Yankees place 15th in Kevin Goldstein’s organization rankings

A-Rod's role in the Yankees $189 million plan
Minor Links: FanGraphs Top 100, Suttle, Mallard

Kevin Goldstein published his organizational rankings today, with the Yankees coming in right in the middle of the pack at #15. “There is plenty to dream about in terms of young talent,” wrote KG, “but other than (Manny) Banuelos and (Dellin) Betances, the upper levels are bereft of quick help.” The post is free for all, you don’t need a subscription.

The Yankees placed tenth on Keith Law’s organizational rankings, and there really isn’t a ton of difference between #10 and #15. That said, being a top ten system is preferable to being a middle of the road system. Baseball America had the Yankees sixth in the 2012 Prospect Handbook, but those rankings were compiled before Jesus Montero was traded away. They’ll likely fall into that 10-15 range when the revised rankings are posted later this month. That sounds about right to me, but then again I’m biased.

A-Rod's role in the Yankees $189 million plan
Minor Links: FanGraphs Top 100, Suttle, Mallard
  • BK2ATL

    How is Boston ranked higher than both the Yankees and Tampa???

    Beyond the homerism on my part, I would think Washington, Pittsburgh, Texas and Seattle would’ve ranked higher than where placed.

    • Ro

      I just looked at those too. Man, Goldstein is all over the place with this one. He’s usually pretty strong, but I’m guessing that was written after an evening with a bottle. I’ve yet to read something that is that recklessly off of his. Or perhaps he has a precise formula for his rankings and just failed to inform his thousands of readers..

  • TomH

    I don’t know how to judge this list as an organizational ranking. It’s really a prospects ranking. Perhaps, for baseball, the two are one. The more and better the prospects the better the organization as a business enterprise.

    I’m not surprised by the Toronto ranking. They’re going to be trouble. They’ve got enough talent to make them competitive, over the longer period, strictly through their system. Or they can trade using their prospects for a quicker fix.

    I hope the Yankees are better than a mere 15th. With spending being placed under the gun, a dearth of talent (plus age at the major league level) could spell trouble pretty quickly.

    • CW


    • BK2ATL

      See, that’s the thing. Within 2-3 years, we’ll have a better idea of what we have in Sanchez, Williams, Bichette, Almonte, Santana, Romine, and even Adams and Heathcott. Some of those guys are already on the radars of top 100 MLB prospect lists already.

      Not saying we should have a top 10 ranking, but surely higher than 15, considering we placed 3-4 prospects in most objective analyses.

    • G

      If a decent number of the young prospects develop as planned the Yankees will make a huge jump to top 10 or even 5. It’s just they can’t value guys like Williams and Bichette very high yet.

      If we are still 15th in a few years there will be cause for concern, but I’m going to wait.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    Probably the most homeristic response of all time here but I think we are ranked a few spots too low and Boston a few spots too high.

    Pretty confident that prospect rankings just about everywhere would back me up.

  • BK2ATL

    I stumbled across this on Twitter from Jim Callus of Baseball America. Hope it’s ok to post here.


    “My top five lists for hitting, power and speed:

    Best Hitting Prospects
    1. Mike Trout, of, Angels
    2. Jurickson Profar, ss, Rangers
    3. Jesus Montero, c/1b, Mariners
    4. Anthony Rendon, 3b, Nationals
    5. Nolan Arenado, 3b, Rockies
    Youngsters to watch: Javier Baez (Cubs), Oscar Taveras (Cardinals), Christian Yelich (Marlins).

    Best Power Prospects
    1. Bryce Harper, of, Nationals
    2. Miguel Sano, 3b, Twins
    3. Jesus Montero, c/1b, Mariners
    4. Yoenis Cespedes, of, Athletics
    5. Gary Sanchez, c, Yankees
    Youngsters to watch: Jorge Alfaro (Rangers), Josh Bell (Pirates), Guillermo Pimentel (Mariners).

    Best Speed Prospects
    1. Billy Hamilton, ss, Reds
    2. Mike Trout, of, Angels
    3. Gary Brown, of, Giants
    4. Roman Quinn, ss, Phillies
    5. Terrance Gore, of, Royals
    Youngsters to watch: Glynn Davis (Orioles), Bradley Marquez (Mets), Mason Williams (Yankees).”

    • Gonzo

      Who’s this Montero guy?

      • vin

        Pineda+Melky for Montero?

      • BK2ATL

        Word on the street is that he’s pretty good with the bat in his hands…. Beyond that, never heard of him.

        • Gonzo

          Came out of nowhere, huh?

          • BK2ATL

            Nah, born in a manger…with a bat in his hands. So they say.

    • RetroRob

      If he put it out on Twitter, then I can’t see any issue with publishing.

      Although, how could he have published all that with a 140-character limit! : -)

  • vin

    Well the Yankees did, essentially, graduate Montero, Nova, Noesi, and Nunez in the last year or so. Everyone of those guys could deserve at least a 25 man roster spot on any team in the majors.

    There’s no shame in having the 15th best farm system due to recent promotions.

    • Gonzo

      I hate doing that, with Montero maybe being the exception, because then you have to go and rank every other team putting those same types of players back on their farm systems.

      • vin

        Oh, I understand. But personally I have little concern what kind of shape the farm system is in at this exact moment. It makes more sense to evaluate the system in larger chunks of time. Or perhaps include the new major leaguers (with plenty of service time) in with the minor leaguers. Guys like Banuelos and Betances have more in common with the likes of Pineda and Nunez, than they do with Mason Williams and Dante Bichette. In which I mean that they are more likely to be contributing to the big club with those guys, rather than players in the low minors.

        This obviously isn’t what Goldstein, and others, are trying to accomplish with these sorts of lists. I’m just trying to think more holistically. Present rankings of a team’s farm system, top to bottom, don’t really tell the whole story. It’s just an easy way to present information.

        • thenamestsam

          I think this is a good point. These rankings should always be taken only for what they are. A number of rankings would be significantly different if a player here or there had a few more or less at-bats at the big league level, which really has nothing to do with whether an organization is “good” or not. We’ve done a very good job of producing major leaguers and trade pieces over the last few years, and while the high levels are a little barren, there’s a big crop of players right behind them ready to fill in. Given that the Yankees are loaded at every position and really have very little space for an immediate impact player, this isn’t much of a problem if we look at the bigger picture.

          It would be great to have an internal option to replace Swisher, but in a way you could say we took that potential internal option (AJax) and turned him into Granderson, and Granderson is a big part of the reason we can probably afford to lose Swisher if need be. Looking at the whole picture we’re in very good shape even if the minor league snapshot doesn’t look fantastic right now.

        • Gonzo

          Yeah, it’s what makes all these lists so different.
          It’s always some preference to one of these:
          A) Ceiling Talent
          B) Depth Talent
          C) Surefire Talent (Closeness)

          Possibly something else I am forgetting. As long as I keep that in mind, I like ’em.

          • Gonzo

            Basically, it’s not the product, it’s how we consume it is the issue.

            At least that’s how I see it.

    • Slugger27

      well, im sure there are tons of teams that could find 4 guys the developed recently that could occupy a 25man spot on any team. hell, eric chavez takes up a 25man spot on the favorite to win the AL pennant. this applies double if we count guys they traded away recently.

  • RetroRob

    Each reviewer looks for something slightly different.

    Goldstein, for example, seems to place higher value on impact players nearer to the majors. Law likes depth, believing that for a farm system to provide value to the big league club, especially a rebuilding one, it needs to have depth in the higher levels. Having a selection of back-end starters then is good. Law recognizes the impact value of Machado and Bundy, but thinks they nothing beyond those players to help the club.

    It’s really where they put certain weightings. Neither is wrong.

    I read both. The problem I have with Goldstein has less to do with his approach to rankings than it does in who he is trying to be. It feels like he’s trying to turn himself into another Keith Law, but to me lacks the writing skill, and humor, to pull it off.

    • CJ

      1st and most important is the can’t miss elite major leaguer, verlander kershaw types or Matt Moore Shelby miller.

      • http://twitter.com/urbainshockcor Urban

        Something the Yankees lack at the higher levels now that Montero has moved on, yet the Orioles do have. Yet I just checked his rankings and they still are behind the Yankees, which probably says a lot about how bad the rest of the Orioles system is.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Call me crazy, but I think having a AAA rotation with MLB-ready-but-not-flashy guys and two potential very big deals qualifies as “quick help” to me.

    SSS aside, if guys like Marshall and Almonte look like they’re ready to take the next step in their development, then even better.

    Numbers be damned. This system give me a woody.

    • Slugger27

      regarding your first point, completely agree. how is the AAA staff not “quick help”??

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, I sort of have a semantics problem with his wording there. Especially since the Blue Jays system is also pretty low-minors heavy and they’re ranked 2nd. He can rank the teams however he wants, it just seems odd to specifically fault the Yankees for lacking high minors depth when your #2 team has 2 guys in its top 19 with meaningful time above A ball and a few guys who haven’t even debuted I don’t think.

      And though it’s irrelevant to his rankings, the depth in the high minors fits pretty well with what the Yankees need with plenty of rotation/bullpen options, Cs (Romine, plus I assume Murphy is in AA at some point this season), an OF (more there would be nice, of course, but at least they have one in Almonte), and some bench options (Laird, CoJo, Adams…). Always a couple of injuries/flame-outs away from needing P help plus Kuroda and Garcia are FAs, Martin is a FA, Swisher is a FA, and right now all they really need in the IF are injury replacements and back-ups.

  • Monterowasdinero

    I guess being strongest at pitching at the AAA level is best. Pray for good health everywhere else. It would be nice to have a Lowrie but alas we have a Laird.

    I like these Montero trade ideas though. What a coup that would be but too bad the Mariners have better AAA pitching than we do.

    • RetroRob

      They were able to trade Pineda and Campos, and they still have all those other arms. Dealing from strength.

      • jsbrendog

        yankees trade montero and still have 2 or 3 good to possibly great catching prospects. dealing from strength

    • Ted Nelson

      He’s not Lowrie by a long-shot, but I’m a CoJo fan. Makes good hard contact that I think will follow him to AAA and MLB. Could be a nice Chavez replacement in 2013 or 2014, who can also play some 2B and maybe OF.

      If Adams’ ankle is healed he’s a good prospect.

  • nick

    every organization usually slides up and down after graduations, trades, etc. no shame in that as long as we avoid the twenties. I’d be surprised if we aren’t in the single digits this time next year.

  • First name only male (Retire 21)

    (Insert rant about the Red Sox being higher)
    (Insert I hate Cashman for trading Montero rant)
    (Insert logical explanation of the importance of perspective when it comes to prospects)

  • Ro

    Wait, time out..How did Boston come in at 12? Every single publication I’ve read on the Sox farm has them rated pretty low, but more importantly, their stunning absence of stand in and ready young players. They don’t have a single quality arm remotely close to the majors, perhaps outside of Ranundo and that’s still two years ok. The Yanks have more than 1/2 dozen and that’s not even including the B’s who are likely to spend a little more time with the team at the end of this season. That’s just a weird ranking. I’m not implying the Yanks are rated poorly, but I’m sorry, the Sox are about as barren as they come with ready players. Weird. Oh well..

    • TomH

      In general, writers, artists, intellectuals, and journalists (including bloggers) tend to like the Red Sox more than they do the Yankees.

    • BK2ATL

      That’s my point.

      He talks about “depth” at every level, but no one else sees it that way. And he even placed Boston over Tampa, who probably has better prospects and “depth” than we (Yanks) do.

      Weird analysis, and based on what I’ve seen from others, and in more depth, I’m going to tend to discount this one.

    • William

      The only guy that’s really good in the Red Sox farm system Is Xandear Bogaerts. Besides that, meh.

  • Ted Nelson

    Since he’s so bearish on Austin and Phelps, the #15 ranking isn’t surprising. For people higher on those two that’s an extra position prospect a year away from potentially being elite and another MLB ready SP. Neither of these guys are top 20 Yankees’ prospects for Goldstein.

    • Ted Nelson

      Tyler Austin that is.

    • http://twitter.com/urbainshockcor Urban

      I asked him about Austin, either on Twitter or on BP, and his response was that it was too early, and that he still had a lot to prove, especially since he thinks he’ll end up at 1B where he’ll have to show even more bat to make an impact.

      I guess he’s not sold on him staying at third.

      As for Phelps, I admit to having a bit of an obsession with him that few share. I think he can and will be a solid MLB pitcher, even if he’s back end.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, I was just saying that he is lower on those guys than some other people… which probably makes a big difference in the Yankees being ranked #15 vs. top 10. If he saw Austin as the Yankees’ #5 prospect like Law and Phelps as on par with Warren, it would really strengthen their system in his rankings so he might rank the Yankees in the top 10.

        I agree that Austin has a lot to prove, but when Goldstein’s got kids ranked highly who haven’t even make their pro debuts… I don’t really buy that argument. Everyone in the low minors and even high minors has a lot to prove. If he’s not sold on Austin that’s fine, but I feel like his explanation about having a lot to prove is weak.

        I also see Phelps as having a good shot at the back-end. We’ll have to see.

  • awy

    KG is a man who likes the upside but does not value systems in that same way. It seems like he’s formed his opinions from absorbing contradictory forces in the scouting sphere. it’s whatever

    • awy

      he also has an inexplicable hardon for speedy guys. some part of his baseball ideas is positively troglodyte. you gotta learn to separate the chaff from the grain with him

  • viridiana

    Consensus has Yanks system higher. Don’t know if this link has been posted but FanGraphs has Yanks at #10.