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New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects for 2009

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He was NOT the next Bobby Bonds. . .

New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects for 2009.


All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.


1) Jesus Montero, C, Grade B+: I believe in the bat. Where he fits with the glove I don’t know.

2) Austin Jackson, OF, Grade B: Should be a solid player but not a star. Will that be enough in New York?

3) Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B-: Very high ceiling, has flashed dominance, can he stay healthy?

4) Austin Romine, C, Grade B-: More likely to stick behind the plate than Montero, though not as good a hitter.

5) Zach McAllister, RHP, Grade B-: A favorite of mine heading into 2008, looks like a strong inning-eater type.

6) Mark Melancon, RHP, Grade B-: Almost ready for major league action, should be good in pen and has closer potential.

7) Jairo Heredia, RHP, Grade B-: Looks like a major sleeper to me, and this is an aggressive ranking.

8) Andrew Brackman, RHP, Grade C+: Yankees propaganda is thick around this guy. Great arm, healthy now, but I don’t buy into the command yet. Want to see evidence.

9) Phil Coke, LHP, Grade C+: I like what he did a lot last year. Should be a very useful pitcher.

10) Alfredo Aceves, RHP, Grade C+: Has reached his ceiling, but like Coke he should be useful

11) Wilkins de la Rosa, LHP, Grade C+: Intriguing power lefty with a fresh arm.

12) Humberto Sanchez, RHP, Grade C+: Another power arm for the pen, command problems still an issue.

13) Jon Albaladejo, RHP, Grade C+: Another solid pen arm if healthy.

14) David Robertson, RHP, Grade C+: Yet another pen arm. ERA should have been closer to 4.00 based on the components. Hasn’t pitched 50 innings yet so he qualifies.

15) Brad Suttle, 3B, Grade C+: Will need to show enough power for third base.

16) Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Grade C+: Very young, could rank in the top 10 next year if he develops properly.

17) Christian Garcia, RHP, Grade C+: Another promising power arm if healthy.

18) George Kontos, RHP, Grade C+: Will need more consistent command.

19) Kanekoa Texeira, RHP, Grade C+: Power sinker/slider guy acquired in Swisher deal, yet another pen option.

20) Eduardo Sosa, OF, Grade C+: Very high ceiling guy, but need some North American data. Could rank as high as 8 depending on criteria and how much you trust DSL performance.

21) Eric Hacker, RHP, Grade C+: Surprise addition to 40-man roster, nice track record but injury-prone, fifth starter type when healthy.


Others: David Adams, 2B; Manuel Banuelos, LHP; Jeremy Bleich, LHP: Frank Cervelli, C; Kelvin De Leon, OF; Mike Dunn, LHP; Brett Gardner, OF; Alan Horne, RHP: Corban Joseph, 2B; Brett Marshall, RHP; D.J. Mitchell, RHP; David Phelps, RHP; Ryan Pope, RHP; Matt Richardson, RHP; Damon Sublett, 2B; Pat Venditte, RHP-LHP; Kevin Whelan, RHP.


As usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+/C types rank exactly on this list. After I get past the top 10 I don’t worry so much about exact placement, since I’m trying to concentrate on the book right now. Some of the Grade C guys could be C+ in the book, and vice versa.



     The Yankees don’t have anyone in the system that is a sure-fire superstar right now, but there is a lot of material to work with here on the pitching side. I love Montero’s bat, but defensive questions prevent a higher grade at this time. He has star offensive potential, but where does he play? Jackson looks more like a solid player than a star. Both Romine and Suttle have major league potential but some questions they need to answer at this point. Young tools guys like Sosa and De Leon look promising but are so far away that they are hard to rank at this point.

    Things look much better on the pitching side. Brackman has a high ceiling obviously, but I find the New York hype about him highly annoying and, more importantly, very misleading. He is extremely raw for a college pitcher and until he actually takes the field in full-season ball and throws some strikes, I am keeping expectations in check. I like the guys ahead of him better at this point, particularly McAllister and Heredia. Coke and Aceves don’t have huge ceilings, but both look like useful major league pitchers. There are a LOT of power bullpen arms available.

     Overall, this system needs hitters but has considerable depth in pitching, giving them a lot to work with on the trade market. They are putting more and more money into Latin America, and a less conservative approach in the draft should pay dividends.


Reports on these guys and over 1,000 others can be found in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!