Feb
06

Keith Law’s top ten Yankees prospects list

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Keith Law published his list of baseball’s top 110 prospects yesterday, and he followed up today by releasing individual top ten prospects lists for each American League club (subs. req’d). The top five prospects are the same guys from the top 110 yesterday (in the same order), and numbers six through ten are RHP Ty Hensley, LHP Manny Banuelos, RHP Jose Campos, RHP Mark Montgomery, and 2B Angelo Gumbs.

Within the write-up, Law notes the system is top-heavy with high-end guys, and their only real impact prospects for 2013 are Montgomery and RHP Dellin Betances if he takes to the bullpen. He lists Hensley as the organization’s sleeper, saying the shoulder abnormality hasn’t stopped him from running his fastball up to 98, and “if he can just show that kind of stuff and last for a 120-140 inning season in 2013, he’s a likely top-100 guy.” Interestingly enough, he notes the Yankees love OF Ben Gamel, and they expect him to show more power this summer after bulking up thanks to his offseason conditioning program.

Categories : Asides, Minors
  • CountryClub

    In a perfect world, a system would have a bunch of high ceiling prospects and a bunch of solid everyday players/utility infielders/4th OFer types. But if I had to choose one or the other, I’d prefer a bunch of high ceiling guys with little depth to a deep system with few or no high upside guys.

    I think they have more depth than Law is giving them credit for, but if his analysis is correct, I’m fine with it.

    • All Praise Be To Mo

      I agree, I’d prefer 4-5 stars over 10-15 regulars. You win championships with stars, you can always fill the margins around them.

      • Ted Nelson

        Not so sure that’s true in baseball. Certainly stars are great to have and preferable to inferior players, but I think depth is pretty underrated by fans. A team like Seattle a few years ago had three of the brightest stars in baseball between Felix, Cliff Lee, and Ichiro, yet they were just terrible. Angels missed the playoffs with a bunch of stars last season, the As made it without many (any?).

        • mitch

          But the depth is much easier to acquire…especially when you’re a big-budget team. Fewer and fewer star-level players hit the market each year. It’s more important now than ever for the Yankees to develop some above-average players of their own.

          • Preston

            I think most teams need to develop stars because they couldn’t pay FA prices for multiple guys. The Yankees can afford to have multiple stars signed at FA prices, so what is important is that they find marginal players who can fill out the roster, without having to pay 3/25 for Jeremy Guthrie or 2/13 for Ichiro. Obviously developing stars would also be really helpful. However I think that it is imperative that they fill out their bullpen, the back end of their rotation maybe a 8 or 9 hole hitter and a bench with affordable pieces, if they are going to achieve 189. If they develop a star along the way, I won’t complain.

          • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

            This

          • Ted Nelson

            It all depends on what you define as “depth.” Above average players aren’t what I would call “stars.” They are what I would call “depth.” I’m saying that it’s more important to have a roster that is deep in quality than to have stars with interchangeable average or below depth.

            • trr

              There’s some truth to everybody’s points, but quality depth seems to be a constant factor with successful teams. Look at the late 90’s Yankees…always excellent bench/bullpen…

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, I agree on both counts.

      There are some real injury concerns with guys like Romine and Adams, but Law ignores what seem like fairly equivalent (if not greater) injury concerns with Heathcott. I think that both of those guys can be impact rookies for the Yankees this season. They both have a decent shot at some MLB playing time if they earn it, too.

      • ClusterDuck

        I agree about Adams and Romine.

        Law has a high ceiling, low experience guy on the list, Hensley which is fine. But I would have tried to get the high experience, low ceiling guys on the list too, Adams and Romine. As you say they have a chance to make the team and have an impact this year for the Yanks.

        I would have put them on the list instead of Gumbs and ManBan,

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t know if it’s Law’s preference or the preference of ESPN readers or what, but he seems to lean a lot towards high ceiling guys.

          • LK

            Law has stated before that he’s a very ceiling-focused prospect writer, so his ranking definitely need to be taken in this light. I’m actually surprised he had Montgomery as high as he did given his tendency in this direction.

            • Ted Nelson

              Perhaps, just a guess, it’s that the crazy K #s make his ceiling as a RP pretty sick. That he’s got some chance to be that Kimbrel, Chapman level RP.

              It’s probably his preference, I just wonder if some of it is not that ESPN readers want to know about the next big stars and don’t care about the finer points of rating prospects and building teams. Perhaps they hired him with this in mind, but I am wondering if they don’t also tell him to play a role to some extent. Play to his audience.

  • vin

    One guy no one is talking about that I’m really excited for is Rafael De Paula. I’m guessing he starts the year in Charleston. I can definitely see him cracking the top 100 next offseason.

    • All Praise Be To Mo

      He’s a big x-factor, with his age and if he starts out strong, Mike do you see him finishing up the year in AAA?

      • Laz

        Doubt it. He has no experience in US minor leagues, and will only be 22 this year. If he is really strong he might make it to Trenton max. More likely A or A+, just because they are really going to be watching his innings limit. He threw 61 last year, so don’t look for him to go out and throw 140+ innings.

    • Laz

      He could be a great prospect, but since he has no experience in the US minor leagues, that is what keeps him off the lists. If he can produce vs A level hitters he is someone that can start to get some notice.

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    I’m very excited about the farm system rank next year if Banuelos comes back healthy, a full year from Campos & Hensley, expected development from Sanchez & the 3 OF’s and 3 1st round picks. Top 5 easily in my mind.

    • Johnny O

      Pretty sure Manny B is out for the year. Didn’t have TJS until after the season. Even if he comes back it won’t be for long enough to have any positive impact on his development.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        If he’s able to get in some throwing towards the end of the year, maybe he’ll play in a winter league or AZ fall league and he can start knocking that rust off.

    • Ethan

      Remember though you should expect at least one of the 3 outfielders to take a step back as that’s very common with some prospects. Don’t count on all of the main prospects taking a step forward this coming season as that will almost definitely not happen. Just look at Banuelos, Campos, and Betances last year. Expect the same for some of the prospects too. Realistically a “normal” year puts the Yankees in the top 10. A very good year where everyone is healthy gets them around top 5.

    • LK

      The Yankees figure to move up in my estimation, but that’s largely because I don’t see them graduating anyone from their top 10 other than maybe Montgomery and they have 3 first round picks. If they don’t make a jump it will pretty much certainly mean the farm had a bad year.

  • http://Twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (Formally Drew)

    I never understood paying for an insider subscription. The all knowing world wide leader in sports has information but won’t share it with you unless you pay them? I know it’s not a new thing but it doesn’t make sense to me to pay money to get someone’s opinion.

    • thenamestsam

      I’ll co completely the opposite direction. What’s weird is that the internet has made it so that everyone thinks they’re entitled to get all of this content without paying a cent for it.

      In what other realm is that true? You pay to watch ESPN the TV channel. You pay to read ESPN the magazine. Why should people pay to read what Keith Law writes if he puts in a magazine but not pay to read it if he writes it on a website.

      • Preston

        I hadn’t really thought about it in these terms before. However you don’t really “pay” for ESPN on tv, you pay your cable/satellite provider, to get access to ESPN and then watch advertisements, just like you pay an internet provider and then see ads on the site. Now it is different because ESPN gets a cut from the tv money and not from the internet, but that’s not my fault.

        • Gonzo

          There is an intermediary, but ESPN charges almost $5 per month to have its flagship channel. By far the most of any non-regional channel.

          • thenamestsam

            Exactly. You actually do pay for ESPN. That’s not the name you write on the check, but $5 of your cable bill every month passes through directly to ESPN. You pay for it in a big way.

      • Laz

        I agree that it makes many people think they are experts, but there is a lot of decent content out there for free. Are ESPN “experts” any better than some of the others?

        • Preston

          Usually they are markedly worse. ESPN used to be very good at sports reporting, they did so well that they have pretty much cornered the market. Since then they just kind of play to the lowest common denominator and make up fake controversies rather than have thoughtful analysis. Keith Law happens to be one of the few exceptions IMHO.

    • jsbrendog

      you get it free with subscription to espn mag which, i believe, is quite cheap

      • http://Twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (Formally Drew)

        I am just not a fan of ESPN in general. Olney doesn’t give credit for stories broke by other news agencies, and that has been a company trend for a while. Also picking one athlete and talking about him at nausium (rg3, tebow), and ignoring sports that they don’t sponsor (hockey) along with insufferable experts (skip Baylis, Stephen a, Colleen cowherd). I remember fondly in high school when Sportscenter was a must watch, now it’s just trash.

        Rant over.

        • Ghost of Joe Dugan

          I agree wholeheartedly. They have lost many of their best writers for other sports to competitors due to corporate’s heavy hand on what they wanted reported on and how they wanted reported.

          I would add as well that ESPN is well on it’s way to destroying CFB. It has been the instigator in the out of control realignment. They essentially destroyed the Big East for not accepting their broadcast package offer during their window for exclusive negotiating rights.

  • Gonzo

    I try to remember the major differences in the processes that go into each list, but I forget every year.

    KLaw rates heavily on ceiling, BA rates on a combination of ceiling & certainty, and wasn’t there someone else that rates highly on certainty/floor? Did I get that right? What am I missing?

  • LitFig

    In a weird way, I’m almost as excited for the minor league team as the major league team, as I beleive the later will greatly affect the decisions of the former going forward.

    The days of signing $5 million dollar 4th outfielders and 5th/6th starters are over. The impact, all-around superstar free agents are getting harder to come by, and the ones who do make it to free agency have serious questions (health/age/makeup/Scott Boras). The prices are becoming obscene.

    So the Yanks are going to have to use the farm to fill the 21-25th rosters spots to stay under the tax cap, as well as develop the future core of the team as Jeter/Mo/Alex/Pettitte retire or break down. There will still be some free agents and trade pieces.

  • Coming To America

    “I beleive the children are our future….”

    • Gonzo

      SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    I’m almost the most excited about Angelo Gumbs, almost reminds me of a young Alfonso Soriano. Just hoping he can stay healthy and put it all together.