Tanaka, Sanchez crack Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list

Open Thread: 2/19 Camp Notes
Either now or later, Yankees are going to have to pay for infield help

Baseball America published their list of the top 100 prospects in baseball tonight (no subs. req’d), a list that was predictably topped by Twins OF Byron Buxton. He’s been on top of every top prospect list this spring. Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts and Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras round out the top three.

The Yankees landed two players on the top 100: RHP Masahiro Tanaka at #4 and C Gary Sanchez at #35. It’s silly that Tanaka is considered a prospect considering all his time in Japan, but Baseball America has always stuck with the Rookie of the Year rules and that makes him eligible for their list. Whatever. Sanchez, the team’s real top prospect, ranks second among catchers, behind only Padres C Austin Hedges. OF Mason Williams, OF Tyler Austin, and OF Slade Heathcott all dropped off last year’s top 100.

Open Thread: 2/19 Camp Notes
Either now or later, Yankees are going to have to pay for infield help
  • Grit for Brains

    Seems odd that Tanaka is not number 1 if hes on the list – None of the three guys ahead of him could get even half the guaranteed money he got if they were on the open market

    • Mr. Roth

      I initially thought the same thing, but I kind of think that maybe Baseball America decided to reserve the top 3 spots for “traditional prospects.”

      I don’t have any info to back this assumption up, it just seems likely to me.

      • Gonzo

        Or BA just thought the other guys were better prospects.

    • Gonzo

      Just because the Yankees laid out a ton of money for Tanaka doesn’t mean the people at BA would have.

    • Mister D

      I disagree. If Buxton were declared a true UFA tomorrow, he’d go flying past $100MM guaranteed inside the first hour of bidding.

  • Mike

    Our prospects are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

    • qwerty

      You don’t get ranked 20th best farm team in baseball for nothing.

      • nycsportzfan

        Trending upwards. They have 4 former 1st rd picks going into there 1st full seasons in the system. They got quite a few top of the rotation type upside pitchers all set to go into huge seasons for there respective careers, as well as some positon players. I’m talking about guys like Jose Ramirez,Luis Severino, Raph DePaula, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Avi Avelino, Jose Campos, Dellin Betances, Mark Montgomery..etc They got quite a few right in the middle of the pack guys who as we know, can become bigtime contributors, as we’ve seen with Brett Gardner, David Robertson, and Preston Claiborne. I’m talking guys like Nik Turley, Zoilo Almonte, Rob Segedin, Greg Bird, JR Murphy, Rob Refsnyder, Angelo Gumbs..etc

        This farm is on the upswing and because not to many trades with our prospects over the past several yrs, were about to see a glut of talent to bring up and use as trade bait. Yanks are set up really well for a run of playoff appearences again.

        • nycsportzfan

          I forgot to mention Omar Luis and Jordan Cote to the bigtime pitching upside list.

        • qwerty

          I like Turley, Murphy and Bird, but I’m not holding my breath on a single one of them. As for all those first rounders, I wish everyone would stop bringing that up. It’s almost like you love being disappointed or something.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            Yea I think it’s best to take a wait and see approach

        • Mikhel

          erm… nope, more like a downward spiral.

          per Baseball America Top Farm System rankings (talent):

          2011: Yankees #5
          2012: Yankees #13
          2013: Yankees #11 and later that year #16 (october)
          2014: Yankees #20

          Though it is fair to note they were:
          #15 in 2009 and #22 in 2010.

          Before that:

          2003: #17
          2004: #27
          2005: #24
          2006: #17
          2007: #7

          From their top 10 prospects in 2007 9 made the majors:

          Joba, AJax, Ian Kennedy, Gardner, Márquez, Brackman, Tábata, Ohlendorf and Montero… Horne is the sole prospect that didn’t make it to the Majors.

          And of their prospects… Vechionachi played last season in the team from the city I live: Ensenada’s Mariners of the Mexican Northern League (the league where Phillies’ Miguel Alfredo González was signed), he’ll play again this season (last season also played former yankee farm player: Jackson Melian), there was also a venezuelan J. Pirela but i doubt it was the same Pirela who’s seeking a spot with the Yanks.

          In 2008 the Yanks had their peak at #5 in the ranking, the same as in 2011.

  • forensic

    I’m guessing Hedges is a big-time defender? I only base this on a quick look at their offensive stats at the same levels and age (though different leagues, of course).

    • RetroRob

      He is regarded as the best defensive catching prospect to come along in the last twenty years. His arm is unmatched.

      • forensic

        Ah, that must be who I’ve heard a couple people talk about with the show he put on in the Futures game and at other times. Just forgot the name.

        • Kosmo

          Hedges gets the nod on the defensive side but to rank him ahead of Sanchez is a questionable ranking. Hedges should draw comparisons to JR Murphy not Sanchez. Murphy being the slightly better hitter.

      • vicki





  • Ahk

    I absolutely think Tanaka is a prospect; he’s young, has high upside, and has never pitched in the majors. So I don’t really think it’s silly. Tanaka was successful in a AAAA league, majors are on a completely different level.

    • jjyank

      Still though, he pitched in a competitive league that wasn’t focused on development, but rather on winning. It’s got to be a completely different atmosphere than pitching in the minors in the US.

      He is a rookie and I agree with that, I’m just saying that what Tanaka has been through is (in my opinion) way different than what a 25 year old in AAA has been through.

  • BrianMcCannon

    I thought the Yankees couldn’t develop starting pitching? Ba dum psh.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy


  • dp

    Who gives a turd about BA when 70 percent on the list don’t make it…just a stupid joke to rank farm systems when no one can see all the players. PISS on BA!

    • jjyank

      Ranking are fun and they spark discussions. They also give a glimpse of where teams stand at the moment, farm system wise, even if it is an opinion.

      This criticism sounds very familiar. Better not rank them at all, right? Because if your wrong, the whole exercise is just a waste of time!

      Just don’t read them if you don’t care.

      • nycsportzfan

        I love the rankings and checking out the top prospects for each club. Its interesting and fun.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner
      • heyjoeyjojo

        Thanks for posting that. Very interesting read. It seems a high % of the top 100 make it, but a significant amount of the top five or ten are busts.

        • Mikhel

          9 out of the top 10 of the first 10 organizations usually make it to the majors.

          The Yanks had a good ranking in 2008 (number 7) and their top 10 were:

          1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
          2. Austin Jackson, of
          3. Jose Tabata, of
          4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
          5. Alan Horne, rhp
          6. Jesus Montero, c
          7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
          8. Brett Gardner, of
          9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
          10. Andrew Brackman, rhp

    • Hawkeye

      While it is very true that a majority of those on these top lists do not make significant contributions, the key thing is that a large majority of those that do become stars, or at least major league starters, appear on these lists. So while being on the list is not a garantee of success, not appearing on any of these lists is a pretty negative indicator of future success.

  • pat

    Buying our way to the top, baby.

    • vicki

      yankees, america, usa.

  • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks)

    FWIW (very little I know), I’be been in Tokyo for about a week and made it a point to ask all the Japanese people I interacted with how they rate Tanaka, Darvish and Dice K…who is best. The guy who really seemed to know the most (of course, he is not a scout) said he thought Tanaka was the best pitcher of the three, but Darvish did it all very effortlessly/easily (less physical effort) while Tanaka has a much more “violent” delivery. Best pitcher of 3 … Tanaka but if he wanted one on a long term contract then Darvish because Tanaka could have injury issues later because of the higher effort in the delivery. Thought it was interesting.

  • nycsportzfan

    I was just looking at the Scranton roster and came across Jairo Heredias name. I checked out his stats, and expected to see all slop the last 2/3 yrs and basically hes just filler at this point. I was surprised because he’s actually pitched fairly well when hes been able to the past couple yrs. Hes not gonna be 25 till Oct, and is probably gonna start the yr in Scranton. Could this guy reappear in the prospect fold?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    A list can be fun, interesting, and have value to it without having so much value to it that a silly thing like ranking Tanaka can’t be overlooked or understood in context.

    I wouldn’t have included him, but whatever. Context.

  • Brian

    So if we are going to look at Japanese baseball as AAAA if there was a pitcher in AAA that mirrored the stats of Tanaka would he not be ranked as the #1 prospect? It would be hard not too..

    Especially if that player was doing it consistently for a few years? I mean it would be a mystery on why that team didn’t bring them up but that type of dominance would certainly be considered as the best overall prospect in baseball.

    Either way you put it he’s an international prospect and should be ranked with that same respect so why not rank him accordingly.