Baseball America’s Top 20 International League ProspectsBy
With the end of their top 20 prospect series in sight, Baseball America posted their Triple-A International League list today. Three Yankee farmhands made the list: Jesus Montero at #4, Ivan Nova at #9, and Eduardo Nunez at #13. Montero was behind three pretty good prospects in Carlos Santana (Indians), Jeremy Hellickson (Rays), and Aroldis Chapman (Reds). Nova was sandwiched between Pedro Alvarez (Pirates) and Dan Hudson (1.69 ERA, 3.22 FIP in 79.2 IP after being traded to Arizona for Edwin Jackson).
As for the subscriber only scouting reports, they say that “Montero may have the highest [offensive] ceiling in the minor leagues. He has tremendous strength and a knack for barreling balls when he gets in rhythm.” There are still doubts about his defense behind the plate, as there always will be, but they did note that his patience at the plate improved this season (career high 44 unintentional walks). Nova came in a bit higher than I expected, but that’s because his velocity shot up into the 92-94 range consistently. They say he’s held back by inconsistent command and secondary pitches. Nunez is projected to be a utility player, “a bottom-of-the-order [hitter] who makes contact but doesn’t draw many walks or hit for much power.”
All told, the Yankees had 14 different prospects featured in the various top 20 lists, the third most in baseball. You can go back and re-live the magic here. It’s so nice to see the Yankees with a top-shelf farm system again.