Third base has been a weak spot for the past few years for the Yankees. They haven’t had much in the way of prospects and there isn’t much help on the way at the higher levels. Through the draft and international signings, however, the Yankees have started to develop some depth at the lower levels. In a year or so the Yankees may have as good of depth at the position of third base as they do at any other position in the organization. For the purposes of these rankings, Peter O’Brien is a catcher, but he could just as easily be on this list as well. He would likely rank third on this list. Tyler Austin also played third base briefly in the AFL, and could be there in the near future. For now he will be considered an outfielder. David Adams would rank fifth on this list but he is not eligible.
1. Eric Jagielo – 3B, 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, LHB, 22 – Jagielo hit a respectable .264/.376/.451/.826 with six homeruns in his minor league debut this year. He was their first round pick and currently the best third baseman this system has to offer. He struck out too much in 2013, and he average could have been better, but the Yankees are hoping he will quickly ascend to the major leagues and replace A-Rod at third base. There are questions about whether he can stay at third base long term but for now he will top off this list. Highest level: Staten Island. Will start 2014 at: Likely High-A, but possible Low-A. Estimated arrival: 2016-2017. Ceiling: All-star third baseman, 25+ homeruns, .300+ average. Floor: bench bat.
2. Miguel Andujar – ”Mandujar”: 3B, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, RHB, 18 – In 2013, he hit .323/.368/.496/.864 with four homeruns and 11 doubles. This was a huge improvement upon last year when he struggled in his first year stateside. The scouting reports say he is a beast with the bat who uses all fields and has some serious developing power. He is similar to Jagielo in many ways but actually has a higher ceiling because he is better defensively. He’s got quick hands, great patience at the plate, and decent athleticism. Believe me when I say the bat is real. Highest level: Rookie GCL. Will start 2014 at: Staten Island or Low-A (if lucky). Ceiling: All-start third baseman with a nifty glove, 25+ homeruns and .300+ average. Floor: bench bat, utility player.
3. Rob Segedin – 3B, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, RHB, 25 – One of the more underrated prospects in the system, Segedin was in the midst of a breakout year in 2013 when he went down with a serious injury. He will return in 2014 ready to go. He was batting .338/.390/.606/.996 with 3 homeruns in just 18 games to start the year in 2013. He’s known for his bat and if he picks up where he left off he will be back to being a legit top 50 prospect. Highest level: Double-A. Will start 2014 at: Double-A. Estimated arrival: 2015. Ceiling: Major league average third baseman. 15+ HR, .290 average. Floor: Flop.
4. Drew Bridges – 3B, 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, LHB, 18 – This years numbers were awful but they’re really not even worth mentioning because it was a small sample size. He’s got the potential for light tower power, and has a shot to stick at third base long term. His ceiling is as high as anyone in the system but his he’s also just as likely to hit his floor as he is his ceiling. Highest level: Rookie GCL. Will start 2014 at: Rookie GCL. Estimated arrival: 2019. Ceiling: 40+ homeruns, .265 average.
5. Dante Bichette Jr. – “DBJ” 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, RHB, 21 – Still just 21 and still has a shot to turn his career around, but at this point things are looking bleak. He actually took a step back in every respect ecept power this year, slugging a career high 11 homeruns this year. He’s still a first round draft pick but at this point if we are being realistic his chances of even making it to the majors are slim. That said he’s a hard worker and there have been more amazing turnarounds in the past. Highest level: Low-A. Will start 2014 at: Low-A or High-A. Estimated arrival: 2017 if ever. Ceiling: Major league starter. Floor: bust.