New York Yankees: Non-Roster Invitees with Best Shot to Make 25-Man Roster

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2017

Slugger Clint Frazier will be in big league camp this spring, but he's not the non-roster invitee with the best chance of winning a roster spot with the Yankees.
Slugger Clint Frazier will be in big league camp this spring, but he's not the non-roster invitee with the best chance of winning a roster spot with the Yankees.Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have arguably the best farm system in baseball right now, and it will be on full display this spring.

Between 40-man roster players and non-roster invitees, eight of the team's top 10 prospectsper Baseball Americawill be in major league camp this spring, including Arizona Fall League MVP and No. 1 prospect Gleyber Torres.

While Torres and most of the other top-tier prospects are still a few years away from making an impact at the next level, there are some non-roster players worth keeping an eye on.

Here's a look at the full list of 25 non-roster players that will be in camp:

Non-Roster Invitees
Pitchers2016 High LevelAge
RHP Chance Adams (No. 8 prospect)AA22
LHP Daniel CamarenaAAA24
RHP J.P. FeyereisenAA24
RHP J.R. GrahamAAA27
LHP Jason GurkaMLB29
RHP James Kaprielian (No. 5 prospect)A+22
RHP Brady LailAAA23
LHP Joe MantiplyMLB25
LHP James ReevesAA23
LHP Jordan MontgomeryAAA24
LHP Evan RutckyjAA25
RHP Nick RumbelowMLB25
LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 7 prospect)AA20
Catchers2016 High LevelAge
Wilkin CastilloAAA32
Kellin DeglanAA24
Francisco DiazAAA26
Jorge SaezAA26
Infielders2016 High LevelAge
Ji-Man ChoiMLB25
Pete KozmaAAA28
Donovan SolanoMLB29
Gleyber Torres (No. 1 prospect)A+20
Ruben TejadaMLB27
Tyler WadeAA22
Outfielders2016 High LevelAge
Dustin Fowler (No. 9 prospect)AA22
Clint Frazier (No. 2 prospect)AAA22
Roster Resource and Baseball America

So who among that group might have a chance of breaking camp wearing pinstripes?

These are the three to watch:

 

IF Ruben Tejada

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 02:  Ruben Tejada #17 of the San Francisco Giants makes a play on a bouncing ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 2, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Ronald Torreyes will have some competition for the utility infield job this spring.

The 24-year-old hit .258/.305/.374 with 12 extra-base hits in 169 plate appearances as a rookie last season while playing passable defense at second, third and shortstop.

While light-hitting veterans Pete Kozma and Donovan Solano are more than likely just minor league debut, Ruben Tejada should have a legitimate chance to claim that roster spot.

"My goal is to stay in the big leagues," Tejada told Dan Martin of the New York Post. "It’s a big city and a different place to play. It’s the same baseball."

The 27-year-old reached 2.0 WAR twice during his time with the New York Mets, serving as the team's primary shortstop for four years after Jose Reyes departed in free agency following the 2011 season.

He suffered a broken leg on an aggressive takeout slide from Chase Utley during the 2015 postseason and struggled to a .167/.247/.242 line over 78 plate appearances between St. Louis and San Francisco last season.

Still, a return to 100 percent could make him an upgrade both offensively and defensively in the utility infield role.

                                    

RP J.P. Feyereisen

Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield were the headlining prospects in the deal that sent Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians, but the Yankees also picked up hard-throwing reliever J.P. Feyereisen in that deal.

The 24-year-old pitched to a 1.70 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in Double-A last season with 78 strikeouts in 58.1 innings of work.

He followed that up with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League (10 G, 2.57 ERA, 18 K, 14.0 IP), and he could push for the final spot in the bullpen with a similarly impressive spring performance.

Feyereisen has a big arm, consistently sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball and even touching 100 last season, according to Baseball America.

He's had some experience closing games in the minors, and if his slider continues to develop into a put-away pitch, he has a chance to make an impact in the late innings.

For now, he's at the very least an intriguing candidate for a middle-relief role.

                      

SP Jordan Montgomery

Three spots in the Yankees rotation are locked up: Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda.

The assumption heading into camp is that it will be a four-man battle for the final two spots between Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell and Luis Severino.

Don't count out Jordan Montgomery.

While the 24-year-old doesn't have prior MLB experience like those four guys, he's coming off a fantastic season between Double-A and Triple-A and he has little left to prove in the minors.

The 6'6" lefty went 14-5 with a 2.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 134 strikeouts in 139.1 innings, and an uptick in velocity has allowed him to emerge as a legitimate prospect.

"A good athlete, Montgomery repeats his clean delivery well, which allows him to locate his pitches where he wants. He's a safe bet to become a back-of-the-rotation starter, and if his newfound velocity is for real, he could be more than that," wrote MLB.com's Prospect Watch.

All four of the aforementioned rotation candidates have minor league options remaining, and all four also have experience pitching out of the bullpen.

The Yankees really have no reason not to give Montgomery a rotation spot if his spring performance warrants it, so he might have the best chance of any non-roster invite to win a spot.

                                                 

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, unless otherwise noted.