1. Greg Bird – 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, LHB, 1B, 21 – He’s already hitting well in Double-A at the age of just 21, and he’s hitting for power too. He’s one of the best first base prospects in the minors right now. He’s OPSing at .848 this year despite missing significant time. His numbers are right on par with where they were last year at higher levels. He is exactly what the Yankees tend to look for in a player. High OBP, patient approach, and power. His quad slash on the season is .270/.375/.473/.848. He’ll likely start next season in Double-A, where he will have a head start since he spent the end of the season there.
2. Mike Ford – 6-foot-0, 225-pounds, LHB, 1B, 22 – He just turned 22 on July 4th, and will start next season at the same age. We knew very little about Ford going into the season, except that he was born and raised in New Jersey and went to school at Princeton, where he excelled. This year he has shown us that he has some real talent despite being a non-drafted FA following the 2013 draft. He has 13 HR and 17 doubles in 102 games between Low-A and High-A. He has a .293/.383/.459/.842 line this season. He’s not the flashiest player and most probably still don’t know much about him, but trust me he’s officially on the Yankees prospect radar. He has ripped apart High-A pitching so far in his limited time there. He’ll start off in High-A next year and could move quickly to Double-A if Bird Moves up or they can fit him in at DH.
3. Kyle Roller – 6-foot-1, 250-pounds, LHB, 1B, 26 – No question about it, Kyle Roller has had a career year. He has done it at the highest levels of the minors too. The only caveat is that he will spend most of next season as a 27 year old in Triple-A with no major league experience. That’s always a red flag, but the way he has performed is impressive no matter how you look at it. On the season, he is hitting .299/.391/.549/.940 with 25 homeruns, 29 doubles, and three triples. He has increased his stock in a major way this season, and he’s just one Mark Teixeira injury away from being a viable major league option. He’s close to the majors and at this point he will most likely get an opportunity to play, whether it be for the Yankees or someone else. He’ll start the season in Triple-A next season, and with some good luck could see some time in the bigs. Greg Bird is breathing down his neck though.
4. Connor Spencer – 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, LHB, 1B, 21 – He’ll be 22 at the start of next season, and he will have to hit all the way up to be taken seriously as a prospect. Moreover he will have to start finding some more power. Based on what they see in batting practice and with his swing and size, the Yankees think that power will come. No one questions his ability to hit and he can definitely field the position. His batting line in Staten Island this year is .367/.394/.456/.849. He is going to have to improve his patience and his power going forward, but so far he has really impressed with his ability to make hard contact. He’ll likely start out in Charleston next year with Ford manning first in High-A, but he could be in for a quick call-up, especially if the Yankees are willing to temporarily shift him to the outfield to improve his versatility.
5. Chris Gittens – 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, RHB, 1B, 20 – It’s easy to dream on a kid with this kind of size, especially when the Yankees got him in the 12th round and he is just 20 years old. In a limited 11 game sample size, he performed well in the GCL with a .287/.400/.400/.800 line. He’s got a long way to go, but his size will be a major advantage for him. He has a lot of swing and miss right now according to his 10 strikeouts in 11 games, but he has a few years to work on some things. This kid has a world of potential, and how far he goes will depend on how he develops. He’ll probably start out in extended Spring Training next season, and depending on what happens could see some time with Charleston or Staten Island depending on how the off season goes.
Honorable mention: Matt Snyder, Bubba Jones, Jake Anderson, Kevin Gonzalez (6-foot-3, 230-pound 17 year old who had a .329/.408/.422/.830 quad slash in the DSL this year).