Archive for Prospect Lists

Now that Baseball America has wrapped up their look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league, Matt Eddy (both no subs. req’d) used the lists to put together a ranking of all 30 farm systems based on their ability to provide immediate help. It’s basically a look at how each organization is equipped to provide MLB value in 2014 and 2015. Eddy used a points system that is rather complicated, so click the link for an explanation.

The Red Sox (122.2 points) top the rankings and are followed by the Astros (111.2) and Padres (110.8). The Brewers (26.6) are dead last. The Yankees are right smack in the middle of the pack — they rank 16th with 74.1 points. The average score is 76.4. “New York hopes this class of catching prospects develops more effectively than the last one,” wrote Eddy, referring to the Jesus Montero/Austin Romine era.

I’m actually surprised the Yankees ranked as highly as they did since their only near-MLB-ready prospect of note is C J.R. Murphy. They have some interesting outfielders at Double-A Trenton, but no one who is expected to make an impact next year. They really need some of those guys — as well as some lower level prospects — to raise their stock next summer. The team also needs to figure out why the farm system is so spectacularly unproductive, but that’s another matter.

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Baseball America wrapped up the Yankees-relevant portion of their league top 20 prospects series yesterday, posting the Double-A Eastern League (no subs. req’d). SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox), 3B Miguel Sano (Twins), and RHP Noah Syndergaard (Mets) make up the top three of a generally star-studded list.

C J.R. Murphy was the only Yankees farmhand to make the cut, and he ranked 18th. The 22-year-old hit .268/.352/.451 (116 wRC+) with six homers in 211 plate appearances for Double-A Trenton this summer before being bumped up to Triple-A Scranton (117 wRC+ in 257 plate appearances) and eventually finishing the season in the big leagues.

“Scouts now seen him as a potential regular catcher as his defensive chops have improved,” said the subscriber-only write-up. “He has a line-drive stroke that he uses to spray balls to all fields …. Managers around the league noted how well Murphy handled Trenton’s pitching staff and consistently ranked him as one of the better catch-and-throw guys in the circuit … His solid-average arm is accurate and aided by a quick transfer.”

Neither OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin did not make the list, obviously. In the subscriber-only chat, Josh Norris said “there were significant questions about [Heathcott's] plate discipline, makeup and being injury-prone,” while “most evaluators I surveyed only thought of [Austin] as a fourth-outfielder type.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. OF Ramon Flores simply doesn’t have enough power to be considered a top prospect, Norris added.

All of the Yankees-relevant lists have now been posted: Rookie Gulf Coast League (six players ranked), Short Season NY-Penn League (one), Low-A South Atlantic League (one), High-A Florida State League (two), and Triple-A Intentional League (zero). The rankings actually do a pretty good job of summarizing the state of the team’s farm system. Lots of interesting talent at the lower levels but nothing at the upper levels to help the team in the immediate future, either as trade bait or by stepping into the roster. System in a nutshell.

Categories : Minors
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Baseball America continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each of the 16 minor leagues leagues with the Triple-A International League today (no. subs. req’d). SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) topped the list and was followed by big leaguers OF Wil Myers (Rays) and former Yankee first rounder RHP Gerrit Cole (Pirates). The top six is really, really strong, but it drops off after that.

The Yankees didn’t land a single player on the list and that’s not surprising at all. The best prospect to start the year with the Triple-A Scranton squad was C Austin Romine, and he spent most of the season in the big leagues. RHP Brett Marshall had a poor year, C J.R. Murphy and OF Zoilo Almonte didn’t play many games for the RailRiders, and relievers like RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Mark Montgomery rarely crack these lists for obvious reasons. There wasn’t even a Yankees-related question in the subscriber-only chat.

The Rookie Gulf Coast League (six Yankees farmhands), Short Season NY-Penn League (one), Low-A South Atlantic League (one), and High-A Florida State League (two) lists have all been released. Baseball America went out of sequence, so the Double-A Eastern League is still to come. That is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin are the best bets from Double-A Trenton.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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Sanchez. (Star-Ledger)

Sanchez. (Star-Ledger)

Baseball America continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each of the 16 minor leagues with the High-A Florida State League today (no subs. req’d). The list was topped by OF Byron Buxton (Twins), the consensus top prospect in all of baseball. 3B Miguel Sano (Twins) and SS Javier Baez (Cubs) round out the top three and complete the holy trinity of position player prospects. They’re three of the very best in the game.

The Yankees had two players make the list, starting with C Gary Sanchez at #7. He was sandwiched between two brand names: RHP Noah Syndergaard (Mets) and OF Jorge Soler (Cubs). “Sanchez’s best tools are his plus-plus raw power and his throwing arm, which rates at least as a 70 [on the 20-80 scouting scale] … His blocking and receiving remain suspect, however,” said the subscriber-only write-up. “[He] should produce .260 averages and 20-25 homers annually.”

OF Mason Williams, who had a poor year overall, was further down the list at #19. “Scouts report his swing looked good in batting practice but changed in games to a more slashing approach, costing him power … When he played with energy, he turned in plus running times and showed the easy range to be an asset defensively in center field, with a strong throwing arm,” said the write-up. That whole “played with energy” part has reportedly been a bit of an issue for Williams in recent years.

The Yankees landed six players on the Rookie Gulf Coast League list but only one apiece on Short Season NY-Penn League and Low-A South Atlantic League lists. The Double-A Eastern League is scheduled to be posted next Monday and the league champion Trenton Thunder should be represented by a few players, specifically OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin. Sanchez definitely wasn’t with the team long enough to qualify for the list. LHP Nik Turley has a (very) outside chance of making it as well.

Categories : Minors
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Baseball America’s journey through the various minor leagues continued today with a look at the top 20 prospects in the Low-A South Atlantic League (no subs. req’d). Two high-end pitching prospects — RHP Eddie Butler (Rockies) and RHP Tyler Glasnow (Pirates) — topped the list and deservedly so. The Yankees only had one player make the top 20: RHP Rafael DePaula at #17.

“DePaula has premium velocity with a 91-93 mph fastball that frequently touched 96-97. When his delivery was in sync, he also showed a potentially average breaking ball and fringy changeup. But more often than not, delivery issues would make it hard for him to develop consistent feel for his breaking ball,” they said in the subscriber-only scouting report. One scout dubbed him a future reliever. The 22-year-old DePaula had a 2.94 ERA And 2.03 FIP in 64.1 innings for Low-A Charleston before being promoted.

1B Greg Bird did not make the top 20 and that surprised me because Baseball America can be very performance-driven at times, and Bird absolutely mashed this year (170 wRC+). The bar is really high for first base prospects though. The Yankees had six players make the Rookie Gulf Coast League and one player make the Short Season NY-Penn League lists. The High-A Florida State League will be posted Monday and C Gary Sanchez will surely make an appearance. OF Mason Williams, C/3B Peter O’Brien, and RHP Bryan Mitchell also have a shot.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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Baseball America’s look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league continued today with the Short Season NY-Penn League. OF Harold Ramirez (Pirates) grabbed the top spot despite being only 18 years old in a league mostly full of experienced college draftees. The Yankees landed one player on the list: 3B Eric Jagielo at number six. That’s not surprising; the Staten Island squad was littered with fringe prospects.

Jagielo, 21, hit .266/.376/.451 (153 wRC+) with six homers in 218 plate appearances after being the team’s first of three first round picks in June. “He has a smooth lefthanded swing with good rhythm, and he can turn on a fastball or wait back for an offspeed pitch,” said the subscriber-only scouting report. “His swing can get long at times, but he projects as a solid-average hitter with plus power potential … He’s a below-average runner, and he doesn’t figure to have the mobility to be a standout at third, but most evaluators give him a chance to stick at the position. He has enough arm strength and good accuracy.”

The Yankees had six players on the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League list. The next list of interest is the Low-A South Atlantic League, which will be released tomorrow. 1B Greg Bird is a lock and so is RHP Rafael DePaula, assuming he has enough innings to qualify. I’m pretty sure he does. RHP Jose Campos has a decent chance to make the list, OF Jake Cave, 2B Angelo Gumbs, and LHP Dan Camarena less so.

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Katoh worked out with the Yankees soon after the draft. (Jeff Gross/Getty)

Katoh worked out with the Yankees soon after the draft. (Jeff Gross/Getty)

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.

Categories : Minors
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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.

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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.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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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.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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