Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Yankees' Top 10 Prospects for Week 5
April has come and gone, and the future stars of the New York Yankees' organizations have now put in several weeks of work to allow us to really gauge how much they have progressed since last season.
While four of the team's top-10 prospects have yet to step on the field this year, the future still appears to be pretty bright. That being said, the future could be now for some of the prospects at the higher levels.
The Yankees have sustained a multitude of injuries already this season. John Ryan Murphy (No. 3) has already reaped the benefits of injuries to the big club, as he as found semi-regular playing time as Brian McCann's backup.
The Yankees don't have any other top prospects past Double-A right now, but that shouldn't stop them from reworking their minor league rosters in order to get the best talents in the best places to help the organization win. With an aging team like the Yankees, you never know when an injury might hit that results in a youngster getting playing time.
This report has updated the stock of the team's top-10 prospects week after week this season. There has been some good and some bad, but we'll break it all down right here.
*Note: OF Slade Heathcott (No. 2), 1B Greg Bird (No. 8), RHP Jose Ramirez (No. 9) and LHP Ian Clarkin (No. 10) have yet to play 2014. Heathcott (Triple-A), Bird (Double-A) and Ramirez (Triple-A) are all recovering from injuries. Clarkin is currently gaining experience in rookie ball before seeing time in Low-A ball.
**RF Tyler Austin (No. 6) is currently on the DL after straining his groin.
No. 7: LF/RF Aaron Judge, Low-A Charleston RiverDogs
Week 5 Stats
6 G, 23 AB, 5 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 5 SO, 1 BB
Strikeouts will always be a part of Aaron Judge's game given his long swing and 6'7" frame, but power will also be a staple of the young outfielder's skill set.
Judge didn't leave the yard in Week 5, but he did double amongst four other hits in 23 at-bats. Home-run power has been hard to come by for Judge this season, as he has homered just twice. That said, Judge has hit the ball hard more often than not, meaning the power will surely come soon.
It was a so-so week for Judge. He wasn't bad, but he certainly wasn't great. Week 4 was far better for the 22-year-old, but there's plenty of room to grow as he acclimates to professional baseball.
The future is bright for this young power hitter.
.324/.420/.431, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 33 H, 23 SO, 17 BB
No. 5: 3B Eric Jagielo, High-A Tampa Yankees
Week 5 Stats
6 G, 25 AB, 7 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 SO, 0 BB
Eric Jagielo had a fantastic week. He started (and kept going) a six-game hitting streak, a streak that saw him also hit two home runs.
What's shocking for Jagielo is that he didn't record a single walk this week. He has an OBP of .331 on the year, and the .376 mark he posted last season at Staten Island indicates that he has a great eye at the plate. Clearly not drawing walks didn't impact his production this week, but it's still something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Jagielo is currently the future of the hot corner for the Yankees. No one knows what's to come in the Alex Rodriguez saga, and Yangervis Solarte needs to prove himself over a full season before entrenching himself in that role moving forward.
If everything falls his way, Jagielo could be the team's third baseman by 2016.
.248/.331/.451, 28 H, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 13 BB, 28 SO
No. 4: CF Mason Williams, Double-A Trenton Thunder
Week 5 Stats
6 G, 19 AB, 2 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB
Things have not been easy for highly-touted prospect Mason Williams in 2014, and he may not sustain his "top prospect" title for long if he keeps posting numbers like he has in previous weeks.
This week was especially poor, as he notched just two hits in 19 at-bats. In fact, over his last 10 games, Williams has just seven hits in 40 at-bats. That comes to a .175 batting average.
There are problems across the board of the outfielder. He is striking out far too much. His pitch selection has been bad, evidenced by his poor SO:BB ratio of 17:15. It could be a result of pressing at the plate, but struggles adapting to Double-A pitching could also be at fault.
Williams has a bright future still, but he'll need to pick it up soon.
.210/.299/.294, 25 H, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 17 SO, 15 BB, 4 SB
No. 3: C John Ryan Murphy, New York Yankees
Week 5 Stats
2 G, 6 AB, 2 H, 1 2B, 2 SO, 0 BB
John Ryan Murphy has established himself as a more-than-capable reserve catcher in the bigs during his recent stint with the Yankees, and that has likely earned him the job until Francisco Cervelli returns sometime in the distant future. Heck, it might even still be his job when Cervelli is healthy.
Murphy has always been considered one of the better catchers in the system, but a lack of opportunity has hurt his growth. Austin Romine got more time than he did in 2013, but Romine's glaring struggles to adjust to big league pitching gave Murphy the advantage this time around.
Defensively, Murphy has been solid (as expected). He knows how to handle the glove, and he'll continue to call better games at this level as he matures and gets familiar with the members of his staff. Defense is the last thing the Yankees need to worry about when it comes to him.
Expect more good things from Murphy in the future.
Triple-A: .192/.192/.308, 5 H, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 5 SO, 0 BB
MLB: .316/.316/.526, 6 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 SO, 0 BB
No. 1: C Gary Sanchez, Double-A Trenton Thunder
Week 5 Stats
7 G, 20 AB, 3 H, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 5 SO
It really was an all-or-nothing week for Gary Sanchez, as two of his three hits cleared the fence. That's unlike the Sanchez we have seen so far in 2014. For the most part, he has been very consistent in driving the ball to all fields and making solid contact every time he comes to the plate.
He continues to strike out more than he walks, however, and that will be an issue moving forward. As a power hitter, it's natural for Sanchez to strike out. A guy that swings as hard as he does as often as he does is bound to come up short from time to time.
That said, power hitters also need to be patient. Guys that hit the ball out of the park generally wait for their pitch and drive it. They don't go up there hacking at everything. Sanchez needs to learn this distinction to make the jump to Scranton.
He's been very good this year overall, though.
.284/.370/.484, 27 H, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 12 BB, 18 SO