Judge, Torres, Andujar, Sanchez.
These New York Yankees aren't dubbed the “Baby Bombers” for nothing. The Yankees coup of young talent has produced as, if not better than expected at the major league level, leading the Yankees to a 56-29 record midway through the 2018 season.
Just two seasons ago, the Yankees began to build up a young core through trades, going against their usual approach of stocking up the major league team with established veterans and top-level talent.
The Yankees young core has been established in more ways than just trades. While Torres was acquired via trade, other young performers such as Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar,and Luis Severino were signed as international free agents. Aaron Judge was drafted, of course, a first-rounder in 2013.
While all of the above names have since lost their prospect status due to service time, the Yankees still have one of baseball’s top farm systems. Through a mix of trades, signings and drafting, the Yankees have produced a deep, talented farm system.
Part of that depth are those who are not ranked amongst the clubs top-30 prospects. As usual, the top guys get all the attention and credit, but the Bronx Bombers have several sleepers who could soon make an impact with the club in the future.
Congratulations to Chris Hess (@chrishess07) and Steven Sensley (@blaqexcelents) on being named members of the Southern Division team for the South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Greensboro! ⭐️⭐️⭐️— Charleston RiverDogs (@ChasRiverDogs) June 5, 2018
Single-A Sleeper Prospect: Steven Sensley
The Single-A Charleston River Dogs had two South Atlantic League All-Stars, both not ranked amongst the Yankees Top-30 Prospects.
Both 2017 late-round draft picks, Steven Sensley and Chris Hess put together impressive first half campaigns for the River Dogs.
Sensley, a 22-year old outfielder, was drafted in the 12th round out of Louisiana-Lafeyette. After hitting a combined .292 across three levels in his professional debut last season, Sensley began the season with the Riverdogs.
In 67 games with Charleston, Sensley hit .277 with 13 home runs and 25 RBIs. Sensley hit a total of 32 extra-base hits in 255 at-bats in the first half, earning a spot on the South Atlantic League All-Star Team.
Sensley earned a promotion to High-A last week, but has played in just seven games at the level, therefore we’ll consider him as a Single-A prospect for now.
Today’s Yankees have made headlines due to their impressive display of power, and Steven Sensley looks to fit in nicely with his power stroke.
A 17th-round pick out of Rhode Island in 2017, Chris Hess also put on a nice display of power, hitting seven home runs, and a total of 21 extra-base hits for the River Dogs in 2018. Plate discipline has been a major cause of concern for Hess, as the third baseman has struck out 77 times in 248 at-bats.
Congratulations to Tarpons INF Brandon Wagner on being named a 2018 @FloridaStateLg All-Star!— Tampa Tarpons (@TampaTarpons) June 5, 2018
Catch the 2018 FSL All-Star Game at GMS Field June 16th at 6:30pm!
: @Mark_LoMoglio pic.twitter.com/8ftn6SVfhE
High-A Sleeper Prospect: Brandon Wagner
The lone All-Star representative from the Tampa Bay Tarpons, Brandon Wagner has had a spectacular 2018 season.
A sixth-round pick in 2015, the 22 year-old first baseman has hit 16 home runs in 259 at-bats for the Tarpons.
Wagner has driven in a team-leading 46 runs, while scoring a team-leading 41 runs of his own.
Wagner’s success as an overall run-producer has played a big role in leading the Tarpons to a .500 record with just one All-Star.
Like Sensley, Wagner’s 16 home runs make him a nice fit on the Yankees major league team, who have hit a league-leading 145 home runs this season.
Wagner will certainly need to cut down on the strikeouts, as 83 strikeouts in 259 at-bats puts Wagner at nearly a 30% strikeout percentage.
But the raw power looks to be there, and if Wagner can continue to produce runs, he’ll find himself in the Yankees plans one way or another.
Double-A Sleeper Prospect: Trey Amburgey
The third of three power-hitting sleepers, Trey Amburgey has enjoyed a nice breakout season in the power categories.
A 2015 13th-round pick out of St. Petersburg College, Amburgey’s previous season-high for home runs was 14 last season.
The centerfielder has hit 11 in just 75 games for the Thunder in 2018.
While Amburgey strikes out at a high clip with 71 in 286 at-bats (25%), Amburgey’s knack for driving in runs has been a key part of his success, as Amburgey has driven in a team-leading 47 RBIs, while scoring 38 of his own.
While Amburgey has just two stolen bases in 2018, the centerfielder has shown some quickness on the base paths, stealing 21 bases in 2015, and 13 in 2017.
Amburgey, like the past two sleepers, has the potential to join his peers as a power hitter at the major league level, but needs to cut down on the strikeouts in order to have any chance at that.
A .245 batting average isn't pretty, but double-digit home runs, and sneaky speed on the bases make Trey Amburgey a serious sleeper.
Besides the home runs, one of the biggest points of success for the Yankees has been their relief pitching. In 26 appearances out of the bullpen, Caleb Frere has a 0.69 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 39 innings. At the age of 24, the 2012 11th-rounder looks like a potential screw weapon out of the Yankees bullpen in September.
Triple-A Sleeper Prospect: Josh Rogers
Both of the Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders’ All-Stars are either no longer prospects (Brandon Drury) or ranked among the Yankees top-30 prospects (Cody Carroll), so this one took a little bit of searching.
That searching resulted in the discovery of a potential immediate contributor at the major league level in Josh Rogers.
Drafted in the 11th round out of Louisville in 2015, Rogers has a 6-5 record with a 3.53 ERA in 16 starts for the RailRiders in 2018.
In 91 innings, Rogers has allowed just ten home runs, while striking out 73. With this being his first season in Triple-A, the consistent production is a good sign from the lefty.
With last season’s breakout lefty Jordan Montgomery out for the season, Rogers could become the next Yankees breakout lefty once given the opportunity. With a combined 3.00 ERA throughout his professional career, Rogers can be counted on to contribute whether it be in the rotation, or as a long reliever.
Yet another power hitter, 26 year-old right fielder Ryan McBroom has been successful in both the power and average categories. McBroom has a .316 average with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs on the season, hitting 18 doubles in 294 at-bats. Given his age and success, McBroom has certainly earned a shot once the rosters expand in September.