Williams, Sanchez, Austin among BA’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects

The Catching Problem
Manipulating the roster around the All-Star break

Baseball America published their midseason Top 50 Prospects list today, led by RHP Dylan Bundy of the Orioles. The best pitching prospect in the game owns a 1.74 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 13 walks in 62.2 innings down in Single-A this year. SS Jurickson Profar (Rangers) and OF Wil Myers (Royals) round out the top three. The list is free for all but the write-ups are subscriber-only.

The Yankees placed three prospects in the top 50: OF Mason Williams (#28), C Gary Sanchez (#30), and OF Tyler Austin (#39). LHP Manny Banuelos ranked 29th on the preseason Top 100 but fell out of the midseason list due to his elbow injury, though he was one of three players in the “Also Receiving Votes” section. Both Banuelos and RHP Jose Campos made the All Disabled List Team, unfortunately (subs. req’d). Williams (#85) and Sanchez (#81) made significant jumps from the preseason list, as did Austin, who was unranked this spring. The Yankees don’t have that surefire top-five prospect like Jesus Montero anymore, but three top-40 guys makes for a really strong top of the system.

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The Catching Problem
Manipulating the roster around the All-Star break
  • Larch

    That’s fantastic. Glad to see scouting confirmation on Austin’s production.

  • viridiana

    Very good news

  • Rich in NJ

    I hope they all become NYY.

  • Johnny O

    Always fun to see. Too bad all are in Single A but better than nothing. Assuming manny recovers and posts solid results he’ll jump right back into the top 25.

    After 2010 everyone thought Killer B’s would be in the rotation by now, and none in the top 50. TNSTAAPP.

  • jjyank

    This is awesome. Really cool to see those 3 jump so high in the rankings.

  • Gonzo

    Matt Barnes at #13. Wow.

    • Tom

      Peter Gammons has said he’s better than Casey “future ace” Kelley
      (Ok, I might have made that up)

      The guy is in high A and has good K/9 #’s (9.7, but I think the elite guys are generally in the 10-12 range); I know you have to look at stuff and projection, but this seems quite optimistic.

      Shelby Miller has leveled off a bit, but I have a hard time believing Barnes is now a better prospect than him… or Taillon or Bradley or….

  • Ro

    Mike,

    Was Anthony Rendon of the Nationals on the all disabled list team? I didn’t see his name in the top 50.

    He is a player I’ve been following and someone who I’ve advocated the Yankees should trade for. Arod days at 3rd are numbered and it’s happening at a far more rapid rate than I expected. Chavez won’t be back again for 2013, although another strong, noble effort by him this season. He’s ready to break apart soon as well. Having two guys like that going into next year is a bad bad idea imo.

    • blake

      they also have Zimmerman though I guess he could move to 1B down the road…..I’d at least ask about Rendon and see.

    • Rick in Philly

      Rendon will probably end up at 2B for the Nats. They’re also not going to trade someone they just spent $6 million on last year without getting the world in return. Start the bidding at Williams and Sanchez and go from there.

      • Ro

        Yikes. I didn’t think it would cost that much. They’ve had a hard on for Gardner and he is comes back strong, I’d serve him up in the offseason along with Betances (who still has potential despite this years results). I was thinking more along those lines.

        • Rick in Philly

          I’m speculating on the cost, and it might have been a bit of hyperbole, but there’s absolutely no way the Nats will take back a massive project (Betances) and a glove/speed guy (Gardner) in exchange for their #2 prospect (according to BA) and a guy that picked 6th overall last year.

          Despite injuries, Rendon’s still a big-time prospect. And, if healthy, is probably going to be ranked higher than any Yankee in 2013.

  • DERP

    Ridiculous jump by Matt Barnes. Unranked to number 13. He has been ridiculous this year. Also surprised that Machado is number 9. I thought he would be higher.

    • Gonzo

      Thought the same thing on both players. I think there might be some big discrepancies from this list and other lists. Maybe even this list and BA’s offseason one.

    • JohnnyC

      5.26 ERA since June 1st. High A is proving to be much more challenging than Low A was (0.34 ERA in 5 starts to start season). Typical BA bias toward Sox prospects.

      • AndrewYF

        Doesn’t anyone remember Drake Britton?

        • Gonzo

          Just curious, now that Rizzo is in the big leagues, does everyone still think the Padres gave away one year of Adrian Gonzalez for nothing?

        • Steve

          Probably the same people who remember Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances

      • Brian S.

        Because BA doesn’t have bias towards Yankees? Mason Williams has a .356 wOBA. That’s not that special.

        • Ted Nelson

          He’s a CF. Plus he’s got a whole lot of projection if he puts on some more muscle.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      tbh I don’t know why Machado is so high. The scouts obviously see something that the numbers can’t tell us. His batting numbers really aren’t impressive, not even for a SS, and he isn’t stealing a lot of bases either. To me he looks like – and remember that I can only tell by the numbers – a younger version of Stephen Drew. Or Eduardo Nunez with a glove.

      • Gonzo

        I think you really need to account for age.

        • Bavarian Yankee

          obviously. Didn’t realize that he’s only a 19 year old in AA, I thought he’s 22 or so.

          • Gonzo

            Gotcha. If he’s still in AA at 22, somethin’ done went wrong.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Eduardo Nunez with a glove would actually be pretty valuable right now.

  • Brian Cashman is Waching

    How do you think Banuelos and Campos would have ranked if they were healthy now?

    • Brian S.

      Banuelos might be somewhere in there if he had a mid 3 ERA/FIP as a 21 year old in AAA. Maybe around 30 or so since BA is usually really generous towards Yankee prospects.

      • Rick in Philly

        If Banuelos was healthy and pitching to his track record, he would be ranked in the 30’s, even without a 3 ERA/FIP. Methinks you’re putting too much stock in numbers without taking into consideration other factors.

        • Brian S.

          Well I like my prospects to have stats to back up their hype. I guess that’s just me though.

          • Ted Nelson

            Wildly swinging long term projections based on short term results seems to be just you. These lists aren’t the hottest prospects in baseball, they’re those projected to be the best MLB players long term.

            Also, simpy looking at overall results with no further analysis seems to be just you.

          • Ted Nelson

            To put it another way… The issue idsn’t that you’re looking at stats. It is how you’re looking at them. I’m all for going more with quantitative analysis. But done logically.

            Half a sample is too small a sample to project from. One nagging injury could lead to a bad month, but have no long term impact on projection. At that low a level he might be focusing on certain skills at the exclusion of others.

            Then there’s the luck aspect of baseball. This can manifest itself more in a smaller sample.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    2 first Rounders in Charleston and they weren’t even top 3 prospects on their own team.

  • Murderers’ Row Boat

    Here’s hoping we get see a few of those guys in the majors before they get shipped away.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Here to hoping they make it close enough to the majors for us to be concerned about this.

      • Countryclub

        You’d have to think a couple of them spend some time in AA next yr. would be odd for all three of them to spend a season and a half in Tampa. Once they hit AA, we can start to dream about them in NY.

  • Gonzo

    Did Austin have a shot at playing 3b for a while? If so, I wonder if anyone would have preferred to keep him there somehow.

  • Brian S.

    Am I the only one thinking that Mason Williams should be hitting better to rank that high?

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

      They aren’t ranking batting lines.

      • Brian S.

        Well yeah but to justify the hype shouldn’t he have near a 140 wRC+? Tools and projections should only get you so far in my opinion. It should show on the stat sheet as well.

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

          He’s in Low-A, not Double or Triple-A. Who cares if an extra 8-10 singles dunked in? The rankings are based on the players these guys can become and Williams has a long way to go. He’s shown contact skills, speed, some power, why put an arbitrary wRC+ baseline on it?

          • Brian S.

            Because a 126 wRC+ in Low-A is not very impressive. For a top 30 prospect in all of baseball.

            • Rick in Philly

              Not to be snarky, but serious question: How are other 20-year old CF’s hitting this year?

              • Brian S.

                There were three 20 year old outfielders in the South Atlantic version of Low-A hitting better than Mason Williams. Tyler Austin of the Yankees(171 wRC+), Keury De La Cruz of the Red Sox(150 wRC+), and Gregory Polanco of the Pirates(134 wRC+). Obviously Tyler Austin doesn’t count since he is a RF. I have no idea about Cruz or Polanco, if they aren’t CF then I guess you guys are right. And I’m not saying Williams shouldn’t be on a prospect list, just not top 30 considering his performance.

                • Rick in Philly

                  As I commented below, I’m thinking you’re putting too much on numbers and not on other facets. The Yankees might have internal requirements for promotion, which we’re obviously not privy to.

                  In my opinion, if players are productive and need a challenge, go ahead and promote them. The only time that I personally want to see production before a promotion is if they are in line to move to the big league club.

                  • Brian S.

                    I wasn’t arguing his promotion I was arguing his ranking on this list.

                    • Rick in Philly

                      BA isn’t going off of just strictly production, though. They’re looking at the projection and the fact that he’s an excellent athlete.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Looking at half a season of stats to project what sort of player a guy will be in the long-term doesn’t make an sense to me. If he had an unsustainable BABIP fuelled season you’d be ok with ranking him much higher?

                  • Brian S.

                    I don’t think BABIP in the minors really counts for anything. There are a ton of hitters putting up around .390 BABIPs in the minors, although a really egregious BABIP of .450 would probably bother me.

                    • Brian S.

                      Sorry if this sounded contradictory. What I’m trying to say is a really high BABIP in the minor leagues doesn’t mean much to me unless it is REALLY out there.

                    • Jim Is Bored

                      That wasn’t his point though.

                      If he was hitting .10 to .15 points higher based purely on some better luck, you’d rank him higher, based on what you’ve said so far.

                      Whereas these rankings are based on things like projectability, body type, position, etc. With stats as part of a larger equation.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Jm sums up my points spot on with the .10 to .15 increase in BA based on luck an his other comments.

                      Statistical results have to have somewhat of a confidence interval around them. The same player could put up a .356 wOBA for half a season and then maybe a .370 or .340 wOBA the next half a season due to just randon variability. The results are important, but only taken in context over a large enough sample.

        • RetroRob

          Do you really think talent evaluators base their projections and rankings of young players on batting lines?

  • don

    No Casey Kelly? I though he would have won 2 Cy Young’s by now. Law and callis don’t answer too many questions about him since he got traded.

    • Gonzo

      Still think the Sox won that trade though?

      • Brian S.

        adrian gonzalez has a .404 slugging percentage he is killing the team…but hes the greatest player ever according to his groupies give me a break…bat him lower in the lineup he sucks…

        • Jim Is Bored

          Adrian Gonzalez is not in the top 10 list of Red Sox problems this year.

          • RetroRob

            Red Sox fans would disagree, just as there are Yankee fans who believe A-Rod is one of the Yankees main problems.

            The grass is always burnt on this side of the fence.

  • don

    Mariners have so much pitching and still wont trade Felix. By the time they all come up his contract will be up and they will still have so offense.

  • jg233

    Good to know the Yanks still have some solid trade bait.

  • RetroRob

    Three in the top 50 (top 40 really) is certainly a good thing, and if not for the elbows of Banuelos and Campos, I’m guessing they might have five in the top 50. Since both are expected back this year, perhaps both will push their way in for the offseason rankings.

  • Steven

    “The Yankees don’t have that surefire top-five prospect like Jesus Montero anymore, but three top-40 guys makes for a really strong top of the system.”

    All these guys are in A Ball. In fact with the exception of Murphy, Marshall, Montgomery, all our top talent is either in A or GCL.