Archive for Prospect Lists
Baseball America has started publishing their annual top 20 prospects lists for each of the 16 minor leagues this week, and the series continued today with the Rookie Gulf Coast League. Ninth overall pick OF Austin Meadows (Pirates) topped the list, predictably. The Yankees landed six (!) players in the top 20: C Luis Torrens (#10), 3B Miguel Andujar (#11), SS Abi Avelino (#13), 2B Gosuke Katoh (#15), RHP Luis Severino (#17), and SS Thairo Estrada (#20). LHP Ian Clarkin didn’t not have enough innings to qualify.
In the subscriber-only scouting report, Baseball America says Torrens “has a sound hitting approach and a loose, easy swing with good hand-eye coordination” while lauding his ability to recognize breaking balls and power potential because “his swing generates loft.” He is rough around the edges defensively, mostly due to a lack of experience — he moved from shortstop/third base to catcher last year — but his arm is strong and accurate. The Yankees gave Torrens a $1.3M bonus as their top international signing last summer.
Andujar “did a better job recognizing breaking pitches and taking a better hitting approach to use the whole field” this year than he did at the same level last year, though the write-up says he’ll sell out for power and still needs to improve his approach. “Avelino has a mature hitting approach for his age, with good barrel awareness that allows him to use the whole field and the discipline to not expand his strike zone,” said Baseball America while also cautioning that his lack of power has some concerned about how his bat will play at the upper levels. “At shortstop he has a good internal clock, shows smooth hands and footwork along with an above-average arm,” they added.
Katoh, who led the GCL in homers (six) and was second is SLG (.522), was described as a “difficult out” because of his “plate discipline and bat-to-ball ability … (he) works the count, uses the whole field and has plus speed.” Baseball America says his defense at second is a plus despite not having the arm for short. Severino “sits in the low- to mid-90s and has reached 98,” but can get radar gun happy at times. His changeup has jumped ahead of his slider, but the latter still shows signs of being a put-away pitch. Estrada, who is praised for his defense, is also said to have “excellent instincts and is an advanced hitter for his age. He has good bat control, makes plenty of contact and has a good hitting approach.”
Six prospects in a league top 20 list is an awful lot, though the obvious caveat here is that this is rookie ball. It’s the lowest level of domestic minor league baseball and literally every team has interesting prospects this far down. These six guys — I’m a fan of Avelino and Severino, in particular — are going to be real important to the Yankees going forward and not just because they might be able to plug them into the lineup down the road. Developing into trade bait would be a big help as well.
Anyway, the next league top 20 of interest to Yankees fans is the Short Season NY-Penn League, which will be released on Friday. 3B Eric Jagielo will definitely make that list while OF Michael O’Neill, OF Brandon Thomas, RHP Rookie Davis, and RHP Gio Gallegos are on the fence.
Keith Law posted his midseason update of the top 50 prospects in baseball yesterday (subs. req’d), and Twins OF Byron Buxton occupies the top spot. Here’s a clear number one prospect in baseball at the moment. Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts are two prospect list mainstays who round out the top three.
The Yankees have just one prospect on the list — C Gary Sanchez snuck on as #49. “His stock has taken a hit as his receiving, much improved last year, has regressed, while his explosive hands and raw power haven’t produced offensive results yet, either,” wrote Law. It’s worth noting Baseball America, who ranked Sanchez 34th on their midseason update, had a more optimistic outlook on his defense. Baseball Prospectus was another detractor, however. Sanchez dropped from 18th on Law’s preseason list while OF Mason Williams (#35) dropped out of the top 50 all together.
Baseball America published their midseason list of baseball’s top 50 prospects today (no subs. req’d), a list that is topped by Twins OF Byron Buxton. The second overall pick in last year’s draft has taken over as the game’s consensus top prospect with Jurickson Profar now a big leaguer. Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Twins 3B Miguel Sano round out the top three. Yeah, Minnesota has two of the three best prospects in the game.
The Yankees placed two players on the top 50: C Gary Sanchez (#34) and RHP Rafael DePaula (#45). “Reports are more optimistic that he could stay behind the plate long-term.,” they said about Sanchez, who climbed from #57 on the preseason list. It’s not surprising that none of the team’s top three outfield prospects made the list, especially since only one (Mason Williams at #32) was in the top 50 of the preseason list. None of the three has done anything to improve their stock this year. Sanchez and DePaula definitely have though.
Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus published his midseason list of the the top 50 prospects in baseball yesterday (subs. req’d), a list that is predictably topped by Twins OF Byron Buxton. The second overall pick in last year’s draft put up a 173 wRC+ with eight homers and 32 steals in 68 Low-A games before being promoted a few days ago. Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts round out the top three.
The Yankees have just one player on the list: C Gary Sanchez ranks 26th overall. That is up from 47th overall on the preseason list. “[Sanchez] somehow feels overrated at the mid-season point … high upside but equally high risk; bat is very good; positional home is still subject of debate,” wrote Parks. With nearly every one of New York’s top prospects taking a step back this year, their only real candidates for a top 100 list right now are Sanchez, RHP Rafael DePaula, and CF Slade Heathcott. That’s it.
Keith Law posted an updated ranking of the top 25 prospects in the minor leagues today (subs. req’d), with the top spot belonging to Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras. Rangers SS Jurickson Profar was baseball’s top consensus prospect coming into the season, but he is ineligible the updated list because he’s currently in the big leagues. Twins OF Byron Buxton and Red Sox SS Xander Boegarts round out the top three.
C Gary Sanchez, who ranked 18th on Law’s preseason list, climbed two spots to 16th. “Although there’s still some question of whether he will remain a catcher long term, I think he’s going to stay there, as he’s enough of an athlete to become an adequate backstop in time — and his bat will be MVP-caliber for that position,” wrote Law. Sanchez is hitting .271/.345/.475 (131 wRC+) with eight homers in 199 plate appearances for High-A Tampa this year, and he’s in line for a midseason promotion to Double-A Trenton. That is probably a few weeks away. No other Yankee farmhands made the updated top 25.
Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus released his 2013 organizational rankings a few days ago (no subs. req’d), and the Cardinals unsurprisingly claim the top spot thanks to their bevy of high-upside, MLB-ready prospects. The Rangers and Padres round out the top three while the Angels are deal last.
The Yankees placed 14th, with Parks saying the system “has some impact talent and several high-risk prospects that could develop into high-end players, but the field thins out quickly after the top tiers erode.” He lists righties Rafael DePaula and Ty Hensley as breakout prospects and High-A Tampa as the affiliate to watch, though I disagree there. Double-A Trenton is where it will be at with the Ramon Flores/Slade Heathcott/Tyler Austin outfield and Jose Ramirez/Nik Turley/Francisco Rondon led pitching staff.
All of the major farm system rankings are out and they all have the Yankees in the 10-14 range — Keith Law (10th), Baseball America (11th), and Minor League Ball (14th). I guess that means the consensus has them middle of the road but slightly better than average, no? Seems reasonable.
Baseball America released their organizational rankings today, with the Cardinals unsurprisingly claiming the top spot. The Mariners and Rangers round out the top three while Angels bring up the rear and rank 30th. The list is free for all.
The Yankees placed 11th in the rankings, which is exactly where they were in the preliminary rankings back in January. “In (Mason) Williams, (Gary) Sanchez, (Slade) Heathcott and (Tyler) Austin, the Yankees have some quality replacements on the way for the lineup — but they’re not going to be ready in time to help this year. Many of their top pitching prospects (Campos, Banuelos, Hensley) have health questions that detract from their upside,” said the publication in their subscriber-only write-up. Pretty typical, everything seems fair to me.
Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus posted his list of the top ten Yankees prospects late last week (subs. req’d), a list C Gary Sanchez unsurprisingly tops. OF Mason Williams is second and RHP Jose Ramirez sneaks in at three, with Parks saying the “fastball is an impact major-league offering, with plus (to plus-plus) velocity and good life … one source called the changeup a future 7 pitch.” You can click the link to see the rest of the top ten even if you don’t have a subscription.
As for prospects on the rise, Parks lists OF Ben Gamel (“fluid swing from the left side of the plate and good gap pop”) and 3B Dante Bichette Jr. (“[for] a guy that slugged .331, Bichette has plenty of backers”). The list of the team’s top ten players under the age of 25 is exactly the same as the top ten, which is odd. RHP Michael Pineda should be in there somewhere despite the shoulder injury — I’d take him in his current state over a completely healthy Rafael DePaula (#10) pretty easily. Eh, whatever. To each his own.
Mark Hulet posted his list of the top 15 Yankees prospects at FanGraphs earlier this week, a list that is topped by OF Mason Williams. C Gary Sanchez, OF Slade Heathcott, and OF Tyler Austin round out the top four to no one’s surprise. Things get a little weird after that because everyone has their own preferences, but it’s nothing outrageous. Make sure you check it out, Hulet’s lists are always well worth the read.
Ben Badler at Baseball America posted a list of the 20 best prospects in the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues today (no subs. req’d), though it’s just an alphabetical listing and not an actual ranking. RHP Rafael DePaula unsurprisingly made the list after his dominant showing this summer, and in the subscriber-only write-up Badler says he “has an electric fastball that sits at 93-96 mph and touches 98-99 (plus he) mixes in a sharp, power curveball that should be an out pitch and shows feel for a changeup.”
The only other Yankees farmhand on the list is SS Abi Avelino, who New York signed for $300k back in 2011. Badler says he “could be an above-average defender at shortstop (because) his actions are clean, his hands and feet work well and he has good body control.” Avelino’s offensive approach is described as “a simple, line-drive swing with good bat path that helps him make plenty of contact … He squares up balls regularly but doesn’t have much power, so his offensive game will be more about getting on base than extra-base hits.” Both Avelino and DePaula should make their stateside debut in 2013, the former with the Rookie GCL Yankees and the latter with Low-A Charleston.