Baseball America’s Florida State League Top 20 Prospects

Matching up the Yankees pitching and Twins hitters, Game 1
ALDS Game Thread: Rangers @ Rays

Baseball America posted their list of the top 20 prospects in the High-A Florida State League today, and four Yankees made the cut: Dellin Betances at #4, Adam Warren at #13, Melky Mesa at #19, and Andrew Brackman at #20. Matt Moore (Rays), Chris Archer (Cubs), and Jacob Turner (Tigers) were the only players ahead of Betances. Manny Banuelos didn’t have enough innings to qualify.

In the subscriber only scouting reports they noted that Betances’ delivery is improved but there are still some concerns because of a head jerk and a stiff landing. The latter is pretty easy correct and is not uncommon at all. As for his stuff, they call it a “93-95 mph fastball and a power curveball” and a work-in-progress changeup. BA lauded Warren’s deep repertoire, which features “heavy 90-93 mph fastball”, a slow curveball, and a cutter/slider kind of breaking pitch. They also mention that his 6-foot-1, 200 lb. frame is maxed out, and there’s a chance he’ll end up as more of a setup man than a starter.

Mesa was said to have the best set of tools in the league behind Phillie turned Astros turned Blue Jay Anthony Gose. He “showed true four-tool ability” because he has “excellent raw power that already makes its presence felt in games, runs well, covers a lot of ground in center field and owns a strong, accurate arm.” His ability to make consistent contact and handle breaking balls is, as it always was, a concern. Brackman “showed an 89-94 mph fastball and a power curveball … giving him a pair of plus pitches on his best days.” They note that he uses his height to his advantage and that his changeup is improved, but his command can still waver from time to time.

The Double-A Eastern League list comes out on Friday, and the Yankees should be well represented once again. Brackman is again eligible for that list, and you’ve also got Hector Noesi, Austin Romine, and even Brandon Laird. David Adams is a long shot given his injury, and if Banuelos didn’t have enough innings to qualify for the FSL list, he definitely won’t have enough for the EL. For shame.

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Matching up the Yankees pitching and Twins hitters, Game 1
ALDS Game Thread: Rangers @ Rays
  • Thomas

    Mike, if Banuelos was elligible, where would you have ranked him?

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

      I’d have him about Betances, maybe above Turner too. But that’s just me.

  • Doug

    Mentioned in the article that Banuelos and Noesi were one start short of qualifying

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      If Banuelos and Noesi had joined Betances, Warren, and Brackman on the FSL Top 20, would that qualify as (dare I say)… five aces?

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Not unless their uniforms changed. It’s only once you leave the pinstripes can you be considered and ace. For example: Vizcaino, Arodys

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Makes sense.

          BTW, in a related story, I hear ESPN is on the verge of downgrading Randy Moss from a 5-star WR to a 4-star WR.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            He’s going to catch the ball from The Brett Favre. He’s been upgraded to a 9-star WR.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              He’s going to catch the ball from The Brett Favre. He’s The Brett Favre has been upgraded to a 9-star WR.

              Fixed.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          If I was logged in I could correct my typo from “and” to “an”.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            That sounds like a “you” problem.

  • feasor

    I’m a bit surprised to see that much separation between Betances and Brackman–perhaps an age issue more than a stuff issue?

    • Stu H

      They rank on performance in these league scouting reports. Brackman was pretty mediocre in the FSL.

      5.10 ERA in FSL, 3.01 ERA in EL.

      His peripherals weren’t bad, though. Just not great.

  • Ed

    What about Stoneburner?

  • vin

    For perspective, Mesa was 23 in Tampa this year, while the 22 year old Laird got promoted to SWB. Hopefully he doesn’t stall out in AAA like Eric Duncan. Obviously Melky 2.0 has the athleticism and defensive skills to be a prospect, but offensively, Laird can make a name for himself next year.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I think Melky would have been promoted earlier, but he is Rule V eligible after this year, so there was no need to show he can play at AA. I bet he makes AAA easily next season.

      • vin

        Oh, OK… that makes sense.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    That Top 20 Prospects sidebar list needs a proofreader’s touch.

  • Stu H

    By my calculations, the qualifying limit was 45 IP. Banuelos came in at 44 1/3, Noesi came in at 43.

  • Dream of Electric Sheep/ still haven’t register /too lazy

    Is it fair to say Mesa has a tremendous ceiling if he can continue to harness and improve his hit tools ? If so, he would the one position player I would be most interested to keep an eye on next year!

    What are the chances of him mastering AA and AAA next year , Mike?

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

      He’ll start in AA, and if he rakes a mid-season promotion would be order. “Mastering” might be going too far, but hopefully he performs well.

      • Ed

        Mike. What about Stoneburner?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Dare I say, he has ridiculous upside?

  • Naved

    Killer B’s holler. Trenton rotation is going to be amazing next season.