John Sickels’ Top 20 Yankees Prospects

Soriano saving the Yanks from Edwin Jackson
Open Thread: Scott Proctor

John Sickels of Minor League Ball published his list of the top 20 Yankees prospects over the weekend, a list that is unsurprisingly topped by Jesus Montero. Montero, a Grade A prospect, is followed by Gary Sanchez (B+) and four B-prospects: Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Mason Williams, and Dante Bichette Jr. Click through for his brief individual write-ups and grade explanations. I’ve found myself disagreeing with Sickels more than any other publication because I think he relies on stats a little too much, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s important to see different opinions of players.

Soriano saving the Yanks from Edwin Jackson
Open Thread: Scott Proctor
  • Bo Knows

    Word of warning though…for the love of all that is good and holy in this world DO NOT read the comments section, there is too much stupid, I ended up getting sucked into the arguments from people who know nothing about the Yankees system (like that Bosox dude)but call the prospects overrated because they are Yankees

    • laser


  • Slugger27

    how in the hell can mason williams be 6 spots ahead of austin romine?

    • Gonzo

      When he came up in September, I thought his bat looked a little slow. Anyone else think that? Long season for him though.

  • Matt Montero

    If I remember correctly when I read his rankings, and didn’t he say Manny and Dellin have a number three upside(whatever that specifically means). Is that underselling them a little bit? Im not saying they’re going to be, if you use number 1, 2,3, etc starters, a number one stuff but doesn’t Dellin have ace upside in a perfect scenario where he gains control and consistently repeats his delivery? Doesnt manny have the potential of a borderline ace considering his repitoire and formerly his control? Assuming that he gets his control and good as seemed he was developing? Of course, it’s slim to none that even one of them reach their potential because it’s so rare but don’t they have that potential? Sorry for the spelling mistakes in advance, in typing on my old cell phone because my new one has a problem.

    • Gonzo

      For Manny he said “projects” as a number 3. That’s a little different than saying that’s his upside, IMO.

      • Jonathan

        well he said “if all goes well”. That’s what upside means.

        • Gonzo

          This is now semantics. Agree to disagree.

    • Ethan

      This is what happens when you get obsessed with prospects. You start overvaluing them and wanting the organization to make them untouchable. The viewers of RAB certainly are prospect obsessed.

  • William

    Use, Mason Williams deserves to be much farther ahead than Romine. Romine kind of reminds me of Jeff Mathis. Meanwhile, I think Jesus Montero can be Edgar Martinez. Any comparison on Banuelos?

    • Rich in NJ

      Mike has mentioned Ricky Romero.

      • Jesse

        I hope he can be the next RR Cool Jay, or even Jaime Garcia.

  • viridiana

    Sickels does emphasize performance –especially walks and strikeouts. He was certainly influenced by high walk totals last year in ranking Banuelos and Betances. There are scouts who believe the walks– especially with ManBan — mean little, given the experimentation that’s required for full development. Certainly, poor control should not be ignored. But there may be specific reasons in this case that Sickels — who does not to my knowledge have a scouting background — may not have factored. Worth noting that BA — which ranked ManBan the 13th best prospect in all of baseball last mid-season — relies more heavily on scouting.

  • Women’s Lib is Ms.Guided

    Banuelos’ best comp is Teddy Higuera.

    • Tyrone Sharpton

      Sounds about right. The kid is also a short,stout, left-handed Mexican.

  • mj

    did anyone see the team prospect ranking???? can anyone tell me how in gods green earth is boston ranked ahead of the yankees??????

  • CMP

    I wouldn’t get too worked up about this guys ratings. The teams themselves who spend millions in player development can barely project these prospects with any degree of accuracy so I wouldn’t be too concerned about what some guy from “Minor league ball” thinks.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    I will gladly sign up for Manny Banuelos anchoring the middle of the Yankee rotation for years to come.

    I don’t understand giving short season and rookie ball guys that much buzz unless they’re otherwordly.

  • mj

    lol that makes mw feel better thanks

  • Rainbow Connection

    I’ll give a nice lil’ meow for this!

  • ryan

    Interesting he liked phelps better than warren…

  • Rookie

    I don’t take Sickels seriously. Why any Yankee fan would is beyond me.

    In my observation, he applies an obvious double standard to prospects from the Yankees and those from the Red Sox.

    His bias is obvious. The only question is whether he’s blinded by it or he just enjoys tweaking Yankee fans. I suspect it’s the latter.

    • Jake H

      It’s pretty funny you think he has a bias. The guy is a Twins fan. Grew up in the Midwest and, went to school in the Midwest and lives in the Midwest. If you have followed him for more then 1 post you would see he has certain aspects that he rates highly and others he doesn’t.

      • Bo Knows

        considering that the twins are essentially the the Yankees “prison wives” I guess its plausible he is biased against the Yankees.

        My feelings is that Sickles likes to be more cautious, erring on the conservative with grading Yankee prospects, but if you read his actual observations and not his projections, you get a sense that he expects more from these guys than what they’ve shown.

  • CJ

    I agree with Gary Sanchez. 2012 is huge for bichette, mason and Tyler Austin.

  • PBFog

    I really appreciated the “QUICK PRIMER ON GRADE MEANINGS” section. A nice long-winded disclaimer stating that many, if not all, observations may come to fruition.

  • Jd

    I wish that there was a metric that graded these guys. It’s like money ball. Bean sounds like a genius until you realize that mot all of the guys in the book never made it. I remember a fee years ago when one of these experts concluded that cano could not stick at second because his legs were too thick.

    • YankeeGrunt

      Genius as a GM has a lot to do with luck. Great talent evaluators get it wrong sometimes (the Rays, who do it as well as anyone, had Tim Beckham, among others) and mediocre ones get it right or get lucky. Theo Epstein was there when Mighty Mouse, Papelbon and Youk hit so he became the wunderkind, but having three unknown All Stars emerge is always going to be anomalous. He and his scouting staff got a talent bump and were able to consummate some lopsided trades. In the last few years their prospects, in their system and elsewhere, have largely missed, in some cases because they were overrated to begin with and in others because their luck as an org “regressed to the mean.”

      • Jd

        Yes. Butnis there anything out there that rates sickles against James or mike a?

        • YankeeGrunt

          I guess just the eye check, compare their top 20 lists going back a few years. The point being that while Sickels and Law may contribute to hype no GM worth his paycheck is putting much stock into what they’re saying relative to other evaluations. As Mike says though there is a benefit to someone who doesn’t just parrot what is a pretty standard Top 3, even Top 10.

  • jack knife

    how the hell do you put Turley on this list and not mention Romanski or Hall Cmon Man Romanski and Hall have progressed up the Yankee ladder quicker than most and maybe quicker than all. Get real

    • YankeeGrunt

      Hall is 24 and threw a WHIP of 1.440 at AA. Romanski is 25 and managed to score a cup of coffee with Trenton. I understand Romanski went to the Independent Leagues for a year and so his age doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a non-prospect. Turley will be 22 on Opening Day and at Tampa. He’s younger, his K rates are higher and his walk rate is lower which means he could project as a solid bullpen arm. At this point Turley is a better prospect.

  • jack knife

    ur crazy if u think Turley is a better prospect than Romanski or Hall
    Romanski walked only 20-22 batters in 106 ip he had a 2.97 era in combined two leagues and was moved from starter to the pen and then back to starter Turley didnt even pitch all year cmon man get real

    • YankeeGrunt

      Turley’s BB rates were comparable and improving. He pitched 17 innings less than Romanski, one fewer start (probably capped innings). He’s two years younger than Hall and three younger than Romanski, where is the mystery? Yeah a case can be made for the other two, but nothing crazy about it.

  • jack knife

    Turley didnt even pitch all year. Romanski was a starter then a reliver
    than a starter again. Do you know how hard that is. And to not even have him ranked or ranked above Turley is absurd. His combined ERA was in the top five of all pitchers at all levels. The age variable is overblown. The fact is he is 25 and will start at the least in AA. He is on track to get to the big leagues at 27 with some club. That gives him 10 years to be a productive. His background is All American in college (not to mention a two way guy) Team USA which he actually led the team in hitting (look it up if u need to ) then a fourth rounder
    and could of been drafted as a hitter or pitcher and has moved thru the system rapidly and is not ranked. Really !!!!! I say thats BS

    • Plank

      Are you related to Romanski?

  • jack knife

    no not related just a realist who has watched him pitch and pitch well. He never gets mentioned and commended for what he does. If Banuelos or Hall or in this case Turley had done what Romanksi did last year starter to reliever back to started successfully there would have been a huge article about how great they all are. Im just saying that Romanski deserves credit as does Hall . They dont get the credit they deserve and pitch well 95 % of the time