BBDP: Top 50 prospects; the next 20 3


Reeves960_15efyrxn_sawk6i2yEvery year there are 20 or so prospects who, depending on who you ask, should have been in the top 50. If they don’t deserve that honor, perhaps they are on the right track and look like they could be in the top 50 by the end of the year if development and performance are good enough. This year is no different. Since there is little difference in guys ranked 51-70, the order in which they rank is trivial, and need not be bandied about. If someone feels that the guy who’s ranked 70th should really be 51st, or vice versa, you’re right. They’re all interchangeable at this stage. Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the next 20.

  1. Kyle Holder – SS, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 22 – The fact that Holder was not in my top 50 and not a single person commented wondering where he was on the countdown is very telling. He is definitely doing much better than he did last year, and it’s good to see he’s making progress. The only thing, however, that’s placing him even this high on the countdown for me is that he’s a first round pick. He has hit for little to no power and is not stealing enough bases to significantly impact the game. He continues to play excellent defense though and at shortstop this is definitely important. Maybe he will get a little bit better each year. If so the Yankees might have something. He’s got a couple of years before I’m willing to call him a bust. For now though he doesn’t have the upside or the now talent, and that places him squarely out of the top 50 in my book. This year he’s hitting an uninspiring .267/.297/.312/.609 in Single-A (Previous rank: 23)
  1. Cale Coshow – RHP, 6-foot-5, 260-pounds, 23 – Coshow fell off the countdown because the Yankees threw him back in relief this year. His strikeout rate is down, and his walk rate is up. He’s still having a decent year in Double-A, with a 3.22 ERA. Between losing value for the above reasons, and the huge influx of international and draft talent, Coshow had precipitous drop off the countdown this year, but he’s still a big dude with a powerful arm and good secondary pitches. As a reliever he definitely still has late inning potential. (Previous Rank: 25)
  1. Kolton Mahoney – RHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 24 – Mahoney will sit 90-94 with his fastball, and has a slider and curve to go along with it. His slider is his strikeout pitch. He repeated Staten Island at the age of 24, which is never a good sign. On the other hand, he has done nothing but dominate since being drafted. This year he’s on his way to a brilliant season. He has a 0.95 ERA in 19.0 IP with 19 K to 3 BB. If gets promoted aggressively from here on out he could be a guy who makes it into the top 50 by season’s end.
  1. Jeff Hendrix – OF, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, LHB, 22 – Hendrix is a guy with some speed and some surprising pop. He’s a lot like Brett Gardner at the same stage but he lacks the elite speed that Gardner has always had. He has been surprisingly good this year, hitting .301/.398/.394/.791 with a homerun, 15 doubles and a triple, while stealing 11 bases so far this season. If he can develop some power over time he could become a guy to watch and a top 50 guy. (Previously unranked)
  1. Will Carter – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 23 – The Yankees struck gold with the relievers they drafted after the 10th round in 2015. Carter is one of those guys. They got him in the 14th round, and his stuff turned out to be much better than his draft position would indicate. He has a fastball that sits mid-90’s and hits 98 mph. He has a plus curveball as well, and a changeup which is above average. Despite being drafted as a reliever, he definitely has the stuff to start. He’s off to a rough start after an injury this year, but has showed some promise over the last three games. Over his last three starts he’s thrown 20 innings, struck out 14, and allowed just three runs. If he gets it going the Yankees might have another high ceiling starter on their hands. If not he has late inning reliever written all over him. I’d be surprised if he didn’t crack the top 50 by the end of the season. (Previously unranked).
  1. Juan De Leon – OF, 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, RHB 18 – When you talk about De Leon, you’re talking about raw power. Right now it’s very raw, but he is just 18 and has a ton of potential. I could see him having a similar trajectory as Miguel Andujar going forward. Maybe he has a tough time this year adjusting to the USA, and then next year hits the ground running. So far he has been decent this year, hitting .250/.321/.333/.655 with two doubles in nine games. There’s a lot of season left though, and he could explode at any time.
  1. Domingo German – RHP, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, 23 – After a one year Tommy John hiatus, German is back. He still has all the potential in the world. He’s got a mid-90’s fastball and a deadly slider when he’s right, but he’s inevitably going to take until next season to get back to that point. In the meantime he’s going to be shaking off the rust for a while. He has thrown 15 innings since returning and has a 5.4 ERA and 11 K to 2 BB. His stuff is good enough to be in the top 30, but he’s still a long way away from getting back to his old self. (Previous rank: 24)
  1. James Reeves – LHP, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, 23 – Reeves has been fantastic this season. He has thrown 56.0 innings, struck out 74 to 20 walks, and has a 1.77 ERA and a .130 average against. He has a 91 mph fastball, which is more than enough for a lefty, and throws a slider and a changeup as well. There are some valid Dietrich Enns comparisons here, so he definitely has a potential future in the majors. (Previous rank: unranked)
  1. Jose Mesa – RHP, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, 22 – Mid-90’s fastball, three above average secondary pitches, and the ability to locate. This is normally what you look for in a starter. Mesa is a power reliever, but he has the arsenal of a starter. He started off slow this year, but has come on strong recently. Overall he has a 3.14 ERA in 28.2 IP, with 45 K to 13 BB. In his past 10 appearances, he has been even better, with a 2.01 ERA and 33 K in 22.1 IP and just seven walks. I believe he is about to be promoted to High-A Tampa soon, and from there he could fly through the rest of the system. The book is not closed yet on him being a starter either. The Yankees have been pitching him 2-3 innings at a time, which may be a precursor to moving him to the rotation. Regardless of what they do, Mesa belongs in the top 50, and is another who I’d be shocked if he isn’t there by season’s end. (Previously unranked)
  1. Hoy Jun Park – SS, 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, LHB, 20 – Park has had a disappointing year so far in Low-A, but he is just 20 and has a ton of potential. He has average power potential, good speed, and excellent instincts and hands in the field. In due time, he may bud into a top prospect. He was one of the big international signings last year. So far in 2016, he’s hitting .227/.334/.342/.676 with 18 SB, one homer, 10 doubles and nine triples. If he can have a strong second half he’ll put himself back in the conversation for the top 50.
  1. Yefrey Ramirez – RHP, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, 22 – The Yankees picked up Ramirez in the minor league portion of the rule 5 and it’s looking like he was a great pickup. When they got him, he was in the low-90’s in terms of velo, and had a slurvy breaking ball. I’m not sure what his stuff is looking like these days, but his performance has been sick. He’s got a 2.81 ERA in 73.2 IP with 78 K to 18 BB between Low-A and High-A. I’d like to see what he’s throwing these days, but it sounds like he’s become a pretty promising prospect.
  1. Jordan Foley – RHP, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, 22 – Foley is yet another guy who dropped in the rankings because he got moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation. Not only that, but he hasn’t been particularly great out of the bullpen either. He’s struggling with control and has a 3.64 ERA. He still has a mid-90’s fastball, slider and cutter though, and has late inning reliever potential if he puts it all back together He’s still striking out a ton of guys, with 58 in 42.0 innings. (Previous rank: 47)
  1. Rafael Lara – RHP, 5-foot-10, 166-pounds, 21 – He’s small, but he packs a punch. His fastball is mid-90’s and has reached upper 90’s before, and he has a curve and a changeup. This year he has been effective so far, with a 2.81 ERA, 14 K, and six BB in 16 innings. He’s a bit old for the GCL, but after this season he’s gonna be a fast mover. He has a good chance to be a top 50 guy before next season. (Previously unranked)
  1. Miguel Yajure – RHP, 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, 18 – He’s a very young kid, and has a 90-92 mph fastball with two secondary offerings. He has excellent control and polish for a kid his age. He has the potential to fill out and add more velocity in the future as well. So far in his first season stateside, he’s got a 1.80 ERA and 14 K in 15 IP. He has just one walk and a .157 average against. Future looks bright for him. (Previously unranked).
  1. Nick Nelson – RHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 20 – Yankees picked Nelson up in the fourth round of the draft this year, and he appears to be a good get. He already throws 90-94 mph, with a curveball being his best secondary pitch. The changeup is his third pitch. He has the ability to command all of his pitches. With Nelson, you’re getting a guy who has a high floor. On top of that though, at 20-years-old and having played both ways in college, he has more ceiling to him than the typical kid his age. In limited action for Pulaski, he has done well, throwing 4.2 innings with four strikeouts and a 3.86 ERA. (Previously unranked).
  1. Gilmael Troya – RHP, 6-foot-0, 196-pounds, 19 – Troya had his first experience in the GCL last season, when he pitched 36 innings, struck out 39, and walked just 14. This year he’s off to a good start with 14 K and a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings. With a 90-94 mph fastball, a good curveball, and a changeup which is a work in progress, he has the repertoire to be a starter. With an uptick in stuff he could become a solid prospect.
  1. Jordan Scott – CF, 6-foot-0, 210-pounds, SH, 19 – He’s off to a slow start to his career, but he does already have two homeruns. His average is a weak .173. He has nine walks in 15 games. These stats mean very little though, as he has his whole career ahead of him for improvement. He is a real athlete, with good speed, a plus arm, and power potential. He needs work on the hit tool. (Previously unranked)
  1. Zack Zehner – OF, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, RHB, 23 – Zehner is having a pretty good year at a level where he is a bit old. In High-A, he has a .294/.399/.387/.786 line with two homers, 12 doubles, and two triples. He’s not striking out too much, but he’s also not showing very much in the way of power over his first 68 games. Zehner is a guy who the Yankees drafted for his hit tool with power potential. Ultimately his ceiling completely depends on him developing into a power threat. If he can up the homerun total at a level more appropriate for his age, we’ll be talking about him as a top 50 prospect next season, or maybe even higher. (Previously unranked).
  1. Mandy Alvarez – 3B, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, RHB, 22 – He’s got a great hit tool and some decent power potential. He can stick at third base, although not a plus infielder. So far he has torn the cover off the ball in both Staten Island and Charleston, and that’s a good sign for his future. He’s hit .370/.376/.478/.854 with one homerun and seven doubles. One thing that’s really impressive is that he’s only struck out four times in 21 games. One thing that’s concerning is he’s also only walked four times in 21 games. The bottom line is if he hits like he has so far all the way up the ladder, he’ll be a major leaguer. (Previously unranked).
  1. Brookes Kriske – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 22 – Mid-90’s fastball, good secondary pitches. The slider is his best secondary pitch. He has late inning reliever potential, and the Yankees got him at a bargain in the 6th round. So far he’s done pretty well in his transition to the pros, with 7 K and a 2.45 ERA in 7.1 innings, and just one walk. He should be a fast mover. (Previously unranked).

3 thoughts on “BBDP: Top 50 prospects; the next 20

  • tom

    Aw!!! Big wonder why Ronald Herrera has pitched poorly as of late… You really hate him. lol.

    Anyway, Red Sox gave up Anderson Espizona for Drew Pomeranz. Since Espizona is recognized as one of MLB top prospects (not team) how do you differ Rafael Lara from Espizona, age aside?

    • gcorcoran

      First of all age is extremely important here. You're talking about an 18 year old with better stuff than the 21 year old. Obviously the potential of the 18 year old is huge. Rafael Lara has some good potential too. His fastball isn't going to get to the upper 90's though. His secondary offerings are good, but Espinoza's are top notch. Lara is an excellent prospect in the making, but it's almost unfair to compare him to Espinoza, who is a super prospect.

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