Dec
21

Baseball America’s Top Ten Yankees Prospects

By

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

It’s prospect season, and Baseball America is continuing to pump out their team top ten lists pretty much every other day. All of the NL lists have been published, and today the crazy stacked Rays top ten hit their site. If the name Mikie Mahtook sounds familiar, it’s because he’s Tampa’s tenth best prospect and the guy they took with the draft pick the Yankees gave them for signing Rafael Soriano. They say the LSU product “possesses the power/speed combination to make an impact in the majors” and “he’s an advanced hitter who could move quickly.” So hooray for that.

Anyway, the Yankees top ten list will be released online two weeks from today, January 4th, but if you have a Baseball America subscription with access to the digital version of their magazine, you can see the list today. Friend of the site and cat lover Leonora has said access and shared the top ten list on Twitter earlier today…

  1. Jesus Montero
  2. Manny Banuelos
  3. Dellin Betances
  4. Gary Sanchez
  5. Mason Williams
  6. Dante Bichette Jr.
  7. Ravel Santana
  8. Austin Romine
  9. J.R. Murphy
  10. Slade Heathcott

John Manuel, who’s been writing up the Yankees top tens for eight years now, very clearly went heavy on tools this time around. The top three was the easy part, though some might argue Betances over Banuelos. Bottom line, those three guys should be the top three names in any Yankees prospect list you see this winter. Hard to take it seriously otherwise.

Sanchez at four isn’t terribly surprising, though chances are I’ll have him behind Williams whenever I get around to doing my annual Top 30 List. The 19-year-old had a very busy season in 2011, though not necessarily in a good way. He was just so-so in first half with Low-A Charleston before being sent back to Extended Spring Training for disciplinary reasons, then he demolished the ball in the second half before a broken finger ended his season prematurely. Baseball America still loves his bat and plate discipline, but they also note that he struggles with breaking balls, both hitting them and catching them. According to Manual, some scouts even said he stopped calling for breaking balls behind the plate, which is a problem.

Bichette and Santana making the top ten over essentially big league ready arms like David Phelps and Adam Warren (Hector Noesi isn’t eligible) is a bit surprising to me, but it’s not crazy. They topped the Gulf Coast League Top 20 Prospects List back in September, and really the only questions are long-term position (Bichette) and health (Santana). Ravel is reportedly doing well following his brutal and season-ending ankle injury, though he still has a ways to go with his rehab. He is expected to be ready in time for camp though, which is great news. Heathcott was another interesting top ten guy given his continued shoulder problems, but like I said, the tools won out this year.

I’ve had a tendency to lean towards probability in recent years, valuing big league readiness a little more than long-term potential. That’s a personal preference though, there’s nothing wrong with placing an emphasis on upside and potential stardom. Many times it’s too hard to ignore (Sanchez, Williams), but anything less than a potential star gives me pause when compared to his brethren at the higher levels. The Yankees farm system is down from where it was a year ago, but it’s still a top ten system with star power up top and near-MLB ready depth below that. Baseball America’s top ten list reflects the upside this winter.

Categories : Minors
  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    Putting Heathcott over the close-to-MLB arms is REALLY going tools-heavy considering the injury but, hey, go big or go home with the prospect lists.

    Would love to hear more about a healthy Santana next year.

  • paranoid android

    Mason Williams might have the most roll call ready name in Yankees’ history.

    • Soriano is a Liar

      Yoooooooo! Zoilo!!!!

      • G

        I was inclined to agree on Mason, but this immediately changes my mind. I hope he makes the show just for this.

        Mason still has the beat PA announcement name.

        “Now batting for the Yankees. Number 59, Mason… Williams.”

        Would’ve been a joy to hear Sheppard say that one.

        • thurdonpaul

          Was a joy to hear Mr Sheppard say anything :)

    • Jon in CUO

      I don’t think anyone will ever beat De-rek Je-ter

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        Actually, all the position players in the top ten have pretty roll callable names.

  • Gonzo

    Move them all to RF and trade Swisher!

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      You need to save half of them for Gio or we r teh doomedz.

      • Gonzo

        Nats making a push for Gio! DOOM!

  • ADam

    Surprised no Phelps, Noesi(If still considered a prospect)or Almonte

    • Gonzo

      I am surprised about Phelps even if he a little advanced in age.

      If I was a rebuilding team, I would try to get my hands on Phelps, plug him in and hope for the best.

      • ADam

        He had a really strong winter ball too..

      • FIPster Doofus

        Hell, the Yankees might be plugging Phelps in and hoping for the best at some point next season. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a shot.

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

          Exactly. Finally seeing what him and Warren are made of at the big league level will be something to look forward to.

        • Gonzo

          True. My point was that a rebuilding team could take a 4.5-5 ERA season and still trot him out there for a second year hoping for something better. That would be tough for the Yankees to do.

          • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

            True. Still would love to get at least one more quality starter out of the current AAA group and stop needing to worry about the next shiny thing on some other team’s window.

            • Gonzo

              Yeah, I’d love for Phelps to be MLB ready out of the shoot. That would be awesome.

              • Scott

                Agree re Phelps (and Warren):

                1) with both having solid stuff plus solid command, it’s very likely either’s worst-case scenario is the “low-quality innings eater” role that Burnett is very unlikely to surpass.

                2) the likelihood of an upside is far higher for Phelps (and Warren) than for Burnett, a 35 yr-old with poor command, somewhat decreased velocity, and two consecutive bad years.

                I have no idea why it makes sense to start Burnett rather than Phelps/Warren.

                • RetroRob

                  …or Noesi. The Yankees have Noesi, Warren, Phelps and Mitchell, all of whom are 24/25. The Yankees are going to either have to make room for some of them, or package them for something they do need.

                  I won’t have a problem giving Noesi a shot at Burnett’s spot. If fact, it’s why I would like them to trade Burnett. Between all the above arms, the Yankees can fill his spot, and they should be able to do much better than Burnett’s 5.00 ERA the last two seasons.

                  Let’s start to see what we’ve got here.

                  • Scott

                    Righto; I didn’t mean to leave off Noesi – just a little brain slip there.

    • G

      Noesi’s no longer a prospect. He pitched enough innings to lose his rookie status, so he’s officially a major leaguer.

      MY LITTLE HECTOR IS ALL GROWN UP :'( !!!!

      Real happy to see Mason Williams way up there, like many I’ve been very high on him since we drafted him. Earlier this month I saw some other blogger trying to list the top 5 prospects and he said Romine was still #5. I don’t know you can possibly say he’s still above Mason after the show he put on, the guy must not be paying much attention.

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

        Do you remember where that was?

  • ADam

    Surprised no Phelps, or Almonte

  • infernoscurse

    replace slade with phelps and you have yourself a accurate list

  • theyankeewarrior

    Mike, when does your top-30 (is it 30?) list come out?

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

      Mid-February usually, right before Spring Training.

  • vinny-b

    no Brett Marshall?

  • Behind Enemy Lines

    Who would argue Betances over Banuelos?

    • infernoscurse

      me

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      If you’re going strictly on upside and toolsiminess, the argument can certainly be made that Betances has the higher ceiling.

      It’s way too much of a forgone conclusion around here that Betances is the next Daniel Cabrera.

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        Maybe his inability to hit the catcher instead of the backstop has something to do with that?

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

          You could save yourself the time and effort by just writing that you don’t like Betances as much as some of us do.

          • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

            Haha, what fun would that be?

    • Tampa Yankee

      Betances’ ceiling is much higher put his floor is much lower. He’s a extreme boom or bust type guy. Banuelos is more of a sure thing (so to speak). If Betances can harness his stuff he’s going to be ridiculous and better than Banuelos.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        I don’t think his floor is THAT low. His floor may be in the bullpen. Andrew Brackman’s floor is much lower, to me at least.

        • Behind Enemy Lines

          He came in for one inning and couldn’t throw a strike if his proverbial life depended on it. Given his mL peripherals, he’s very far from even a dependable reliever.

          • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

            That’s the same line of thinking that got me reamed on here last week for devaluing Mark Melancon, except Betances has even less of a small sample to judge him on. He also started the final game of the season (or next to last?) and looked steadier than the one inning he remembered.

            I remember specifically him overthrowing, dragging his foot on the ground, etc., during that first appearance, none of which happened in his second…..and I’m sitting her defending someone on two appearances.

            • Behind Enemy Lines

              It’s not that simple. Betances has been allergic to strikes in the minors.

              • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

                We call that “poor control” around here, unless he’s breaking out in hives.

              • Jim Is Bored

                Then why even bring up the one inning in the majors? It’s irrelevant to the discussion, especially when the bb/9 in the minors is more than enough proof that he’s not reliable yet.

                • Behind Enemy Lines

                  It cements the obvious.

                  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

                    No. It cements that your style is to drill your opinions into other’s heads on here instead of just saying “I’m not as high on Betances as others are” or “Do you know who seems overlooked? Tyler Austin.”

                    We all have the potential not to be gentle on here, and I’m as guilty of that as anyone, but I literally feel not entitled by you to say I like Betances’s chances.

                    • Behind Enemy Lines

                      I have no idea what you are trying to say.

              • G

                You know who else had overpowering stuff and couldn’t control it from a young age. Randy Johnson… Well him and hundreds of others. Command issues at a young age don’t necessarily mean anything. I’m not saying he’s the next Big Unit, but don’t be so quick to disregard him.

                He had a 2.3 BB/9 in 2010, so he’s figured it out before.

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

                  I understand the point you’re trying to make, but bringing up a guy like Randy Johnson doesn’t help. He’s arguably the best left-handed pitcher ever, you can’t use him as a basis of comparison for anyone. It’s like a saying a short righty can succeed because Pedro did. Those guys are extreme outliers.

                  • Plank

                    I would say RJ is easily the best LHP of all time in the time machine comparison.* Compared to their peers at the time, I would probably go RJ (just barely), Spahn, then some guy from Gettysburg, PA. If someone said Spahn was better, I wouldn’t really complain.

                    * Put them all in a time machine, bring them to the same place, and have them face the exact same pitchers.

                  • Tom in Georgia

                    Better than Warren Spahn?

                    • Plank

                      I’d say it’s a peak vs. length argument. Johnson seems like he had the higher peak. Spahn also lost some years to the war, but happened at an age where it could have just as easily saved his arm.

                      I would go with Johnson.

              • Tags

                Guess you would have dumped Randy Johnson in his younger days. Young tall pitchers tend to have control problems.

                • Jim Is Bored

                  Which, to be fair, is why history is littered with failed pitching prospects who fit that mold.

                  In fact I’m curious now, how many tall pitchers with control problems ever really figured it out, but I don’t have the time or the resources to do the actual research…

                  • viridiana

                    Betances is not “a tall pitcher with control problems.” He’s a tall pitcher who happens to strike out 10 or more batters per nine innings and give up very few hits. Given his ability to limit hits and maximize Ks, the walsk are a manageable problem. At worst, he is a dynamite late inning arm until it is proven batters can connect on his pitches.

                    • Mike R.

                      Are people really using that one inning Betances pitched in his debut against him?

                      You know, his ML debut and first action in several weeks.

                    • Jim Is Bored

                      Betances has walked 5+ per 9ip nearly every year in the minors.

                      He has control problems.

                      At worst, he won’t even be an ML reliever because he won’t be able to keep men off base.

      • G

        I like to say he’s somewhere between a healthy Josh Johnson and a poor man’s AJ Burnett. Could be a freak of
        nature stud, or he could be a disaster.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I don’t want to even imagine what a poor man’s AJ Burnett is.

          • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

            There were a couple of years where a poor man’s AJ would not have been a bad pitcher.

            • Jim Is Bored

              True. A poor man’s modern day Burnett though…yeesh.

              • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

                Gio Gonzalez

                • Jim Is Bored

                  Can’t tell if serious

      • Slugger27

        why is manban more of a sure thing than betances? he just put up a higher ERA and higher FIP against the same competition. i know hes younger, but it seems to me like they both have similar probabilities to be major leaguers.

        • Behind Enemy Lines

          Manny throws hard from the south side.

  • Dan

    Could part of the reason that Phelps was held out of the top 10 be that he had the shoulder injury? Also, when the Yankees could have brought him up last year, they went with Gordon instead.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      It’s pretty clear this is a ceiling oriented list and even if Heathcott were dropped off Phelps would not be the one replacing him. Probably Zoilo Almonte, Angelo Gumbs or one of those types.

  • Behind Enemy Lines

    Heathcott is a a real reach. When a guy can’t stay healthy, it’s hard to count on him for any thing. If he was going for tools, why not Tyler Austin?

    • Ted Nelson

      You can make your own top 10 list. That was there’s.

      • TomG

        That’s a perfectly valid post for this topic, why are you jumping down his throat? Do you not realize the shitty tone of your posts?

        • Ted Nelson

          The first time out the 10 the point was made it was valid. By the 10th it was just annoying. I had seen BELs make the same point a bunch of times before I came to this one.

      • Plank

        Try to get people to shut up for giving an opinion and poor word usage?

        Shoot, I didn’t even need to look at the name to see who wrote this.

    • JohnnyC

      Well, for one thing, Austin doesn’t have a defensive position and his most likely position, first base, is not a premium defensive position. He’s got nice offensive tools but he hasn’t even gotten up to Low A ball.

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        Most likely is not a given. Bichette was widely seen as a OF, until he wasn’t. Austin also has a great roll call name.

  • vin

    Do the Yanks still have a top 10 system once Montero officially graduates to the majors?

  • Behind Enemy Lines

    Mike,

    Can you tell us more about Isaias Tejeda? He seems like another one to watch.

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

      Apparently he’s just a decent prospect that had a great GCL season.

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        Tyler Austin too?

  • Rich in NJ

    The Yankees should hire away TB’s scouts.

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

      It’s not their scouts you want, it’s their player development people. They seem to take decent prospects and turn them into superstars, i.e. Jennings, Moore, Shields.

      • Rich in NJ

        That makes sense.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Maybe I’m wrong here, and just don’t see any articles about it, but why is a bigger deal not made about player development, and the people responsible for it?

        Teams like the Royals/O’s/Pirates have had their fair share of highly touted prospects, and very few have panned out. It makes people so quick to bash the people involved in the draft, when to me that ire may be misplaced.

        No real point here about development per se; just the lack of any mainstream focus on it.

        • thenamestsam

          I think it’ll happen eventually, but people have to know and care about the prospects before you can talk about their development. A few years ago probably 1 in 100 Yankees fans could name their top prospect. No one was going to read about a change in the batting stance of some prospect that really helped him figure it out.

          Now lots of people are writing (and reading) about prospects, but the information still comes from very few sources. Lots of people write about prospects, but most do it based primarily on numbers and second hand accounts. Hell, I could easily throw together a Yankees Top-10 prospects list based purely on reading others aand merging them. But how many people out there really have their own scouting connections and would have the opportunity to write a piece about a guys stance change or something like that? Not that many. As prospect watchers proliferate, I think this will start to be a bigger deal.

          • Jim Is Bored

            True. Didn’t really think about how recently the prospect craze has developed. Good points.

        • Ted Nelson

          My guess is that it’s largely because of the intangible and behind the scenes nature of development: hard for fans and even media to know exactly who gets credit for what. And also that it’s hard to separate the talent evaluation, development, work ethic, and plain luck.

          Would be interesting for the media to look into it more, but the results might not be entirely accurate. Guys might get development credit for what was just a really good pick, a really hard worker… or might be criticized for bad luck and overrated draft prospects who were never as good as the hype or didn’t work hard no matter what motivational techniques were applied. Might work itself out over a large enough sample, but then there’s turnover and a few outliers totally throwing off the sample.

          Sort of like giving credit to hitting and pitching coaches… not always obvious how much they deserve.

          • Jim Is Bored

            Sure, I agree it’s not obvious who deserves what credit.

            But the media has never previously been scared to give credit where it wasn’t due, and vice versa, so I dunno.

            And when you see consistent results like with the Rays, that seems like a good starting point for research like this. Even this conversation is more talk than I usually hear about it on any of the big networks.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, that’s a good point about the media.

              I would like to see research on it. Really, really hard to differentiate between talent evaluation and player development IMO, though. Maybe impossible.

      • thenamestsam

        Are their player development people really that good? They’ve had amazing results over the last 10 years, but the problem is that the difference between amazing results and horrible results are so small in this case. Compared to a team with a bad player development record, the difference is what, 5 more players made into big leaguers? 10? Out of the hundreds that they’ve had in that time period.

        I’m not saying they’re not good, far from it. I just don’t think it’s possible to sort out whether it’s the scouting, the development, or just sheer dumb luck when we’re talking a sample size of 5.

        • Ted Nelson

          Good points.

  • Behind Enemy Lines

    Seriously, why Santana and Bichette but no Austin? It is as simple as their defensive positions?

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Look at it this way…Maybe the Yankees farm system is just that deep :)

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        On the surface, Austin seems clearly better than Heathcott and as good as Santana and Bichette.

        • pat

          Except that Austin is limited to a corner INF spot (thus far) and Slade is already a plus defender in CF. That alone is enough to give Slade the bump.

          • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

            Slade also has a lot more power.

            • Ted Nelson

              I would probably say that Austin has more power–at least right now–but he should have more power playing a corner.

          • Behind Enemy Lines

            Um, Bichette. How about Heathcott puts in a full year before he’s ranked? That said, naming guys based GFL performances seems unnecessarily agressive. Seems like a recipe for smoke over fire.

            I don’t know, but it feels like most prospect guys avoid making predictions on who will shine in the show.

            You know who was never very toolsy? Robinson Cano.

            It’s like prospect lists, and the people who specialize in them (e.g.Law) try to avoid actual accountability. They defend them with vigor then hush away the huge failures. Josh Vitters anyone? Or Andy Marte? How about Matt LaPorta?

            /rant

            • Ted Nelson

              The whole point of these lists is exactly to project who will shine in the show. It’s not a science, though. They’re not predicting the future. They’re projecting it based on the information that they have. They’re not giving you a list of who had a good 2011 season. Certainly that factors into it, but it’s about looking forward in whatever manner the list compiler(s) see fit.

              Cano always had a ridiculous hit tool and good power potential. People thought he was too slow for 2B, though.

              I agree that they brush their failures under the rug. Wouldn’t you, though? If Slade is a great MLB CF in 5 years and Tyler Austin flames out in High A, are you going to come to RAB and remind everyone how fiercely you disagreed with BA ranking Slade over Austin?

      • viridiana

        Exactly the case. Yankee prospect list from 10-25 still very solid, with lots of upside potential.

  • pat

    You probably could have written that “Hoping for a Homegrown OF” article about Mikie Mahtook had our legal counsel not been allowed to make player acquisitions.

    Yay!

  • Avi

    This is a VERY strong top 10. The top seven might be the yankees’ strongest top seven ever.

    • viridiana

      Agreed.

  • Nathan

    Of the top ten prospects, of any team really, how many will ever amount to MLB regulars? 2 out of 10 maybe?

    • Jim Is Bored

      Well we’ve already got one. That’s a good start.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      4 out of the 10 have a realistic shot. Five are pretty far off. One’s got a pretty bad series of injuries to overcome. I’m with Avi. Strong as hell list.

    • Plank

      I think that’s a pretty realistic average I think. There will be top ten lists this year with 0 future MLB regulars I bet.

  • Holy Ghost

    What happened to Brandon Laird?

    • JMK

      Reality.

    • YankeeGrunt

      Laird is a decent prospect, he’s just limited. He had a low OBP, even for him, and while that should improve as he gets used to better pitching he needs to be more patient if he’s going to be anything more than a bench bat. Even good corner IF defense, and he’s not a worldbeater there either, is usually not enough to overcome offensive limitations, but nobody is going to put a low .700’s OPS on the corner unless he’s Ozzie Smith at the hot corner, and he’s not. The .162 ISOP is promising though.

  • Avi

    Personally I would never put Heathcott ahead of Warren and Phelps but as Mike says BA loves upside and there’s about a 1% chance that Heathcott becomes a better big leaguer than those guys.

  • Avi

    I hated the Bichette pick and killed it for months but you have to like it (if not love it) now. Also if one “reach pick” makes it you can’t really go crazy about a second one (Culver).
    #eatingcrow

    • Gonzo

      I always temper my expectations. I’d like to see Dante do it again next year.

      Also, with the condition of the SS position in MLB, I wouldn’t write off Cito yet. If he can stick at SS and move up the system with some improvements, who knows.

      Never too high or too low. Shoot, I still hold a candle for Higgy.

      • Jim Is Bored

        If Eduardo Nunez can be a desired major league SS, I think there’s still plenty of hope for Cito. More because of the lack of quality SS’s around right now, but still.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m not sure why you needed it in the first place, but this might serve as evidence that you shouldn’t slam a pick before you actually see the guy play. Giants fans slammed the Jason Pierre-Paul pick as well. There are a million more examples. Taking the guy with the most pre-draft amateur hype does not mean that you took the guy who will have the better career.

      • Ted Nelson

        Not to say that Dante is guaranteed to have any sort of success in his career… I also don’t think anyone should decide their team made the best pick ever at the time of or one year after the draft.

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        This is a baseball forum. How about some relevant examples?

        • Ted Nelson

          Jason Pierre-Paul is a relevant example. He was drafted. The pick was blasted by a large number of fans. He’s working out very well so far. That’s exactly the case I was trying to provide an example of.

          • Tough Guy

            It’s Ryan Leaf vs. Peyton Manning all over again Ted!

            • Ted Nelson

              You don’t seem to understand the point.

              • Tough Guy

                Uh… Jamarcus Russell vs. everyone?
                Elvis Dumervil? Uh… Mario Williams?

                Uh oh, I’ve disappointed the Ted.

                • Plank

                  Watch out, he got a 720 on his SATs.

              • Tough Guy

                If he can still be Rashaun Woods, why are you bringing up Jason Pierre-Paul?

                I wasn’t aware that Dante was helping his in the MLB yet.

                • Ted Nelson

                  This is the second time today that you’ve engaged in a lengthy debate with me without knowing the topic. I have to assume you are Plank.

                  The topic was passing judgement on draft picks before they’ve played. Dante Bichette was a draft pick Avi was irate the Yankees took. Wouldn’t stop going on about it for weeks. I drew a comparison to a recent Giant’s draft pick who fans felt the need to pass negative judgement on immediately after the draft.

                  I did not claim Dante Bichette is 100% comparable to Jason Pierre-Paul. I compared one thing. The reaction to their selection in the draft by a portion of their team’s fans. If you’d prefer to compare the reaction to another player, feel free. JPP was the one that came to mind for me.

                  • Tough Guy

                    But the Giants have a history of successfully evaluating, drafting, and grooming pass-rushers. Tuck, Osi, Kiwanuka recently.

                    Do the Yankees the Yankees have a comparable record when it comes to 3rd basemen?

                    Is it illegal to respond to your posts? I’m new.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I just don’t see why you’d fight to disprove a point, and then admit that you don’t know what point you’re trying to disprove. Earlier today it was Cervelli vs. Maxwell. The topic was who should get the last bench spot, and more specifically whether it was crazy or stupid or whatever BEL said it was for Cervelli to get the nod over Maxwell. Now it’s my comparison between the reaction of some fans to the JPP pick and Avi’s reaction to the Bichette pick.

                      Again, I did not say that JPP and Dante are comparable in any way other than the negative reaction of a vocal group of fans. (Returns to date have been strong for both, but I wasn’t really comparing them… Just pointing out that Bichette could have the success JPP is having. Even JPP has a way to go in terms of consistency, himself.)

                      But sure… the Yankees have developed a number of good hitters. Montero and Cano being the two most recent examples. I’m more worried about how good a hitter Bichette becomes than how good a 3B he becomes. If he hits he can find a role, especially in the AL where he can DH if need be.

                    • Tough Guy

                      I would say that Dante is more like Landry Jones or Collin Klein. Great returns so far but not at the highest level. Both were considered very good out of HS but not close to the best.

                      It’s still up for debate if they can provide value at the highest level.

                    • Plank

                      Luc Longley is the Jerry Rice of Ice Hockey.

                    • Tough Guy

                      That’s just silly.

                      Luc Longley is the Sav Rocca of the NHL.

                    • Plank

                      Mugsy Boges is the Nook Laloosh of Sports Fishing?

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Again, I am not comparing JPP as a player to Dante as a player. I am merely comparing the reaction of fans to them being picked. How many other ways can I say this?

                    • Tough Guy

                      You can just say the jury is still out on Dante and it was out even the day he was drafted. You sound like an idiot when you compare him a successful player that is competing at the highest level. Pull yourself together.

  • Avi

    BA on Manny B:
    “Banuelos has shown frontline stuff and flashed true command, tantalizing yet failing to put it all together. He should make his big league debut in 2012. He has the upside to be New York’s best homegrown pitcher since Andy Pettitte.”
    On Ravel:
    “Santana’s offensive ceiling is considerable, thanks to excellent bat speed, strength and loft in his swing and a willingness to use the whole field.”
    On Bichette:
    “Bichette combines righthanded power and underrated athletic ability. He’s an advanced hitter with good hand-eye coordination, present strength and above-average bat speed. He doesn’t sell out for power, uses the whole field and has a mature two-strike approach.While scouts considered Bichette a lock to move to the outfield while he was an amateur, he impressed NewYork with his agility, arm strength and aptitude at third base.”
    On Mason Williams:
    “Williams has the system’s best all-around tools.”
    “His bat is quick enough for him to hit quality velocity.”
    “He’s a prototypical center fielder with raw 80 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale, easy range and an average throwing arm.”

    • Plank

      Thanks for that.

      What is “easy range”? Anyone have any ideas?

      • Jim Is Bored

        My interpretation is someone who makes the easy plays look easy. Could be very wrong though.

        • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

          That’s what I was thinking too.
          I’m sure the term “easy range” is a very good thing.

        • Behind Enemy Lines

          Wow, easy range equals easy plays? That’s really insightful.

          Easy range is more about paths and strides. He covers a lot of ground without much effort.

          You’re welcome.

          • Jim Is Bored

            Dude. you’re the only one who didn’t get what I was trying to say.

            No one cares that you’re so much better/smarter than the rest of us.

        • Plank

          I wonder how many black/white center fielders get described as having easy range.

      • thenamestsam

        I think it just means that he has an effortless style. Guys who are described as having “easy range” or “effortless range” tend to have good range without seeming like they’re crazy running all-out for every ball. Carlos Beltran has his best had easy range. Contrasted with someone like Shane Victorino, who also has very good range, but nothing about it looks easy.

        • Behind Enemy Lines

          Granderson’s range isn’t exactly easy. He makes up for it in the last step or two, but he always seems like a step behind.

          • thenamestsam

            Yup, another good example.

          • Jim Is Bored

            Oh, so you DID know what I meant and were an ass anyway.

            Good to know.

    • Bo Knows

      I find it shocking that people seemed to knock Bichette’s athleticism and ability to play 3rd when he was drafted, he was a nationally ranked tennis player before he chose to focus on baseball (a sport which as many know takes lateral quickness and athleticism to play far more than third base would require)

  • Chris

    I really think Banuelos is going to be a star. The kid has the stuff, the poise, and decent command. Groom him for another year or two and then unleash him upon the rest of the AL East. He has to be untouchable as there is in this group. And yes, that means for King Felix. Is that a bad word?

    • Behind Enemy Lines

      I really hope they give him a legit chance this year. He’sthisclose.

  • ajra21

    considering this list does not include noesi, warren, phelps or dj mitchell; our farm looks good.

  • Plank

    Since the whole prospect/rookie line is somewhat arbitrary, I decided to look at players still under Yankee control and see what kind of team that could be.

    C : Martin
    1B: Vazquez
    2B: Joseph (Adams)
    SS: Nunez
    3B: Laird
    LF: Gardner
    CF: Williams
    RF: I have no idea.
    DH: Montero

    The OF was tough. Also, maybe a different 3B? I didn’t want to use players who hadn’t played full season leagues yet, but Williams is the man.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Switch Montero and Vazquez and get a different DH.

      • Plank

        Then they would be switched with each other. Do you think Montero plays better D at first than Vazquez?

  • Avi

    1. WILL MIDDLEBROOKS 3B
    2. XANDER BOGAERTS SS
    3. BLAKE SWIHART C
    4. ANTHONY RANAUDO RHP
    5. BRYCE BRENTZ OF
    6. BRANDON JACOBS OF
    7. GARIN CECCHINI 3B
    8. MATT BARNES RHP
    9. RYAN LAVARNWAY C
    10. JACKIE BRADLEY OF

    All except Middlebrooks, Jacobs and Lavarnway were drafted/signed either this year or last; meaning they’re far from the majors. The system has the potential to be strong in two years if some of these guys materialize but right now it doesn’t have the ability to make a significant impact on the ML team or in trades. Also Lavarnway #9 and no Jose Iglasias.. lol

    • Avi

      That’s BA’s Red Sox top ten.

      • thenamestsam

        Wow. They’re way, way down on Lavarnway based on that. I’d be really interested to read their comments on thats.

        • viridiana

          As they should be. Lavarnway is a real whiffmaster.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        Notice how they’re in all caps. Even if you turn the Caps Lock key off, the Sox prospects are that good.

        Casey Kelly, of course, is a baseball mental midget.

        • Plank

          That is the list written in lower case. If a Red Sox top ten list is actually written in caps, your computer will explode.

  • DM

    Mark Montgomery would’ve made my top 10.

  • Stevie

    Mattingly Jr. should be atleast #2….. Dumb list.

  • RetroRob

    Interesting that Bichette scored so high already considering his pick was not that highly regarded, and some have tried to dismiss his GCL stats based on the raw level of the players.

    It’s not that the pick was just knocked as an overdraft, but the write-ups on Bichette seemed to greatly question his baseball skills beyond the ability to hit a ball for distance. Considering BA’s Manuel built his list on high-end potential and tools, well that should be considered a victory for Bichette and a reassessment of his skills.

    • YankeeGrunt

      He’s never going to be a 40/40 guy, but I didn’t understand people who said he wasn’t fast or quick enough to play a decent corner IF. The kid is a world class tennis player.

  • http://NYBronxBombers24-7 Brian L

    Yeah I wonder how they come up with these list. Do they just throw some names in there as we all can see they left some potentially really good players off the list