DePaula makes Baseball America’s South Atlantic League prospects list

Joe Girardi and managing the transition
CC Sabathia and a normal offseason

Baseball America’s journey through the various minor leagues continued today with a look at the top 20 prospects in the Low-A South Atlantic League (no subs. req’d). Two high-end pitching prospects — RHP Eddie Butler (Rockies) and RHP Tyler Glasnow (Pirates) — topped the list and deservedly so. The Yankees only had one player make the top 20: RHP Rafael DePaula at #17.

“DePaula has premium velocity with a 91-93 mph fastball that frequently touched 96-97. When his delivery was in sync, he also showed a potentially average breaking ball and fringy changeup. But more often than not, delivery issues would make it hard for him to develop consistent feel for his breaking ball,” they said in the subscriber-only scouting report. One scout dubbed him a future reliever. The 22-year-old DePaula had a 2.94 ERA And 2.03 FIP in 64.1 innings for Low-A Charleston before being promoted.

1B Greg Bird did not make the top 20 and that surprised me because Baseball America can be very performance-driven at times, and Bird absolutely mashed this year (170 wRC+). The bar is really high for first base prospects though. The Yankees had six players make the Rookie Gulf Coast League and one player make the Short Season NY-Penn League lists. The High-A Florida State League will be posted Monday and C Gary Sanchez will surely make an appearance. OF Mason Williams, C/3B Peter O’Brien, and RHP Bryan Mitchell also have a shot.

Joe Girardi and managing the transition
CC Sabathia and a normal offseason
  • crawdaddy

    Bird’s position worked against him. Too bad, he’s a really good prospect.

  • tmoney

    bird is the word!

  • Joey

    So tired of hearing that every single minor league SP for the Yankees is labeled a “future reliever”! Eventually going to need someone to develop in to a starter.

  • jobasphatstache

    Error: internal drive failure. Check scouting
    dept. Competency, and reboot farm system.

  • RetroRob

    Be surprised if the older O’Brien made the next list, while the younger Bird didn’t make this one just because O’Brien plays a position — actually positions, and poorly at that — which are deemed to have higher value.

  • Robert

    Saw DePaulo pitch very Raw it will all be up to the pitching coaches he works with and I dont think the Yanks have any quality minor league pitching coaches this kid needs to develope.
    Bird is a player should arrive at the Bronx as Tex departs.
    Culver and Bichette jr. lets just say there asset is there youth,I want to give them another year before they go into the just not good enough Bin.

    • RetroRob

      Gil Patterson is regarded as one of the best with pitchers. He hasn’t even been here a year yet.

  • Robert

    I wonder after next season will Jagielo Avelino/Wade and Katoh surpass Culver Bichette Jr and Gumbs? Who gets to Trenton first in 2014?

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Jagielo gets to Trenton first.

  • Leg-End

    I’ve decided after a quick google image search, Bird has the face (and eyebrows) of a future big leaguer.

    .288/.428/.511 is also not bad.

  • mick taylor

    gil patterson is great. he developed the oakland pitching staff that is in the playoffs. yanks should keep him.

  • Shittyshittybangbang

    Has the potential to be very good, but….,
    Always a but. Frustrating. Life of a young pitcher, I guess.

  • Dick M

    In the chat that follows the write-up, the BA writer says that many scouts didn’t like Bird’s power (he hit like 6 of his HRs in one band box that had a short left field) nor his defense.

    The writer did say that scouts thought that Cave was a sleeper, used all fields, had decent speed and played good defense. A grinder. I like.

    • Ghost

      Ahh yes, the aforementioned white “gritty” player.

    • pat

      6 Oppo HR over the mini monster in Greensboro.

      • pat


    • D-Lite

      That mini monster is in right left field alright, but Bird is left-handed. Making those opposite field shots.

  • viridiana

    So Bird didn’t make the list because he’d be a monster in Fenway?

  • nycsportzfan

    Bird was a beast this past yr! What a batting eye! Also hes got power and size. Hes got 280 and 20 potential all day long!

    Either way, i’m happy for DePaula. If DePaula, ManBan, Jose Ramirez, and Pineda could pitch to there potential, we’d be loaded. Also, hoping Dellin Betances gets a real shot for the pen. He would be so intimidating to face in a late inning. I hope they are working hard with Betances this offseason.

  • Dohrmann

    Would be interesting to see some actual objective data on the historic success of 1B prospects compared to other prospects.

    Perhaps these “analysts” are justified in their skeptism, but it seems equally likely that a system that consistently fails to recognize some of the most valuable players in the game as top prospects until after their AA seasons is flawed. I understand the inuitive argument against 1B prospects; however, that a bunch of people keep repeating it doesn’t necessarily make it right. My question is whether objectively (not subjectively based on a concsensus or some half logical argument) there is something about 1B that makes it acceptable not to recognize Joey Votto as a top prospect until he’s mashed all the way through AA or Goldschmidt at all as a top prospect, or whether a more robust analytics system could spot these guys for that they are and presumably always were.
    (Same probably applies to 2B, maybe even more so, where you have three top 20 fWAR guys who were never really seen as top prospects by the media establishment. There appear to be huge inefficiencies in their system that someone with half an analytical mind might address.)

    Prospecting is certainly far from an exact science, but an intelligent application of data analytics would likely improve the conventional wisdom, groupthink models that seem to pervade at least the public facing side of the industry.

  • Chris

    I always find these list interesting. It would be interesting to compile a list of players and see what their ratings and reviews were over the course of their careers in relation to where they ended up. Personally, I don’t put a lot of stock into these. They are fun to read, but that is about all. Dohrmann is right on the money, they rarely get it right.

  • Donnie Baseball

    This BEST explains DePaula as a reach: