Yankees rank 14th in Minor League Ball’s farm system rankings


Middle of the road, here they come. John Sickels at Minor League Ball released his farm system rankings earlier this week, and he has the Yankees pretty much right in the middle at 14th overall. He says their strength is the collection of potential impact bats on the brink of Double-A, specifically catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielders Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, and Tyler Austin. The lack of impact arms is their weakness.

Baseball America recently placed the Yankees 11th overall in their preliminary farm system rankings, and there really isn’t a ton of difference between 11th and 14th. The 11-15 range certainly passes the sniff test though, neither ranking seems unrealistic.

Categories : Asides, Minors


  1. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Very curious how things wind up looking for 2014. I could imagine that, if the guys we hope and expect will take steps forward actually do, and are on the cusp of the majors, the system winds up looking differently.

    The impact arms are either recovering from injury or in their infancy.

    The potential to continue to grow a strong system is certainly there.

    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

      You can say the same thing about probably any team’s farm system in the top 20 though.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        I guess so. Not being familiar with other organizations farm systems and injuries, how many have at least 2 potential significant arms that are recovering from injuries? Probably at least a few.

        However, this is us. We’re just better. Fact. :-)

        • Gonzo says:

          I think what makes the Yanks a good shot to move up next year vs other top 20 teams is the lack of graduation candidates. There will probably be no significant graduations this year. That’s either good or bad depending on your perspective.

          • TomH says:

            There will probably be no significant graduations this year. That’s either good or bad depending on your perspective.

            It’s bad. They (a) should have had a graduation or two of significance last year and (b) retained sufficient quality on the farms to remain in the top level. If they can’t do that, they should go back to using Free Agency, with all its acknowledged risks, and using the Major Leagues as their farm system. (Or just let their boasts of annual pursuit of a place in the WS wither away.)

            Injuries are as much to be expected on the farm as in the big team. If you’re annually in the WS hunt, this means that your farm system must have the depth to remain productive despite injuries. With playing fields being made level via contracts and various regulations having a punitive anti-Yankee dimension, to be in 11-17 range at this late date is unacceptable.

            We’ve heard too much the last few years about the need to develop from within and to be “smart.” They ought to hire a historian to find out how Barrow did things back in the Newark days, when Marse Joe used to be called a “push-button manager” (i.e., X retired or got injured and Ed pushed a button and Newark sent up an all-star replacement).

            In any case, the motif of times-have-changed-and-they-must-get-smart is an empty bromide. As someone asked a couple of days ago, in another thread: does anyone think they’ve NOT been trying to be “smart” the past few years? Of course, they have. That they’ve been unable to get beyond middling in the farms suggests they lack the potential to be any “smarter” than this embarrassing showing.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              There are other teams trying to do the same thing in a limited pool of players, in a place the yankees can’t simply outspend anyone.

              It’s always possible that other teams have done this better, and the new efforts and building the farm and player base have prevented us from being even lower than we are.

              There are plenty of likely scenarios that have occurred without the Yankees being “embarrassing”.

            • Manny's BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte's Fibula) says:

              does anyone think they’ve NOT been trying to be “smart” the past few years?

              I feel honored that you quoted me

            • I Live In My Mom's Basement says:

              “to be in 11-17 range at this late date is unacceptable.”

              LOL. You should fire the Yankees management.

              “They ought to hire a historian to find out how Barrow did things back in the Newark days, ”

              It’s no secret. The Yankees used to pay top dollar for the very best amateur talent, because they COULD. The draft was put in specifically to combat this. So if you want to get back to those days, get rid of the draft. Good luck.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Not probably, you definitely can.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Probably, but I’m not a fan of those teams. :) If two of Sanchez/Slade/Austin/Williams find themselves in AAA by the end of the year, DePaula/Hensley show some success in low-A, and Campos returns at where he was, I’d say that, plus whatever reinforcements come in from the next draft and whatever the spread of over/underachievers looks like, could mean a higher ranking for 2014.

        Most important to me is that we get two or three actual big leaguers out of this crop.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          I’ve hitched my bandwagon to Sanchez and Mason, mainly. I really want those two to pan out.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I have the least attachment to Mason. Funny.

            Sanchez is where my heart is. I’d also love to see all of Slade’s tools pan out, injury free. I’d also love for him to shadow one of my workers for a few days.

            • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

              I’m still holding out hope for Manny hence I haven’t deleted the 2nd half of my handle as I haven’t yet jumped from his band wagon.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Not that you asked for my vote, but I’d love a permanent return to that. We need to quit calling attention to that fibula. It’s like painting a bulls-eye on it.

                • Manny's BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte's Fibula) says:

                  Yeah, Andy’s fibula isn’t really relevant anymore.

                  I could reverse it as above and I was also thinking about “Jason Varitek’s Vagina” if it available.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Or Brackman dies, Betances loses his control and Banuelos gets hurt. You never know what will happen. Farm rankings rise and fall every year. There’s obviously big potential to go up but so can every team.

          It’s basically mostly luck mixed in with smart IFA’s and draft picks. However the last point is definitely valid. We need some results.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Agreed. There’s always another side to the coin, which is why you don’t take it for granted and why, while it makes for nice fodder, you don’t assume that Adonis Garcia, Luke Murton, and Abe Almonte can come up and take spots, like we hear every now and then on here.

            Also, RIP Andrew Brackman. His gravestone should read “I almost had it.”

          • blee says:

            jesus.. i had to go google brackman to see if there was some tragedy since he signed w/ the Reds… no need to worry, He’s still alive everyone!

  2. blake says:

    I think BA is more accurate because they rank us higher.

  3. Mike says:

    I don’t trust any farm ranking that has us below the red sox.

    • blake says:

      the Sox have some good prospects….Bogarts, Bradley, and Barnes are legit (hey maybe they can be the new killer B’s)

      • crawdaddy says:

        I think Barnes is overrated and struggled when promoted.

        • blake says:

          I’d take him

        • Preston says:

          All prospects are flawed. But Barnes is better than any pitcher we have, and Bogaerts might be better then any of our position players, especially if he sticks at SS (although I’d rather have 4 B+ position players than one A-).

          • crawdaddy says:

            What makes you think Barnes is better than any pitcher we have in the system? What has he done to get such a high evaluation?

            • blake says:

              he’s healthier than Banuelos….and farther advanced than Campos or Depaula

            • Preston says:

              He was an elite college pitcher, got drafted in the first round and threw 120 productive innings in A ball. He faded at the end of the year, but the scouting reports and overall numbers were both good. Campos and Banuelos are just as talented but one had TJ and the other only threw 24 innings last season because of injury. Depaula and Hensley might be great, but one hasn’t even pitched on U.S. soil yet and the other is fresh out of HS. Nic Turley, Brett Marshall and Adam Warren have all had success at higher levels, but they just don’t have the upside that Barnes does. I don’t really see much of an argument for us having a better arm than Barnes.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                “I don’t really see much of an argument for us having a better arm than Barnes.”

                I’ll give it a shot: If this guy’s still in A ball, Manny Banuelos stands a decent good shot at being in an MLB rotation before him, even with taking the season off with TJ, and has the track record.

                I’m not married to that assessment. Just taking my shot at it. I’ve honestly never heard of Barnes and am just going by what you wrote.

                • Preston says:

                  Well his last 96 innings came at A+ so he’ll be starting at AA this year and probably hit the bigs sometime in 2014. I still love Manny and he could be the better pitcher. But right now, I’d take the guy who’s still throwing.

            • Ralph Melish says:

              As far as the national media goes, the Red Sox hype machine never dies. Remember Casey Kelly? Lars Anderson? Stolmy Pimentel? Apparently there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect unless it’s a Red Sox pitching prospect.

              • Preston says:

                People say the same thing about the Yankees. When anything involving the team is news you hear about every talented prospect. The nature of prospects is that they don’t usually pan out. So there will always be more failures then successes. Just because a guy didn’t work out doesn’t mean the excitement was the result of a “hype machine”, and I would still very much like to have Casey Kelly. The fawning over his defensive ability was a little absurd, but he’s still a pretty good prospect.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                I want Bogaerts to make it to the majors just to hear the announcers say his name.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  If Steve Pearce were still a Yankee, and Bogaerts made the majors soon, John Sterling could bust out an epic “Play it again, Sam” call if Pearce hit a homerun off of him. What a wasted opportunity. Cashman failed. Bring Billy Beane in.

          • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown) says:

            There’s no “might” about it. Bogaerts is substantially better than any of our position players. He’s a top 10 prospect in the game. And his ranking is a straight up A pretty much everywhere.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It does seem that the Red Sox system is perpetually overvalued. That’s not to say they don’t have a strong system right now, but my theory is that they draft to the media consensus so as a result the media guys are always more optimistic about their prospects. Especially low minors guys. For example, Sickels mentions two of their low minors “sleepers” who have done literally nothing professionally in his write up. (One is from the 2011 draft and has 10 IP in rookie ball, the other has not hit at all.) I know these guys have to go with their own opinions, but I’d say that every system has 10+ of those low minors “sleepers” who could really propel them forward next season. (Bird, Gumbs, Hensley, Cote, Camarena, Aune, O’Brien, Andujar, Bichette, DePaula, Campos, Santana…) Especially if you want to count guys who haven’t actually shown anything but have potential.

    • Laz says:

      I don’t really care. Sure it’s worse, but Yankees major league talent is alot better. Sox have a lot more holes to fill, and will need those prospects just to keep up.

  4. Jim Is Bored says:

    Seems like a 180 from where we were 2-3 years ago with the Killer B’s.

  5. “Middle of the Road” Theme of the season?

  6. Hoss says:

    You’d think that a team with the most resources for the past decade would have a top tier farm system. An analogy can be drawn to blue chip corporations typically having excellent R&D divisions.

  7. John C says:

    Two guys I’m curious to see step up this year are DePaula and Bryan Mitchell. No reason to hold DePaula back any longer. Turn him loose in High A Ball and see what he does. Mitchell has always possessed some of the best raw stuff in the system, but poor command has held him back. He needs to work on control this year if he is to take that next step.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I’d probably throw Jose Ramirez in the same boat. Or at least a life-raft attached to the boat, since he’s sort of stalled out. Has the stuff to make a real impact if he can figure out the durability. I’ve sort of always felt he’d end up in the pen, and maybe be a real asset there. Of course I would be careful giving up on him as a starter, but he’s been stuck on that 100 IP plateau for 3 seasons now so I think it’s only a matter of time.

      I’m excited to see what Cote and Camarena can do at higher levels, though they may only be in SI I guess.

      • Manny's BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte's Fibula) says:

        Or at least a life-raft attached to the boat,

        That was very funny. I LOLed after I read that line.

  8. Vern Sneaker says:

    Wow, that thread degenerated fast, especially for such an interesting topic. Our aging team needs propsects to pan out more than many other organizations. Go Sanchez, Williams, Austin, DePaula et. al.! And I’m watching Aune closely.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      That’s the cool part about the real low levels. So many guys you can follow and root for, also knowing that they’re all slightly more than lottery tickets at this point. I certainly root for Aune, as well as lot of those lower-level arms.

      Younger fans probably take so much of this new information on prospects for granted but, as long as its kept in check, it’s just an expansion of the enjoyment of a franchise. You didn’t follow these guys when the only prospects you knew were the two or three that showed up in the team yearbok every year unless you were a downright crazy level of fan. It’s so much better now.

      If the goal is to contend AND have somewhat of a control over payroll, I agree that, other than hypnotizing Alex Rodriguez into retirement, getting some regulars out of this batch is going to be major.

      All threads degenerate fast. The workday is what it is.

    • John C says:

      Greg Bird is another one to watch closely. Could be Texiera’s successor at 1b some day

  9. Matt says:

    The Yankees FO need to choose wisely with the additional supplemental picks in this years draft in order to stock the farm system, payroll concerns in the future, budget concerns, etc…

  10. Reggie C. says:

    Rafael DePaula is going to become the must-follow starter in the farm. I’m hoping DePaula handles his lumps well but has a successful stint with the High A Tampa Yankees, and ultimately sees alittle Double A action before the season wraps. That’d be a fantastic shot in the arm this farm needs.

    I’ve got a good feeling that a couple of the favored hitting-side prospects will put together quality, top 100 prospect-confirming seasons. Somebody from the pitching side has to take the leap.

    Anybody know the latest on Campos? Is he repeating Charleston from the start or is he headed to EST?

    • blake says:

      Depaula could move fast if he adjusts to pro ball in the states….BA called him a big x factor for the Yanks system

    • John C says:

      Campos is supposed to be ready for ST, though the Yanks could hold him back in EST if the weather is cool in Charleston to start the season. Either way I would expect him to start at Charleston, with a mid season promotion to Tampa if he does well and stays healthy.

  11. FLYER7 says:

    Similarly I am higher on Austin and Slade than Mason…not sure why but having a strong righthand hitting prospect like Austin intrigues the hell out of me…

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Personally I might go Austin, Mason, Slade (of the three… might go Sanchez #1 and Manny either before or after Mason).

      • Ted Nelson says:

        To explain a little: Slade I ding because I think there’s at best a 50% chance he stays healthy based on his history. Mason I ding a little because I think there’s more projection/production with him than Austin. I basically feel I have to put Sanchez #1 because he’s a C. I love Austin’s swing and production, plus think he has the tools to be a solid RF defensively.

  12. Ted Nelson says:

    Remember like 2 years ago when the consensus was that the Royals had the best farm system every known to man? (I literally remember reading that from one of the major prospect ranking sources, forget which.) How’s that working out for them? Not badly, for sure, and could get better, but not swimmingly either.

    While Banuelos has basically dropped off the prospect map, I am still a believer. It was a tiny sample, but after he came off the DL last year he was just lights out. As excited as I am to see what DePaula can do, I think Manny is really their wildcard. If TJS is just a blip for him, the Yankees have 5 legit top prospects rather than 4.

    Between Manny, Slade, Romine, Adams, even Betances… I feel like the Yankees have relatively high volatility in the upper part of their system. The rankers are right to take injuries into account. You have to. However, those guys have all shown top 100 ability when healthy (Betances being the exception).

    I’m obviously bias, but I also believe the Yankees have good sort of “developmental” prospects in the low minors who can produce the next crop of top 100 type prospects, who just haven’t broken out enough yet to be real factors in these rankings.

    • aluis says:

      Betances is garbage! And Romine isn’t that much to get very excited about Teddy.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        Phew! Glad we had aluis to clear that one up.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Volatility implies that there is a lot of downside (risk) as well as a lot of upside (potential). Betances will probably not amount to anything, but at the same time he has a chance to still be a good SP or at least RP.

        I’d be pretty excited if Romine could start 100+ games with above average defense and a wRC+ around 90.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.