Now that the draft signing deadline has come and gone, we can take a second to step back and try to figure out where all the new guys fit in. I’ve always believed that if you draft & sign a guy and he instantly becomes your top prospect, you either a) landed an absolute stud, or b) have a bad system. More often then not, it’s the latter. Thankfully the Yanks aren’t in that position, although first rounder Slade Heathcott still slides comfortably into the team’s top five prospects.
For the sake of comparison, you can find my predraft list here and my preseason list here. Phil Coke and David Robertson have since graduated to the majors, hence their exclusion. So without further ado …
- Jesus Montero, C – out for the year with a broken finger, but a .406 wOBP and a .222 IsoP in AA as a 19-yr is as good as it gets
- Austin Jackson, CF – hard to believe he’s still only 22, but more power and/or fewer strikeouts would be nice
- Austin Romine, C – constant improvement in every aspect of the game, there’s a whole lot to like here
- Slade Heathcott, CF – toolsy outfielder has enormous upside, but for now he’s behind Romine because he hasn’t done anything yet
- Zach McAllister, RHP – rock solid, doesn’t wow you … should contribute next year, but also doubles as Grade-B trade bait
- Arodys Vizcaino, RHP – top notch stuff but slowed by a recent back injury … big upside
- Mark Melancon, RHP – everything is there, just needs an extended chance
- Manny Banuelos, LHP – Futures Gamer relies on polish and command rather than sheer stuff
- Ivan Nova, RHP – after what seems like an eternity of waiting, it finally clicked this year
- Andrew Brackman, RHP – well, he made every start and stayed healthy all year … that’s a positive
- Jeremy Bleich, LHP – not performing in AA yet, but polished lefty should be a cheap back-end option sometime next year
- Dellin Betances, RHP – more injuries, more walks … still dreaming on upside here
- Mike Dunn, LHP – super high strikeout lefty just needs to limit his walks … a nastier version of Phil Coke
- Graham Stoneburner, RHP – pounds the zone with three average or better pitches & is allergic to homers
- Kelvin DeLeon, OF – gobs of talent and gobs of strikeouts, but has big time power potential
- JR Murphy, C – raw hitting ability and defensive skills are there; needs experience and refinement, though
- Frankie Cervelli, C – big league ready backup catcher … all that needs to be said
- Jairo Heredia, RHP – missed most of the season with some kind of arm injury, but has rebounded well
- Adam Warren, RHP - polished, pounds the zone, sits low-90’s and has touched 96 with SI … pleasant surprise
- Bradley Suttle, 3B – out all year with a shoulder problem, but he can flat out rake when healthy
- Wilkins DeLaRosa, LHP – similar to Dunn, but less breaking ball
- DJ Mitchell, RHP – annihilates RHB but gets crushed by LHB, needs to improve that changeup to avoid ROOGY status … Gaudin 2.0?
- David Adams, 2B – bat control guy with gap power & good on-base skills … I’m a fan
- Brett Marshall, RHP – out with TJ surgery, but a big arm that was holding his own as a teenager in full season ball
- Dan Brewer, RF – he’s a hitting savant … mashes lefties, righties, fastballs, breaking balls, pitches down, pitches up, you name it
- George Kontos, RHP – out with TJ surgery, but was doing well in AAA prior to the injury and on the cusp of the big leagues
- Kyle Higashioka, C – impressive all-around package behind the plate, but a million miles away
- Kevin Russo, IF – super high OBP guy can play a ton of positions, he’ll be the backup infielder’s backup next year
- Gavin Brooks, LHP – huge arm from the left side could move fast as a reliever, but might get another crack at starting
- Corban Joseph, 2B – he can hit, but he can’t do much more than that
Damon Sublett, Matt Richardson, and Nik Turley were pushed out when Heathcott, Murphy, and Stoneburner signed. I’m generally hard on international signees (I want to see them do something, anything, in the States before I buy into the hype), so Gary Sanchez fell well short of the list. I’m a big Graham Stoneburner fan, but I’ll admit I was aggressive in ranking him. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to haunt me like Carmen Angelini did back in 2007.
Obviously major injuries to George Kontos, Chris Garcia, Bradley Suttle, and Brett Marshall affected their rankings greatly. Ivan Nova always had the stuff and projection, but never the polish to earn a high ranking. His breakout with Double-A Trenton vaults him up the list. Remember that the middle of the list is very fungible, I could have easily had someone like DJ Mitchell sitting just outside the top ten. It’s just preference, and this is how it shook out given my mood at the time.
So go ahead, file your complaints in the comments.