The unbelievably talented not top 50 8


You’ve seen my top 50 prospects. This year more than any other year I felt terrible excluding so many good prospects from the top 50. So much so that I decided to recognize 51 other players in the system who I believe deserve to be mentioned. Please don’t take the numbers in front of each player to heart, as these players are all so close it really isn’t fair to attach a ranking to them. The numbers are more just there to count them. Anyway, I hope you enjoy a look into the more obscure, unknown players on the farm.

  1. Miguel Flames – 1B, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – Flames has a highly advanced bat for a young kid. He had mediocre numbers in his first season stateside, but that is not unexpected from an 18-year-old adjusting to life here. He’s a big kid and will have to watch his figure going forward. He hit .263/.310/.338/.647 last year with one homer, seven doubles, and a triple. He has excellent hand-eye-coordination as is evidenced by his low strikeout rate. He had just 16 in 47 games. He’s very hitterish, and most scouts feel he will develop considerable power in the future. If he does he could become a factor for the major leagues. He’ll likely start in Pulaski or Staten Island this year, with an outside chance to make Charleston.
  1. Diego Castillo – SS/2B, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – with some of the top shortstops in the entire minor leagues in the Yankees’ system, Diego Castillo often takes a back seat. Make no mistake though, he belongs in the discussion. His first year stateside he had decent numbers, although he did not show much in the way of power or speed offensively. He hit .267/.332/.327/.659 with one homer, seven doubles, and five stolen bases in 44 games. He too showed excellent hand-eye coordination though, with just 21 K in 44 games. He finished the season 18 for his last 56 (.321) with six walks (.387 OBP). It’s a good sign that he got better throughout the season and if he continues that trend he could become a big name next season. He’s got average defensive tools across the board, except for his baseball acumen, which is a plus trait. He will probably be best suited at second base long term.
  1. Dan Camarena – LHP, 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, 24-years-old – Dan Camarena is a talented kid who is in an incredibly talented system right now. He pitched really well last year over three levels, mostly in Double-A. He threw 141.2 innings and had 114 K and just 24 BB, with a 3.68 ERA. He has a low velocity fastball, high-80’s low 90’s, but also has a plus changeup and curveball. He also has a slider and cutter which are both major league pitches and which he can locate with precision. Camarena’s window is closing but he still has a chance to be a 4th or 5th starter if he can get the opportunity.
  1. Isiah Gilliam – RF, 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, SH, 20-years-old – Yankees picked up Gilliam in the 20th round of the 2015 draft, and he has already shown considerable power. Last year he hit 10 homeruns and 14 doubles for a line of .239/.301/.440/.742. Gilliam has a good arm defensively, but is not the most nimble outfielder yet. He’s working on things on both sides of the ball. His future lies in his power and his bat though. That’s his meal ticket. He’ll likely start in Staten Island, but there’s an outside chance he makes it to Charleston.
  1. Donny Sands – C, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, RHB, 20-years-old – His first year catching would have to be described as a resounding success. He went from never catching a game in his life to being trusted to catch against professionals over two levels. He still managed to hit well, with a .286/.328/.375/.703 with two homeruns and four doubles in 30 games. At this point he is a long-term project, but that could change quickly with the sudden lack of depth at catcher in this system. I am excited to see how he develops.
  1. Jason Lopez – C, 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – This ranking is all about potential. Lopez will be just 19 to start the 2017 season, yet he already has two seasons under his belt. He only got in 11 games last season, but the experience he gained coming stateside was invaluable. He has just a .233 average so far in his career, but that will likely improve as the Yankees like his bat more than his stats. He has plus tools defensively as well. He’s another long-term guy but he’ll also look to fill the catching void this year.
  1. J.P. Feyereisen – RHP, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 24-years-old – Feyereisen crushed Double-A this year, with 78 K to 26 BB in 58.1 innings and a 1.7 ERA. He still could use to cut down on the walks, but he’s really coming into his own. He’s sitting 95 mph and topping out at 100, and has a curveball and a below average changeup. He needs to find way to regain control of his pitches. If so, he’s a potential late inning reliever.
  1. Josh Rogers – LHP, 6-foot-3, 185-pounds 22-years-old – Rogers had a huge year statistically last season. He spent most of the year in High-A and finished with 136.1 innings pitched, 115 K to just 22 walks, and a 2.38 ERA. He sits 90-93 mph with the fastball, and at his size there is still more left in the tank if he gets stronger. His secondary pitches are an average change and curve. His control is where he really excels. If he has an uptick in his stuff he could have a Jordan Montgomery like ceiling.
  1. Ricardo Ferreira – CF, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, SH, 22-years-old – Ricardo had a big year in 2016. He skipped over the rookie leagues from the DSL and went straight to Staten Island, where he caught on pretty quickly. He then got promoted to Charleston where he held his own. Considering it was his first time in the states and his first time under the lights, he performed admirably. Overall he had a .244/.324/.331/.655 line with three homeruns, nine doubles, two triples, and 26 SB in 67 games. He has 80 speed, a plus hit tool, is a major stolen base threat, and the potential to be a plus fielder in center.
  1. Austin DeCarr – RHP, 6-foot-3, 218-pounds, 21-years-old – He’s now approaching his fourth year with the organization and will be 22 to start the season. He will be a full year away from elbow surgery. It’s time for him to make a move soon. Last year in his first year back from surgery, he threw 39.1 innings and struck out 31 while walking 17. He had a 4.12 ERA. He lost velocity on his fastball after the surgery, now sitting 90-91 instead of mid-90’s before. He has a once plus curveball and a burgeoning changeup now, but this year will be huge for him because if he doesn’t get the stuff back it may never return.
  1. Luis Cedeno – RHP, 5-foot-11, 154-pounds, 22-years-old – Cedeno improved many things about his game in 2016, including his velocity, his strikeout rate and his walk rate. He finished the year with a 3.68 ERA, 107.2 innings, 95 strikeouts to just 36 walks, and a .249 average against. His velocity was up to mid-90’s this year and even touched 98 mph. He has a good curveball and changeup combo for his secondary pitches. With his bump in stuff, he has put himself on the cusp of the top 50, and could even be top 30 by midseason if he hits the ground running.
  1. Tito Polo – OF, 5-foot-9, 185-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Polo had a big year in 2016, definitely his breakout season. He hit .289/.359/.447/.807 with 16 homeruns, 17 doubles, and three triples, while stealing 37 bases in 111 games. He has average power already with plus speed. He has average arm strength, and he profiles as a fourth outfielder which is his floor at this stage with a small chance he could become a major league regular.
  1. Kyle Holder – SS, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old – We are just now finding out just how talented Kyle Holder is defensively. Between his range, instincts, throwing arm, and ridiculously soft hands he is widely considered the best defensive shortstop in the entire minor leagues. His offensive skills are a work in progress, but if he can be merely average offensively then he will be a valuable major leaguer. Last year he was okay with the bat, hitting .290/.323/.347/.669 with 13 doubles, two triples, and a homerun in 88 games. His age is working against him, and so is his bat, but he does seem to be improving and if he continues that trend into 2017 he’ll move into legit prospect territory. He likely starts in High-A this year and from there he could advance quickly if he hits and if there is space for him.
  1. Jorge Guzman – RHP, 6-foot-2, 182-pounds, 21-years-old – He threw 40 innings last season in the rookie leagues and struck out 54 with 17 walks. The control needs to get better, but he has a fastball that has reached 103 mph. He also throws a power slider that has plus potential, and a changeup which is a work in progress. Shocking that a guy who throws over 100 mph isn’t even in the top 50. He’ll probably go to Staten Island or Charleston to start the year.
  1. Cale Coshow – RHP, 6-foot-5, 260-pounds, 24-years-old – Coshow is getting a little long in the tooth but he’s also getting close to the majors. He had a rough year this year where he uncharacteristically struggled with control. He had a 4.03 ERA, 70 K, and 50 walks in 89.1 innings this year. He did go back and forth between starting and relieving, which is always tough. He’ll sit upper 90’s with his fastball and even hit triple digits. He also throws a cutter (his best secondary pitch), and will mix in a slider and changeup too. He’ll start in Double-A this year and if he can find more control he’ll be in Triple-A and maybe the Scranton shuttle in short order.
  1. Ronald Herrera – RHP, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, 21-years-old – Herrera’s stuff is pretty good for a guy his size. He sits 90-95 with his fastball, and also throws a cutter, a two seamer, a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. You read correctly, the guy has six pitches. He has great control as well of all of his pitches. He threw 137 innings this year and struck out 131 batters while walking just 35. He sported a 3.94 ERA over that span. Over the past three seasons, he has consistently thrown over 130 innings, leaving little doubt about his durability. He’ll likely pitch in Double-A and Triple-A this season and hopefully will take a step forward with some of his pitches so he can be close to major league ready if a need arises.
  1. Rashad Crawford – OF, 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, LHB, 23-years-old – Crawford has been around for a while in the minors. Five years to be exact. He’s now entering his sixth season in the minors. At this point, he is at the point where he will soon be too old to be considered a major league prospect. He performed well last season though, especially after being traded to the Yankees. He hit .264/.341/.380/.721 on the season with five homeruns, 20 doubles, and eight triples with 26 stolen bases. He definitely has speed and great defensive tools, but time is running out for him. If he could develop a bit more power that would go a long way for his future. He has great speed and his stolen base numbers will only get better. He also has a quick bat and great athleticism. There’s a good amount of potential that’s still there. He’ll likely start 2017 in Double-A.
  1. Stephen Tarpley – LHP, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, 23-years-old – The Yankees got Tarpley as part of the Ivan Nova deal last year along with Tito Polo. He wasn’t a bad get. He had a down year in 2016, with a 4.54 ERA and 93 K in 105 innings, while walking 39. His fastball will sit low 90’s and hit 94-95 mph with regularity. He also has a curveball, slider, and changeup which are all solid offerings. He definitely has the stuff to make some noise, but at 23 he’ll have to hit the ground running and start making moves this year. He’ll compete for a spot in Tampa and Trenton, but might be stuck in the bullpen to start the year if the Yankees can’t find room for him.
  1. Juan De Paula – RHP, 6-foot-3, 165-pounds, 19-years-old – The Yankees picked up two really good prospects for Ben Gamel this offseason. Cashman did a great job with this trade. In his first year stateside, De Paula pitched well in the GCL, throwing 41 innings and striking out 53 while walking just 11. He had a 3.07 ERA and was 18 most of the season. He’s a big, young kid who sits low 90’s with the fastball and can already touch 94 mph. There’s a good chance he’ll add velocity at his size as well. He also throws a curveball and a changeup. He’ll likely start in either Pulaski or Staten Island with an outside shot of making Charleston out of Spring Training.
  1. Jio Orozco – RHP, 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, 19-years-old – He too was 18 for most of last season, and he also came over in the Ben Gamel trade. He was a 14th round pick by the Mariners and has spent his first two seasons in rookie ball. He’ll sit 91-94 mph with his fastball, and it sinks. He also has a 12-to-6 curveball and a good changeup. He has a good feel for pitching, and good control for his age. He used those tools to throw 48.2 innings this year and had a 4.07 ERA in the GCL. He struck out 63 and walked 16. Those are pretty good numbers. He too will likely start out in either Pulaski or Staten Island, with an outside chance to make Charleston.
  1. Zack Littell – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees got Littell, who was originally drafted by the Mariners in the 11th round, in the Pazos trade. It was a pretty good return for a guy they probably weren’t going to be able to use much and have many replacements for. Littell has a legitimate starter ceiling with some projection left. He threw 165.2 innings in 2016, and struck out 156 while walking just 34. He sported a 2.66 ERA over two levels (Low-A and High-A). He sits low 90’s with the fastball, but also has a curveball and a changeup. At his size, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him creep up in the velocity department as time goes on. I see him as a mid-90’s guy by the time he turns 25.
  1. Will Carter – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 24-years-old – Speaking of mid-90’s guys, Carter fits the bill. He has gone as high as 98 mph, and he also throws a plus curveball, and is working on a changeup. His long-term projection appears likely to be in relief, but he could be a late inning reliever at the velocity he is able to hit. Last years he started 21 games and struggled with consistency. He threw 107.1 innings, had a 4.61 ERA, and struck out 68 while walking 37. It was a down year for him but he still has time to right the ship. Depending on whether he continues as a starter or converts to reliever, he could start anywhere from back at High-A to Double-A.
  1. Caleb Frare – LHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 23-years-old – Frare had a breakout season in 2015, and had a really good encore to follow it up in 2016. Last year he had 52 K, a 0.92 ERA, and 23 BB in 49.0 innings. His average against was under the Mendoza line. Coming from the left side he averages 94-96 mph and he has a nasty slider. He’ll start in Double-A this year, and from there he could easily find himself wearing pinstripes if the right opportunity presents itself.
  1. James Reeves – LHP, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, 23-years-old – Reeves had a dominant season in 2016, throwing 97.1 innings over three levels, while striking out 117 batters and walking just 30. He started 12 games and came in relief for the rest. He had just a .175 average against. Much like Hissong, he is a fastball, slider, changeup guy. He sits 91 mph with the fastball and can hold the velocity late into games. He has a funky delivery, and has a shot to contribute at the major league level if he can carve out a role.
  1. Jordan Foley – RHP, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, 23-years-old – Foley moved back to the bullpen this season and it went quite well. He threw 65.1 innings, struck out 88 while walking 33, and had a 3.03 ERA. The major area for improvement now is the walks. He will need better control to pitch in the majors. He has a mid-90’s two-seamer and a mid to upper 90’s four-seamer. He also has a big slider and a splitter he can use if needed. This year could be his break out year. He’ll start in Trenton and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him get some time in the majors this year.
  1. Jeff Hendrix – OF, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, LHB, 23-years-old – Hendrix has almost nonexistent power. He has good bat speed, and near plus speed. He’s a solid defender who can stick in centerfield. This past year he broke out in a major way. He finished the season with a .293/.381/.379/.760 line with 21 doubles, four triples, and a homerun in 97 games. He improved his contact rate and his power numbers from his first season, and will look to continue to improve on those aspects of his game. He has shown speed on the base paths with 17 stolen bases, but he’ll need to put up better numbers than that if he wants to make it all the way to the majors.
  1. Zack Zehner – OF, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, RHB, 24-years-old – Zehner is a big, strong outfielder who lacks the same athleticism of Hendrix, but has his own tool set that could prove useful if it develops. He had a .278/.384/.374/.758 line this year with 24 doubles, two triples, and three homeruns in 109 games. He showed excellent patience, and the Yankees hope he will develop power over the next year or so. If he can get that power going, he’ll be in the conversation for corner outfield in the majors.
  1. Eduardo Rivera – RHP, 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, 24-years-old – He can hit triple digits with his fastball, and has a nasty curveball on top of that. There aren’t many relievers in the system with better stuff, but he has to learn how to control it. He had a very good season in 2016, with a 1.34 ERA and 47 K to 19 BB in 33.2 innings. He had a .180 average against. He’ll likely start in Tampa this year and will move quickly if he can corral the wildness.
  1. Mandy Alvarez – 3B, 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Alvarez was the Yankees 17th round pick in 2016. He signed and quickly became one of the better performing players from the draft. He hit .288/.306/.404/.711 with five homeruns and 16 doubles last year. He doesn’t strike out much and makes contact early in the count, so he’ll have to work on drawing more walks. He’s got power and a great hit tool though, so you never know if that will carry him up the latter in the minors. He could either start in Low-A or High-A this season.
  1. Christian Morris – RHP, 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, 23-years-old -Yankees got a starter’s repertoire in the 33rd round of the 2015 draft, which is a coup for them. In 2016, he dominated Low-A. He had a 2.99 ERA, 99 K and just 24 BB in 120 innings. He has a low-90’s fastball, curveball, and changeup, all of which he can control well. He’s also a big kid, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for him to gain velocity. He’ll likely start in High-A, but that’s a crowded rotation and he’ll really have to earn a spot or pitch out of the bullpen.
  1. Daris Vargas – RHP, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, 24-years-old – Vargas is relatively old, but he actually also is still new to pitching. He has only been pitching full time since 2013. 2016 was a big breakout year for him. He threw 131.1 innings, struck out 108, walked 57, and had a 2.95 ERA. He is a hard throwing righty, sitting in the 96 range when I’ve seen him play and reaching as high as 99 mph. He has a slider and changeup, but will need to develop them more if he ever wants to play in the majors. He’ll likely start in Tampa in 2017.
  1. Dom Thompson-Williams – OF, 6-foot-0, 185-pounds, LHB, 21-years-old – Yankees picked up DTW in the 5th round this past year. He had a pretty successful first year. He hit .246/.348/.344/.691 with three homeruns, eight doubles, a triple, and 15 SB in his first season. He also hit seven homeruns in the NCAA last season and stole 18 more bases there. The Yankees love his fielding capabilities, and are even more impressed with his speed and power combo. He could be a sleeper this year and will likely start at Low-A Charleston.
  1. Carlos Vidal – CF, 5-foot-11, 160-pounds, LHB, 21-years-old – Injuries prevented Vidal from playing most of the season in 2016, and were likely part of the reason he wasn’t effective when he did play. That said, he is just one season removed from hitting .303/.389/.492/.881 in Pulaski as a 19-year-old. He is very Ramon Flores-like in that he is a smaller guy who has more pop than you’d expect, and has a discerning eye at the plate. Where he separates himself from Flores is that he has more speed and his power has actually shown up in games. Vidal’s tools are pretty impressive for a guy his size. He barrels the baseball as well as anyone in the system, and has a line drive swing with some loft in it. His speed is an asset as well. He’ll steal a base here and there, and could steal 30 over a full season. This year he’ll likely get another crack at Charleston as long as he stays healthy.
  1. Simon De la Rosa – RHP, 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, 23-years-old – De la Rosa had yet another season where he showed a major lack of control. He did seem to really improve throughout the season though, and in Staten Island he seemed to figure out some things. It was the best stretch of his career so far. In SI, he had a 3.38 ERA with 76 K to 29 BB in 69.1 innings. He still has a long way to go and it’s gonna be tough for him to find innings at the lower levels this year. If he does though, he could be a breakout candidate who moves fast.
  1. Brandon Wagner – 1B, 6-foot-0, 210-pounds, LHB, 21-years-old – Wagner had a wonderful season in 2016. He hit .267/.369/.471/.839 with eight homeruns and 12 doubles in 54 games in the rookie leagues. He has excellent bat speed and a solid hit tool, but he is not a plus defender. In fact, the Yankees had to move him to first base. Now that he’s at a premium offensive position, he’s going to have to turn into an elite hitter if he wants to move up and play in the majors. It’s tough to say where he’ll end up starting this year, but the smart money is on going back to extended Spring training and then playing in Staten Island.
  1. Juan Jimenez – RHP, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, 23-years-old – Jimenez is another pitcher with knockout stuff in the lower minors for the Yankees. Last year he pitched well for Pulaski, with a 3.57 ERA and 56 K in 58 innings. He walked a few too many but that was out of character for him and I don’t expect that to continue. He has a mid-90’s fastball that can hit 97, and he has a slider and a changeup. He could start in Charleston or go back to extended this year, but he’ll have to start moving quickly. My guess is if he doesn’t make the roster as a starter in Charleston, they’ll put him in relief.
  1. Rafael Lara – RHP, 5-foot-10, 166-pounds, 21-years-old – Another kid who throws a mid-90’s fastball that can hit 97, and has a curveball and changeup to complement it. He is small, so there’s no projection left, but if he improves his control and secondary offerings he could be a great find. Most likely he’ll find himself in the bullpen eventually. This year he’ll likely go to extended and then end up in Staten Island or Charleston at some point.
  1. Erick Mendez – OF, 6-foot-0, 185-pounds, RHB, 20-years-old – Mendez is one of the more unheralded international guys, but he has come along nicely and appears to be getting close to making a name for himself. He his .296/.373/.510/.883 in 26 GCL games in his first taste of USA baseball. He then got promoted to Pulaski where he struggled in his first experience under the lights. He definitely has power, and he has a cannon in the outfield. He’s still very young too. The Yankees are hoping he develops into a real power threat. He’ll likely repeat Pulaski or play in Staten Island this year.
  1. Terrance Robertson – CF, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, LHB, 20-years-old – The book on Robertson when he was drafted was that he has the bat to ball skills, the defensive skills, and the plus speed. He has absolutely no power though. The goal for him was quite simple, get bigger and stronger. Last year he showed slightly more power than last year, and also was more aggressive on the base paths. He hit .250/.387/.302/.689 and stole 13 bases. The key for him going forward will be to at least develop serviceable power. If he’s able to do that he’ll become a legitimate prospect in the coming years. Depending on how he looks when he shows up to camp, he could end up in either Pulaski or Staten Island, with an outside shot at Charleston if he really impresses.
  1. Edel Luaces – OF, 6-foot-5, 205-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Luaces is a bit raw, but what he lacks in refinement he more than makes up with in tools. He has elite speed, solid power, and a good arm in the outfield. He’s on the older side but still has a fair amount of upside left in him. The Yankees will look to develop the bat and hope this kid will take off. He performed well in his first go around. He hit .241/.340/.460/.800 and stole four bases. He hit 11 doubles, six triples, and five homeruns in 50 games.
  1. Daniel Alvarez – RHP, 6-foot-3, 228-pounds, 20-years-old – Now approaching his fourth year with the Yankees, Alvarez will likely move very quickly from here on out. Most recently, Alvarez threw 62 innings between the GCL and Pulaski and had a 1.6 ERA while striking out 49. He had a .225 average against and walked just 15. The fastball will sit upper 80’s to low 90’s, and the curveball and changeup are both really good. He also has excellent control. At just 20-years-old and with his size, I expect his velocity to creep up over the years and he could become a big name at that point. He’ll start in either extended or in Charleston next year.
  1. Miguel Yajure – RHP, 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, 18-years-old – His first season stateside was a success. He threw 31.1 innings, struck out 21 and walked just five. He had a 2.87 ERA. Yajure has a bit more velocity than Daniel Alvarez, sitting at 92 mph, and he still has the control and good secondary pitches. He has a changeup that is his best secondary pitch right now. He’s still working on a breaking ball, but he’s already got great polish for a kid his age. He’ll likely start back in extended this year.
  1. Evan Alexander – OF, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, LHB, 19-years-old – Alexander hit a respectable .253/.362/.322/.684 in his first taste of professional baseball. He also hit a double, a triple, and a homerun while stealing six bases in 32 games. He’s a plus runner in a similar mold to Terrance Robertson, as a lefty with little to no current power. He’s a good athlete as well though, and makes consistent contact. Similarly to Robertson, if he develops some power he could really take off. He’ll likely start in extended Spring Training this year and where he goes from there will depend on how good he looks.
  1. Juan De Leon – RF, 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – De Leon missed most of the season last year, and was not particularly good when he did make it into games. 12 game is not a good enough sample size to say anything about a player though, especially when coming off an injury. He has unbelievable bat speed and real power. He also has a great arm in the field. It is imperative that he stays healthy this year because he needs the chance to develop these tools. He’ll likely be back in the rookie leagues unless he comes to camp looking like a monster.
  1. Chaz Hebert – LHP, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, 24-years-old – Hebert returns from Tommy John surgery this year after missing all of 2016. He was coming off the best season of his career, his breakout season. In 2015 he threw 134 innings, mostly in High-A, and had a 2.55 ERA, 108 K, just 30 BB, and a .242 average against. He has a low-90’s fastball, a changeup, curveball, cutter, and slider. We’ll see how he comes back from the surgery.
  1. Jonathan Padilla – RHP, 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, 23-years-old – Padilla is an older guy with good stuff, a fastball that can hit 95 and will sit in the low-90’s, a curveball, and a changeup. He has pitched well every year he has been in the system. Last year he had a 2.37 ERA, 57 K and 12 BB in 57 innings. He has excellent control. He has had steady progression since signing, and hopefully we will continue to see him progress. He’ll compete for a spot in Charleston but could end up back in extended or in the bullpen.
  1. Travis Hissong – RHP, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, 25-years-old – Hissong is not the biggest, most physically gifted guy, but boy can he pitch. He had a fantastic season in 2016, where he had a 1.88 ERA and 84 K in 72 innings over three levels (Low-A to Double-A). He kept hitters on their heels all season long, which is what he does. He sits 92-94 mph with the fastball and has an above average slider and changeup as well. The bottom line is he has major league caliber stuff. It will be a great story if he gets his chance because he was an undrafted free agent.
  1. Tony Hernandez – LHP, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 20-years-old – The Yanks picked up Hernandez in the 15th round of the draft last year. His debut did not go well, but the Yankees are still hoping for big things from him. He’s a bit of a sleeper with some now stuff. He throws a Low-90’s fastball already that has been up to 94 mph, and has a legit curveball. He’ll likey either head back to the rookie leagues or go to Staten Island to start 2017, depending on how much he has improved.
  1. Hobie Harris – RHP, 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, 23-years-old – Harris was a 31st round draft pick in 2015, but he could turn out to be so much more valuable than that. Last year he pitched really well in Charleston, with 59 K in 52 innings and a 2.6 ERA. He’s got a mid-90’s fastball and good secondary offerings. He could end up being a real sleeper. He’s likely to begin at Tampa this season.
  1. Alexander Palma – OF, 6-foot-0, 201-pounds, RHB, 21-years-old – Still relatively young, Palma repeated Charleston this year and made some major improvements from the prior year. Most importantly, his average and his slugging percentage greatly improved. Palma is a young guy with an excellent hit tool. He rarely strikes out. The only questions with him circle around his patience and his power. His overall line in 2016 was .265/.292/.420/.712 with six homeruns, 17 doubles and a triple. If he can continue to improve his power numbers as he gets older and stronger he could become a legit prospect. He’ll start in Tampa this year.
  1. Brookes Kriske – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 23-years-old – Kriske pitched well in limited action in 2016 after being drafted in the 6th round. He threw 16 innings, struck out 16, and had a 2.25 ERA. He sits in the mid-90’s and has developing secondary offerings. He’ll start in Low-A or High-A, and is another guy who could end up being a high leverage reliever if things break right.

8 thoughts on “The unbelievably talented not top 50

  • Andrea Collins

    Hey Greg,

    I think every person that has a top 10 ranking or top 50 ranking already. For me, I really like Jason Lopez, although he's not in the top 50 🙂

    Thanks so much!

    • gcorcoran

      I like Lopez too but he's a wait and see proposition. I'm hoping he breaks into the top 50 next season, or even mid-season. And yes, my rankings are ridiculously comprehensive. I figure I give people who are as obsessed as me something to read about.

  • tom

    At 74, Reeves was like Hissong but his name didn't appear until 97. Copy and Paste Busted! lol.

    – Flames: Billy Butler comp? BB had faded out rapidly due to his pathetic core strength. How is Flames' potential core strength?

    -Gilliam: For power and hitting ability, how is his L/R balance?

    -DeCarr: him getting velocity back can restore his curveball. However, I don't trust MiLB gun radars. lol.

    -1B Wagner and SP Morris: I don't like your projections for them. If I remember correctly, you had Morris in Tampa in your other article. Think he will move up to AAA by the end of this year? Wagner at SI? We are at DefCon 2.

    No Roancy Contreras in first 100? He was number 25 when he was signed with Yankees last summer. Unimpressive?

    • gcorcoran

      Sorry, just seeing these comments now. The Reeves was a cut and paste error, not copy and paste. I changed the order and tinkered several times, although I stand by the fact that the order doesn't really matter for this list.

      As for Flames, it's too early for the Billy Butler comp. He is still young enough that he can change his body and expand his athleticism if he wants to. There's also a higher power potential in there than Butler. There's a lot of ifs with him at this point though.

      With Gilliam, right now he is a better righty hitter than he is a lefty hitter. The splits don't mean much since it's a small sample size, but it's there for what it's worth. Something worth following.

      As for DeCarr, it's not just the milb radar guns, it's scouts too. He hasn't gotten his velocity back yet. You wouldn't expect him to until this year though. This is the big year for him. If it doesn't come back now, it may never.

      What don't you like about my projections on Wagner and Morris? I said Morris will hopefully be in Tampa in this article too, it's just really crowded there and there might not be a spot in the rotation. As for Wagner, first base is a tough position to move up the ladder. He has some fierce competition too.

      Roancy Contreras didn't play in the USA last year, thus is not eligible for the list.

  • BabyBomberz

    MLB pipeline has Kyle Holder at ranking 25 again (Pre/Current). Any comments on the near 40 point discrepancy on your end?

    • gcorcoran

      Sorry for the delayed response. I think Kyle Holder is a defense only kind of prospect, which limits his ceiling. I think MLB pipeline tends to over value 1st round picks. Culver and Bichette Jr. hung around on their lists much longer than they did on mine. That said, if Holder takes a step forward with the bat, he would skyrocket up this list because he is the best defensive shortstop in the minors according to most scouts. I just don't see that happening so that's why he is where he is.

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