2014 Post-Draft Top 30 Prospects

Yanks grab 2-1 rain-shortened win over Rangers
Game 101: Finish Them Off
"What do you mean I'm not a prospect anymore?" "You're a big leaguer now." (Elsa/Getty)
“What do you mean I’m not a prospect anymore?” “You’re a big leaguer now.” (Elsa/Getty)

The draft signing deadline was last Friday, and the Yankees were able to sign everyone they were expected to sign. There were no surprises, good or bad. Because they didn’t have a first round pick (or a supplemental round pick), this wasn’t the most exciting draft for the Yankees, who went heavy on college pitching and took a reliever with their top selection.

The Yankees did, however, add an amazing amount of talent to the farm system through international free agency earlier this month. My unofficial tally puts the spending spree at approximately $28.5M total between bonuses and penalties, though I’m sure there have been several deals that were not reported. Most of those players signed 2015 contracts and are not technically Yankees yet, so they are not included in this snapshot of the farm system. I usually wait until international signees show up in the U.S. to rank them anyway.

Two players — righties Dellin Betances and Chase Whitley — have graduated to the big leagues since the pre-draft list was posted late-May. I’ve been doing these for eight years and this is the very first RAB prospect list without Betances. I’m kinda sad. Another prospect, righty Rafael DePaula, was traded away just this week. Those three departures plus the draft and some stateside debuts have led to a healthy amount of turnover since the last list in May.

I feel like it’s clear who the top two prospects are (in whatever order), clear who the next seven prospects are (again, whatever order), and then a total mess after that with no obvious order. As always, this list is my personal opinion and based on how I value things like tools and probability and performance and all that. You’re welcome to disagree with the rankings. I’m sure you will. Rankings don’t mean anything anyway. They’re just fun to look at it. Anyway, the ages listed are as of today, and the levels listed are the player’s current level. The fun starts after the jump.

  1. OF Aaron Judge, A+, 22: Takes over as the top prospect not only because of his potential to be an impact two-way player, but because he’s shown much better contact skills and polish at the plate than expected. We could be talking about Judge as a big league option at this time next year.
  2. RHP Luis Severino, AA, 20: Judge and Severino are basically 1 and 1A. You could easily argue Severino should be first. The right-hander has an electric fastball and a very good changeup with a work in progress breaking ball. The Yankees have been pretty aggressive with him this summer.
  3. C Gary Sanchez, AA, 21: It’s easy to forget Sanchez is still only 21 and nearly four years younger than the average Eastern League player. He’s performed much better in recent weeks but the maturity issues persist as he was benched for nearly a week last month due to an undisclosed issue.
  4. C John Ryan Murphy, AAA, 23: Murphy’s ready to be an MLB backup right now and has all the look of a future everyday catcher. Not a star, but a solid everyday option. He will be a prime piece of trade bait over the next seven days.
  5. LHP Ian Clarkin, A-, 19: Clarkin missed two weeks with an ankle problem earlier this month but otherwise has shown come-and-go command of three pitches and the ability to miss bats. The fastball/curveball/changeup combo is legit, he just needs refinement.
  6. 3B Eric Jagielo, A+, 22: An oblique injury sent Jagielo to the sidelines for more than a month and his defense has been less than stellar at the hot corner, but he’s showing left-handed power and the solid bat that got him drafted in the first round last year.
  7. 1B Greg Bird, A+, 21: After missing the start of the year with a back injury and getting off to a slow start once healthy, Bird has mashed in recent weeks and looks like the hitter he was last year. Health is the key going forward. He stopped catching because of back trouble and it bothered him again this year.
  8. C Luis Torrens, SS, 18: In a sense, the shoulder injury that sent Torrens to the DL for two months might have been the best thing to happen to him. The Yankees aggressively sent him to Low-A Charleston to start the year but held him back with Staten Island after the injury, a more appropriate level given his age and general lack of catching experience. Torrens has all the look of the next great Yankees catching prospect.
  9. 2B Rob Refsnyder, AAA, 23: I (grossly) under-ranked Refsnyder on the pre-draft list. His defense at second needs work — the Yankees have been giving him time in right because whatever — but his simple all-around offensive game makes him a high probability everyday second base prospect.
  10. LHP Manny Banuelos, AA, 23: Manny is still only 23, but his post-elbow reconstruction stuff has not been as good as it was before the injuries. He is coming off what amounts to two lost years and has to make up for a lot of lost development time. This is more of a reputation ranking than anything.
  11. OF Jake Cave, AA, 21: Cave has jumped over some of the bigger name outfield prospects in the system because, unlike the other guys, he’s stayed healthy these last two years and put up numbers. The tools aren’t as sexy, but he gets more out of them than other outfielders in the system.
  12. LHP Jacob Lindgren, A+, 21: I will be very surprised if Lindgren, the team’s top pick in the draft, is not in the big leagues at this time next year. He’s manhandling Single-A hitters with his wipeout slider and could almost certainly get big league lefties out as a matchup reliever right now.
  13. OF Tyler Austin, AA, 22: That monster 2012 season feels like so long ago. Austin’s power has disappeared over the last two years, possibly due to the wrist issue that has been hampering him since last April. Austin is a bat-first, second, and third prospect, so he’s gotta hit.
  14. C/1B Peter O’Brien, AA, 24: If you’re only going to have one tool, huge right-handed power is the one to have. O’Brien can hit the ball a long way when he connects, but there are serious questions about his position and whether he will be able to tap into that power at the MLB level given the holes in his swing and less than stellar plate discipline.
  15. SS Abi Avelino, Rk, 19: Good tools, not great tools, but Avelino’s a very smart and instinctual player who gets the absolute most out of what he has. He’s a whole is greater than the sum of the parts guy. A quad injury cost him a big chunk of the season.
  16. 3B Miguel Andujar, A-, 19: Andujar is a young guy with a bit of a history of starting slow at a level before finding his way, which is exactly what he’s done this year with the River Dogs. The tools are excellent and over the last month or so he’s been one of the best performers in the system.
  17. RHP Shane Greene, MLB, 25: Injuries at the MLB level created an opportunity and Greene has taken advantage in his three starts. His turbo-sinker/slider combination is plenty good enough to start in the big leagues as long as he commands it, which doesn’t always happen.
  18. RHP Bryan Mitchell, AAA, 23: Mitchell has actually been called up twice this year but has not pitched. I wonder if he’s the next Betances as a huge stuff/bad command guy who moves to the bullpen and takes off. No need to make that move just yet though.
  19. OF Mason Williams, AA, 22: If we were ranking pure tools only, Williams would be in contention for the top spot. Those tools have not yet translated to baseball skills or production yet, and he’s had to be benched for insubordination on more than one occasion this year. Not a good look.
  20. RHP Ty Hensley, Rk, 20: He’s finally healthy! Hensley is over his hip(s) and hernia surgeries and pitching regularly for the first time since being the 30th overall pick in the 2012 draft. As was the case before the injury, the development of his changeup and command are the challenges going forward.
  21. OF Slade Heathcott, AA, 23: It’s becoming more and more clear Heathcott just isn’t ever going to stay healthy enough to fully develop. He had knee surgery in the offseason, returned for nine whole games with Double-A Trenton, then went down with another knee surgery, this one a season-ender. Hooray tools and athleticism all that, but health is a skill Slade doesn’t have.
  22. 2B Gosuke Katoh, A-, 19: Following a brutal start to 2014, Katoh has turned his season around over the last month or so and is now holding his own in full season ball despite being more than two years younger than the average South Atlantic League player. The tools to be a strong two-way second baseman never went away, they just hid for a few weeks.
  23. SS Jorge Mateo, Rk, 19: Mateo is an absolute burner with the best speed in the system. There’s a little pop in his bat but otherwise it’s a true leadoff hitter profile with bat-to-ball skills and a good approach, plus the defensive chops to stay at short. Long way to go, of course.
  24. OF Ramon Flores, AAA, 22: Flores was flashing some nice power potential with the RailRiders earlier this year, but we haven’t been able to see if it was real or a fluke because he’s been out with an ankle injury for about two months now. There’s no word on when he’ll return either.
  25. RHP Brady Lail, A+, 20: Lail is remarkably polished for a kid out of Utah, which is hardly a baseball hotbed. His velocity has ticked up under pro instruction and he’s since added a cutter, so he works with command of four pitches on most days. Lail won’t blow anyone away but health is the only thing standing between him and an MLB future.
  26. OF Leonardo Molina, Rk, 16: Molina was the team’s top international signing last summer and the Yankees have already brought him to stateside. Forget the stats at this point. Molina has a ton of bat speed and the tools to be an impact two-way player down the line.
  27. RHP Austin DeCarr, Rk, 19: DeCarr is the rare polished prep pitcher from the Northeast. He already has an out-pitch in his big breaking curveball plus good low-90s velocity. Needs to improve his changeup and gain experience, etc. Standard teenage pitcher stuff.
  28. RHP Nick Goody, AA, 23: Currently on the temporary inactive list for an unknown reason, but the return from Tommy John surgery was going wonderfully before that. Goody will be a big league bullpen option next year.
  29. RHP Jose Ramirez, AAA, 24: Ramirez made his MLB debut earlier this year but he’s currently hurt in Triple-A, again. His fastball/changeup/slider combination is electric, though his ability to locate leaves a lot to be desired, and he can’t work on that when he’s visiting the DL once or twice a year.
  30. LHP Jordan Montgomery, 21: Montgomery, this year’s fourth rounder, won’t impress anyone with his raw stuff. He’s cut from the Adam Warren/David Phelps cloth as a guy with four pitches and feel, just from the left side.

In case you’re wondering, I had DePaula slotted in at No. 20, between Williams and Hensley, in my first draft earlier this week. The last three names who just missed were OF Alex Palma, RHP Danny Burawa, and RHP Mark Montgomery. Next year’s list figures to look much, much different because of the international free agent haul.

Yanks grab 2-1 rain-shortened win over Rangers
Game 101: Finish Them Off
  • Cheddard Headley

    I’d trade one of the catchers to get a power bat in RF. I think they need to go for broke now that they are within 3 of the division and tied in the loss column for the 2nd WC.

    I’m not big on trading the farm for a Lee or Hamels. The starters are doing just fine right now. Hiroki gave up 1 run and got a ND, Greene gave up 1 and got the L, Chase gave up 0 and got a ND, BGDP gave up 1 and is the only guy that won 2-1 in a rain shortened game. Mike Pineda is on track to return next month to replace Chase Whitley.

    • thomas

      The problem is that Pineda may not be back and Greene is really an unknown for the future. Pineda will not be back before the deadline and so you will lose out on getting anything as far as pitching is concerned. Really need a better lefty out of the pen to face left-handers better.

  • Yankee$

    Biggest surprise for me is Cave at 11.

    • nycsportzfan

      Thats pretty much exactly where I put em in my top 20 the other day. Again, the guy isn’t some nobody overachieving. It cost the Yanks to get this kid to sign and he was so good, they could’ve used him as positional or pitcher.. Hes younger then Gardner was when Gardner was at the levels Caves been at. And people think like Gardner, he’ll add alittle pop as his body matures more and get to double digit’ish HR power.

      People look at his body type and lack of power and immedietly don’t think as highly about him or something. I think most think hes a Mark Payton type outta the college ranks, but it is not the case at all.

  • http://secondavesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

    No Jaron Long, eh?

    • Yankee$

      Nah, you can’t trust the Yankee/Newsday Hype Machine.

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

      No way. He’s been awesome but is definitely not one of the 30 most talented prospects in the system.

      • Aims

        If Jarod Long makes it to the majors, Axisa should have to eat his computer

        • Preston

          Why? He didn’t say he wouldn’t make the majors, he said he’s not talented enough to make this list.

  • Slugger27

    bird at 7 surprised me, didn’t think hed be that high. mason in the top 20 surprised me as well. but then, not sure who id move up. its not a deep system, that’s for sure.

    • Cheval Anonyme

      Hard to say the system isn’t deep when the #30 prospect (Whitely) is now pitching decently in the majors.

  • Raza

    No Dustin Fowler is kinda surprising..

    • Travis Lincoln

      My opinion (means nothing) is that he needs to walk a bit more and hit for more average. He has pop (nowhere near O’Brien level), but seems to strike out a lot as well.

      • Preston

        Fowler’s power might not be on O’Brien’s level but a .222 ISO is impressive, Aaron Judge posted a .197 ISO at Charleston, and Fowler’s only 19, Judge was 21. His K rate of 18.5% isn’t that high for someone with Fowler’s power either, It’s not like O’Brien’s who was striking out 24% of the time at High A at age 23. Plus Fowler actually has a position, he is a legitimate CF prospect. His low average is because he has a below average BABIP, which could be some bad luck, or may be the result of chasing too many pitches and making weak contact. If he can start having some better strike zone discipline his walk rate will go up and his BABIP might go with it. He would have made my top 30.

  • Tanuki Tanaka

    By my count thirteen of thirty in a+ or aa. Seems like a good structure, a mix between near future and far off.

  • thu

    Where would you of had Dellin and Chase if they were still prospects?

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

      Dellin would have been fifth and Whitely probably would have fallen short. He was #30 on the pre-draft list.

  • AnthonyD

    My understanding of these prospects is barely novice level. Are there drop off points along this list? I assume the Yankees (we) have no elite prospects, but the top two are by far our best – drop off 3 through 6 with decent to good trade value – drop off, then a big drop after 9 – I could be way off though.

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

      It’s basically…

      Top two guys

      (big gap)

      Next seven guys

      (big gap)

      Everyone else

  • Slap-Ass

    Oh hell yeah! I forgot about your post draft update.

  • Yankee$

    So based on 2 statements you made, you think a lot of this year’s Int’l haul will make it stateside next year?

    • Travis Lincoln

      They will hopefully do the Leonardo Molina thing and bring them to GCL first. If these guys are as good as they say, I couldnt hurt to give them a shot as the better competition.

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

      Yes, a good chunk of it. Definitely the big money guys like Dermis Garcia, Nelson Gomez, and Juan De Leon.

  • Ben

    Has Mark Montgomery been so bad that he can’t even get in the top 30 anymore? Yikes.

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

      Yep. Hasn’t thrown many strikes since getting hurt last year.

      • RetroRob

        The new JB Cox, although not quite as dramatic a fall off?

  • Travis Lincoln

    Thoughts on OF Frank Frias and RHP Jaron Long? I know Long is a bit of a soft tosser, but he gets results and lots of ground balls (which seems to be working for him at the AA level). Kinda thought these two would sneak in on the back end of a list.

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

      Stats over scouting report guys. I’m not in any rush to get them on the list. The Yankees sign undrafted free agents who dominant every year (Matt DeSalvo!), this one just happens to have a recognizable name.

      • hornblower

        With the shift becoming more a part of MLB, players like Judge who hit to all fields may become even more valuable. Ref. also uses the whole field. I have seen Jagielo and Cave some and I think they will be players. J is ok at third and a lefty power bat in the Stadium is a good thing. Cave plays with passion and has a real upside. Thanks for the list.

  • Travis Lincoln

    Oh…Simon De La Rosa as well for a spot in the bottom of a list.

  • Robert

    Flores,Austin,Williams and Heathcott injuries and performance alone unfortunatly have lowered dramatically the expectations of these Outfielders.
    Cant wait for Judge and Cave to pass this group up!

  • Farewell Mo

    Too bad about Austin, Williams and Heathcott looking like none are gonna make it.

    It wasn’t long ago they were touted as the outfield of the future. Prospects will break your heart.

    • Reggie C.

      Mason Williams shouldn’t even be in AA. The young man hasn’t been able to get it going at all except for a small stretch of games last month. Austin has hit enough to contribute to the Trenton roster, but the power from a couple years back hasn’t returned and who knows if it ever will. Heathcott hasn’t been a factor in games in so long that of the three he’s by far the furthest away.

      Yeah, its time to let go of the hope that this trio contributes to the Yankees.

      • Farewell Mo

        Corner outfielders like Austin without power, speed or stellar defense are pretty useless.

        If the power doesn’t return, he’s doomed

  • Jack

    Im kind of surprised Dante Bichette Jr. didn’t make the list. Also miguel sulbaran has been really good this season. Jose Pirela has also been really good in Triple-A all season.

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

      I’m still not buying Bichette’s turn around just yet.

      • YankeeGrunt

        I’m buying his turnaround, but until he starts showing consistent power .280/.350/.400 or so without wheels is not going to cut it as a corner OF. You’re seeing some pop this year (9 HR without the lumberjacking it took to get to last year’s 11) but he still needs to show more over a longer period.

    • cofuzz

      I like where your head is on DBJ and Sulbaran, but Pirela’s fringy at best.
      I’d leave Heathcott off this list entirely due to his complete lack of a health tool.
      Not sure who else I’d drop, but Sulbaran looks ahead of M Montgomery at least.

  • Frank

    Very solid list. I think the Yankeees have done a good job of maintaining the system but that hasn’t translated into much at the ML level. When you have the infield that you currently have and need to spend 400MM+ every few years to stay competitive you’re not very good at either drafting/signing or developing stars. They also have missed on too many high-priced international guys. There are the obvious ones (Puig,Darvish,Cespedes,etc.) and the less obvious (Soler being the first name to jump to mind), but all have a huge impact on the long term health of the team. Yes,they got tanaka, but they had the resources to grab a couple of more of the bigger names rather than spending on over-the-hill guys like soriano, ichiro, beltran, etc. For some reason, they believe that fans want to see those guys at the tail end of their career…stars…or former stars, when in reality fans want to see winning and they love the new sexy name.

    • Fezz

      The Yankees are terrible at development. I place the lions share of the blame on the medical staff, trainers, minor league mgrs and the minor league coordinator. Far too many top prospects and even major leaguers get hurt, then get hurt again during rehab, or suffer the same injury again after they’re back. Then there were the asinine joba rules of a few years ago. Now we have tanaka (who is hurt – and thanks to the. Bonehead medical team is attempting to rehab an elbow; which we will learn around October doesn’t work and he will need TJ. But since he will have wasted 4 months on rehab he won’t return until 2016); but prior to masihiro out of all the Ryu and darvish and puig and cespedes and Abreu and soler who do the Yankees sign to that big international FA deal? Kei igawa lol.

      The whole lot of the brain trust should be jettisoned like soriano

      • Scott

        Ever hear of Hideki Matsui?

      • Winter

        You’re in favor of slicing open our ace’s elbow when four different doctors have recommended rehab? Surgery should always be the last option. And don’t say “Tommy John is a sure thing,” because it’s not. We literally just read about how Banuelos lost a lot of his stuff coming back from TJS. For a more high profile example, look at Neftali Feliz. He went from throwing around 100 MPH before TJS to hovering around 90 MPH after.

      • Deep Thoughts

        Learn it…love it…live it.


        • Hawkeye

          Too much reading. Do they have this as a book on tape?

  • Reggie C.

    Gary Sanchez seems to play just well enough to keep his name in debates for top 50 prospects lists. The performance just hasn’t matched up to top prospect billing, and the fast start in April aside, we can see why Sanchez remains very hard to rank on mlb lists. The bat is good, not great.

    Clarkin’s results through 61 IP to date is a nice reminder that Severino isn’t the only standout starter in the farm. With a strong performance through to the end of the year Clarkin may sneak into the bottom of top 100 lists.

    • Yankee$

      The 4 editors at BA who did their Next 25 (beyond the detailed Top 50) all had Sanchez in 50’s or 60’s, no worse than 62, and Judge made a list too (Norris) at 65. I think Severino, Sanchez and Judge are Top 100 locks and perhaps one of Refsnyder, Clarkin and my personal fave Torrens have a shot to sneak in at the end of that list.

      • alz

        Right. I don’t quite get what all the fuss about Sanchez is. He didn’t take a giant leap forward as we hoped, but he is holding his own in AA. He hasn’t been bad enough that he should drop from the 30’s to out of the top 100.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          It’s just prospect fatigue/Shiny New Toy Syndrome, I figure.

  • CONservative governMENt

    I always get my hopes too high on guys like Gumbs, Austin Aune, Rookie Davis, Bubba Jones…

    I think I need to stop following the draft and pay less attention to the minor league system because we just seem so bad at it.

    • YankeeGrunt

      Gumbs has always been a toolsy guy, maybe he puts it together and maybe he doesn’t. Rookie Davis is quietly having a decent season, over his last 9 games his ERA is south of 4.00, and could still become a strong prospect. Jones just doesn’t seem to be that highly regarded anymore.

    • Scout

      Your weakness seems to be that you have a thing for guys with catchy names!

  • Getting Jaggy With It

    Wow. That Leornado Molina kid is freaking 16 years old???!!

    • Angelo

      I believe he just turned 17 years old or is about to.

      • Terry

        Heck, who can ever verify what their exact age is in that part of the world?

  • Terry

    Jeter out of the Lineup, taking the day off.

    1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
    2. Brett Gardner (L) LF
    3. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
    4. Brian McCann (L) 1B
    5. Chase Headley (S) 3B
    6. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
    7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
    8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
    9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS

    • Evan3457

      Good move getting Ryan out there behind McCarthy.
      I hoped Joe would use “Jeter rest days” to get Ryan backing McCarthy, and so far, he’s done it two starts out of three.

      The left side is now Ryan and Headley, and that’s pretty darn good, defensively, at least.

      • Terry

        Interesting that you mention that.

        I was thinking Greene (sinkerball pitcher too) could have used the defensive upgrade with all those lousy errors, mis-plays, and non-plays.

        Cost the Yankees a lot of outs, cost Greene a lot of pitches, and certainly contributed to the loss.

        Maybe Girardi realized the same thing.

        • ac1

          Greene caused himself the trouble. He made three errors and none of them would have been saved if Tex was at first base.

          • Terry


            But I’m talking about groundballs up the middle of the defense and shoddy job by Greene or not, those plays would have changed the face of the game.

  • Robert

    Id like to see Bichette in Trenton soon,Time too see if his turn around is for real.
    As far as Jagielo his injury set him back this year Id let him finish the season in Tampa and reevaluate in the Spring!

  • Dan

    Is the main reason Molina is ranked so low because of his age/experience? I’d imagine the team has big long-term expectations for him.

    • Terry

      He’s a lottery ticket like so many others.

      Kids that young rarely see pitching in the low 80s. By the time they see mid 80s, they realize their batting techniques are deficient and many never learn to adapt (both mechanical and psychologically). Maturity is the big factor in baseball development.

      Molina is fast.

      Beyond that, who knows.

      The Yankees decided it was worth a $1.4 million gamble, so make of that what you will.

  • The Ghost of Eric Duncan

    Just read an article on Bleacher Report stating that the White Sox should trade John Danks to the Yankees for Manny Banuelos AND salary relief. I don’t think I’ll ever return to the site again.

    • CashmanNinja

      I wouldn’t do that trade even if they offered to pay ALL of Danks’ salary. The guy’s shoulder is shot. Right now the Yankees would view him purely as an innings eater. Yeah…I’d rather just let Jeff Francis try out as a starter again than do that trade. It’s awful.

      • The Ghost of Eric Duncan

        I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Mister D

      There’s no good reason to go to Bleacher Report.

      • The Ghost of Eric Duncan

        I’ve noticed in recent articles I’ve looked at. I still get emails from them so I’ll look thru them during my downtime at work. Can only read the articles and look thru the comments so many times here at RAB. Haha

        • RetroRob

          Scroll to the bottom on one of those emails and look for this or similar word: [unsubscribe]

          You’re welcome.

        • alz

          The problem is that they let the stupidest people write articles there. Probably 20 posters here that i’d rather read than br garbage.

    • Eric Duncan Fan

      “Just read an article on Bleacher Report”

      That’s where you went wrong bro.

      • Old Man Time


  • Mister D

    Despite being in the 99th percentile of both intelligence and logic, I allowed myself to seriously dream of a someday fully homegrown Williams-Heathcott-Austin outfield. So silly.

    PS: Can’t wait for Bird-Refsnyder-Avelino-Jagielo around the IF. Anyone else think that’ll be the new Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey? Maybe better given that none of them made the HoF and Russell kinda sucked?

    • Terry

      Must…not…shatter…Mister D’s Dreams…

      This is the Yankee farm system.

      Your optimism is illogical.

    • Yankee$

      No, but Refsnyder’s running gait is reminiscent of Penguin.

    • RetroRob

      As a fan it’s always nice to dream, but in reality the hope is one of those guys comes through. It’s the same with all systems. Many teams have prospects like those three in the lower levels, players most have never heard of and never will. There is a high fail rate, something to remember as people dream on this next group of prospects.

      The flip side of everyone planning on all three making the Majors is now pretty much everyone is writing them off. That may not be reality either.

    • NCS

      What percentile are you in for modesty?

  • HansDavenport

    From the looks of the lineup they are still trotting Suzuki out there. Did that not bring anyone up and send down Leroux?

    • Terry

      For all intents and purposes, the Yankee bullpen hasn’t been fully rested yet.

      Late 14-inning game Wednesday morning and this game begins Thursday noon.

      I can see Girardi hoping that this game turns into a blow-out, in which case he uses Leroux for mop-up. If he can save the bullpen completely, the Bullpen will be fully rested for the big series with Toronto this weekend. In that ideal situation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Girardi use either Warren, Betances, and/or Roberston in all three games.

      Once Leroux has pitched, you can send him down for a RH bat; whether that’s Almonte, Murphy, Pirela, who knows…

      • Terry

        Of course, there’s also a chance that McCarthy gets his head handed to him, in which case, Girardi will still need Leroux for mop-up, and then send him down…

      • BKamm

        Is there any other team in MLB that carries a 2 man bench with an 8 man pen? This man (Girardi) seems obsessed with his bullpen.

        • HansDavenport

          Or is there another team that plays short, with a 24 man roster. They let these geriatrics like Tex and Beltran linger on the bench with their aches and pains. Put ’em on the DL and bring up one of these kids. They couldn’t be any worse.

          • Terry

            The Yankees should be what the Rangers are now.

            Think about that for a second.

            The Yankees are either brilliant or lucky – probably a combination in moderation.

            Give them their due and cheer.

            • BKamm

              Far from brilliant. Insanely lucky. Which is unusual. Generally bad teams get bad luck and bad calls. Personally I abhor the way the team is run. I want to see new blood. I don’t want a team where players as bad as Ichiro and Brian Roberts are assured jobs going into spring training.

              I actually hope for a wholesale collapse even worse then last year to the point that this entire model they have is blown up, all new people come in and they go forward with plenty of youth as position players mixed with undervalued vets around 30.
              No more BS with long term contracts with ridiculously overvalued players like Ellsbury and McCann. That’s what I hope for because this stuff is getting really hard to watch.

        • Terry

          Yankee fans aren’t in any position to complain.

          2nd fewest runs scored in the majors, -29 run differential overall, 4/5 of the original rotation gone, middle of the order can’t play their intended positions…

          And the Yankees are just 3 games back of first place in the East and 0.5 games behind in the Wildcard.

          Count your blessings.

          • Terry

            2nd fewest runs scored in the AL* just ahead of the Astros by a single run.

            Better than being 2nd in the Majors though or last in the AL though.

          • HansDavenport

            As usual. There is always someone who will say a fan who is looking for improvement is “Complaining.”

        • Chip Rodriguez

          It beats having more good arms Scott Proctored.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          The bullpen is the reason they beat their Pythagorean projection.

      • HansDavenport

        If it’s a RH bat, it won’t be Almonte. His strong side is hitting left handed.

        • Terry


          • HansDavenport

            The concern over Ichiro is what is blocking any move. If they really feel a need to play him, bring up Zorro and use Suzuki against LH pitching. Personally I couldn’t care less if Suzy ever plays another inning. Even his defense isn’t that good anymore. He’s been dogging it on balls hit in front of him.
            I’d try Wheeler/Almonte in RF.

            • Terry

              The Yankees, like many teams, base their rosters at this point on “body of work”, especially in a playoff race. They’re not in a position to hold tryouts with untested rookies in unfamiliar positions unless they’re desperate, and the situation with Ichiro is not desperate.

              So the only way to supplant him is with a trade or with a really hot item (neither Wheeler nor Almonte qualify).

              Spring training was the time for Wheeler and Almonte to make their moves, even Triple-A or early in the season in the majors.

              Now is not that time, but Almonte will get another chance or in next year’s Spring Training.

              Wheeler can start smoking the ball now anytime he gets to bat and in the field. It’s up to him to force Girardi’s hand, and it’s similarly up to Ichiro to stay that hand and keep his job.

              • HansDavenport

                Ichiro has to do nothing more then he is doing to keep his job. That is how the Yankees work. I doubt he could make another MLB roster.

  • Kevin

    D. Fowler has to be on any top 30 list.

  • matt

    Help me out. I pop in and out and try to follow as much as possible, but what happened to Mark Montgomery? He was right there, had a little issue and now not on the list at all. I thought he was about ready to contribute in the bigs? Thanks

    • JLC 776

      IIRC, he came back from a shoulder injury and couldn’t find the strike zone anymore. Last I heard, he was demoted to AA to work on his mechanics and try to find success again.

    • Terry

      Last heard, he was in a rehab assignment in Tampa and then joined Double-A in mid-July.

      They played with his mechanics apparently because he had lost velocity. I don’t know the results.

      Anybody else know?

  • JLC 776

    So many Single A players…

  • Vern Sneaker

    My guess is that barring injuries #1 through #5 + Refsnyder and Lindgren are the most likely to play in the major leagues. I think Green might stick, too. On the other hand, maybe none of them will, though Ryan seems as sure a thing as it gets. I wouldn’t even hazard a guess on the rest of them at this point.

  • Oy Vay !

    Luis Torrens @ 8, interesting. Hope his development continues. Good depth @ catcher, and curiously even more @ S.S. – though most is in low minors or development leagues. Not high on Jagielo. Just seems like his prospect luster has dulled some what. Great list, with interesting new names.

  • vicki

    I think I’d die if they cut Itchy. He’s so cute prancing around RF. They when he takes his cap off and his little elf ears pop up. He looks like a leprechaun.

    You should see my new combat boot wearing girlfriend. She got her hair cut like Ellsbury and she has dreamy dark eyes like Milan Lucic. She’s gorgeous.

    • BKamm

      You have got to be the most interesting poster I’ve seen here yet.

    • Oy Vay !

      Prancing ? As in deer like ? Yea, well, he’s been playing like he has hooves….. And caught in head-lights !

  • http://www.kendubrowski.com Ken Dubrowski

    Sorry I must have missed the staff meeting but is Culver now listed as a bust? Second is there a list of the AAA to Rookie organizational player rankings? I would like to know which players are considered prospects and which are considered fillers or spare parts.

    • Mike HC

      Culver was considered a bust basically the second after the Yanks drafted him. Turns out they are most probably right too.

  • Eric Duncan Fan

    I know he’s a low A guy but I honestly think by next year around this time Thairo Estrada will be on this list in the 20-30 range. I like him better than Tyler Wade long term as a asset for the Yankees.

  • Nick

    Kinda surprised about no Fowler. Where does he rank Mike? 30-35 range?

  • Mike HC

    Nice work, Mike. I guess my first reaction is that Ref is ranked too low, based on … nothing really. Maybe I’m more hyped about him because of his proximity to the majors and you went for higher upside guys over him. After getting over excited about players with good years in A ball (Austin, Williams, Heathcott, even Sanchez) it is nice to have a prospect actually ripping it up in AA and AAA.

    • Terry

      Just on a cursory look, this list appears to be judged on the “degree of incline”, the rate of increase as in the value of a stock rather than the current price of that stock.

      So it identifies the slope of the prospect’s projected rise (in Michael’s opinion), rather than where the prospect is now.

      I think.

      • Mike HC

        I don’t think so. He is ranking where the player’s stock is currently valued. Some people value upside over probability, and Mike probably leans that way as well. Judge and Severino in particular have been getting highly ranked in all these national mid season prospect lists.

        To use your example, it is like a growth stock trading far above their earnings.

  • derp

    Charleston is “A” ball, Tampa A+, Staten Island A-, leaving the GCL being Rookie ball.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      He’s going with Charleston as A- and SI as short season.

      • derp

        which would be wrong for anyone referencing stat sites.

  • Roy Munson

    When does Judge jump to Trenton?

  • Naved

    Can anyone give me a recent scouting report on Mark Montgomery? His stats still look pretty good with 2.52 ERA and 9+ K/9. Has their been a velocity drop or something?

    • Sean C

      The walks are a concern. 5.3 BB/9 is pretty terrible. Robertson was able to turn the corner, we’ll wait and see on MM.

  • Chris Z

    What does “Rk” mean?

    • Yankee$

      Rookie League (Gulf Coast League).

  • PunkPitch

    Dear lil mike, Jose Campos is a top 30, with an amputated right arm. The system is fraught with too many ? Mark prospects. Throw the list in a bag, shake, and you’ll have next years top 30.

  • Mark LoMoglio

    I would keep Judge in the top 5 but Refsnyder is the most big league ready everyday player in the system. Judge is hitting well in Tampa and not taking anything away but past position players prospect status tends to really show after the jump from High A Tampa to AA Trenton. Refsnyder might not have the best glove at 2nd but he is also able to play the outfield and he has alway hit.

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      Top 30 does not mean the 30 “closest” to the majors. That should clear it up for you.

    • nycsportzfan

      I agree about Refs. And not even thinking about him being ML ready, the fact hes tore up every league hes played in with next to zero resistenance and not only got to Triple A in a great time frame, has done well at Triple A right outta the gates. This guy is the full package offensively and hits righties as well as lefties. He hits on the road and at home, and hes incredible with runners on base. When you draft a college kid, its rare you get em to the ML’s before 24-25 yrs old, but Refs has gotten to and all ready shown the same ability at Scranton at 23yrs old. Hes the best prospect in our farm system in my opinion.

  • Cameron

    Could be getting a bit ahead of myself, but could we see O’Brien up in September as a righty power bat off the bench, similar to what Shane Spencer did? Obviously the holes in the swing have been discussed, but could be nice to have that late inning power option in case he runs into one.

    • Preston

      What about his .245/.291/.542 line with a K rate of 25.7% makes you think he’s ready to skip AAA and be a contributor at the major league level? And where exactly does he play?

      • nycsportzfan

        Prob basing it on the fact hes been red hot lately and is assuming it’ll continue to stay that way more so then go back to figuring out the league and not doing so well. Not like its taken him long to get going at Trenton. Shoot, if he does continue to play as hes been lately, he’ll of figured out the league in a damn short period. His power should play where ever hes at , at this point. Not saying I would skip em to the pros, but just saying, thats probably what Cameron was thinking.

        • Cameron

          Basically, what nycsportzfan says. I mentioned in my post that we know he has holes in his swing, like your stats show, but the power will play anywhere. So not to say that he’s ready for the bigs, but we know he can hit a fastball a mile. So lets say, late in a game in September, Yanks have used a bunch of their bench, reliever is a mostly fastball, wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy you could pinch hit with who destroys fastballs?

  • Kevin

    No Tyler wade? Is he a prospect? Thanks for the list and hard work

  • md

    No way Mark Montgomery should be that low. Stock dropped somewhat but has a much better chance to impact a big league roster as a strikeout reliever than guys like Mason Williams and Heathcott.

    • RetroRob

      He’s a reliever heading in the wrong direction right now.

      • md

        In a worse direction than Williams and Heathcott?? Williams isn’t a hitter above A ball. He’s on the 28 yr old-rookie-5thOF-pinch runner trajectory at best. Heathcott may hit a little better but if we question injury in Montgomery, we could bury Heathcott for the same — plus being a head case on top of it.

        • Preston

          Heading in the wrong way is in he actually got demoted from AAA to AA.

          • md

            Montgomery already had some success at AAA. And I think being on the cusp of a big league promotion and then having a setback is higher on the prospect list (and still 23) than someone who cant hit at AA like Williams. Forget demotion to work out some mechanical issues; Williams is stalled to nothing at a level Montgomery blew past. If anything Williams’ numbers might warrant a demotion to A ball. And Heathcott isn’t playing at any level b/c he’s always hurt.

            • RetroRob

              The problem with Montgomery is he’s lost effectiveness after the arm issue. The breaking pitch that was his bread-and-butter doesn’t have the same bite, and his lost command. He’s been demoted. So, he is going in the wrong direction.

              Williams right now is lost at the plate and has a bad approach, but he has great skills. He may never figure it out, but he has the skills. Montgomery has a “name” and people had hopes he’d be a great reliever. I’d forget about that now.

              If the Yankees were to offer up Williams, Heathcott (injuries and all) and Montgomery on the open market, Montgomery would be of least interest to teams and return the least.

              It is what it is.

              • md

                Williams isn’t merely in a slump. A+ knocked him down a notch at the plate; and AA knocked him down another notch and a half. .199/.262 after 500 pas at AA is more than “right now”. He’s already been exposed as lacking the hitting skill. And we know that’s the one that counts.

                I think Williams had the “name” much more than Montgomery ever did; and people have hopes he’ll be the Yankees starting CF. I forgot about that 200 pas ago. He can’t hit. Sad but true.

  • nycsportzfan

    I’m gonna dig into this thread later, you can believe that. Super excited to really examine the list Mike.A.. Thanks! Your nuts having Refs number 9though.

    • RetroRob

      It’s funny, I think you’re the first person in this thread to mention Ref all the way “down” at #9, although granted I skipped through the comments quickly.

      Another way of looking at it is the Yankees have a number of talented players pushing Refsnyder to 9. Mike also said the 3-9 are all tightly grouped. Maybe he put last in that group to create a little bit of discussion. I would have a hard time ranking Greg Bird, a 1B’man in A ball, ahead of a 2B’man in AAA. I have no doubt Refsynder will make the Majors, but I’m not sure about Bird.

      These type of lists are heavily influenced on where the reviewer weights certain things: ceiling, closeness to the majors, position, etc. Lindgren is 12, yet there is a higher probability of him making the majors and having an impact than a number of the players in front of him, yet those players have a chance of maybe making a greater impact. All subjective.

      • nycsportzfan

        Were all entitled to our opinion and I respect Mikes. That is one case I really disagree with him but whatever. Its all good. I think Refs is the best player in our system, so i’m obviously all in on him. Have been since the draft really. He was one of the rare college kids I actually watched a bit of and assumed he was gonna be a 2nd rd player at worst.

        Not that it matters, but this kid has had a better minor league career then Robbie Cano , and I think he’ll be good enough at 2nd. 2nd base isn’t even that tough a position to play. This kids got a AS caliber bat. I love that he hits to all fields and can get the ball over the fence as well as just flat out hit. Hes got some speed as well. I know he hasen’t been a good base stealer this yr, but he can swipe some bags, as you can see by his 20 steals last yr and 11 the yr before. Just to good for 9th in my opinion.

        Your right though, the system hasen’t looked this good in some time and its really something that guys like Refs can barley crack the top 10 in some peoples opinion.

        • Dick M

          If you think 2B is an easy position to play then you never played much baseball.

  • fred

    Lol, so many opinions, so little time.

  • Lee

    What happened to Kyle Roller…thought he was on the fast track…

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Read this during an all-day training today. Very nice list, Mike.

    Actually was surprised at Refsnyder being all the way down at 8, being that he really is the closest non-JRM guy to the majors and is doing really well in AAA, but whatever.

    Surprised to see Bird so high as well.

    This is a list that is looking MUCH deeper than, say, two seasons ago.

    • nycsportzfan

      I love me some G.Bird. He reminds me of Nick Johnson offensively, as far as a prospect and what kinda hitter Nick was and could’ve been kinda mixed. Can hit for avg, extremely patient approach, good sized, and also, kinda injury prone. If he stays healthy, he could really be something. Can’t teach size either, and hes got a nice ML frame on him. He looks the part.

  • nycsportzfan

    Its kinda crazy with as good as Refs been this yr, his OBP is actually down from last season.lol Last yr was over 400 and this yr hes at a measly 392OBP.lol J/k

  • http://none Dan

    Why isn’t Caleb Smith on this list?
    He seems to be the best lefty starting prospect in the system.
    Zach Nuding also seems to have better pitched games than Bryan Mitchell.
    These players have demonstrated more than prospect than the perpetually injured Flores and Heathcoat.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Gotta say, I’m not sure I see any scenario in which I don’t take a 21 year old catcher with a .148 ISO and a 18 K% in AA over a 22 year old right fielder with a .168 ISO and 24 K% in A+.

  • Bobby lucarello

    Taylor dugas and mark Payton are two guys I am keeping on eye on not on the list.

    Love high obp gut and grit guys..teams always need role players