Power Ranking Yankees Prospects This Spring

Anthony MaimoneFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2013

Power Ranking Yankees Prospects This Spring

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    The New York Yankees normally view spring training as a time for the veterans to get loose and ready for the start of the season.

    The prospects are invited to get a feel for big league camp and maybe make a name for themselves.

    With the major turnover this offseason and all the injuries suffered to key starters, those prospects finally got an opportunity to not only get noticed, but even crack the Opening Day roster.

    The following is a list of prospects that showed some potential, as well as some that are still fighting in camp with two weeks left before the start of the season.

Honorable Mentions

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    Many of the Yankees' top prospects won't be on this list, as they didn't spend much time in camp.

    Mason Williams didn't even go to camp because of an injury.

    Gary Sanchez saw action in three games and made five plate appearances.

    Tyler Austin played minimally before leaving camp but did have four hits in seven at-bats while there.

    Slade Heathcott has lasted the longest among the top prospects and has shown some slight flashes, but he has only been able to get two hits this spring in 10 at-bats.

8. Zoilo Almonte

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    Following the Curtis Granderson injury, 23-year-old Zoilo Almonte was given his fair shot at replacing him on the opening day roster.

    Almonte got off to a fast start, hitting a homer and driving in two runs in his first four at-bats this spring.

    Unfortunately he has not done much else since and according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, he was just cut from the team before the start of Wednesday's game.

    Almonte is young and athletic and had a very solid season last year in Double-A Trenton.

    Almonte finished spring batting .190 in 21 at-bats.

7. Corban Joseph

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    Corban Joseph got to see an extended time in Tampa, thanks in large part to the fact that Robinson Cano is busy playing in the World Baseball Classic.

    Sadly, Joseph didn't do a ton with the opportunity. Playing in 14 games, he only had six hits, batting .214.

    Joseph saw time on the field at both second and third, seeming a lot more comfortable at second.

    To add to his offensive woes, he had struggles in the field. He committed three errors this spring.

    Joseph isn't a household name, but he did see success last season in both Double- and Triple-A. 

    At the very least, the extended time in camp led to some excellent experience.

6. Vidal Nuno

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    Vidal Nuno is old in terms of a true prospect. However, the 25-year-old has been turning heads this spring.

    The lefty reliever has thrown just over seven innings this spring and has an ERA of 1.23.

    Hitters are only batting .148 against him, as he has only allowed four hits.

    To add to those impressive numbers, he has struck out 11 hitters and only walked two.

    A lefty pitcher who can stop a batter from putting the ball in play is always valuable at the big league level, and Nuno's spring performance has put him on notice.

5. Melky Mesa

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    Melky Mesa was already on the Yankees' radar when spring training began.

    The moment Curtis Granderson got hurt, that spotlight burned brighter.

    Mesa has a very similar skill set to Granderson. He can hit for power, as he has shown this spring.

    Mesa can also swipe a few bases if he needed to. He might be the most big league player the Yankees have in their system.

    The problem is he also shares two of Granderson's problems as well. He could be considered an all-or-nothing hitter.

    Last season, Mesa struck out 118 times in 458 at-bats. So far this spring, he has fanned 12 times in only 37 at-bats.

4. Brett Marshall

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    Right-handed starter Brett Marshall is having himself an excellent spring so far.

    The soon-to-be 23-year-old has thrown more innings in camp than anyone other than David Phelps.

    He is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA, and batters are only hitting .200 against him.

    Marshall is known to be more of a ground-ball pitcher using a heavy sinking fastball.

    However, this spring he has been pretty effective at finishing batters off. He has struck out 11 batters in just over 12 innings pitched.

    Marshall projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy, and if things were to go really poorly in the health department for the current Yankees starters, he could find himself making a spot start or two.

3. Mark Montgomery

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    Yankees fans very well might be witnessing their closer of the future this spring in Mark Montgomery.

    Since joining the Yankees, Montgomery has been turning heads with a devastating slider that is beginning to grow its own legend.

    John Harper of the New York Daily News explains how that slider has become the most talked-about pitch since Mariano Rivera's cutter.

    Montgomery's stat line this spring isn't the best as he has walked six batters and only struck out three.

    Despite the poor numbers, scouts are still seeing the tools that will be effective in getting big league hitters out in the near future.

2. Jose Ramirez

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    Jose Ramirez has been a very pleasant surprise this spring. He had pitched to near perfection prior to Thursday's horrendous performance.

    He only allowed four hits in his first nine innings pitched this spring.

    He features a pair of power pitches, including a fastball that sits around 95 mph.

    His early spring success has definitely earned Ramirez a longer look ,and we should expect to see Ramirez pitching at a level higher than Single-A.

    His pitch set is capable of making him a successful starter or reliever. Time will tell where this 23-year-old Dominican will end up.

1. Ronnier Mustelier

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    Ronnier Mustelier is making a name for himself and making a name for himself fast.

    In only two seasons, Mustelier has risen through the Yankees system, rising from Single-A to Triple-A.

    While most scouts projected Melky Mesa to replace the injured Granderson, it is the 28-year-old Mustelier who has taken advantage of the opportunity.

    This spring Mustelier is batting .292 in 14 games. 

    The Cuban defector might not be as athletic as Mesa and is a few years older, but the Yankees care more about production than anything else.

    With that being said, if Mustelier can continue his solid spring, he could easily earn a spot on the Yankees' Opening Day roster.