Here is a list of intriguing guys in the short season leagues who are not in the top 50, and did not make the “Not top 50” list. They are all players who have some kind of upside and would be a lot more interesting if they started to show that, or are guys who are not necessarily known for their tools but are performing at a high level.
1. Ryan Krill – 1B, 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, LHB, 22 – Krill was the Yankees’ 9th round selection in this year’s draft. He made some adjustments at Michigan State and put himself back on the map. He Hit 13 homeruns and hit .351/.439/.615. He’s got a good hit tool and shouldn’t strike out much as a pro. He struggled early on this season but has seen his average go up by 50 points over the last 10 games. He’s now batting .229/.280/.284 in 28 games. He’s 11 for his last 27 (.407). He’ll have to crush the ball to ever be a legit prospect at first base, and he’s a bit Kyle Roller-ish in that respect.
2. Jeff Hendrix – OF, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, LHB, 22 – He hasn’t hit particularly well so far, but he does seem to have some upside. The Yankees got him in the fourth round and he’s a guy with above average speed, an extremely athletic build, and solid skills in CF with an average arm. He has a slasher type swing which will require some seasoning and hopefully some tweaking by the Yankees. He’s only batting .225/.327/.240/.567, but he already has eight SB on the season. He only had four in his whole college season. He’s definitely an upside pick, and with some fine tuning he could develop into a 4th OF type.
3. Brandon Wagner – 2B/3B, 6-foot-0, 210-pounds, LHB, 19 – The Yankees had enough confidence in their 6th round draft pick to thrust him into Staten Island’s lineup as a 19 year old. He’s a New Jersey kid from Princeton. He’s an all-fields type of hitter with solid power and plate discipline. He hit .435/.571/.891 with 22 homeruns in JuCo this year. He’s struggling to adjust to wood bats and professional baseball so far, with a .218/.373/.287/.660 line. He already has 20 walks in 26 games. He’s the type who I expect to make an adjustment sometime soon and things will begin to click. He’s young, he’s got tools, and could develop into something special. He’s an exciting player, now let’s see what the Yankees can do to develop him.
4. Kolton Mahoney – RHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 23 – One of the oldest guys the Yankees took in a senior heavy draft, Mahoney actually has a lot of potential. The Yankees liked this kid because he performed really well in the Cape Cod league last year. He slipped in the draft because he did not perform well in his last year at Brigham Young. The reason he’s so old is because he did a Mormon mission while in college. He also threw a no-no this year. Aside from that he has a low to mid-90’s fastball and a tight slider, curveball and a relatively good changeup. He’s got some upside for a guy his age. So far he has dominated at Staten Island, with 23.2 IP, a 1.9 ERA and 22 K. Next year we’ll see what he’s really got now that he can focus on baseball.
5. James Reeves – LHP, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, 22 – Reeves is a prototypical Yankees draft pick. They got him in the 10th round, and he’s a big lefty who hits 88-92 mph as a starter and still has some projection in his frame. He has developed a good slider as well. The Yankees are letting him finish the year as a reliever, but don’t be surprised if he ends up as a starter next season. So far he has been decent in Staten Island, with a 4.26 ERA and 16 K in 10.2 innings. He has walked seven, so he’ll need to fine tune the control, but he’s looking like another fast mover in the Yankees’ system. As a reliever at his size I would expect a velocity increase.
6. Jose Mesa – RHP, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, 21 – Mesa is finally getting some action in Staten Island this season and he seems to be impressing. He threw a few innings in the GCL and was then promoted to Staten Island, where he has been mighty impressive. He’s thrown 8.2 innings and struck out 12, with a 1.04 ERA in five Staten Island appearances. He’s a big kid with a major league pedigree as his father is Jose Mesa. He definitely has the power to make it too. He has thrown his fastball in the 91-94 range in the past, although I don’t know where it is sitting now. He knows how to throw just about any pitch, including a curveball, change up, and slider. I’m not sure which he is favoring these days. Anyway, with this performance I am intrigued, and he may just bounce up in the rankings if he keeps it up. Plus he has the best twitter handle of any Yankee (JoeTable).
7. Kendall Coleman – OF, 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, LHB, 20 – This one may seem a bit strange, because the on field performance hasn’t been there yet. He has been showing at instructs and extended Spring Training though, that he has big time talent waiting to be uncovered. He’s got power and his contact is better than it has been showing. He did suffer a few injuries that have slowed him down, and rehabbing from those injuries may be one of the reasons he’s struggled. If he can stay healthy then keep an eye on him because once he gets rolling he may not stop. The one positive you can note from his statistics is that he has four homeruns already. Other than that, it’s hard to find a silver lining. His average has climbed about 33 points in the past 10 games.
8. Chris Gittens – 1B, 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, RHB – Gittens was a 12th round pick last season out of Grayson Junior College. He has power to all fields and a great hit tool. He has started to drive some balls out of the park this year, and is tearing up the GCL in 19 games. At 21 years old, I’d like to see him at a higher level, but he will surely get an opportunity if he keeps hitting like he has. He is hitting .371/.467/.613/1.080 with three homers, four doubles, and a triple on the year. He’s a first baseman so he’ll have to continue to hit like this to get noticed, but he seems to be well on his way.
9. Trey Amburgey – CF, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 20 – Amburgey was the 13th round pick in the draft for the Yankees this year out of St. Petersburg Community College. He has hit pretty well and shown some speed so far, hitting .309/.393/.372/.765 with nine SB. He is a plus runner and he’s got good bat speed and he’s athletic. You may see him develop power over time, but he’s mostly a speed guy right now.
10. Danienger Perez – SS, 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, RHB, 18 – He’s a bit Thairo Estrada like in that he’s a smaller guy who the Yankees sent over to the states at a young age and he plays shortstop. He doesn’t have the type of offensive numbers that Estrada was able to put up, but he has fared well for an 18 year old. He’s hit .248/.337/.396/.733 so far, with 14 doubles, four triples, and 40 K in 40 games between the DSL and the GCL. Coming from Venezuela and adjusting to life in the USA is not easy, so the learning period is expected.
11. Terrance Robertson – OF, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, LHB, 18 – A relatively thin guy, Robertson is a quick CF prospect the Yankees drafted out of high school in the 12th round this year. He has the potential to hit for some power in the future if he can add some bulk, and he has the speed to steal some bases. Overall he’s a project who the Yankees development team will work on. He has struggled mightily so far but it’s only 15 games and this season means virtually nothing for these high school guys.
12. Anderson Severino – LHP, 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, 20 – It can’t hurt to have another Severino in the system right? At just 5-foot-10 you don’t expect much in the way of velocity from Severino, but then he pumps 92-96 and your eyes open. He has a nasty curveball as well. His main problem is control and if he ever wants to so much as pitch in the upper minors that’s going to have to improve. So far this year he has 30 innings with a 0.90 ERA and 19 K. His batting average against is .134! The main problem, however, is that he also has 20 walks. If he can learn to control his nasty stuff he could be a front half of the rotation starter. With his stuff, he will get many opportunities.
13. Will Carter – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 22 – He’s only pitched in a couple of games and he’s already shown that he has a lot of difficulty with control, but his stuff is nasty. The scouting report shows a guy who hits 97 mph regularly and has a nasty curve but major control problems. He has a 2.25 ERA in eight innings so far, but he has a considerable ceiling and will be fun to watch especially if the Yankees can help him with his control problems.
14. Yonauris Rodriguez – SS, 6-foot-1, 155-pounds, RHB, 18 – It’s easy to forget that Rodriguez is only 18 and is only 22 games deep into his stateside debut. His GCL stats will make you wince, but his DSL stats will do the opposite. He’s a tall kid who’s athletic and a shoe-in to stick at shortstop. He hits for good average and many think he will develop average power if he fills out. He’s got all the tools to become a big time prospect, he just has to make a few adjustments. He’s a guy who needs another year or so before we will start to see what his true talent is.
15. Yancarlos Baez – SS, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, SH, 19 – Baez is another one who needs to make an adjustment in the GCL, but he is also still in the process of learning how to switch hit. If something clicks for him, he has as much potential as any of the high ceiling shortstop prospects in the Yankees’ system. He’s a big kid for a shortstop, so he does have that power potential. The Yankees will have to help him along with his development though. He’s another one whose true talent won’t become apparent for another year or so since he has a ton of raw talent.
16. Patrick O’Brien – RHP, 6-foot-5, 230-pounds, 21 – He’s 6-foot-5 and has hit upper 90’s on the radar gun. All of this while spending the majority of his time in college as a catcher. Who knows what will happen when he focuses on pitching full time. He’s one of those picks who you can really dream on, and could end up being one of the best value picks in the draft. In terms of 21 year olds, he probably has more upside than any other pitcher his age in the draft taken after the 15th round. He’s one of those guys who has a ton of upside despite his age and we may not see what he can really become until 2-3 years down the line when he starts to develop his secondary stuff. A great lottery ticket this late in the draft.
17. Jerry Seitz – C, 5-foot-10, 180-pounds, RHB, 20 – It’s hard to obtain information on every Yankees’ prospect, and Jerry Seitz is a prime example. He’s a kid out of Venezuela who played well in the DSL and has done more of the same in his GCL debut. At 20 he’s a bit old to be making his stateside debut, but all he’s done in his career so far is perform. In 13 GCL games he’s hitting .310/.429/.345/.773. He’s shown little to no power in the GCL so far, but it’s only 13 games. I don’t know much about him, but what I do know is that if he keeps performing, we will soon learn much more about him. I’ll be on the lookout for a more detailed scouting report.
18. Pedro Urena – OF, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, RHB, 20 – He’s a big kid who’s still coming into his own in terms of his body, but the power has been real since the beginning. He crushed the ball in the DSL last season with seven homeruns and a .298/.369/.493/.862 line. Now that he’s in the GCL, he’s holding his own so far with a .250/.350/.398/.747 line. He is hitting for decent power and walking a ton (14 in 28 games). His average is too low but he’s making a lot of contact so far. If he can hone his power and keep the average in the respectable range then we could be talking about him as a legit prospect in a couple of years.
19. Brandon Stenhouse – RHP, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, 18 – He’s only 18 and the Yankees signed him out of Australia last year. He’s now in the GCL and he is already showing some strikeout stuff. He still has a long way to go with his control, but his .147 average against shows some serious promise. He was hitting 93 mph with his fastball consistently when the Yankees signed him as a 17-year-old, but there isn’t much out there on what his current stuff looks like. Any time you have a kid this young throwing that hard though, he’s someone to pay attention to. He’s another one who has the raw tools, and in a couple of years we’ll know just what the Yankees have in him.
20. Andy Diaz – OF, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, LHB, 19 – Diaz hasn’t quite adjusted to USA baseball yet, but he has a decent pedigree from the DSL. Last year he hit five homeruns and walked 40 times in 61 games in the DSL. He is similar to Ramon Flores in many ways, although he’s not as advanced at the same age. He seems to have some real power potential as well. He’s batting .224/.330/.342 in the GCL so far in 26 games. I’d like to see how he fares next season after he’s made the full adjustment. In the meantime, he’ll be on my follow list.
Another to keep an eye on include Griffin Garabito, who is a 17 year old SS out of the Dominican Republic who is a solid fielder and can barrel the baseball well and is hitting .284/.354/.307/.660 so far in the GCL. Anyelo Gomez is an older guy but he has mid 90’s velocity and a good curveball. He hasn’t been healthy this year but he could still be a fast mover if he puts it all together. Junior Valera has been great, with a .326/.368/.449 line and five SB. Zack Zehner and Alex Robinett could surprise a couple of years down the line when they develop more polish. Kane Sweeney is way too old for Pulaski but he has completely dominated the rookie league. Frank Frias has some speed and power potential and has hit .273/.422/.394/.816 in Pulaski. Jonathan Padilla and Eduardo Rivera are older long shot international guys who have taken a long time to develop but have good stuff. Garett Mundell has completely dominated for Pulaski and needs some innings against better competition. Victor Rey has raked in the GCL with a .315/.441/.481/.923 line and does have some upside. Dominic Jose and Cesar Diaz are two others who are older but have performed well in the GCL. Griffin Garabito is a super sleeper who could develop into a high caliber shortstop if he gets the innings (major middle infield innings crunch at the lower levels). Alexander Vargas has the stuff and size to be a big timer and is just 18. Kevin Magallanes and Jordan Ovalles are also high ceiling, low floor guys to keep an eye on.