Sanchez and Williams among Baseball America’s top Florida State League prospects

Fan Confidence Poll: October 7th, 2013
What Went Wrong: Injuries
Sanchez. (Star-Ledger)
Sanchez. (Star-Ledger)

Baseball America continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each of the 16 minor leagues with the High-A Florida State League today (no subs. req’d). The list was topped by OF Byron Buxton (Twins), the consensus top prospect in all of baseball. 3B Miguel Sano (Twins) and SS Javier Baez (Cubs) round out the top three and complete the holy trinity of position player prospects. They’re three of the very best in the game.

The Yankees had two players make the list, starting with C Gary Sanchez at #7. He was sandwiched between two brand names: RHP Noah Syndergaard (Mets) and OF Jorge Soler (Cubs). “Sanchez’s best tools are his plus-plus raw power and his throwing arm, which rates at least as a 70 [on the 20-80 scouting scale] … His blocking and receiving remain suspect, however,” said the subscriber-only write-up. “[He] should produce .260 averages and 20-25 homers annually.”

OF Mason Williams, who had a poor year overall, was further down the list at #19. “Scouts report his swing looked good in batting practice but changed in games to a more slashing approach, costing him power … When he played with energy, he turned in plus running times and showed the easy range to be an asset defensively in center field, with a strong throwing arm,” said the write-up. That whole “played with energy” part has reportedly been a bit of an issue for Williams in recent years.

The Yankees landed six players on the Rookie Gulf Coast League list but only one apiece on Short Season NY-Penn League and Low-A South Atlantic League lists. The Double-A Eastern League is scheduled to be posted next Monday and the league champion Trenton Thunder should be represented by a few players, specifically OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin. Sanchez definitely wasn’t with the team long enough to qualify for the list. LHP Nik Turley has a (very) outside chance of making it as well.

Fan Confidence Poll: October 7th, 2013
What Went Wrong: Injuries
  • Caballo Sin Nombre

    Sanchez rate of passed balls has been dropping consistently and rapidly every year. His performance in this area last year is already on par with an offensively-oriented major league catcher, and he is young enough (at the age of 20) to improve further.

  • I’m One

    There are a few things we can be excited about in the minors (obviously Sanchez seems to be the most exciting). Hopefully these players continue to improve and can help the team in the not too distant future. Perhaps a “sleeper” even comes out of the group. This will keep my interest even if the MLB team has a couple of below average seasons (for them, meaning no playoffs. I hate this time of year).

  • Viva Double A

    Yankees need Gary, Mason, Tyler and Slade to take major steps forward. Yankees need some young energy on the team. Couple this with some of the returning injured players, 2015 might be a fun year to watch. Add into the mix a whole lot of money the Yankees with get for spending on the Draft and International draft…they could help fill a farm system that people say is barren, but has a chance to surprise…once they give these kids a chance.

    • your mom

      Regarding your first sentence, don’t get your hopes too high. We’ll be lucky one of them pans out.

  • hogsmog

    Really excited about Sanchez; after the 2013 catching situation, .260 and 20 homers at C would feel like having Piazza behind the plate.

    And this makes me really realize how special Posada was…

    • mitch

      Yeah i’d sign for .260 and 20 HRs right now considering the MLB high for a catcher was 22 HRs and the average wRC+ was 92. Throw in some average defense and you’re talking about an All Star

  • Robert

    Sanchez as a .260 hitter with 20-25 hrs according to scouts!!! And this is the shining star of the farm system.
    The Yankees are doomed.

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      If Sanchez reaches those projections he will be a top 5 catcher…shining star indeed

      • Pseudoyanks

        With an “80” throwing arm tool. Hell yes.

    • Pinkie Pie

      Your ignorance is showing, Robert.

    • jjyank

      Have you looked at what other catchers produce around the league?

      Oh wait. I already know the answer.

  • Chris Z.

    So all in all, does he project to be better than someone like Matt Wieters?

    • RetroRob

      Wieters rated better defensively. Not sure how the bats compare. Wieters has been a bit of a disappointment in that area considering his prospect status.

      • jjyank

        True, but to be fair to Weiters, he was dubbed “Mauer with power”. Hardly fair expectations.

        • RetroRob

          Yup. Just about any team would take Weiters in a second unless they happen to be one of the few who already have a top catcher. He’s provides an excellent all-around package as a player. He switch hits, has power and is a fine defender. Yet for a first-round draft pick, and one of the top five overall, one who was touted for his bat and hit over .340 in the minors, it is surprising how he has struggled to produce.

          Mauer with power was putting the bar too high, yet .239 this year and his BA and all his triple slash numbers have been dropping yearly at a time when he should be at his peak.

    • Lukaszek

      Wieters was decent 2011-2012. Averaged 22 homeruns a year with a .255/.329/.435 slashline. That’d be fine even for a corner outfielder, for a catcher that’s pretty good

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Yeah. He’s borderline Top 10 offensively and a Top 5 defensively and he was supposed to be even better.

  • RetroRob

    Good to see Williams still making the list after his down year. The tools are there. Cano also had questions about his committment and focus early on, so hopefully Williams can address these equally as well!

    • I’m One

      Young players have issues. Fortunately, since they’re young, they have time to correct those issues (or show they have so much talent that less hustle than their counterparts really doesn’t make a difference, as in the case of Robbie). I hope that Williams can overcome this reputation and become an above average MLB player in the not too distant future. Another Williams patrolling CF for the Yankees!

      • jjyank

        Given that the other WIlliams in CF is my favorite all time player, nothing would make me happier.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’m flattered.

          Gerald Williams

  • Pseudoyanks

    Hmm, early predictions on if Mason will get a Spring Training invitation?…

    • RetroRob

      I’m sure he will.

      Wasn’t he there last year for at least part of camp?

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Gary Sanchez still needs a Munson stache if he’s gonna be the new franchise catcher.

  • your mom

    Somebody tell me why we didn’t sign Miguel Sano?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We insisted he keep the “Angel” in his name.

  • jobasphatstache

    He meant me –
    Walt “No Neck” Williams

  • Draft 2 Dynasty

    Mason didn’t get a big league camp invite as he was supposed to take it easy in Spring Training after coming back from shoulder injury. One that sidelined him in later in 2012