NY Yankees: Stock Up, Stock Down for Yankees' Top 10 Prospects for Week 5
Nonetheless, the Yankees keep battling, and with every injury comes an opportunity for one of the Yankees’ top prospects to move forward in their system.
It hasn’t happened yet for any of the young players on this list, but Preston Claiborne was given the call to join the big league team in Chamberlain's absence.
Claiborne joins Vidal Nuno as the most recent minor league players called up.
So as we all wait to see if the Yankee brass will ever start to move their coveted players through their system, let’s check out how the Top 10 prospects did.
10. Zoilo Almonte, Outfield
Stats: 28 G, .293 BA, 7 2B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, .848 OPS
What a week it’s been for Zoilo Almonte.
The young outfielder pushed his average up almost .030 points and now has three home runs.
In seven games last week, Almonte only struck out four times.
Almonte has proven he has the talent and he’s starting to come into his own at the plate.
Unfortunately for the 23 year-old, the Yankees outfield is a little overcrowded. If he keeps playing like this though GM Brian Cashman may have to find a spot for him.
9. Dante Bichette Jr., 3B
Stats: 28 G, .186 BA, 19 RBI, 7 BB, 33 K, .246 OBP
From week to week, a pattern is beginning to form at the plate for Dante Bichette Jr..
The young third baseman’s strike outs seems to go up as his on-base percentage goes down.
This isn’t a good sign for Bichette, who has shown small glimmers of power mixed in the first month of his time in Charleston.
Since last week, Bichette hasn’t picked up an RBI and has five strikeouts.
With the injuries to both Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis, this seems like a perfect time for Bichette to try to jump through the Yankee farm system.
But unfortunately for both him and the Yankees, this season has been rough for the young Bichette.
8. Mark Montgomery, RHP
Stats: 8 G, 13.1 IP, 1 W, 2.03 ERA, 2 HR, 20 K
Even with a slight bump in the road this past week, Mark Montgomery’s stock remains high.
Montgomery’s ERA jumped from 0.90 to 2.03 over this past week, which could be making some fans of the young righty inevitably restless.
But with the nature of his role as a short reliever comes with it an ERA that can move around erratically, especially early on in the season.
In two appearances this week, Montgomery picked up his first win while fanning four hitters.
With Joba Chamberlain going down it was a bit of a surprise to see Montgomery stay in Triple-A Scranton, but it is understandable.
If in New York, Montgomery wouldn’t be getting the playing time and innings that he gets with the Railriders.
Nonetheless, it was still a solid week from the 22-year-old.
7. Angelo Gumbs, 2B
Stats: 8 G, .088 BA, 3 H, 6 K, .139 OBP
It was another week of no action for the injured Angelo Gumbs.
There hasn’t been an update on the young infielder’s injury.
Gumbs needs to get back soon so he can get on track and work towards moving up in the Yankee system.
He’s still young and raw, but he will be getting an opportunity in the coming years with the left side of the infield in the Bronx aging rapidly.
Gumbs is the only middle infielder in the Top 20 of New York’s prospects.
His progression as a player will be key to their future.
Let’s hope he gets back into the lineup soon.
6. Ty Hensley, RHP
As you may already know, Ty Hensley is still recovering from hip surgery that he underwent recently.
Instead of reiterating the importance of Hensley’s return for his progression, let’s check out another pitcher in the Top 20 of New York’s prospects.
Nik Turley is a tall lefty in Double-A Trenton that has the physical tools to make it into the big leagues.
Turley hasn’t been able to put it all together yet though.
Through six starts Turley has a 3-1 record and a 4.91 ERA – hardly good enough to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
Turley has an above-average fastball and curveball, but has given up 30 hits in 29.1 innings.
One promising sign though is that Turley also has 30 strikeouts and has only surrendered two home runs.
5. Manny Banuelos, LHP
Although Manny Banuelos remains ranked in the Top 5 of the Yankees prospects, the lefty will miss all of this season with Tommy John surgery.
So again, much like in the previous slide lets take a quick peek at how another pitcher is doing in the Yankee farm system.
After an explosive first outing for the Charleston RiverDogs where he struck out 11 batters through 4.1 innings, Rafael De Paula has somewhat cooled off.
In six starts De Paula is 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA with 15 base on balls.
Still, in 27.1 innings pitched the righty has 46 strikeouts.
This guy is obviously a power pitcher and can have a very bright future.
4. Slade Heathcott, Outfield
Stats: 22 G, .198 BA, 25 K, 2 SB, .276 OBP
Even though Slade Heathcott was able to push his average up close to .200 over the past week, that doesn’t make his stock go up.
To put it simply, hitting sub-.200 with a .276 on-base percentage is something a Top 5 prospect with speed should not be doing.
Heathcott hasn’t played as much as his fellow outfielders in Double-A Trenton, but he needs to start producing before it’s too late.
It’s not hard to root for a guy like Heathcott who has struggled in his young career through injuries and problems with alcohol.
But again, baseball, like any sport, is about production, and Heathcott isn’t up to par on that end of the spectrum.
It is still early and this is his first season in Double-A, but it would be nice to see Heathcott start improving.
3. Tyler Austin, Outfield
Stats: 29 G, .266 BA, 15 RBI, 34 K .788 OPS
Outfielder Tyler Austin had another solid week in Trenton.
The 21-year-old pushed his average up and picked up four walks.
Every week Austin proves to be the most consistent outfielder of the three outfield prospects in the Top 5.
This is exactly how I see Austin getting into the Bronx—on the merits of his consistent play.
If Austin can get his numbers up higher and continue to play consistently, expect to see him patrolling the outfield with Brett Gardner in the coming years.
2. Mason Williams, Outfield
Stats: 26 G, .241 BA, 2 HR, 18 BB, 21 K, 3 SB
After being arrested, Mason Williams' production didn’t suffer as badly as it could have.
With all of that happening off the field, Williams was still able to have a mediocre week in between the lines.
Still, Williams needs to get better this year and hitting below .250 in Single-A Tampa doesn’t cut it for the second-best prospect in the Yankee organization.
Williams has the speed and live bat to be a factor on the bases, and he has picked up three steals.
To put it in perspective, Williams and Tyler Austin are both the same age but Williams has worse numbers and is in lower competition.
He has the tools to be great, and this is going to be a key year in his development.
1. Gary Sanchez, C
Stats: 27 G, .269 BA, 5 HR, 22 RBI, .827 OPS
At the beginning of the season Gary Sanchez couldn’t be much hotter, but his big start is quickly fading.
Sanchez has been providing power at the plate for Tampa, but his average dropped .020 points from last week.
Obviously his hot start couldn’t continue throughout the whole season, but Sanchez will need to end this cold streak at the plate soon.
The Yankees need his bat in the coming future, and sitting in Single-A isn’t going to get him into New York any quicker.
Although the recent focus behind the dish in New York has been defense, Sanchez brings a powerful bat that the Bombers will need.
Sanchez will need to pick it up this week and get the production going once again.