Sanchez & Williams crack BP’s top 101 prospects list

Fan Confidence Poll: February 25th, 2013
Curtis Granderson, patience, and vulnerability

Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus released his list of baseball’s 101 best minor leaguers today (no subs. req’d), which is topped by Rangers SS Jurickson Profar. Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras ranked second while Pirates RHP and former Yankees first rounder Gerrit Cole placed third. He’s an easy top ten guy, but top three? Might be pushing it. Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy is fourth.

The Yankees landed just two prospects on the top 101, C Gary Sanchez at #47 and OF Mason Williams at #51. It’s seems odd that OF Slade Heathcott didn’t make the list, especially since Parks admits “a bias against safe and secure in favor of high and hazardous.” I can understand leaving OF Tyler Austin off using that criteria, but Heathcott too? In Park’s defense, he did say he doesn’t believe Heathcott’s ceiling is as high as some others. Either way, all four guys were among the top 100 prospects in baseball according to Keith Law and Baseball America.

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Fan Confidence Poll: February 25th, 2013
Curtis Granderson, patience, and vulnerability
  • Robinson Tilapia

    Sounds pretty ridiculous to leave Slade and Austin off a list of 101 prospects.

    • jjyank

      Yeah, this is the only list that only ranks two Yankee prospects, right?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I can’t understand how Slade doesn’t make everyone’s list. I admit that I’ve jumped pretty heavily on his bandwagon, but you can’t tell me that there’s 50 MiLB guys in between Mason Williams and him. Just doesn’t sound right.

        Same goes for Austin.

        • Havok9120

          I just don’t know enough about the other 29 farms to argue with any of the experts on who should be on these lists or where. I would like to know his reasoning, but I’m not ready to say there aren’t “better” guys.

          As Mike said, though, his criteria supposedly emphasized upside, which would mean he disagrees with pretty much everyone as even the guys who ranked Slade low said he had a lot of upside but could flame out too easily.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I don’t think the grand majority of us know enough about every farm system out there, but there’s certainly educated guesses we can make based on the lists we’ve seen thus far and what we’ve read about these kids as well as others in baseball. Putting Mason at #51 and leaving the others off means there’s 50 prospects worth of a space between the two? No other list has that much space between them. We know a lot more about MiLB players, as fans, than past generations do. That’s for sure.

            • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

              He said that there were 100 prospects he could have reasonably ranked 60-101, so Slade and Austin were probably joined Courtney Hawkins in the unlikely 59.

        • trr

          Big difference from list to list, right?

    • Havok9120

      I can understand Austin, but Slade seems a pretty silly omission.

      • CountryClub

        I’m the opposite. I don/t agree with it, but I can see leaving Slade off for his injury history. But Austin has done nothing but hit.

        • Havok9120

          I think I’d usually agree, but his rankings supposedly emphasized upside over “sure-thingedness.”

        • Laz

          Austin isn’t someone who is going to light you up with his tools. He will hit, but he isn’t a 40 hr hitter, he isn’t a speedster, etc.

  • Ghost of Joe Dugan

    Some weirdness in that list.

    Arodys Vizcaino moves up 8 spots after missing all of last year with TJ surgery.

    Mason Williams moves up 48 spots after having shoulder surgery. (He was ranked #99 which was way too low to begin with.)

    • Havok9120

      Okay, those are both pretty hilarious.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Was Manny Banuelos #1/2, then?

  • Frank

    On this list, the only teams with fewer top 101 prospects than the Yankees:

    Whitesox (0)
    Angels (1)
    Phillies (1)
    Tigers (1)

    I’m glad we have at least a few notable prospects, but it’s hard to get excited about our farm system.

    4 teams have fewer prospects.
    3 teams have the same number (2).
    23 teams have more prospects.

    I guess like they say, we’ve got quality deeper down in the system.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Sure, if you’re only using this list.

      Every other major list has the Yankees with 4 top 100. So, whatever.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        FACT: Nate Silver would have had 10 Yankees on the list if he were still around.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I think you left off a 0.

    • jjyank

      Well this seems to be the most pessimistic list regarding the farm so far. Didn’t BA rank the farm 11th overall? There’s plenty to be excited about there.

      • RetroRob

        Has BA done their overall farm rankings yet? I see of their site the Yankees team audit is listed as “coming soon.” That may have nothing to do with the overall rankings, but the write-ups that go with them.

        • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

          This site is Baseball Prospectus, he’s talking about Baseball America.

    • Havok9120

      You’re going to grade the farm based on what is, by far, the most pessimistic of the released rankings? Why?

    • Govin

      This is just one list. The majority of the lists had either three or four Yankee prospects.

      • Frank

        Another way to look at this…

        There are 30 teams. With all things being equal, each team would have between 3-4 prospects on a “Top 100″ list (100 divided by 30). Obviously things aren’t equal, and some teams have much more. However, having either 3 or 4 on a “Top 100″ is good – better than not having any (White Sox) – but again, nothing I’m getting excited about. Content – yes. Excited? – no. That’s my only point.

        • Frank

          …and of course I do understand our ranking as a farm system isn’t solely based on how many of our prospects land on a “Top 100″ list. There are many levels… and we have talent on those levels.

        • jjyank

          That’s your prerogative to not be excited, but I prefer to look at it this way:

          BA ranked the farm system 11th, and that’s with Banuelos, their top prospect a year ago, missing pretty much the entire season. They’re on the fringe of a top 10 system, and there is plenty of excitement in that for me.

          • jjyank

            Also, according to BA’s top 100 list, the Yankees had more prospects on that list than 15 teams, and the same amount at 4 more.

        • Govin

          And my only point, is you should read all the top Hundred lists and then decide whether or not to get excited. An average team would have 3.33prospects. If you took all the top hundred lists and mashed them together the Yankees would be average or above average, that makes me excited.

          • Govin

            This is with the Yankees winning all the time. If Im not mistaken the Cardinals were the only team that had more prospects on the top hundred list, who also wnet to the posteason last year.

            • Laz

              This is why having an above average farm is so respectable. Yankees are always drafting at the bottom, if they can have the 11th overall that is very good.

        • Havok9120

          There were something like 17 teams on the list previous to this one that had as many or fewer prospects listed as the Yanks. If Manny and Campos were healthy, it’s virtually certain that at least one of them would be appearing on nearly all of these lists; ManBan was a regular appearance and his surgery wouldn’t knock him totally off and Campos was highly thought of and had only a minor injury.

          You’re effectively saying “no farm is worth being excited about unless it’s top 3 or 5 in baseball,” and that just seems to mean you aren’t a fan of following player development.

          • LK

            I’m pretty excited about the possibilities of the Yankee farm system, but I’d imagine if we looked back at farm systems 20 years ago, we’d probably only find 3-5 that were worth getting excited about. Prospect failure is the rule, not the exception, as depressing as it is to contemplate.

            • Havok9120

              And I understand that, but that’s pure hindsight after we already know who succeeded and who did not. Right now we’re talking about possibilities. Yes, prospect failure is the rule, but if an above average system (with enough injury bias and upside to vault into the top 5 with a good season) isn’t worth getting excited about….aren’t you just not that interested?

              • LK

                Well, like I said I am excited about it. I don’t think not being excited *necessarily* means you aren’t interested; it might, but it might also mean that you’re just more realistic.

                • Havok9120

                  Oh, I know you are personally. I (improperly) used “you” as a general term as I am wont to do.

                  • LK

                    No problem, just wanted to make sure I was clear that I was speaking hypothetically. Fans of a team tend to be very optimistic, so I try to remember that many times when I think someone is being a pessimist when it comes to the Yanks, their views might be closer to the truth than mine. I think this fan optimism manifests itself with prospects more than anything else, so I try to keep things in perspective when it comes to the farm as much as possible.

                    All that said, I think there’s a decent shot at 6-7 top 100 prospects for next year, and that’s pretty freaking awesome.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          So where’s the part where you acknowledge every other list that’s been released thus far?

  • voiceofirrationalrationale

    Probably been asked before, but i’ll ask again. Out of the group of our farm outfielders, which one has the best chance to make the parent club ? Mustellier maybe ?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This season? I’m almost starting to feel like it wouldn’t be surprising to see a Zoilo cameo since he’s on the 40-man, but it wouldn’t surprise me either to see Ronnie get a 40-man slot and be the first called up unless he lays an egg in the spring….which wouldn’t surprise me either.

      Basically, I’m not surprised by ANYTHING is the moral of the story.

    • Havok9120

      You mean in general or as a result of Granderson? Usually Austin is considered the guy most likely to stick, even if his ceiling is lower than the others.

      If you mean as a result of Granderson’s injury…Mesa was thought to be the first in line for an injury.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I forgot about Mesa above. Mesa for sure over Ronnie and Zoilo.

  • LightSABR

    Where’s the game thread?

    Gardner’s on base. Dang it’s good to see him on the field again. (Thinking happy thoughts to keep Granderson off my mind…)

    • jjyank

      Yeah, though I cringed a bit watching him dive into first base. Chill, Brett. It’s the third game of spring training, we don’t need another injury!

      • Barry’s Gift Basket

        Did you se the “double play”?

        Welke is blind or what?

        I guess it is ST for umpires too…

        • jjyank

          Heh yeah. Another year, another lack of instant replay.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Not even Gameday Audio today? Jeez.

      • jjyank

        Did you try it under the O’s audio feed?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Doesn’t show up.

          • jjyank

            That’s a bummer.

  • Havok9120

    Poor Frank got curbstomped by a swarm. Sorry about that. High-traffic period for people bored at work/school.

    • jjyank

      We were all civil about it. It does kinda look bad when you see like 5 people jump on him though.

      • Havok9120

        Yeah, we all just responded at the exact same time. I feel kinda bad about it. I wouldn’t have responded had I been able to see 3 other responses seeing the same thing.

    • Frank

      Actually, I think the exchanges were civil and intelligent – I don’t feel ganged up or stomped on at all.

      I think the one point that really resonated with me… That we still have a decent showing on these rankings while being extremely competitive (not dominating – as we haven’t seemed like a dominating team for some time).

      But, it’s only a decent showing. Nothing to get excited about.

      • jjyank

        Fair enough.

        I think part of it depends on what list you’re looking at. If we look at BA’s rankings, only 11 teams have more prospects on the top 100 list and only 10 systems are better overall. That’s above average, and what makes me excited about that is that these rankings include Banuelos’ and Campos’ injuries, DBJ’s big step back, Culver’s lack of…well, anything, Betances getting demoted to AA, and releasing Brackman. Despite all that, they are one step away from a BA top 10 system. A good year from a few of the A level guys, and we’re a top 10 system. That excites me.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I guess it depends on what you’re referring to getting excited about. If it’s excitement about our system relative to other systems, then I can see your point.

        I look at the excitement as watching a lot of high ceiling guys get a chance to prove their worth, and the Yankees have their share of those, so I’m still excited.

        But you’re right, even with 4 in the top 100, we’re only slightly above average.

  • Gonzo

    I really like Jason Parks’ stuff and his opinion. I was upset that the Up and In podcast ended when KG got the Astros job. It was the best baseball podcast out there IMO.

    I really have no problem with his (non)rating of Austin and Heathcott. It is what it is. I hope they change his mind, but he does legwork to make this list. No use crying over spilled milk.

    We already knew that some scouts questioned Austin. If you look at Heathcott’s #’s, they are good but not great. I’m not counting AZL. I mean Trout had a .600 OPS in AZL last year which was one of the worst.

    Prospects will break your heart. #want #rig #wet #sparkle

    • Ghost of Joe Dugan

      Where was Park’s “legwork” when he moved Arodys up 8 spots after a season that was lost to TJ surgery?

      • Gonzo

        Don’t be that guy.

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

        This is the first time Parks did the list. He didn’t rank Arodys anywhere last year.

        • Ghost of Joe Dugan

          Wasn’t aware. Can’t hold him to someone else’s ratings.

          • Gonzo

            My bad. I assumed something I shouldn’t have in my reply above. I apologize.

  • RetroRob

    We all love our prospects, so while we want to see Heathcott and Austin included, it doesn’t really mean all that much.

    Go back and look at BP’s prior top prospect lists. There’s a lot of hit and miss. And this year there is the added mystery of Parks overseeing the list. Kevin Goldstein handled them most recently, and before he went off to work for the Astros, he indicated a very strong chance Austin would make his 101, although that was back mid-season.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Oh, this is all completely fucking meaningless in the end, but what else to kill the workday?

      • RetroRob

        Of course. Why do you think I’m here!? :-)

        It’s funny, though, in that each one of these lists authors refer to their “sources.” Well, I guess BA’s sources and talent evaluators are different than Keith Law’s. I can see downgrading Heathcott on health issues. His ceiling has never been questioned, which Mike notes above.

        Yet I can’t really question any of these lists. I would have to have an understanding of every teams’ prospects to do a fair comparision. That won’t be happening!

        Overall, I’m happy the Yankees have four high position player prospects, even if two didn’t make this list, not to mention Banuelos and Campos on the mend.

        • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

          Mike Newman doesn’t think that highly of Heathcott’s ceiling either, so that’s at least two people.

  • Andy

    Any list that has Gerrit Cole ahead of Dylan Bundy is not worth reading.