Yankees shut out of Baseball America’s top 20 GCL prospects

Veteran Yankees Dancing in September
Phil Hughes and uncharted waters

No real surprise here, but the Yankees didn’t have any players among Baseball America’s Top 20 Gulf Coast League prospects today. First rounder RHP Ty Hensley only threw a dozen innings and didn’t have enough playing time to qualify for the list. Second rounder SS Austin Aune did have enough time (163 plate appearances) but just wasn’t one of the 20 best future big leaguers in the circuit. RHP Jordan Cote and RHP Gio Gallegos had strong but short years, and are more interesting sleeper types than legit top-20 prospects.

The full top-20 schedule can be found here. The next list of interest to Yankees fans is the Short Season NY-Penn League, which is due out next Monday. Outside of OF Ravel Santana — who didn’t have a good year at all — I don’t think there was a single player on Staten Island who is top-20 caliber. Not even close, really.

Veteran Yankees Dancing in September
Phil Hughes and uncharted waters
  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    That doesn’t inspire confidence in teh future…

    • RetroRob

      Being a Yankee fan should always inspire confidence in the future.

  • Jake H

    I think that Austin got snubbed. He played well and had the scouting from what I heard from a scout that he could play SS at the upper levels.

  • your mom

    Wow, the farm really sucked this year.

    • morris

      Time to reevaluate Mark Newman and David Oppenheimer. When you think that we had no hot prospects in AAA and AA to bring up at anytime during the year,tells just how serious the flaws we have in scouting and drafting.

      • MannyGeee

        bad draft positions = no ‘top’ prospects. it is what it is

        • Smart Guy

          i do not like that excuse cause there are teams that draft guys past the 1st rounds that are studs

          • Laz

            Yea but they probably pass the higher rounders in future seasons. This is mostly rookies to the minors, so I would fully expect it is mostly higher draft picks, nothing to do with development or stellar potential picks.

          • Ted Nelson

            You mean guys like Mason Williams and Tyler Austin? Or guys like David Phelps and Corban Joseph? Or guys like Brett Gardner and David Robertson?

            This is one short season list from one publication. Cote was a total stud who could have easily made the list. Aune also could have. Greg Bird barely played and Andujar is like 16 or 17 years old. Camarena was hurt and only got 17 IP.

            The Yankees did have prospects at that level, even though they didn’t happen to make BA’s subjective cut for top 20.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

        You’re a funny guy. There were a lot of freak injuries this season. Also, most teams don’t have a ton of hot prospects in AAA or AA just waiting to get called up.

        Not sure if you noticed, but the Yankees have Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, and Manny Banuelos. Arguably 4 top 50 prospects. Honestly, what you’re saying is a joke.

        • morris

          How about one prospect. and as far as low minors are concerned,the jury is still out. a lot of scouts are not enamored with Austin. How about Batances? how that work out.

          • DC

            We get it. You’re one of these fans that aren’t happy unless you have something to gripe about.

          • YanksFanInBeantown

            that work out bad!

          • Samuel

            Tyler Austin is a legit hitter who has a really good arm and pretty good range in RF, and he just started playing the outfield position. He has a quick bat and good speed which translates to solid base running skills and the ability to run down balls in the outfield.

            He was drafted as a catcher, was switched to 3B, then converted to outfield due to the slight dearth of solid OF talent in the system. The Yankees tried this with JR Murphy, (C to 3B to RF) but decided he is most valuable behind the plate. His conversion back to catcher full time corresponds with Montero’s trade.

            Or you can name all these “other scouts” who don’t like Austin. After seeing Austin play on a couple levels, I made my own opinions then talked to quite a few scouts at the games, and they mostly agree that the kid is pretty good. It is only the level of success he will have in the majors which is the difference of opinion. Some say major league All Star, some say major league regular, a few think he is no more than a Brandon Laird type bench player.

            So, instead of remembering one guys early season remarks on Austin reverberating in your brain, and whining about everything, try going to some games, actually seeing these guys play and making your own judgments.

            And in speaking with several Yankee system coaches and to Austin himself, he appears to be a great kid, who is very coachable. Combined with some pretty good hitting talent, that bodes well for major league success.

            Betances was none of the above and really wasn’t very good to begin with. It’s easy to overpower young hitters in lower levels, but much harder to get out solid hitters in AA and above.

          • RetroRob

            How about one prospect? He just named four.

            As for your statement of “a lot” of scouts, yes I do remember two. Austin is the kind of player you should be happy the Yankees picked up. He was not considered a significant prospect when they Yankees signed him, he was still ignored after his first season, but this year scouts did take notice. If he’s your complaint, then DC is right. You’re one of those fans. The ones that not only fans of other team make fun of, but also Yankee fans make fun of.

  • zs190

    No real surprise, Yankees will be well represented for Charleston and Tampa most likely, that’s where the strength of the farm system is right now.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m surprised Cote didn’t make it.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky (formerly Paul VuvuZuvella)

    I’m not concerned. I seem to recall one DB Jr rated the Number 1 prospect in that league last year. Ratings don’t tell it all. My namesake has been focused solely on baseball for about 90 days. I was encouraged by the scouting report I read on him and expect the ratings to catch up with him soon.

  • Smart Guy

    to me its still a little early to judge but since cashman has gotten complete control the plan was to get younger and more athletic and incorporate the farm.

    So far we have had fill ins from gardner, drob, nova, joba, hughes, phelps which is fine but we have yet to produce at least one top talent, well we gave him away for Pineida who the jury is still up on that. and we did turn 2 farm players into granderson.

    I will wait to judge on the draft plans from our current staff when the crop of austin and sanchez reaches the majors otherwise this team just isnt that good in development

    • RetroRob

      Is Montero still considered a top talent?

      Austin Jackson was also a fine talent, but he was sent packing to get another 40-HR-hitting OFer. Farm system can be used two ways. To directly fill the needs of the big league club, or to indirectly fillt he needs of the big league club. I really don’t care either way, but in the end it’s usually a mix. Like any fan, I just don’t want them giving away top-tier talent and getting nothing back in return, as happened a lot during the 80s.

      As you noted, the one thing they have been missing is a top-level talent playing on the Yankees since they brought up Cano. That could just be a bit of randomness, meaning identfying a Trout (as they did), but missing picking him by one pick. That obviously would change the complexion of everything.

    • Ted Nelson

      The plan is to win game. They have won games.

      If Gardner and Robertson are fill-ins, I’m interested to hear what top talents are… It’s really rare for any team to produce players better than that. If you’re expecting Miggy or Trout, you’re probably going to be disappointed for 10-20 years at a time rooting for any team.

      Granderson is not the only player they’ve acquired via trade recently.

      And who says that one “top talent” is preferable to a bunch of legit starting contributors anyway? If they had produced one top talent and absolutely nothing else… that would automatically be better than several contributors and trade chips?

  • vicki

    i hope the cba changes to the international draft don’t screw us.

  • Samuel

    Despite now having nearly enough required ABs to be considered for either the GCL or NYPL top prospect lists, Greg Bird is a LEGIT bat who has major league star written all over him.

    He has a sweet left handed swing with left and right field gap power, who should be a middle of the order, 20 HR (maybe more in Yankee Stadium), 40 double per season guy.

    Bird doesn’t get flustered when he makes an out, but instead looks to learn from that prior AB and find ways to get better. All this is very rare for a kid of this young age.

    Bird will not make any various league post season “top prospect” lists, but I can’t see many guys at the same levels having hitting skills better than Bird. And he isn’t that bad around the first base bag, either, and will only get better the more he plays there.

    He reminds me of Joe Mauer with his swing and hitting approach plus he has the plate discipline of Nick Johnson. This is NOT saying he will be Joe Mauer, but lets just hope he stays more healthy than either of those guys.

    Major league All Star. You heard it here first.

  • g

    no love for Saxon Butler

    • morris

      you guys are falling in love too quickly. Look at the AAA and AA level. what happened?

    • Samuel

      No. He murders mediocre pitching. Not going to be as good in FSL and AA.

  • Buhner’s barber

    I think this is mostly a symptom of the fact that the Yankees trust their own talent evaluators more than any big name publication. I think this approach makes perfect sense, as I’ve often felt that the big names in scouting often just parrot one another. With all (or most) of the other teams chasing the talent that BA or Callis tells them is good, it gives the Yankees a good chance to draft players that weren’t even on the radar for everyone else but who could be just as good.

    • Laz

      I think they rely alot on results too. Scouts aren’t enamored with Austin, but he has performed at every level.

  • RetroRob

    The lack of a top-20 talent in the real lower levels could be based on what Mike noted (Hensley only getting a few innings) and that some players in their first year develop at different rates. What I hope it doesn’t signify is the new drafting rules from the CBA has locked the Yankees out of top talent as long as they draft at the end of the pack.

    • Preston

      Well it did effect us in that we drafted more college seniors and juniors in the early rounds. So a lot of our early picks were not playing in rookie ball they went right to full season ball. If Rob Refsnyder or Peter Obrien had gone to rookie ball I think they would have mashed and made this list. Aune is really the only one who could have or should have made the list.

    • Laz

      Alot of the College guys may skip gcl, but another fact that they don’t get to pick the top tier of high schoolers, so the ones they do pick aren’t usually as developed. They usually have to pick high schoolers that maybe aren’t as refined at that stage, but still have lots of talent.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not just Hensley. Bird and Camarena were hurt. Cote easily could have made the list. Aune as well. Andujar is really young for the level. The Yankees had a bunch of guys who might be top 20 level talents who didn’t make this particular list for whatever reasons.

  • Wayne

    You have to look at these guys three years down the road guys like Hayden Sharp Brady Lail Rafael Depaula If we traded these guys before they show any sign of life it’s our fault then. I also think we don’t pay attention to body type and mechanics when drafting starting pitchers. Specifically the case this year with drafting Ty Hensley over Mitch Gueller. Mitch has command of three pitches already,big hands, big back ,big shoulders and throws 90-93 and pretty solid mechanics so you didn’t even have to work on his delivery compared to Ty Hensley who had questions about his delivery going into draft and will have to work on his mechanics. Mitch Gueller is going to be a stud without a doubt in my mind as a dominant starting pitcher. Ty its possible but his back and shoulders are not as huge as Mitch ‘s. That says a lot about his strength in his shoulders and the body’s ability to go deep into a game. Should have snatched him up this year!

    • Ted Nelson

      Why is body particularly important? There are way too many counter examples to rely on that at all.

      Hensley is about as prototypical a P build as it gets… so that’s an odd complaint in this case.