Stock Up, Stock Down for Yankees' Top 10 Prospects for Week 19
- Gary Sanchez, C: Even
- Luis Severino, RHP: Up
- Rob Refsnyder, 2B/OF: Up
- Eric Jagielo, 3B: Even
- Tyler Austin, 1B/3B/OF: Up
- Aaron Judge, OF: Even
- Ian Clarkin, LHP: Even
- Jose Pirela, 2B/SS/OF: Up
- Greg Bird, 1B: Even
- Jacob Lindgren, LHP: Up
With Week 19 upon us, it is time to once again check in on the stocks of the New York Yankees' top 10 prospects.
Last week's list looked like this:
With another week of the season in the books, these players will once again be evaluated on their recent performances as well as their overall seasons. So whose stock has risen, fallen or hit a flat line?
Note: While other sources were taken into consideration, this set of rankings is based on my own opinion.
10. Jacob Lindgren, LHP
1-0, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 7 SO, 0 BB, 2 G
2-0, 0.56 ERA, 18.6 K/9, 5 BB, 33 SO, 16 IP, 13 G
After recently being promoted to Double-A Trenton and the departure of Matt Thornton, it's safe to say Lindgren is on the rise.
Lindgren was the Yankees' top pick in the 2014 draft (55th overall) out of Mississippi State University.
A starter in 2013, Lindgren led the Bulldogs to the College World Series. He then transitioned to Mississippi's bullpen, finishing with a 6-1 record with a 0.81 ERA. He saved three games and held opponents to a .124 average.
Lindgren throws a fastball that tops out in the mid-90s and a nasty slider. He also has a changeup, but the Yankees do not plan to make him a starter, so a third pitch will not be necessary. Surprisingly, Lindgren could reach the majors as soon as this season.
9. Greg Bird, 1B
8-for-20, 2 2B, 3 HR, 3 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 4 SO
.282 AVG, 24 2B, 10 HR, 35 RBI, .380 OBP
Lindgren was not the only guy to make the jump to Double-A, as Bird recently became a member of the Thunder too.
He started the season off with High-A Tampa but was held back due to injuries, causing a slow start. It took some time, but Bird's numbers are really starting to come around.
Bird created high expectations for himself after a 2013 campaign that saw him hit .288 with 36 doubles, 20 home runs and 84 RBI. With a sharp eye at the plate, Bird led the minor leagues with 107 walks. Bird's biggest offensive flaw is his long swing, which causes him to strike out a bit.
Bird was originally a catcher but moved to first base upon entering the Yankees system.
8. Jose Pirela, 2B/SS/OF
3-for-21, 2 2B, 3 R, 4 SO
.306 AVG, 76 R, 8 HR, 48 RBI, 12 SB
Overall, Pirela is having a really good year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, but he has been a bit inconsistent at the plate lately.
Pirela can be an all-around offensive threat. He hits for contact and power, though he strikes out much more than he walks. He has a tendency to score runs and is a strong baserunner, though it has been a while since his last stolen base.
Pirela also offers some versatility. Primarily a second baseman before Rob Refsnyder's arrival at Triple-A, Pirela moved to the outfield. He can also play first base and shortstop.
7. Ian Clarkin, LHP
1 W, 5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 SO, 1 BB, 1 GS
4-3, 3.12 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 6 HR, 22 BB, 75 IP, 17 G
Clarkin was recently promoted to high Class A, and he shined in his debut, going five strong innings for the Tampa Yankees.
Only 19 years old, Clarkin can attribute his quick ascend through the minors to his three-pitch repertoire. With a 94 mph heater, a knockout curveball and an improved changeup, Clarkin has the arsenal of a power pitcher. He has good control over all three of his pitches and is throwing with confidence.
At such a young age, Clarkin has a very high ceiling. He is still several years away from The Show, but Clarkin has the potential to be a reliable big league starter, with the possibility of one day fronting a major league rotation.
6. Aaron Judge, OF
4-for-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 4 BB, 7 SO
.315 AVG, 20 2B, 15 HR, 70 RBI, .926 OPS
In just his first year of professional baseball, Judge has garnered a lot of attention.
He started his career by hitting .333 with nine home runs and 45 RBI in 65 games for the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs, earning him a promotion to High-A Tampa. Since being promoted, Judge has continued to rake.
At 6'7" and 230 pounds, Judge's massive build equips him with a lot of power. A former football player, Judge has a monstrous swing that has caused people to compare him to former slugging outfielder Dave Winfield. Judge can move, too, despite his size. He has shown good range in the outfield and has a cannon of an arm from right field.
According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News (h/t Michael Axisa of RiverAveBlues.com), the Philadelphia Phillies wanted Judge at the trade deadline in return for Marlon Byrd, but it seems the Yankees were not willing to pay that price.
5. Tyler Austin, 1B/3B/OF
8-for-23, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 SO
.279 AVG, 17 2B, 8 HR, 43 RBI
Austin has been on a tear at the plate for a few weeks now.
Like Bird, Austin battled through injuries at the beginning of 2014, but his numbers have been on an upward trend for a while now. He is currently at Double-A Trenton.
Austin was the Yankees' Minor League Player of the Year in 2012. That season, he batted .322 with 35 doubles, 17 homers and 80 runs driven in. In 2013, he hit .265 and saw his numbers drop off significantly. This year, a slow start made many think Austin was in for another rough campaign, but he has been much more consistent of late.
Austin is a balanced hitter at the plate. He is patient with off-speed pitches and also happens to be a smart and effective base stealer despite lacking speed.
Austin has played first base, third base and the outfield. He is still looking for a true spot on the field.
4. Eric Jagielo, 3B
4-for-20, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 SO
.246 AVG, 15 HR, 48 RBI, .795 OPS
Jagielo did this week what he has done all year: hit for power and not much else.
Jagielo is a free-swinger with a lot of pop, but if he is not hitting a home run, he most likely is not hitting or getting on base at all. A left-handed power hitter, Jagielo could one day thrive in Yankee Stadium, as he could potentially take advantage of the stadium's short right field porch. However, Jagielo needs to shore up his offensive approach. He does not hit for contact and strikes out often.
Jagielo has work to do at third base, his current position. With that said, many think he is not suited to play the hot corner. He could eventually move to first base or a corner outfield spot.
Jagielo missed time earlier this season with an oblique injury.
3. Rob Refsnyder, 2B/OF
6-for-23, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO
.320 AVG, 32 2B, 6 3B, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 8 SB, .899 OPS
Refsnyder has been teeing off on minor league pitching all year, making him a household name among Yankees fans despite only being at Triple-A.
Refsnyder went off at Double-A, hitting .342 in 60 games for the Thunder. He has disproved just about every perceived flaw to his game, whether it be that he has no power at the plate or cannot play the infield.
Cashman still wants Refsnyder to work on his defense at second base. He played right field in college.
Refsnyder could very well be the team's second baseman of the future. With the numbers he has put up this season, there is a reason why he should get a chance at the starting job come spring training.
2. Luis Severino, RHP
6-3, 2.36 ERA, 10.3 K/9, 2 HR, 25 BB, 103 IP, 20 GS
Severino's phenomenal season took a left turn last week when he was placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury. The injury was described as mild by Trenton manager Tony Franklin.
Severino has been outstanding all year, earning him the title of the Yankees' top prospect, at least according to MLB.com. After starting the year with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs, Severino was then sent to the High-A Tampa Yankees. Following that, he was called up to Trenton.
Severino made his debut for the Thunder on Saturday, July 19. Since then, he has made three starts, going 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA.
Severino has a sinking fastball that tops out at 98 mph. He also has a slider and a changeup. Severino has demonstrated sharp control of all three of his pitches, making him an effective strikeout pitcher.
1. Gary Sanchez, C
6-for-19, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
.274 AVG, 19 2B, 12 HR, 57 RBI
Here, Sanchez is still the Yankees' top prospect, and his consistent play over the past few weeks justifies that.
Sanchez has been much more reliable of late, as his average and power numbers have been trending upward. Sanchez has a lot of pop, something he has shown throughout his career. He has hit at least 15 home runs in each of his three full minor league seasons. He is just three big flies away from doing it again.
Sanchez was benched in June for disciplinary reasons, but the issue seems to be a thing of the past.
Sanchez still needs to improve his defense. His arm is strong, but his game-calling and blocking skills are not.