Top 15 Prospects: New York Yankees

As a life-long Toronto Blue Jays fan it’s not easy to like the Yankees. As a prospect analyst, though, I can’t help but love the organization’s minor league system. Even when New York has “hiccups” with its draft philosophy, the system manages to churn out and develop all-star caliber players, which also says a lot about the organization’s scouts and minor league development staff. The talent well is not going to run dry any time soon in New York.

1. Manny Banuelos, LHP
BORN: March 13, 1991
EXPERIENCE: 4 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2008 international free agent
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: 3rd

With the trade of Jesus Montero to Seattle, Banuelos moves up the organizational ladder and into the No. 1 prospect hole. The southpaw is probably about a year away from joining the Yankees’ starting rotation, once he finds a little more consistency with both his fastball command and his overall control. He opened the year with 95.1 innings of work in double-A, where he posted a 4.01 FIP (3.59 ERA) and a walk rate of 4.91 BB/9. Moved up to triple-A for 34.1 more innings Banuelos managed a 3.90 FIP (4.19 ERA) and a walk rate of 4.98 BB/9. Another 100-120 innings in triple-A would definitely be of benefit to the lefty, who features an 89-94 mph fastball, a curveball and a changeup. All three pitches flash the potential to be above-average or plus, giving him a shot at developing into a No. 1 starter in the most dangerous league in Major League Baseball.

2. Jose Campos, RHP
BORN: July 27, 1992
EXPERIENCE: 3 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2009 non-drafted free agent (Seattle)
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off (Mariners)

A shocking ranking for Campos, no doubt, but I love his arm and believe the Mariners will eventually rue the day they included him in the Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero trade. The right-hander fires his fastball up into the 97-98 mph range but sits 91-95 mph. He displays above-average command of his fastball given his young age. His secondary pitches both need significant work (curveball, changeup) but the foundation is there for a No. 1 or 2 starter if he develops properly. Campos struck out 85 batters in 81.2 innings in short-season ball in ’11. He walked just 11 and induced an above-average number of ground-ball outs. With a 6’4” 200 lbs frame, the Venezuela native has the potential to develop into a workhorse. Just 19, Campos has three years of pro experience under his belt (including two seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League) and he should receive his first taste of full-season ball in 2012.

3. Dellin Betances, RHP
BORN: March 23, 1988
EXPERIENCE: 6 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2006 8th round, New York high school
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: 4th

Betances comes in at the No. 3 spot, knocked down by a less advanced power pitcher, because he currently projects as a reliever at the big league level. The right-hander has an above-average fastball sitting between 90-95 mph and it features lots of movement, which causes it to miss the strike zone a little too much. His changeup may have passed his breaking ball as his second-best pitch but the curve still shows potential. Like a lot of tall pitchers (6’8” 260 lbs), Betances fights his delivery and that leads to the inconsistent command and control. He spent the majority of 2011 in double-A where he posted a 3.70 FIP (3.42 ERA) in 105.1 innings of work. He also pitched 21 innings in triple-A and 2.2 innings during his debut in The Show. His walk rate increased with each promotion, helping to underscore the need for more seasoning. The soon-to-be 24-year-old pitcher will likely return to triple-A and await an opening in either the starting rotation or, more likely, the bullpen.

4. Mason Williams, OF
BORN: Aug. 21, 1991
EXPERIENCE: 2 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2010 4th round, Florida high school
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

It’s not easy to find an underrated Yankees prospect, but Williams might be just that. An athletic outfielder, he was stolen in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of a Florida high school. The Yankees’ scouts did an excellent job of identifying a talent that most had written off as too raw for pro ball and expected him to follow through on his commitment to the University of South Carolina. On offense, Williams’ swing is currently having an identity crisis as he’s stuck in between hitting for power and hitting like a speedy singles hitter. He should develop into a solid hitter capable of hitting for both average and slightly-above-average gap power that could produce 35-40 doubles and 15-20 home runs in a full season. Williams is fleet-of-foot on the base paths and in the field but he needs more polish to reach his potential of 30-40 steals. In the field he has excellent range in center field but is still learning the intricacies of the position. Williams should move up to low-A in 2012 and I have a feeling that you’re going to hear a lot about him this season.

5. Gary Sanchez, C
BORN: Dec. 2, 1992
EXPERIENCE: 2 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2009 international free agent
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: 2nd

When you play for the New York Yankees the honor comes with increased scrutiny – even for those in the low minors. Such is the case with Sanchez who has been compared, perhaps unfairly, to fellow big-bodied catching prospect Jesus Montero. While Montero will undoubtedly move from behind the dish to first base or DH, Sanchez shows much better natural feel for his craft, although he remains raw. He has solid arm strength but needs considerable work on his receiving skills. There have also been concerns raised over his maturity level but the front office people I talk to tend to be less concerned with maturity issues from very young players than the average fan or media type. Sanchez did not turn 19 until this past December and he managed to perform at an above-average level (wRC+ of 121) in low-A ball in 2011. He hit just .256 but showed patience (10.5 BB%) and power (.229 ISO). The biggest need for him on offense right now is to improve his pitch recognition, which will help him chip away at his high strikeout totals (27.1 K%).

6. Dante Bichette Jr., 3B
BORN: Sept. 26, 1992
EXPERIENCE: 1 season
ACQUIRED: 2012 2nd round, Florida high school
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: NA

As the 2011 draft approached I had Bichette ranked on my personal Top 20 list of players I would have selected in the first round of the draft if I were a scouting director. Despite strong pedigree and impressive showings in the video I watched, I was surprised by the number of negative scouting reports I read about the youngster, knocking both his defense and his offense. Bichette possessed unique swing mechanics as an amateur but the Yankees minor league staff helped him make some changes and it seemed to work wonders. He hit .342 with 17 doubles (.163 ISO) in 52 games in Rookie ball, earning himself a late promotion to the New York Penn League. In the field, he performed well enough at the hot corner to quiet the talk of relocating him to the outfield, at least for now. With such a strong showing in his debut, Bichette is likely headed to low-A ball in 2012 and he could move fairly quickly for a prep draftee.

7. Austin Romine, C
BORN:
EXPERIENCE:
ACQUIRED:
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: 6th

Romine’s prospect status has taken a bit of a hit over the last year. Offensive projections have settled down, leading some to project him as more of a backup catcher now. His defense remains above-average – including strong leadership, game calling, receiving and arm strength – but more questions are being asked about his offensive ceiling. Romine repeated double-A in 2011 but made only minor improvements to his offensive game (wRC+ improved from 99 in ’10 to 103 in ’11). He didn’t hit for as much power but he added about 20 points to his batting average and trimmed his strikeout rate. Injuries could also be partially to blame for his numbers failing to improve dramatically (concussion, back). Still just 23, Romine should spend 2012 serving as the starting catcher in triple-A, one injury away from another promotion to the big league club. He should be ready to permanently join the 25-man roster in 2013. I still believe in him as a potential big league starter, but perhaps on a second-division club.

8. Slade Heathcott, OF
BORN: Sept. 28, 1990
EXPERIENCE: 3 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2009 1st round, Texas high school
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

Heathcott got off to a quick start to the 2011 season but, as seems to be the case with this prospect, injuries and questionable decision making prevented him from playing a full season. Two surgeries on his throwing shoulder have raised some concerns regarding his long-term ability to stay healthy and he has yet to provide more than 300 at-bats in a full season. Heathcott displays above-average defense in center field thanks to outstanding range due to his above-average speed. His arm strength is no longer a plus due to the surgeries. At the plate he remains raw but he flashes above-average gap power; he’s too aggressive and needs better pitch selection and identification, which should come with time.

9. Ravel Santana, OF
BORN: May 1, 1992
EXPERIENCE: 3 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2008 international free agent
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

Santana is an intriguing raw athlete but there have been unconfirmed rumors that injury recovery could cost him significant playing time in 2012. Most reports, though, have him almost fully recovered from a broken ankle and ligament damage that he suffered in August 2011. Just 19, he had an outstanding offensive season in Rookie ball and posted a wRC+ of 160 (meaning he created 60% more runs than the average player at that level). Santana struck out a bit too much but he showed impressive power (.272 ISO) and hit for average (.296). He even showcased some patience with a walk rate of 9.2 BB%. Prior to his injury, Santana was a plus base runner and had outstanding range in center field so it will be interesting to see how well he rebounds. He also has a plus arm. He should open 2012 in extended spring training before moving up to the New York Penn League.

10. J.R. Murphy, C
BORN: May 13, 1991
EXPERIENCE: 3 seasons
ACQUIRED: 2009 2nd round, Florida HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

I considered a few names for the No. 10 spot but Murphy won out thanks to a solid 2011 season that saw him reassert himself as a viable catching prospect after almost moving to third base on a permanent basis. Murphy split time behind the plate with Gary Sanchez in 2011 but actually looked better the younger, more highly-touted prospect on defense despite his previous struggles. Murphy has made improvements with his throwing, receiving and game calling – although they all still have a ways to go. At the plate he hit .297 and showed some pop with an isolated power rate of .160 in low-A. He kept his strikeout rate low at an impressive 13.7 K%. Murphy received 85 at-bats in high-A ball before a broken foot knocked him out for the remainder of the season. He should return there to begin 2012. An interesting side note, Murphy attended the same high school in Florida as Atlanta Braves’ shortstop prospect Tyler Pastornicky, who could be the club’s opening day shortstop in 2012.

The Next Five

11. Tyler Austin, 3B/1B: The 2010 draft began inauspiciously for the New York Yankees with some eyebrow raising selections at the top of the draft. However, picks like Mason Williams, Austin, as well as Ben Gamel, are starting to pay dividends. Austin was drafted as a high school catcher but he’s seen time at both first and third base as a pro. If he can handle the hot corner, then his value will jump significantly, since his strong arm would be wasted at first. At the plate he shows good raw power and hit .354 in 40 short-season games in ’11.

12. David Phelps, RHP: Phelps gets the nod over Adam Warren because the former is more likely to stick in the starting rotation than the latter even if his fastball is not quite as powerful. Phelps has a four-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. He’ll probably never be more than a fill-in starter or long reliever for the Yankees so he really needs a trade, as he’s already 25 years old and will be returning to triple-A in 2012 for the third time. He suffered some shoulder problems in ’11 but he pitched in the Arizona Fall League and made eight starts.

13. Greg Bird, C/1B: A 2011 draft pick who signed for an above-slot $1.1 million as a fifth rounder, Bird was heavily scouted by clubs as a first baseman. He has much more value, though, as a left-handed hitting catcher and New York was happy to hand him the tools of ignorance, at least for now. He should have plenty of bat for the position – less so as a first baseman – but his defensive game remains very raw behind the plate.

14. Adam Warren, RHP: Warren has a solid fastball that rangers between 89-94 mph but he lacks consistency with his secondary pitchers, which include a curveball and cutter. An extreme ground-ball pitcher in the low minors, Warren completely flipped around to a fly-ball pitcher in 2011 at triple-A. He’ll likely top out as a middle reliever in the Majors where he’ll be able to focus on two pitches. Warren pitched 152 innings as a starter this past season so he has proven to be durable; it’s possible he could carve out a career in the starting rotation as a No. 4 or 5 starter on a second division club.

15. Ben Gamel, OF: The left-handed hitting Gamel had a solid season in the New York Penn League in 2011, posting a wRC+ of 134. He provides a patient approach but needs work on pitch recognition. He has some power but has yet to tap into it in game situations, and it might be a little too short for an everyday left fielder, causing him to fall into the ‘tweener’ category. He should move up to low-A in 2012 and is a sleeper who bears watching. Gamel’s brother Mat Gamel plays for the Brewers.

SLEEPER ALERT: Isaias Tejeda, C: As if the organization doesn’t have enough catching depth already. Tejeda is yet another offensive-oriented backstop in the system who is very raw behind the plate. The 20-year-old posted a wRC+ of 172 in Rookie ball, along with an ISO rate of .236 and a strikeout rate of just 12%. He deserves a challenge assignment to low-A ball for 2012 to see if he’s a prospect – or a suspect. Tejeda might end up having value as a third string catcher who can come off the bench and also play the corner infield positions.




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


60 Responses to “Top 15 Prospects: New York Yankees”

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  1. Barry Bonds says:

    Not sure how Campos is number 2? Yes he has great potential but he is very raw and is a long way off joining the show.

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  2. William says:

    That’s quite an aggressive ranking on Bird. Surprised not to see Ramon Flores on the list. Where would he have ranked?

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  3. Matt H says:

    Wow that sure makes the Montero trade look good for the Yankees. I’ll give up a #5 starter for a potential #1 every time.

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    • William says:

      Calling Noesi number 5 is unfair. He has projection to a possible mid-rotation starter. And he’s closer to the bigs.

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      • Matt H says:

        Fair enough. I still think it was a steal for the Yankees.

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      • TKP says:

        Even assuming that is true…..it’s still a complete steal for the Yanks.

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      • thenamestsam says:

        A number of people (KG for example) have opined that Noesi’s ceiling is a #5 starter. It’s true that he’s close to the big leagues, but calling him a #5 is perfectly fair imo.

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      • RobMer says:

        It’s just as fair then to call him a potential number 3 starter as a number 5. I’m more in the camp that he’s more backend than mid-rotation, but it’s an open question right now.

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  4. TKP says:

    As usual awesome awesome awesome stuff

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  5. dongcopter says:

    One M’s fan disgusted we gave away Campos for Hector “freakin” Noesi…BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Steve says:

      It’s not like it was 2 trades. The Yankees probably felt like Montero (simply because of the risk inherent with young pitchers, plus the difference in service time) was a little more valuable than Pineda. The Mariners then added Campos to the deal. Now the deal was tilted the other way, so the Yanks added Noesi.

      In other words, part of Campos was used to obtain Montero and part was for Noesi.

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      • Franklin Stubbs says:

        I wouldn’t give up Pineda for Montero straight up, much less include another potential #1.

        I hate the Yankees, but this shows Cashman’s just as smart as the Yankees are rich.

        And I’m saying this as someone who likes Montero a lot.

        Such a no-brainer trade for the Yankees.

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  6. cookiedabookie says:

    I’d have Angelo Gumbs or Nik Turley as a sleeper before Tejada. I believe both will be in the Yankees top ten next year.

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  7. David says:

    I have no knowledge of scouting, can some explain how Banuelos and Betances are so highly touted if one has such poor control and the other is likely to be a reliever?

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    • William says:

      Banuelos is the youngest player in AAA. Betances has really good tools. He has a lower floor than Banuelos, but if he gets better control he has really high upside.

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    • TKP says:

      I completely agree on Betances, but I think he still might get higher-than-expected ratings just in the off chance he can put the control issues to bed, which at this point in his career (high BB% every year more or less) is unlikely. Baneulos, on the other hand, seems to be a bit underrated at this point in my opinion and something that Mark Newman in his prospect chats harps on. Remember, the kid was the 4th youngest in the Eastern League and the youngest in the International League when he was promoted. He’s still just 20 with 2 plus pitches and another (curve) that projects to be, at worst, average. Plenty to like about him.

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    • William says:

      Also it’s Betances with the control issues. That’s why he might be a reliever. Banuelos had amazing control until he went to AAA as a 20 years old last year.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa455894&position=P

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    • Steve says:

      Because before this season, Banuelos did NOT have poor control. It’s possible he just needs more time in AAA.

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    • thehughesunit says:

      Great list, but gamel over gumbs? I think gumbs is going to have a great year with the bat. Gamel im willing to bet will flame out as he climbs the ladder. Where would depaula rank if he had a visa?

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  8. soamx says:

    I don’t understand why people keep calling Betances a reliever.
    There’s nothing about him that indicates he belongs in the bullpen. He’s got 3 pitches that could be plus, he’s a big guy that keeps his velocity deep into games and his biggest problem is control (which is common of many SP prospects)
    It seems it’s trendy to say he’ll end up in the bullpen but no one really has a good explanation for it, just being parroted endlessly primarily because people probably feel there won’t be a spot for him in the rotation anytime soon and the Yanks will want to see what he has to offer at the big league level.
    Wouldn’t be surprised to see him spend the whole year at AAA starting. Our bullpen is just as crowded as the rotation, and there’s no reason to fumble his development like they did with Joba.

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    • cookiedabookie says:

      I agree he should be pushed as a SP, but the main reason people think he will end up in the pen is that he has horrible mechanics that he isn’t able to consistently repeat. Given the fact that he already has had injury issues, he has control issues, and the team doesn’t have an opening in the rotation, the Yankees could decide to put him in the pen as a potential future closer. Or he could be a trade chip for a team with more time for a patient approach.

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      • soamx says:

        I think the Yanks will be patient with him though, unless the right trade came along. They are stacked in the bullpen which means you won’t see them desperately call him up like they did with Joba.
        They can afford to give him another year in the minors to fine tune his mechanics and try to get that control under control.

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      • thenamestsam says:

        He also is running out of time developmentally to some extent. He’ll be 24 before the season starts, and if he doesn’t put it together this year that clock really starts ticking. I’m not saying it’s a good idea and I’m sure they’ll do everything possible to keep him as a starter, but if he was 22 and had those control problems you feel like he has plenty of time to figure it out. At 24, he has to show he’s ready to be a big league starter or move to the pen essentially.

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      • RobMer says:

        I wouldn’t be too concerned about Betances’ development time. Yes, he’s 24 this year, but pitchers are not judged the same way position players are when it comes to their ages. He’s very tall and had injuries that slowed his progress. Not uncommon for pitchers to hit their stride as they head into their late 20s. Randy Johnson didn’t really figure it out until he was about 28.

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  9. Monroe says:

    I rued away most of the day that Jose Campos was sent to New York. It was quite a rueful spectacle and the days since have been rather ruey as well.

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  10. Jordan says:

    The Yanks would be silly to move Betances to the pen anytime soon. It’s not as though they have a pressing need for relievers, and it takes many young, super tall pitchers a while to settle down their mechanics and find their control. I’d like to see the Yanks give him at least one more year, and preferably two, to do so. I agree that given where he is now, his floor is an RP. But given his current stuff and size, most other outlets consider him to have ace potential.

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    • Preston says:

      I think the talk of him moving to the bullpen is external. There have been no indications from the Yankees that he will end up in the bullpen. The point is that his stuff is good enough that even if he was wild he could be an effective setup man/closer. So when scouts discuss him they mention that as his floor. His ceiling, although increasingly unlikely, is much higher.

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  11. Vin says:

    Betances seems too high to me. He’s 24 this year, continues to show terrible control. Not denying his upside, but how much leeway are we giving him to smooth things out? I would think Williams at least would be above him.

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  12. joey pittman says:

    at 6’8 ” its only reasonable that it will take time for Betances to harness that talent and control. The 6’10″ Randy Johnson took until he was 29 yo get his bb/9 under the 6 range. with a fb that has topped 100 on occasion i think the yankees will give him time, Most extremely tall pitchers need the time

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    • Conrad says:

      I love when people use Randy Johnson as an example as though he is anything but a huge, massive outlier.

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    • Greg says:

      Seriously. Enough with this comparison every time a tall pitching prospect has poor control. Physical upside is what it is, but just because one unusually tall guy once developed into a Hall of Fame pitcher extremely late in his career, that doesn’t mean you should show an inordinate amount of patience with any wild prospect above 6’7″ because “hey, Randy Johnson!”

      Johnson probably had the (forgive the stupid expression) most unique career path in ML history, on top of having maybe the best stuff in ML history. Betances has a high ceiling for an almost 24 year old, but he is no Randy Johnson.

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    • martyvan90 says:

      Not Athletic at that size is an issue…

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  13. Joe says:

    Marc… Where would you put Adams? (20-30 range?) Is his stock low due to age and all that time lost to the ankle injury ?

    Also how about Bryan Mitchell as a sleeper?

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    • Marc Hulet says:

      Yeah, 20-30 is the right range for Adams… until he gets some more games under his belt post-injury.

      I’d go so far as putting Mitchell in the 16-20 range. Nice potential.

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      • Joe says:

        Marc, thanks for the response.

        As I’m sure other commenters would echo, it is much appreciated that you take the time to followup on questions after you publish these prospect lists.

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  14. Mike R. says:

    Betances isn’t that old, and we all know he lost a year to TJS. The issue is that while he may be able to maintain his velocity, he rarely ever made it past 5 innings.

    He does have the potential to lower his walks considering not only what he did in 2010, but how inconsistent he was in 2011. It seems that he’d walk two at most in half of his starts and 5+ in the other half. One of his AAA starts he walked 9.

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  15. BronXXVII says:

    Very aggressive on Campos but I agree with almost all of the list. Low-A is going to be very exciting to follow this coming season.

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  16. Sam says:

    Jose Campos is NOT 200 pounds. After watching him in person this last year, I can guarantee you that. He’s 180 tops. There is still room for him to grow into his frame, which should make him even more promising for Yankees fans.

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  17. panther says:

    I think the Williams kid is very raw but gifted. I do think he is a bit overrated . The overlooked diamond in the rough is the Grice kid

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  18. John Franco says:

    I suspect you’ll rue the day you left Gumbs off the list. He’s quite a player. The Yankees’ Low-A team is going to be fun to watch this year.

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  19. robbalis says:

    I Think Corban Joseph is a real sleeper in the system. Though I really don’t think there is much of a place for him in the bronx…he walks enough..but I thought his power would develop by now.

    A guy I like on your list is Slade Heathcott. I can see him becoming a Johnny Damon type player and despite the injuries I think he can live up to those expectations

    anyway, it was a great read

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  21. Henry says:

    Well now some of you will have to eat your words. Pineda has a serious injury that could change his future forever and Noesi is showing he is a good starting pitcher who can throw innings. Montero while developing a bit slowly is batting cleanup at the age of 22. Hitting around 265 and his catching skills have greatly improved. He caught a 6 pitcher no hitter without any flaws in his defense. He just needs to mature. Imagine how well he would be hitting surrounded by hitting stars on the yankees. He is going to be a great one if he makes it as a starting catcher. As a yankee fans I think a lot of our prospects are a bit overhyped. On Betances if you project him in the pen why is he so highly rated as a prospect?

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    • GeneralSalzabar says:

      Noesi just got demoted and Montero isn’t hitting for crap yet.

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      • Henry says:

        Montero has ended up with a very good year and caught 56 games. Very impressive but he really has one more thing to do and that is improve his base stealing %. He blocks the ball well and is getting better calling games. Imagine what he would have done at yankee stadium.

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  22. chris hines says:

    Yeah a 5.77 ERA, 5.65 FIP, -0.5 WAR in 97 innings, in one of the friendliest pitching parks in baseball is really proving himself to be a good starting pitcher.

    As far as Montero they haven’t come close to committing to him behind the plate everyday, despite how far back they are in the standings. They picked his days behind the plate carefully and avoided making him catch back to back to back for a reason. Also his .263/.309/.400 triple slash shows he still has a lot of trouble controling the strikezone and he isn’t making nearly enough contact, or hitting with nearly enough power, to make up for his lack of walks.

    So far the trade doesn’t look good for anyone, the Mariners are only slightly ahead because Noesi and Montero aren’t hurt. However if Pineda works hard in his rehab and keeps himself in shape he could actually come back as strong or stronger than before. Curt Schilling had the exact same surgery early in his career and came back throwingh harder after the fact because of how hard he worked during rehab.

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    • raf says:

      Looking at his home road splits, it seems Safeco’s killing Montero.

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    • Henry says:

      True Noesi did regress after pitching well. He was throwing a lot of innings for a while and could still work out well. On Montero you don’t know what you are talking about. He is a rookie learning how to catch in the majors. He caught 56 games which is an impressive number of games. Montero has no protection in Seattle and has to deal with a huge stadium. You are just trying to rationalize what has turned out to be a bad trade in the short term. Pineda won’t be back until at least half the season is over. Don’t expect much from him. You need to learn to be more objective in your judgment.

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  23. Ruki Motomiya says:

    For the Mariners, .263/.309/.400 is the most offense they’ve seen in years, except Ichiro. /humor

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    • Henry says:

      Add in the 15 homers and that is a good year. His batting average is one the highest on the team at the age of 22. 2013 could be his breakout year if not 2014 will be. He is one of the best hitters I have ever seen.

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  24. Henry says:

    Montero is a 22 year rookie dh/catcher. He has caught a total of 56 games this year. His biggest defensive lapse is throwing out baserunners. He has a plus arm but doesn’t get rid of the ball quick enough. His blocking the plate has improved and he can call a good game. He is big and he may end up a back up catcher 1st baseman dh. As a hitter in spite of the numbers he has shown his power at times and you can see he looks like a potential 300 hitter. His stats for a rookie are better than many veterans especially without protection. With the fences being brought in a Safeco Field he should easily reach the 20 homer range next year. He may need another year for his breakout year. This kid can hit!!!!!

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