Re-Ranking New York Yankees' Top 10 Prospects After the 2012 MLB Draft
Some picks are far from making an impact, while others could quickly be on the cusp of "The Show."
So with the addition of new members to the Yankee family, let’s take a revamped look at the top 10 Bombers on the farm.
10. Mark Montgomery, RHP
For now, he’s been able to escape a lot of the limelight that many prospects deal with. But, if Mark Montgomery continues to post obscene numbers like he has this year, his relative anonymity will cease to exist.
In high Single-A this year, the 21-year-old right-hander has managed to record 46 strikeouts in 28.2 innings, all while donning a 1.26 ERA.
It would be irresponsible on our part to expect his production to continue at this rate. However, if he could keep something resembling this as the status quo, Montgomery could be parked in the big leagues in a few years.
9. Dante Bichette Jr., 3B
When he was drafted, Dante Bichette Jr. was labeled as a player who got to where he was because of the fortunate tutelage of his former MLB father. However, the 19-year-old third baseman has served those critics a healthy dish of crow.
In 2011, Bichette Jr. was named the Baseball America Rookie All-Star and the Gulf Coast League MVP.
Through 54 games in Charleston, Bichette is taking his lumps and sporting a .266 average with an eye-popping 49 strikeouts so far.
But don’t count him out. He’s made people eat their words before,
8. Ty Hensley, RHP
With their first-round pick in 2012, the Yankees selected Ty Hensley with the 30th overall pick. At this moment, he’s looking forward to getting his high school diploma, but down the very short road, we could all see him performing with the big squad.
Checking in at 6’4" and 220 pounds, the right-handed pitcher has “power” scribbled all over him. His fastball tops out in the mid-90s and can be simply overpowering against right-handed batters.
Despite the prowess of his heater, Hensley is still trying to curtail a curveball that sometimes gets away from him.
His goal is to be in the majors within three years, according to The Star-Ledger.
Ahhh...to be young with confidence.
7. Austin Romine, C
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Last year, Yankee fans caught their first glimpse of catching prospect Austin Romine. In nine games, he lived up to his billing, which is bittersweet.
Behind the plate, the 24-year-old calls a stupendous game, but other parts of his game are lacking.
In 2011, he dabbled in Double-A, Triple-A and had a short stint in the bigs. The highest he batted was .286 in Trenton, and he never got off the interstate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the Bronx.
With Gary Sanchez on his heels in catcher development and the big club already at maximum capacity in light-hitting backstops, there could be a possibility Romine’s career continues with another club.
6. Jose Campos, RHP
Entering the Yankee farm system via the Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero trade, Jose Campos instantly became a product the team had big plans for.
In the 19-year-old’s first stint last year in the United States, he sported a 2.32 ERA and 85 strikeouts in the Northwest League for the Seattle Class A affiliate Everett AquaSox.
His 6’4" frame has made him rely predominantly on his fastball that peaks at 96, but at the moment, he's feverishly working on improving a curveball and a changeup.
At this moment, the Yankees foresee Campos with No. 2 or No. 3 stuff in the rotation if the current modifications come to fruition.
5. Ravel Santana, OF
Last year in the Gulf Coast League, Ravel Santana had one of his best seasons in his young career. In 41 games, he batted just under .300 with 48 hits and nine home runs in 41 games.
However, his 2011 season ended in despair as the 20-year-old broke his ankle and tore two ligaments as he attempted to swipe a bag.
This year, he has remained in Tampa for extended spring training, but he's likely to move to short-season Staten Island soon.
His bat speed and ability to hit to all fields has been met with much acclaim, and his arm has been rated as one of the best in the lower minors.
We’ll have to monitor his progress and recovery.
4. Manny Banuelos, LHP
Things had been going smoothly for Manny Banuelos until he laced up the cleats for 2012.
Over the past two months, the 20-year-old has spent two tours on the disabled list and has had difficulty with his control. Add in an ERA of 4.50, and Banuelos is staring at one of the most difficult stages of his fledgling career.
Putting the current struggles aside, there is no doubt the second half of “The Killer B’s” is a cant-miss cornerstone of the Yankee minor system.
His fastball hovers in the mid-90s, but his bread and butter is his ever-deceptive changeup. When the change is working, the same arm delivery can throw a pitch that looks identical to the fastball, but 15 miles slower.
There’s no doubt he’ll be in pinstripes soon, possibly even this year.
3. Mason Williams, OF
Curtis Granderson patrols center field these days for the Bombers, but Mason Williams might be taking over the role in the future.
The 20-year-old left-hander has been blessed with God-given athletic ability, making him an excellent fielder with great speed. Not to mention, his baseball IQ contributes to solid hitting and an above-average eye in the box, especially for a young player.
His 2012 stats in Single-A Charleston: .306 batting average, 63 hits, 16 doubles, 16 stolen bases.
Of course, it is Single-A, so Granderson shouldn’t lose any sleep just yet. But, if those numbers can follow Williams up the minor league ranks, the future looks bright for the Yanks.
2. Dellin Betances, RHP
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After making his major league debut with the Yankees, Dellin Betances is far from satisfied. Last year, the RHP dipped his toes in the big league pool for 2.2 innings to the tune of a 6.75 ERA.
Obviously, there is room for some improvement.
The massive 24-year-old sports a 6’8" frame, which translates to an exceptional fastball that sometimes reaches the mid-90s.
However, the rest of his pitches are pedestrian and crying for further refinery.
Because of his reliance on the heater, look for him to make another late-season call-up coming out of the pen.
1. Gary Sanchez, C
With the departure of Jesus Montero, the consensual pick for the new crown jewel of the system would most likely be catcher Gary Sanchez.
The 20-year-old backstop possesses a bat most players dream about. Currently in Single-A Charleston, he is batting .298 with an eye-popping 64 hits already in this young season.
His batting skills speak for themselves, but he still evolving behind the plate. With a few more years in the minors, Sanchez is sure to make strides on polishing his glove work. In those same years on the farm, he will likely improve on his maturity, which has been questioned in the past.
But make no mistake: With no cemented relic like Jorge Posada behind the plate, get ready to see Gary Sanchez calling games in the Bronx in the near future.