mash the ball, plain and simple. If performs up to capabilities in Charleston this season, he’ll break some top 100 lists. Prediction: .310/.400 with 15 HR in Charleston.

23. Dante “Bichette Happens” Bichette Jr.: 3B, 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, RHB, 20 – Last year brought a few red flags to Bichette’s game. His average was not impressive and his power disappeared. For a kid who is already on the hefty side, losing power is a bad sign. On the other hand, the last few weeks of the season were successful for Bichette. Heathcott’s first season in Single-A went poorly as well, and now look at him. Prediction: .280/.345 with 9 HR in Charleston and High-A Tampa.

24. Daniel “DanCam” Camarena: LHP, 6-foot, 200-pounds, 19 – Left handed, low 90’s fastball, plus change up, plus curve, top notch control. If there’s space for him in Charleston he deserves to be there. At just 19 it is likely he will add a few ticks to his velo with time also. Prediction: 85 IP, 2.05 ERA, 8.5 K/9 in Staten Island and Charleston.

25. Bryan “The Mitchuation” Mitchell: RHP, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, 22 – Another guy I was rude to in September with a ranking of 38, I believe he is in for a big year in 2013. His stuff is off the charts but he must learn to control it. At the end of last year, he began to do just that. If he can take that with him into 2013, he is going to be mowing batters down. The curve is his money pitch and he backs it up with a fastball in the high 90’s. Prediction: 140 IP, 3.5 ERA, 10 K/9 in High-A.

26. Zoilo “Zee” Almonte: OF, 6-foot, 190-pounds, SH, 23 – His defense is better than his errors last year would say. He just has to focus better. His offense took a major step forward in 2012 and he should have continued success in Triple-A in 2013. His 21 homeruns and 15 stolen bases last season are an indicator of a very well rounded player coming into his own. If he can replicate those numbers in Triple-A, the Bronx will be his next stop. Prediction: .268/.330 with 20 HR and 25 SB in Triple-A.

27. Ben “It’s Gam Time” Gamel: OF, 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, LHB, 20 – The organization thinks highly of Gamel, and many feel the power surge is about to come. We already know he can hit for average, but the question has always been when some of those balls will start leaving the park. Apparently he has bulked up significantly in the offseason, which was enough to bump his ranking from 30 to 27. He was one of my sleepers for this season. Prediction: .310/.355 with 11 HR.

28. “Ravenous” Ravel Santana: OF, 6-foot-2, 160-pounds, RHB, 20 – His stock fell precipitously last season, but there’s hope within the organization that he could return to form in 2013. A few have said he may never be 100% of his old self, but even if he is just 90% he still could be an all-star. After a dreadful season in 2012, this will be a big year for Ravel to see if he ever stands a chance at being his old self. Prediction: .265/.325 with 10 HR in Charleston.

29. Melky “Melkman 2.0″ Mesa: OF, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, RHB, 25 – He and Zoilo have a lot in common except that Melky is 25 and he’s right handed. He has serious power and speed though with excellent defensive capabilities. He didn’t hit for much average in Triple-A in 2012, but he’s usually a slow adjuster to each level, so I expect the average to improve significantly in 2013. Prediction: .270/.337 with 22 homeruns and 25 SB.

30. Dellin “Killer Bee” Betances: RHP, 6-foot-8, 255-pounds, 24 – Apparently Brian Cashman announced that Dellin Betances will be in the Triple-A rotation this season. This actually increased his ranking from where I was going to put him. If somehow he suddenly finds the strike zone, he will be back to being a top prospect. That is such a big if at this point though. Prediction: 80 IP, 5.4 ERA, 10.5 K/9, moved to bullpen.

31. Austin “Aoooooon” Aune: SS, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, LHB, 19 – Very few think he is going to stick at shortstop, but the kid can certainly hit. He has patience at the plate and the potential to develop serious power. He’s a great athlete and the Yankees expect big things from him. He could shoot up this list rather quickly, especially if he is able to stick at short. Prediction: .290/.368 with 7 HR in Staten Island.

32. Matt “M-Trac” Tracy: LHP, 6-foot-3, 212-pounds, 24 – Yet another solid lefty the Yankees plucked in the late rounds of the draft. He has excellent stuff with plus control and a low to mid 90’s fastball. He has a sick change up, and will continue to rise quickly if he starts off hot in Double-A. Prediction:140 IP 3.2 ERA, 7.3 K/9.

33. “Macka” Rony Bautista: LHP, 6-foot-7, 200-pounds, 21 – Able to dial it up to the high 90’s, Bautista debuted with a fine season in the states. If he can develop more control he could be a dominant force. This ranking speaks to just how great the depth is in this organization, because a guy like him would be top 20 in most. Prediction: 80 IP, 3.0 ERA, 11.5 K/9 for Staten Island and Charleston.

34. Ronnier “Musketeer” Mustelier: 3B/OF, 5-foot-10, 210-pounds, RHB, 28 – With the Curtis Granderson injury he has a legit shot to win some playing time in left field. We will finally see if that .314/.371/.488 triple slash with 15 homeruns can translate to the majors. If it can, then the Yankees won’t miss Granderson too much. Prediction: .285/.350 with 10 HR for the New York Yankees.

35. Jordan “JoCo” Cote: RHP, 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, 20 – Looked outstanding in the GCL this season, he is one who could be higher on this list. Another who would be in the top 20 in most other organizations, good stuff, great work ethic, and an extremely projectable frame. Prediction: 70 IP 1.7 ERA, 9.4 K/9 for Staten Island and/or Charleston.

36. Chase “Whiffley” Whitley: RHP, 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, 23 – The slider was a godsend for him, and now he’s going to take it with him to the majors this season. He will definitely see some time in New York. Low 90’s stuff with great extension. I’m excited to see him face major league batters. Prediction: 60 IP, 2.5 ERA, 10 K/9 in Triple-A and New York.

37. William “Rookie” Davis: RHP, 6-foot-4, 235-pounds, 20 – Mid 90’s fastball, solid change up, developing power curve. Worlds of potential, I could see him climbing this list significantly by next season. Prediction: 60 IP, 3.2 ERA, 11.1 K/9 in Staten Island.

38. Evan “Rutzkrieg” Rutckyj: LHP, 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, 21 – Got pushed back to 49th after a decent season last year, but he’s back up to 38 because I think 2013 will be a big year for him. He can flat out dominate when he is controlling his stuff. He’s got a 94 mph fastball and good secondary offerings from a lefty. Control will be the key for 2013. Prediction: 130 IP, 3.15 ERA, 9.5 K/9 in Charleston with a mid to late season promotion to Tampa.

39. “Slick” Nick Goody: RHP, 5-foot-11, 195-pounds, 21 – Reliever phenom part deux (Montgomery part one). Mid 90’s fastball, sickeningly good slider. Prediction: 65 IP, 2.2 ERA, 13 K/9 in Double-A and Triple-A

40. Branden “BP” Pinder: RHP, 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, 24 – The “other” reliever, he has the stuff to possibly be the best of the three. He has size and he throws incredibly hard. His slider is not nearly what Montgomery’s is, but he backs it up with a better fastball. Will be fun to watch. Prediction: 60 IP, 2.75 ERA, 11 K/9 in Double-A.

41. Corey “CB” Black: RHP 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, 21 – 99 mph fastball with a curve, slider, and change and good control. Yet he’s ranked 41. Good system I guess. Prediction:100 IP 3.36 ERA, 8.3 K/9 for High-A Tampa.

42. Miguel “Mandujar” Andujar: 3B, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, RHB, 18 – A prodigy of sorts, he made his debut with the GCL last season. The results did not meet the expectations, but most felt his stats were not reflective of how well he played, and more importantly how well he is capable of playing. Few doubt he will end up being one of the organizations top prospects at some point in his career. Prediction: .315/.365 with 6 HR for the GCL Yankees.

43. Cesar “Csar” Vargas: RHP, 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 21 – Played in Charleston in his first year stateside and impressed. He’s a polished prospect who can hit the mid 90’s on the radar gun and has a good curve. Prediction: 100 IP, 3.8 ERA, 6.9 K/9 for High-A Tampa.

44. Tom “TKO” Kahnle: RHP, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, 23. Fastball reaches triple digits, filthy change and a decent slider. He’s got real potential to be a dominant force in the back end of a bullpen. Prediction: 70 IP, 2.5 ERA, 12 K/9.

45. Giovanny “Gio” Gallegos: RHP, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, 21 – Draws comparisons to Ivan Nova at the same stage in his career. He was completely dominant in the GCL in 2012. Another who really should be higher but I can’t figure out who to move him ahead of. Prediction: 75 IP, 1.79 ERA, 8 K/9 with Staten Island and/or Charleston.

46. Robert “The Ref” Refsnyder: 2B, 6-foot, 195-pounds, RHB, 21 – Apparently the move to the outfield at the end of last season was temporary. The team is going to try to keep him at second, where his bat and athleticism will play up. If he sticks there and hits like he did at the end of the season, he could be a future star in the league. He gets dinged in the rankings for his poor performance early on last season and the fact that he came out of college. Prediction: .281/.350 with 17 HR in High-A Tampa.

47. Adonis “The Don” Garcia: IF/OF, 5-foot-9, 190-pounds, RHB, 28 – The Yankees spent a decent amount of money on this guy, and he appears to be paying off. He is now close to the major leagues and he squashed Double-A pitching last season. He is another who could compete for playing time with Grandy on the shelf. Prediction: .278/.330, 14 HR in Triple-A.

48. Cito “Cheeto” Culver: SS, 6-foot, 190-pounds, SH, 20 – Ugly numbers in 2012, he will look to put those behind him this year. He has worked all offseason with hitting coaches and hopefully he has found a formula that works. His defense, meanwhile, is nothing short of spectacular. Prediction: .255/.355 with 3 HR and 32 SB for Charleston.

49. Chaz “OrChazm” Hebert: LHP, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, 20 – The 7th left handed pitcher on this list, goes to show just how much the left handed pitching depth in this organization has improved in just a short time. Low 90’s fastball currently with good secondary stuff. No reason that velocity shouldn’t increase over time with his frame. Prediction: 65 IP, 3.07 ERA, 11.5 K/9 in Staten Island.

50. Hayden “Sharp Shooter” Sharp: RHP, 6-foot-6, 195-pounds, 20 – His fastball reaches 95+ MPH, and he throws an improving slider. Like most young prospects he is also trying to master the change. If he stays accurate he will have a monster season. Prediction: 62 IP, 2.78 ERA, 10.3 K/9 for Staten Island.

Just Missed the List: Preston Claiborne, Caleb Frare, Brady Lail, Addison Maruszak, Shaeffer Hall, Kelvin Perez, Vidal Nuno, Rob Segedin, Zach Nuding, Caleb Cotham, Jeremy Bleich, Matt Snyder, Matt Duran, Claudio Custodio, Jose Rosario, Dietrich Enns, James Pazos, Taylor Garrison, Jerison Lopez, Chris Breen Joey Maher, Dayton Dawe, Taylore Dugas, Saxon Butler, Mikeson Oliberto.

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5 Responses to BBDP Top 50 prospects: Preseason Edition

  1. Mike says:

    Reading your prospectus about Ty Hensley scares the heck out of me. It's kind of like Phil Hughes all over again.

    • gcorcoran says:

      People look at Phil Hughes as a failure. I don't. He is an above average major leaguer obtained in the draft. No matter what round you obtain a player like that in, it's a success story. I know people get caught up in the hype of these top prospects, but realistically more than half of these top prospect types never turn out to be above average major leaguers.

    • Yomaira says:

      I have been a Yankee fan since the age of eight. Sixty three years and I have seen about everything. I also know hidignsht is 20-20 vision, but I’ve seen a lot of things in the last few years I just don’t understand. Common sense doesn’t seem to play a part a lot of the time. That is in trading and managing. I’ll have more comments later.

  2. Guest says:

    Nice article but God these nicknames are stupid.
    Are we in elementary school again?