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Steamer Projects: New York Yankees Prospects

Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the New York Yankees.

It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Yankees or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.

What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.

Other prospect projections: Arizona / Baltimore / Chicago AL / Chicago NL / Colorado / Houston / Kansas City / Los Angeles AL / Miami / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York NL / Philadelphia / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Toronto.

Steamer Projections: Yankees Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Yankees batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age POS PA BB% K% BABIP wRC+ BsR Off Def* WAR
1 Gary Sanchez 21 C 450 6.0% 20.2% .275 84 0 -8 8 1.6
2 J.R. Murphy 23 C 450 7.0% 16.1% .268 80 0 -10 10 1.6
5 Slade Heathcott 23 CF 550 6.6% 24.0% .314 85 0 -9 2 1.2
10 Tyler Austin 22 COF 550 7.7% 21.3% .305 92 0 -5 -6 0.8
4 Mason Williams 22 CF 550 5.2% 16.0% .280 74 -1 -16 2 0.4
8 Greg Bird 21 1B 550 8.6% 24.4% .250 60 0 -25 -10 -1.7
13 Abiatal Avelino 19 SS 550 3.6% 13.1% .219 26 0 -46 6 -2.3
12 Gosuke Katoh 19 2B 550 4.7% 21.0% .216 31 0 -43 2 -2.4
3 Eric Jagielo 22 3B 550 4.7% 25.0% .217 24 0 -47 2 -2.8

Steamer Projections: Yankees Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Yankees pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age Hand IP K% BB% kwERA kwERA- WAR
14 Jose Campos 21 RHP 150 19.4% 9.1% 4.07 105 1.5
9 Jose Ramirez 24 RHP 150 16.9% 12.0% 4.72 122 0.4
11 Luis Severino 20 RHP 150 14.0% 9.7% 4.79 124 0.2

Notes
• It’s a fact, on the one hand, that the Yankees signed this offseason catcher Brian McCann to a five-year contract worth $85 million. It’s also a fact that — per Steamer’s computer math, at least — that the two Yankee prospects most ready to contribute at the major-league level in 2014 are also catchers. Given the challenges of learning the position, both J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez — entering their age-23 and -21 seasons, respectively — could surely benefit from at least another year of development. One imagines, though, that the Yankees will be receiving interest in both players, so long as McCann remains healthy.

• Absent from the prospects considered here is very giant Aaron Judge — on account, that is, of how he was wholly absent from all affiliated baseball last season after being drafted by New York in the first round out of Fresno State. Here’s video of Judge from this past spring, in any case:

• Part of the deal, along with Michael Pineda, that sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle, right-hander Jose Campos would appear to the minor-league pitching prospect most ready for major-league ready competition — according to Steamer, at least. Part of that optimism might be due to the velocity readings with which Steamer is working — velocity which, as Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily notes, has been elusive at times for Campos.