Frankie Piliere’s Top 100 Prospects

The RAB Radio Show: February 9, 2011
Kevin Long sees majority of the lineup improving

Frankie Piliere of AOL Fanhouse posted his list of the top 100 prospects today, with Jesus Montero coming in at number four behind only Mike Trout, Julio Teheran, and Eric Hosmer. “Will he be a good defensive catcher? No,” said Piliere, “but he has shown enough improvement to be an adequate defender. That combined with a potentially special bat make for an impressive total package.” Piliere has always been one of the few defenders of Montero’s defense, not that he thinks he’ll great behind the plate, but playable.

Manny Banuelos came at number 13 (“picked up a couple ticks on his fastball and lives at 93-95 now”), Gary Sanchez number 34 (“Sanchez’s bat rivals Montero’s at the same age and he looks like he’ll be a better defender”), and Dellin Betances at number 44 (“the towering right-hander has all the components you look for in a frontline starter”). Andrew Brackman makes the back half of the list at number 60. Very nice showing for the Yankees, especially since four of their five guys cracked the top 50.

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The RAB Radio Show: February 9, 2011
Kevin Long sees majority of the lineup improving
  • squishy jello person

    Piliere’s generally high on the yankees, or has been, but I still have his Manny-hit-97-on-the-gun tweet bookmarked

    • Esteban

      I liked this response to a question re: Manny B vs. Johan Santana that he had in his chat.

      You know I get this question a lot. I use to not agree with the Johan Santana stuff but it’s probably the most accurate one if you have to pick a current big leaguer. He’s similar in size, velocity, and command to the Santana of a few years ago. The changeup is not as unhittable as Santana’s and he isn’t the pure strikeout machine Santana was. But there’s definitely some comparable aspects. I think Banuelos is a number one in the making. Not to say I told you so but I screamed about him last year at this time. People like to just talk about the new velocity but A. his velocity didn’t spike as much as people say. He went from 90-92, 93 to 92-95. and B. his game goes far beyond just raw stuff

      • vin

        Me = tittilated.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

          My mouth is watering. I don’t think I ever came out and suggested that Banuelos would be “Johan Santana-lite”, but whenever someone brings up his size as a negative I always think of Santana. He’s listed at 6’0″ which means he’s probably closer to 5’10”. I can’t for the MiLB season to start.

  • pat

    http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2011/0.....re_twitter

    He also had a chat where he answered a bunch of Yankee related questions, including one from some “Ben Kabak” character.

    • Esteban

      It seemed like that was a spoof to me, unless Ben started to ask some weird questions like “How overrated is Montero? He won’t even catch” and “Why isn’t Ranaudo up higher? Why are so many Yankees higher than Sox?.”

      Hey you know you’ve made it when people start impersonating you in chats.

      • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

        Ben confirmed on Twitter that it was an impersonator. Apparently NoMaas travels to FanHouse on weekdays.

        • pat

          That whole thing is so fucking pathetic.

          • http://www.theyankeeu.com/author/steve-s/ Nostra-Artist

            Yep. It’s not even funny, it just comes across as obsessive and creepy.

        • Esteban

          Yeah, I saw that. What a bizarre thing to do. Had to have been NoMaas people right? But then, why were they asking from a Red Sox fan perspective? Just a really strange thing to do.

  • Mike Pop

    Solid list, always love reading these. Gets me pumped.

    He has Dellin’s age wrong though, saying he’s still 20. I wish. Hah.

    • pete

      heh. He’d be top-15, I’d think, if that were the case.

    • Sayid J.

      If the rankings were made with Betances being 20 in mind, then perhaps he is a bit lower in reality. It could’ve just been a typo though.

  • JMS

    It’s certainly possible I’ve been out of the loop when it comes to prospects, but where’s Tim Beckham?

    • Esteban

      Had a bad year last year, really dropped in a lot of lists.

      • JMS

        Oh ok, thanks.

  • pete

    Prediction: BOTH Betances and Brackman will be AJ Burnett-type pitchers with AJ Burnett-like careers.

    Which would be awesome.

    • pat

      I would hope not. Neither have ever been as inconsistent as Burnett was in the minors.

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t know about that prediction, but Burnett’s at 31.5 career WAR with a FIP/ERA just under 4 (in the AL East for 5 seasons, for what that’s worth). He had a 6 season run where he was between 2.6 and 5.5 WAR every season (the only 2 under 3 WAR seasons in that stretch coming when he only made 25 and 19 starts). He has 277 career starts and is closing in on 2000 career innings. If that’s the average of Brackman and Betances… that absolutely would be awesome.

    • Avi

      I can see that for Brackman but I think Betances will end up having much better control. I don’t think they’ll throw quite as hard as AJ though. Very few pitchers can match the raw stuff and power that Burnett has (or had).

      • Ted Nelson

        I know the popular explanation is that he lost speed on his FB. I know he did, but he also lost 1 mph from 2007 to 2008 and had a career season. He’s still averaging 93 mph on the fastball and people act like he’s a soft-tosser now. From what I can tell his fastball has been getting hit for 3 seasons now, but his plus curve turned into a negative in 2010… and that curve basically is his off-speed repertoire. He stopped mixing in the slider he used with some success (maybe once a game) in his career season in 2008. He’s throwing the change less and while the FB is 1 mph slower the change is almost 2 mph faster.

        “Very few pitchers can match the raw stuff and power that Burnett has”

        Power maybe, but he’s basically used 3 pitches his whole career. He’s a 65-70% FB guy and like 80% of his off-speed pitches are curveballs. Very good stuff compared to your average pitcher, maybe, but not elite.

        • Urban

          Three pitches? Few pitchers really have more than three pitches, and in AJ’s case, he’s really been a two-pitch pitcher.

          AJ’s issues have always been related to consistency and repeating his delivery. In other words, mechanics. Poor mechanics will also lead to a dip in velocity, so hopefully that was part of his problem in 2010.

          We’ll know soon enough.

          • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

            And in 2010, he was a one pitch guy for much of the season.

  • Avi

    He’s higher on Dellin than Klaw is. BA had Betances ranked ahead of Banuelos in their Yankees top 10. He seems to get more differing opinions than any guy in the system.
    I like how he says “Most organizations would sign up for having Sanchez as their top prospect”.
    Oh and Ranaudo is WAY too high (obligatory)

    • Esteban

      Why do you think that Ranaudo’s too high? (serious question)

      • Avi

        Well he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional ball yet. He also has had various injuries, including ones to his arm that kept him out most of last year.

    • CS Yankee

      If Sanchez continues to develop, it seems that Montero will have a short window to prove himself behind the dish.

      Montero…ETA mid-late 2011
      Sanchez…ETA mid-late 2013

      Austin could be an afterthought/trade bait this season.

      Hopefully, even if they don’t see Montero as an everyday MLB Catcher (and with Sanchez looking better), they hold on to him as the next great DH.

      • Ted Nelson

        That’s really, really aggressive for Sanchez… That assumes he gets through 4 levels in less than 3 seasons and is a big league ready C in his 20 year old season. Jesus is the Yankees hottest position prospect in a decade and you’re assuming a guy who hasn’t played in full season ball and just turned 18 will develop faster. It’s possible, but it’s an absolute best-case scenario (or not if you think rushing him will hurt his long-term development).

        • CS Yankee

          Good point…but not really, really agressive, just as or close

          Figured;
          High A in 2011
          AA in 2011
          AAA in 2012
          AAA & MLB in 2013

          Similar path as Montero; I know it all pie-in-the-sky but they rate him real solid with the glove and I think that is why Montero will spend extra time in AAA.

          If Sanchez is the same bat with a superior glove, it seems possible, doen’t it?

          • CS Yankee

            fail, I used 2011 twice (my bad).

            • Preston

              I think that the fact that Sanchez is the better athlete makes him less likely to stick at catcher not more. Because Montero is basically limited to C/1B/Dh, so obviously with Tex at first they desperately want him to catch. But Sanchez could theoretically play 3b or the corner OF spots. So this brings in the Bryce Harper argument of getting him more ABs and keeping him healthier. It would also get him to the bigs faster.

            • Ted Nelson

              And even then you’ve got him skipping Charleston this season. I have no idea what people are speculating or the Yankees are doing, but I’m assuming he’s starting 2011 in Charleston, and maybe gets up to Tampa (high A) late in the season if he rakes. Then in sort of a good-case progression starts 2012 in Tampa, 2013 in AA, 2014 in AAA.
              It assumes he doesn’t hit any performance or injury snags. Then again, he could do 2 levels in one season, as Jesus did with High A/AA in 2009. I’ve got him on a majors at 22 track, which is good. Jesus wasn’t nearly as impressive in rookie ball at 17, but he got significantly better as the levels progressed which isn’t that common. If you cut out the 1st half of 2010, we’re talking about a 80 point bump in OPS 3 straight seasons. Sanchez already started at the top in rookie ball, whereas Jesus OPSed under .800 in rookie ball. Certainly Sanchez could keep it up throughout the minors, but he also could hit a snag somewhere.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s possible (the 2014, but even the 2013), just aggressive. Hitting like that at 17 is a really good sign. Not everyone follows the same development path, though, and there are often bumps in the road. It’s also not clear cut whether it’s better to push a prospect or give them some more time to develop, especially a C.

            Some people do raise questions about his C ability long-term, though not as many as with Montero.

    • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

      For what it’s worth, during the season Frankie saw Betances and loved him and then KLaw saw him a while after and was unimpressed. They both seem willing to admit that those individual experiences swayed their respective views. So one could have been a great day and the other a bad day or it could be something in between.

      • CS Yankee

        One could of been wearing his Guidry T-shirt and the other his Spaceman Lee T.

      • Esteban

        That can be the problem with lists compiled by one person’s scouting reports. Consensus lists will have scouting reports from multiple people, usually.

        • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

          Ya, I agree. That’s the good part about BA’s list especially. But in the end a list is kinda pointless anyway. Fun for us though.

          • Esteban

            Yeah, it’s true, at the end of the day lists don’t matter much, though I wonder if they factor into how teams value prospects. I assume that teams just rely on their own scouts.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Will he (eventually) be as good a defensive catcher as Jorge Posada?

    Yes

    Could he (eventually) be a better hitter than Posada?

    Yes

    Show them all, Jesus!

    • Esteban

      Quick question: How do you feel about Montero?

      ;)

    • cano is the bro

      would you say he’s going to be money?

      • CS Yankee

        No, he says that he IS money.

        Even though the Yankees have plenty of money, i hope they keep Montero.

    • Urban

      Unlikely he’ll be as good a defender as Posada, unless you’re saying that at his best, Montero will be as good a defender as Posada was at his worst late in his career! (And, btw, I’m not saying at any point Posada was a great defender, but during his peak years he was fine.)

      Montero just turned 21 in December. He is a very large kid already and will continue to get bigger. My hopes for him is that he can stick behind the plate for a few years, but he will eventually move off to another postion, perhaps 1B to replace Teixeira when he leaves.

      Montero will not be a catcher for the majority of his career.

  • FachoinaNYY

    I know we are collectively high on Montero (as we should be), but the more I hear on Manny the more excited I become.

    What does everyone think the chances are he ends up being the better ML player?

    • radnom

      What does everyone think the chances are he ends up being the better ML player?

      Probably not good considering:
      A. He’s a pitcher.
      B. He is further from the majors than Montero.

      A lot could still go wrong. But I hear what you’re saying. The next 2-3 years will be very exciting.

      • FachoinaNYY

        That is kind of where I am too, but if he truly projects as an ace I am more excited for ManBan than the Jesus, something I didn’t think was possible.

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t know… A lot of variables to weigh. Pitching is pretty scarce, especially LHP. *If* Jesus is not a C, I think Manny has a decent shot at being better. Best case for both and I don’t really care if you take the HOF C/DH or the HOF starter… it’s win/win. At some point, though, if they don’t reach their potential I might take a #3 starter over a decent DH. Or even a #3 starter over a solid hitting but no D catcher… Then again pitching tends to be more volatile. Obviously a complicated equation with a lot of variables, I would certainly say there’s a chance Manny’s better though… All prospects are volatile.

        • radnom


          I would certainly say there’s a chance Manny’s better though… All prospects are volatile.

          Of course, but I’m just saying that chance is less than 50%. I wasn’t comparing their ceilings/positions, I was just noting that since, as you put it, prospects are volatile (pitching prospects in particular) the chances of Montero being a solid major leaguer are higher than ManBans for the reasons I listed in my original post.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    I’m going to be sad when Montero reaches the majors just because we will no longer have a top 5 prospect (unless ManBan is there by then).

    Yes, I realize this makes no sense. And that sadness will be overcome by Jesus’s offensive amazingness.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      So senselessly true.

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

      You’ll be okay.

      1. Eventually, if Mo is willing, we’ll get watch a young developing stud doing work at the ML level and complimenting Cano, Teixeira, Swisher, Granderson, A-Rod, Jeter and Gardner (I should have just said “the rest of the offense”).

      2. It appears as though the Yankees’ system is getting on a roll. They still need some more position player talent to develop past the “toolsy, but raw” label, but between the Killer B’s and Sanchez, they’ve got legit No. 1 caliber prospects that can/will work their way into the top 5 on many lists after Montero graduates.

  • Chip

    I’m actually quite shocked to see him so high on Warren. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Warren be the new Aceves: A guy who rockets through the minors and gets some starts this season and maybe spends some time in the bullpen

    • CS Yankee

      Cashman & Joe have been talking highly of Warren as well*. I haven’t heard/read of Law, Perry, etc. talk at all about him though.

      *=Not Theo talking big love “Kelly” type stuff, but still.

  • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

    I asked Frankie in the chat if he preferred Adam Warren or Brett Marshall. His answer was Warren. Also said he thinks Warren ends up a #3 Starter.

    Good enough for me.

    • Esteban

      You were all over that chat (as were other Yankees fans, apparently)

      • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

        Ha, ya. Home sick with the flu for 2 days and I love to talk prospects.

  • Esteban

    Someone should do an average of the all the major Top 100 prospect lists that are put out.

  • J-gnd

    Can somebody tell me what to expect from brackman this year? AA? AAA? any chance he makes some starts for the yanks? How many innings does he have in him?

    • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

      He should start in AAA and it’s possible for him to pitch his way to the bigs before roster expansion. Noesi probably has a leg up on him because of his AAA innings but Brackman could earn his promotion with a huge year or if Noesi (and possibly Phelps) falters.

      • CS Yankee

        Doesn’t Noesi have (only) 34 innings in AAA.

        I would believe he is higher up the ladder, but they seem to be on the same rung.

        • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

          Might even be less than that. I still think Noesi is in line for the first call up though. Unless performance dictates otherwise.

          • J-gnd

            thanks t-dubs.

          • All Praise Be To Mo

            Are both on the 40 man?

  • Mike HC

    I vaguely remember when Sano was on the open international market with the Yanks rumored to be in the mix. Now he is unsurprisingly raking in the Twins system. Too bad the Yanks could not land him.

    • CS Yankee

      Chapman is the one that got away, ehh?

      • Mike HC

        Yea, I remember the Chapman stuff as well.

    • Ted Nelson

      If they sign Sano the Yankees probably don’t sign Sanchez… Maybe they go for both, but those are the #2 and #3 *ALL-TIME* bonuses. Doubtful the Yankees land both in one year. I don’t know which one will be better, but I’m perfectly happy with Sanchez.

  • John

    I would like someone to explain me what is Nomaas.org exactly and why there seems to be so much tension between the RAB community and the Nomaas one. Also, is Nomaas worth reading? etc.

    Thank you.

    FWIW I only read RAB and sometimes Lohud in terms of yankees blogs and have been doing so for two years max.

    • John

      Oops I thought that was the open thread. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    • CS Yankee

      I went to the site once on a RAB story link (this week in fact), seen the anti-RAB comments, look up at the site name and…

      since it tranlates to “no more” in Spanish, i’ve chosen to honor their name and not return.