MLB.com has released its top 50 prospects for 2011, and three of the top 50 are in the Yankees farm system: catchers Jesus Montero (No. 9) and Gary Sanchez (No. 32) and left-handed pitcher Manny Banuelos (No. 35).
Montero was the highest-ranked catcher on the list and could be competing with Francisco Cervelli for playing time with the Yankees in 2011. The Yanks picked up free agent catcher Russell Martin in December, so they have the option to keep Montero in Triple-A for the beginning of the 2011 season in order for him to get some at-bats and work on his receiving.
Montero impressed the Yankees with his big bat at an early age, and has the makings of a middle-of-the-order bat. At 21, he's still young and has a lot of maturing to do, but the Yankees have big plans for this talented young backstop.
Sanchez ranked third among catchers in the top 50 and at just 18 years old, the talented catcher brings both offensive and defensive upside to the organization. He played 16 games for the Staten Island Yankees and held his own against the older competition. With both Montero and Sanchez, the Yankees will have no shortage of talent behind the plate for years to come.
Banuelos ranked 10th among left-handed pitchers on the list of the Top 50. At 20 years old, he has a lot to learn about pitching and will get the opportunity to develop in the Yankees' minor league system. His powerful fastball has scouts excited about the potential in this kid. After signing a contract in 2008, Banuelos has grown into a talented young pitcher with a lot of upside.
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