2015 Pre-Draft Top 30 Prospects

Mailbag: A-Rod, Betances, Cano, Ramirez, Banuelos, Prado
6/7 to 6/9 Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels
Judge. (Times of Trenton)
Judge. (Times of Trenton)

The 2015 amateur draft begins Monday night, which means it’s time for my annual pre-draft update of the top 30 prospects in the Yankees’ system. Of the three top 30 lists I do each year, the pre-draft list by far my least favorite because it’s prone to small sample size overreactions and usually no new interesting prospects have joined the organization. So it’s the same players in a slightly different order, basically.

The only player to graduate from my Preseason Top 30 Prospects list to the big leagues so far this year is current backup catcher John Ryan Murphy. He crossed the 130 at-bat rookie eligibility threshold a few weeks ago. The Yankees haven’t made any trades yets this season, so no prospects were added or subtracted from the farm system since the preseason list.

Rather than simply present the pre-draft top 30 like I usually do, I’m going to try something a little different this time, and break the list up into groups. The players are still ranked 1-30, but are now grouped together based on common traits. Make sense? You’ll see what I mean. Each player is listed with his position, his age, and his rank on my preseason list. Let’s get to it.

The Top Two

1. OF Aaron Judge, 23 (Preseason Rank: 1)
2. RHP Luis Severino, 21 (Preseason Rank: 2)

At this point these two are clearly the two best prospects in the system. The order is debatable but not really — Judge has done nothing but mash as a pro and also will provide defensive value in right field. There are basically two flaws in his game. One, he is prone to striking out, partly because he’s so damn big and has such long arms. Two, he doesn’t hit for as much power as you’d expect because he has such a contact-focused approach. That’s the “my biggest weakness is I work too hard” of the prospect world.

Severino, on the other hand, is still working to refine his breaking ball and changeup — both of which are very promising yet far from consistent from start-to-start — as well as improve his delivery. The Yankees have moved Severino very aggressively through the system and I have little doubt he will reach MLB before Judge. I like Judge’s potential to be a long-term impact player more, however. Again, these two are the two best prospects in the system and the Yankees are lucky to have both. At this point Judge is the better bet though.

The Questionable Next Four

3. C Gary Sanchez, 22 (Preseason Rank: 3)
4. LHP Ian Clarkin, 20 (Preseason Rank: 4)
5. 1B Greg Bird, 22 (Preseason Rank: 5)
6. 3B Eric Jagielo, 23 (Preseason Rank: 12)

(Presswire)
Bird. (Presswire)

All four of these guys have a lot of upside and at least one significant flaw that holds them back from top prospect status. Sanchez’s defense continues to be a work in progress — the Yankees had him repeat Double-A this year so he could specifically work with ex-catchers/coaches P.J.Pilittere and Michel Hernandez — and while it is improving, it is improving very slowly. The Yankees are being patient. Jagielo’s issue is also his defense. He’s statuesque at the hot corner.

Clarkin and Bird have been hurt this year. In fact, Clarkin hasn’t pitched in an official game at all this season. He went down with elbow tendinitis in Spring Training and was reportedly pitching in Extended Spring Training games last month, but there have been no updates since. Hard not to think the worst at this point. Bird returned to the Double-A Trenton lineup last night after missing a month with a shoulder strain. Sanchez, Clarkin, Bird, and Jagielo all have a chance to be impact big league players, but none are a safe bets due to their noted flaws.

Young & Far Away

7. SS Jorge Mateo, 19 (Preseason Rank: 8)
8. C Luis Torrens, 19 (Preseason Rank: 6)
9. 3B Miguel Andujar, 20 (Preseason Rank: 7)
10. SS Tyler Wade, 20 (Preseason Rank: 20)

This is the “ultra-talented but many levels away from MLB” group. Wade is the big climber here because the kid does nothing but hit. He went into last night’s game with a .305/.348/.385 (124 wRC+) batting line in High Class-A, where he is two and a half years younger than the average Florida State League player. Wade doesn’t have any power, but as a left-handed hitting shortstop with good defensive chops and bat-to-ball ability, his stock continues to rise.

Mateo leads all of professional baseball in stolen bases this season and is as tooled up as any player in the system. He might be a little in over his head with Low-A Charleston at the moment, but he hasn’t been atrocious. Andujar is once again doing his “slow start at a new level” thing, which he’s done his entire career. He has the skills to be a two-way asset though. Torrens is out for the season, unfortunately. He tore his labrum and had surgery in Spring Training. That’s a pretty significant injury, but I love him as a player, so I have him in a holding pattern for the time being.

Lindgren. (Presswire)
Lindgren. (Presswire)

Ready To Help

11. 2B Rob Refsnyder, 24 (Preseason Rank: 13)
12. LHP Jacob Lindgren, 22 (Preseason Rank: 14)
13. RHP Bryan Mitchell, 23 (Preseason Rank: 15)
14. OF Ramon Flores, 23 (Preseason Rank: 22)
15. LHP Chasen Shreve, 24 (Preseason Rank: 26)

We’ve reached the MLB ready portion of the list, and in fact three of these guys (Lindgren, Ramon, Shreve) are in the big leagues at this very moment. Mitchell was up earlier this year and last year as well. Refsnyder could be called up pretty much any day now, though his defense at second is still questionable and he hasn’t wowed at the plate this season — he was hitting .277/.357/.375 (116 wRC+) prior to last night’s game. These guys don’t have the highest ceilings in the organization, but their MLB readiness and probability makes them all top 15 prospects in the system.

The Mixed Bag

16. OF Jake Cave, 22 (Preseason Rank: 19)
17. RHP Domingo German, 22 (Preseason Rank: 11)
18. OF Tyler Austin, 23 (Preseason Rank: 10)
19. RHP Austin DeCarr, 20 (Preseason Rank: 16)
20. RHP Brady Lail, 21 (Preseason Rank: 25)
21. SS Abi Avelino, 20 (Preseason Rank: 20)

The only thing this group has is common is … well nothing. They’re all Yankees, that’s it. Cave, Lail, and Avelino are all having good to great seasons — Lail and Avelino received early season promotions to Double-A Trenton and High-A Tampa, respectively — while Austin has really struggled with Triple-A Scranton. He battled injuries the last few seasons, but, as far as I know, he’s healthy now. Healthy and not hitting, which is a problem for a bat first prospect.

German and DeCarr have not pitched in an official game yet this season for different reasons. German, who came over from the Marlins in the Nathan Eovaldi/Martin Prado trade, blew out his elbow in Spring Training and needed Tommy John surgery. He’s out for the season, obviously. DeCarr, meanwhile, is hanging out in Extended Spring Training and will join one of the team’s four (!) short season affiliates when the various seasons start later this month. My guess is Short Season Staten Island. We’ll see.

Reclamation Prospects

22. OF Mason Williams, 23 (Preseason Rank: 29)
23. OF Slade Heathcott, 24 (Preseason Rank: 30)
24. RHP Jose Ramirez, 25 (Preseason Rank: 23)

Heathcott. (Presswire)
Heathcott. (Presswire)

We could also call this the Cautious Optimism group. All three are trying to rebuild their prospect stock. Williams was flat out terrible the last two seasons while Heathcott and Ramirez have battled injuries for years now. Williams got off to an excellent start in Double-A Trenton this year and was quickly promoted to Triple-A Scranton thanks in part to Heathcott. Heathcott had a great Grapefruit League showing, a great few weeks in Triple-A, and was called up to MLB last month. Ramirez has been Triple-A almost all year and is doing fine. Not great, not awful.

If prospect rankings were based on pure talent and upside, these three would be near the top of the list. But there’s also a probability component that has to be considered, and these guys are sorely lacking in that area. Williams is atop this group because his problems are makeup and work ethic related, and theoretically those issues are correctable. Injuries are much more difficult to overcome, especially the kind Heathcott and Ramirez have been through. Their natural talent keeps them in the top 30, but it’s hard to go any higher given their track records.

The Best of the Rest

25. SS Angel Aguilar, 19 (Preseason Rank: 21)
26. OF Leonardo Molina, 17 (Preseason Rank: 24)
27. LHP Jordan Montgomery, 22 (Preseason Rank: N/A)
28. RHP Ty Hensley, 21 (Preseason Rank: 18)
29. SS Thairo Estrada, 19 (Preseason Rank: 27)
30. RHP Danny Burawa, 26 (Preseason Rank: 28)

The last few spots are always the toughest because there isn’t a whole lot of separation between prospects at this level. It comes down to preference, not any sort of significant difference in talent level or anything like that. Aguilar, Molina, and Estrada are all still very young and talented, though they have combined to play a total of 33 games this season, all by Aguilar at Low-A Charleston. Molina and Estrada are still in Extended Spring Training.

Hensley takes a big fall because he’s hurt again. He had Tommy John surgery in March and is going to miss another full season. Due to hip, hernia, and elbow woes, the team’s first round pick in the 2012 draft will have thrown a total of 42.1 innings from 2012-15. Brutal. There’s just no way to get that development time back. I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that it’ll be very difficult for Hensley. Hopefully the elbow surgery is his last injury and he can finally start to accumulate some innings next year.

The only new name added to the list is Montgomery, who has predictably torn up the low minors after spending three years in the SEC as part of South Carolina’s rotation. He’s the kind of guy who won’t be tested until he gets to Double-A. Montgomery is cut from the David Phelps/Adam Warren cloth as a college starter with enough stuff and enough command to move quickly and stick around in MLB for a few years. The upside isn’t sky high, but back-end starters have to come from somewhere.

Mailbag: A-Rod, Betances, Cano, Ramirez, Banuelos, Prado
6/7 to 6/9 Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels
  • John in Forest

    Are we certain that Clarkin and Hensley are really two different pitchers?

  • Robert

    Congradulations to Pat Venditte former Yankee prospect who was called up to the Oakland A’s today for his MLB debut.
    Met him at Staten Island,Saw him at many Thunder games.
    Could never understand why Yanks never took him seriously I always thought he was two pitchers in one that could pitch everyday ,He was having a banner year in the Minors It will be interesting to see if he becomes a viable asset to the A’s bullpen.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

      Never thought of that. Could he have pitched every day having 2 arms?

      • John in Forest

        No. His value comes from always having the platoon advantage. Although if he did have major league stuff with both arms, I suppose he could pitch lefty one day and righty the next, and always have a day off on his throwing arm.

        • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

          With 2 handedness he could have pitched easily over 100 games. Even if one went sore he’d have the other.

          • Some Asshole

            I imagine he would have to field, sometime. Even if it’s non-throwing, that could be an issue if he were used that much.

            • I am Brett Godner

              Nah, he was once a Yankee prospect who made the big leagues with a different team. He will obviously strike out everyone he faces for the next 20 years.

        • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

          which arm is his favorite?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Love.

    I’m somewhat surprised Jagelio was kept out of the top five, but you certainly can’t argue with the five above him either.

    No love for KATOH wonder Alex Palma, I see. I assume we’d see him in the next ten, along with guys like Jon Holder, etc, who are pretty fringy at the moment.

    Would love to see #22 or #23 prove us damn wrong.

    Great job, as always and, yes, congrats to Pat Venditte. Damn well deserved, even if it’s only for sticking it out this for this long.

  • Barzini

    There are so many players you could include at the bottom of the list. Rumbelow, Barbato, Rookie, Pazos, Coshow, Gamel, Holder, Payton, Palma, and some of the international signees from last summer.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Yup. A ton. I almost can’t believe a guy like Rumbelow winds up on the outside looking in. Same with Rookie and Barbato.

      I also understand why they don’t, of course.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      At this point I probably should have squeezed Davis onto the list. Rumbelow was basically No. 31.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Not surprised.

      • Barzini

        I was surprised that you had Hensley in there instead of Davis. But, I don’t envy you. The bottom of that list had to be a pain to figure out.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Yeah. I’d agree with that. I’m rooting for Hensley as much as anyone here, but the road is long there.

  • disqus_8E66WIUyso

    Congrats to pv for making it to bigs. Why cashman never gave him chance. Odd.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      If Venditte didn’t throw with both arms, he’d be just another random minor league reliever.

  • I am Brett Godner

    As the founding of the Burawa Bandwagon (TM), I am officially banning Axisa for life. He keeps acting like its DAAAAnny BurAAAAwAAAA rather than the guy with filthy stuff and a nice strike em out GB combination. Sure he might walk a ton of guys but that’s not such an issue for a RP, oh yeah, right, that’s a problem. Still Burawa Burawa Burawa!!!

    Brought to you by the members of the Burawa Bandwagon (TM).

  • Gregory Eckes

    If Venditte pitches well, regardless of his ambidextrousness, especially given the struggles of our middle relief then it is yet another
    #CashmanFail

    • Robinson Tilapia

      We need the Cashmanfail GIF here.

      Stop being such a Greg, Greg.

    • gageagainstthemachine

      Ask and you shall receive, Tilapia!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Saved to desktop for future use.

  • Dan A.

    I’m surprised you have Clarkin so high. I guess I’d feel better if he was actually pitching.

  • gageagainstthemachine

    Slade wins this year’s “Dude Who Went Through Hell and Back To Get To MLB” Award. I hope a few years from now a Yankee game thread will be rejoicing in unison over everything Hensley has overcome when he makes his first MLB pitch and we can give him the award. He’s got a long difficult road and I (along with many others I assume) am rooting hard for the kid to make it. Keeps hitting road bumps every time he overcomes the last one, but seems to have a great attitude, outlook, and work ethic (and his mom even stops by RAB comments to fill us in every now and then with his progress). How could you NOT root for Hensley?!

  • Andy Phillips Reborn

    He’s not on the list, but Ben Gamel has had a remarkable year in AAA. He’s definitely a future fourth outfielder just because CF isn’t quite in his defensive range, but could he possibly be packaged with Carpenter in a trade for a B/C prospect in the next week? It’s evident that he won’t get a chance in this organization with so much outfield depth, but I’d like to see him catch on somewhere else.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Carpenter should net you a C prospect on his own. What exactly does tacking a C prospect to him resolve?

      • Gregory Eckes

        It gets you a B prospect

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Ben Gamel ain’t moving the needle that much, son.

  • The Bronx Empire

    I’m pretty sure Shreve has graduated. You may not be counting the 13 days he played for the Braves last year. Plus, I think I read somewhere that if you get sent down but are called back immediately after the minimum 10 days you get credit for those 10 days toward your major lg service time. Either way, I think he’s graduated.

  • Dick M

    In looking at that list, the focus going forward has to be on more high end pitching prospects. All the talk about a position player for the top pick in our upcoming draft doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    • Dan A.

      A few reasons: (1) guys take a long time to advance, so need is irrelevant (take BPA); (2) hitting is generally weaker than pitching, so accumulate as much talent there as possible; (3) even though need doesn’t matter, they do have young SPs already in the bigs (or close); (4) they do a good job of developing SPs claimed in later rounds

      • Dick M

        You’re not gonna get top of the rotation starters, by and large, in the later rounds. I’m just saying that ideally, you would have maybe 4 pitchers in your top 10. We have Severino and then a guy a who might be hurt.

        • Dan A.

          Andy Pettitte was in the 22d round. Obviously, he’s an outlier. But they do a good job of drafting back of the rotation guys late. And they could take a hitter with the first pick, and then take a pitcher with the 2d pick in the first round, or 2d round pick (that would hardly be late).

          • Fawn Lopez

            You can’t Draft and Follow anymore. Pettitte would go in the 1st Round these days.

    • Scott

      You take the best player available at the time. In baseball it makes little sense to draft for need. It can take 3-6 years for a prospect to make the bigs. By then your needs will have changed.

      • Dick M

        So if the best player is a pitcher we would take him? That’s not what I’m reading.

        • Dan A.

          Nothing out there is very trustworthy right now. A month ago, word was they’re all in on the best college SP available. I think it all boils down to them taking BPA.

        • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

          The strength of this draft is RHP .

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I both agree with your larger point and think that, yes, if the best guy available is a pitcher, you take him.

    • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

      B.P.A … all the high end college guys (more than just mid rotation) are either going to be taken before 16 or are hurt (Aiken/Matuella).

      • Dick M

        The high end position players are gonna be gone as well. This isn’t the NFL draft. The success rate is so reduced. I doubt the value difference between the best pitcher and the best position player is gonna be all that great.

        I’m just saying, based on Mike’s list, we’re short on pitching prospects.

        • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

          You can sign IFA’S for possible future need which is exactly what they did.

          I wish they would invest in the Cuban market for ‘now’ need.

          The last time the Yankees drafted for need was 2002. It’s just something they don’t do anymore.

    • Preston

      That’s not how the draft works. Drafting pitchers this year isn’t going to help fill the pitching gaps at the upper levels. And high end pitchers break at alarming rates (you wouldn’t think the system was bereft of high end pitching if Clarkin and German were healthy in Tampa and Hensley and Domingo Acevedo were healthy in Charleston). And actually the Yankees have pretty good pitching depth throughout the system, mostly because they’ve had a pretty amazing ability to draft useful pitchers in the later rounds. Yes it’s a big drop off after Severino, but Bryan Mitchell at AAA, Brady Lail at AA, Rookie Davis, Jonathan Holder and Jordan Montgomery at Tampa and the Jordan Foley at Charleston all profile as future mid to back end starters with a chance of following in the footseps of Warren, Phelps, Greene and Whitley as later round pitching finds.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Which is not a terrible thing considering we once said the opposite.

      • Dick M

        I want my cake ……

    • Dalek Jeter

      Well, you also have to take into account that right now 4 of the 5 starting pitchers on the Yankees are all 26 or younger and two of them are ace caliber pitchers. I mean, don’t get me wrong, young starting pitching depth in the minors is great…but if one or two of Eo, Warren, Nova, Severino, can be serviceable middle of the rotation guys then the rotation can be augmented through trades and free agency. On top of that, with offense down and young position players being locked up for their primes by their teams before FA with extensions, developing offense is of premium importance right now.

      • Dick M

        The 2 aces are a bit iffy though, physically. Tanaka-san could go either way and Pineda obviously has a tricky shoulder. Which is why you want to prime the pump internally with young pitchers. A healthy org has 2-3 young pitching prospects knocking on the door. We ain’t there.

    • Dan A.

      Latest MLB.com mock:

      James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA
      The Yankees want a college pitcher, too, and the more polished Kaprielian should move faster than College of Southern Nevada right-hander Phil Bickford, the No. 10 overall choice in 2013. Hitters who could tempt New York include Randolph, Whitley, Happ and Wilson High (Long Beach, Calif.) catcher Chris Betts.

      • Dick M

        Sign me up. Is he Armenian?

  • Preston

    I don’t think Mateo is in over his head at all at Low A. He’s hitting .269/.323/.374, a tick above league average. And he’s 14 for his last 39 with a homer and three triples.

    • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

      Having Colbrunn as his instructor helps alot.

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  • Pegasus

    Hey Mike, thoughts on Ben Gamel? he’s had a pretty solid season to this point.

  • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

    Feels great to have players who are more than just “org guys” on that list of 30.

    Deepest this system has been in decades and will only get deeper with 4 picks in the top 75 of this year’s draft plus the 2014 IFA class (which we NEED to be great not just good).

    Trending upwards even with the injuries.

    Mondays draft can’t get here soon enough.

  • Chip

    I’m curious where Miguel Sulbaran would fall in this discussion. His numbers have started to flatten out after a very good start to the season in Trenton. He had a strong cup of coffee with Scranton and LHSP don’t grow on trees.

    • Gregory Eckes

      I’ve thought about him too.

    • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

      He’s Vidal Nuno pt2.

      • Chip

        That’s still a big league pitcher

        • Gregory Eckes

          At worst, that’s a trade chip

          • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

            Basically , so he does have value.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              But none of that makes him a top 30 guy in our system.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’d probably put every fringe guy listed below above him.

      • Chip

        Why’s that?

        Seriously, I don’t know the answer. Just reading some of the articles that came out when he was traded to the Twins and then to the Yankees he’s reported as a young guy with great control and an average FB sitting in the low 90s and decent off-speed stuff.

        Seems like that’s pretty much the same as Montgomery and Sulbaran is closer to the majors. Certainly (in my opinion) puts him higher than a RP.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s not a knock on him, even though I understand it sounds like it.

          I simply like what everyone from Rumbelow to Barbato to Goody to Rookie bring to the table more as potential big leaguers.

          I certainly, for now, would put him higher than a lower level potential back end guy like Holder, but I’m also more intrigued by Holder’s potential.

          None of this is saying he can’t be a big leaguer.

          Anything above a fart acquired for Eduardo Nunez is a win.

          • Chip

            I didn’t take it as a knock…I’m just legitimately curious about these guys since all I know about them are their stat lines and scouting reports.

            I think I tend to weigh probability a little higher than upside when considering a prospect and so the closer he is to the majors the more credence I give to him. For example, I think that Jake Cave is a better prospect than Ramon Flores in terms of talent, but I would rate Flores higher because he’s right here.

        • Some Asshole

          He was traded for Eduardo Nunez. The 2014 Eduardo Nunez.

          • Chip

            So what? Yankees got Jake Westbrook and Ted Lilly for Hideki Irabu once upon a time.

            • Some Asshole

              In my mind, it’s the one reason why I tend to dismiss him. But if he turns out alright, cool.

    • Preston

      He’s very Vidal Nunoish. Which is useful, but not terribly exciting.

      • Chip

        Reasonable. As I say below though, I get more excited about the low ceiling guy who is a greater bet to make the show than the high upside guy who is going to tantalize with raw stuff but never make it beyond AA.

      • Some Asshole

        It looked like Nuno found a bit of a niche in Arizona this past not-quite-a-year, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens to him in the Mariners organization.

        • Dalek Jeter

          He’ll have a good ERA but middling peripherals because Seattle is where non Teixeira hitters go for 0-fors.

    • whileaway

      just remember Subaran is 21 and pitching for Trenton. When Nuno was 21 he was pitching in the NYPL. Nuno didn´t reach NY until he was 25. Maybe a better comparison is Quintana. We´ll see.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        That’s not a lofty comparison at all. No, sir.

        • whileaway

          like YOU know anymore than the next RAB blog expert ? Right.

        • whileaway

          like YOU know anymore than the next RAB blog expert ? Right.

  • dave_8

    I’d have Severino over Judge. And I don’t see how Sanchez could not have fallen. He’s been held back to work on his D but except for a recent power surge, his bat isn’t screaming that AA is too easy now either. I think there’s good reason that he’s not talked up as much any longer. I’d have let Bird slip a little too. AA has been a challenge for him even pre-injury. And I think someone like Gamel should’ve pushed his way into the bottom of the list. He just turned 23 and he’s having a good season at AAA. Should get more points for actually producing. Offensively, he’s been right in there with guys like Slade, Williams and Cave.

    • mitch

      Sanchez has been in the system so long that you assume he’s older, but he’s only 22. He’s still a couple years younger than the average AA player. He’s not tearing it up, but a wRC+ of 113 is still pretty damn good for a catcher.

      • dave_8

        I know how old he is. But I don’t think he’s our 3rd best prospect — or that he hasn’t lost some status over the yrs for legit reasons.

        • mitch

          well he used to be a top 50 prospect in all of baseball so he has lost some status. The book on him was always that he could hit but would have to improve defensively to be a long term catcher. That still holds true…he just hasn’t improved quickly enough to remain an elite prospect.

          • dave_8

            I don’t disagree. He’s got an arm, streaky pop and a lot of work to do. I heard Girardi talk about him this past off-season and he made him sound like a raw work-in-progress that was far away. Some here think he’ll be breathing down McCann’s and JRM’s neck soon. I don’t think the Yankees view him that way.

            • mitch

              I don’t view him that way either. I think he’s in AAA by the end of the year and stays there for 2016 as a 23 year old.

        • Preston

          Give me an argument why Jagielo, Bird or Clarkin (the next three) should be ranked ahead of him? I don’t see it.

          • Dalek Jeter

            Here’s a shock: Mateo should be above him. Hitting better than league average while being a year and a half young for the league, one of the best base runners/stealers in the minor leagues, stud with a glove, and a true SS.

            • Dalek Jeter

              Yup. I’m saying Mateo is the third best prospect in the Yankee org right now…and every list come next season will agree with me. Boom bold statement.

              • HoopDreams

                The more and more I hear about Mateo I get my more excited, I had no clue who this dude was like 3 months ago.

                • Dalek Jeter

                  I remember anytime Mike or anybody talked about him last year all they did was rave about how toolsy the kid is…and he struggled a bit as recently as about a week or so ago, but yeah everything about him has me excited.

              • Some Asshole

                These lists appear to also take into account level and position. But Mateo is definitely interesting. I’m not ready to get my heart broken again on him, though.

              • Preston

                Well BA already had him ranked 3rd. So I think you’re probably right.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Maybe. I’ve been very slow to get on that train. Level is my excuse there.

              • dave_8

                Me too. I can’t tell if he’s a defender at SS. That makes all the difference. Conflicting reports there.

            • Preston

              I like Mateo a lot. But you (and many others) are giving one guy the benefit of all his potential and dismissing the other for not fully maxing out his. Mateo has 13 errors so far, having all the tools to be a true MLB SS, and being one are different things. He could be end up a plus defender, a bad defender, a 2b, or even a CF at this point. Gary Sanchez has always had all the tools to be an MLB C, and at this point it’s likely that he’ll stick at the position, even if he’s never going to be a good defender. And while it’s fun and exciting that Mateo has 80 speed and has 37 steals, he’s also at a level where pitchers can’t hold runners, infielders can’t hold runners, and catchers can’t throw them out. We’ll see if he’s still running wild at AAA or if he turns into more of a 30 SB per season guy. And if I was going to pick a tool I’d take Sanchez’s 70 raw power grade over Mateo’s 80 speed every day (and Sanchez has used his power to hit 22 homers in 173 games in a pitcher friendly environment at AA in his age 20-22 seasons, Aaron Judge has 25 homers in 180 games split between Low A. High A and AA in his age 22-23 seasons). As for Mateo being young and league average with the bat, he’s in his age 20 season at low A, Sanchez posted an above average season with the bat last year at AA in his age 21 season. And has been better so far this year.

              • captainmike

                what you say is similar to Billy Hamilton and the Reds,
                did miracles in the minors but is mixed in MLB

                • Fawn Lopez

                  Hamilton was never really an elite prospect. Most knew he would not hit enough to steal bases at the MLB level.

                  • Preston

                    Hamilton was ranked in the top 50 by Baseball America four consecutive years.

              • dave_8

                I agree with everything you say about Mateo. But I’m not as confident that Sanchez sticks at catcher as you are. There’s another dimension to catching that doesn’t involve physical tools. And the some incidents of disciplinary issues doesn’t enhance his picture. JRM doesn’t have the same tools as Sanchez, yet he’s the guy they like for the future. I’ve never heard anything positive about those other dimensions when it comes to Sanchez. His numbers mean a lot less if they start mixing in some 1B/DH or trying the OF again.

                • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

                  Knowing their new m.o. they will trade Sanchez and wait on Torrens.

                • I am Brett Godner

                  He’s 22, I was a total dick when I was 22. We have been hearing about Sanchez since he was 16. If he keeps hitting and improving behind the plate he actually has plenty of time to mature. Heck a 25 year old rookie catcher isn’t even all that old. IF you start seeing him get a lot of starts at 1st and DH then you worry until then hes a prospect and prospects gotta prospect.

                  • dave_8

                    If you think of him as your 3rd best prospect behind only Judge and Severino, I think a debut at 25 would be an indication that things didn’t work out as hoped. And yes, a lot of us are dicks at 22 or any age. But that’s pro sports. That’s part of the challenge. You’re a very young person who gets a big bonus and a lot of hype. How you handle that affects your success. It’s just how it is. We can’t say let’s wait until he’s 30 and understands life a little better. They’re all young turks with cash. Some get it eventually and take pride in their profession. Others are just punks who never do. Who knows about Sanchez? But they’re all young.

                  • dave_8

                    If you think of him as your 3rd best prospect behind only Judge and Severino, I think a debut at 25 would be an indication that things didn’t work out as hoped. And yes, a lot of us are dicks at 22 or any age. But that’s pro sports. That’s part of the challenge. You’re a very young person who gets a big bonus and a lot of hype. How you handle that affects your success. It’s just how it is. We can’t say let’s wait until he’s 30 and understands life a little better. They’re all young turks with cash. Some get it eventually and take pride in their profession. Others are just punks who never do. Who knows about Sanchez? But they’re all young.

                • ÅndyInSunnyDB

                  What “dimensions” are you talking about?

                  • dave_8

                    Calling a game and commanding a pitching staff. Zunino’s hitting 177 (under 200 last season) but he blew past Montero and is their everyday catcher. Montero hit better or the same as that but no one liked pitching to him. Is it Zunino’s arm (his CS is 28% for his career) or is it what’s between his ears? Montero couldn’t call games. He looked to the bench for the signs — even in his short stint with the Yankees. It’s more than footwork and arm strength. Working with pitchers is huge.

                    • ÅndyInSunnyDB

                      What does Montero have to do with Sanchez?

                    • dave_8

                      I was talking about the other dimension — like you asked. My example was about a bat-first (only?) catcher vs someone who stays in despite the offense b/c of what else he brings besides the bat. Is Sanchez known for anything defensively besides a strong arm? Or do people who dont care about that other dimension talk up his bat?

                    • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

                      They prolly know what they are going to do with Sanchez already.

                    • dave_8

                      Sanchez is a bat that they hope can develop into a catcher — like Montero, just more athletic and less of hitter. Catching prospects are known for their catching — and they hope that comes with some bat. A lot of people here care about the bat only. See the yrs of Montero-watch as an example. All those defensive and work ethic issues were obscured by the bat. But the former is what put him at 1b in AAA.

                    • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

                      For some reason I have a feeling the same fate might await Sanchez.

                    • dave_8

                      I think he’ll be trade bait or maybe another 1b option as Tex’s contract expires. In all the radio spots I’ve heard with Cash, Hal and Girardi, I’ve never heard them bring up his name unless asked specifically. You hear Refs, Judge, Bird, Severino, Lindgren every time without anyone asking. Only once b/c someone asked specifically about Sanchez did Girardi talk about him. And he spoke of him as someone who wasn’t in any imminent picture. Raw and needed a lot of work on his catching. To ignore a repeat at AA to work on defense, and still talk up his top prospect status as a catcher, and pretend his bat is better than it is, is something that only happens here. There’s a disconnect b/c of his past status. In the off-season I said he could use another round at AA. I was questioned on that back then just like now. It was like an automatic that he’d be in AAA and there was no need to redo AA. I guess the Yankees thought differently. And nothing he’s done there says that it was the wrong move.

                    • Game 3

                      He’s younger than those guys and not as close to contributing.

                    • dave_8

                      That may apply to Refs but not the rest. The others started their seasons a level below Sanchez last yr. And if he’s so highly thought of and plays a different position, why not bring his name up? They brought up a future 2b, 1b, RF, SP, RP but leave out the catcher of the future who’s already in AA?

                • Preston

                  I mean they love JRM so much that after his breakout 2013 and MLB debut they signed Brian McCann to a 5 year deal. There is a lot more to catching. But it’s hard to quantify, and you’re basing the idea that JR Murphy is really good at these things and Gary Sanchez isn’t because Joe tells people that John Ryan is such a hard worker and that Gary Sanchez got suspended for being late to the facility and benched for jogging to 1b. That seems like some pretty questionable evidence. A.J. Pierzynski was a real a-hole and bad team-mate. He still had a really long and solid career as an MLB C, because he could hit.

                  • dave_8

                    No, that’s not the only evidence. It’s the silence that comes when talking about Sanchez as a catcher. And if you think that signing McCann to a long -term deal says something bad about JRM, what does it say about your 3rd best prospect catcher, Sanchez? You’re making it about two things b/c I said Sanchez’s dickhead actions “doesn’t enhance his picture” and I said how much they like JRM. I said nothing about Joe Girardi. Tuck was the one who praised JRM in May of 14 after they had signed McCann. And Sanchez also didn’t want to warm up pitchers in the bullpen. You left that one out — the one that pertains to catching. Some hit and catch enough to stick but others dont. And signing McCann as evidence of some distaste for JRM is pretty questionable too. You had a proven option and a chance to have JRM learn at his feet. The name Sanchez wasn’t even mentioned — except by his fans here. And all you heard last yr was how well McCann worked with the pitchers when some brought up his offense. Hard to quantify does not make that dimension any less real.

              • Fawn Lopez

                Ignore errors at the level. Go back and look at most major league SSs at A ball. Most made a lot of errors. Mateo is stealing not because the catchers suck at that level, he is stealing bases because he is so fast. He

                • Preston

                  All the players who stuck at SS made lots of errors in A ball. All the players who didn’t stick at SS made a lot of errors as well. The question is will he improve. It’s possible, maybe even likely, but it isn’t certain. And I’m not questioning that his speed will be effective at other levels. I just don’t see 100+ SB pace happening at any other level.

                • Preston

                  All the players who stuck at SS made lots of errors in A ball. All the players who didn’t stick at SS made a lot of errors as well. The question is will he improve. It’s possible, maybe even likely, but it isn’t certain. And I’m not questioning that his speed will be effective at other levels. I just don’t see 100+ SB pace happening at any other level.

            • RetroRob

              He’s intriguing based on his skills and his position, but I wouldn’t put him above Sanchez. Slotting him at #7 is pretty aggressive at this stage, but defensible. Can’t see him higher yet, but I think he’ll get there because his tools and skillset are higher than most. It’s same for Sanchez. He hasn’t wowed as some want, but the position and the projectable tools still rate him as a better prospect.

          • HoopDreams

            Thoughts on Brady Lail?

            • Some Asshole

              Wayne loves him.

          • dave_8

            I’d agree about Jagielo. He looks like a DH. I said Bird should slip a little. But I’d put Clarkin ahead of him. But frankly, my whole list and order would be different. And I’m sure most here would have it different too. I only mentioned a handful of disagreement –but I have a lot more. I wasn’t going to produce a 1-30 list to show it though

            • Re2pect

              I like sanchez at 3. To me he is the safest bet in the system to hit at the next level. Albeit it may be at 1b.

              • dave_8

                But that’s the rub with him for me. Big difference if his numbers are “for a catcher” than if he changes position (they tried the OF once already). We were told Montero was a catcher and he played there for yrs. When got called up, he DH’d. Now he plays 1st.

                • Preston

                  Sanchez is a much better defender than Montero. He always has been.

                  • dave_8

                    That’s not saying much. I think he’s more athletic than Montero (most are) but the rest of the catching picture for him is sketchy. More than arm and blocking balls in the dirt. It’s about commanding a pitching staff. JRM doesn’t have those physical tools like Sanchez but they sure love him as a catcher.

            • Preston

              I love Clarkin, but he isn’t currently pitching. So it would be hard for me to keep him at 4 even.

  • dkidd

    pat venditte got called up by the a’s

    edit: way late to the party, stupid PST

  • Dick M

    Rookie Davis was number 3 on the Prospect Hot Sheet at BA this week. I know it’s just one week but nice to see.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

      Is Rookie his nickname?

      • mitch

        confession — for like 6 months i didn’t realize Rookie Davis was a real player. I thought he was some sort of running joke

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Schaeffer Hall was also not somewhere you attended class.

        • Dalek Jeter

          I had never heard of him before I got The Show 15 and I sorta just assumed he was a “computer fills out the minor league rosters with fake generated players.”

          • W.B. Mason Williams

            “Brian Ballhitter” “Carl Runsthebases” “Eddie von Pitchenburg”

        • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick
        • RetroRob

          Rookie Davis is more memorable than William Davis, or Bill Davis.

    • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

      Another low floor high upside guy.

  • Some Asshole

    Somewhat of a tangent, but it’s not like I’m a minor league buff by any means: Is there any difference to being assigned to a certain short season team, given how many the Yankees have? Are they different levels of competition, is it about getting them to a certain coach, or what?

    Thanks,

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Gulf Coast League is the lowest level and the short season NY-Penn League is the most competitive (lots of college draftees there). The Appalachian League is sort of in between.

      • Some Asshole

        Makes sense now when reading the DotF posts. Thank you.

      • ÅndyInSunnyDB

        I would send as many of the foreign kids I could to the Appy League and get them some games under the lights

        • Dalek Jeter

          Do they not play night baseball in Latin American countries?

          • ÅndyInSunnyDB

            Not very oftern

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Night time is Presidente time.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

    Off topic but the next 19 games are a stretch we should take advantage of with all but 5 of them at home and 5 and 6 days rest for the SP thru the next 10 games.

  • Ewing33

    Great update … I am starting to think that Severino is the safer bet to be an impact major leaguer, but I would still rank Judge number one and think he has the higher upside.

  • Looser Trader FotD™

    That picture of Judge looks shopped. He’s like 9:7 scale.

  • Bruce

    I love that Judge works more on making contact & controlling his zone than just trying to muscle the ball. If it all works out, all those skills he’s developing should meet up w/his sheer physicality somewhere down the road, and if that happens, Katie bar the door, as they say. Judge’s potential, work ethic, and attention to detail make him look like he’s going to be something really special. For these reasons, he should be ranked as their top prospect.

  • nycsportzfan

    Jordan Montgomery throws everything it seems With perfect measurables and great control. If nothing else, he has best of the “back end starter ” potential.

  • nycsportzfan

    I still think Refs offense ends up out weighing his defensive woes hands down when said and done. Can’t wait till he gets a chance