BA’s Top 10 Yankees’ Prospects

Kennedy debuts in Puerto Rico
Movin' the mud

Via Steve, who apparently gets his print edition of the magazine a full week before I do:

  1. Austin Jackson,OF
  2. Jesus Montero, C
  3. Andrew Brackman, RHP
  4. Austin Romine, C
  5. Dellin Betances, RHP
  6. Zach McAllister, RHP
  7. Al Aceves, RHP
  8. Phil Coke, LHP
  9. Mark Melancon, RHP
  10. Bradley Suttle, 3B

Aceves and Coke? Really?

Sure both guys are big league ready, but they’re low ceiling, back-end starter types. Melancon has a much higher ceiling, and he’s just as big league ready as those two guys. Plus he’s about three years younger. Eh, whatever.

No qualms with the rest of the list, although I would have squeezed Jeremy Bleich into the 9 or 10 spot.

Kennedy debuts in Puerto Rico
Movin' the mud
  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

    I agree on Bleich and also would have liked to see Jairo Heredia on there. Kid had a great season at age 18 in the SAL.

    • Steve H

      Bleich probably didn’t make it due to the impending TJ surgery(ies)

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Wait, is frequent RAB commenter, “Steve”, Steve Lombardi?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Nope. When Steve Lombardi comments, he uses Steve Lombardi as his handle with a link back to WW. Those instances are few and far between.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Fortunately, those instances are few and far between.

        Fixed. ;)

        • Ivan

          I guess your not a Lombardi fan.

          • dan

            Does the sun rise in the east?

          • rafael

            There are Lombardi fans?

    • Steve

      Not me.

      Must admit I thought the same thing when I read that.

  • Ivan

    No Way Melancon should Melancon be ranked ahead of Coke or Aceves. Overall not a bad list of prospects. The top 5 is very good though.

    Could you make an arguement that Montero was the yanks best prospect this season?

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    People have been fawning over the potential rotation of our High-A affiliate, Tampa; but the projected rotation for the Double-A Trenton squad is nothing to sneeze at:

    Zach McCallister
    Christian Garcia (if you think I’ve given up on him… you are nuts!)
    Ryan Pope
    Ivan Nova (I know the numbers aren’t gorgeous, but his .343 BABIP and 3.37 FIP lead you to believe he was a victim of bad luck and horrid defense)
    *Erick Hacker (had a hard time trying to find a fifth starter for this level)

    *I chose Hacker to stay at Double-A because of the uncertainty of the MLB and AAA rotations at this point in time.

    • Matt G.

      De La Rosa gets the nod before Pope.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Wilkins De La Rosa will be starting in Tampa.

        • Steve

          Yeah, he just got a sniff of Tampa last year.

        • Matt G.

          Wilkins will be starting in Tampa, but he will be called up to AA before Pope. I’m not sure there’s much room there, and as things are we may see Kontos and Jones start the year in Trenton (assuming Kennedy is not traded and Horne is recovered or a 6-man rotation in AAA).

    • Troy

      I’m a big Chris Garcia fan. I still think he has a shot to be something in the majors. But I’m definitely considering catching a few Tampa games next year. Betances, Brackman, Heredia as a front 3? Damn!!!

      I really hope those guys make it to the majors. I am never one to assume prospects will make it to the majors… only hope

      • Steve

        Nothing against Garcia, but I can’t get attached to pitchers who constantly get hurt. Especially minor league ones. There are a zillion guys who’ve had all the stuff and makeup and pitchability in the world who had their careers permanently derailed because they couldn’t stay healthy.

      • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees Eric

        Don’t forget Bleich and De La Rosa. That’s going to be a nasty rotation.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    What?!!?!?!!

    (A single tear falls down Andy’s face)

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Here, allow me.

      BA’s Top 10 Yankees’ Prospects (unabridged)

      1. Austin Jackson,OF
      2. Jesus Montero, C
      3. Andrew Brackman, RHP
      4. Austin Romine, C
      5. Dellin Betances, RHP
      6. Zach McAllister, RHP
      7. Al Aceves, RHP
      8. Phil Coke, LHP
      9. Mark Melancon, RHP
      10. Bradley Suttle, 3B
      10 (tie). Melvin “Asesinos de los Sueños” Crousett

  • Ricochet

    RAB, you’ve got to get past upside and stuff it means nothing if you don’t have the other aspects to the game.

    Guys like Musssina, Maddux, Glavine and countless others would be passed by today as they don’t have elite stuff yet they are some of the best pitchers of there generation.

    Take a look at AJ Burnett, talent wise he’s awesome but he’s only a decent pitcher with moments of greatness that come along only every once in a while.

    Now look at Jamie Moyer’s career, he never had great stuff, the talent upside is nowhere near Burnett’s yet he’s had a much much better career because he could use what he had to the fullest and he has composure and all the other things that can’t be measured or reduced to a formula to determine who’s good or not.

    Though I admit that I’m thrown that Coke is in the top 10. I have no problem with Aceves as that I think he can at the very least be a very good #4 starter. Melancon IMO should be higher and I would have Heredia on the list as well.

    • Ivan

      I disagree with ya with Moose. Sure he wasn’t a flamethrower but he had a pretty good fastball about low-mid 90’s with some of the nastiest secondary pitches you’ll ever see especially with the Knuckle-Curve which was unhittable when he was on. Moose alot more stuff than guys like Maddux, Glavine or Moyer ever had.

      • steve (different one)

        where on earth is this notion that Mussina didn’t have elite stuff coming from?

        Moose threw 95 back in the day with an obscene curve.

        • Steve S

          SDO-Thank god you got here before I did. Of course Mussina was a stud pro- he was a first round pick in 1990 and made it to the majors by 1991 and won 18 games by 1992.

          • Stephen

            Yea, all the players had something GREAT about them. Movement, velocity, control, command, SOMETHING. If one of the Yankees top 10 turns out like AJ Burnett, I think they and we’ll all be very happy.

            • christopher

              maddux also has arguably the best cut fastball in baseball history and didnt exactly soft toss in his hay day. dont think you can put maddux in the same sentence as glavine his stuff is too good

  • The Scout

    I think you may have overlooked the larger pattern here, which continues an organizational problem going back years. The top ten contains only four posiiton players, and of the four only Jackson played above low A ball this year. There is very little top talent (other than pitching) coming through the pipeline soon to replace aging players on the major league level or to include in deals. The organization still has a long way to go before it can perform the functions a minor league system needs to do.

    • pat

      Good young pitching is a universal currency.

      • The Scout

        Not in every trade!!! It depends upon what the other team needs, and that may be position players. From the reports in the press, it appears the Peavy trade talks hinge on what major-league ready everyday players (not just pitchers) teams like Atlanta are prepared to include in the deal.

  • Baseballnation

    The bottom part of the list is pretty screwed. I got Melancon way ahead of Coke and Aceves in terms of prospect status…And Also Laird ahead of Suttle. Frankly, Coke and Aceves shouldn’t even sniff the list, Bleich is a better pick!….What, no Frankie Cervelli? Was David Robertson not eligible? Whelan has the highest upside behind Melancon in terms of reliever and despite questions if he can reach it, Whelan has shown the type of unhittable stuff even when he’s not on his A game. Humberto Sanchez?

  • Frank B.

    Until Ajax shows a little more consistency and Montero does more above A ball, Melancon is NUMBER ONE! You got a bunch of guys flexing their muscles in A ball for goodness sakes.

    • Ivan

      How can you rank a reliever #1 on your prospect list? Come on. Sure performance is important but also ceiling/upside as well. Montero has sick upside especially with the bat and A-Jax plays preminum position and can be may-stay for a decade.

      • Frank B.

        Its all a crap shoot… Melancon is less of a Major Leaguer because he’s a relief pitcher? He’s dominated everywhere and you can probably make an argument that he’s not fully back from TJ surgery yet? I’ve seen too many A ball players fail as they move up the ladder.

        • Ivan

          But at the End of the day, Melancon is a top notch reliever at best. Nothing wrong with that. Nevertheless, Montero ceiling or even A-Jax is more valuable than Melancon period. Sure Montero hasn’t made it past A ball but he performed well and has a better upside. If that’s the case than guys like Aceves and Coke are better prospects than Melancon (and their not)

          Would you take Melancon over Heyward, or Moustakas? Guys who never played at High A ball (Heyward briefly) but had significant upside and performed at the level they were at.

          Point is, you can never put a reliever at the #1 spot period. Why you think people say you never take a reliever in the 1st round.

          • Frank B.

            Good points, I guess I’m being careful not to separate hype and hope from actual performance. Prospect wise Melancon appears to have solved each level… the A ball guys are still proving themselves.

            But the Moutsakas/Heyward point makes sense.

          • Ron

            “But at the End of the day, Melancon is a top notch reliever at best.”

            Yeah, because top notch relievers are so pervasive, they’re worthless.

            • steve (different one)

              of course no one came close to calling them “worthless”.

              • Lanny

                In todays game you have to give respect to guys who are dominant relievers.

                They are so valueable as you can see when they give huge deals to decent guys like Linebrink and Baez and Farnsworth.

                It is why Rivera gets 15 mil a yr and K Rod will match that.

                • http://pinstripealley.com Travis G.

                  salary has very little to do with actual value. case in point: Giambi – $21 mil; Joba – $500 k.

  • Tripp

    Is Suttle on there for talent alone? He had a good year in Charleston, but was it good enough to propel him into the top 10?

    Definitely would have put Heredia on the list.

    • Lanny

      They should all be on there based on talent and ceiling. It’s not about minor league stats with these rankings.

  • http://www.pinstripespa.blogspot.com Dan

    I don’t know if I would have put Aceves on that list, and although Melancon does need a bit more time in the minors, he is a better prospect than Phil Coke. I’ll just wait till the Pinstripes Plus list comes out. Its usually a bit better.

  • Bonos

    The even more disturbing thing is that other than Jackson, there are no OFs in the organization. That’s 30% of your position players. You would think that they would draft at least one high ceiling OF a year. It seems like they have cornered the market on BP arms.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/2008/11/08/bas-top-10-yankees-prospects-5738/#comments yankee21

      Although he is a long way from the Bronx,, OF Kelvin Deleon, no?

      I would imagine NYY knows their MiL OF depth is bush-league. Fortunately, OF grow on trees when it comes to free-agency. And, I would think NYY would address this need in next year’s draft class.

      • AndrewYF

        Never draft for need in the high rounds.

        Ever.

        • Lanny

          Especially in baseball.

    • Ban Bud

      If you can develop a surplus of pitching you can spin that into players at any position you want. I think Mr. Cashman has all but said as much, and I suspect he’s correct.

      • Steve

        Yeah, and half the teams in Baseball have hideous bullpens. There will come a time where we start spinning guys off for other needs, dealing from excess in the organization.

  • Ivan

    So next year at this time, who will be the #1 prospect in the yankee organization?

    • http://riveraveblues.com/2008/11/08/bas-top-10-yankees-prospects-5738/#comments yankee21

      If Austin is still in MiL, then A-Jax, othewise Betances.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      If all goes right, Brackman in a landslide. If he has a Joba-esque year (EXTREME longshot), he’d be one of the top 3 prospects in the game.

      • Ivan

        Yo Brackman if he wasn’t hurt and didn’t had the inconsistent year he had in college, just may have been the #1 prospect in the 07 draft.

        • Malcard89

          Absolutely impossible. Price and especially Porcello are twice as talented as Brackman.

          • http://pinstripealley.com Travis G.

            whoa! where’d you get this from?

            • Malcard89

              Brackman: Overpowering fastball, solid curve, below-average command of any of his pitches, injury history

              Price: Mid 90s fastball, lefty, deadly slider, good control, no injury history

              Porcello: similar to brackman, but no injury history and is 3 YEARS younger.

    • Ivan

      I will go Montero.

    • Reggie C.

      Gonna go with Jesus Montero. Another repeat campaign assures him the second spot. Improvement over last year’s numbers , especially in the power category, gets him to the top slot. If Lars Anderson is this year’s top RS prospect in lieu of a very good year from Bowden, then Montero could be our power hitting stud.

      • Steve

        Plus he’s still only 18, which is pretty ridiculous how advanced he is at his age.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2008/11/08/bas-top-10-yankees-prospects-5738/#comments yankee21

    Top 10 doesn’t look too bad, you can argue until the cows come home how it all is sequenced. My take; Coke and Aceves off. Jairo and Bleich on.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2008/11/08/bas-top-10-yankees-prospects-5738/#comments yankee21

    Who will make it to the ML as a C, Montero or Romine, both or neither??

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Romine is much more likely. Montero has an outside chance.

      • Ivan

        So you think Montero will play 1st baseb when he makes his MLB debut?

        • Steve

          That bat will get him to the big leagues, somewhere.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2008/11/08/bas-top-10-yankees-prospects-5738/#comments yankee21

    Mike; Assuming A-rod can no longer handle 3B regularly in 4-5 years,, does Suttle project as a worthy successor?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Sure. He’s by far the most likely internal candidate.

  • emac2

    What are the arguments that Coke and Aceves aren’t worthy is it all about age? These lists change an awful lot year to year and yet poeple seem to get very attached to track records and press while ignoring what the p[layer just put in their face in terms of performance.

    Sure you get the flukes that produce for a short time and then disappear but the A ball stud who never pans out if far more common.

    I will admit that Melancon should probably be in the top 5 but people seem so sure about players they know so little about.

    • Reggie C.

      Unlike Melancon, Aceves doesn’t have true power stuff nor the polish. Coke doesn’t have Melancon’s background nor the polish, and oh yea … Coke is 26. That’s beyond prospect age imo.

      I would’ve dropped Coke altogether from the list and gone with Brandon Laird who did finish with the highest slugging % among our position players.

      • emac2

        I can’t make a case for either being better than Melancon but lack of polish in a pitcher who just went through the minors in one year is expected.

        Coke is older and the fact that he put it together so fast is cause for concern that he might regress but the stuff and results he put up last year convince me that, if he holds on to everything he gained last year, he is worhy of the top 10.

  • Peter Lacock

    What does this list mean? Highest potential? I had a grocery list ranked in order of where stuff was in the store so I knew what I was gonna get first. If I’m ranking these guys in that kind of order, Aceves is 1 because he has nothing else to prove in the minors and Melancon is 2 because the only thing he has to prove is health. They should both be pitching in the majors next year, for someone. Coke might need one year or less but the other guys all need more than one year in the minors.

    • steve (different one)

      it’s a blend of ceiling, probability of reaching that ceiling, and nearness to the majors. you have to weight all of those factors.

      Aceves is major league ready, but his ceiling is something like a #4 starter.

      also, you have to take age and level into consideration.

      for Aceves, who is 25, to dominate high A and AA, is not really that impressive. it’s not a negative, of course, but at 25 and being a very experienced/polished pitcher from the Mexican league, he SHOULD be dominating those hitters.

  • Simon B.

    Brackman shouldn’t be #3. I guess I’d put him somewhere back in the top ten, but he’s really a longshot.

    • Simon B.

      I mean, people keep comparing him to Joba on the “high risk, high reward” part, but it isn’t even close. Brackman probably has less than 5% chance of becoming even a decent pitcher—much less a righthanded Randy Johnson which is just a superficial fantasy which only takes into account his height and that he could top out very high in college (even though he sat much lower).

      • pat

        why do you say that? He’s fully healthy now with good stuff and hes only 23

    • Reggie C.

      Still gotta go with the potential POTENTIAL when discussing Brackman. It doesn’t matter right now whether Brackman gives up 1 run over 6 innings or 6 runs over 3 innings. Reports are saying the velocity is back. He’s got the plus FB in the bank. Now he needs to tighten an already good curve, and of course, work on that make-or-break 3rd pitch.

      Brackman has gotta overcome adversity Joba never had to face. Joba didn’t miss an entire year from TJS. I can’t wait to see how Brackman handles it.

      p.s., Bleich’s performance in Hawaii merits him a spot in the 8-10 area. Dominant.

      • Steve

        Bleich is pretty polished for a young lefty. Not sure how high his upside is, but you could see him going quickly through the minors. His pitching idol is Andy Pettitte, another Lefty who wasn’t highly thought of (22nd round) and did nothing but get guys out everywhere he’s pitched. It would be nice to see Bleich play with Andy, and hopefully learn a few things. I always figure lefties who know how to pitch will over perform a bit as Yankees.

  • DCR

    Hughes: 2.1IP, 4H, 2R, 4BB, 3K, 72 pitches.

    Let the excuses begin. I am expecting to see:

    – “They weren’t hard hit balls.”
    – “His defense disappeared.”
    – “Phil is just there to get innings.”
    – Sarcastic remarks about how its stupid for fans to get impatient with Hughes.

    • Simon B.

      How about this:

      It’s the AFL and nobody cares.

      • Reggie C.

        Not surprised. One good outing proceeded by a bad outing.

        Its Phil Franchise.

    • pat

      – Sarcastic remarks about how its stupid for fans to get impatient with Hughes.

      You’re right it is stupid to get impatient, hes pretty much pitching against minor league all stars and hes 21.

      • pat

        or 22 you know, whatever

        • Steve H

          or even if it’s the same when he’s 23, which is the age Hallady put up an era over 10.64, in 67 innings.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I’m going to go with “AzFL stats don’t count,” that one’s always reliable. Maybe I’ll point to his age next, with “he’s only 22, two years younger than Tim Lincecum.”

      At this point, it doesn’t matter what Hughes does. It’ll never be good enough. And when he does something good, it’ll be “that’s what he was supposed to do.” He’s got A-Rod Syndrome.

      • Mike R.

        You took the words right out of my mouth. He has got a serious case a ARS and it looks like Joba is his Jeter. Except in this case Joba really is the superior player.

      • christopher

        very good point – we will see how mentally tough he is because it almost seems that because of the hype this kid is in a no-win situation. pitch well and he was supposed to, pitch poorly and he is a bust, have your outings scrutinized like no other prospect in the system

        this is what happens when you annoint a kid the franchises savior before he ever throws a pitch in the majors or even AAA. i get the feeling that he will have a successful career, but not as a yankee because the fans wont be satisfied if he winds up being a good middle of the rotation pitcher

      • Ivan

        good points mike.

      • Steve

        Phil’s dating Madonna too?

      • DCR

        This is bullshit. He is no where near A-Rod syndrome. You actually have to perform in order to have A-Rod syndrome. My expectations for Hughes aren’t unreasonable. In 2008 I was expecting him to be a back end of the rotation pitcher. Personally I am just sick of how bullet proof Hughes is in certain places. There’s always an excuse for him. When do you stop making excuses and expect results?

        • christopher

          here is the point of view that proves the point

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          There’s always an excuse for him. When do you stop making excuses and expect results?

          How about when he’s 25? Would that make you happy? Doesn’t 25 seem fair? The list of good to great players who never truly put it together until 25 is really, really long. If all the “give Phil time” crew promised to get off the bandwagon if he’s still subpar at his 25th birthday (a promise I will make for you right now), will you promise to call the hell down and show some patience until he turns 25?

    • Reggie C.

      how’s this one: cashman should’ve been fired yesterday for not trading phil hughes for jake peavy after hughes’s good AFL start.

  • Troy

    Imagine if Cole didn’t fuck over the Yankees? That list would look infinitely better

  • Mike Pop
    • Mike Pop

      Betamces is gonna be here soon and it will be a dynasty once again

      • christopher

        i hate it when these papers run with stories about kids in A or AA. reminds me of ruben rivera, jackson melion, eric duncan etc. they get us excited and only leave room for a let-down when these kids arent all-stars in their second season

        • Steve H

          those guys you mention are all position players, at least with betances some of the hype can be backed up with physical stats such as a mid to high 90’s FB, unlike the position players who are quoted as 4/5 tool players, and stats against minor league pitching. other than health, which is huge, it’s easier projecting pitchers. a batter can dominate the minors, and then when he sees a major league curveball, that might be the end of his upside. 95 mph is 95 mph.

          • christopher

            we were also told by these same papers that hughes sat in the mid 90s

    • Simon B.

      “Fast track” and “Betances” doesn’t seem like a good match.

      Still, I like Betances a lot. It really showed me something when he just got excellent control seemingly overnight this past season. It seems like he really knows how to make adjustments. He was walking around 6-7 per 9 innings and then just spontaneously cut two-thirds of that while sustaining and occasionally exceeding his same K rate.

      Of the two freakishly tall hard-throwers in the Yankee organization I’m watching him a lot closer.

      • Simon B.

        I can’t link it directly, but go to http://www.minorleaguesplits.com and look up Betances. Those last two months of the season were beautiful.

        • Steve

          Yeah, like you that really opened my eyes about him. I can only hope he’s learned something that will work for him from now on. But even if not, you know he’s fixable.

      • Mike Pop

        I think he is our next big pitcher with Brackman to be honest

        • Steve

          Because he’s 6’10”?

    • Thomas

      That is quite possibly the ugliest shirt in the world.

      • Mike Pop

        Its fly for a spanish dude like him

  • Mike R.

    Off topic but interesting none the less. According to MLBTR Dayan Viciedo is officially a free agent. Should we pursue? I say yes!

    • Mike Pop

      Yes but he might go to white soc cuz of alexei

    • christopher

      a cuban all-star at age 16 — hell yes

      seems like the yanks have taken a step back on the international market the past few years maybe because they have been burned on so many of them

      • Ivan

        Yankees have been solid in the international draft the last couple years. I mean they did sign Jesus Montero and sign Kelvin DeLeon.

        • AndrewYF

          And Jairo Heredia, and Manny Barreda.

          The Yankees have simply excellent international scouts. Except in Japan.

  • Joey H

    Melancon is that low mike?

  • christopher

    whats going on with horne? has he totally fallen off radar after last season? at this time last year figured on him breaking camp with the 2009 team, now i wonder if he’ll ever see the bronx.

    • pat

      injured all last year hes off the radar, sonar and everything else.

      • Steve

        In 7 years of playing professional/college baseball he has been relatively healthy in 3 of them. Now its his shoulder, and that is often the end of the road.

  • B.George

    Lets trade Hughes cause he is 21 and is going through growing pains and is going to be a terrible pitcher….lets trade Robbie Cano because he only hit 270 and not 500 like he should…..let Joba Chamberlain start every single game of the year cause he is the best pitcher in the history of baseball……lets trade melky carbrerra for Albert Puljos and a player to be named……lets talk about A Rod replacement already because he sucks and only hit 35 homers with over 100 RBIS….can Joba Chamberlain catch while he is pitching as well?…..lets get Matt Holliday for Ian Kennedy and Wilson Bettimit and trade Matsui to Seattle for Ichiro and Morrow….

    Reading some of these comments makes me wanna throw up sometimes

    • steve (different one)

      hooray for strawmen!!!

    • christopher

      now here is a man with some vision

  • SWB

    HAWKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Edited by RAB: Please don’t do that again with all the exclamation points, you broke the site. And fuck Iowa.

    • Jack

      Now, Mike. Nobody likes a sore loser.

    • SWB

      At least now you don’t have to watch a bad Big 10 team in the championship game

  • Ivan

    Hey can tonight’s open thread be about the big games tomorrow in the NFL? I am so pumped for the Giants and Eagles game.

  • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    I agree Mike: odd list. Here are my personal Top 10:

    1. Austin Jackson
    2. Jesus Montero
    3. Dellin Betances
    4. Andrew Brackman
    5. Austine Romine
    6. Zach McAllister
    7. Mark Melancon
    8. Brad Suttle
    9. Jairo Heredia
    10. Brandon Laird

    3-5 are essentially interchangeable, though I’d take Betances simply because he’s pitched in the minors already for a full season and has had sustained success. I think Laird can be a player who puts up .265/.360/.475-type numbers, if not a touch better, so I think he belongs as he’s one of the best hitting prospects in the system (which tells you of the lack of system-wide, overall offensive talent in the Yankee system). Chris Garcia makes it a race for #10, though. And I’m surprised there’s no love for Jairo..

    • Reggie C.

      I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that a couple of the Angellini, Abe Almonte, Suttle, Laird, and Snyder class can breakthrough and put up a season that could rival the success of the more elite bunch. This farm needs another couple hitters to step up and get some prospect shine; it cannot simply rely upon 3 guys. I hate to make the comparison, but look at the RS top 10 list and you’ll find real balance.

      • greg

        do you you have a link to the red sox top 10?

        • Reggie C.

          Here is the non-subscriber list. Sorry, no scouting reports since that stuff is subscription protected.

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2009/267146.html

          • Troy

            Where’s the Yankees one? I can’t find it at all

            • Reggie C.

              The Yankee list isn’t online till Monday. The paper version usually gets to subscribers’ homes earlier. Usually. I prefer the online version only b/c during the week, BA is really good with updates.

              • 27 this year

                that was weird two of the red sox top prospects of the decade are deceased.

                • Mike Pop

                  1 it was the same guy

    • Steve

      I like Romine showing up on somebody’s list. If he was in any other organization (exc Weiters) he’d be their top catching prospect. But we have so many catchers right now, he seems to get lost.

      Catchers might be something we can produce regularly as an organization. They’re usually not the great athletes that players at other positions are, so they’re more likely to fall to us in the draft. And good defensive catchers are valuable, ones that can hit are damn near priceless.

    • AndrewYF

      I think ya’ll are underrating McAllister.

      It’s not all about potential, it’s about liklihood to get to AND stick in the majors. And McAllister is much more likely than Brackman, who hasn’t even pitched in the minors yet.

      My (and, I think, Mike A’s) prediction for biggest minor league disappointment of 2009: Brackman.

      • Steve H

        Define disappointment? I think as long as he stays healthy and progresses with his secondary pitches and command as he comes back from TJ, he’s a success. I could care less about the stats in his case for this year.

        • Reggie C.

          Don’t get crazy there Steve. Stats are important. Games that count … COUNT. You can’t measure performance otherwise. I want a solid season from Brackman. I’m not expecting him to make the majors or even AAA, but if he establishes himself as the ace of the staff come the 2nd half, and he makes 25 starts or so …. its a success.

          If Brackman’s performance is poor and a demotion to Low-A occurs … that’s gonna upset me and alot of posters. Brackman knows it starts with health. That’s why he’s pitching right now in Hawaii to work that arm into game condition. But he’s gotta pitch well , or he’ll lose his spot to guys like McAllister and Betances.

          • Steve H

            It’s still more about development though, especially coming off TJ. There are many pitchers who are better major league pitchers than they were minor league pitchers. Not everyone is Hughes and dominates the minors from day one. Brackman could probably have great stats throwing 90% fastballs in the minors, but won’t do him any good developmentally.

            • Lanny

              Stats are not that important for guys coming off TJ surgery.

              They want them healthy and hitting their velocity target.

              Results come later.

              And stats are really not that important for these guys in the fall leagues.

      • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        I like McAllister. I should have said 3-6 were interchangeable, because of who you like or what you’re looking for, it’s true.

    • Lanny

      Have you seen any of these top 40 guys play or you just list based on blogs and reports?

      • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        Some reports, some reliable blogs, and some you-tube/mlb.com videos of these guys.

  • Bruno

    Willie is the Bench Coach in Milwuakee, but has an agreement that he can still accept a mangers’ job somewhere (Seattle)

  • ortforshort

    One thing this list tells me is that the Yankees better go pretty heavy for free agents the next couple of years. Outside of Melancon, I don’t see any potential impact players before 2011 at the earliest and he’s far from a lock.
    The Yankees have big problems in the outfield and only AJax, who probably needs a couple of more years before he would be a potential solid contributor will come out of the farm system. I’d be looking at Holliday and Rowand there.
    There’s no first baseman, unless you want to move Montero there, but he’s a couple of years off at the earliest, assuming he continues to progress.
    Nothing this year at catcher where Posada, at 37 years old and coming off major right shoulder surgery, is a major question mark. Maybe Cervelli as a stop gap in 2010 and Romine in 2011 at the earliest if he continues to progress.
    Cashman’s looking for a couple of high octane starters this winter in free agency. Smart move. Hughes and Kennedy are off this list and have turned from can’t miss prospects to can miss prospects. Aceves looks like a bottom of the rotation guy at best and the rest of the starters on the list are a couple of years away in the best of circumstances.
    Anyway, altho’ there is an impressive amount of talent on the list, particularly for a team that drafts at the bottom of the pile each year, the Yankees are going to have to look elsewhere than these guys if they are going to turn around their decline and compete in the AL east over the next few years.

    • greg

      Rowand is so average.

      • Steve H

        in all ways except his paycheck

    • Ivan

      All is not Doom and Gloom.

      Yanks still have tons of money which helps alot. Also, They got young arms who can still develop into very starters like Joba, Hughes and even IPK. Cano is young, CF really is the one position that will take care of it’s self soon.

      Next season, Damon and Matsui come off the books.

      Plus, guys like Montero can make certainly make the majors quicker than anticipated especially if he moves from catcher.

      • Lanny

        Relax on the guys in A ball. let Montero develop.

      • B.George

        Montero is fuking awesome…he drops bombs

  • Steve

    “Kendry Morales homered and doubled in Dominican Winter League play yesterday. “Morales is 9-for-23 and has homered in four of his six games in the Dominican Republic,” reports Rotoworld. “He’s trying to force the Angels to open up either first base or DH for him next year.” Of course, if the Angels can’t re-sign Mark Teixeira, Morales may not have to do much forcing (as the Angels have known all along).”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/11/odds-and-ends-2.html

  • Steve

    Mike, whats the deal with Kendry Morales? He’s been up and down a few times, has dominated minor league pitching and been so-so in 3 years of limited action in the bigs.

    • Ivan

      He’s not all that impressive. He’s basically a switch-hitting version of Miranda. Also Morales has hit in the Cal league which is the best league to hit in.

      • Lanny

        FYI

        Eric Duncan dominated the AFL once.

        • Steve H

          Shoulda traded him for Johan when it was on the table.

        • Steve

          I would love to see Duncan, Igawa, Garcia, Shelly Duncan, Marquez, Horne and CJ Henry all play each other in the All-Bust Game.

          • Lanny

            You can add every Yankee 1st rounder since Jeter.

            • Kay Sturns

              and the one before jeter; oh dear lord if tailor never got hurt…

  • JRVJ

    My sole comment will be that I LOVE the fact that Brackman is rated as high, particularly because in the words of Steve Goldman, he’s just an injured college basketball player (instead of an extremely interesting, high-ceiling pick):

    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/ny_sun_goldmanj/

    or

    http://tinyurl.com/5nwhsq

    (check posts 39, 43 and 46).

  • Lanny

    The challenge is two fold for the Yankees scouting team.

    To accumulate talent and to properly evaluate it. If they don’t do both it becomes worthless.

    The 90’s staff did this beyond great. Trading the right prospects and keeping the correct ones.

    I hope this staff can do that as well and they got their first real test now.

    Tabata.

  • Jack
    • Steve

      Why would they need a rubber to move some dirt?

      • Jack

        They don’t want any trees.

        Think about it.

  • pat

    Charlie, here comes the deuce, and when you speak of me, speak well.

  • Bonos

    A few things that made me smile. Never draft for need in the early rounds. Trade pitching for position players. Boston drafted Westmoreland in the seventh round, he’s number 7 in their top ten. Other than Jackson the Yankees have zip in the OF. They couldn’t draft one high ceiling OF in the last three years and given him top dollar? Bittle was definitely not for need or sense. We’re cornering the market on BP arms, let’s see what we can get for them. What does Hughes get you in this market, Kennedy, Melancon?

    • Lanny

      I hope Cashman knows this.

      As his plan was to accumulate high level pitching talent and build from there.
      Since that is the most valued commodity in the game and every team is desperate for young controllable players.

      He could trade that inventory for est in their prime players.

      Hopefully.

    • Brian

      comprehendabilitize yourself.

  • christopher

    next season’s FA class is weak in pitching, but there some good outfielders that will be on the market. Assuming the yankees solve 1B and especially pitching this season, they can gop strong after Crawford long term in left amd Vlad short term in right or even holliday

    add the pitching this season, develop our young arms and go all in for outfielders after next season and put out one hell of an outfield and line-up

    hate to get ahead of myself, but in my opinion getting the pitching in this season and maybe taking care of first sets them up to have a very strong club going forward because the pieces will be thereto plug up weaknesses

    • Reggie C.

      Was Crawford battling an injury this season? He only accrued 450 plate appearances and teh numbers were down all across the board. It’d be nice to see Crawford get healthy and price himself out of the Rays’s budget.

      I really think Holiday is going to get traded, and that he’ll sign an extension with the acquiring team. I wouldn’t be surprised if that acquiring team is the LAA should they miss out on re-signing Tex.

  • Bonos

    At what cost to the payroll? the budget seems to be 180 mil. Would Hughes Kennedy and Melancon net you Bruce or Rasmus? That’s two #1 picks plus a closer.

    • Lanny

      Why would the Reds ever trade Bruce?

    • Mike Pop

      I dont see how the Cards wouldnt think bout that for Rasmus but I wouldnt do it if I was the Yanks

  • McCaff

    hey mike, where would Tabata have fit in with this list?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Probably at number 4, behind Brackman but ahead of Romine.

  • Bonos

    We have one year to replace the OF, 1B and DH and two starting pitching spots. We have money, young starters and BP arms.

  • Manimal

    Where is De La Rosa? I thought for sure he would be there…

  • Steve

    “Cuban star on Sox radar loses luster

    Hyped by his agent as having walked away from a chance to become “the Babe Ruth of Cuba,” 19-year-old third baseman Dayan Viciedo is as much a project as a high-level prospect.

    Viciedo, a free agent who is being pursued by the White Sox and other organizations, was an all-star at 16 in Cuba’s highest level, the Serie Nacional, but had gained weight and reportedly gone backward before defecting to the United States last May.

    He has light-tower power and a strong arm, but his tools are raw and his commitment was questioned during his last two seasons in Cuba. Peter Bjarkman, an expert on Cuban baseball, has described Viciedo as an underachiever with a poor work ethic.

    Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel, who travels regularly to Cuba, says Viciedo was “supposed to be the next Omar Linares when he was 14 or 15, but nobody would make that sort of comparison anymore or even close to it.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-09-rogers-boxnov09,0,1587045.story

    This story could be 100% accurate, or it could be an attempt by Williams to scare some teams away from bidding on him. The fact that it comes from a Chicago newspaper leads you to believe the sources had CHISOX ties. But quoting a Texas Rangers broadcaster and Peter Bjarkman certainly lends more credibility to this report.

  • Steve

    BA article about Viciedo

    “His body could go the same route as Livan Hernandez, and when I saw him in Mexico, he wasn’t very good at third base anymore,” one international scouting director said. “But he can really hit; in fact, I think he’s probably a better hitter than Villalona.”

    Villolona received a $2.1 million bonus from the Giants in 2006 and is currently playing for low Class A Augusta.

    Another scout who had seen Viciedo was less enthused about him as a player, pegging him as a first baseman-only hitter with a bad body. “You know everybody liked Kendry Morales,” the scout said, referring to the Angels’ Cuban DH/first baseman, “and he had some other tools. But his body’s gone south and he’s pretty much just a DH. So I think it’s premature to get too excited about this guy.”

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=1141

    He can knock Kendry Morales all he wants, the guy’s done nothing but destroy minor league pitching. Won’t surprise me to see him as the Angels opening day 1B if they lose out on Tex. But there are questions about his body and work ethic.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Morales has destroyed minor league pitching, but his big league performance in three partial seasons (~400 plate appearances) has been pretty crappy. If he was a Yanks’ prospect, people would be screaming that he’s a bust and was overhyped and now they’d be lucky to get Carlos Silva for him.

      • Steve

        That’s why I wish the Yanks would stop hyping their prospects. Its hard enough to succeed in this win-now environment without having huge personal expectations on top of that. How many times do we have guys who come up and don’t get hyped that pleasantly surprise everyone? Just last year Coke and Aceves were good examples.

        When I watched Hughes pitch in 2007/2008 more often than not I saw a guy who was just trying too hard. That’s why I thought the best thing they could do for his development was to tell him he’s the 5th starter for the rest of the year, no matter what. I think this “He has to earn a job next year” stuff is also a mistake. Yes, sometimes you have to put a players needs before the team. You can live w/a 5th starter who’s a work in progress, trying to force feed two of them in there last April was also a mistake.

        • pat

          How exactly do the yankees overhype their prospects? I havn’t seen cashman calling press conferences to declare what a great pitcher phil hughes is. I must have missed HYPE! magazine where it overblows all yankee prospects and fucks with their head. The only things that people go by are scouting reports and minor league results. What else happened to hughes? The yankees refusal to part with him in the Santana deal immediately put 100x more pressure on him than anything else. IMo saying the yankees overhype their own prospects is preposterous when it is usually the media and websites who do.

          • Kay Sturns

            I am going to go ahead and say that Steve meant yankee FANS overhype their prospects too much. Even the Yanks refusal to include Hughes in a Santana trade was blown up by the media and it may or may not have affected Phil. only he knows how much the media affects his performance. But, I agree, not fair for a 21 y/o when he started 08.

            • Steve

              Its fans, the media and the organization. They all contribute in different ways.

      • B.George

        lmao very true

        • B.George

          to Mike A. comment

    • Steve

      BTW-The agent is talking about getting Alexei Ramirez money, which was a guaranteed MLB deal of around 4.5 mil. But he was 26 years old at the time. Given the mixed reviews, a minor league deal closer to Villalona money sounds like where it will end up.

  • LC

    Could the Yanks trade for kendry Morales if Tex stays with the Angels? With Tex locked up, what use would the Angels have for him?

  • bigthree

    Gardner would not be eligible for this list due to his time in the big leagues, right?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      No, he’s eligible. The cutoff is 130 at-bats, and he’s at 127. I don’t know about his service time, but chances are he’ll be ROY eligible next year.

  • bigthree

    I think he deserves to be on this list in that case. He was 10th last year and had a very solid season at AAA. Major league numbers weren’t spectacular but he didn’t get enough consistent playing time. His cieling may not be as high as some of the other guys and he may never be an all-star, but he very well could (and should in my opinion) be the starting CF for the yankees next season (especially if the offense is helped out elsewhere via texiera or manny). If he can hit in the .270s with his speed and defense he will be very useful to the big league club and that should get him onto this list over some guys who still have alot left to prove in the minors and are ranked on pure potential.

    • Steve

      The mistake people make looking at Gardner is they look at his OPS and he’s not that type of player. He’s a tablesetter. His plate discipline was ranked best in the system, his range in CF is as good as anyone in Baseball, his speed on the base paths can help generate runs out of nothing.

      Girardi has spoke about being about to create runs in different ways, which will come in handy on the days when the bats are quiet and/or facing a tough pitcher. I’m glad he gets it.

    • Steve

      BTW-Girardi said if he plays everyday and hits .275, he’ll score 120 runs with the lineup they have.

      I don’t care about his BA, if his OBP is .333 I’ll be thrilled. It will actually be around .350-.360 with all the fielder’s choice plays that he wont get credit for a hit but will be at 1B anyway. He will be VERY hard to double up, and double plays were a bit of an issue for the Yanks last year. Which tells you they’re getting older and slower.

      • steve (different one)

        are you really arguing that he should be given credit for hitting into fielder’s choices?

        • bigthree

          It makes sense. Gardner’s biggest asset is his speed and his ability to steal bases or force pitchers/catchers to make mistakes (bad throws or meatballs down the plate) because they are worried about him stealing. Once he is on base, Gardner is the most useful Yankee. So each instance where he positions himself to be on first base is important and helpful to the team. It’s not that his obp calculation should change or that causing another out is good, but that if he will be on 1st base >35% of the time he steps to the plate, it’s a good thing, relative to another player who would get to 1st at the same rate (and with some of times at the expense of another runner, via a fielder’s choice).

          • Steve

            Don’t bother explaining, he’s busy being myopic and obtuse.

  • Chofo

    Aceves, Coke and Melancon are the only ones from that list that can contribute next year, and in 2010, and the reliever is the only one with high ceilling.

    That´s big gap from the Hughes-Joba-IPK class that followed the Wang-Cano class.

  • christopher

    what is the criteria for these lists? Is it potential? If so Brackman probably has the highest ceiling. Is it who will contribute the most to the big club immediatly? Because in that case I see Melancon having the biggest impact for this year’s club. Is it who will contribute in the long term because then you are talkking AJAX/Montero

    • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      potential, ceiling, likelihood of reaching potential, age relative to league, closeness to MLB, tools and skills (different!), and, for some people, draft status.

      • pat

        i think the fact that aceves is in there means they put alot of stock into proximity to the majors.

  • bebop

    These are our top 10 but how do they compare with other team’s lists? Does anyone besides Monterio have superstar potential? I’m feeling we better do well with FAs the next two years. I was obviously much more excited with last year’s list. This Anderson guy Boston has could be scary.

    • Troy

      Lars Anderson is a fucking beast. And a steal for when he was drafted… 16th round (signability issues). The Yankees still have a ways to go to get their farm system to be as good as Boston’s is

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Baseball America just ranked everyone of Boston’s minor leaguers as a “#1, Can’t Miss Prospect”.

  • Mike Pop

    CJ Henry just enrolled in Memphis

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      …in August.

    • Brian

      I wonder if his field goal % will be .175

  • christopher

    was Pettite a type A or a type B? he just filed for free agency and it looks like he has a very strong desire to pitch next season even if it wasnt for the yankees and instead for someone else.

    Interesting to see if cashman wants to bring him back. from watching it seems that the team wants to see what free agents they can get before they decide on him, or maybe they are waiting on mussina to make a decision.

    Do the yankees offer him arbitration knowing there is a good chance he accepts? IMO he is there 3rd choice between FA and Mussina.

    If he does go somewhere else it would be nice to get those picks especially if houston signs him, but I don’t see them offering him arbitration.

    • Mike

      Type A