New York Yankees: Ranking the Yankees Top 10 Prospects
The New York Yankees are an aging team with a desperate need for younger players to step up and help the team maintain its status as one of the best in the majors. The good news for the Yankees is that they have one of the best collections of prospects in all of baseball.
Let's take a look at the New York Yankees' Top 10 prospects.
Honorable Mention: Mason Williams
.349/.395/.468, .863 OPS, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 20 BB, 41 K, 28 SB
I couldn't leave Mason Williams out. He had a great 2011 season and has a chance to slot into the Yankees outfield in a few years. He won't hit 30 home runs, but he will get on base and steal bases at an alarming rate.
10. Dante Bichette, Jr
.342/.446/.505, .951 OPS, 3 HR, 47 RBI, 30 BB, 41 K, 3 SB
Dante Bichette Jr. burst onto the scene this year by winning the Gulf Coast League MVP Award after an amazing season. He got on base almost every other time up to bat, showed great plate discipline and found a way to drive in runs even without hitting many home runs.
9. Cito Culver
.250/.323/.337, .660 OPS, 2 HR, 33 RBI, 30 BB, 57 K, 10 SB
Cito Culver was a surprise pick by the Yankees in the first round of the 2010 draft. While he will never hit many home runs, his offense is improving by the day. He is mostly known for his excellent defense, which is propelled by his excellent range and strong arm.
8. David Phelps
114.1 IP, 7-7, 2.99 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 27 BB, 99 K
David Phelps does not have electric stuff, but he finds a way to get it done. He has made three straight minor league All-Star appearances and has a very impressive 38-15 career record. Phelps does not have the same ceiling as some of the other Yankees pitching prospects but he will eventually be a back-end-of-the-rotation pitcher.
7. Adam Warren
152.1 IP, 6-8, 3.60 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 53 BB, 111 K
Adam Warren is very similar to David Phelps in that he does not have dominant stuff and does not have a very high ceiling. Warren did have a 2.59 ERA in Double-A in 2010 and has excellent control, but don't expect him to be much more than a back-end-of-the-rotation pitcher or middle reliever.
6. Slade Heathcott
.279/.347/.437, .784 OPS, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 19 BB, 58 K, 6 SB in 53 games due to injury
Before going down with a season-ending injury, Slade Heathcott was having a very good year. Heathcott will develop into a very good defensive center fielder and will have a nice bat in the majors if he can recover from his injury.
He is an incredibly raw player, but he will make an impact in New York in a few years if the Yankees don't go after Matt Kemp or another All-Star outfielder.
5. Austin Romine
.279/.343/.368, .710 OPS, 6 HR, 48 RBI, 32 BB, 63 K, 2 SB
Austin Romine got a glimpse of the majors in late 2011 but struggled at the plate. He is very good behind the plate and has Gold Glove potential, but don't expect him to be much of an offensive threat. Romine will probably have a batting average at about .260 and will hit about 15 home runs per year, but his real value will be as a defensive catcher.
4. Gary Sanchez
.256/.335/.485, .820 OPS, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 36 BB, 93 K, 2 SB
Gary Sanchez will be the Yankees' catcher of the future. He is only 18 and is very raw, but he has shown that he can hit for average and power. He also is good behind the plate but doesn't have the defensive potential of Romine. Still, he will be an above-average defensive catcher.
3. Dellin Betances
126.1 IP, 4-9, 3.70 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 70 BB, 142 K
Dellin Betanes got a taste of the majors in late 2011 and did OK. In his first appearance he was obviously nervous, walking four batters in 0.2 innings. But he settled down in his second appearance, his first start, pitching two shutout innings against the Rays.
Expect Betances to be back in Triple-A to start the season, but he will be back in New York by September when rosters expand. He has a mid-90s fastball to pair with an excellent curveball and is expected to be a front-line starting pitcher in the near future.
2. Manny Banuelos
129.2 IP, 6-7, 3.75 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 71 BB, 125 K
Manny Banuelos showed everybody he was the real deal by posting a 2.20 ERA in Spring Training 2011. On top of that, future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera called him the best pitching prospect he'd ever seen.
The 20-year-old lefty was promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season and showed flashes of brilliance, but was inconsistent and had control issues. Banuelos will start the season in Triple-A but expect him to be in New York when rosters expand in September.
He projects to be a No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher in the majors in a few years. Brian Cashman will want to hold on to this guy.
1. Jesus Montero
2011 Minor League Stats:
.288/.348/.467, .814 OPS, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 36 BB, 98 K, 0 SB
2011 Major League Stats:
.349/.426/.603, 1.029 OPS, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 7 BB, 17 K, 0 SB in 20 games
Is Jesus Montero really a prospect? He looked like the superstar we all hoped he would be in September and October. Montero should hit for power the other way and put the ball in play on a consistent basis.
He also went 2-2 in the ALDS against the Tigers. The only thing I think think he is lacking is a glove, but he will slot in nicely at DH. Montero will start 2011 in the lineup at DH if he is still with the Yankees, but if he is traded he will be sorely missed.
Watch out because Montero has the upside to be a .320, 40 HR, 120 RBI hitter. He may not fit in New York, but if he is traded he will net an elite pitcher in return.