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New York Yankees Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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Several injuries but depth compensates

Cleveland Indians v New York Yankees
Miguel Andujar (L) and Gleyber Torres (R)
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the New York Yankees farm system.

This list was originally published December 8th, 2017, and revised March 14th, 2018.

*****THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST******

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES

1) Gleyber Torres, INF, Grade A/A-: Age 21, hitting .262/.326/.490 with 18 homers, 27 walks, 87 strikeouts in 298 at-bats in the majors; entirely legitimate and can improve further from here; has lived up to the hype.

2) Estevan Florial, OF, Grade B+: Age 20, signed out of Haiti in 2015; injury-plagued season with hamate bone that required surgery, hitting .248/.355/.347 in 242 at-bats in High-A; hit .548 in nine rookie ball rehab games; hitting has picked up in August as he gets further away from the injury.

3) Chance Adams, RHP, Grade B+: Age 24, 4.98 ERA in 107 innings in Triple-A, 108/56 K/BB, 96 hits but 15 homers; I ranked Adams pretty aggressively compared to other observers and right now that looks like a mistake; velocity has been down a notch this year and command has slipped as well, possibly a result of off-season bone chip surgery; I think he can rebound next year but stock is ticking down.

4) Justus Sheffield, LHP, Grade B+: Age 22, first round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2014, traded to Yankees in Andrew Miller deal; 2.48 ERA in 109 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 116/50 K/BB; I’d still like a lower walk rate but a fine season overall, stock holding or ticking up a bit.

5) Miguel Andujar, 3B, Grade B+/B: Age 23, signed by Yankees in 2011 from Dominican Republic; excellent rookie season, .300/.331/.534 with 20 homers, 36 doubles, 18 walks, 79 strikeouts in 427 at-bats for the Yankees; glove has been rough but the hitting has been strong enough to compensate; one of the key young stars of the game.

6) Albert Abreu, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 22, signed by Astros in 2013 from Dominican Republic, traded to Yankees in 2016 Brian McCann deal; 5.74 ERA in 63 innings between High-A and rookie ball rehab; 66/27 K/BB, 64 hits; not a great year with physical problems but has pitched well the last couple of starts, stock down a bit but still in the B range; bullpen risk seems higher now.

7) Domingo Acevedo, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 24, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; performing well in Double-A with 3.06 ERA, 50/19 K/BB in 62 innings, 50 hits; went on disabled list July 29th with “pulled biceps” and may not return the rest of the season; need more information on the injury to make a judgment but his stock was holding pre-injury.

8) Freicer Perez, RHP, Grade B/B+: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014; posted 7.20 ERA in 25 innings in High-A with 20/19 K/BB, struggling with his command, went on disabled list in May with vaguely-described “shoulder inflammation” then eventually had surgery to remove bone spurs and will miss rest of season.

9) Thairo Estrada, INF, Grade B: Age 22, signed out of Venezuela in 2012; has missed most of the season with a back injury, hitting just .192/.210/.231 in 78 at-bats between High-A and Triple-A when on the field

10) Dillon Tate, RHP, Grade B-/B: Age 24, first round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2015, traded to Yankees in Carlos Beltran deal; posted 4.19 ERA in 105 innings in Double-A with 84/29 K/BB; traded to Baltimore Orioles in Zach Britton deal; will get an opportunity sooner in Baltimore than he would in New York.

11) Domingo German, RHP, Grade B-:: Age 26, signed by Miami Marlins in 2010 from Dominican Republic; traded to Yankees in 2014; 5.68 ERA in 82 major league innings, 95/32 K/BB, 77 hits; big problem here was 15 homers elevating his ERA, other numbers were more promising; placed on disabled list in late July with ulnar nerve injury.

12) Billy McKinney, OF, Grade B-: Age 23, certainly a well-known prospect at this point having been involved in two (now three) major trades; hitting .222/.307/.470 in Triple-A and a few games of High-A and Double-A; 3-for-8 in the majors; traded to Toronto Blue Jays in J.A. Happ deal

13) Luis Medina, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 19, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015; 6.16 ERA in 31 innings in Appalachian League, 41/38 K/BB; can hit 102 MPH but no mystery here, his control is too weak for the velocity to matter at this point,

14) Matt Sauer, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 19, second round pick in 2017 from high school in Santa Maria, California; 4.08 ERA with 41/12 K/BB in 53 innings for Staten Island Yankees in New York-Penn League; holding his own thus far.

15) Trevor Stephan, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, third round pick in 2017 from University of Arkansas, 1.98 ERA in 41 innings in High-A with 49/9 K/BB; not as effective in Double-A with 5.37, 72/24 in 67 innings, 72 hits, 11 hit batsmen; fastball up to 97 but secondary pitches and location command (as opposed to general control) need further development;

16) Nolan Martinez, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 20, third round pick in 2016 from high school in California; career slowed by shoulder issues but has returned strong this year, 1.54 ERA in 47 innings between NY-P and Low-A, 35/15 K/BB, just 28 hits; has breakthrough potential for 2019.

17) Juan De Paula, RHP, Grade C+: Age 20, signed by Seattle Mariners out of Dominican Republic in 2014, traded to Yankees for Ben Gamel;; he was good in the NY-P last year but returned there for 2018 and is still good, 1.98 ERA with 42/25 K/BB in 41 innings; fine stuff, will control work at higher levels?

18) Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, originally in San Francisco Giants system Nicaraguan right-hander signed with Yankees as a free agent in 2016; 3.11 ERA in 46 innings between High-A and Double-A, 60/6 K/BB; 3.00 in 18 major league innings with 21/8 K/BB; impressive command, stock moving up.

19) Dermis Garcia, 3B, Grade C+: Age 20, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014 for $3,000,000; hitting .228/.308/.438 with 13 homers, 31 walks, 94 strikeouts in 267 at-bats in Low-A; no real progress from his month-long trial at the same level last year; stands out for raw power, has some patience, defense has been weak at both third base and first base.

20) Giovanny Gallegos, RHP, Grade C+: Age 27, from Mexico, 2.97 ERA in 36 innings in Triple-A, 48/10 K/BB; traded to St. Louis Cardinals; nothing left to prove in the minors, ready for a bullpen trial.

OTHER GRADE C+

Tyler Austin, 1B-OF-DL; Traded to Minnesota Twins, hitting .241/.297/.518 in 141 major league at-bats, which seems about right.

Oswaldo Cabrera, INF: Hitting .230/.296/.327 with 22 walks, 57 strikeouts in 434 at-bats in Low-A; glove works well.

Cody Carroll, RHP; 2.47 ERA in 57 innings in Triple-A, 57/18 K/BB, just 28 hits; traded to Baltimore Orioles, ready for a trial.

Jake Cave, OF; Traded to Minnesota Twins, hitting .274/.308/.445 in 146 at-bats.

Phillip Diehl, LHP; 2.69 ERA in 67 innings in High-A/Double-A, 100/19 K/BB, 50 hits; extremely high strikeout rate the big positive, ready for a trial soon.

Raynel Espinal, RHP; 3.38 ERA in 59 innings in Triple-A, 78/24 K/BB; another bullpen arm ready for a look.

J.P. Feyereisen, RHP; 2.83 ERA in 57 innings in Triple-A, 56/23 K/BB, another bullpen arm ready for a look.

Deivi Garcia, RHP; 3.14 ERA in 57 innings between Low-A and High-A, 88/14 K/BB, 38 hits; plus curveball, fastball has been picking up, just 19 years old, stock on the rise.

Rony Garcia, RHP; 4.35 ERA in 108 innings between Low-A and High-A, 93/26 K/BB, 108 hits;

Isiah Gilliam, OF; Hitting .262/.308/.401 with 13 homers, 27 walks, 135 strikeouts in 431 at-bats in High-A; good power potential but contact concerns remain.

Ben Heller, RHP; out all year with elbow bone spur.

Kyle Holder, INF; .269/.333/.359 in 156 at-bats between Low-A, High-A, and Double-A, has missed much of the season with a vertebrae injury.

Gosuke Katoh, 2B: .237/.333/.350 in 380 at-bats in Double-A, 53 walks, 103 strikeouts in 380 at-bats; a rather blah season.

Brian Keller, RHP; 3.58 ERA in 116 innings in Double-A, 104/33 KBB, 106 hits; a pretty solid season from sleeper prospect.

Glenn Otto, RHP; Blood clot in shoulder.

Hoy Jun Park, INF; .259/.387/.351 with 17 steals, 62 walks, 67 strikeouts in 313 at-bats in High-A; solid year with speed and OBP combination.

Everson Pereira, OF; Hitting .263/.322/.389 in the Appalachian League at age 17.

James Reeves, LHP; 2.52 ERA in 54 innings in Double-A/Triple-A, 72/33 K/BB, just 30 hits; yet another bullpen candidate in coming seasons.

Adonis Rosa, RHP; 3.83 ERA in 113 innings in High-A, Double-A, Triple-A, 98/31 K/BB, 116 hits; control best attribute

Donny Sands, C; Hitting .280/.333/.341 in 82 at-bats in High-A in between three different trips to the disabled list.

Clarke Schmidt, RHP; Coming back from Tommy John surgery, 3.09 ERA in 23 innings between rookie ball and NY-P; 30/6 K/BB, early reports are positive.

Canaan Smith, OF; Just .162/.244/.270 in 111 at-bats in the NY-P.

Stephen Tarpley, LHP; 1.71 ERA in 63 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 64/23 K/BB; here’s another bullpen arm for you.

Tyler Wade, INF: Hitting .259/.326/.371 in Triple-A, .186/.238/.305 in the majors; my guess is that he’ll bounce around for another year or two before getting established as a solid role player.

**********************

The Yankees have had several prospect injuries but having such depth has compensated.

The 2019 list will look different of course. 2018 draftees like Anthony Seigler, Ryder Green, and Josh Breaux will have to be ranked. There are also several breakout prospects who have improved from Grade C/C+ types into somewhere in the B range including Garrett Whitlock, Roansy Contreras, Nick Nelson, Erik Swanson, Luis Gil, Juan Then, Antonio Cabello, and Michael King.