Top Yankees Prospects Position by Position

Anthony Maimone@@amaimone4Featured ColumnistAugust 9, 2013

Top Yankees Prospects Position by Position

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    As the MLB regular season begins to enter its final stages, the teams that find themselves outside of playoff contention at least can look toward September call-ups as a chance to look at their future.

    Following a sweep to the lowly Chicago White Sox, the New York Yankees have to consider the idea of seeing their top prospects in the big leagues.

    Sadly, most of the Yankees top prospects are not only playing in low levels of the minors, but they are struggling while there.

    Considering that the Yankees have several players still on long-term contracts this isn't the worst possible situation to be in with their prospects, but a position-by-position breakdown shows that these kids are still years away from joining the big club.

Catcher: Gary Sanchez

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    The Yankees top prospect happens to be at one of the positions they need the most help.

    The problem is the 20-year-old is still a couple seasons away from being big-league ready.

    Gary Sanchez provides all the tools a team is looking for out of a catcher.

    Sanchez shows above-average power with a stable bat that should translate well in the pros.

    Behind the plate Sanchez displays a strong arm. As with several of the top hitting catcher prospects, the big question is whether Sanchez can control a pitching staff.

    Sanchez has improved his overall defense and should only get better with experience.

First Base: Tyler Austin

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    Tyler Austin currently plays the outfield in the Yankees system. However, with the depth at that position, Austin could be more suited to play first base.

    John Manuel of Baseball America even projects Austin to be the Yankees starting first baseman in 2016.

    Austin shows a solid bat with average speed.

    It's rare a 13th-round pick who develops into an everyday player, but Austin has an excellent chance of doing just that.

Second Base: Angelo Gumbs

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    If the Yankees need any extra reasons to re-sign Robinson Cano, they should look no further than their minor league system.

    Angelo Gumbs projects to be the best prospect at second base.

    His strengths are his speed and baserunning ability, and he has shown an excellent glove.

    Unfortunately, for the 20-year-old to begin being taken seriously, he will have to do better than the .214 batting average he has displayed at Single-A Tampa.

Shortstop: Austin Aune

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    If the Yankees are worried about what they have at second base, then they should avoid taking a peek at shortstop.

    It's possible the Yankees wish they never would have to replace Derek Jeter. This season has been a harsh reality that they will sooner than later.

    The prospect with the most upside at the position is currently playing in the Gulf Coast League.

    Austin Aune was the Yankees second-round pick in 2012.

    Aune is a raw high school prospect with a strong work ethic. Something the Yankees cherish in a player.

    Aune could develop the perfect lefty power swing for Yankee Stadium, but like the rest of the group, the 19-year-old is still too far away to even be considered an option.

Third Base: Eric Jagielo

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    To look at a position on a positive note, the Yanks can sit back and watch as their 2013 first-round pick Eric Jagielo develops.

    Jagielo was the first position player the Yankees have drafted in the first round since 2001.

    Their reward is a player who has already leaped to the fifth spot on their top-10 prospect list.

    Jagielo has legit pop and was considered one of the most polished hitters available in the draft.

    Despite being just drafted this season he is on a fast track to the majors and could have an impact quicker than any other prospect in their system.

Outfielders: Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Zoilo Almonte

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    If there is one position in the Yankees farm system that shows the most promise or at the very least has the most depth, it is the outfield.

    The Yankees have already seen Zoilo Almonte play in the big leagues this season and fare all right.

    He batted .261 and stole three bases in 88 at-bats. He did strike out 14 times, which will need to improve.

    Slade Heathcott is listed as the Yankees seventh-best prospect. Many believe he has the best raw tools of any of their prospects.

    Health has been an issue with him in his career, but the Yankees feel if that can stabilize he has the potential to be an everyday player in the bigs.

    Entering 2013, Mason Williams was listed by Baseball America has the 32nd-best prospect in all of baseball.

    An inconsistent season has put a little doubt in some scouts, but the potential is still through the roof for the 21-year old.