2014 Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees

In its current state, the Yankees’ system is rather pedestrian, or middle of the road, when compared to the other 29 teams in Major League Baseball. The talent in the upper levels of the system underwhelmed in 2013 and many of the top prospects also dealt with significant injuries. The good news, though, is that the club has drafted extremely well and paired that with a strong international scouting presence, which made good use of their limited budgets. If a few of the lower level sleepers break out in 2014, this could turn into a Top 10, if not Top 5, system in short order.


#1 Gary Sanchez | 60/AA (C)

20 509 115 27 15 41 87 3 .253 .324 .412 .339

The Year in Review: Sanchez saw his OPS dip almost .100 points between 2012 and ’13. He spent the majority of last season in High-A ball where he showed some pop with 34 extra base hits in 94 games but walked just 28 times, which led to a dismal .313 on-base percentage. The young Dominican catcher was given a late-season promotion to Double-A where he popped another eight extra base hits and received 13 free passes in 23 games.

The Scouting Report: Sanchez’s best tool is his above-average power from the right side of the plate and he could eventually hit 20+ home runs in the Majors. He needs to stick to a consistent game plan at the plate, which could help him make better contact and produce a better batting average (and on-base percentage). Behind the plate, Sanchez has made improvements with his game calling and receiving but the big-framed catcher still struggles with his blocking and overall mobility. He has a very strong arm and gunned down close to 50% of base runners attempting to steal agains him in 2013.

The Year Ahead: Sanchez, 21, will return to Double-A in 2014 and, if he gets off to a strong offensive start while continuing to make defensive improvements, he could reach Triple-A in the second half of the year.

The Career Outlook: Sanchez may have stagnated a bit during his third straight season in A-ball but he still has a strong future as an offensive-minded backstop with enough glove to be average or better behind the dish.


#2 J.R. Murphy | 55/MLB (C)

22 27 3.7 % 33.3 % .154 .185 .192 .171 -4 -3.2 0.8 -0.2

The Year in Review: Murphy was a rare upper-level Yankees prospect that actually had a decent season. He produced a .773 OPS in 108 games split between Double-A and Triple-A, and later made his MLB debut. Along with his improved defense, he also popped 41 extra base hits. He was especially potent against left-handed pitching with a 1.076 OPS at the Triple-A level.

The Scouting Report: Murphy is the organization’s best all-around catcher and a lot of organizations would love to have him. He has a solid line-drive swing and produces gap power but he’ll likely top out around 10 home runs in the Majors with regular playing time. Defensively, he’s improved by leaps and bounds since being drafted and has a chance to be an average receiver with an above-average ability to control the running game.

The Year Ahead: Although he doesn’t have a lot left to prove in the minors, Murphy is probably headed back to Triple-A to await an injury to open the door for another big league opportunity.

The Career Outlook: Murphy is probably in the wrong organization to eventually work his way into consideration for the starting catcher’s gig with the likes of veteran Brian McCann and top prospect Gary Sanchez in the fold. He could serve as an above-average back-up catcher or a third-string catcher capable of also playing the corner infield spots.


#3 Eric Jagielo | 55/SS (3B)

21 221 49 14 6 26 54 0 .263 .376 .446 .388

The Year in Review: The Yankees had one of my favorite drafts in 2013 and Jagielo played a big part in forming that opinion. The third baseman out of Notre Dame was selected 26th overall and showed some decent pop during his pro debut. He slugged 21 extra base hits in the New York Penn League but also did his fair share of swinging and missing.

The Scouting Report: Jagielo has impressive raw power from the left side of the plate and can hit the ball out of any part of a ball park. He also has an improving approach at the plate and shows good pitch recognition despite the strike outs. Defensively, he shows a strong arm but may lack the range to remain at the hot corner long term.

The Year Ahead: Spring training will likely help determine if Jagielo opens the year in Low- or High-A ball. If he can make enough contact, he could move rather quickly through a system in desperate need of fresh blood.

The Career Outlook: Jagielo has a shot at developing into an above-average offensive player at the hot corner.


#4 Mason Williams | 55/AA (OF)

21 631 140 30 4 48 97 19 .248 .308 .337 .302

The Year in Review: Williams, like many of the key prospects in the system, had a disappointing year. He posted a .676 OPS in 100 High-A ball games and managed just 27 extra base hits. He wasn’t overly impressive during a late-season promotion to Double-A (.428 OPS in 17 games) or in the Arizona Fall League (.667 OPS in 22 games).

The Scouting Report: Williams’ stock slipped in 2013 as he showed up a little out of shape and with inconsistent effort on the field. He lacked pop last year and, while he’ll probably never be a power hitter, he needs to keep his swing short and quick to the ball. When he’s right, Williams has above-average speed and the ability to swiped 20+ bases. Defensively, he’s a strong fielder with a good arm and range, as well as solid reads.

The Year Ahead: Williams should open 2014 back in Double-A where he’ll look to rediscover his stroke, add more pop, and polish his base running.

The Career Outlook: Still just 22, Williams has time to step up his game but he currently projects as more of a solid regular than a true star outfielder.


#5 Slade Heathcott | 55/AA (OF)

22 444 104 22 8 36 107 15 .261 .327 .411 .334

The Year in Review: What was new with Heathcott in 2013? Well, he was a little underwhelming with the bat, ran through a few walls, and he got hurt… so, in other words, nothing. His season ended prematurely in August due to a knee injury and he reportedly had surgery in the offseason

The Scouting Report: To say Heathcott hustles is an understatement. Unfortunately, his all-out play lends itself to injuries — both of the serious and of the nagging varieties, which have cut into his development time and hindered his effectiveness. His aggression gets the better of him at the plate and he strikes out too much for someone who should be building his game around getting on base and letting others drive him in. Defensively, Heathcott plays a very good centre field with excellent range, good reads and an average arm.

The Year Ahead: As mentioned above, his season ended prematurely due to a knee injury and he reportedly had surgery in the offseason so it remains to be seen if he’ll be at full strength in early April. Heathcott may have to return to Double-A to open the 2014 season but he’ll likely see Triple-A by the second half (assuming he’s not on the disabled list).

The Career Outlook: Heathcott is the kind of player who’s probably always going to spend significant time on the disabled list because of how hard he plays the game. Even so, he’s going to be downright entertaining.


#6 Aaron Judge | 55/DNP

The Year in Review: A hulking monster at 6-7, 230 pounders, Judge was selected 32nd overall out of Fresno State University in 2013 but a quad injury kept him off the baseball diamond after he turned pro.

The Scouting Report: As expected with his size, Judge’s most impressive tool is his power but he struggles to keep a short, compact swing due to the sheer length of his arms. As a result, he may never hit of a high average but he should walk enough to produce a respectable on-base percentage to go along with the power output. Defensively, he has a very strong arm and enough range to stick in right field.

The Year Ahead: Judge, 21, will look to avoid the disabled list in 2014 while making up for lost development time. He’ll likely get an opening day assignment to Low-A ball to help him get his footing but could quickly move up to High-A ball if he hits well.

The Career Outlook: There aren’t many players built like Judge that have played at the Major League Baseball level so he’s definitely a somewhat unique talent, although he shares physical similarities to the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton.


#7 Ian Clarkin | 55/R (P)

18 3 3 5.0 5 2 7.20 7.20 10.80 9.80

The Year in Review: The 18-year-old hurler received a bit of a rude welcome to pro ball when he posted a 10.80 ERA in his first three pro games at the Rookie ball level. He also dealt with some minor injury issues, which caused him to miss time.

The Scouting Report: Clarkin was a steal with the 33rd overall pick in the 2013 draft. The lefty has an inconsistent, low-90s fastball with projection that could eventually push it into the mid-90s. His curveball also shows the makings of a plus offering and his changeup should be no worse than average. He needs to become more consistent with the command of pitches while also learning to attack the zone early in the count and trust his stuff.

The Year Ahead: Clarkin might very well open the year in extended spring training before receiving an assignment to a short-season team in June. There is an outside chance that a strong spring could push him into consideration for a full-season assignment but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Career Outlook: The southpaw has a long way to go to reach his full potential as a No. 2 or 3 starter but all the ingredients are there for future success.


#8 Greg Bird | 55/A- (1B/DH)

20 573 132 36 20 107 132 1 .288 .428 .511 .429

The Year in Review: I pegged Bird as the Yankees’ top sleeper prospect for 2013 and he rewarded me with a strong offensive season at Low-A ball with 59 extra base hits and a .938 OPS. He also walked 107 times in 130 games but struck out an eye-popping 132 times.

The Scouting Report: Bird is your classic three-true-outcome hitter with good power, a patient approach and a lot of swing-and-misses. He made some adjustments as the year went on, incorporating a little more loft to his swing, and walked more than he struck out in both July and August while positing an OPS above 1.000. He’s going to have to hit because he has limited defensive value but could be an average fielding first baseman with a little more polish.

The Year Ahead: Bird will move up to the Florida State League in 2014 where he’ll find a stiffer challenge in what is widely considered a pitcher’s league. He’ll look to make more contact while continuing to post a .400+ on-base percentage with a strong power output.

The Career Outlook: The young first baseman has the makings of developing into an average or better first baseman at the big league level but he’s not going to hit for a strong average if he keeps swinging and missing so much.


#9 Jose Ramirez | 55/AAA (P)

23 17 16 73.2 57 10 9.53 4.40 3.67 4.60

The Year in Review: Ramirez was held back in extended spring training in 2013 and did not make his season debut until late April. He made nine appearances (eight starts) in Double-A and held hitters to a .192 batting average. Then promoted to Triple-A, Ramirez started another eight games but was shut down in July when injuries popped up again.

The Scouting Report: The Dominican righty has a nasty one-two punch with his mid-90s fastball and plus changeup. His curveball still needs a fair bit of polish to become a reliable, average offering. That development will be key in helping him remain in the starting rotation, as will the ability to avoid the infirmary.

The Year Ahead: Ramirez should return to Triple-A to prove he’s healthy and also look to polish his breaking ball enough to stick in the starting rotation, similar to the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha.

The Career Outlook: Ramirez has a chance to be a solid No. 3 starter if he reaches his full potential. If starting fails, though, he could have a future as a dominant high-leverage reliever with two plus pitches.


#10 Tyler Austin | 55/AA (OF)

21 382 86 17 6 43 80 4 .260 .348 .378 .336

The Year in Review: Austin had a disappointing season in 2013 while dealing with a wrist injury. Playing mainly in Double-A, his power dried up and his slugging percentage slipped from .559 in 2012 to .378. The young outfielder was assigned to the Arizona Fall League to make up for lost development time but the wrist injury popped up again and he was yanked after just four games.

The Scouting Report: Seemingly, the wrist injury sapped much of Austin’s power in 2013 and he struggled to consistently drive the ball. His bat was noticeably slower last year. When he’s right, the outfielder shows good gap power with enough over-the-fence pop to make things interesting. He has a solid eye at the plate and isn’t afraid to take pitches and work the count. Defensively, Austin is an average corner outfielder with good arm strength.

The Year Ahead: Wrist injuries have a nasty habit of lingering so Yankees fans will have to keep their fingers crossed for Austin. He’ll likely return to Double-A to open up the 2014 season and will reportedly spend some time at first base and third base, as well as in the outfield.

The Career Outlook: The disappointing 2013 season put a real damper on future projections for Austin. He’ll be given the benefit of the doubt in the hopes that his diminished offensive production was the result of the injuries.

The Next Five:

Luis Severino, RHP: Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Severino reached Low-A ball last year and could be a Top 100 prospect in a year’s time if he continues to follow his current development track. The right-hander has power stuff, including a low-to-high-90s fastball, breaking ball and changeup. He should open 2014 back in Low-A ball and will look to improve his command and overall consistency.

Gosuke Katoh, 2B: A second round draft pick in 2013, Katoh had a strong debut on both sides of the ball. The second baseman got on base, produced a strong batting average, and also hit for power. The only thing he didn’t do was steal bases. The left-handed hitter showed an advanced approach and good feel for the game.

Abiatal Avelino, SS: The 18-year-old shortstop played solid defense at three minor league levels in 2013 and was also a forced to be reckoned with on the base paths; he stole 28 bases in 32 attempts. He also showed a good eye at the plate by making a ton of contact and walking more than he struck out (20 BBs to 17 Ks). Avelino will have to continue to get stronger as he moves up the ladder after just 14 of his 60 hits went for extra bases.

Jose Campos, RHP: The Yankees appeared to have pulled off a real steal of a deal in early 2012 when the club acquired Michael Pineda and Campos from Seattle for young slugging catcher Jesus Montero but the deal hasn’t really worked out for anyone. Montero was a disappointment and both arms have dealt with injuries. Campos, though, continues to show glimpses of brilliance and is just 21 years old.

Luis Torrens, C: A big ticket signing from 2012, Torrens played better than his numbers would indicate. He showed the potential to develop into an above-average defender while showing flashes of becoming a strong hitter with patience and a developing eye. The biggest deficiency in his game right now is his lack of in-game pop (.299 slugging percentage in 2013).

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

64 Responses to “2014 Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees”

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  1. Vlad the Impaler says:

    The overly optimistic opening paragraphs, in which the Yankees system is portrayed as something other than a bottom 5 system, jaundices the whole article.

    This system is bad. It has broken prospects and ones that were overhyped. The ghosts of Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Jose Tabata loom large over the system.

    There is no impact in this system, aside from possibly Gary Sanchez. It’s ability to turn into a Top 10 is at least 3-4 years away — IF everything goes right and they actually draft/develop well.

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    • ClownPenis.Fart says:

      Well, Vlad, thanks for saying what could be said for just about every system but the top five: “If they draft and develop well, they could be good in a few years.” Profound! You been working on that turd for a few days now, or did it just plop out all of a sudden?

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      • Garrett says:

        It probably comes out of the fact that the writer said they have the ability to turn into a top system, something Vlad thinks could only happen if everything is perfect in the system over the next 3-4 years. Obviously this is unlike other mid-tier systems which could move to the top with much less work. Not hard to comprehend what he meant.

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        • Bryan says:

          Seriously? Manny Banuelos is finished? He is coming in healthy. Had the Yanks been smart in 2012 they would have immediately put him under the knife for TJS instead of hoping Manny could buck the trends. Now he comes back healthy in 2014 and still all of 22 years old in AAA. He has an outside shot at the rotation.

          The Yankees are a boom or bust system. They are one year removed from 4 guys in the top 100. Everything went wrong last year. But lets say a few of the guys blow up, Jagielo does what top tier college guys are supposed to, one of Austin/Mason/Slade return to form, Sanchez makes huge strides. All of those guys have very high ceilings. Even if just those three pan out, that puts the Yankees into the top half of the prospect pool. Add in their dearth of SP depth (Pineda, Nuno, Marshall, Campos, Ramirez, Hensley, Clarkin) it is not going to take everything going right for this system to become top 10. It would take an above average year. It would take having at least some of the boom or bust guys panning out. The same thing can be said for 29 other teams prospects.

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        • semperty says:

          You could say that about any team. “If two of their busted specs return to form, another plays like others, and one more makes a ton of progress they could have a huge system”…really? That’s what you came up with? Which part of New York do you live in?

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        • NS says:

          Banuelos hasn’t produced good results since 2010. His 4 FIP & ERA in 2011 were fine, given his age vs. level, but unremarkable. The hype came from, well … the hype. He has always had great scouting reports and been young for his levels, but the stuff has seldom translated.

          So you have a kid who has thrown a total of 24 innings in the last two years thanks to a significant injury, who when he last pitched in 2011 walked 5 per 9 in both AAA and AA …

          And your conclusion is “he has an outside shot at the rotation”.


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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Wait? Who are the idiots calling Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams a bust based on last season?

          You need to read people who know shit about prospects, sempterty. I’ve found it to be awfully helpful in making sure I don’t look like a jackass.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          NS, I agree that Banuelos has no shot at making the rotation out of ST (absolute best case is an August callup if they lose a fourth pitcher, IMO), but a 20 year old lefty with great scouting reports and a 3.75 ERA/3.95 FIP between AA and AAA is very, very good, not “unremarkable.”

          Also, the hype didn’t come from “the hype.” It came from his being a lefty who sits at 93, has an awesome changeup and a good curveball. Oh, and that monster 2010 season (his 1.71 FIP in A+ as a 19 year old would have led all pitchers with at least 40 innings this year).

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        • Bryan says:

          semperty: Projections are projections for a reason. Most see Manny, since he is a lefty with 3 above average to plus pitches as a #2 type starting pitcher. The fact is, since he is only 22 and a lefty with three good pitches and some concept of what the hell he is doing, he will rate very high until proven otherwise. He hasn’t been proven otherwise. He had TJS. A surgery that recently has had pitchers go under for voluntarily because they know the success rate is so high now. Manny has the chance to be a very good pitcher. And while he has lost time, IF he returns to ST fully healthy, he definitely would count as the dark horse. Prior to 2011 he was seen as a potential 2012/2013 SP. But with the injuries, he is a possible #5 starter at the beginning of the year and will most definitely be a September call up at worst (if he stays healthy.) The projections should be high.

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        • evo34 says:

          “A surgery that recently has had pitchers go under for voluntarily because they know the success rate is so high now.”

          Who are these pitchers “volunteering” to undergo TJ surgery?

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      No one who knows anything actually thinks the Yankees are a bottom-five system, though. I’m really not sure where you got that idea.

      You’re so obviously ignorant that I’m not even going to address the other idiocies and ignorance that form your comment.

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      • Vlad the Impaler says:

        30. LA Angels — no explanation needed
        29. Milwaukee Brewers — no stars, no depth
        28. Atlanta Braves — no stars, no depth
        27. New York Yankees — one potential star, no depth
        26. Philly Phillies — one potential star, high risk/upside, no depth

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Ah, gotta love rectal lists. Nothing more entertaining.

          Instead of spending the next few days searching in vain for a legitimate writer who agrees with you that the Yankees have no depth, why don’t you take a look at systems like those of the Chicago White Sox, the Detroit Tigers, Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays and compare them with those of the Phillies and Yankees.

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      • Jim says:

        Jason Parks mentioned them as a bottom-five system I believe

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    • lvmnz says:

      the ghost of dellin betances has haunted an entire league of hitters this year wouldnt ya say

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  2. Fardbart says:

    If the prospect experts say the Yankee system is “pedestrian” that means it’s Gawd Awful. They have been pedestrian for going on 20 years, but have usually been characterized as better than that. Now they are worse than they used to be.

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  3. Wow says:

    They’ve drafted “extremely well”? Um, how do you figure? They’ve whiffed on literally every first round pick since 2007, with the most recent draft class TBD.

    In October, even Brian Cashman said “We have struggled with the draft in the last number of years.”

    This is an incredibly inaccurate description of the Yankees’ system.

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    • grant says:

      I think he was referring to the 2013 draft, where he seemed to be fond of all four of the top picks.

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    • Bryan says:

      Erroneous. While the Yanks have whiffed on their first round picks, they have done very well with the later round picks.
      For instance, guys like Marshall, Phelps, Warren, Austin, and Mason Williams were all mid round guys. Nik Turley, a crafty lefty starting pitcher, who is on the 40 man and a call away from the team, was picked in the last round of the draft.

      Combine that with their ability to churn out relievers from the middle rounds and getting a lot of value out of prospects no one banked on, it becomes apparent that the talent eval is there. It is the coaching and style that are problematic.

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      • Denial calling says:

        In the last 20 drafts, the Yankees leaderboard in terms of career WAR from draft picks in rounds 1 through 10 rank as follows:

        1. Eric Milton 18.9
        2. Brett Gardner 17.8
        3. Nick Johnson 15.2
        4. Austin Jackson 14.6
        5. Ian Kennedy 11.1
        6. Phil Hughes 11.0
        7. Joba Chamberlain 6.8
        8. Tyler Clippard 4.4
        9. Mark Melancon 3.3
        10. Randy Choate 3.0

        Let that sink in.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Their earliest non-compensation pick in the past 20 drafts was the 20th overall pick they used to select Eric Milton.

          Their earliest pick was the 17th overall pick they used to select CJ Henry, with whom they acquired Bobby Abreu.

          What’s the list of teams that have not picked in the top half of the first round in the past 20 years?

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        • Bryan says:

          Players 2/4-9 are all still playing. How can you honestly judge anything based on that? Not to mention, if we are discussing the prospects shouldn’t you at least include you know intl signings? Which would then add in Ivan Nova and Robinson Cano? The Yankees tend to draft late in the draft so they tend to miss out on the top prospects year in and year out. Also, the Yankees drafted Gerrit Cole in the first round a few years back. He shunned them to go to college. And then obviously was a #1 signing by the Pirates. Oh what a difference that could have made.

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        • Denial calling says:

          Abreu was a salary dump. CJ Henry was already worthless by the time of that trade.

          But that’s beyond the point. The list was to illustrate just how laughably bad the Yankees have been at evaluating and developing Rule 4 talent.

          And pointing out the Cole misfire is another good example of a wasted opportunity. Poor job by Oppenheimer and his scouting staff in assessing the risk Cole would opt for school.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          So I’m guessing you’re not going to provide that list of teams who haven’t drafted in the top half of the first round in the past 20 years?

          I mean, it’s pretty easy to compile.

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        • pft says:

          Why the cutoff at round 10?. Robertsons 9.6 WAR came from the 17th round.

          Anyways, then you have guys like Cano (45.2 WAR), Wang (14.6) Nova (7.9 WAR) and Melky Cabrera (14.5 WAR), Navarro (4.9) and Cervelli (3.0 WAR) who came from international amateur free agency. Farm systems are comprised of 70% draft picks and 30% international amateur free agents

          Pitching wise the Yankees have actually done pretty well in the draft, league average anyways. Awful production from hitters in the draft, offset by international amateur free agency.

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        • Preston says:

          What your list shows me is that the Yankees had an awful run in the farm system in the late 90s and early aughts. What your list also shows is they’ve done much better lately as 7 of those 10 players debuted in 2007 or later and will continue to accumulate value. And obviously the start of your 20 drafts comes immediately after a pretty historically great run of player development that netted Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Bernie Williams. The common denominator between the early 90’s and more recent years is that King George was not involved. He had many strengths as an owner. Giving two shits about player development was not one of them, he did not have the patience for it. So yeah, the player development from 1993-2006 was pretty bad. But that doesn’t really have anything to do with the current regime. They haven’t been a great system in that period, but they haven’t been awful either.

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        • M W says:

          Since 1998, the first year of the latest expansion, 3,373 individuals have made their major league debut. An average of 211 each season.

          Average Age:
          24.86 years

          Initial Contract:
          48.57% Drafted 1st-10th RD
          14.04% Drafted 11th-20th RD
          6.98% Drafted 21st-30th RD
          3.07% Drafted 31st-40th RD
          1.32% Drafted 41st-50th RD
          0.47% Drafted 50th+ RD
          4.10% NDFA
          21.43% Signed Internationally

          Place of Birth:
          United States – 2,464
          Dominican Republic – 347
          Venezuela – 199
          Puerto Rico – 70
          Canada – 55
          Japan – 49
          Cuba – 41
          Mexico – 39
          Australia – 22
          Panama – 16
          South Korea – 14
          Taiwan – 10
          Curacao – 10
          Colombia – 8
          Nicaragua – 7
          Germany – 5
          Netherlands – 3
          Aruba – 3
          Brazil – 2
          Saudi Arabia – 2
          Virgin Islands – 2
          Guam – 1
          Indonesia – 1
          Jamaica – 1
          Bahamas – 1
          Italy – 1

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        • HawaiiFO says:

          What about % just 1st round
          and % 1rst-3rd rounds.

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        • Denial calling says:

          @ Cool Lester Smooth re: your ‘we only draft in lower half of 1st round!’ point….

          The Angels selected Mike Trout with the 25th pick in the 2009 player draft. Any idea which team originally had the 25th pick but lost it due to signing yet another type A free agent?

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          That tired narrative? Really? Are you doing a bit? Is this performance art demonstrating the absolute laziest, least informed criticisms of the Yankees player development system?

          First of all, Trout was the second name on the Angels’ board. They picked him with their second pick to gain greater negotiating leverage. The player the Angels actually got for Teixeira is Randal Grichuk.

          Second of all, the Yankees signed 3 Type As in the 08-09 offseason. If the 25th pick hadn’t gone to the Angels for the Teixeira signing, it would have gone to the Blue Jays for the Burnett signing. If it hadn’t gone to the Blue Jays for the Burnett signing, it would have gone to the Brewers for the Sabathia signing.

          Seriously, read a little. It really is helpful.

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        • Preston says:

          @ Cool Lester Smooth, don’t you realize that the Yankees should have not signed any of those players. They should have given up the chance to compete, all in the hopes that Mike Trout would have fallen to them in the draft. Because everybody was certain that Trout would do what he’s doing right now. The other 23 teams just passed on him because they don’t like 10 WAR players. Cashman Failed!

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        • Denial calling says:

          Do you always struggle to understand the point others try to make? A rhetorical question, I know, but at least attempt to figure it out.

          There is a massive list of stars over the last 20 years who were selected after the first 15 picks of the draft. Heck, your namesake would be another example.

          Bottom line, the Yankees are the only organization in the league that has not produced a career 20+ WAR Rule 4 draftee dating back to 1993. You can continue pretending to make excuses for them, but I am going to stick with the ‘they suck at the Rule 4′ thing.

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        • Preston says:

          @ Denial calling, well your point ceases to exists fairly soon, both Gardner and Jackson are locks to eclipse 20 WAR and Hughes and Kennedy might too if they stick around, all players who debut after 2007. Which brings it back to the fact that you’re point isn’t really talking about recent Yankee player development. It’s talking about a period of Yankee development. It is in no way relevant to the state of their system today.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Wait? Lester Freamon was a star baseball player?!

          No wonder he was alright with spending 13 years and 4 months in the Pawn Shop Unit of the Baltimore Police Department!

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        • M W says:


          26.18% Drafted 1st-3rd RD

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        • JJ says:

          Yankees have drafted outside of the top 20 20 straight years, let that sink in..must be doing something right!!

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  4. gotta love says:

    The butthurt.

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  5. KS says:

    Oh, why all the negative comments, boys? They’re THE YANKEES!!!! They must be great!!!

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    • uncle remus says:

      Stop pretending that the SABR world is the same as the mainstream one. If anything the narrative is clearly against the Yankees when it comes to the farm. Theres a chance that the narrative is wrong.

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      • jim kaat says:

        Agreed with Remus. I really don’t see many comments proclaiming the Yankees to have an amazing farm system….apparently you can’t even claim it to be pedestrian, or have even a shred of potential, without angering people. Someone has the right to think there is talent there (a sentiment that Hulet clearly agrees with) without automatically being attacked for being a homer.

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  6. Ringoo says:

    Dear Marc Hulet,

    You should link the Philadelphia Phillies top 10 prospects to the home page.

    Thank You

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  7. CS Yankee says:

    Williams stalled out big-time last year, Austin may have another no power year with the wrist injury, but there are some legit guys.

    Hard to believe that TJS moved ManBan from a top 30 in baseball to out of your top 15…hopefully he gets in 120 or so innings of development in this year at AAA. I understand he lost 18 months, but the kid is only 22, appears healthy & in AAA.

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  8. Mickey's Mantle says:

    Injuries, injuries, injuries seem to play a big role in how prospects progress & one can’t predict who will or will not be injured. Neither Hensley or DePaula are on that list and they could turn out to be the best of all. Personally, I think there are some very good prospects in the Yankee system.

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  9. Wow says:

    The general manager of the team literally said that they’ve struggled in the draft over the past few years.

    Not sure how there’s a debate here.

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  10. Jackson says:

    Middle of the Road? This farm system is terrible

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  11. AsstGMNYY says:

    Outsiders ranking farm systems is an absolute joke. Think about the time you waste debating how 18-22 year olds will pan out. Long view, Yanks are great.

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  12. bonito says:

    The haters are out in force, I see.
    Not to worry boys, you still have Buddy Can You Spare A Dime as Commish and Tenured Yankee-Hater in Chief. He basically has fixed the game so that the Yanks are penalized for their success every year. Not only is the draft– and now international drafting too — rigged against them but they pay out $100 million a year (or more) sharing revenue and paying discriminatory “tax” that comes from their fanbase. But Bud thinks the team with the most fans should not have a better chance than the expansion atrocities he created.
    Not many industries where the market leader is penalized with every new tweak of the rules — and has to share its revenue.
    Given all that — and a couple of very bad years of injury luck — and Yankee farm still has a lot of back burner talent. Choke on it, haters.

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  13. Steve says:

    How is DePaula not up here? Kind of ridiculous, especially the “talent” on the second half of this list that knocked him off.

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    • Preston says:

      He was really bad after the promotion. Over 5 walks per 9 and a 6 ERA.

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      • Simon says:

        Over six weeks.

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        • Preston says:

          Yes, but he only made 3 more starts at low A and he’s 22, so his success there isn’t all that meaningful. He’s interesting with a lot of upside, but I agree with Mark that I would rank Ramirez, Severino and Campos ahead of him. Maybe even ManBan too.

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  14. pft says:

    Most teams will only get 1-2 significant players from their top 10. Even BA top 100 has a 30% bust rate.

    Surprised not to see Banuelos there. Him and Ramirez could be welcome additions to the pen by the ASB as the Yankees try to hold down their innings. Also, Betances had a great year in AAA and could be a factor in the pen.

    Although not a prospect, Pineda who pitched in the minors while rehabbing from surgery could be a huge plus. They also have acquired and older prospect in Anna who is an OBP machine, at least in the PCL, who could be a factor when Roberts goes on the DL.

    Injuries pretty much decimated the Yankees system. Campos was another prospect with a high ceiling that was injured, and as mentioned their top 2 OF prospects.

    The C prospects should be valuable trade bait.

    These rankings can be so volatile year to year though.

    Its interesting but since starting with the 2006-2013 draft, the Yankees and Red Sox picks have got the same MLB bWAR (35.4). Most of the top producers have been traded. However, perception is reality I guess.

    The Yankees have not done much in Latin America since their scouting scandal where the scouting director was taking kickbacks in 2007. That’s been the real weakness in their system. Before this they had done very well in Latin America.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Uh, pft, everyone knows that the Yankees can’t draft and that the Red Sox are the perfect player development organization!

      I don’t need your facts! Nick Cafardo told me so!

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  15. Nick V says:

    Banuelos, you cost me Trout in a dynasty league trade 3 years ago because I needed pitching prospects badly. Oh how sad traveling back in time can be…

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  16. Anonymous says:

    When one of them is a guy who never even played yet, you know it’s a questionable list. I liked Aaron Judge’s power tool, but with zero experience since being drafted, there simply isn’t anything anybody can really say that would place him in a list of top prospects. Then again, NYY usually builds their talent through free agency, so it’s probably not a big priority to them.

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    • geefee says:

      What does that even mean? How many teams wouldn’t have a 2013 late first round pick on their list? Pretty standard stuff. Besides, if he had played, he would’ve had to have totally sucked to be off of it. Kinda weird for missing a month and a half of baseball post-draft to torpedo his stock in your eyes. It’s cool that you hate the Yankees or whatever, but but you could at least make criticisms that make sense.

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    • Simon says:

      It’s not like he just appeared from nowhere. He’s a first round draft pick – that kind of implies that he has some sort of record of performance, which people who know about these things will be familiar with.

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  17. Seattleslew says:

    They may be at the bottom in player development but only because they can afford to be.

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  18. Frank says:

    The important thing is that we can all agree to never, ever take a Yankees’ prospect in fantasy baseball.

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  19. Eduardo Nunez says:

    If our farm system is so good, why am I going to get 500+ at bats this season?

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