Yankees Current Top 50 Prospects

Since others are doing their post-draft and trade reviews, I though I would do one for my team, the New York Yankees. The Yankees have solid depth, and good quality. They should still rank a top ten farm system going into next year, due to few graduations, and holding on to their prospects at the trade deadline. While their top prospects have familiar faces, they have had some surprise breakouts this year. They have also had the typical volatility in their C+ prospects, with many from last year's list falling off, and some new faces coming on. With that said, here is my list of the top 50 Yankees prospects at this point. Please comment below – who did I rank too highly? Too low? Who did I miss? Hope you enjoy!



1. Jesus Montero c

Montero has slide a bit in my eyes from last year, but still should have an above average ML bat, and I think he can make it at catcher for at least a few years, and transition to 1B when Tex's contract is up.


2. Manny Banuelos lhp

Banuelos has also slipped a bit to me this year, due to the deterioration of his K-rate and his K/BB ratio, and the increase in walks and hits allowed. However, he is still only 20 and has split the season between AA and AAA with good results.


3. Dellin Betances rhp

Betances, like Banuelos has seen his ratios decline. However, his K-rate and K/BB ratio is better, as is his FIP. The reason Banuelos is higher is due to the three year difference in age – Manny has more time, and a higher ceiling as a result.


4. Gary Sanchez c

Sanchez rounds off the top four, which are the same as last year. And like the other three, he has taken a hit this year. First there was the attitude problems earlier in the year. Then there were the injuries to start and end the season. Finally, his numbers declined from last year, although he still put up great numbers for an 18 year old catcher in his first year in full season ball. His BB % has increased, but so has his K% to 27% - he needs to get that in check next year, or he may not live up to the potential.


5. Jairo Heredia rhp

Heredia has been coming back from injury since '09, and looks to have regained his form. The scouting reports are putting him in the low 90s , up from the high 80s last year, and closer to pre-injury velocity. His numbers as a 21 year old in A+ Tampa are fantastic, albeit in only 68 innings: 9.0 K/9, 4.25 K/BB, 3.48 FIP. Look for him to break out big next year in AA.


6. Mason Williams of

Williams was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and so far has had the most success from that Yankees draft. He has put up a .353/.393/.491/.885 line, with 21 SB, and good defensive reports from CF. He is being propped up a bit by a .398 BABIP, and I know I will be higher on him than most, but I think he is going to have a big break out next year, and shoot up prospect lists.


7. Austin Romine c

Romine projects to be a solid MLB catcher. It seemed like he had room to grow after a solid year at AA Trenton in 2010 as a 21 year old. However, repeating the league this year, he didn't show any breakout, although he has dealt with concussion issues this year. Some positives are an increase in his BB% and an decrease in his K%. If he can maintain this, and find the power he lost (maybe even add to it) in AAA next year, he could look to share time with Montero at catcher in 2013.


8. David Phelps rhp

Phelps projects to be a solid #4 in the majors at this point. In AAA SWB this year, he has a 3.89 FIP, 8.0 K/9 and 3.12 K/BB in 88 innings. He went on the DL in June with shoulder discomfort, but it doesn't sound serious, as he recently returned to action. Look for him to be a candidate for a long relief role next year, or a trading chip in the offseason.


9. Brett Marshall rhp

Marshall was a rising Yankees prospect earlier in the year. He has cooled off some, with a 3.35 FIP, 7.3 K/9, 2.26 K/BB line in Tampa. He is also a strong ground ball pitcher, with a 55% GB rate. He should be in AA next year as a 22 year old, and I believe he will continue to build on his success this year.


10. Slade Heathcott of

Heathcott continued to improve this year, posting a .279/.347/.437/.784 line in A Charleston. However, he is out with a shoulder injury in his throwing arm, and may need the second surgery on it since last fall. If this pushes him from center to left field, it could hurt his prospect stock, as he has yet to show the power for that position. Also, had an incident earlier this year, getting suspended five games for fighting with an opposing catcher. Although he will only be 21, next year is a pivotal year for Slade – he needs to continue to grow as a player mentally, put up better power numbers, and come back healthy from his shoulder injury.


11. J.R. Murphy c

Murphy, a 2009 2nd rounder, had a very good 2011 in A ball, taking time away from Sanchez(the cause of the attitude problems mentioned earlier). His line in Charleston was .297/.343/.457/.800, with a decrease in K% and an increase in IsoD from 2010. His numbers have dropped since being promoted to Tampa, but that isn't unexpected for a 20 year old getting his first taste of A+ ball. His defensive reports have also improved this year. He very well could move ahead of Sanchez next year if current trends continue.


12. Nik Turley lhp

Turley has become one of my favorite Yankees prospects this year. This will probably be higher than most will rank him. However, Turley is a 6'7” lefty with a low 90s fastball. He was drafted in the 50th and final round of 2008, but signed for sixth round money, $125,000, to break his commitment to BYU. He has moved along slowly in the Yankees system. This year, as a 21 year old in Charleston, he had a 3.53 FIP, a 9.0 K/9, and a 3.90 K/BB. He has missed the last month to a broken hand from a line drive in his second start in Tampa, and may not come back to limit his innings. I expect big things from him in Tampa next year.


13. Cito Culver ss

Culver was a controversial 1st round pick in 2010 for Yankees fans, and while the results so far aren't great, they are solid. Culver continues to get strong reviews on his defense, but needs to find some consistency and cut down on the 42 errors so far. His bat in A- Staten Island is better than it has looked, posting a .264/.341/.359/.700 line, but with a 110 wRC+, and a solid 27 BBs to 45 Ks. The jury is still out on Culver, but so far so good. If he improves his average, power, and his defensive consistency, he will shoot up this list next year.


14. Dante Bichette Jr 3b

Bichette was the Yankees first pick this year, 51 overall, and like Culver was not well received by Yankees fans (myself included). He doesn't have Culver's defensive abilities, but he may be able to stick it out at 3b, making him more valuable than if he has to move to an outfield corner. So far, he has been on fire with the bat, since signing quickly after the draft. In the GCL, he has a .335/.445/.494/.939 line, showing power and on-base capabilities. It will be interesting to see how he does next year.


15. Adam Warren rhp

Warren was someone I was pretty high on going into 2011 – what can I say, I am a sucker for high K, low BB pitchers. His first season in AAA was solid, not spectacular, with a 3.97 FIP, 6.1 K/9, and 1.98 K/BB. His stuff will never be front of the rotation, but he could become a solid middle rotation pitcher, especially in a flyball friendly MLB park. Like Phelps, he could be a long reliever next year for the big league club, spend the year as a 6th-7th starter between NY and SWB, or be trade bait.


16. Greg Bird c

Bird was the fifth round draft pick this year for the Yankees, but received the largest bonus they handed out, a back of the first-round worthy $1.1 million. He is a catcher with some work to do on defense (a Yankees trend, it seems), and an electric power bat. Many believe that he will transition to 1B at some point, but he should have plenty of pop for the move. This will probably be higher than most would list him, but I believe in the bat.


17. Jose Ramirez rhp

Ramirez is a more hittable version of Heredia. Between Tampa and Charleston, he has posted a 8.6 K/9, 2.30 K/BB, and around a 4.20 FIP. However, he has allowed 10.4 H/9, thanks to a .346 BABIP. If his BABIP rebounds, he will move up the list; if not, he may have to move to the bullpen to see if he can play is stuff up some more.


18. Angelo Gumbs 2b

Gumbs was another solid pick from the 2010 draft, in the 2nd round. At Staten Island, he has put up a .271/.344/.424/.767 line, with a solid 120 wRC+. He has also made a solid transition to 2B, showing good range. As one of the youngest draft picks last year, he has been 18 all year, and should begin next year in Charleston as a 19 year old. Will be very interesting to watch how he does next year.


19. Graham Stoneburner rhp

I was higher on Stoneburner than many last year, putting him ahead of Warren. This year, he has dealt with some injuries, which have impacted his performance. He has a 6.0 K/9, 2.17 K/BB, and around a 3.64 FIP in 2011. I think he will rebound next year in AAA, but at 24 his leash will be short, and he may end up in the bullpen if he struggles early.


20. Zoilo Almonte of

Almonte will probably not be this high on most Yankees prospect lists, but I am becoming a fan. This year, between Tampa and Trenton, he has posted a .282/.356/.471/.828 line, with 15 HR and 17 SB. He is a solid OF, and could probably play a passable CF. Unfortunately, the Yankees OF is pretty set right now. He could end up on the Yankees bench at some point next year, but will probably be in AAA and end up as either trade bait or given a chance to win a place on the bench in 2013.


The rest of the top 50:


21. David Adams 2b

22. Ravel Santana of

23. Gabe Encinas rhp

24. Jordan Cote rhp

25. Corban Joseph 2b

26. Jake Cave lhp

27. Ben Gamel of

28. William "Rookie" Davis of

29. Brandon Laird 3b

30. Andrew Brackman rhp

31. Rob Segedin 3b

32. Bryan Mitchell rhp

33. Caleb Cotham rhp

34. Tommy Kahnle rhp

35. Ramon Flores of

36. Tyler Austin of

37. Matthew Duran 3b

38. Pat Venditte bhp

39. Daniel Lopez of

40. Austin "Bubba" Jones 1b

41. Tim Norton rhp

42. Hayden Sharp rhp

43. Jose Quintana lhp

44. Juan Carlos Paniagua rhp

45. Rafael DePaula rhp

46. Miguel Andujar 3b

47. Josh Romanski lhp

48. Isaias Tejeda c

49. Yeicok Calderon of

50. Daniel Camarena lhp


The next twenty players who just missed, in no particular order:


Shaeffer Hall lhp

Melky Mesa of

D.J. Mitchell rhp

Evan Rutckyj rhp

Chase Whitley rhp

Sean Black rhp

Kelvin De Leon of

Ronnier Mustelier of

Deangelo Mack of

Damon Sublett 2b

Kelvin Castro 2b

Kyle Roller 1b

Jose Toussen ss

Vidal Nuno lhp

Reynaldo Polanco rhp

Rainiero Coa c

Rony Bautista lhp

Ericson Leonora of

Cesar Vargas rhp

Angel Rincon rhp


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