The 2017 Yankees Not Top 50 list

Here’s a list of the guys who didn’t make the cut for the top 50, but depending who you ask probably could have. There’s a bunch of guys on this list who would have been in the top 50 most other years. Unfortunately I can only put 50 guys in the top 50. Many of these players will end up being in the top 50 by the middle of next season for sure. Some will even end up being top prospects.

  1. Tim Lynch – 1B, 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, LHB, 24-years-old – Lynch put himself on the map this season with an incredible performance in 57 games of High-A baseball. He hit .310/.368/.573/.940 with 13 homeruns, 15 doubles and a triple in those 57 games. Lynch is an extremely patient hitter, and doesn’t strike out a ton for a guy with his level of power. He’s got a lot of competition for innings and at bats in Double-A and Triple-A next season (Ford, Gittens), but if he keeps hitting like this it’s not gonna matter. The power is most certainly there, but he will need to sustain it at the higher levels and continue to mash to make it to the bigs.

 

  1. Alexander Vargas – RHP, 6-foot-4, 203-pounds, 20-years-old – 2017 was a breakout year for Vargas. It was his best year so far as a pro, and he did it in both Staten Islland and Charleston. He had a 2.74 ERA with 48 K : 8 BB in 72.1 innings, and a .231 average against. He has a low-90’s sinking fastball which induces a ton of ground balls. He also has an already above average changeup, and a developing slider. With his size and at his age I expect he will increase his velocity with time. In a year or so we could be talking about yet another legitimate starting pitcher prospect in the system. He’s not too far off already.

 

  1. Phillip Diehl – LHP, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, 23-years-old – Diehl was a 27thround pick in the 2016 draft, but his stock is rising fast. This season he was stellar for the RiverDogs. He had 101 K : 26 BB and a 3.16 ERA in 85.1 innings. Batters hit just .238 against him. His last 10 appearances were even better. He threw 29.0 innings and had 32 K : 7 BB while sporting a 0.93 ERA. He has a low 90’s fastball and a slider. The fastball ticks up to 95 mph in relief. I’m interested to hear if there was an uptick in stuff during his last 10 starts.

 

  1. Will Carter – RHP, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, 24-years-old – He missed most of the season with yet another injury, but Carter played well when he was healthy. He had a 3.26 ERA in 47 innings pitched. Carter is not going to strike out a ton of guys, but that’s not the type of pitcher he is. He has a mid-90’s fastball with incredible sink, which leads to a ton of ground balls. He’ll need to stay healthy if he wants to get back on the map, but he’s now in Double-A and doesn’t have far to go to the majors if he takes a big step forward.

 

  1. Luis Rijo – RHP, 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, 19-years-old – He’s currently a low-velo guy in the high 80’s, low 90’s, but he really knows how to pitch. There’s proof of that already with his performance in the GCL. This year, including the playoffs, he threw 59.1 innings, struck out 62 and walked nine. He finished the season with a 3.2 ERA. He’s basically a right handed version of Nestor Cortes right now, with excellent secondary pitches and location. He still has a ton of time to build strength and improve, so it will be fun to watch what happens with this one.

 

 

  1. Cale Coshow – RHP, 6-foot-5, 270-pounds, 25-years-old – The book on Cale Coshow has always been that he’s a big guy with big stuff and very little polish. Not much has changed as he has climbed the latter in the minors. He’s a guy who can hit 98 mph with his fastball and has a big slider, but continues to struggle with control and that hurts his ERA. He finished the season with 76 K : 24 BB and a 3.75 ERA in 60 IP. His average against was .293, probably because he still struggles to hit his spots. If he can ever figure out his control he could be a force in the back end of a bullpen somewhere. If not, he may never even reach the majors.

 

  1. Stephen Tarpley – LHP, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, 24-years-old – Tarpley had quite the impressive season statistically in 2017. He had a 0.88 ERA with 42 K in 41 IP in relief. He also walked 18, which is too many. He had just a .135 average against. Tarpley was a starting pitcher in the Pirates system last season, but the Yankees moved him to relief. He throws a low to mid 90’s sinking fastball and has a curveball and changeup to go with it. He finished the season with Trenton and will have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason if the Yankees want to protect him from the rule 5 draft. If they are able to keep him, he could be a major league contributor as soon as next season.

 

  1. Trevor Lane – LHP, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, 23-years-old – The Yankees are bullish on Lane, and that shows in how fast they have moved him. In just his second season as a pro, Lane pitched in both Charleston and High-A Tampa. He finished the season with 69 K in 65.1 innings and just 15 BB. He had a 1.52 ERA and a .209 average against. Pat Osborn described him as a “bulldog” who throws 94 mph from the left side and has a good breaking ball and the makings of a good changeup. Sounds like a guy who will continue to move quickly, and not a bad get in the 10thround.

 

  1. Jeff Hendrix – CF, 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, LHB, 24-years-old – It was hard to keep Jeff Hendrix out of the top 50, as he had a great season in Double-A. Ultimately I had to exclude him though, mainly for lack of a plus tool that could get him to the majors amongst the monstrously talented outfield prospects the Yankees have in the upper minors. He did perform well though, with a .292/.411/.348/.759 line. He had two homeruns, 10 doubles, and two triples with 18 stolen bases and eight CS. The lack of power is definitely striking with Hendrix. He also has plus speed but he hasn’t yet figured out how to translate that into games. He’s starting to get to an age where these improvements need to happen soon too, otherwise he could fade off into obscurity. Still, he is right on the border of a true breakout season in multiple categories, and I hope next season he can take his game to the next level.

 

  1. Zack Zehner – LF, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, RHB, 25-years-old – Another older outfielder who clearly has tools but needs to translate those tools into success. Zehner is a big kid with a ton of power potential, but he hasn’t quite tapped into it yet. At 25, it would seem he better figure it out soon. 2017 was his best season as a pro so far, and he does seem to improve every year. He finished the year with a .260/.355/.408/.764 line with 11 HR, four triples, and 23 doubles. If he can continue to increase his power output he could prove to be a late bloomer and make it to the big leagues. There are too many good players ahead of him right now though.

 

  1. Abiatal Avelino – SS/2B, 5-foot-11, 205-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Avelino had another solid season and most importantly proved he can play multiple positions at a high level defensively. He hit .254/.304/.356/.660 with three homeruns, 14 doubles, and five triples in 98 games this season. If he ever wants to be considered an MLB regular he’ll have to hit better than that, but he already has the looks of a guy who will likely play in the majors as a utility man at some point in his career. He has an uncanny ability to make contact, so the hand-eye coordination is there. Now he just has to figure out how to get on base more and hit em’ where they ain’t, so to speak.

 

  1. Diego Castillo – SS, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – In many ways a similar prospect to Avelino, but Castillo has age on his side. He played in Low-A at just 19, and held his own quite well. He hit .263/.310/.315/.625 with one homeruns, 15 doubles, and three triples. He struck out just 51 times in 118 games. He too has an excellent contact tool, and if he can figure out how to barrel the baseball more he will make himself into a major league caliber player.

 

  1. Oswald Peraza – SS, 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, 17-years-old – Peraza had a nice debut after signing in 2016. He hit .282/.381/.368/.750 with 13 doubles and three triples between the DSL and the GCL. He also had 13 SB to 2 CS. He’s got a great hit tool and above average speed. Defensively he has enough ability to stick at shortstop. He has some physical tools to work with already, and now it will all depend on how he physically matures and develops.

 

  1. Nestor Cortes – LHP, 5-foot-11, 205-pounds, 22-years-old – One of the best seasons had by anyone on the Yankees farm was by Nestor Cortes, the 2013 36thround pick for the Yankees. Cortes has slowly worked his way up the system and is now in Triple-A and still succeeding. He has done everything the Yankees have asked him to do and then some, including making 13 starts and 17 relief appearances this season. He threw 104.2 innings and struck out 105 this season while walking 32. He had a 2.06 ERA over three levels, and a .211 average against. Cortes will not blow you away with his fastball, but he has good movement on it and has three average or better secondary pitches to fall back on. He strikes out better than a batter per inning too. When you have this much success in the minors and are only 22-years-old, it’s time for someone to give him a shot. He is rule 5 eligible this year and might just get drafted. If he doesn’t though, I hope the Yankees are able to put him to good use, or trade him to someone who can.

 

  1. Josh Rogers – LHP, 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, 23-years-old – Injuries plagued Rogers’ season in 2017, but he still managed to be effective in High-A. He was still adjusting to Double-A when he got shut down for the rest of the season. He finished with a 3.24 ERA and 80 K : 60 BB in 91.2 innings. Josh Rogers is a very similar pitcher stuff wise to Jordan Montgomery when he was drafted. The major difference is that Montgomery had a major uptick in stuff since then, and Rogers has stayed roughly the same. He has still been effective though and there is still time to improve. His fastball sits at 90-93 mph and he has an average changeup and curveball.

 

  1. J.P. Feyereisen – RHP, 6-foot-2, 215-poounds, 24-years-old – Feyereisen again struggled with control this season, with 28 BB in 63.1 innings. He pitched well overall, with a 3.27 ERA, 60 K, and a .219 average against, but will need to improve his control if he ever wants to make it to the majors. He reminds me a lot of Tommy Kahnle at similar points in their career, which bodes well for him but may not help the Yankees. Kahnle didn’t really become a force until a few years after he made his pro debut. He has a 94-96 mph fastball that has climbed up to 100 mph at times. He also has a mid-80’s slider, but it is a work in progress. His changeup is also a work in progress. If he can ever put it all together he could be a nice piece.

 

  1. Trey Amburgey – LF, 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – After a tremendous breakout season in 2015, Amburgey has been a bit of a disappointment for me. He sports some of the best exit velocity and speed numbers in the entire system, but hasn’t quite been able to transfer that to the field yet. He was able to hit a bunch of homeruns this season, but he still needs to greatly improve his average and on base percentage to be a legitimate prospect. He finished the year with a .236/.296/.382/.678 line, with 14 homeruns, 19 doubles, and three triples in 121 games. I still think he has the potential to break out next season, and if he makes one or two big adjustments he could go from relative obscurity to big time prospect very quickly.

 

  1. Colten Brewer – RHP, 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, 24-years-old – Very few relievers in this system had a better statistical season than Colten Brewer. He had a 2.82 ERA and 69 K : 16 BB in 60.2 innings. He had success all the way up through Double-A, but struggled in his first taste of Triple-A. He will also be rule 5 eligible this season, although I doubt he will get taken. He has a 96 mph peak velocity on his fastball, and has a curveball and changeup as well.

 

  1. James Reeves – LHP, 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, 24-years-old – Another lefty reliever who won’t blow you away with his stuff, Reeves has been successful nonetheless at missing bats. Despite a fastball that barely scrapes 90 mph, Reeves had 51 K to 9 BB in 46 innings this season. He also had a 1.96 ERA and a .236 average against. Reeves has a slider and a changeup as well, and changing speeds has become his calling card. With his stuff he will always be a long shot for the majors, but if he keeps performing this well he’ll certainly get a shot.

 

  1. Alexander Palma – RF, 6-foot-0, 201-pounds, RHB, 21-years-old – Palma is still young, and he had his best season so far as a pro in 2017. He hit .280/.322/.435/.757 between Low-A and High-A (mostly High-A), and had 17 doubles, one triple, and four homeruns in 54 games. He has taken a long time to develop, and is another one of those players who has fantastic ability to make contact, but needs to learn to barrel the ball more and get a bit more loft if he wants to take the next step. He is already rule 5 eligible at 21, so if the Yankees are going to get anything out of him he’ll have to start proving himself soon.

 

  1. Brandon Wagner – 1B, 6-foot-0, 210-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old – Wagner had another solid season this year and certainly made progress in his development. The major problem I see going forward is his position. Wagner is a very good hitter, but he probably will never hit for enough power to be a major league first baseman. I think the Yankees would be better suited moving him to second base again and hoping he is able to stick there. He will have more value there with his bat. This year he hit .277/.380/.392/.773 with seven homeruns, 20 doubles, and one triple. He struck out 116 times in 110 games. Overall a good season for a 21-year-old in Low-A. Hopefully he either proves me wrong about the power, the Yankees move him back to second base, or both!

 

  1. Roansy Contreras – RHP, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, 17-years-old – Even at his young age, Contreras already throws 91-93 mph. He also has a plus slider and a changeup. He has good control to go along with all of this. The numbers this year were decent for a kid his age playing professional baseball for the first time. He had a 4.02 ERA with 34 K : 17 BB in 53.2 innings. His velocity is only gonna go up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a fast mover as soon as next season. He will probably shoot up the rankings next season.

 

  1. Carlos Vidal – LF, 5-foot-11, 160-pounds, LHB, 21-years-old – Vidal had a solid season this year in his first extended taste of long season ball. He had a .307/.366/.385/.751 line with one homerun, 14 doubles and two triples in 75 games. He has some decent tools, and has had some really good seasons in the rookie leagues. As of now he lacks a plus tool to separate him from the lot, although he has a good hit tool, contact tool, and excellent patience. There’s still time for him to develop some power and make a name for himself. He’ll have to start making moves soon though, as he’s now 21.

 

  1. Garrett Mundell – RHP, 6-foot-5, 245-pounds, 24-years-old – Since joining the Yankees, he has mostly been a 91-93 mph pitcher. He has a splitter and a curveball too. He’s a big kid and gets good extension on his pitches. Mundell low key had one of the best seasons of any reliever on the farm. He threw 47.2 innings, struck out 70 (!), and walked just 12. He had a 2.64 ERA and a .194 average against. Something went extremely right for Mundell this year, and I’m excited to see what he can do at higher levels.

 

  1. Matthew Wivinis – RHP, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, 24-years-old – The Yankees signed Wivinis as a minor league free agent this offseason. He proceeded to strike out 46 batters to just four walks in 30.2 innings this season, and had a 0.88 ERA. When he finished at Eastern Illinois he was sitting 88-89 mph as a starter with a cutter, sinker, and slurve. It’s safe to say he made some major improvements in Independent baseball and the Yankees took a chance on him. Might be that his stuff really plays up as a reliever.

 

  1. Jose Devers – SS, 6-foot-0, 155-pounds, LHB, 17-years-old – Devers held his own in his first taste of American baseball this season, especially for a 17-year-old. He hit .246/.359/.348/.707 in the GCL this season, with one homerun, seven doubles, two triples, and 15 stolen bases. Including his 11 games in the DSL, he had nine doubles, three triples, and a homerun. These numbers aren’t half bad, especially when you consider his talent level. He is Rafael Devers’ cousin. He has plus speed and can has a good hit tool. He is strong enough that if he packs on a few pounds he could develop power over the years. His defense is already a strength, and he’s a hard worker. He has all of the pieces needed to be a future top prospect, now it’s on him and the Yankees’ development team to put it all together.

 

  1. Wilkerman Garcia – SS, 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, SH, 19-years-old – It seems like Garcia has been around forever, but he’s just 19. He still has plenty of time to turn things around, but he needs to start performing at some point. This season was another major disappointment for him. In Staten Island, he hit .222/.256/.296/.552 with 10 doubles, three triples, and a homerun. He is an excellent fielder and has all of the tools to become a top shortstop prospect, including power potential and speed. He’ll need to put it all together at some point though, and so far he has not been able to do that. It will be hard to continue viewing him as a potential impact player if he falters again next season.

 

  1. Eric Wagaman – 1B, 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, RHB, 20-years-old – Wagaman is the next in what is becoming a long line of solid first base prospects. Ford, Gittens, Lynch, Wagner, and now Wagaman. The Yankees got Wagaman in the 13thround out of community college, and so far his bat seems to be legit. In his first professional season, he skipped the GCL and played in Pulaski. There, he hit a decent .264/.331/.391/.722 with 12 doubles and five homeruns in 59 games. He struck out 65 times, which is definitely too high. He does have a decent walk rate though, and at his size there is a lot left in the tank in terms of power if he can bulk up a bit. I look forward to seeing what kind of prospect he can become.

 

  1. Andres Chaparro – 3B, 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – Chaparro was one of the Yankees’ big signings from 2015, and he came stateside this season. He is a young guy with plus power and a decent hit tool to go along with it. This year in Pulaski he hit .237/.305/.414/.719 with nine doubles and seven homeruns in 46 games. He struck out 41 times. Overall those numbers could be better, but he showed some important positives for an 18-year-old this season. I expect him to continue to improve and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn into a Miguel Andujar type player long term.

 

  1. Eduardo Torrealba – SS, 5-foot-8, 140-pounds, 18-years-old – Torrealba is a small shortstop originally signed by the Red Sox but the contract was voided by major league baseball. Then he signed with the Yankees. He was considered one of the top international signings at the time, and the Yankees thought highly enough of him to play him in Pulaski and skip over the GCL this season. He is very smooth and quick defensively and has good speed. He is already a plus defender. Offensively it was not a great year for Torrealba, but this is often the case with international signings as they struggle to adjust to living in a new country and playing under the lights for the first time. He hit .208/.284/.257/.541 this year with six doubles and one homerun, while stealing 10 bases. He struck out just 35 times in 52 games. He definitely has the contact tool, now he just has to learn to barrel the baseball. He has excellent plate discipline. There’s a ton of potential there.

 

  1. David Palladino – RHP, 6-foot-8, 235-pounds, 24-years-old – Palladino finally seemed to gain some control this season. He also finally broke out of Staten Island, albeit for four innings. Still, he finished the season in High-A and had the best season of his career statistically. He had 38 K : 4 BB in 27.2 innings and a 0.98 ERA. He’s a big kid and he has a ton of potential, but the Yankees will have to protect him if he has one big season.

 

  1. Saul Torres – C, 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – He suffered some kind of an injury during the season and is listed on the 60-day DL. Hopefully nothing serious but we probably won’t know what happened until next season, at the earliest. He did manage to play 46 games this season. He struck out way too much, with 69 in just 46 games. His quad slash also left a lot to be desired, with a .174/.230.309/.539 line. He did hit six doubles and six homeruns though. Defensively he is already a plus defender. He has tremendous power for his age and for his position, but he still needs a lot of work on his hitting ability. With more time and seasoning, he could become a top prospect in the coming years.

 

  1. Dalton Lehnen – LHP, 6-foot-3, 222-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees got Lehnen in the sixth round of this year’s draft, and they used him mostly as a starter this season. He made 10 starts, and had a 4.05 ERA, 43 K : 9 BB, and a .294 average against in 33.1 innings, mostly for Pulaski. That’s not a bad start to the career, and the Yankees will undoubtedly have him working on some things in the offseason to improve. Lehnen threw 52 innings in college this year at Augustana, and struck out 61 with a 2.6 ERA. He has a 93-96 mph fastball. As of the time of the draft he did not have any above average secondary offerings, but I’m sure the Yankees will be working on that with him. Any time you can get a lefty who effectively throws 93-96 mph in the sixth round, you’ve done well. Now hopefully the development team can bring his other pitches up to speed. He’s the type of guy I could see shooting up the rankings when his secondary pitches improve.

 

  1. Wellington Caceres – RHP, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, 21-years-old – Caceres had some trouble transitioning to the United states this season, as his statistics will show you. He finished the season with a 6.25 ERA and 30 K : 12 BB in 31.2 innings in Pulaski. Hidden in the statistics is the fact that he is a former position player who converted to pitcher, and is already throwing mid-90’s heat and touching 97 mph. He already has a solid changeup, but still needs to develop a breaking ball. He’s definitely still a long term project, but the potential is there.

 

  1. Alexander Vizcaino – RHP, 6-foot-2, 160-pounds, 20-years-old – Vizcaino is another guy who struggled in his first taste of USA baseball in Pulaski, but has some serious talent. He had 49 K : 23 BB and a 5.79 ERA in 51.1 innings this season. His fastball is already mid-90s and he is learning a curveball. He also has a plus changeup. It’s amazing how many of these high-ceiling, just needs seasoning/refinement guys the Yankees have. Yet another lower level lottery ticket that could turn into a big time prospect later.

 

  1. Jose Carrera – 3B, 5-foot-2, 155-pounds, SH, 22-years-old – Carrera is never going to use his size as an excuse for anything, and you have to love that about him. He seems destined to be a fan favorite, especially if he keeps performing as well as he has. The Yankees got him as an undrafted free agent out of Manhattan College. This season he hit .276/.396/.366/.762 in the GCL. He had six doubles, a triple, and a homerun. Not surprisingly, he walks a lot. I can only imagine how hard it is for a 6-foot-5 pitcher to throw strikes to a 5-foot-2 batter. He’s no slouch with the bat either, as he can hit. He’s a quick fielder as well. This is one guy I’m looking forward to rooting for as long as he’s playing baseball.

 

  1. Tony Hernandez – LHP, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees picked up Hernandez in the 15thround of the 2016 draft and he may turn out to be quite a sleeper. He will still be just 21 for most of next season, and he performed well in the GCL in 2017 with a 3.44 ERA and 45 K : 14 BB in 52.1 innings. Prior to the draft, he was hitting 95 mph and had a curveball and a changeup. To get a guy like that in the 15thround is a big deal, especially when he does all of that as a starter. He has a long way to go but has the kind of potential you love to get at that point in the draft.

 

  1. Pedro Espinola – RHP, 6-foot-4, 207-pounds, 21-years-old – He was signed in 2015, then missed all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery. This year the Yankees brought him stateside and he performed pretty well. He finished the year with a 2.85 ERA and 55 K in 53.2 innings between the DSL and the GCL. He walked 26, which is too much for the amount of innings he threw. Batters hit .188 against him. He’s got a big arm but is still quite raw.

 

  1. Nolan Martinez – RHP, 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, 19-years-old – He only threw 13.2 innings this year after only throwing seven last season. This year he was dominant in those 13.2 innings though. He had 14 K : 3 BB, a 0.66 ERA, and a .167 average against. He clearly suffered an injury at some point, but the Yankees have him at instructional league which should help to build up his innings a bit. Prior to the season, he was a high ceiling third round pick who sat in the low-90’s with a 12 to 6 curveball. The Yankees are hoping he’ll show up ready to hit the ground running next year, and he’s one of the better sleeper prospects already.

 

  1. Dalton Higgins – RHP, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, 22-years-old – The Yankees picked up Higgins in the 7thround this year. He threw 18.2 innings and had a 2.41 ERA with 18 K : 4 BB in the GCL. Higgins sits 93-95 mph and has a slider that sits mid 80’s. He’s working on a curveball and changeup as well. He has excellent movement on the fastball. His secondary pitches are a bit lacking at the moment, but if he can get one of them going there is still some potential he could be a starter.

 

  1. Aaron McGarrity – RHP, 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, 22-years-old – McGarrity acquainted himself well to professional ball this year. He finished with 27 K : 2 BB and a 2.18 ERA in 20.2 innings. He throws a 91-94 mph fastball, an 80 mph slider, and a changeup. Not bad for the 2015 15thround pick.

 

  1. Jansen Junk – RHP, 6-foot-1, 177-pounds, 21-years-old – He definitely has a plus name tool going for him, and that’s always key. He also pitched really well in the GCL. In 12.2 innings, he struck out 10 while walking six (too many!), and had a 0.71 ERA. The Yankees got Junk in the 22ndround, and he throws 95-96 mph and has hit 98. He has a changeup but still needs a secondary pitch if he wants to make it to the majors. The Yankees did really well to get 98 mph in the 22ndround though.

 

  1. Shawn Semple – RHP, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 21-years-old – Semple pitched really well in his brief stint with the GCL Yankees. He threw 18 innings and had 22 K : 1 BB with a 1.00 ERA. He sits 91-94 mph with a good feel for a breaking ball and changeup. There’s a chance he could start long term, but the Yankees have him in the bullpen for now. We will see what the Yankees can do with him development wise.

 

  1. Kyle Zurak – RHP, 6-foot-1, 192-pounds, 22-years-old – Yankees picked Zurak in the 8thround this year. He played really well in both rookie leagues, throwing 26.1 innings with 33 K : 9 BB. He finished the year with a 2.39 ERA. Zurak is low-mid 90’s with a good slider. The Yankees see him as a reliever and he will be another guy to follow as he moves up.

 

  1. Evan Alexander – CF, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, LHB, 19-years-old – Alexander made some nice improvements between last year and this year. He finished the year with a .250/.347/.396/.744 line with eight doubles, two triples, and four homeruns in 50 games split evenly between the GCL and Pulaski. After an initial period of adjustment in Pulaski, Alexander finished strong. Including the playoffs, he hit .306 over his last 10 games with two walks and two homeruns. Hopefully he can pick up where he left off next season. I’m hoping the Yankees send him to Low-A Charleston where he could blossom and possibly break out.

 

  1. Gustavo Campero – C, 5-foot-7, 182-pounds, SH, 20-years-old – The Yankees signed Campero out of Columbia in 2016 and boy what a nice surprise he has turned out to be so far. This year he hit an impressive .304/.444/.545/.989 with eight doubles, five triples, and three homeruns. He stole 13 bases with just one caught stealing.He’s small, but he’s extremely athletic and speedy for a catcher. He also has a great arm. He definitely has a legitimate hit tool and has proven to have surprising power so far in his career. He’s quite the underdog at this stage of his career, but one of those guys you just have a feeling is going to make it all the way to the majors.

 

  1. Chad Whitmer – RHP, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 22-years-old – Another big, low-mid 90’s fastball reliever who the Yankees got in the 10thround this season. He reached that velocity as a starting pitcher in college though, throwing 104 innings there. He then threw 19 more innings in the minors, where he struck out 22 while walking just two, and had a 3.79 ERA. Many players will see their velocity tick up in relief. If that happens with Whitmer, he could be a guy who pops up as a legitimate relief prospect as time goes on.

 

  1. Garrett Whitlock – RHP, 6-foot-4, 192-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees picked up this big righty in the 18thround. He gave them 14.1 innings and struck out 22 without walking a single batter. He finished the year with a 3.77 ERA. He has a 91-94 mph fastball with plus movement and a good changeup. Still relatively young, Whitlock could become a solid bullpen prospect and that’s all you can ask for out of an 18thround pick.

 

  1. Harold Cortijo – RHP, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, 19-years-old – Cortijo threw 21.2 innings and had a 4.98 ERA with 25 K : 7 BB. He had a tough first season but that’s a really small sample size. He’s already up to 91-92 mph and has a slider which he is developing. He’s a bit of a long term project, but he was a 14thround pick and the Yankees feel he will develop into a starter. If that happens, this pick was a heck of a bargain.

 

  1. Jhalan Jackson – RF, 6-foot-4, 240-pounds, RHB, 24-years-old – Yet another older outfield prospect who improved this season, Jackson has some big tools as well. He hit .249/.342/.421/.763 with 11 HR, 14 doubles and a triple in 94 games this season. He played better when he moved up to Trenton, when he had a .302/.417/.488/.906 line. If he can find more of that magic next season he could put himself in the legitimate prospect discussion, but he still has a long way to go.
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3 Responses to The 2017 Yankees Not Top 50 list

  1. Steve S. says:

    Greg, thanks for the breakdown. A lot of these guys are not familiar to me. Especially the pitchers. It will be interesting to follow their progress. As an aside, what do you think of Ronald Herrera? I know he got whacked in his playoff appearance in Scranton's final game loss. His season that started off so promising pretty much flamed out. After he got called up in July and was sent down for the final time he hardly pitched. In game action anyway. Do you know if he was injured? I guess his lack of velocity negates his generally superb control. I hear he was a Cashman favorite. Maybe that's why he was called up.

    • gcorcoran says:

      He was definitely a Cashman favorite but IMO his window is gone. He had a chance to be a major contributor this year, but now guys like Adams and German are ready to compete for that last spot, and others are tailing close behind. On top of that, when you take a finesse pitcher with low velocity and then you injure him, all bets are off. He wasn't effective when healthy either. I was never a big Ronald Herrera supporter tbh, but you could make a good argument that he belongs on this list.

  2. buckeyeballs says:

    I see youhave Vidal on this list so ignore my question on the prior article

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