2016 Post-Draft Top 50 prospects 14


Jorge Mateo
The post-draft top 50 prospects is always the hardest to make. We haven’t seen enough of the players from the draft yet to make a true, educated ranking. Not only that, but the GCL and Staten Island seasons have just begun, and players from the DSL are now here. We have seen very little of those players either, so there’s a ton of speculation involved in this ranking. Inevitably, by the end of the season these rankings will change drastically.

With all of that said, ranking the players now that we have a whole new crop of guys coming in is a fun exercise. This season there hasn’t been much movement at the top so far, but there are several players who have made significant jumps on the countdown. There are many new faces as well.

Please note that those who played in the major leagues last year in anything other than a September call-up are no longer qualified for the list.

 

  1. Jorge Mateo – SS, 6-foot-0, 188-pounds, RHB, 21 – No surprise here. Mateo is the most athletic player on the farm, plays a premium position, and plays above average defense at that position. He can swing the bat as well as any shortstop in the minors, and he runs better than any of them. Coming off a slump, his numbers don’t look great right now, but I have no doubt they will be back up by the end of the season. He has a .263/.321/.391/.713 line with five homeruns and 26 stolen bases already. I’d be shocked if his numbers finished the season this low. We’re talking about a potential future all-star here, and at just 21 years old in High-A, he has his whole career ahead of him. (Previous rank: 1)

 

  1. Gary Sanchez – C, 6-foot-3, 235-pounds, RHB, 23 – Here’s a guy who has increased his stock a ton in the past year. He is one of if not the best offensive catcher in the minors, and he has now shown that he can be an above average defensive catcher as well. He too has all-star potential. This season he is hitting .274/.313/.470/.784 with eight homeruns, 17 doubles, and a triple. Those numbers are very impressive and the eight homeruns came in just 50 games. He has big power and has been making great contact, and for a guy who can more than hold his own behind the dish that could be a deadly combo. (Previous rank: 2)

 

  1. Aaron Judge – OF, 6-foot-7, 270-pounds, RHB, 24 – Judge was having a ho hum year until about 17 games ago, when he became addicted to homeruns. He has gone on a major homerun bender during that time, hitting a ridiculous nine homeruns. He also has 14 walks during that time, as pitchers have been trying to avoid him. On the season he has a .270/.361/.484/.844 line with 16 homeruns, 15 doubles and a triple. He made a change in his swing recently though, pulling his hands closer to his chest instead of up by his head. It has made a huge difference. Since he made the change he has been on fire. If he keeps this up the Yankees will not be able to keep him out of the majors. He looks poised to take Beltran’s place next year in right field. (Previous rank: 3)

 

  1. Blake Rutherford – OF, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, LHB, 19 – With five tools at his disposal, Rutherford already has a lot to work with as he turns pro. He has power potential, an average arm that should become above average, 55 speed, has the ability to hit for average, and is an above average fielder in the outfield. He was forecasted as a top 10 pick, but something caused him to drop. Many feel it was the Yankees dangling $3 million at him while other teams were offering slot or less. We may never know, but now that the Yankees have him he is likely to be a huge asset for the farm. (Previously unranked)

 

  1. Domingo Acevedo – RHP, 6-foot-7, 190-pounds, 22 years old – Sure, he’s still working on his secondary offerings, but he has something you can’t teach; power and velocity. He’s packing mid to upper 90’s heat that he holds late into starts. He has a slider that appears to be getting him strikeouts. If he can develop a changeup, or a third secondary offering, he will be a potential number one or two starter. He’s already made it to High-A Tampa, and is moving fast. This year he has a 2.20 ERA, 74 K and just 13 BB in 65.1 innings. (Previous rank: 5)

 

  1. James Kaprielian – RHP, 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, 22 – Things were going pretty well for Kaprielian this year, but then, as is a rite of passage for Yankees first round pitchers, the injury bug hit. He first had elbow inflammation and now it has come out that he has a flexor tendon strain in his pitching arm. This is often seen as a precursor to a UCL injury and Tommy John Surgery. Only time will tell with Kaprielian. Even if he does go under the knife, he’s still one of the top pitchers in the system and will most likely return to form. When he’s healthy, he’s another potential top of the rotation starter. (Previous rank: 4)

 

  1. Ian Clarkin – LHP, 6-foot-2, 186-pounds, 21 – After missing an entire season last year, he has started 2016 with a bang. His stuff is back completely, with his 90-94 mph fastball now again full force. He still has a nasty curveball too, and is developing a changeup. So far, he has thrown 91.1 innings of 3.05 ERA ball, while striking out 69 and walking 27. He has more than held his own in High-A, and will likely get some time in Double-A towards the end of the season. That 2013 draft is starting to look really good. (Previous rank: 7)

 

  1. Chance Adams – RHP, 6-foot-0, 215-pounds, 21 – Adams has done nothing but ascend in the rankings since he was drafted last year in the fifth round. Even the Yankees did not realize how good of a player they were getting. Now he’s in Double-A, and to this date has dominated. Overall between High-A and Double-A this year, he has 92 K and 24 BB in 79.2 innings pitched, while allowing just a .189 average against and a 2.82 ERA. His 95-97 mph fastball is holding late into games, and his secondary offerings are stymying opponents. He is part of a really good crop of young pitchers at the upper levels now. (Previous rank: 10)

 

  1. Miguel Andujar – 3B, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, RHB, 21 – Andujar is really coming into his own this year. He was smoking the ball in High-A, and has picked up right where he left off in Double-A. On the season he’s hitting .298/.351/.462/.813 with 10 homeruns, 15 doubles, and two triples. The 10 homeruns are already a career high. We always knew he had this in him, but he just had not been able to put together a whole season of success until now. If he keeps this up, he could be a top 5 prospect by season’s end, and will end up on more than a few top 100 prospect lists. (Previous rank: 17)

 

  1. Luis Torrens – C, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, RHB, 20 – Torrens has got to start staying healthy. He got injured last season right before the season started, and missed all of 2015. Then he was all geared up to start the season in Charleston this year, and yet again he was injured. Now that he’s healthy again the Yankees stuck him in Staten Island. So far he is responding well, hitting .353/.378/.412/.790 in six games. The Yankees think he might be the best catcher in the system long term, so they will be patient with him. He has to remain healthy though, or he could end up in the same boat as Slade Heathcott. (Previous rank: 11)

 

  1. Dustin Fowler – OF, 6-foot-0, 185-pounds, LHB, 21 – The guy is 21 years old in Double-A, and he’s more than holding his own. He has a .275/.302/.403/.705 line with three homeruns, 18 doubles, and seven triples in 74 games. At his age he still has more development coming, and his power numbers should improve with time. He needs to work on his patience, with only 12 walks this season. He has also stolen 15 bases to eight caught stealing. Fowler has the looks of a major league outfielder, the only question is whether he will end up as a regular or a fourth/fifth outfielder type. (Previous rank: 9)

 

  1. Abiatal Avelino – SS, 5-foot-11, 186-pounds, RHB, 21 – Avelino has crept up this list with his torrid play. He now appears willing and able to play second, shortstop, or third base. His bat has really come around this year, especially for a shortstop. He has hit .273/.328/.396/.724, all while stealing 19 bases in 76 games in High-A. What’s more, after a slow start to the season (2/28), he has been even better. Since then, he has batted .300/.305/.444/.749. His last 10 games are even more impressive, where he has hit .400 with three homeruns. He’ll look to finish strong, and with his speed and athleticism he could garner a lot of attention as a potential utility man for the Yankees in the near future. (Previous Rank: 15)

 

  1. Tyler Wade – SS, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, LHB, 21 – It’s almost a sin to have Wade after Avelino on this countdown, considering he is the same age but is playing at Double-A and performing almost as well. All this kid has done since being drafted is perform. You can bet he is on major league teams’ radars. He is an excellent defensive shortstop and has hit .277/.378/.385/.763 with four homers, 10 doubles, and five triples in 75 games this season. He also has 15 steals. The only thing missing from his game is power, which according to his homeruns and slugging percentage is on an upward trend over the past three years. There’s no guarantee that power will ever come, but even if it doesn’t Wade will have a long career as a utility infielder. If he’s able to figure out how to start putting balls in the stands more often, or at least get more extra base hits, he could become a top prospect. He’s already a guy worth keeping an eye on who will almost definitely play in the majors someday though. (Previous rank: 14)

 

  1. Jake Cave – CF, 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, LHB, 23 – It’s hard to believe Cave is 23 and playing in Triple-A. It seems like yesterday he was a pup in the GCL. He was taken in the rule 5 draft and returned to the Yankees, and they’re happy to have him back. This year he’s hit .287/.342/.481/.824 with six homers, 18 doubles, eight triples, and 37 RBI in 69 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He appears to be major league ready, and will certainly be in competition for some of the vacancies that are going to develop soon in the outfield. He’s not a guy I’d bet against. He’s got above average tools across the board, with burgeoning power. If the power comes through he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. (previously unranked because he was not a Yankee at the time of the previous rankings).

 

  1. Wilkerman Garcia – SS, 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, SH, 18 – He was really difficult to push down on the countdown, but I had to because of his injury earlier in the year which prevented him from playing in Charleston. That, and his first six games have been ugly in Pulaski. Those six games mean almost nothing though and I fully expect him to be one of the best players in this league. He has the tools to be the best shortstop in this system, and that includes Mateo, Avelino, and Wade. He’s got speed, pop, the hit tool, a cannon arm, and smooth defensive skills. Now all he needs is time and experience, and to put all of those tools together. It may not be long before he is considered a super prospect, but he’s going to have to prove it first. (Previous rank: 8)

 

  1. Jordan Montgomery – LHP, SP, 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, 23 years old – What’s not to like about a 6-foot-6 lefty who can approach the mid-90’s with his fastball and has the secondary pitches to be a starter? That’s what Montgomery brings to the table, and he has been able to ascend all the way to Double-A in just two full seasons. This year he has 80.1 innings under his belt and has struck out 73 in that time, while sporting a 2.69 ERA and a .237 average against. Better yet, he has only 28 walks. At this stage, he is looking like a strong bet to be a solid 4th or 5th starter with the potential to get even better. (Previous rank: 18)

 

  1. Drew Finley – RHP, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, 19 – Taken in the third round last year, Finley was known as a polished high school pitcher. Last year he had a solid debut in Pulaski, and the Yankees liked him so much the promoted him to Staten Island this year. He’s fared pretty well so far, with 17.2 innings, 13 K, a 2.04 ERA and a .133 average against. After this year we could see him start to move pretty fast. He’s got a low-90’s fastball with plenty of room to have an uptick, and an above average curveball which shows plus potential. He’s still working on his changeup, but the sky’s the limit for this kid, as is the case with most high school kids who get drafted. Can’t wait to see what he becomes. (Previous rank: 19)

 

  1. Freicer Perez – RHP, 6-foot-8, 190-pounds, 20 – Want a player you can dream on? Freicer Perez is only a couple of months older than Finley, and is almost as polished. He is also a behemoth and hits mid-90’s with his fastball and has some good secondary pitches to go with it. He came straight from the DSL last year and skipped two levels to go straight to Staten Island, and the Yankees did that for a reason. He has the potential to move fast. This is a guy who could start showing up on top prospect lists very soon. He already has 16 K in 15.2 innings with a .207 average against and a 2.30 ERA. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Vicente Campos – RHP, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, 23 – It seems like forever ago when the Yankees got Campos from Seattle in the Montero trade. With Michael Pineda’s success, the trade already looks like a win for the Yankees. Campos could make that even more apparent if he is able to make it to the majors. His return from Tommy John Surgery last year didn’t go as well as we all could have hoped, but this year he has started off on the right foot. He started off in Tampa and has been promoted to Double-A, where he has had a ton of success. Overall he has a 3.51 ERA with 92 K in 97.1 IP, and just 32 BB. He has to be kept on the 40-man roster so he’s running out of time, but he is now very close to the majors and looks like he may be ready for the challenge soon. (previous rank: 30)

 

  1. Chad Green – RHP, 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, 25 – Hard to believe he was ranked 42nd on this countdown prior to the season, and now he’s in the majors and showing some major promise. He has a mid-90’s fastball and his secondary offerings have shown great improvement. Several of the Yankees players who have been down in Triple-A have said he has the best stuff of any pitcher down there. This trade is starting to look like another steal for the Yankees, especially considering who they already have in their bullpen. Green has 82 K in 81.2 minor league innings, and a 1.54 ERA. In the majors, he got touched up in his first start, which never means much. He threw six strong innings in his second start though, and looks to be a guy the Yankees can use in the rotation going forward. (Previous rank: 42).

 

  1. Brady Lail – RHP, 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, 22 – I probably overrated him at the beginning of the season following a career year, but he has come back down to Earth this season while also suffering some injuries. He last pitched June 14th. When he has been healthy this season, he has not been as effective as last year. He has a 4.00 ERA, and just 43 K in 72.0 innings. Opposing batters are squaring him up to well, sporting a .273 average against him. He still has plenty of time to turn it around, just 22-years-old in Triple-A and blessed with solid stuff. (Previous rank: 6)

 

  1. Nick Solak – 2B, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, RHB, 21 – Yankees got Solak in the second round, and he reminds me a lot of Rob Refsnyder. He’s like Refsnyder in that he is a hit first second baseman. He has the same hit tool as Refsnyder with more power. On top of that, he is a better second baseman. All of these things give Solak a good chance to make it to a major leagues. It seemed like a bit of an overdraft when the Yankees got him in the second round, but that’s part of what allowed them to sign Rutherford. Don’t be surprised to see him take a similar path as Refsnyder to the majors. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Chris Gittens – 1B, 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, RHB, 22 – I predicted Gittens would break out this year, and so far that has been correct. He has been a beast in Single-A Charleston, where he has hit 13 homeruns, 17 doubles, and has 41 walks in 70 games. That brings his line to .259/.370/.484/.854. He does strike out too much, with 84 already on the season. That strikeout rate is acceptable though when you are on pace for 30 homeruns on a 160 game schedule. He shows good patience and has the size to develop even more power. The only thing besides his strikeouts that is holding him back is his age. He is already 22. If he can move fast though he could potentially help the major league team in short order, and everyone loves a power hitter. (previous rank: 31)

 

  1. Dietrich Enns – LHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 24 – Enns is a guy who has performed well ever since being drafted. This year he appears to be truly breaking out though. Between Double-A and Triple-A, he has completely mowed down the opposition. He has a 1.73 ERA and 89 K in 88.2 innings, with just 34 walks and a .221 average against. He’s now just one step away from the majors in Triple-A. The Yankees obviously still believe in him or they wouldn’t have made him a starter again this season at 25. Stay tuned because it will be interesting to see what happens with Enns. (Previous rank: 45)

 

  1. Thairo Estrada – SS/2B, 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, RHB, 20 – Were it not for a recent slump, Estrada is having yet another fine season. He’s in High-A already at just 20 years old, and he’s holding his own at this level. On the season he is batting .260/.313/.375/.688 with seven homeruns and 15 SB over two levels (Low-A and High-A) in 68 games. It’s only a matter of time before he makes some adjustments in High-A and turns things around. It’s a small sample size so he’s probably just ran into some bad luck lately. This system is stacked with shortstops and Estrada is one who might surprise a lot of people. He’s another guy who can play multiple infield positions and could break in at any one of them or as a utility guy. He may surprise a lot of people and end up the best shortstop of the entire group. He’s still young enough that he may develop even more skills over time. He just keeps getting better. (Previous rank: 29)

 

  1. Austin DeCarr – RHP, 6-foot-3, 218-pounds, 21 – At 21 DeCarr isn’t a baby anymore, but development wise he’s still really young. He missed 2015 with Tommy John Surgery, and is just getting back into action now. The early report on his work so far in Staten Island is that he appears sloppy, but that should be expected of a kid who just missed a year and had limited professional experience prior to that. Before long he should be back to the guy the Yankees drafted, a big kid with the ability to throw hard and miss bats with his curveball. He’s got the tools, just needs to put them to work. (Previous rank: 22).

 

  1. Estevan Florial – OF, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 18 – Florial was one of the most under the radar signings from the 2014 group, but he may actually turn out to be the best of the crop. Last year in the DSL, he showed off his five tools. He hit .313/.394/.527/.921 with seven homeruns, 11 doubles, eight triples, and 15 SB. So far this year he has had a lot of success in a limited sample size. In 10 games in the Appalachian league, he has a .292/.358/.375/.733 line with a homerun, a double, and three stolen bases. If you’re looking for a breakout player other than Wilkerman Garcia and Freicer Perez, this is the main guy to look out for. We’re talking about a guy with all five tools. I’d be shocked if he’s not with Charleston to start next season. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Jonathan Holder – RHP, 6-foot-2, 235-pounds, 23 – The only reason Holder drops in the countdown is because he got moved back to relief. In other words, his ceiling dropped a bit. Nothing changed about his performance or his stuff. He’s a guy who can hit mid-90’s in short spurts and has the secondary stuff to strike out a lot of batters. This year has been no different. In 40.1 mostly Double-A innings, he has a 2.01 ERA and 58 K with just six walks. He goes after batters like a reliever should, and they don’t make solid contact against him. His average against is a paltry .191. He clearly has a major league future, it’s just a matter of when and how long. (Previous rank: 13)

 

  1. Trey Amburgey – CF, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 21 – Amburgey drops only because he missed so much time this year, and we still don’t know the scope or seriousness of his injury. He started his career last year with a bang, and really has not stopped except for his injury. In his first 16 games in Charleston, he was raking. He had a .281/.347/.500/.847 line with a homerun, seven doubles and a triple, while stealing seven bases. This was all in 16 games! The Yankees just promoted him to Tampa, and I’m not sure if this is a temporary or permanent move. Either way, he is perfectly capable of finishing the season strong and still having the breakout season we were all hoping for now that he is finally healthy again. He, like Florial, has five tools. If he puts his two month injury woes behind him, he’ll be back in the top 20 by year’s end. (Previous rank: 16).

 

  1. Dermis Garcia – 3B, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, RHB, 18 – The Yankees made the choice to put Garcia in Pulaski this year, which bodes well for him. So far he has been fun to watch. He has dropped four bombs in just eight games, and has walked five times. He is still striking out too much, with 13 on the young season. With that kind of power the strikeouts are forgivable though. His overall line is .200/.306/.600/.906 so far, and he has the kind of talent that will make him a top prospect in no time if he keeps it up. He has top notch power and good athleticism to go along with it. If he can stick at third he has the potential to become a superstar. (Previous rank: 21)

 

  1. Ricardo Ferreira – OF, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, switch hitter, 21 – It took Ferreira a long time to make it stateside, mostly because he was trying to learn how to play shortstop. Now that he has a new position though, he should move much faster. He is already a plus defender in the outfield. He has 80 speed and a plus hit tool. He’s hitting .242/.360/.323/.683 in his first 15 games stateside, which is pretty impressive considering he skipped two levels. He already has 11 SB in 16 games. He has the speed and athleticism to play center field long term so power is not the biggest concern. He’s got starting centerfield potential if everything works out perfectly. His speed will definitely play at the next level as long as his bat does. (Previously unranked)

 

  1. Tyler Webb – LHP, RP, 6-foot-6, 225-pounds, 25 – I don’t know when he’s gonna get his shot, but in any other organization I would imagine he would have gotten two or three chances by now. He has his 90-94 mph fastball and slider to go to with it. He could probably pitch in the majors now, but there’s no place for him. I’ll be rooting for him when he finally gets his chance, no matter what team it’s for. (previous rank: 31)

 

  1. Ben Gamel – OF, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, LHB, 24 – Gamel’s power numbers have taken a bit of a hit this year and it hurts his value as a left or right fielder. He does have 12 stolen bases this year, and continues to hit for a solid average and take walks at a good clip. He did get a brief opportunity in the majors this year, but it wasn’t enough for a good sample size. His future appears to be in the mold of a good fourth outfielder who can play all three positions. There’s no shame in that though and that future has great value for a lot of teams. He’s almost a sure thing to hit that profile too. (Previous rank: 26)

 

  1. Conor Mullee – RHP, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, 28 – There are few players in the major leagues who had a longer, more difficult journey to the majors than Conor Mullee. Two Tommy John Surgeries, several other injuries, and six years in the minors later, and here we are. He has finally debuted in the majors and has fared pretty well in three innings. He has four strikeouts and a 3.0 ERA. This is one of the best stories in 2016, and he really deserves his own article for his travels. His fastball has been as high as the mid-90’s and he has a slider in 85 mph range. The slider is his big strikeout pitch, but the unique thing about him is that he has two other pitches he can go two, a changeup and a curveball. That has to be tough for opposing batters. Hopefully this great story has a happy ending. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Josh Rogers – LHP, 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, 21 – He’s pitched well in his first full minor league season. The Yankees got him as a bit of a surprise, mostly because Kyle Funkhouser failed to sign and Rogers saw the writing on the wall that he would not get to be the ace of the staff last year. That worked out great for the Yankees. Now they have Rogers, who is a polished lefty with a high-80’s to low-90’s fastball, a slider, and a changeup. He has the future of a back end starter. If there’s an uptick, which is not out of the question, his ceiling could rise. This year he has 87.0 IP, 67 K, a 2.68 ERA, and just 13 BB this season over two levels (Low-A and High-A). (Previous rank: 34)

 

  1. Brody Koerner – RHP, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, 22 – Koerner hasn’t been healthy enough to make a major impact this year, but he’s been good when he has been healthy. He’s thrown 34 innings, and has a 1.85 ERA and 29 K over two levels (Low-A and High-A). He hasn’t pitched since May, and the timetable for his return is unknown. When he’s healthy, he has a mid-90’s sinker and several above average secondary offerings. He’s still a sleeper, especially if he returns and gets some more innings under his belt. (Previous rank: 35)

 

  1. Leonardo Molina – OF, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, RHB, 18 – It’s easy to forget that Molina is still 18 years old. Sure, he struggled quite a bit at Low-A at the beginning of the season, but now that he’s at a more appropriate level, he seems to be excelling. In Pulaski, he has a .289/.400/.553/.953 line with two homeruns and four doubles in 10 games. I expect him to finish strong and at 18 years old in Pulaski he has plenty of time to develop his skills and hone his craft. He is an above average outfielder with long term plus power potential. (Previous rank: 37)

 

  1. Donny Sands – 3B, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, RHB, 20 – Sands has been out since June 27th with an unknown injury, but he has been nothing but good since signing with the Yankees in the 8th round last season. He has a great hit tool and a ton of potential, and can play third well. He’s a big kid with some decent long term power potential. The Yankees hope he develops into another stud infielder. (Previous rank: 38).

 

  1. Isaiah Gilliam – OF/1B, 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, SH, 19 – Gilliam is another kid who has done nothing but hit since being signed by the Yankees. He hit .296 last year in rookie ball, and has followed that up in the Appalachian league (Pulaski) by hitting .295/.340/.432/.772 with a homerun in the first 10 games. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-3 and has plus long term power potential. He’s an average fielder in the outfield and could end up a first baseman, but his bat may play up in the outfield. (Previous rank: 39)

 

  1. Nestor Cortes – LHP, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, 21 – It’s looking like the Yankees got a major bargain in the 36th round with Nestor Cortes. He’s small, and he’s not gonna blow anyone away with his fastball (89-91 mph), but he also has a changeup, slider, and curveball which he can get strikeouts with. He uses them effectively and locates them effortlessly. His ceiling is still a back end starter unless he picks up a few ticks on his fastball, but his finesse makes it highly likely he’ll reach that ceiling. So far this year he has showed that his formular works. He has thrown 53.2 innings, struck out 62, has a .139 average against, and a 1.01 ERA. He can’t perform much better than that. (Previous rank: 44)

 

  1. Giovanny Gallegos – RHP, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, 24 – Gallegos started the season in Double-A and has since been promoted to Triple-A. He has been absolutely dominant at both levels. On the season he has 45 innings pitched, 62 K, and just 11 BB. He has a .199 average against. He has around a 94 mph fastball and tops out at 96. He also has a plus curveball and a changeup in his arsenal. Given his performance and location in Triple-A, he is likely to be in the majors either later this year or early in 2017. When he does come, look for him to make an immediate impact. (Previous rank: 49)

 

  1. Jeff Degano – LHP, 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, 23 – Something is adrift with Jeff Degano. There’s a couple of red flags her. The first red flag is that he didn’t start in Charleston. Then, an even bigger red flag was when he was placed in Pulaski to start the season. Worse yet, his two first starts have been miserable. He has 13 walks in three innings, and an 18.9 ERA. Given that he was already supposed to be a pretty advanced pitcher, and is already 23, it’s unsettling that this is happening. It’ll be a long road ahead for him, especially after this year’s missteps. He does still have great velocity for a lefty, up in the mid 90’s. If he can settle down and cut way down on the walks, he could be a force. At this point that’s a big if. (Previous rank: 12)

 

  1. Tyler Austin – OF, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, RHB, 24 – Austin is in the midst of a major resurgence. Something changed about 1/3 of the way into this season, and Austin took off. He now has a .273/.371/.482/.853 line with 11 homeruns and 23 doubles on the season. He is still 24 so all is not lost in terms of his prospect status. He plays a solid outfield and has some power to his swing. If he can continue his turnaround he could be a valuable major league outfielder. If he did it would be another great story, after going through some tough years. He is also a testicular cancer survivor, so that adds to the nice story as well. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Kyle Higashioka – C, 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, RHB, 26 – In all of his nine years in the system, Higashioka has never made one of my top 50 lists. Something changed with him this year though, and now he is hitting for power and average, and is not striking out. He has always been a great catcher defensively, but now he is putting himself in the conversation for major league backup. Between Double-A and Triple-A this season, he has a .322/.375/.582/.957 line, with 12 homeruns and 18 doubles in 57 games. He has never hit double digit homeruns in his career. It seems like something may have clicked with him. Don’t be surprised if the Yankees trade Romine and make Higashioka the new backup. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Nelson Gomez – 3B, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, RHB, 18 – Gomez is another member of the 2014 international free agent signing class. He hit 11 homeruns as a 17-year-old in the DSL last year, and has brought his act stateside in 2016. He’s off to a slow start in the GCL, but it’s only nine games. At the very least, I expect his power numbers to start showing up. The biggest question mark with him right now is whether he can stay at third base. He did a lot of work in the offseason to get in the appropriate shape for a third baseman, and it shows. If he can keep that work ethic up he should have no problem staying at the position. There is a lot of swing and miss to his stroke, but there’s also a lot of power to it. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Diego Castillo – SS, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, 18 – Also from the 2014 international free agent signing class, also off to a slow start, also had a great year in the DSL last year. Castillo hit .331/.373/.444/.817 last year. He plays an excellent short stop with all the tools necessary to stick at the position. This year he’s hitting .235/.257/.265/.522, but we’re only nine games in. He has an excellent hit tool and should develop more power as time goes on. I expect he will finish the season strong. (Previously unranked)

 

  1. Miguel Flames – IF/C, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 18 – When the Yankees signed him, it appeared they were going to try him out at catcher. That experiment seems to have failed, as he now appears to be a permanent first baseman. This is actually okay, because he has the bat to stick there, but now he will have to hit his way through the minors. In nine rookie league games, he’s hitting .257/.278/.314/.592 this season. I’m keeping a close eye on him though because he’s the type who could start slugging soon. (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Daniel Camarena – LHP, 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, 23 – He missed the entire 2015 season after having bone chips removed from his pitching elbow, but in 2016 he has picked up right where he left. Off. He’s in the same mold as Nestor Cortes and Josh Rogers as soft throwing lefties who have pinpoint control and solid secondary pitches that keeps them in the prospect conversation. He sits high-80’s to low-90’s with the fastball. He is having a career year in 2016. So far he’s thrown 78.1 innings, and has a 2.53 ERA with 54 K and a .221 average against. He has a 54:13 K:BB ratio. Most of his innings have come in Double-A. He’s yet another arm in the upper minors that’s rapidly approaching major league readiness. (He’s one of about seven guys who show promise for the rotation). (Previously unranked).

 

  1. Adonis Rosa – RHP, 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 21 – Rosa has been a polished pitcher from day one. He was an international signing in 2013, and has moved up at least one level every year. Last year he pitched well in Pulaski in his first taste of playing under the lights. He threw 55 innings of 3.93 ERA ball, and had 42 K: 9 BB. This year he has continued that success in Staten Island, where he has 18 innings pitched, a 2.00 ERA, and 18 K: 3 BB so far. This is the kind of kid who I think will find a way to succeed, no matter where the Yankees put him. He’s got a low-90’s fastball and a nasty changeup, and undoubtedly is working on his third offering. (Previously unranked)

 

  1. Nolan Martinez – RHP, 6-foot-3, 165-pounds, 18 – Martinez hasn’t gotten into a game yet, but the Yankees obviously like his stuff quite a bit. As per the scouting report, Martinez has a fastball that can go anywhere between 87-95 mph on a given night. He also has a slider in the upper 70’s with good command, and a developing changeup. The Yanks are hoping Martinez can beef up and develop some more strength, improving his velocity and his secondary pitches. If so, they could have a real winner on their hands. (Previously unranked).

14 thoughts on “2016 Post-Draft Top 50 prospects

    • Greg Corcoran

      Haven't seen enough of him and I'm skeptical given that he was left exposed by another team. Also he'll be subject to the rule 5 every year from now on so that diminishes his value. Once I get more info on him I'll put him in the rankings.

      • tom

        How about Ronald Herrera? Cashman is high on him. he will be another rule 5 candidate.

        • gcorcoran

          He's got good stuff but seems to be stalling at Double-A and is undersized. I'm gonna have to see better performance from him if I'm to believe he's in the top 50.

  • Tommy

    How is Kolton Mahoney not on this list? He tore up Staten Island last year, and is killing it again this year?

    • Greg Corcoran

      I like Kolton Mahoney, but it has become apparent to me that the Yankees don't like him that much. He has repeated Staten Island now three years in a row, and he was drafted out of college and is now already older. It seems as though the Yankees view him more as an organization guy otherwise he would have at least played in Charleston by now. I hope I'm wrong about him because he's one of my favorites and I'd love to see him succeed.

      • Tommy

        This is Mahoney's second season in Staten Island.. They kept him in extended spring training because of a mechanical adjustment they wanted him to work on ( that's out of Mahoney's mouth). He was drafted last year in the 16th round, and he was drafted the year before in the 24th round by the Brewers but chose not to sign. In 2015 he posted a 2.29 ERA in 12 games. This year he's posting a 1.32 ERA in 3 games. He's still only 24 years old (and took baseball off for 2 years to serve an LDS mission). He has proven to be better than Conor Mulle (28 years old), Jeff Degano, and other pitchers on this list.

        • gcorcoran

          You're right, this is his second year in Staten Island. That's still a bad sign though, especially at age 24. Like I said I like the kid, but you can't compare what he is doing in Staten Island to what Mullee is doing in Triple-A and now the majors. As for Jeff Degano, the stuff is just better than what Mahoney had when he was drafted. If there was an uptick by Mahoney this year then I am not yet aware of it. I'll also add, though, that anyone ranked after 40 is usually interchangeable with people ranked from 50-60, and Mahoney fits in that realm. I won't argue too hard that Mahoney should not be ahead of him. You are certainly correct that he has pitched better. That's good to know that the Yankees only had him in extended to make the mechanical adjustment. Hopefully it makes a difference for him. I'll be happy to put him back on the list at the end of the season if he gets a promotion and performs well in Charleston or Tampa.

  • tom

    Greg…

    Thanks for Freicer Perez.

    Mandy Alvarez is the first 2016 draftee to advance the level. What is his story? Could get ahead of Miguel Andujar in no time?

    Chance Adams fails to crack in top 5? Not cool. lol. Can't wait to see his chance in MLB. It is really hard to figure when is the time since Yankees opt for MLB experience and there is a bunch of MLB ready SP to hurdle over.

    I like Nolan Martinez because he has cleanest mechanic but I do concern about him bulking up over seasons. Will it affect his fluidity?

      • gcorcoran

        You're right about that. My original source was pinstripe alley, but they were wrong as I have read multiple scouting reports with curveball as his seconary pitch

    • gcorcoran

      Alvarez is a sleeper. All I know about him is what I've read in scouting reports, but his performance has been really good. I doubt it he'll ever pass Miguel Andujar though. Chance Adams not quite a top 5 talent yet. He's getting there fast though. He has a shot if he can finish strong. The only knock against putting him ahead of Kap and Acevedo is that he lacks size and has very little starting experience. I'm hoping he can buck those odds.

  • James

    Mason Williams has gotta be higher than a lot of guys on this list. Even with the shoulder injury. Fangraphs themselves has him at #10

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