Yanks place five on BA’s Top 20 NYPL prospects list

Fan Confidence Poll: September 26th, 2011
Weekend mailbag spillover: Roy Oswalt
(David Schofield/MiLB.com)

Baseball America’s look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league continued with the Short Season NY-Penn League today, and the Yankees are very well represented. Mason Williams unsurprisingly topped the list, and in the subsciber-only scouting report, they say he “stays through the ball well with a simple lefthanded swing.” His “quick hands generate surprising bat speed,” which should allow for average power down the road. “Williams has plus to plus-plus speed that plays on the bases and in center field, though he’s still refining his basestealing ability and his outfield routes,” they added. “He has a solid-average arm and projects as a plus defender in center fielder.”

Cito Culver, the team’s first round pick last year, placed sixth. “He stood out most with his defense, showing smooth actions, average range and a well above-average arm at shortstop,” said the write-up, which also backed up previous reports that he’s a switch-hitter but better from the right side. Tyler Austin was two spots behind Culver at number eight, and is lauded for his plate discipline and ability to handle offspeed stuff. “He has above-average raw power and is capable of hitting balls out of the park to all fields,” said BA. The move to third base (from behind the plate) has been successful so far, but they note that Austin has to improve his footwork and become more aggressive.

Ranking 14th is Angelo Gumbs, last year’s second rounder. “[An] athletic, high-energy player with electric bat speed and a quality all-around toolset,” Gumbs has the bat speed and strength to hit for good power. A former shortstop and centerfielder, he’s working on learning second base, though some think he’d be better off in the outfield because his strong arm is a waste on the right side of the infield. The fifth and final Yankee farmhand on the list is Branden Pinder, a 16th rounder this year that ranked 19th on the list. “He streamlined his repertoire in a relief role, attacking hitters with a lively 93-94 mph fastball that topped out at 96.” Pinder is also said to have a sharp slider and a long delivery with good deception.

Very nice showing for the Baby Bombers, who won their league title this year. The next top 20 list of interest to the Yankees is the Low-A South Atlantic League, which will be  revealed on Wednesday. I’m not sure if Slade Heathcott, Rob Segedin, and J.R. Murphy spend enough time with Charleston to qualify for the list, but Gary Sanchez, Ramon Flores, Nik Turley, and Tommy Kahnle all have a chance to make an appearance.

Fan Confidence Poll: September 26th, 2011
Weekend mailbag spillover: Roy Oswalt
  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    That catcher, Gary……Sanchez, I think, has a decent chance to make the SAL team.

  • Rick in Boston

    Yankees have a potential problem next year. Both Austin and Bichette will probably be in Low-A. Do they split 3B with the other DH’ing/playing an OF corner?

    • http://- JFish

      Seems like the right idea. Both guys seem to have a good approach at the plate and it’s never a bad idea to have some positional flexibility.

  • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

    Had been a little bit down on the progress, or lack thereof, of the Farm based on my perception that Montero, Noesi and Romine did not see their stock go up, and Brackman and Sanchez saw their’s fall. Seeing the Yanks pull out #1 Prospect in both Short Season leagues and having multiple players on these lists, has me feeling much better about the overall farm system. Exceptional Depth!

    • THU

      Sanchez’s fell? Sure he had attitude problems but he mashed with the bat…

      • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

        The expectations were probably impossibly high coming into the season. He did put it into gear and mash offensively as the season went on. I heard some very negative reports on his defense.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Cito Culver and Angelo Gumbs have perfect names for ballplayers. I hope they both make it to the big stage sometime.

  • Dennis

    Santana’s injury solved the potential CF in Charleston. Now Williams can start there, while Santana can rehab slowly and doesn’t have to be ready until SI short season starts.

  • Carl LaFong

    I wish I could be more optimistic, but unless & until Heathcott & Santana get back on a field & prove they’re both healthy & productive, neither can be considered realistic candidates for ever wearing Yankee pinstripes. I hope they both come all the way back & prove me wrong.

    Very happy w/the five top twenty NYPL selections. As always, though, I’d be even happier if we had more high ceiling starting pitching throughout the system.

    On a side note & just from this fan’s perspective, finishing out the season w/10 games against the Rays (7 games) and Red Sox (3 games) is an exhausting way to end a season even if you have clinched home field throughout the AL playoffs.