Here they are in no particular order. The guys who were close to making the top 50 but just missed the list. There is a mix of guys with upside and guys with good performance but less upside. There are also guys who have performed well but still have a small sample size. Anyway here are the guys, feel free to comment on who you think should be on the list. There are unquestionably good arguments that certain guys should be included who were not.
1. Gilmael Troya – RHP, 6-foot-0, 178-pounds, 18 – I haven’t been able to watch him play yet, and I haven’t seen a scouting report on him. Here’s what I do know. He is one of the international signings from 2014, and in 2015 he has been dominant. The Yankees actually started him out in the DSL this year, but he was so good they moved him stateside after 12.0 innings, a 2.25 ERA, 11 K, and a .174 average against. Here in the GCL he has been even more dominant. In five starts he has 24 innings and 28 K and his WHIP is less than 1.0. His average against here is .195. His level of domination probably means he has great stuff, but until I know more information he will have to sit in the not top 50.
2. Ben Gamel – OF, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, RHB, 23 – Gamel is enjoying the best season of his career. At his height though there is not much projection left and even if he hits 10 homeruns a season that will never be enough to be a starting left or right fielder. He’s not fast enough for center. He does have a good hit tool and above average speed though. He seems like the type who will eventually catch on somewhere as a fourth outfielder. Only time will tell though and he may yet develop more power, as he’s only 23. This year he is hitting .287/.346/.436/.762 with five homeruns, 15 doubles, and eight stolen bases, and he’s doing it at the highest level of the minors. If he could produce a similar line in the majors I’m sure there’s a major league team out there who would trot him out there.
3. Ali Castillo – SS, 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, RHB, 26 – He’s one of the best fielding shortstops in the organization but he’s been light hitting his whole career. This year is no different, but he does have a great hit tool and 18 stolen bases, with a .290 average and a .332 OBP in Double-A. There’s a market for that type of player in the mlb as a backup shortstop as a defensive specialist with good bat control and above average speed. The problem is he is 26 and with every year that goes by where he is not in the majors, his skillset will become more and more overlooked. There’s also no guarantee his hit tool will translate to the majors.
4. Luis Cedeno – RHP, 5-foot-11, 154-pounds, 21 – There’s nothing flashy about his game, and he is a bit old for his level. On the other hand, he has performed well in Low-A and Staten Island this year. He is still improving though and he’s able to get his fastball in the low 90’s with good control. If he can get one or two of his secondary offerings to play up, or he has an uptick in velocity he has a good chance to become a legit prospect.
5. Austin Romine – C, 6-foot-0, 215-pounds, RHB, 26 – Another 26 year old who is having a lot of success at the highest minor league level this season. It has taken Romine a long time to develop, but he now appears to possess all of the necessary skills of a backup catcher. Unfortunately for him he has Brian McCann and JR Murphy ahead of him on the depth chart, and Gary Sanchez just arrived in Triple-A. He is a major league backup now, it’s just a matter of finding a place to go. He’s batting .267/.325/.405/.730 with six homeruns in 66 games.
6. Mark Payton – OF, 5-foot-7, 180-pounds, LHB, 23 – Payton has been solid every step of the way so far, but he is a low ceiling guy and that hurt his advancement with the Yankees. This year he’s hitting .272/.356/.379/.735 with four homers and nine SB. It’s only his second season as a pro and he’s already had some success up to Double-A. He is looking like a guy who will someday be a fourth outfielder in the majors, probably a fan favorite due to his diminutive size.
7. Ty Hensley – RHP, 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, 21 – The poor guy just has not been able to stay healthy. After abdominal muscle strains, hip surgeries, and now Tommy John, who knows what he will be able to do when he gets back. He has missed a ton of developmental time due to injury, and now he’s getting a bit old for a prospect at his level. He still has all of the talent in the world, and most can make a full recovery from elbow surgery. Hopefully he will come back with a vengeance and finally stay healthy, but at this point I am not optimistic. I’m rooting for you Ty.
8. Jaron Long – RHP, 6-foot-0, 190-pounds, 23 – Long has had a tough season so far and he was demoted to Double-A and is now coming out of the bullpen. This is not a good sign coming from a guy without much in the way of stuff. Still if he could find some of the magic that allowed him to ascend rapidly through the minors last season, he could carve out a role as a back end starter. That is looking less likely now though. He has a 4.47 ERA over 104.2 innings this season. A strong end to the season could put him back on the map.
9. Jordan Foley – RHP, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, 22 – Unlike Long, Foley is a guy with significant upside. He can hit the mid-90’s with his fastball and has strikeout stuff with good secondary offerings. He has the size to project as a starter long term if he can fine tune his secondary offerings. He could even be a middle of the rotation guy if things break right for him. This year he is having measured success. He has a 3.27 ERA with 65 K in 63.1 innings. He has walked 23 in that span. His last eight starts have been really good. Over his last eight starter he has a 2.86 ERA with 35 K in 34.2 IP. He could easily be in the top 50 now, but if he has a strong finish and can replicate this success at higher levels he will definitely make the list.
10. Isiah Gilliam – 1B/OF, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, SH, 19 – Gilliam is a guy with a sky high ceiling with lots of power. As a rookie in the GCL, he is batting .316/.391/.421/.812 with four doubles in 13 games. He has just six strikeouts, and is looking like a good contact hitter. If his power develops as expected he will be a nice boost to the system, and definitely a top 50 prospect.
11. Eric Ruth – RHP, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, 24 – Very similar to Long but he is having more success this season. So far he has thrown 108.2 innings and has a 2.98 ERA with 70 K. He has sub par stuff but plus control. He’s another one who could sneak into the back end of a rotation or end up as a long man in the bullpen.
12. Caleb Smith – LHP, 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, 24 – Smith is a power lefty with good secondary stuff who has run into some problems with control. He’s had some success this year, with a 3.91 ERA in 92.0 IP in Double-A, but has walked 45 this season already. If he can buckle down and improve his control he has mid rotation potential. He sits low 90’s with the fastball and can dial it up to 95-96 on occasion, with a good slider and strikeout stuff. He only has 65 on the season though.
13. Joey Maher – RHP, 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, 22 – Maher has pitched really well in Low-A this year. For a long time he has been a victim of the numbers game and nagging injuries at the wrong time, but he’s finally getting some innings under his belt this year. He has a 2.46 ERA in 80.1 IP and 61 K, with a .215 average against and just 17 walks. He has a heavy fastball which is a sinker that sits at just above 90 mph. He has a four seamer that he can hit 93-94 with, but he doesn’t use it much. His secondary offerings are coming along slowly but steadily. I expect a small uptick in velocity and stuff next season now that he has finally been able to get some innings under his belt. He has workhorse written all over him. The Yankees have done a nice job developing him from a 38th round high school pick to a guy who is on the brink of becoming a legit prospect.
14. Caleb Frare – LHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 22 – Frare has a similar story to Maher, except he is a lefty and now a Tommy John survivor. He missed all of 2013 and 2014 with injuries, but is now back and his stuff is as good as ever. He is able to get the fastball up over 92 mph and up to 94 at times. He also throws a change and a curve which he will have to develop if he wants to start long term. For now the Yankees are getting him innings in relief and he is excelling. In Low-A, he has a 2.23 ERA with 48 K to 15 BB in 44.1 IP this season.
15. Jhalan Jackson – OF, 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, RHB, 22 – Jackson is a college senior aged guy with big time power who the Yankees managed to get in the 7th round. He has big tools which have played up so far in Staten Island, but he will have to show he can do it at higher levels as he is an older guy. He has hit .258/.337/.495/.831 with four homers and 10 doubles in 25 games in Staten Island. Only time will tell if he can develop into a top 50 guy.
16. Donny Sands – 3B, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, RHB, 19 – Sands is a guy who was a workout warrior when he auditioned for the Yankees pre-draft this year. The Yankees got him in the 8th round. He has good pop in his bat and is a smooth fielder. Both characteristics have shown up so far in his career, as he has hit .313/.405/.343/.748 so far with just seven K in 19 GCL games. He has shown advanced patience and good contact. As a high school draftee, the Yankees will have to develop him into what they want him to be. One thing is for sure though, if he doesn’t succeed it won’t be for lack of effort. He could find himself in the top 50 by the end of the season if he continues this level of success.
17. Dietrich Enns – LHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 24 – Enns is finally back from Tommy John and has picked up right where he left off. So far he has 23.1 IP with 29 K in 23.1 innings and is now in High-A again. He’s got a low 90’s fastball which generates a lot of swings and misses, and good secondary offerings. He could be a fast mover going forward. A late (19th) round college guy in 2012, he is an underdog who had an uptick in stuff when he went pro. The Yankees are hoping they caught lightning in a bottle and he can eventually be a starter, but he will probably ultimately end up in the bullpen.
18. Dermis Garcia – 3B, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, RHB, 17 – The only reason he wasn’t on the midseason list is because he hadn’t yet played a game. Now that he has, he’s already a top 50 prospect, probably in the top 20. He’s 2/5 so far, and he has all the talent in the world. He’s athletic and he has the best power and bat control combo of any of the big international signings from last year. If he does what he should, and he develops well enough he could be one of the top prospects in all of baseball in the coming years. This is one you will want to watch unfold.
19. Adonis Rosa – RHP, 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 20 – Rosa is a guy who will sit low 90’s with the fastball and still has some room to fill out and has a really good change up already. He has been really successful so far in his career, and has a 2.81 ERA with 19 K in 32 innings for Pulaski. He has some projection and is a guy to watch out for going forward. In a couple of years you could be hearing his name as one of the top pitchers in the organization, but he has a long way to go before he gets there.
20. Johnny Barbato – RHP, 6-foot-2, 230-pounds, 23 – Barbato came over in the trade for Shawn Kelley. He has mid-90’s velocity and has a lot of movement on his fastball and a curveball with extreme break. This year he has had mixed success. He had a couple of bad games in Double-A which skewed his stats, but overall he has a respectable 3.66 ERA with 47 K in 46.2 IP this season. He’s one step away from the show with the strikeout stuff the Yankees like to see from their relievers. He’s yet another reliever that could be used by the major league team this year or next.
21. Austin Aune – OF, 6-foot-2, 190, LHB, 21 – Aune has one of the most puzzling stat lines of any player in the system. He is hitting .260/.302/.442/.744 with a colossal 118 K in just 78 games. The fact that he has been able to keep the average and slugging percentage so high with that strikeout rate is amazing. It’s mostly because when he makes contact, he crushes the ball. He has 19 doubles, nine triples, and five homeruns on the season. When he was drafted by the Yankees, he was lauded for his athleticism. It is now showing up in games. If he can cut down on the strikeouts who knows what he is capable of.
Came close: Cesar Vargas, Gio Gallegos, Miguel Sulbaran, Caleb Cotham, Billy Fleming, Evan Rutckyj, Colin Slaybaugh, Bubba Thompson, Rony Bautista, Matt Wotherspoon, Chance Adams, Junior Valera, Jeff Hendrix, Alex Robinett, Zack Zehner, Jonathan Padilla, Brian Reyes, Jerry Seitz, Domonic Jose, Trey Amburgey. Yancarlos Baez, Andy Diaz, Yonauris Rodriguez, Daris Vargas, Kevin Magallanes, Chris Gittens, Jordan Ovalles, Angel Aguilar, Brandon Wagner, Vicente Conde, Alexander Palma, Kolton Mahoney, and Frank Frias.