Feb
19

Yankees land four on Baseball’s America Top 100 Prospects List

By
(Star-Ledger)

(Star-Ledger)

Baseball America published their annual (and long-awaited) list of the best 100 prospects in baseball today, a list that is predictably topped by Rangers SS Jurickson Profar. Unlike last year, when their were two legitimate number one candidates in Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, Profar is the clear top prospect this year. Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy and Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras round out the top three.

Like last year, the Yankees placed four players on the top 100. OF Mason Williams ranked the highest at #32, and was followed by C Gary Sanchez (#57), OF Slade Heathcott (#63), and OF Tyler Austin (#77). Those four were ranked #35, #18, #57, and #52, respectively, by Keith Law earlier this month, so Baseball America isn’t quite as high on them. Here is the publication’s top ten prospects list for reference.

The crew at Baseball America slapped 20-80 scouting scale grades on each of the top 100 prospects in a subscriber-only feature, which is nice and easy for the Yankees since they’re all position players.

Bat Power Speed Defense Arm
Williams 60 60 70 70 50
Sanchez 50 65 30 45 60
Heathcott 50 60 70 60 60
Austin 65 50 50 50 60

Those are future grades, not present, meaning the players are expected to grow into that kind of power, etc. down the line. Three of the four project to have five average-or-better tools down the line, which is pretty amazing. Baseball America may be high on Austin’s right field defense and speed and a little low on Sanchez’s bat, but they’re the experts. Still a nice collection of tools, especially in the hit and power departments.

The Yankees ranked 11th in Baseball America’s preliminary farm system rankings back in January, and the official list will be released in the coming weeks. There haven’t been many big farm system-altering trades since the preliminary rankings came out, so I don’t expect them to change much. As I wrote in my Top 30 List a few weeks ago, the Yankees have a top-heavy farm system with quite a big drop-off between these four and everyone else. Four top-100 guys is still pretty strong though, not many organizations can match that.

Categories : Minors
  • Robinson Tilapia

    Lunch time erection.

  • DERP

    I am a little surprised that Mason has a higher power grade than Austin. Is that a pretty standard opinion?

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

      The book an Austin is that his swing is too level and he doesn’t hit the ball in the air enough. Might be more of a 40 doubles, 15 homers guy than a 25 doubles, 25 homers type.

      • DERP

        Cool. Thanks for the response.

      • Blake

        40 doubles and 15 homers…….Id certainly be tickled with that

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Not only would I sign up for that, I already did sign.

      • trr

        We’ll take that!

      • Govin

        Good to know I was actually wondering the same thing. I’m ok with massive amounts of doubles. Personally I think Tyler can hit over twenty homers but I’m not the professional here.

  • Daniel

    Hey Mike, for us non-subscribers can you provide some current players and what their rankings are? Power 60 seems a little abstract not knowing who in MLB is also ranks a 60.

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

      60 power is 25 dingers or so. I think they’re high on Williams there.

      • Daniel

        so Sanchez projects to be a swisher-like player?

        • Gonzo

          JMO, but I’d expect Sanchez to have a worse OBP than Swisher. Not a knock on Sanchez as it is a remark on how good Swisher was at getting on base.

          • LK

            On-base ability really deserves to get its own grade (even though it’s probably tough to project). It can make a pretty massive difference in a player’s overall value.

            • Gonzo

              I think you might be right. It can make things confusing. Projecting it might vary depending on whether you believe it can be taught or not.

              • LK

                From what I’ve seen it definitely improves with age for most players. I don’t know if that means it can be taught or that it naturally improves. It does seem like more than the other tools it would be very difficult to project since MLB pitchers might have a different approach against the hitter to go with better scouting reports and of course better talent. Either way, it seems like BA and the like should include it. If one of those players has well above-average plate discipline that changes the whole complexion of the report.

                • Gonzo

                  I agree. It could make a big difference. Take a guy like Josh Vitters for example.

                  I would like to comment on thing you said though. From what I’ve seen it definitely improves with age for most players. I’m not sure I’d agree or disagree with this.

                  • LK

                    Late replying here, but I’ve seen studies saying this was the case. I don’t have links handy but expecting an improvement in strike zone judgment is pretty reasonable (though the size of the improvement can vary pretty wildly depending on the player, obviously).

                    • Gonzo

                      No worries. I just mean that it could just peak with a players abilities because that’s when a pitcher is probably going to be most afraid of a hitter.

        • Blake

          Swisher with a catchers mitt would pretty much be awesome

          • Dave M

            Not in the playoffs.

            • jjyank

              Oh relax.

            • TCMiller30

              Haha well played

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

      This was posted today, conveniently: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....abr-style/

    • Virginia Yankee

      I just read an article on Fangraphs which tackles this very question. Here’s the link:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....abr-style/

      • Virginia Yankee

        My bad. I hadn’t refreshed and Mike beat me by an hour and a half. That’s what I get for doing work at work.

  • Ghostofgenemichael

    It be nice to see a Heathcott-Williams-Austin outfield some day playing in the Bronx

    • Winter

      You’re forgetting Future-Yankee™ Bryce Harper.

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        DH is open for them to alternate.

  • Blake

    Probably the lowest ranking of Sanchez and the highest of Heathcott….

  • jjyank

    I guess I never realized that Williams is considered to have a 10 point advantage over Heathcott on defense. Pretty cool though, I’d have to imagine that 70 defense is damn near elite. Combined with that 60 power and 70 speed projections… *drools*

    • LK

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought 70 was elite, and 80 is arguably-best-in-baseball.

      • jjyank

        That sounds about right. I’ve always been a bit fuzzy on what exactly the numbers translate to.

        • LK

          Yeah I’m not sure it’s all that well-defined. I do remember hearing that there are only maybe 2-3 players in MLB with an 80 in each tool at any given time.

      • Voice of Reason

        It’s always pretty fuzzy (even the word elite is pretty fuzzy). Its not out of the question that you could have 15 guys who are essentially exactly as fast at the top of the league, which of them doesn’t have 80 speed?

        Brett Gardner would probably be 80 defense…but then what was Andruw Jones in his prime? Mike Stanton has 80 power, but then what was Super Bonds, or Babe Ruth? It’s real general.

  • Mattingly’s Mustache

    Sanchez really fell hard, huh?

    • jjyank

      Not really, one ranking is BA’s opinion and the other is Law’s.

    • Havok9120

      Not in the last two weeks. One just likes him better than the other.

  • JohnC

    Mason sounds alotlike a Bernie Williams clone. Not expected to generate alot of power when in the minors but developed more poweer as he filled out and got stronger

  • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

    I know Austin isn’t supposed to be a big homer guy in the majors, but 50 really does seem a little low.

  • dkidd

    this is such a big year for the organization

    my biggest wish is for slade and campos to stay healthy

    • Govin

      This is the year where most of the top prospects jump from the lower minors to the upper minors. We will see how they transition. If Slade stays healthy I think he will be fine in double a

  • Brandon

    Hey Mike in your opinion which publication has been most accurate over the years when it comes to top prospects?

  • jesse

    Just out of curiosity what would Mike Trout’s and Bryce Harper’s bat-power-speed-defense-arm ratings look like right now?

    • Gonzo

      I think Law or Callis might take this question on an upcoming chat. Especially Callis. He seems to like these types of questions.

      Trout competed for a batting title at his age 20 season. Harper hit the second most HR’s by a 19 year old ever. That’s pretty amazing.

      • jesse

        Thanks. I’ll ask both of them.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Drool City, four like these at the same time. Flores out there, too. As often as prospects disappoint eventually, can’t imagine all five, or even four, will wash out. Nothing like fresh pinstripe meat! (Or high-level trade bait.)

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    I’ll sign for that right now, haha.

  • Another really long name which has no point (formerly “an important / cool name”)

    So this is a list of the top 4 people the Yankees will trade next?

    Nice to see positive reports on our guys. I always felt the Yanks get a a little bit of the shaft when it came to ranking their prospects. No evidence but just a feeling.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Four top-100 guys is still pretty strong though, not many organizations can match that.

    I’m thinking 24 teams could match that?

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

      I was thinking the same thing. With 30 teams and 100 prospects, you’d think the majority of teams would have 3 or 4 players on the list so I was think 4 is just a little above average.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      By organization:
      6 Cardinals, Marlins, Twins
      5 Astros, Diamondbacks, Mariners,
      Pirates, Rays, Red Sox
      4 Cubs, Padres, Rangers, Reds, Yankees
      3 Mets, Nationals, Rockies, Royals,
      Tigers
      2 Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Indians, Orioles, Phillies
      1 Angels, Athletics, Brewers, Giants, White Sox

      http://www.baseballamerica.com.....14745.html

      • Havok9120

        Ouch. That’s a lot of orgs with only 1 or 2. That’s painful.

      • Govin

        Wow thanks for the link that some interesting stuff.

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

      Sure, if talent was evenly distributed.

    • steve (different one)

      There are 13 teams with 4 or more prospects on the list.

      • steve (different one)

        or 14, missed the Padres

    • Govin

      If you look at the list below,
      Nine teams beat the Yankees in number of prospects.
      and four teams can match them(the players rank in the list could be taken into account, but this is a comment not an article ). No offense man, but I’m really not sure where you got the number twenty four from.

      • steve (different one)

        It was a (fruitless) hypothetical.

        In theory you could have 25 teams with 4 prospects on the list.

        • Govin

          Or you could have 3.33 prospect for each team. Although I do admit that might get a little messy.

    • entonces

      Four in top 77 is very good. But it’s even better than it seems.

      Yankee situation is fairly unique: their four top oitching prospects — all Top 100 candidates — were basically disqualified this year. Campos and Banuelos, of course, injured. DePaula has not yet pitched stateside. Hensley signed late so barely got on mound. Any of these guys could conceivably make list in next couple years. Other teams might have one or two guys like this — but to have your four top pitchers ruled out for non-permanent reasons pretty unusual.

      • steve (different one)

        Also, if you look at the teams with more than 4, you have teams that have some of these prospects because they became sellers (i.e. the Rays, Marlins, and Red Sox). You have the traditional cellar dwellars drafting at the top of each round (Astros, Pirates, Padres). etc.

        • Govin

          Right on, the Cardinals are the only team with five or more prospects that made it to the postseason last year.

    • RetroRob

      Well, you were thinking wrong.

  • steve (different one)

    Mike,

    Would you trade any of the Yankees’ OFers on the list for Billy Hamilton?

  • tyrone sharpton

    i feel like bosox prospects might be the most overrated in baseball. how many theo successes have there been?

  • Jonathan

    The only autographs of prospects that I have are Profar and Bundy. Talk about lucking out. Still, having autograph of the top position player and pitcher prospects makes me wonder: What do you think the odds of one of them making the HOF are?

    • Jonathan

      autographs*

    • Mickey P

      Consider yourself lucky! I had the priveledge of watching Bundy pitch three times at Low A Delmarva. He was absolutely dominant to say the least.

  • http://www.yankeemedicrecords.com LemdaGem

    Projections are just that. DON MATTINGLY was rated as a lower tier player in the minors before he made it to Triple A. When they get a “cup of coffee” at the Major League level in September or called in to fill a DL player, THEN old geezers like myself do a more honest appraisal. I have been to Tampa several times since 2000 and the Rays have had a dangerous precedent of intelligent draft picks for young pitchers and key position players for the past six seasons. Several of their AAA kids would be starting in places like Houston and Kansas City.