2017 Yankees Preseason top 50 prospects

Here is the unbelievably talented top 50 prospects for the Yankees in 2017. There are 20-30 more who could have easily been on this list and would have been in previous years.

  1. Gleyber Torres – SS, 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, RHB, 20-years-old – Torres went from being “a” top prospect last year to being in the conversation for “the” top prospect in all of baseball. This year in High-A he hit .270/.354/.421/.775 with 11 homeruns and 21 SB. He then went out to the Arizona Fall League and won the batting title and the MVP to put icing on the cake. He’s got an aggressive, powerful swing, a good knowledge of the strike zone, excellent hit tool, and uses the whole field. The speed is also a weapon both on the base paths and in the field. He has good range and hands, and a powerful arm. Torres was a huge pickup for the Yankees, and appears to be a star in the making. He’ll start off in Double-A this year, and some are saying if he plays well enough he could play in the majors as soon as this year. I’m banking on 2018 for him.
  1. Jorge Mateo – SS, 6-foot-0, 190-pounds, RHB, 21-years-old – If 2015 was a breakout season for Jorge Mateo, 2016 was certainly a disappointment. He went from batting .278/.345/.392/.737 in Low-A and High-A, with 82 SB in 2015 to a .254/.306/.379/.685 line the following year with just 36 SB. He did slug eight homeruns last year. While he did not have his best season, the tools are undeniable. He has 80 speed and burgeoning power. He has good bat to ball skills and most certainly has the skills to stick at shortstop defensively. He has plus range, a big arm, and great athleticism with soft hands. Now a bit overshadowed by Gleyber Torres, he is still a surefire top 50 prospect. He had some maturity issues last year and I believe that was a big reason for the fall-off. Next year he’ll probably start at Double-A, although it’s not out of the question he could start at High-A for more reps at shortstop. He’s still a top prospect and I can’t wait to see what else he can do.
  1. Clint Frazier – OF, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Frazier had to make a lot of adjustments this year. First he adjusted to Double-A, which he did well. Then, he had to adjust to Triple-A, and shortly after adjust to being traded and being in Triple-A at the same time. Overall it was a good season for Frazier, although it could have been better. Now that the adjustment is over, I expect Frazier to go back to dominating like he did before the trade. His overall stat line last year was .263/.335/.447/.782 with 16 homers, 27 doubles, five triples and 13 SB. He too is a top 50 prospect, and was a great acquisition for the Yankees last year. He has top notch power, and most scouts project him to be able to hit 30 homeruns in the majors. His bat speed is well known to be one of the best in the minors. He definitely has some swing and miss, but he has improved his contact rate over the years and adjusted well at every level. Defensively he doesn’t take the best routs for a centerfielder, but he has a strong arm and profiles better in right field anyway. He could contribute as soon as 2017. I’d be surprised if we don’t see him in the majors, at least with a September call-up, this year. I’m hopeful he will be able to do some real damage with the bat once in the majors, but only time will tell.
  1. Aaron Judge – OF, 6-foot-7, 275-pounds, RHB, 24-years-old – If you’ve been following the farm system for any length of time, you know about Aaron Judge. He’s actually a similar player to Clint Frazier. Power is his calling card, and he has been able to adjust to every level he’s been at so far except the majors (at least not yet). He has some swing and miss, and he’s a solid outfielder with a cannon for an arm. Last year he hit .270/.366/.489/.854 with 19 homeruns, 18 doubles and a triple in Triple-A. His major league cameo, which totaled 27 games, did not go well. He did hit four homeruns though. I believe that Aaron Judge will successfully adjust to the majors as he has done at every other level. I think he’ll make the team out of Spring Training and the Yankees will give him a real shot. What he does with it is entirely up to him. Thirty homeruns is not out of the question though, as soon as this year. Yet another guy in the system who is top 50 in all of baseball. Can’t wait to see him in the Bronx.
  1. Blake Rutherford – CF, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, LHB, 19-years-old – Rutherford had a heck of a first season in the minors, which bodes well for his future as a high school draftee. He hit .351/.415/.570/.986 with three homeruns, eight doubles, and four triples across two rookie leagues. He had some minor injuries that caused him to miss some time, but overall the first season was a resounding success. Just to rewind a bit here, Rutherford slipped to the Yankees at pick 18, despite the fact that he was expected to go top five. Some think it was because the Yankees were willing to go higher with the bonus than other teams. Whatever the reason, he is now in pinstripes and the Yankees got a steal at 18. He has a fantastic hit tool, is expected to develop average or better power, and plus speed. He is a solid centerfielder as well. His arm is just average, if not a tick below though. This may force him into left field long term, but his bat will definitely play there too. He’ll likely start in Charleston this season. I have a funny feeling he is going to hit the ground running there and might even be in High-A before season’s end. Yet another top 50 prospect (it’s astounding how many there are in this system), he could easily be number one next year if things go well. Another potential star.
  1. James Kaprielian – RHP, 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, 22-years-old – James only got in 18 innings this year at High-A, although they were stellar. He struck out 22 and had a 1.5 ERA in those innings. He was a high draft pick for the Yankees, but he would have gone even higher if his stuff was where it’s at now. He sits 94-97 mph with good command. On top of that, he has a plus slider, solid changeup, and a solid curveball. Kaprielian is another top 100 prospect with a ton of promise. He’s a potential ace if he stays healthy this year, and is a big part of what the Yankees see as their future rotation.
  1. Justus Sheffield – LHP, 5-foot-10, 195-pounds, 20-years-old – Sheffield had a great year in High-A last year. He finished the season with a 3.09 ERA in 125.1 innings, striking out 129 and walking 53. He had a .230 average against. The only real knock on Justus is his size. He has a low to mid 90’s two seamer, a slider, and a changeup. He is a lefty with three quality pitches who has already had success in High-A and is just 20. He’ll start in Double-A this year and could move fast if he performs well and a need arises.
  1. Chance Adams – RHP, 6-foot-0, 215-pounds, 22-years-old – Adams is also undersized, but his stuff has really come on over the past two seasons. Last year he completely dominated in both High-A and Double-A, totaling 127 innings, 144 K to just 39 BB, and a 2.33 ERA. He had a paltry .169 average against. He’ll take his act to Triple-A next year and could be in the majors as soon as midseason. His fastball sits 93-96 mph, and has been up as high as 99 mph. One scout has him with a plus slider, plus curveball, and a plus changeup. He’s got number two starter potential, and we could get a glimpse of him in the majors this season if it all breaks right for him. He’s another one who is a huge part of the Yankees future rotation plans.
  1. Domingo Acevedo – RHP, 6-foot-7, 190-pounds, 22-years-old – Coming off the best season in his career so far, Acevedo is riding high. Over Low-A and High-A, he threw 93 innings and struck out 102, walking just 22. He had a 2.61 ERA. Make no mistake about it, this was his breakout season. His fastball sits in the 95-97 range, and has hit 100 mph with regularity. He also has a plus changeup and a slider which is a work in progress. If nothing changes with his arsenal he could at least be a shutdown reliever. He has the potential, however, if he finds a third pitch, to be a front-end starter. He has surprisingly great control for a guy his size. Whatever the future holds for him, his worst case scenario is still pretty darn good.
  1. Miguel Andujar – 3B, RHB, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, 21-years-old – Andujar has been waiting to break out for what seems like years. 2016 was that year for him. He hit .273/.332/.410/.742 with 12 homeruns, 26 doubles, and four triples between High-A and Double-A. It was always known that he had a good hit tool and power potential, so hopes have been high for him. He only struck out 72 times in 130 games last year. The contact tool is off the charts. He also plays a stellar defensive third base. If he continues to improve the way he has, he might not be long for the minor leagues. He’ll probably start in Double-A this year, and if he performs well we will see him in Triple-A before the season is over. After that, he could be Chase Headley’s long awaited replacement.
  1. Albert Abreu – RHP, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees did an excellent job getting a good return for Brian McCann. Abreu is a starter with a mid-90’s fastball that climbs up to 99 mph and has excellent run. He has a curveball that is at times plus and at times average. He’s also got a slider that is still in the development stages but on some days looks above average. He also has a changeup which is good when it’s on. This year he had some trouble with control, but he is the type of pitcher who goes after batters. If his control improves, he is expected to be a starter. Last year he threw 101.2 innings, had a 3.72 ERA 115 K and 58 walks. He’ll probably start in High-A this year, and from there I see him being a one level per year guy. He definitely has front end potential if things break right, but worst case scenario he slots nicely in the back end of the bullpen.
  1. Dillon Tate – RHP, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, 22-years-old – After a dream year in 2015, where he was a top draft pick and pitched well in his short debut, Dillon Tate had a nightmarish 2016. He struggled through 65 innings and then got traded. After being traded, he was moved to the bullpen to figure out what was wrong. The Yankees have some ideas on how to fix him, and they involve going back to what he was doing in college and scrapping some of the adjustments he was asked to make by the Texas Rangers. Reports are that his velocity came back up after being traded to the Yankees. If he can get back to what made him a high first round pick in 2015, the Yankees will have another potential star on their hands. The velocity really suffered after his hamstring injury last season, but apparently the velocity returned in the Arizona Fall League and he’s back to sitting mid-90’s and topping out at 100 mph in the past. He also has a changeup which is a solid offering. He also has a plus slider which is hard and difficult to hit. This was an excellent get for a rental DH. With a big season this year, he’s right back in the top 100 prospect conversation.
  1. Dustin Fowler – CF, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old – Athleticism is Fowler’s calling card, but he has a lot more going for him now than when he started with the Yankees. He has used his athleticism to develop some power, steal bases, and prove that he can stick in center if need be. This past year he had his best season as a pro, hitting .281/.311/.458/.770 with 12 homeruns, 30 doubles, and 15 triples. He could definitely benefit from walking more, but his plate discipline is good. He has supreme contact skills (just 86 K in 132 games). As he continues to get stronger, some of those doubles and triples are going to make it over the fence too. He topped all of that off with 25 SB. He’s above average in centerfield too. He has a solid arm and range. Recently, Keith Law mentioned him as a guy who could catapult himself up to the top 100 or even top 50 with a big performance this year. He specifically talked about his athleticism and burgeoning power. He could be a nice, cheap replacement for Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner someday, which would be great.
  1. Jordan Montgomery – LHP, 6-foot-6, 225-pounds, 24-years-old – There are very few pitchers in the Yankees’ system who have improved as much as Jordan Montgomery. He was a fourth round draft pick, but he has improved so much that he is now knocking on the door to the majors and could break in at any moment. Last year he had a 2.13 ERA over 139.1 innings in Double-A and Triple-A. He struck out 134 and walked only 45. His velocity in college was 88-91. Over time he has slowly increased it, and this past year he was in the 93-95 range. He has an array of pitches, including a sinker and cutter in the low 90’s, a changeup, and a quality curveball. He’s close if not fully ready to jump into the major league rotation now. I’d be surprised if we don’t see him with the Yankees at some point this year. Great development story with him.
  1. Wilkerman Garcia – SS, 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, Switch hitter, 18-years-old – Garcia burst onto the scene in 2015, one year after the Yankees signed him. He garnered national attention with his fantastic performance in the GCL. In 2016 he was slated to start in Charleston, but then suffered an injury and just came back in time to start the Pulaski season. He struggled there with a .198/.255/.284/.539 line in 54 games. This was a tough year for him but he will unquestionably be better this year. He has a good knowledge of the strikes zone, uses the whole field, and a great hit tool. He doesn’t have much power now, but he does have some size and enough loft in his swing that it could develop over time. Defensively he has great instincts, a plus arm, soft hands, and solid range. He’ll likely get a shot to start at Charleston again this year, and hopefully this time he hits the ground running. If so he’ll be back in the national discussion of top prospects in short order.
  1. Freicer Perez – RHP, 6-foot-8, 190-pounds, 20-years-old – Freicer Perez pulled a rare move when he came stateside in 2016; he skipped over the rookie leagues and went straight to Staten Island. He started off on a tear and then ran into some control problems during the season. That is not entirely unexpected from a 20-year-old 6-foot-8 pitcher. He still managed a decen 4.47 ERA with 49 K in 52.1 innings though. With his size, he has scary good talents. He sits mid-90’s and has hit 100 mph in the past. He also has an above average curveball and changeup which show future plus potential. If and when he gets his control issues taken care of (which I believe he will), he should become a monster. He’ll likely start in Charleston this year, and there’s a good chance he will break onto the national scene much like Domingo Acevedo did last season. Definitely watch out for this guy because he’s a break out candidate for 2017.
  1. Tyler Wade – SS/2B, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old – The Yankees picked up Wade in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, and they got a great bargain. He has improved his hitting steadily throughout his career, and continues to prove that he can stick at shortstop. This year he hit .259/.352/.349/.701 with five homeruns, 16 doubles, seven triples, and 27 stolen bases in Double-A. He has below average power, which limits his potential long term. The power is improving over time though and he does have the size at 6-foot-1 to potentially add more power when his man strength kicks in. He is a patient hitter, and draws a good amount of walks. He certainly has speed and will continue to steal bases as he moves up the ladder. Defensively he is above average across the board. He’ll start in Triple-A this year, and he’ll be one injury away from getting his shot in the majors. Given who is ahead of him and behind him in this system, he’ll need an injury to get his chance with the Yankees. There are plenty of teams who could use a player like him though, and there’s no doubt in my mind he will play in the majors, even if just as a utility player.
  1. Estevan Florial – OF, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 19 – 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. He struggled to adjust in his stateside debut last year, but he still showed power and speed, and flashed all of his tools. He was also in the tougher of the two rookie leagues, and playing under the lights for the first time in his career which is also tough. He didn’t hit for much average in 2016, with a .227/.312/.371/.683 line. He did have eight homeruns, 10 doubles, two triples, and 10 SB in 67 games though, which is very impressive for an 18-year-old. With Florial you’re getting five tools. The only real weakness in his game is that he strikes out too much. He’s got the hit tool, the power, the speed, the cannon for an arm, and the glove/range. If he can corral the strikeout problem, he’ll be dangerous. We’re talking top 50 prospect dangerous. I’m hoping he shows up to camp ready and the Yankees put him in Charleston, but Staten Island is still on the table as of right now.
  1. Dermis Garcia – 3B, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – Speaking of “dangerous” players, Dermis Garcia fits into that mold as well. He showed just how dangerous he can be this year in the Appalachian League, where he hit 13 HR and nine doubles in 57 games. Those numbers are pretty unheard of from an 18-year-old. What he had in power, though, he lacked in contact rate. He struck out 79 times, although he did walk 32 times. His OPS was .780 though, which is respectable. This is a kid with a world of talent. He has the arm and coordination to stick at 3B as long as he doesn’t outgrow the position. His bat could potentially be the best in the league at third if he continues to develop. Next year his list of goals include cutting down on strikeouts and improving the average. This is another possible star, and another possible top 50 prospect in all of baseball if he starts to realize his potential. He also could be slated for either Staten Island or Charleston depending how ready he is when he shows up for camp this year.
  1. Kyle Higashioka – C, 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, RHB, 26-years-old – Count me among the people who doubted this kid his entire career. I’ve always read good things about him from prospects pundits, but I was never a believer because he never performed. A few hitting adjustments to create more loft and here we are, with Higashioka now in my top 20. I’m a big enough man to admit when I was wrong. This has to be one of the best prospect stories I have ever heard. In 2016, Kyle Higashioka went from an organizational afterthought to the first in line for a big league promotion if Sanchez or Romine get hurt. He ­hit .276/.337/.511/.847 this year, a career best line. He had 21 homeruns and 24 doubles in 102 games between Double-A and Triple-A. Those are phenomenal numbers for a catcher, at any age. He may be 25, but he is a legitimate major league prospect still. This year he’ll likely start in Triple-A and will be in line for a promotion as soon as there is an opening. I’m excited for this kid to finally get an opportunity. He stuck with it and now he’s so close to making it.
  1. Drew Finley – RHP, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, 20-years-old – The Yankees got Drew Finley in the third round of the 2015 draft, and he was a good pick at that point. He has done pretty well in his first two years as a pro, with a 4.1 ERA and 61 K in 59.1 innings. This is a big year for him. He’s a big kid, and when he finished high school he was sitting in the 88-92 mph range. He also was already equipped with a 12-6 curveball that was already considered plus. In 2016, his stuff didn’t really change much. For him to break out in 2017 in this system loaded with talent, he is going to have to add that velocity and start to get his third pitch going. He’s got the size, tools, and potential. This is the year where he should start seeing that bump in velocity, at age 20. I’m hoping for big things from him this year, if not he will start to drop considerably on this countdown. Hopefully he will find a spot in Charleston, but he’s going to have some stiff competition.
  1. Abiatal Avelino – SS/2B, 5-foot-11, 186-pounds, RHB, 21-years old – Abiatal Avelino has been in the Yankees’ system since 2012, and he still hasn’t quite had a true breakout season. He has continually been solid though, and has the tools to be an all-around solid major league shortstop and/or second baseman. In 2016, between High-A and Double-A he finished with a .260/.320/.364/.684 line, including six homeruns and 17 doubles, along with 20 SB. He is rock solid in the field at both SS and 2B, and his hit tool is better than he has shown thus far in his career. He has a plus arm, plus instincts, and above average range with soft hands. The power seems to be coming along nicely and it should only get better from here. I believe he will be a major league utility player with the potential to be a starter down the line.
  1. Nick Nelson – RHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 21-years-old – Nelson could turn out to be one of the great steals of the 2016 draft. The Yankees got him in the fourth round, and he already has a mid-90’s fastball. He pitched decently in 2016, with 19 K and a 3.38 ERA in 21.1 innings. He also walked 22 people though, which is a huge red flag. Now that he has professional coaching, the hope is that the control will improve. Rumor has it he is developing a second off-speed pitch that will change the game for him. He already has a curveball that is borderline plus. With improved control, Nelson could be a fast mover in the system. Look for him to get a spot in either Charleston or Staten Island. From there he could be a fast mover. Another great later round draft pick for the Yankees. They have done a great job of finding those gems lately.
  1. Nelson Gomez – 3B, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – Power is the name of the game for this slugger. He demonstrated that in the GCL in 2016, where he hit nine homeruns, 11 doubles, and a triple. He struck out a bit too much, with 55 in 54 games, and his average left a lot to be desired at .194. This was his first taste of baseball in the USA though, so he gets a break. Don’t be surprised to see him drop a ton of bombs this year. He will always be compared to Dermis Garcia since they are both third basemen and were both signed in the same year. They have similar power, but Dermis is a bit more athletic. Gomez truly transformed his body this year though, and could be even better this year. The power is real and the rest of his game seems to be progressing well. I’m excited to see where he ends up being sent to start the season.
  1. Chris Gittens – 1B, 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – With Gittens the excitement all centers around his bat. He has tremendous strength and power, and is an enormous human being. He is a patient hitter as well, walking 56 times last year. He uses all fields and has enough power to take outside pitched over the fence to right field. As you would expect by his size, he is not the most nimble guy. He actually does play a solid first base, although no one will accuse him of being the next Mark Teixeira with the glove. The biggest knock on Gittens is that he will have to hit his way all the way to the majors. The response to that, however, is that he’s fully capable of doing that. With 30 homerun power, patience, and the ability to take the ball the other way, he is as dangerous as any hitter in the Yankees’ system. He’ll start in High-A this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit Double-A if he continues to crush the ball as he did last season.
  1. Dietrich Enns – LHP, 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, 25-years-old – Enns continued his dominance of the entire minor leagues in 2016. In 135 innings, he struck out 124 and had an amazing 1.73 ERA on the season. He sits low-90’s with his fastball, but he misses more bats that some of the guys who are hitting triple digits. That is because of his deception and movement on his pitches. His repertoire is also includes three secondary pitches which he can locate at any time and are all above average. This is one of those players who doesn’t have any one plus pitch, but has the ability not only to get guys out, but strike them out. He will likely get an opportunity in the majors this year, be it in the rotation or the bullpen. Either way, I’d be shocked if he is not successful given his track record and above average stuff across the board.
  1. Ben Heller – RHP, 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, 25-years-old – Heller came over in the Andrew Miller trade last season, and actually got to throw a few innings in the majors. It did not go well, but often the first opportunity is a learning experience. He pitched well in the minors last year, striking out 55 in 48 innings with a 1.69 ERA. His seven innings in the majors are a small sample size, but he did get knocked around a bit. He has a mid to high 90’s fastball and a slider to work with. This year he’ll get another opportunity in the majors, and hopefully he capitalizes.
  1. Thairo Estrada – SS/2B, 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, RHB, 20-years-old – Consistently one of the most underrated players on the farm, Estrada is one of those players who does everything well. He can play multiple positions well, he has a great contact tool, surprising power, decent patience, and is a high character guy. He even runs pretty well. Last year he hit .290/.346/.391/.737 with eight homeruns, 18 doubles, two triples, and 18 SB in 118 games. Given that he is a SS and 2B, these are excellent offensive numbers. Couple that with his above average defense, and his extreme youth (2.7 years younger than the competition in High-A), and you have a guy who is destined for the majors. If it wasn’t for his size and low signing bonus, he’d probably be garnering national attention right now. He’s another part of the astounding middle infield depth the Yankees have right now. He’ll hopefully start in Double-A this season and from there, anything can happen.
  1. Jonathan Holder – RHP, 6-foot-2, 235-pounds, 23-years-old – You’d be hard pressed to find a guy who pitched better in the Yankees farm system this year. He had 65.1 innings, 101 K, and a 1.65 ERA. That all earned him his first opportunity in the majors, which had mixed results. Again it was a learning experience for him and he will undoubtedly get another chance in 2017. He has a starter’s repertoire, but a relievers mentality. He will attack hitters with his 93-96 mph fastball, cutter, curveball, and changeup. He attacks hitter and his stuff plays up in relief. This is a big year for him, as he will get opportunities in the majors and might be able to cement a long term role in the bullpen if he plays well.
  1. Trey Amburgey – OF, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – The Yankees got one of the steals of the 2015 draft when they took Amburgey in the 13th round. He immediately came in and dominated the short season leagues, with a .346/.399/.523/.923 line in 58 games. He hit five homeruns, 11 doubles, and six triples, while stealing 21 bases. The Yankees began him in Charleston in 2016, where he started the season by continuing the success he had. In 16 games with Charleston he hit .281/.347/.500/.847 with a homerun, seven doubles, two triples, and seven stolen bases. Then he had a hamstring injury which it took him all season to truly recover from. After that his numbers suffered the rest of the season. He is now fully healthy and expected to be full strength to start the season. The tools are really impressive, he has some of the best bat speed and exit velocity in the entire farm system, and yet he has good pitch recognition and patience. He’s got a good contact tool as well. When his hamstring is healthy, he also has the speed to steal bases. He was on pace to steal 40 plus bases before the injury. He’s got good speed, an above average arm, and takes a good path in the outfield. He could potentially stick long term in center, but more likely will be a top defensive corner outfielder instead. If you’re looking for a break out guy this year, you may not have to look any further than Amburgey. Big tools and big potential prevail with this kid. He’ll start in either High-A or Double-A, and his numbers will definitely be better than last season.
  1. Erik Swanson – RHP, 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, 23-years-old – Swanson really had his first full season this past year since being drafted in the 8th round in 2014. He had a 3.46 ERA and 93 K to 30 BB in 96.1 innings in Low-A. Swanson has a mid-90’s fastball topping out at 98 MPH, a changeup, and a slider. Swanson is a strike thrower who can get all of his pitches over the plate, but he needs to work on getting the movement to get major leaguers out. With his arm, however, the future appears bright for him.
  1. Taylor Widener – RHP, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, 22-years-old – In one of the best steals of the draft, the Yankees picked up Taylor Widener in the 12th round in 2016. He has the looks of one of the biggest sleepers on the farm this coming year. He’s one of those guys the Yankees liked, but didn’t even know what they were getting until he arrived at camp with them. There he destroyed the competition, with 59 K and a 0.47 ERA in 38.1 innings pitched. In college, Widener sat in the 90-93 mph range. As soon as he joined the Yankees though, he was hitting 97 mph regularly. Baseball America’s Hudson Belinsky recently mentioned Widener as having the best fastball and being closest to the majors of anyone in the 2016 draft class. Aside from the fastball, he has an above average curveball, and is ready to unleash his changeup on the competition. Widener reminds me a lot of Chance Adams, and I wouldn’t be surprised if next year at this time he’s where Adams is now. I believe the Yankees will give him a chance to start this year, either at Charleston or at High-A Tampa.
  1. Brady Lail – RHP, 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, 23-years-old – Lail is the same age as Swanson and has already reached Triple-A. He has pitched extremely well over his career and is now knocking at the doors to the majors. Last year he had a hiccup in Triple-A, with just a 4.62 ERA and 75 K in 126.2 innings. Lail has a low-90’s fastball, a low-90’s sinker, a power knuckle-curve, a changeup, and a cutter. He has the repertoire to keep opponents guessing, but doesn’t appear to have a true strikeout pitch to go to. He will tell you that he purposefully pitches to contact, and the numbers definitely bear that out. It’s not too late for him to have an uptick in velocity, but now that he’s at the highest level of the minors it’s time to start making moves. He has a ton of competition in the upper minors now. I do believe he will pitch in the MLB eventually, and probably soon. He could end up being a Zach McAllister or David Phelps type.
  1. Domingo German – RHP, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, 24-years-old – so far in his career, German has been known as the other guy who came over in the Nathan Eovaldi trade. He missed all of 2015 with an elbow injury, but came back strong in 2016 in limited action. Over two levels he threw 49.2 innings, had 38 K and 11 BB, and had a 3.08 ERA. Those are strong numbers coming off surgery. His velocity is back, as he is sitting mid 90’s and tops out at 99 mph. He also has a killer changeup and a developing curve. He’ll start in High-A or Double-A this year, and he could be a huge surprise if the secondary pitches come along this year. He still has a chance to be the best player in that trade.
  1. Nick Green – RHP, 6-foot-1, 165-pounds, 21-years-old – Green was one of the best players the Yankees picked up in trades in 2016. Lasts year he totaled 62.0 IP, 65 K to 20 BB, and a 3.34 ERA. He already sits low to mid-90’s with the fastball, and a nasty, nasty curveball. He’s aso developing a changeup. He’s looking more and more like a guy who could move quickly next year and might be able to stick in the rotation in the major leagues. He’ll start in either Low-A or High-A next year.
  1. Jake Cave – OF, 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, LHB, 24-years-old – You have to almost feel bad for Jake Cave. The guy has played well every season, and he just keeps getting overlooked in the prospect discussion. Worse yet, the Yankees did not protect him from the rule 5 draft this year and he did not get drafted. Moreover he did not get an invite to Spring Training. Last year he hit .268/.330/.427/.758 with eight homeruns, 26 doubles, and nine triples. Those really aren’t bad numbers, and his tools are actually pretty decent. They may not be the most exciting set of tools but the guy plays the game with a fire and puts his body on the line every day. I believe he’ll play in the majors somewhere, and I hope he is able to prove the Yankees wrong.
  1. Nick Solak – 2B, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – A better defender at second than most give him credit for, we already know Solak is a hitter. He gets many comparisons to Rob Refsnyder, which I’m sure he doesn’t mind. On the other hand, he is a much better defender than Refsnyder at the same stage. The hit tool is quite similar though. Last year he hit an impressive .321/.412/.421/.833 with three homeruns, 12 doubles, a triple, and eight SB in 64 games. It was an excellent start to his minor league career. I expect him to move up the ladder quickly, likely with a similar trajectory as Refsnyder did. He already has the looks of a useful major league player.
  1. Yefrey Ramirez – RHP, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, 23-years-old – The Yankees’ scouting department did a heck of a job finding this kid. In 2015 he had a 5.35 ERA in 69 innings as a 21-year-old. Following that season, the Yankees picked him up in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft. He turned out to be a great pickup. They put him in Charleston, where he thrived and earned a promotion to High-A mid-season. Overall he had a 2.82 ERA with 132 K in 124 innings in 2016. He’ll sit in the low-90’s, and has a fastball, changeup, slider repertoire now. He’ll likely start in Double-A this season and the Yankees added him to the 40-man roster this offseason, so he’s awfully close to getting a shot in the majors.
  1. Hoy Jun Park – SS, 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, LHB, 20-years-old – Park spent the entire 2016 season in Charleston. It’s difficult to argue that his season went well, but he did get his first full season in and there were definitely some positive things to take out of it. The numbers are not great, with a .225/.336/.329/.665 quad slash. He did hit 15 doubles, 12 triples, and two homeruns though. He also stole 32 bases, which is extremely encouraging. Despite the poor numbers, it is important to remember Park was just 19-years old and in a foreign land for the whole season. Not an easy experience. He’s shown good patience so far in his career, has good bat speed, and even better foot speed. He should be able to continue stealing bases all the way up to the majors with his speed. His bat should get better with time as he gets more used to the advanced competition he is now facing. He’s got all the necessary tools to stick at shortstop, including speed, range, arm, and hands. He doesn’t stick out because he’s more average to above average with those tools, but he’s got more than enough there to stick at short. Ideally the bat will come around like it’s expected to and he’ll be a major league shortstop some day.
  2. Nolan Martinez – RHP, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, 18-years-old – The Yankees picked up Martinez in the third round last year. He had limited action in the GCL, throwing seven innings and letting up three runs and four walks while striking out three. The more important information is his scouting report. He already has a low-90’s fastball and has a projectable body. Looks like he’ll add more velocity as time goes on. He also throws a curveball which has been a great pitch for him as an amateur. It’s a 12 to 6 curveball and is already an advanced pitch. He also throws a changeup which is developing rapidly. He mainly needs to work on his command. If he gets his command down and adds a few ticks to his velocity, this is a kid who could become a front line option in the future. He’s a relatively long term project though, so we’ll have to be patient until he gets to that point.
  1. Cody Carroll – RHP, 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, 24-years-old – Cody Carroll was one of the great surprises of 2016. He went out and did a great job in relief and even started a few games. He threw 91.1 innings and had 90 K and a 3.15 ERA in his first professional season. The future lies in the bullpen for this hurler, and his stuff plays up there too. He Has a mid-90’s fastball that touches 98 mph. He also throws a curveball and a changeup. Right now they are solid but not quite ready for the prime time. If he increases the quality of his secondary pitches he could be a fast riser and a legitimate back end bullpen guy. He’ll likely start in High-A this year, but his role, at least in the short term, is versatile.
  1. Ian Clarkin – LHP, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, 21-years-old – Clarkin had another successful season in 2016, throwing 98 innings with 72 K and a 3.31 ERA. Clarkin’s stock has fallen since last year because the stuff simply has not come back to what it was before the injury. There is still a high likelihood he will make it back there, but his once sky high ceiling has come down a bit. Once a low to mid 90’s fastball, it now sits low 90’s. He still has the plus curveball and a changeup as well. He also obviously has the ability to get through a lineup several times because he continues to be successful statistically. This year he’ll get his chance in Double-A, and hopefully his stuff ticks back up to where it used to be. This is a big year for his future with the Yankees, because now that he’s separated from the injuries his stuff and control should be returning.
  1. Rony Garcia – RHP, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, 19-years-old – This ranking is actually quite low for him. If he is as good as I think he is, he’ll probably be top 20 or even top 10 by the end of the season. Garcia started in the DSL last season, but he was doing so well the Yankees sent him to the GCL. He thrived in both places, with a 2.28 ERA and 56 K to just 13 BB in 71.0 innings. Baseball America’s Josh Norris had him at 92-94 mph and hitting 96 in his first start stateside. His curveball is 11 to 5 break, and he has a developing changeup that he’ll continue to work on. He has the stuff to be a star, and he has the size the projects to add more velocity as well. If you’re looking for a breakout candidate this season, he’s one of the guys you’re going to want to watch closely this year. There’s an outside chance he winds up in Charleston, but I think it’s more likely he ends up in extended and pitching in Staten Island.
  1. Billy McKinney – OF, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old – Once upon a time in 2013 McKinney was a first round pick by Oakland. In fact, prior to 2015 he was the number 83 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, and prior to 2016 he was the number 88 prospect according to MLB.com. He’s a contact oriented player with a level swing that doesn’t create much loft. His speed is average, but he has a strong arm in the outfield. He has more gap power than anything else right now. He does have excellent patience, which is probably one of the big reasons the Yankees sought him in the trade for Chapman. Last year his totals included a .246/.342/.338/.680 line. With some adjustments the Yankees hope he can be a 20+ homerun guy, but his most likely destination will be a fourth outfielder. He’ll likely start in Double-A again in 2017. I am surprised to see so many others ranking him in the top 20. Maybe it’s the shiny new toy mentality.
  1. Brody Koerner – RHP, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, 23-years-old – He had an abbreviated season in 2016 because of naggings injuries, but he is still going to be in line for 100+ innings this year at High-A and maybe even Double-A. He was stellar in the starts he did make last year, with a 1.85 ERA and 29 K in 34 innings over five starts. He had just a .179 average against. When healthy he has a mid-90’s sinking fastball and backs that up with a curveball, changeup, and slider. If he’s able to stay healthy this year look for him to be in the starting rotation. If not, he’ll likely go back to being a reliever where he still has a safe major league projection. He remains a solid sleeper this year.
  1. Nestor Cortes – LHP, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, 22-years-old – Cortes isn’t going to flash a plus fastball, but his secondary stuff and his control have brought him this far. In 2016 Cortes pitched across four levels, but spent most of his time in Low-A and High-A. He was highly effective at every level though. He finished the season with a 1.53 ERA and 115 K to 24 BB in 106 innings. He had just a .167 average against. Once a 36th round draft pick, Cortes has come a long way. His fastball sits 89-92 mph, but he also has a changeup, slider, and curveball which is how he gets the strikeouts. He locates them beautifully and uses them at all the right times. I’d love to see him start in Double-A this year, but there is a huge roster crunch for starting pitchers and it’s a mystery at this point where he will be. He gets more and more intriguing as he faces better batters. If he could add a tick or two he’ll get a lot more attention, but the bottom line is if he continues to get guys out he will eventually get an opportunity somewhere in some capacity.
  1. Leonardo Molina – OF, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – Molina had a tough time adjusting to Low-A this year. He gets a pass though because it was his first time playing under the lights. He was sent down to Pulaski for some seasoning and there he began to thrive. He hit .246/.318/.440/.758 with seven homeruns, nine doubles, and two triples. The average could stand to improve but the power seems to be coming around. It’s important to remember that he was still only 19-years-old last season. This year he’ll still be 19 to start the season, and turns 20 in July. This is a big season for him though, because he has yet to have a truly productive season as a professional with the Yankees. He does seem to be improving every year though, so hopefully he can continue that steady increase in performance all the way up to the majors. Staten Island or Charleston seem like the likely destination for him this year.
  1. Oswaldo Cabrera – SS, 5-foot-10, 145-pounds, SH, 17-years-old – Cabrera shocked everyone last year when he came out of nowhere to dominate the DSL and GCL as a 17-year-old. He even held his own under the lights with Pulaski for 26 games. Overall he had a great season, hitting .345/.396/.523/.919 with four homeruns, 15 doubles, and four triples in 52 games. While he’s not a big guy, he shows surprising pop and has quick and strong wrists. He uses all fields and has an excellent hit tool. Right now he’s tiny, but all that means at this stage is that there’s a lot of projection left in him, even at the height of 5-foot-10. His defense is average across the board at shortstop, which is not a bad thing if he can hit the way he has. He also is very mature and is a smart fielder. I expect him to be similar to Thairo Estrada, maybe even better as time goes on. I’m excited to see what this kid can do though.
  1. Giovanny Gallegos – RHP, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, 25-years-old – He was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, which means the Yankees finally plan on using him in 2017, hopefully. Last year he was nothing short of dominant. He threw 78 innings and struck out 106 while walking just 17, and had a .175 average against. His fastball sits 94-96 mph and he has a plus curveball and plus changeup. This will be a big year for him. If he performs well he could become a staple in what is already a stellar bullpen.
  1. Adonis Rosa – RHP, 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 22-years-old – as always, this was the toughest spot to pick. There were 10-15 guys I could have put here, but I chose Rosa because of his deadly accuracy with his pitches. Last year he pitched in Charleston and Staten Island and had measured success. He had a 2.19 ERA with 73 K in 78 innings between the two levels, while walking just 15. He’s got a low-90’s fastball and a nasty changeup which keeps hitters puzzled. Not a big velocity guy, he also has a curveball which is developing quickly. This is the type of guy the Yankees have done well with. Over time if he gets stronger and adds velocity, while fine tuning his secondary pitches he could be a middle of the rotation starter, which is a huge commodity. He’ll start in either Low-A or High-A this year.
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45 Responses to 2017 Yankees Preseason top 50 prospects

  1. uyf1950 says:

    I have to admit any site that ranks Jorge Mateo ahead of Clint Frazier loses me at that point and probably isn't worth the time to read the rest of it.

    • Btw I also just want to make an important note here on how little I value other people's lists. For several years the consensus of the group was that Gary Sanchez was no longer a top prospect. Even as other sites had him outside the toparent 100 prospects in baseball and even outside the top 5, I continually ranked him near the top and caught a lot of flack for that. Look how that turned out for the Yankees. The point of bringing that up is not to say I am always right (because I am often wrong), but more to say that the rankings are pretty meaningless to me. I was bullish on Sanchez and I continue to be bullish on Mateo. I also think there is a bias against Mateo now because he is no longer the best shortstop in the system. I don't discredit those who do not have him in the top three, but personally I think he has rare speed and once he gets over the maturity issues (and I feel confident he will), I believe the talent will shine through again.

      • pojack says:

        . I remember how high you had Sanchez and kept him high when other sites were dropping him down, and i go see minor league games and thought on power and bat speed alone it was nuts. I agreed with you then and I agree with you now on Mateo as well( although I think Rutherford is the second best prospect) He's the one who its popular to drop and predict he will be a bust. Your also the first to move Nelson up in the same are as Dermis, I think they are both gonna be beasts.

    • Howard says:

      I agree with you because Mateo still hasn't made it out of A ball yet.
      Hopefully he can remotivate himself to get back to where he was in 2015.
      When we saw Mateo in Spring training 2015, we were oohing and aahing over him.
      If he doesn't improve this season, you will see him drop way down the list.
      But if he does improve, he will be in AA and then we can see what this kid is made of.

  2. Hey man good for you. If you don't want to read it though why did you feel the need to announce it to the world? Basically just to be mean I guess. Oh well, can't please everyone. You're gonna miss out on a ton of information on these guys though, and that's your loss.

    • uyf1950 says:

      Just so you don't think I'm blowing smoke at you:
      Ranking the Yankees Top 10 prospects by assigning points based on the 6 organizations rankings: 10 Points for 1st, 9 for 2nd and so on: 1) Torres 60 points, 2) Frazier 53 points, 3) Rutherford 48 points, 4) Mateo 37 points, 5) Kaprielian 34 points, 6) Sheffield 32 points, 7) Judge 27 points, 8) Adams 16 Points, 9) Abreu 8 points, 10) Acevedo 7 points, Honorable Mention at #11: Wade 5 points

      – Yankees prospects, 6 in Top 100 according to Keith Law-ESPN as of Jan, 27, 2017:
      Torres: #4 , Rutherford: #22, Frazier: #27, Kaprielian: #28, Judge: #44, Sheffield: #88
      – Yankees prospects, 7 in Top 100 according to MLB Pipeline as of Jan. 28, 2017:
      Torres: #3, Frazier: #24 , Rutherford: #37 , Judge: #45, Mateo: #47 , Kaprielian: #58, Sheffield: #88
      – Yankees prospects, 5 in Top 100 according to ZIPS Computer-Dan Szymborski, Jan. 28, 2017
      Torres #8, Frazier #9, Judge #34, Rutherford #44, Andujar #65…..No Kaprielian or Sheffield in group
      – Yankees prospects, 9 in Top 101 according to Baseball Prospectus…. February 6, 2017:
      Torres #15, Frazier #16, Mateo #43, Rutherford #49, Sheffield #52, Kaprielian #58, Judge #63, Abreu #82, Wade #101.

      • First of all you've completely neglected the best source of Yankees prospect info on the Internet, who by the way also ranked Jorge Mateo second. The fact that you don't know about that source tells me YOUR opinion is less valid. Secondly if you want to base your opinion off of what a bunch of websites think about prospects this is not the site for you. I have seen and watched every guy on this list who is above the rookie leagues. I use the information from that, as well as the information from various websites and scouting reports that I come across to make these rankings. A simple points system from all of the other websites is overly simplistic and a waste of time for me. If you are going to trash a top 50 because you don't agree with the position of one player on it, then you clearly don't understand prospect rankings. There is a great deal of subjectivity to it, and anyone who tells you different types is flat out lying. Secondly the position in the ranking is probably the least important thing about these rankings. The information contained in the blurb about each player is so much more valuable. I don't think you are blowing smoke up anyone's anything but your concerns are entirely unfounded and you are very misguided in terms of prospects.

    • tom says:

      I am sure he read the whole article.

      Anyways, I think Torres being in the system should humble Mateo big time. Let's find out if he actually gets his foot out of his mouth and plays well this year.

      Cashman is angry with you because you omit his favorite prospect Ronald Herrera. Ballsy!

      You finally get Yefrey Ramirez's repertoire. Cool. Now, what is his arm slot?

      • Herrera is in the next ten. As I always say, 35-70 are all pretty interchangeable at the end of the day. I think that's why most sources stop at 30.

        As for Ramirez's arm slot I cannot recall off hand. It's not one of the things I tend to look for because guys have success often regardless of arm slot. I'll look into it for you though.

  3. uyf1950 says:

    @ Greg Corceran, I'll hardly miss out. I follow pretty much every Yankees prospect and pretty much every ranking organization such as: BA, BP, Minor League Ball, MLB Pipeline, Keith Law, Bleacher Report and Zips. As well as several Yankees Blog ranking like PSA and RAB and NOT a single one of them ranked Mateo higher than Frazier.

    • Like I said earlier bud, good for you. Do you think I don't follow those sites? Do you think I don't know that they didn't like Mateo as much as I did? Of course it did. I put him there because I believe he belongs there, and no website ranking can change my mind about what I've seen with my own eyes.

      • uyf1950 says:

        Obviously rankings are subjective. But the fact that I quoted at least 8 sources that don't believe Mateo is the 2nd best Yankees prospect, only one of those 8 ranked him as high as 3rd tells me that the rankings being subjective or not, Mateo isn't the 2nd best Yankees prospect. Of course you are entitled to rank the prospects as you see fit based on your information. I just don't agree with it based on everything I've seen and read about Mateo and the rest of the prospects I listed previously.

        As for my ranking based on the point system previously mentioned, Personally I believe it's probably the fairest way to come up with an average ranking. Since they are all subjective that takes at least a bit of the subjectivity out of the individual rankings. But that's just my opinion.

        • Hey man you are welcome to disagree all you want. I am all for having a debate on who belongs where, but when you start with a comment like the one you started with, that does not open up discussion, it closes it. You have to learn how to talk to people respectfully. If you want to debate me though, I suggest you use better tactics than "but other people disagree with you." You might start by explaining what qualities Frazier has that make him a better player than Mateo. If you did that, I would listen and present my argument. That's how civilized debate works. Hopefully you are able to do that from now on.

        • tom says:

          Look at Greg's end of 2014 top 50.. http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/2014/12/bbdp-post-s

          He had him number one prospect in Yankees' system.

          Look at this url… http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player

          Where was he ranked in 2015?

          Did it mean Greg was an idiot as you suggested?

          Every scout ranking system may deliberately drop Mateo further in the rank due to his stinky attitude. It was the same happen to Gary Sanchez. Greg doesn't throw any attitude factor in his decision making process. He should not be discounted for being different from fluid documented ranking systems you mention.

          Also, remember I said fluid ranking systems, they do change during the season. Greg does not do that. Only hot and cold comments. I think he adjusts his top 50 after 1st half but I don't pay any attention due to not much noticable adjustment to my eyes.

  4. enter42 says:

    "Rutherford slipped to the Yankees at pick 18, despite the fact that he was expected to go top five. Some think it was because the Yankees were willing to go higher with the bonus than other teams."

    I don't get it, how does this keep 17 other teams from drafting him? Does the word get out that if anyone else drafts him he wont sign? Help me out someone, wife and I are racking our brain.

    • Oh sorry I wasn't clear about this. So before a team drafts a guy they call and give a preliminary offer and see if he would accept. On draft day, the Yankees were on the phone with Rutherford with their offer, and knowing what the Yankees were offering he said no to anyone offering less than that. No one matched the Yankees' offer so he fell to them.

      • enter42 says:

        Are they allowed to draft him anyway and hold the yanks hostage for a pick or 2?

        • tom says:

          Once a prospect is drafted, you can't trade him for one year.

          • The one year rule has changed…given what happened with Trea Turner. For example, Dane Dunning was a 2016 draftee and he was in the trade for Eaton this winter. And also Thomas Burrows went from Seattle to Atlanta in the same time frame….i.e. during off-season.

          • tom says:

            Excuse me. You are correct. Can't trade until after the WS conclusion. Still, it applies the same thing since the suggestible situation would happen during the draft period.

  5. They can definitely still draft him but it's risky because they're much more likely not to sign with you. It's one thing to do that with a college junior or senior, but he was a high school draftee. They have more leverage because he could easily just go to college for a couple of years if he doesn't sign. It's obviously very complicated and I'm sure there were other reasons he slipped as far as he did too.

  6. buckeyeballs says:

    nice work greg -looks reasonable to me. Thought Feyereisen and Polo might make the list. Two trades from last year I'll be watching close this year.

  7. Definitely in the next 20. A very good argument could be made for both in the top 50.

  8. RichardB says:

    Hi Greg, and thanks for your input. Thought Holder should be higher with his stats and am hoping to see more of him this year at the big league level. I do have one question for you though: Why isn't Mason Williams on your list? He's done everything at AAA the past 2 years and did well in his call up last season. It's my opinion that he'd be a better bet than Hicks to make the club this year and yet everything I read has Hicks making it. Can you help explain this?

    • Absolutely Richard. Thank you for yoir comment. He would definitely be on the list if he was eligible. He has too much major league time over multiple seasons so he did not qualify for my list by my own criteria. I agree with you though he is yet another solid young player the Yankees have that will hopefully contribute this year. If I had to pick a ranking for him, he'd probably be in the 30 to 40 range if that helps.

    • Oh and as for Holder, his stats were really good. The only thing holding him back on the countdown was his lackluster major league debut and the fact that he's a reliever. I wanted to put him higher. That said, top 30 for a reliever in a system this talented is very high. Can't wait to see him in the majors this year and I hope he kills it.

  9. Yankeesfan22 says:

    Jorge Guzman make the next 20?

  10. Terry says:

    I haven't seen Rutherford but watch his stats and those look good. I have seen Frazier and Mateo and maybe they had bad games but I came away less than impressed. I remember seeing Rueben Rivera in AA and thinking wow!! You could just see it. In his warmups,BP and his ML career was fleeting. I don't think Adams and Avecedo get enough love. I think both will be in the ML by the time ST 2018 breaks, if not before. Adams as a starter, Avecedo as a reliever. Can't wait to see JK this spring. Watched him on TV twice last ST. Once he looked good, the other the O's starters knocked him around pretty good. Where's he at this year? Really,really like his potential.Judge will be our RF, I think he'll bat around..230-.240 with around 25-30 hrs. Can't wait to see him also. Andujar, will he continue to develop or stall at the next level. I need to see him also. A 3rd basemen in our top ten, I must be dreaming. Hope he pans out.

    • gcorcoran says:

      Kaprielian can start anywhere between High-A and the major league, depending on how he shows up to camp and how he performs in Spring Training. That one is a total mystery to everyone, including Brian Cashman if you read his recent interviews.

      As far as Andujar the crazy thing is he's very underrated. If you look at his stats and compare them to what some scouts think he can do, he has only scratched the surface on his potential. Most give him .300 average, 30 homerun potential if he can hit his ceiling. At third base that would be a monster, especially with as good of defense as he plays.

  11. mosc says:

    Top 3 overrated on your list:
    Jorge Mateo
    Miguel Andujar
    Domingo Acevedo

    Top 3 underrated on your list:
    Tyler Wade
    Giovanni Gallegos
    Dietrich Enns

    • gcorcoran says:

      You could certainly make the argument, however I'd love to hear why you think they are over or underrated. The exact reason I have those players where they are is because I think they are underrated by many sources, and I have my theories on each one as to why that is. As for Wade, I unfortunately think he's a bit overrated by Yankees fans. I am a big fan of him (obviously as even if you think he's underrated he's rated pretty high), but he has still not shown any power whatsoever, and I don't think his other tools are big enough to bring him into the top 10 in this system. Gallegos and Enns though, they might be underrated by everyone, not just me. They are underrated because their velocity doesn't jump out at you although both have very good control and very good secondary stuff. I haven't seen many rank Enns ahead of where I have him at 26 though. I'm pretty high on him all things considered.

  12. Balt Yank says:

    I like this ranking and like Mateo at # 2. Maybe it's part promise, 82 SBs! Anyway, I would put Dustin Fowler closer to # 20 and move some of the below pitchers up. I say this because Dustin Fowler's year at Double A (280, 313 OBA w/ 12 homers) is yawn level. This means according to this chart the Yankees have 1-12 real prospects. The rest are very very speculative and "players to be named later" in trades. Heller, Eins, Montgomery, Holder should be above Fowler. That being said, great write ups here. Thanks for the list!

    • gcorcoran says:

      Interesting perspective. You seem to value proximity to the major leagues as an important factor for ranking. That is my last criteria. If two players are completely equal, I use proximity to the majors as my tie breaker. I very much like Heller, Enns, Montgomery, and Holder. It's tough to put any reliever ahead of Dustin Fowler for me. I know the numbers aren't eye popping, but he was young for the level last year and showed five tools. I always rank guys like that higher. I also don't think he has developed his man strength yet. When he does, I think he's a 20/20 player who can hit for average and play defense. That's a commodity. Of the players your mentioned, the one who I would maybe rank ahead of holder is Montgomery, because he's a lefty starter who sits in the mid 90's and has good secondary pitches as well. Enns is a 5th starter if he hits his ceiling (more likely a reliever). Fowler is a starting outfielder with 20/20 potential if he hits his ceiling. I'd take the latter. That said, I think you could make a valid argument to put some of those guys ahead of Fowler, and I'd love to hear your justification.

      • Balt Yank says:

        Hey, thanks for the thoughtful response and suggestions. I do value "proximity" if that also includes plausible proximity which means close and showing promise to succeed. I don't know enough about Fowler but 22 years old at Double A is not blowing my mind. Nor are his STATS. But I have never watched him. I'd rather rank a pitcher higher than an outfielder who is not break out.

  13. Yankeesfan22 says:

    Does Austin DeCarr still have top 30 potential if he's healthy this year?

    • gcorcoran says:

      Yes he does. We'd have to see an uptick in stuff though and he'd have to stay healthy. If we see that he's definitely top 30 fodder.

      • Yankeesfan22 says:

        I'd like to see Jordan Foley make a jump this year either as a starter or a reliever. Also Katoh and Degano. Time is running out on them, especially if Degano can't find the strike zone.

        • Jordan Foley has already played well. I believe he'll play in the majors eventually. As for the other two yes they are running out of time fast. This might be a make or break year for both.

          • Yankeesfan22 says:

            I agree about Foley. As a college drafted player with an awesome K/9 ratio I'd like to see him end the year in Scranton. Any thoughts on Gittens, Conde or Caleb Frare if they are not in your 51-75 write up?

          • gcorcoran says:

            I really hope he's in Triple-A as well. I am hoping for an uptick in stuff this year from him which I actually think will happen since he's got the size and he's now a full on reliever. As for Gittens he's in my top 50, at #25 so if you want to know what I think of him, check out my blurb on him above. Frare will be in my next writeup, and long story short I like him a ton but he's at a crowded position on this farm. Finally, as for Conde he will not be in my next writeup. I think he has the potential to be a major league backup somewhere with his defensive skill, but in this system he is just an org guy unfortunately. I wish him the best though and I hope he makes it to the show someday.

  14. Yankeesfan22 says:

    My bad on Gittens. I think for some reason when I was reading through the list I confused Gittens with Chris Breen who I think was released last year. I like Frare as well. He's bounced back nicely from TJS. I'm not a huge Kyle Holder fan but he hits better then Conde so I can see Conde moving to another organization. Two more and I'll stop quizzing you. Power bats Drew Bridges and Isiah Gilliam?

    • Gilliam is in the next writeup, Drew Bridges is not. I've been waiting for the breakout that never came from Bridges for three years. When it didn't come last year I think he's lost his prospect luster. He'd have to have an absolutely monstrous year to get back on my radar, as he is now old for his level.

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