The minor league season is complete, which means we’re now entering prospect ranking season. The crew at Baseball America started releasing their annual top 20 prospects list for each individual minor league this week, including the rookie Appalachian League today (no subs. req’d). That is home to the Pulaski Yankees, who just completed their first season in the Yankees organization.
Astros OF Kyle Tucker, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, claimed the top spot in the Appy League top 20. Not much of a surprise there. Braves 3B Austin Riley and Twins SS Jermaine Palacios round out the top three. The Yankees had one farmhand make the list: SS Hoy Jun Park at No. 12.
“Park is a rangy shortstop with quick feet, slick actions and smooth glove work … he could develop into an outstanding defender,” said the subscriber-only scouting report. “His swing has some length to it, but he creates intriguing torque with long levers and quick hands … He showed the ability to punch the ball to the opposite field or pull the ball over the fence.”
Park, 19, was part of last summer’s massive international spending spree, getting a $1.16M bonus. He hit .239/.351/.383 (109 wRC+) with five homers, 12 stolen bases, a 13.0% walk rate and a 19.1% strikeout rate in 56 games during his pro debut with Pulaski this summer. My guess is Park will get bumped up to Low-A Charleston to begin next season.
In the subscriber-only chat, Hudson Belinsky noted RHP Drew Finley was “tough to leave off the list.” Finley was New York’s third round pick this year after going into the draft as a potential late first/early second round talent. Belinsky says Finley made strides with his changeup and is a prospect who “gets it,” for what it’s worth. RHP Brody Koerner, this year’s 17th rounder, also received some praise after the Yankees tweaked his delivery. 2B Gosuke Katoh? He’s more suspect than prospect at this point.
The next list of interest to Yankees fans is the rookie Gulf Coast League, which will be released later this week. 3B Dermis Garcia, SS Wilkerman Garcia, OF Trey Amburgey, OF Leonardo Molina, and SS Yancarlos Baez are all candidates for the top 20, though I wouldn’t expect them all to make it. RHP James Kaprielian, this year’s first round pick, wasn’t in the GCL long enough to qualify for the list.