2013 New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects

11/21/2012

There is just a whole lot of outfield and right-handed pitching going on here. Williams and Austin both have their own respective paths to the OF in mind, and if Heathcott can push for a regular role in time, no one will complain. Almonte may likely end up as trade fodder in the long run compared to the aforementioned outfielders. On the pitching front, many may be hoping that Ty Hensley and Rafael DePaula can offset some of the uncertainty that surrounds Jose Campos (although he may be ready for earlier next year). Gary Sanchez has continued to do well at the plate, with his work as a backstop lagging behind a bit.

  1. Mason Williams, OF: It would have been great to see how he finished the year if not for a dislocated shoulder in late July. So much potential at the plate and in the field. The performance is quickly matching the promise after his age-20 season.
  2. Tyler Austin, OF: Not as big on tools as other bats at the top of this list. Even still, he has the skill set to provide consistent value at the plate, with patience, solid power and a level swing. It just a matter of finding his future position after shifting from 3rd base to the outfield.
  3. Gary Sanchez, C: Hard to complain about the progress that the 19 year old made between Low and High-A ball. He certainly took advantage of the hitters park in Charleston, posting a .220 ISO in 68 games. Up in the FSL, he managed a solid .280/.331/.423 line through 47 games. Just needs to continue to work on his game behind the plate.
  4. Slade Heathcott, OF: It was nice to see the 22 year old see some success in his first run through High-A ball. A 22.7% line drive rate was among the best in the FSL, and while he did strike out at a high rate 25%+, his walk rate was serviceable (also hit in the league’s most pitcher-friendly park). Most important is that he has the raw tools to be very valuable as a hitter, defender, and baserunner. A great AFL campaign isn’t hurting his reputation, either.
  5. Jose Campos, RHP: The other half of a trade (sort of) gone wrong, Campos went down with an elbow injury, making fans wait another year to see if he can live up to some high expectations. One would imagine they are a bit lower, even if the recovery for this injury is much easier to predict than in years past.
  6. Manny Banuelos, LHP: Speaking of elbow injuries, Banuelos was on the shelf since May, only to find he would end up having surgery come October, making most of next year lost. Now its a matter of finding out if he can regain top of the rotation stuff whenever he is healthy again.
  7. Angelo Gumbs, 2B: A solid year for the 19 year old, with numbers that don’t reflect some great raw tools at the plate. He really wore down over the second half, which combined with an overly-aggressive approach and injuries makes for a lesser overall line in 2012.
  8. Ty Hensley, RHP: The big Texas prep lefty boasts plenty of velocity and a nasty curve, and even signed under slot after being picked 30th overall this past June (because of a red flag with his shoulder). The Ole Miss commit has a frame ready for pro ball.
  9. Rafael DePaula, RHP: Well look who finally got a visa. The 21 year old could fly up the charts with a strong upper-90s heater, slurvy breaking ball, and clean delivery. He’s certainly had plenty of time to work on it.
  10. Brett Marshall, RHP: Not quite the follow-up some expected after a great 2011 at High-A, but a really solid year nonetheless. Though he might not have a workhorse build, Marshall throws tons of innings with a solid GB rate and sometimes-quality slider. 
  11. Mark Montgomery, RHP: Hard to not like what the 2011 11th rounder has done so far in his pro career. Through 92 IP, the reliever has yet to post a FIP over 1.60. In a small 24 IP sampling at AA this year, he continued to walk few and strikeout many.
  12. Zoilo Almonte, OF: It remains to be seen if he can hit enough to be a regular corner OF contributor. Having spent most of his 2012 in RF, Almonte’s lack of patience doesn’t always lend itself to run production. With the 3rd highest ISO in AA Eastern League play this year and moderate speed, he may yet be of value.
  13. Ramon Flores, OF: If he had a good bit more power or speed, the 20 year old would be looked at a bit differently. As it is now, he has shown the ability to hit for average and draw solid walk rates (9.3%), but not much else. He did produce in one of the FSL’s worst parks for hitters though, so keep that in mind for next year.
  14. Nik Turley, LHP: The big lefty (6’6″, 230) may not run big velocity up there (low 90s), but he has gotten results at nearly every level so far in his pro career. He works a strong curve and OK change-up effectively, posting solid GB and K rates the past two years (while also outperforming his FIP by a decent margin). Very interested to see how he fares in AA in 2013.
  15. Dante Bichette, Jr, 3B: Will most likely be a streaky hitter for most of his career. Definitely has the natural talent to hit (and hit for power); it’s just a matter of keeping his swing in line. He has the aptitude to post quality walk rates, but it won’t matter much if he doesn’t make (any) good contact. Jury is still out on whether or not he moves to RF.
  16. Jose A. Ramirez, RHP: Entering the year after 2011 struggles in a Sally league repeat, his status was a bit up in the air. Fortunately the stuff has always been there, and it showed up at High-A. Admittedly a pitchers park, Ramirez did post near a K/IP with decent GB en route to a 3.28 FIP. Still work to be done, but definitely an improvement for the soon to be 23 year old.
  17. Austin Aune, OF: Turning down a deal to attend TCU for football/baseball, the 2012 2nd rounder will be one to watch as he transitions to baseball full time. Lots of raw potential; now it’s time to see if the skillset is there for him to hit.
  18. Dellin Betances, RHP: When he was ticketed for a starter’s role (and the value that comes with it), one could (sort of) put up with the 24 year old’s struggles. With nearly as many BB as runs allowed between AA and AAA, a shift to the bullpen may come. It remains to be seen if the massively-framed righty can be relied on to somewhat consistently repeat he mechanics and throw strikes.
  19. Adam Warren, RHP: To his credit, he has thrown a ton of solid innings at AAA the past two years (over 300 IP). Seems like a fairly typical back-end starter, with a strong fastball-slider combo and serviceable change-up. His FIP improved from 4.05 in 2011 to 3.72 this year, with a declining BB rate and improved GB numbers. Could be a nice trade target for an NL club.
  20. Peter O’Brien, 1st/DH/C: Well, not really sure where he will play, but at least he is with an AL club that can throw him in the DH spot. O’Brien’s bat is a legitimate value, with the chance for great power and solid average. I would love to see what he could do with a full-season’s worth of ABs in Yankee Stadium. Well, if he pull the ball too much.