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New York Yankees Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-season review

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Here’s an update on the pre-season Yankees prospect list with a bit more than two weeks to go in the minor league season.

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners
Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge
Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES.

This list was originally published December 6th, 2016, then revised on February 13th, 2017.

1) Gleyber Torres, SS, Grade A/A-: Age 20, acquired from Cubs in Aroldis Chapman deal, was hitting .287/.383/.480 in 202 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A when he was injured in June and had to have Tommy John surgery. This slows down his timeline a bit but is unlikely to have a long-term impact on his development. Still an elite prospect.

2) Clint Frazier, OF, Grade B+: Age 22, acquired from Indians in Andrew Miller trade, hit .256/.344/.473 in 273 Triple-A at-bats then .243/.274/.477 in 111 major league at-bats before going on DL with oblique strain. Major league numbers fair assessment of his strengths (power) and weaknesses (contact, OBP questions) but youth, tools, and overall record keep me optimistic.

3) Blake Rutherford, OF, Grade B+: Age 20, first round pick in 2016; traded to White Sox in Todd Frazier deal, hitting .271/.331/.368 in 351 at-bats in Low-A; I’d like to see more power but he fulfilled his purpose as a trade chit.

4) Jorge Mateo, INF-OF, Grade B+: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; traded to Oakland Athletics in Sonny Gray deal, hitting .255/.310/.432 with 45 steals between High-A and Double-A; contact and plate discipline are all issues and he was surplus for the Yankees but power has been increasing and the speed stands out.

5) Justus Sheffield, LHP, Grade B+: Age 21, acquired from Indians in Andrew Miller trade; 3.09 ERA in 90 innings in Double-A with 79/33 K/BB; out with oblique injury since early July.

6) James Kaprielian, RHP, Grade B+: Age 22, first round pick in 2015 from UCLA; limited to 18 innings in High-A by strained flexor; recovered to pitch well in Arizona Fall League but elbow finally gave and he had Tommy John surgery in April. Traded to Athletics in the Gray deal.

7) Chance Adams, RHP, Grade B+: Age 23, fifth round pick out of Dallas Baptist in 2015; another excellent season with combined 1.96 ERA in 128 innings between Double-A and Triple-A with 120/50 K/BB and just 80 hits allowed; ready for a trial in the majors despite occasional command issues.

8) Domingo Acevedo, RHP, Grade B+/B: Age 23; signed out of Dominican Republic in 2013; 3.23 ERA in 128 innings between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A with 138/33 K/BB, 122 hits; inconsistent but can dominate when he’s on.

9) Albert Abreu, RHP, Grade B: Age 21, acquired from Astros in Brian McCann deal; has fought injuries with two trips to DL; combined 3.92 ERA in 39 innings between High-A and rehab work, 43/12 K/BB; still quite promising.

New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians
Aaron Judge
Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

10) Aaron Judge, OF, Grade B/B-: Age 25, first-round pick in 2013 out of Fresno State University; hitting .289/.419/.607 with 35 homers, 85 walks, 152 strikeouts in 394 major league at-bats; embarrassing to have rated him this low but based on the information available at the beginning of spring training, it made sense; totally reworked his approach and while pitchers have made some adjustments, his ability to adjust back at them seems established.

New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox
Miguel Andujar
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

11) Miguel Andujar, 3B, Grade B-: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2011; this is the long-awaited breakout season, .314/.350/.505 between Double-A and Triple-A, 23/61 BB/K in 404 at-bats; still needs defensive polish but has made progress.

12) Dillon Tate, RHP, Grade B-: Age 23, first round pick out of UC Santa Barbara by the Rangers in 2015; came to New York in Carlos Beltran trade; 2.80 ERA in 64 innings, 48/19 K/BB between High-A and Double-A, still some issues with consistency of secondary pitches but chance that he can remain a starter has improved.

13) Dustin Fowler, OF, Grade B-: Age 22, 18th round pick in 2013, hit .293/.329/.542 in 297 at-bats in Triple-A, promoted to majors and got hurt in his first game, then traded to the Athletics in the Gray deal. Was this year’s power surge real?

14) Ian Clarkin, LHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, traded to the White Sox in Frazier deal, has 2.68 ERA in 81 innings in High-A with 62/30 K/BB, now on DL with strained oblique. Status and grade haven’t really changed.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Jordan Montgomery
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

15) Jordan Montgomery, LHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, fourth round pick in 2014 from University of South Carolina; 4.05 ERA in 116 major league innings, 111/34 K/BB, a successful rookie season, fourth starter projection looks good.

16) Tyler Wade, INF, Grade C+: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2013, hit well in Triple-A (.313/.389/.453 in 307 at-bats with 26 steals), not so well in majors (.128/.212/.213 in 47 at-bats) but will be in the picture as bench option.

17) Mason Williams, OF, Grade C+: Age 25, hitting .247/.294/.292 with 18 steals in 336 at-bats in Triple-A; that won’t get it done, outrighted to Scranton on July 6th, will probably bounce around as a sixth outfielder for years.

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tyler Austin
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

18) Tyler Austin, OF-1B, Grade C+: Age 25, continues to mash in (.301/.372/.562) in Double-A and Triple-A while fighting injuries which always seem to strike at the most inopportune moments.

19) Giovanny Gallegos, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, from Mexico; still unstoppable in Triple-A (1.69 ERA in 37 innings, excellent 61/9 K/BB), posted 5.79 ERA in 14 MLB innings but with sharp 15/4 K/BB; deserves more chances.

20) Dietrich Enns, LHP, Grade C+: Age 25, 19th round pick in 2012 from Central Michigan; has fought injuries but effective when healthy, posted 2.29 ERA in 39 innings in Triple-A, traded to Minnesota Twins on July 30th for Jaime Garcia.

OTHER GRADE C+:
Johnny Barbato, RHP: Traded to Pittsburgh Pirates in April; 4.84 ERA in 22 innings, 17/13 K/BB.
Oswaldo Cabrera, 2B: Hitting .218/.282/.301 in Low-A but only 18 years old.
Nestor Cortes, LHP: 2.16 ERA in 79 innings between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A with 72/25 K/BB, solid arm.
Juan De Paula, RHP: 3.60 ERA in 40 innings in New York-Penn League, 30/19 K/BB, reports will be interesting.
J.P. Feyereisen, RHP: 2.59 ERA in 56 innings Double-A/Triple-A, 53/24 K/BB, just 39 hits, another arm waiting for a chance.
Drew Finley, RHP: 6.48 ERA in 33 innings in NY-P, 35/16 K/BB, 43 hits.

Chad Green, RHP: 2.06 ERA in 48 major league innings, 70/12 K/BB, fine campaign.
Jonathan Holder, RHP: 3.58 ERA in 38 major league innings, 37/8 K/BB.
Kyle Holder, INF: .244/.293/.309 in High-A, I expected better.
Zack Littell, RHP: Excellent year, 16-1, 2.17 ERA between High-A and Double-A, 123/30 K/BB, traded to Twins in Garcia deal.


Billy McKinney, OF: Hitting .282/.350/.519 in Double-A/Triple-A with 16 homers, more power this year.
Hoy Jun Park, INF: .254/.350/.361 between Low-A and High-A, 22 steals.
Freicer Perez, RHP: 2.98 ERA in 103 innings in Low-A, 94/37 K/BB.
Tito Polo, OF: Hitting .302/.359/.444, 28 steals between High-A and Double-A, 28 steals, traded to White Sox.

Yefrey Ramirez, RHP: 3.53 ERA in 103 innings in Double-A, 100/43 K/BB, traded to Baltimore Orioles.
Josh Rogers, LHP: 3.24 ERA in 92 innings in Double-A, 80/16 K/BB.
Donny Sands, C: Hitting .269/.320/.350 in Low-A/High-A.
Nick Solak, INF: Hitting .300/.390/.460 in High-A/Double-A, 11 homers, 14 steals.

Lots to talk about in the Yankees system. Obviously the 2018 list will look much different due to trades and graduations.