Post-draft Top 50 prospects
I know the deadline isn't until Friday, but the Yankees aren't going to sign anyone who would make this list. Several guys have graduated to the major leagues, even if it was just in a short stint. My rule is anything other than a September call-up in the major leagues gets you off the prospect list. That means Aaron Judge, Jordan Montgomery, Giovanny Gallegos, Ronald Herrera, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Domingo German, Ben Heller, and Kyle Higashioka are all newly ineligible.
1. Gleyber Torres – 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, RHB, 20-years-old, SS – Everyone has heard of this guy by now. He’s a solid shortstop with an exceptional bat for his age. The Yankees moved him to third base recently in hopes that he would be Chase Headley’s rather immediate replacement, but he then hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John Surgery on his non-throwing arm. The prevailing view is that he will return around the beginning of next season. If so, he wouldn’t miss much time. He was in the midst of his best season as a pro when the injury occurred, with a .287/.383/.480/.863 with seven homeruns, 14 doubles, and two triples. Those are elite numbers for a 20-year-old shortstop in Triple-A, and he is an elite prospect even considering the injury.
2. Clint Frazier – 6-fooot-1, 190-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old, OF – Frazier is also an elite prospect, and is having an excellent season for his age in Triple-A. He’s hitting .256/.344/.473/.816 with 12 homeruns, 19 doubles, and two triples. He has stolen nine bases so far on the season. He did run into some bad luck early in the season on some hard hit balls, but the average is still a minor concern. He still has elite bat speed and good fielding skills. He finally got called up yesterday and hit a homerun and a double in his first game. The Clint Frazier era may have just begun. I'm going to include the guys who recently were called up on this list, and I may have to change my rules in the future because otherwise this might be a skimpy list by the end of the season.
3. Blake Rutherford – 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, LHB, 20-years-old, CF – When you consider that he is just 20-years-old in Low-A, Rutherford is having a pretty good year. He’s hitting .270/.340/.374/.714 with 1 HR, 15 doubles, and two triples. He’s also stolen nine bases. His average and OPS are not where you’d like them to be but he has a great bat, above average speed, and the overall talent to be a star in the coming years.
4. Chance Adams – 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, 22-years-old, RHP – Adams is having an unbelievable season yet again this year. He has been nothing short of dominant. He has thrown 82.2 innings and has a 1.74 ERA and 84 K to 33 BB. He has a .168 average against. The only knock on him is that he seems to tire out in the 6th or 7th inning. I would guess that this will come with time as he continues to gain strength and endurance. He is very close to major league ready though, and with some recent injuries and issues with the rotation, I’d be surprised if he’s not up by the end of the year. He sits 93-96 mph and can hit 99 on his fastball. He also has a plus curveball, a plus slider, and a plus changeup. There aren’t many pitchers in the entire minor leagues with that many plus pitches who can throw as hard as Adams. At the latest he will be in the rotation next season.
5. James Kaprielian – 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, 22-years-old, RHP – It’s hard to believe he only has 29.1 innings pitched in the minors and was already in consideration for the major league rotation this season before his injury. That’s how good he is though. Unfortunately he is out until next season and the Yankees will have to see how he looks when he returns. When healthy, he has a 94-97 mph fastball, a plus slider, solid changeup, and solid curveball. Hopefully this will be the end of his injury woes and he will return to full strength. If so, expect to see him in the majors sometime in the middle of next season or later.
6. Estevan Florial – 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 19-years-old, CF – Talk about a great find! Florial was one of the cheapest signings from the big free agent class of 2014. He has now made it stateside and is having a tremendous season in Low-A. The only knock on him right now is his strikeout rate, which is pretty hefty. On the other hand, he has 5-tools which are all showing up in games already at this early stage in his career. So far this year he has a .305/.387/.511/.898 line with 10 homeruns, 16 doubles, four triples, and 13 SB in 69 games. He has struck out 92 times in that span though. That’s a definite red flag but given his age I expect that rate to improve over time. I think we’re looking at a star in the making, and I could see him being top three in the system by the end of the year and a top 100 prospect.
7. Dustin Fowler – 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old, OF – That was one of the saddest injuries I have ever witnessed. There’s not much more to say about it. He ruptured a tendon in his quadriceps, which is a career threatening injury. I wish him a speedy recovery. In 70 games, he had 13 homeruns, 19 doubles, eight triples, and 13 SB. He was hitting .293/.329/.542/.871 and has struck out 63 times before the injury. He could stand to walk more but with his OPS he is clearly a very productive hitter. He too is a 5-tool player who can do a bit of everything, at least before the injury. I’m going to leave him ranked here for now out of respect, but inevitably his ranking will have to go down at the end of the season. Really heart breaking injury.
8. Domingo Acevedo – 6-foot-7, 240-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – Acevedo has pitched over three levels this year and pitched really well. He’s thrown 94 innings and has had 100 K with a 3.16 ERA and just 21 BB. He is developing into a top flight pitcher who is one of the best pitching prospects in the minors. He has a fastball in the 95-97 range that has hit 100 mph, and a plus changeup with a progressing slider. He’s continuing to progress he too will be in the conversation next season for the rotation.
9. Justus Sheffield – 5-11, 200-pounds, 21-years-old, LHP – In his first season in Double-A, Sheffield is performing pretty well. He has a 3.14 ERA and 75:30 K:BB in 86 innings. He has a .254 average against this season. He is already a top 100 prospect and has only improved his case this season. He has a low to mid-90’s two seamer, a slider, and a changeup. He definitely has the repertoire to be a starter in the MLB. The only question is if he can translate his skills to the next level.
10. Jorge Mateo – 6-foot-0, 190-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old, SS – He was recently promoted to Double-A and it seems to have lit a fire beneath him. Since being promoted, he has already made an impact. In his last 10 games, including before the promotion, he is 15/37 (.405) with eight walks and a homerun. His line is now a respectable .256/.312/.415/.727. He has 84 K in 73 innings so far. He has hit 16 doubles, nine triples, and four homeruns in 73 games. The average and the strikeouts are problematic, but all of the other numbers are actually pretty good. He is a world class shortstop in the field with world class speed. There’s still time to turn his season around, and hopefully this promotion will be the stimulus for that. At this point I should also admit that I was wrong to start the season that Mateo was the number two prospect. Clint Frazier has shown he belongs there and Mateo has been disappointing. That said, Mateo’s tools are still off the charts and if he turns things around he’ll be back in the top five very soon.
11. Miguel Andujar – 6-foot-0, 215-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old, 3B – Speaking of recent promotions, Andujar just made it to Triple-A and even played a game in the majors. He is in the midst of his best season so far and it came at a great time. He’s hitting .314/.348/.496/.844 with 25 doubles, one triple, and eight homeruns. He can field his position at third, and Chase Headley is on his way out of town after this season. The question is whether the Yankees will trade for a third baseman, go with Gleyber Torres, or give Andujar a shot next season. If he finishes strong he may be in the conversation for the top 100 prospects. I may have to change my rules about time in the majors and eligibility for this list. I may have to replace half the list if I do this again.
12. Matt Sauer – 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, 18-years-old, RHP – Matt Sauer, or “Sig” Sauer as I like to call him, does have quite the gun on his shoulder. He already throws 92-95 and hits 97. He has a polished plus slider. He also has thrown a curve and a change, and developing one of those pitches will be a priority in his development going forward. He definitely has the makings of an ace, he just needs to stay healthy and develop.
13. Clarke Schmidt – 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, 21-years-old, RHP – Schmidt went down with Tommy John Surgery this season, but right before that he was throwing 92-96 mph and hitting 97. He has a plus slider and above average change-up. His fastball is also a plus pitch as a result of it’s movement, and he has excellent command and pitchability. In many ways, he reminds me of James Kaprielian. If he turns out to be that way, the Yankees got another good one here. The savings the Yankees got from his Tommy John Surgery also allowed them to sign Sauer.
14. Tyler Wade – 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old, SS – Yet another recent promotion to the majors. Congrats to him! I am going to keep him on the list because he hasn’t played a game there yet and it’s such a new and fresh promotion. Wade has had a tremendous season in Triple-A, hitting .313/.390/.444/.833 with five homeruns, 16 doubles, three triples, and 24 SB. He deserves the promotion as much as anyone. He is an excellent shortstop and clearly has the hit tool, patience, and speed. The only thing that has been missing from his game is power, and he seems to be improving that every season. I see him as a utility guy in the majors going forward, but he could really turn out to be a good one.
15. Dillon Tate – 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – I hate to react to two good starts in Tampa, but Tate appeared to have everything working. He seems to be back to what he was before the ineffectiveness and the trade. He’ll have to continue this success until the end of the season, but if he does he’ll be in our top 10 and possibly a top 100 prospect in all of baseball. He has a mid-90’s fastball that tops out at 100 mph. He also has a changeup and a plus slider. Looks like the Yankees are ready to fully unleash him now, and the results could be awesome.
16. Freicer Perez – 6-foot-8, 190-pounds, 21-years-old, RHP – After a tough start, Perez has really turned it around. He had trouble finding his control early on, but once he did he took off. He’s got a 3.22 ERA and 56 K : 23 BB in 64.1 innings so far. His last seven starts have been stellar though. He has 41 K to 11 K in 42.1 innings, and a 1.5 ERA in those starts. His career is taking off. The scouting report is equally impressive. He sits mid-90’s and hit 100 mph last year several times. Perez also has two above average secondary pitchers. He’s currently ranked 16th but if he continues his current trajectory he could be top 10 by season’s end.
17. Albert Abreu – 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, 21-years-old, RHP – He’s been on the seven day DL since June 6th, but he’s had a pretty good season so far. He’s got a 3.82 ERA in 37.2 innings, with 41 K : 12 BB. His last few starts were both abbreviated and weak, which makes you wonder how long the injury issues were going on. Sounds like a nagging injury, and the Yankees finally decided to put some rest on it. He’s a power pitcher with a mid-90’s fastball that hits 99 with great movement. Abreu also has a plus potential curve and backs it up with a changeup and slider. He was definitely a good get in the Brian McCann trade, and we’ll see how he looks when he returns from injury.
18. Jorge Guzman – 6-foot-2, 182-pounds, 21-years-old, RHP – I hate to put a guy this high after just two starts in Staten Island, but when he’s hitting 103 mph and regularly getting over 100 as a starter, you have to take notice. He’s thrown 11 innings and struck out 11 while walking four. He has a .143 average against and a 2.45 ERA in two starts. Not much of a sample size. That said, he has a power slider and a changeup to go along with his top flight fastball. If he somehow puts it all together as a starter, that’s ace potential. If not you’ve got a shutdown reliever at minimum. Gotta love that floor, especially in the age of the reliever. I’m looking forward to when he hits the long season leagues.
19. Thairo Estrada – 5-foot-10, 185-pounds, RHB, 21-years-old, SS – I would argue that Thairo is the most consistent player in the Yankees’ farm system. He just goes up there and hits. He barely strikes out, and he can play multiple positions in the field. There’s not much power there yet, but he’s still just 21. This year he’s hitting .318/.379/.408/.787 with 13 doubles, two triples, and three homeruns. He’s very Ronald Torrreyes-like, but with slightly more power potential long term. He’s a definite future major leaguer. By the way, he has a 13 game hit streak going on right now.
20. Nick Solak – 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old, 2B – Solak doesn’t have much left to prove in High-A, but there aren’t many places to put him in Double-A right now. He has been torrid lately, hitting .410 with two homeruns in his last 10 games. On the season he’s hitting .304/.406/.443/.849 with 12 doubles, three triples, and five homeruns. Rob Refsnyder is the lazy comparison here, but my reports tell me Solak is the better second baseman.
21. Yefry Ramirez – 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – After an excellent 2016, Ramirez has followed that up with a solid 2017 so far. He’s thrown 69.2 innings of 3.75 ERA ball at the Double-A level, and continues to take the mound every five days. He has struck out 72. The major problem he has had this season as compared to last is the walks. He will need to cut down on those going forward. The stuff, however, is solid. He’s a low-90’s pitcher with a changeup and slider as well. Considering the Yankees got him for absolutely nothing, this was a great find.
22. Caleb Smith – 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, 25-years-old, LHP – Smith wasn’t on the preseason list because he technically wasn’t with the organization. He was a rule 5 pick that has since been returned. He has immediately made his presence known in Triple-A. He now has a 2.23 ERA and 85 K to 26 BB in 84.2 innings. On the season. He’s been a huge revelation. He sports a low-mid 90’s fastball with a slider and changeup which have both been plus pitches this year. Smith will play in the major leagues, just depends on where and when. Great value on this 14th round pick.
23. Taylor Widener – 6-foot-0, 195-pounds, 22-years-old, RHP – He was a 12th round pick, and the Yankees got great value on him too. After a totally dominant debut season, the Yankees threw him to the wolves and sent him straight to High-A. After an initial adjustment period to starting, he has flourished. He now has a 3.67 ERA in 73.2 innings with a 79:28 K:BB ratio. He has been even better in his last 10 starts, where he sports a 3.33 ERA and 54 K : 17 BB in 46 innings. He seems to be following the Chance Adams trajectory and with good reason. With a mid-90’s fastball that reaches 97 with regularity, and an above average slider and changeup, he has the makings of a 2nd or 3rd starter already. Unbelievable find for the Yankees and a potential top 100 prospect if he finishes strong (ranked 32 preseason).
24. Chris Gittens – 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, RHB, 23-years-old, 1B – Gittens had a breakout year in 2016 and was on base to have an even more productive 2017, but he has missed the last two weeks with an unknown injury (7-day DL). He was off to a great start, with a .292/.387/.484/.872 line and seven homeruns with 10 doubles. He will look to hit the ground running in his return. The Yankees have Bird, Austin, and Ford ahead of him so he will have a challenge getting at bats next year. If he hits like he has though, the Yankees will find those at bats for him. The power is real with this kid.
25. Ian Clarkin – 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 22-years-old, LHP – I have yet to read a scouting report on Clarkin that has him back to his pre-injury velocity and stuff, which is concerning. Also concerning is that he is repeating High-A and his walk rate has actually increased. That said, he has been extremely effective and has a 2.87 ERA with 44 K in 53 innings. Even in the post-injury form, Clarkin has a low-90’s fastball with a plus curveball and a developing changeup. Those are more than adequate for a lefty starter. Hopefully he can put it all together at some point. There’s still plenty of time as he is just 22.
26. Brody Koerner – 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – He was a major breakout candidate last year when he disappointingly had a bunch of nagging injuries that limited him to 34 innings. Now he’s finally back and fully healthy. He appears to be on the way to a successful season. So far he has a 2.45 ERA with 26 K : 9 BB in 36.2 innings. He is even more proof that the Yankees have become extremely adept at finding late round pitching talent. They took him in the 17th round in the 2015 draft. His stuff appears to be more in line with a 3rd or 4th rounder now. He has a mid-90’s sinking fastball, a curveball, changeup, and a slider. It’s a starter’s repertoire in the 17th round. Tremendous pick.
27. Nick Green – 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, 22-years-old, RHP – Obtained in the Beltran trade amongst a trio of hard throwing pitchers, Green has been as advertised so far in Charleston. He’s got a 3.13 ERA and a 61:26 K:BB ratio over 69 innings. He’s already eclipsed last year’s innings totals, and doesn’t appear to be looking back. He sits low-mid 90’s with his fastball and has a plus curve and developing change. It stands to reason that as he continues to build up his strength by throwing more innings, there might be more power left in the tank. Great pickup for a rental DH.
28. Rony Garcia – 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, 19-years-old, RHP – Let me start by saying I think this guy is going to be a monster. I believe he has it in him to be a Luis Severino type pitcher. I was somewhat surprised to see him start in Pulaski this year, I must admit. That said he’s off to a strong start already, with 11 K : 2 BB in 11.1 innings, and a decent 3.97 ERA. He’s 92-94 mph and up to 96 with the fastball, and has a curveball with plus potential. The changeup is the weakest pitch which is not surprising at his stage. He’s headed in the right direction.
29. Wilkerman Garcia – 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, SH, 19-years-old, SS – Sometimes we forget how young these kids are and it’s so easy to get down on them. He’s the equivalent of a high school draftee playing in Staten Island right now, and that is no easy task. He’s off to a slow start, with a .207 average and no extra base hits. He also had a rough year in 2016 in Pulaski. He’s got plenty of time to turn it around. With his defensive capabilities, power and hitting potential he could be really special. He has a Gleyber Torres-like skill set. He’ll need to turn it up a notch if he wants to come close to that ceiling though.
30. Trevor Stephan – 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, 21-years-old, RHP – He sits 90-95, touches 97, and has a slider and a rarely used changeup currently. The Yankees development staff will get to work immediately on those secondary offerings. For now he’ll be a long term project, but the future looks bright. He’s had one appearance so far and it was 2.0 scoreless, hitless, walkless innings with one strikeout.
31. Hoy Jun Park – 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, 21-years-old, SS – Park has had an up and down year so far. He started off smoking hot and then slumped badly. He’s got a .265/.359/.366/.725 line with four doubles, four triples, and four homeruns. He also has 12 SB. He seems to be picking it back up though, as he is 14/42 (.333) with a triple and four SB in his last 10 games. He also has an 10 game hit streak going. He’s right on the cusp of being a top prospect, and with a strong finish he could be just that. He definitely has all of the tools, including speed, range, arm, hands, bat speed, and patience.
32. Zack Littell – 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 21-years-old, RHP – The Yankees picked up Littell in a trade for relieve James Pazos. The trade is working out well for both teams so far. Pazos is performing really well in Seattle’s bullpen, and Littell is dominating in the minors as a starter. He has thrown 84.1 innings so far, and has a 1.49 ERA with 77 K : 20 BB. The K rate has taken a turn for the better recently too. He’ll sit low-90’s with his fastball and has a curveball, a change, and pinpoint control.
33. Nelson Gomez – 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, RHP, 19-years-old, 3B – Gomez is now with Staten Island. He was part of the massive 2014 international spending spree the Yankees went on. Oddly enough, the only prospect who has become a big deal yet from that group is Estevan Florial, and he was not even a big dollar signing. Anyway, Gomez is not there yet. He has tremendous power for a 19-year old though, and that’s an excellent place to start. Last year he had nine homeruns in 54 games. The season has just started but I suspect he will hit a bunch more this year. Right now the biggest thing he needs to work on is improving his line drive percentage and average. If he can do that, he will become a top prospect in short order.
34. Dermis Garcia – 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old, 3B – Garcia is the other big name third baseman the Yankees took during that spending spree. He too can drop bombs with the best of them. He needs to cut down on his strikeouts and swing a bit less for the fences. Last year he hit 13 homeruns but struck out 79 times and had a .206 average. This year he already has two homeruns and 12 K in eight games and he’s repeating the level. At just 19, he has plenty of time to get things right, but he’s now in his third season and it’s starting to become go time.
35. Jake Cave – 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, LHB, 24-years-old, LF – Cave had seemed to fall out of favor with the Yankees last year, as they left him unprotected in the rule 5 draft and no one took him. All of a sudden now he looks like a legit prospect again. He has ten homeruns, 15 doubles, and three triples in 46 games. He is sporting a .283/.333/.567/.900 line. His previous high in homeruns was eight in 116 games. He’s on pace to nearly triple that figure at this rate. Cave has always been a good hitter, but a lack of difference making speed and power kept him low on the prospect radar. He’s rapidly returning though, and the Yankees may want to take a look at what value he has on the trade market. With all of the competition at the upper levels in the outfield, he seems like he’ll be the odd man out.
36. Mike Ford – 6-foot-0, 225-pounds, LHB, 24-years-old, 1B – Ford has been one of the best hitters in the entire system this season. In fact, I’m really surprised he hasn’t received any consideration to play in the majors considering Bird, Carter, and Austin are all out. Kinda crazy when you consider he is hitting .278/.405/.492/.897 with 13 homeruns, 16 doubles, and a triple. Nothing against Miguel Andujar, because I think he’s awesome, but Ford seems like the more immediate option right now. If he’s this low on the first base totem pole, it might be time to see what kind of value they can get for him as well.
37. Brian Keller – 6-foot-3, 170-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – I just did a prospect profile on him a couple of days ago. He has a low-90’s fastball with several above average secondary pitches. He locates all of these pitches with pinpoint precision. If he can pick up a couple of ticks on his fastball you’re looking at a legitimate middle of the rotation starter. This year he has pitched well, especially recently. He has a 3.29 ERA and 90 K : 17 BB in 82 innings. His last four outings have been spectacular, with a combined 32 strikeouts in 23.1 innings and just two earned runs (0.78 ERA).
38. Josh Rogers – 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, 22-years-old, LHP – Rogers has been a very consistent pitcher this year, and overall his numbers look pretty good. He has 80 K : 16 BB in 91.2 innings with a 3.24 ERA. His fastball will sit 90-93 MPH and he has an average change and curve. The control makes all of his pitches a notch better.
39. Billy McKinney – 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, LHB, 22-years-old, RF – Mckinney is a former first round pick that came to the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal. Since coming to the Yankees, he had been pretty mediocre up until the past 20 or so games. He has brought his average up to .247/.335/.427/.761 with six homeruns, 17 doubles, and four triples. Something seems to have really clicked for him since June 11th. Since then his average has gone from .208 to .247, and it’s still climbing rapidly. He’s already a borderline top 100 guy, if he can finish strong he could be back in that conversation. He was recently promoted to Triple-A for his strong work, and hopefully he can hit the ground running there.
40. Cody Carroll – 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, 24-years-old, RHP – The Yankees could have made this 22nd rounder a starter, and that would have been a good move. At his age though, his trajectory needs to be a bit faster, and he has the stuff to be a late inning reliever. So far this year he is proving that, with success in both High-A and Double-A. He has a 1.83 ERA and 56 K : 12 BB in 39.1 innings. His K-rate is astoundingly good and he’s going largely unnoticed for it. He throws a mid-90’s fastball that touches 98, and backs it up with a curveball and changeup. Looking forward to seeing him in the majors in the probably not so distant future.
41. Zack Zehner – 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, RHB, 24-years-old, LF – Zehner was an 18th round pick, and he has really shown his polish while he works his way up through the system. He is already in Double-A and has performed great there. He’s .288/.394/.403/.798 with three homeruns, 12 doubles and three triples. He’s a tall, gangly guy who lacks power currently. He doesn’t have the speed to steal many bases either. He can definitely hit though and has great patience. With his skill set, he needs to tap into some of that size he has and start hitting some homeruns and extra base hits. If he does that he will be in the conversation for the major leagues.
42. Erik Swanson – 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – The Yankees got Swanson as part of the Carlos Beltran deal, and he too is a fireballer. So far this year in High-A, he has 30 K : 7 BB in 42.2 innings, and a 4.01 ERA. He has a mid-90’s fastball topping out at 98 MPH, a changeup, and a slider. He doesn’t have a ton of movement on his pitches right now, but if the Yankees’ development team can get him going he could be a high ceiling starter. Otherwise he already has the stuff to be a potential shut down reliever.
43. Jose Mesa – 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, 23-years-old, RHP – Mesa has been in the Yankees’ system for a long time now. In fact, I believe he may be rule-5 eligible after this year (please fact check me). He has had an up and down career, but most recently he has been a dominant reliever in High-A and Double-A. He is starting to pitch more and more like his father. This year he has 46 K : 13 BB and a 1.93 ERA in 37.1 innings. He also has a .159 average against. He has a 95-98 mph fastball with a slider, changeup, and curveball. He is getting really close to being major league ready.
44. Matt Wotherspoon – 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 25-years-old, RHP – Speaking of very close to major league ready, Wotherspoon is just that. I saw him pitch in Trenton recently and he worked the lineup like a magician. He’s been fantastic this season, with 45 K : 10 BB in 39 innings and a 1.85 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A. He has a .220 average against. He has a low 90’s fastball that hits mid-90’s, and he has a slider and curveball. I won’t be surprised to see him succeed in the majors. He has great extension on his pitches too. If the system wasn’t so stacked with high ceiling relievers, he’d be getting a lot of David Robertson comparisons. Not bad for a 34th round pick.
45. Oswaldo Cabrera – 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, SH, 18-years-old, SS – Perhaps one of the great surprises of the year was that Cabrera leapfrogged Wilkerman Garcia to start the season in Charleston. He got some great experience there, but he wasn’t quite ready for that level of competition yet. The Yankees sent him down to Staten Island and he’s off to a decent start there. He is reminiscent of Thairo Estrada at the same stage of their careers, as a very young player able to compete with more advanced foes. His overall line this season is .217/.280/.280/.560 with six doubles and two balls that accidentally went over the fence. The reason he is so high on the list is because he had a monstrous year last year as a 17-year-old. He has surprising pop with quick, strong wrists for such a small player. He uses all fields as both a lefty and a righty. He’s an average defender and a headsy player. At this age, with so much development left to go, anything can happen.
46. Trey Amburgey – 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old, LF – Given the speed and exit velocity he has, I am really surprised he is not performing better. He was one of the guys I’d have definitely pegged a breakout candidate this year. It’s not too late though. He has a .232/.283/.382/.665 line, but he has nine homeruns, 10 doubles and a triple. He’s also stolen seven bases. If he can get back to doing whatever it is he was doing when he first got drafted, his stock will soar.
47. Adonis Rosa – 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 22-years-old, RHP – He’s having a good year even though he’s been jerked around a lot. He has pitched as a starter, in relief, got moved to Triple-A for an emergency start, and through all of that he has a 3.34 ERA and 57 K : 7 BB in 59.1 innings. He throws a low-90’s fastball, a nasty changeup, and a curveball which is coming around. It will be interesting to see what direction the Yankees go in with him this year. I don’t like the way they’ve jerked him around, so that does make me wonder if they view him as more of an org guy. Only time will tell.
48. Austin DeCarr – 6-foot-3, 218-pounds, 22-years-old, RHP – Now three starts into his long season debut, Decarr has fared pretty well. He’s thrown 16.2 innings so far and struck out 14 batters while walking 11. It will be fun to see what happens when they finally unleash him completely. Last year I heard his velocity had dropped since the surgery. He was sitting 90-91 at that point. I’d imagine he has ticked up a bit since then. He has a plus curveball and a changeup too. Based on the numbers, it looks like the stuff is back, but we will have more information on that in the coming months.
49. Dietrich Enns – 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, 26-years-old, LHP – Enns is finally working his way back from whatever injury he suffered that has had him on the DL since April 14th. When he has pitched, he has been dominant this season. The Yankees still like him too. He sits low-90’s with his fastball but he misses bats because of deception and movement. He has three above average secondary pitches he can locate at any time. Hopefully he is back at full strength, because I believe the major league team could use his help right now. He looked decent in his Triple-A return yesterday, with 5.0 innings and six strikeouts.
50. Nolan Martinez – 6-foot-2, 165-pounds, 19-years-old, RHP – I am not sure what the Yankees are doing with him, as his first appearance was a one innings relief effort. That said he was the third round pick last season, and has a high ceiling. He has a 12 to 6 curveballl and a rapidly developing changeup. He has had difficulty with command in the past, but already has a low-90’s fastball with a projectable body. He’s not quite ready to make a move, but I’d be surprised if he’s not there in the next one or two years.