A couple of weeks ago I put together a midseason list of what I believed to be the Yanks’ top 30 prospects, but to be honest with you, I kinda half-assed that one and didn’t spend as much time on it as I should have. So not only did I want to update the list to include all the new additions from the 2007 draft, I also wanted to rectify the previous list by putting more thought into it. I feel this effort is much more representative of the Yanks’ farm system, and puts each prospect where they belong in the pecking order.
Right at the top you’ll notice that I didn’t include Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, even though they are technically still prospects. I feel both have done a nice job of establishing themselves as legit big leaguers, and won’t see the minors again (barring an injury rehab assignment) in the foreseeable future. Obviously, I would have them ranked 1-2, respectively. I also chose not include the “Tommy John Quartet” of Humberto Sanchez, JB Cox, Mark Melancon and Christian Garcia. When healthy, all of those guys are top 15 prospects for me, but I decided to leave them off because they’ll be out until next year. But make no mistake about it, they’re all still very much prospects.
Trying to put these lists together always seems like a piece of cake at first, but after a while it gives you a headache and before you know it, your ranking “philosophy” doesn’t seem to make as much sense as it did 15 minutes ago. As I’ve said many times before, I prefer tools and upside over actual performance, but I try my best to balance the two, as well as other factors like age, level, bloodlines (you’re fooling yourself if you don’t think bloodlines make a difference), handedness (tie goes to the lefty), and makeup. Simple rule of thumb: if you can’t decide between 2 players, ask yourself if you’d trade Player A straight up for Player B. Nine times out of ten, it’ll bail you out.
Enough already, here’s the list (name followed by age as of today, position & level played at this year):