The 2020 all homegrown Yankees

In the past when I have done this exercise it was a fantasy. Oddly enough that fantasy is starting to become a reality. For several years now I have been looking three years ahead and predicting who would be the starting lineup for the Yankees if they let all of the non-homegrown contracts expire, and traded and released the rest, leaving only prospects that are currently in the system to fill the gaps. This year the Yankees are actually close to making that a reality. My most recent iteration for the 2018 team already has several “hits,” including Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Robert Refsnyder, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, and Dellin Betances.

It’s a very exciting time to be a farm system fan, and for that reason I am more eager than ever to unveil my prediction for the 2020 team.

Catcher – Gary Sanchez – The guy is a star, this is pretty self-explanatory.

Backup – Kyle Higashioka – I think Higashioka forces the Yankees to give him a shot when he runs out of options and they have to choose between him and Romine. They’ll trade one or the other, but I think they keep Higashioka because he has more upside.

First Base –  Greg Bird – I think he’ll come back strong from the shoulder injury this year, and by 2020 he will be a mainstay in the lineup. He’s one of the only sources of left handed power in the lineup, so he’ll be an important piece going forward.

Second base – Jorge Mateo – He’s already taken reps at second, and he’ll be the perfect complement to Torres. They’ll be one of the better up the middle combinations in baseball, both offensively and defensively.

Shortstop – Gleyber Torres – This one is obvious. He’s a top 5 prospect in all of baseball, so he’ll most certainly get his chance to start at shortstop.

Third Base – Miguel Andujar – He’s finally knocking at the door. An excellent fielder with the bat breaking out, the Yankees may soon have their third baseman of the future. There will be several guys competing to steal his spot though with Dermis Garcia and Nelson Gomez coming up behind him.

Centerfield – Blake Rutherford – With declining speed, Brett Gardner will not be very useful when his current contract expires. Meanwhile, I expect Rutherford to tear through the minors quickly. 2020 will be his year, a potential star.

Left field – Clint Frazier – One of the best outfield prospects in the game, he should be settling into a role in left field by 2020, hopefully in an all-star level capacity.

Right field – Aaron Judge – This behemoth has the chance to be one of the biggest, most powerful, and yet one of the most athletic right fielders in the game if he can cut down on his strikeouts. 2017 will be the beginning of his learning curve, and hopefully by 2020 he is a productive, homerun hitting right fielder.

Backup 1B/DH – Chris Gittens – It’s close between him and Mike Ford, but I think Gittens has more power potential and ultimately beats him out as the backup first baseman/DH.

Infield utility/OF – Tyler Wade – He’s becoming incredibly versatile, with experience at SS, 2B, and in the OF. He’s got speed and some developing power, and is a strong defender at every position.

Backup OF – Dustin Fowler – A tremendous athlete with a great hit tool and developing power, Fowler makes the perfect fourth outfielder as he can both hit, and play any position in the outfield. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that he could even be a starter in this group if one of the other guys falters. There will be plenty of competition to go around though, with guys like Billy McKinney, Trey Amburgey, and Estevan Florial all in the system currently.

Backup IF/OF – Wilkerman Garcia – The Yankees are training their middle infielders to play outfield and every position in the infield. This makes them insanely valuable. They’ll likely do the same with Garcia. I predict he breaks out either this year or next, and then moves very quickly up the ladder. He’ll have some stiff competition with Thairo Estrada, Abiatal Avelino, Hoy Jun Park, Solak, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Kyle Holder around.

Ace – James Kaprielian – All indications are this guy is the real deal. Mid-90’s fastball that reaches the upper 90’s, and a repertoire that already looks major league ready.

Starting Pitcher #2 – Luis Severino – I will bet that he majorly improves his numbers in 2017 and becomes a mainstay in the rotation going forward.

Starting Pitcher #3 – Chance Adams – The guy has unbelievable stuff, maybe even better than Kaprielian

Starting Pitcher #4 – Justus Sheffield – He makes this a pretty small rotation height wise, but he’s as good as pitchers three or four inches taller than him.

Starting Pitcher #5 – Jordan Montgomery – Lefty with a mid-90’s fastball and a deep major league repertoire. I’ll take that as my fifth starter any day.

Note: The system is rich with starters right now, Acevedo, Tate, Abreu, Dietrich Enns, Freicer Perez, Domingo German, and many, many others could hold spots in the rotation.

Closer – Dellin Betances – We know this guy, he’s a monster.

Setup man – Domingo Acevedo – Acevedo is a bit like Betances, except with better control earlier in his career. He’ll be a monster as a reliever.

Relief Pitcher #3 – Dillon Tate – Reaching the upper 90’s as a starter, there’s no telling how hard Tate will be able to throw as a reliever. I say he reaches triple digits. That and his slider is all he’ll need to be a late inning guy.

Relief Pitcher #4 – Albert Abreu – Another upper 90’s fireballer who routinely reaches 99 mph, all he needs to do is make his inconsistently plus curveball into a consistently plus one, and he’ll be pretty filthy as a reliever.

Relief Pitcher #5 – Freicer Perez – Yet another monstrously tall man, this bullpen might be one of the tallest of all time, as well as the hardest throwing. He too can reach 99-100 mph as a starter and has great control for a guy his size.

Relief Pitcher #6 – Domingo German – Yet another guy who tops out at 99, has good control, and has a killer changeup and developing slider. Yikes.

Relief Pitcher #7 – Jonathan Holder – He might be the slowest throwing pitcher amongst all of these relievers, but he’s also likely to be the most reliable. He’s more of a lower to mid 90’s guy who has multiple secondary offerings to get guys out. Might be a perfect swing man type for the Yankees.

Relievers are the hardest to predict. Johnny Barbato, Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve, Giovanny Gallegos, Chad Green, Ben Heller, J.P. Feyereisen, and countless others will be competing for spots.

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16 Responses to The 2020 all homegrown Yankees

  1. uyf1950 says:

    Amazing list of prospects/talent. Even if only 10 to 20% of them live up to their potential the Yankees are going to be loaded for a very long time.

  2. RJYankee says:

    A lot of these guys aren't "homegrown". Frazier, Torres, Sheffield, Tate, ect all came via trades so technically aren't home grown. They are loaded with studs however.

  3. tom says:

    Caleb Frare over Jonathan Holder.

  4. buckeyeballs says:

    Need more lefty power and a lefty reliever, otherwise quite plausible and fun to think about. If Chapman stays and Didi keeps improving his power numbers and they sign him, problem solved-he's be at third or second

  5. Balt Yank says:

    Great article. Solid predictions. We need at least 20% to pan out. It appears Torres / Mateo will pan out and some of these pitchers, at least. I still see Severino in the bullpen. Hope you're right though! Super Sev is young and he just needs a third pitch. It may "click."

  6. ERIC PELLIS says:

    I love this article even though the probability factor is low. This is an exciting time to be a Yankee fan. Brian Cahman has his work cut out for him as he will be faced with many tough decisions on the Farm system, trades, and free agency. It is his job to put this puzzle together and bring the Yanks back to glory.

  7. tdw1325 says:

    I like what you did here. Dellin Betances is not staying past 2019 Arbitration. He hates the Yankees GM

    • gcorcoran says:

      He has three years to forget about this. Also, I think he'll do what's best for him and his family, which usually involves one of two things. Either staying put or going for the most money. The Yankees will likely represent both. If the Yankees want to keep a guy, they usually do. Same kind of thing happened with Jeter and he still signed again.

  8. mosc says:

    Tyler Austin says your list sucks. I can't imagine a world where Chris Gittens is a better hitter than Austin.

    • gcorcoran says:

      lol I couldn't go with the obvious answer for every position. I think Austin is far from a sure thing, especially with the injuries he has had. I would love to see Austin sticking at the DH or backup 1B/RF. Don't knock Gittens though. He is a massive dude and has more power than Austin by a decent amount. We're talking 40 homerun potential here. I agree it's a relative long shot but he's got more upside than Austin right now. I totally agree that Austin is the higher probability guy though.

  9. james says:

    what i love the most about what the future holds for the Yankees is the current players like Didi, Castro, Tanaka, and even Chapman have great trade value over the next 2-3 years. that will help keep the farm system stocked with young talent.

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