Gary Sanchez’s performance has earned him the top spot in our Prospect Rankings (Photo: Mark LoMoglio)
With the All-Star Break come and gone, it’s time for our mid-season prospect rankings. There’s some changes at the top, with Rafael DePaula, Jose Ramirez, and and J.R. Murphy being some of the biggest movers. This season has seen the re-emergence of players such as Dellin Betances and Jake Cave. I have seen most players on this list play in person and spoken to scouts about all others. Most of the players on this list can have scouting reports found here.
1) Gary Sanchez, C, Age 20 - The cream of the crop in terms of Yankees prospects, Sanchez will finish out the year in Tampa before making the jump to Trenton in 2014.
2) Tyler Austin, OF, Age 21 – Austin is currently on Trenton’s DL, but remains one of the best hitting prospects in the Yankees system. One of the best arms in the outfield, Austin should be able to be a full-time right fielder at the ML level before very long.
Rafael DePaula (Photo: Post Courier)
3) Rafael DePaula, RHP, Age 22 - If DePaula were two years younger, he’d be the number three prospect in all of baseball, not just the Yankees farm system. Dynamite fastball can hit mid-to-high 90s.
4) Slade Heathcott, OF, Age 22 - Heathcott is the most aggressive player in the system and might have the highest ceiling among position players. However, he has yet to play a full season due to injuries, something which could cause him to take a little longer to develop moving forward.
5) Jose Ramirez, RHP, Age 21 - Ramirez has struggled with his command in AAA and the Yankees may have been a bit too aggressive in promoting him. All the same, he still has an electric fastball and loads of potential. Future #2 starter or dominant closer, depending on his command.
6) Mason Williams, OF, Age 21 - An immensely talented prospect, but questions about Williams’ maturity have bumped him down the list. Could either be a star in New York or never grow up and bust in Double-A.
7) Eric Jagielo, 3B, Age 21 – First-round draft pick in 2013 made his debut earlier in July. Great left-handed hitter who could be the new third baseman of the future.
8) Manny Banuelos, LHP, Age 22 – Missing all of 2013 after Tommy John surgery. Still remains one of the best prospects in the system, and should be in the big leagues by 2015.
J.R. Murphy (Photo: Trenton Thunder/Facebook.com)
9) J.R. Murphy, C, Age 22 – Murphy’s bat has always been there, but his defense really flourished in 2013, springing him into the top 10 and making him a legitimate contender to open 2014 as the Yankees starting catcher.
10) Jose Campos, RHP, Age 20 - On an innings limit coming back from an elbow injury, Campos has been very effective in Charleston this season and could be a solid #2/#3 starter down the road.
11) Ramon Flores, OF, Age 21 - I’m not as high on Flores as most – he’s a corner outfielder with no power, but he has potential to be a fringe starter someday. On 40-man, closer to the bigs than most.
12) Aaron Judge, OF, Age 21 – The Yankees’ second first-rounder in 2013, Judge has monstrous size and huge power potential. Also has the potential to lead the league in strikeouts. Ability to make the show will depend on how often he can make contact.
13) Ty Hensley, RHP, Age 19 - After missing most of 2012 following his selection in the first round, Hensley is missing all of 2013 with a hip injury. Quickly losing development time. The potential is there, but Hensley can’t afford another misstep.
14) Angelo Gumbs, 2B, Age 20 - Gumbs struggled in Tampa before being demoted. One of the best all-around athletes in the system, but needs a lot more work.
15) Brett Marshall, RHP, Age 23 - Made his ML debut earlier this year. Has struggled a bit in Scranton this year, but come on strong of late. Could be in the mix for a ML job next season. Projection caps as a #4 starter.
Mark Montgomery (Photo: Getty Images)
16) Mark Montgomery, RHP, Age 22 - Could be one of the top relief pitchers in the minor leagues. Devastating slider is second to none in the minors. Could be Yankees closer of the future.
17) David Adams, IF, Age 26 - Back in the major leagues after a brief demotion to Scranton. With uncertainty around Alex Rodriguez, Adams is the immediate future at third base. Has potential to be above-average infielder.
18) Ian Clarkin, LHP, Age 18 – The Yankees’ third first-rounder in 2013, Clarkin got hurt before making his pro debut. He shouldn’t be out long. Too far away to determine whether he’ll ever make it, but has solid potential.
19) Zoilo Almonte, OF, Age 24 – Took over as Yankees starting left fielder not long before going down with a sprained ankle. Not a ton more upside, but could be a solid, everyday outfielder for a long time.
20) Nik Turley, LHP, Age 23 - Was an All-Star with Trenton this year. Possesses big fastball/curveball combination and is on 40-man roster. Could be a factor late in 2014.
21) Peter O’Brien, C, Age 22 – O’Brien’s a power hitter who doesn’t do much else. Decent defender behind the plate for A-ball, but unknown if he’ll stay there long term. Has been playing 3B in Tampa, which has not been a great experiment.
Dellin Betances (Photo: Getty Images)
22) Dellin Betances, RHP, Age 25 - Now in the bullpen, Betances has been Scranton’s best pitcher in the last month. Shouldn’t be long before he’s back in the big leagues. Could be a force out of a MLB pen.
23) Corban Joseph, 2B, Age 24 – Not much more upside to Joseph. Primarily 2B, can play a little bit of 1B and 3B. Decent hitter from left-hand side of plate with some pop. Unless Robbie Cano walks, it’s not likely Joseph has much future with the Yankees.
24) Greg Bird, 1B, Age 20 – Bird has one of the nicest swings among players at his age. Good all-around hitter, improving defensive first baseman. Has started to break out in second half of 2013. Could be a rising prospect in off-season rankings.
25) Austin Romine, C, Age 24 - Save for Romine’s big couple of games in the last week, he hasn’t done much with his first real chance in the big leagues. Profiles as a long-term backup: good on defense, not much offense.
26) Austin Aune, SS/OF, Age 19 - I’m too intrigued by his potential to drop him off this list, but he has had a brutal year in the GCL. Defense is not great, he likely won’t stick at shortstop.
27) Tommy Kahnle, RHP, Age 23 – Trenton’s closer has the makings of a solid late-inning reliever at the ML level. Possesses mid-to-high 90s fastball and solid breaking pitch.
Jake Cave (Photo: Cave on Twitter)
28) Jake Cave, OF, Age 20 - Injuries have taken their toll on Cave since being drafted in the sixth round in 2011, but he has loads of potential and has been a solid leadoff hitter for Charleston. Cave is a long way from the major leagues, but could eventually be a good leadoff-type hitter.
29) Rob Refsnyder, 2B, Age 22 – Refsnyder is not a great fielder, but he can really hit. Has been a solid player for Tampa this year and could potentially be a solid backup at the ML level.
30) Rob Segedin, 3B, Age 24 – I’m a believer in Segedin, who was Trenton’s best hitter before suffering a season-ending hip injury. His defense isn’t great, but he has the potential to be a “four corners” utility guy in the majors.