Sanchez sneaks onto Keith Law’s midseason top 50 prospects list

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Keith Law posted his midseason update of the top 50 prospects in baseball yesterday (subs. req’d), and Twins OF Byron Buxton occupies the top spot. Here’s a clear number one prospect in baseball at the moment. Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts are two prospect list mainstays who round out the top three.

The Yankees have just one prospect on the list — C Gary Sanchez snuck on as #49. “His stock has taken a hit as his receiving, much improved last year, has regressed, while his explosive hands and raw power haven’t produced offensive results yet, either,” wrote Law. It’s worth noting Baseball America, who ranked Sanchez 34th on their midseason update, had a more optimistic outlook on his defense. Baseball Prospectus was another detractor, however. Sanchez dropped from 18th on Law’s preseason list while OF Mason Williams (#35) dropped out of the top 50 all together.

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  • Bo Knows

    And John Sickels has essentially said the exact oposite of Law, bumping Sanchez up several spots and seems to like him behind the plate

    • Rahul

      On Law’s podcast he said all of the Yankees top prospects have taken a hit this year he said Sanchez is having problems catching the ball and he said he still thinks he could be an MVP level player. He also said while he was encouraged by Mason’s walks he has been unimpressed by reports that his in game effort level varies widely such as taking at bats off. he did say though that the farm system overall is improving

      • The Bastard

        Murphy?

        • Rahul

          He didn’t say a thing about murphy

          • The Bastard

            I really don’t understand why this kid doesn’t get more attention. The weird myopia around draft slots is always surprising, even still. The Yankees of our generation had five borderline to surefire Hall of Famers – Bernie, Pettitte, Jeter, Jorge, and Mo. Only Jeter got prospect love.

            What more does Murphy need to do?

            • Robinson Tilapia

              What other examples do we have of not-Top-100 prospects taking this sort of leap forward in AAA? Were they ranked accordingly?

              • Preston

                It’s really hard to be a top 50 guy, you’re not making that jump in half a season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Murphy creeps into the top 100 though, definitely top 150.

            • Preston

              Andy Pettitte was ranked 49th in 1995, Bernie was 77th in 1990. Mo wasn’t much of a starter as his secondary pitches weren’t very good and he hadn’t yet started throwing his cutter. Jorge is the typical guy that gets missed on these lists. Late bloomer, not very athletic, but stuck at a premium position anyways, maximized his tools and a lot of his value was tied up in walks at a time when baseball people didn’t value walks as much as they do today.
              There are always going to be gripes in hindsight about particular rankings. But when you see the WAR expectancy of guys ranked in each tier, you see that in the aggregate sites like Baseball America do a really good job.

              • RetroRob

                To add to that, the following season, Bernie was the #11 prospect in the entire game.

                • Preston

                  Yup, missed that, didn’t look at the 1991 rankings, thought Bernie was in the majors before then. The memory isn’t what it used to be.

            • RetroRob

              Bernie and Pettitte were well-regarded prospects.

      • Bo Knows

        Honestly its all irrelevant, every guy has their own opinion that the only way to know who’s right is hindsight. I mentioned sickels because I nlknew people were going to complain about Law hates the yankees.

  • crawdaddy

    I think KLaw is full of it in regard to Sanchez’s defense and offense.

    • The Bastard

      Or he’s actually watched him.

    • Gonzo

      How many times have you watched KLaw?

      CWIDT?

  • The Bastard

    For the actual prospect watchers, not the stat line guys like myself:

    Why doesn’t JR Murphy get more helium? He’s 22 years old having a solid year and with real progress in his defense.

    By contrast a guy like Blake Swihart has the 1st round pedigree but his performance is really no better than Murphy at the same age.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Swihart apparently has tools on tools, but he’s starting to deflate since he really hasn’t hit yet.

  • Smoegel

    ME LOVES THE KEITH LAW! ME HATES THE KEITH LAW! oh the sweet precious Gary Sanchez NO SMOEGEL THE GARY SANCHEZ IS BAD BECAUSE OF THE KEITH LAW! NO SMOEGEL THE KEITH LAW ONLY WATCHING THE PLAYERS PISS IN THE LOCKER ROOM AND WRITES HIS oh the sweet precious Tyler Austin…NO!

    • jsbrendog

      ok, in a moment of weakness I actually found this funny.

  • Murderers’ Row Boat

    He’s also only 20. Basically they are saying “He’ll still be a good player, he just won’t be one at the age of 21. It might take him to 22 or 23.”

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We’re dying to make some sort of narrative out of the assortment of scouting reports, snapshots, and brief impressions we read on here.

      It shouldn’t be surprising when different people, utilizing different ways of looking at players as well as their own inherent biases (which is different than saying “KEITH LAW HAZ AN ANTI-YANKEE BIAS”), come up with different views on players.

      Living and dying by each new report that comes out is a terrible way to raise or temper your excitement as to a young player.

      • jsbrendog

        agreed but at least murderer’s row boat makes a rational assumption and doesn’t just flame on KLaw or something haha.

        the narrative is this kid could be awesome, he could be so shitty he never plays an inn in the ml, or he could be a serviceable dude. did i cover it all?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Oh, I actually meant to post that in agreement with him. Hope it was taken that way.

          • jsbrendog

            oh I didn’t think you were disagreeing per se, but more just using his comment as an example of one of the diff views ppl can come up with.

      • trr

        Keith Law has an anti-Yankee bias.

        • Preston

          Keith Law has his own opinions on guys, he was unusually high on Banuelos, he’s low on Sanchez. He relies on his own scouting, so his rankings differ, that’s all.

  • Vern Sneaker

    I think way too much is made of numberical rankings. Every organization would love to have Sanchez, a 20 YO catcher who will no doubt hit above average for the position at every level, and hit for power, and whose catching skills are gradually developing. Hardly any prospects are sure things no matter where you rank them.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We’re victims of too much information sometimes.

      • thenamestsam

        I think you hit it on the head, victims of too much information is right. There’s a new prospect list every week these days and the constant evaluating and reevaluating of guys who are still years away from being major league contributors is a little wacky. Sanchez is a good prospect who has progressed well the last few years but he still needs a LOT of work before he’s even close to being MLB ready, let alone anything like an MLB star. Judging on a week to week or month to month basis whether that progress is sufficient is like the little kids who ask “Are we there yet? What about now?” every five minutes on a 5 hour car ride.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s fun. Don’t get me wrong. I feel this knowledge at your fingertips about every level of the system enhances enjoyment of the sport.

          Still, though, these prospects still developed just fine when you only heard about them when they were traded, when someone for injured, or in their own section of the team yearbook.

          • thenamestsam

            No doubt it’s fun and if you take it for what it is there’s no problem with that. But if you’re reading much of anything into whether Sanchez is ranked 34th on one list or 49th on another or fell from 18th to 49th or whatever you’re way too invested in it. Other than a crippling injury what happened between April and July of 2013 is not going to make or break any prospect. The timeline for that is measured in years, not months.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              100% this.

    • The Bastard

      Sure, but most would rather have Buxton or Boegarts or Taveras more.

  • CONservative governMENt

    These rankings are really just snapshots of where prospects are right now, not a definitive proclamation of their eventual worth.

    Maybe it hurts their trade value temporarily, but I don’t think the Yankees should be trading prospects right now, so NBD.

    Would love to see the team flip Cano, Kuroda and Hughes for prospects and use the savings in salary toward Gonzales and Hinojosa contracts, just to speed up the rebuild.

    • jsbrendog

      “These rankings are really just snapshots of where prospects are right now, not a definitive proclamation of their eventual worth.”

      exactly. this should be a disclaimer everywhere always when discussing these things haha.

  • Mister D

    At one point, there were people here who would scream like maniacs any time someone said Montero wasn’t going to stick at catcher.

    • misters donut sammich

      At one point, there were people here who would screw like maniacs any time someone said Montero wasn’t going to stick at catcher.

    • jsbrendog

      At one point, there were people here who would scream like maniacs any time someone said insert anything yankee related here haha.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, THE INTERNETS!

      • Mister D

        Fair. Lets say “a higher percentage than the normal fanboy screamers”? Or not and just move on and obviously Sanchez is better than Montero based on something other than having the ability to actually evaluate catching defense and actually seeing them play often enough to evaluate.

        I miss the old days.

    • Fin

      LOL there were people on here that were comparing him to Miguel Cabrera, and the dude hadn’t played an inning of MLB. The love on this site was outrageous for Montero, even though all the scouting reports from everyone said that he wouldn’t stick at catcher and were pretty iffy if he could even play 1B. I always thought it was great move getting a very good young pitcher for him instead of a $160m vet. Everyone on here wants the Yankees to trade players for prospects, the Yankees got more than a prospect for Montero. Unfortunately, he had a serious injury, that I don’t think the Yankees are completely without blame for.

      • Preston

        Miguel Cabrera was a comp prospect evaluators used. The problem with that is what they mean is that he reminds them of Cabrera as a PROSPECT, not as the best hitter in baseball. As a prospect Cabrera was more of a free swinger, since then he’s learned to be a very patient hitter. Montero has become less patient at the big league level.

      • Mister D

        “Miguel Cabrera as a comp for Jesus Montero? That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows catchers have way more value than corner infielders!” – 2009-2011

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Hahaha

  • Keith Law’s Doppleganger

    “Martinez shows huge raw power in BP that will make its way into his game performances, and he has a solid approach with good pitch recognition for someone so young. He has good range in center and a plus arm if he outgrows center field and has to move to right. To put his development in more perspective, if he’d played a full year at AA and hit .290/.360/.410 or so, he would have been on pace to debut in the big leagues at 19 or 20 and be a big league regular before he turned 21. He’s going to be a star, but everyone has to bear in mind how young he is to keep his performance in perspective.”

    -Law on Fernando Martinez a few years ago

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Wait…are you saying that a scout was wrong about a prospect?!

      That’s never happened before!