Yankees top 50 prospects
The Bronx Baseball Daily website was up for renewal, and I decided not to go through with it. I knew I couldn't commit the time to publish content to justify including "daily" in the name of my website. As a result, I am back to my old stomping grounds with the Evil Empire Yankees Blog. There hasn't been much of a reason to publish content for me, as my passion is prospects and the pandemic shut down the minors completely in 2020. I wanted to start off with a bang, and publish my annual top 50 prospects before the season kicks off. I am beyond excited for the season to start after a full year of missing Minor League Baseball.
Without further ado, here is my top 50 list. I will be posting the "just missed the list" group soon. Enjoy.
1. Jasson Dominguez – 5-foot-10, 190-pounds, CF, SH, 18-years-old – At this point the anticipation for Dominguez’s debut has reached a fever pitch. He hasn’t registered a minor league at bat yet, but the hype has been crazy. He has five tools, is incredibly mature and hard-working, and is already on MLB’s top 100 prospects. I’ve seen videos of him dropping absolute bombs. If he is worthy of his hype, the Yankees could get a nice return on their investment in this kid. It would be great to have another top Yankees centerfielder, and Dominguez looks like he could be that guy. The Yankees have prolonged the suspense even more by sending him to Extended Spring Training instead of one of the full season affiliates.
2. Deivi Garcia – 5-foot-9, 163-pounds, SP, RHP, 21-years-old – Hard to believe Garcia has had this much success at such a young age and has already made his major league debut. He is obviously here to stay too. At his size, it is doubtful he adds much in the way of velocity, but he will undoubtedly continue to improve in other ways as time goes on. Garcia will sit 93-95 with the fastball and occasionally with hit 96-97. He has tremendous movement though, which is what separates him. He also throws a changeup, slider, and curveball all with plus movement. He locates all of his pitches for strikes. It’s only a matter of time before Deivi is in the major leagues for good and could be a nice addition to the rotation at any point this season if needed.
3. Clarke Schmidt – 6-foot-1, 209-pounds, SP, RHP, 25-years-old – Schmidt made a brief major league debut in 2020 with mixed results, but he unquestionably has major league stuff. He was looking great in Spring Training when he had elbow pain. Currently Schmidt is rehabbing from this elbow strain and is on track to come off the disabled list in early June. When healthy, Schmidt has both a four and two seam fastball that will sit in the 94-96 mph range and tops out at 97 mph. He also throws a curveball and changeup. All of his pitches have good movement and he locates. He’s another one who is just a sneeze away from the majors once he comes off the 60-day DL.
4. Luis Gil – 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, SP, RHP, 22-years-old – Gil impressed everyone who saw him pitch in Spring Training this year, and there’ll be a lot more where that came from soon. He rocks a 96-98 mph fastball that regularly exceeds triple digits. He also throws a rapidly improving slider and a changeup. Both play well off of his fastball. His last action in 2019 resulted in a career best season. He finished with 123 K : 47 BB and a 2.72 ERA in 96.0 innings and finished in High-A. He is starting in Double-A this year and is rapidly approaching the majors. He is at the very least a shutdown reliever but the ceiling is still there for a top of the rotation starter.
5. Luis Medina – 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, SP, RHP, 21-years-old – Another player who turned a lot of heads in Spring Training this year, Medina additionally dominated in Winter ball in 2020. There’s not a pitcher in the Yankees’ system, possibly the entire minors with a higher ceiling than him. Medina has always been an enigmatic pitcher, but his turnaround began in the second week of the season. Most recently, in winter ball this past year he had a 32 K : 6 BB and a 0.54 ERA in 16.2 innings. This was good for an insane 17.3 K/9. He has apparently been mowing guys down in Extended Spring Training and overmatching people. The control is rapidly improving. By this time next year he could easily be number one or two on this list. The talent is tantalizing and the ceiling is an ace. He will start in High-A this year.
6. Austin Wells – 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, C, LHB, 21-years-old – I want to start by saying there was actually discussion in the front office this year about the possibility of putting Wells directly on the major league roster. Ultimately they (correctly) decided to send him to the minors for some seasoning. Wells has come a long way in a short period of time with his catching. His biggest question mark is his defense at catcher, but the smart money is that the Yankees can mold him into a respectable backstop. The bat, on the other hand, was never in question. Wells has the deadly combination of power, ability to make frequent hard contact, and patience. He has the lefty bat and pull side power to excel in Yankees’ stadium, and he has a bright future. He too turned a lot of heads in Spring Training. The Yankees have sent him to Low-A Tampa to start the season.
7. Oswald Peraza – 6-foot-0, 165-pounds, SS, RHB, 20-years-old – Peraza has the whole package. He is a plus defender at short, makes contact, has patience and speed, and displays burgeoning power. The Yankees are incredibly high on him, and I picked him as one of my breakout players in 2020. Unfortunately 2020 never happened, so Peraza never had a chance to prove me right. In 2019 he played in Charleston at a 19-year-old and more than held his own. Peraza finished the season with a .273/.348/.333/.681 line in Low-A with five doubles and two homeruns, while stealing 18 bases in 46 games. If you are looking for a player who could take a huge leap in 2021, he is your guy. He will start in High-A to begin the season.
8. Yoendrys Gomez – 6-foot-3, 175-pounds, SP, RHP, 21-years-old – Gomez came to came this year firing rockets. He was sitting 96 and hitting 98 mph in Spring Training, which is a significant uptick for him. He already had the control, now it’s just a matter of improving those secondary offerings. He has a changeup, curveball and added a slider this offseason. His pitches all have good movement. Gomez last played in 2019 as a 19-year-old in short season and Low-A. He performed well in Staten Island, but not in Low-A. He’s another in line for a breakout season. Gomez has a tremendous ceiling and still has a couple of years to reach it. It appears he has been sent to Extended Spring Training to start the season. This is likely a move to limit his innings as his previous career high was just 56.1 innings.
9. Josh Breaux – 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, C, RHB, 23-years-old – Breaux is one of the most underrated players in the Yankees’ system because he was drafted in the second round behind another catcher (Seigler). He is even more underrated now with the presence of Austin Wells in the system. Breaux is a power hitting catcher with a cannon for an arm. He has good pop times and improving framework. He will never be a plus receiver, but he could definitely be a plus offensive catcher who provides average defense. In 2019, Breaux hit .271/.324/.518/.842 with 13 HR and 10 doubles in 51 games. Already showing plus power for a catcher, Breaux has a chance to jump a few levels this year with no real competition ahead of him. He will start in High-A and could quickly be promoted to Double-A if he proves worthy.
10. Alexander Vizcaino – 6-foot-2, 160-pounds, SP, RHP, 23-years-old – In 2019 he had an up and down season, but ultimately threw 115 innings and had 128 K : 38 BB with a 4.38 ERA. Vizcaino has a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s and has reached 97 mph in the past, and he has two potential plus secondary pitches in his curveball and changeup. With a big season in 2021 he could put himself on the map. The stuff is all there for a future starter, but he still needs work on control. The Yankees are hoping he will be a late bloomer. He could start anywhere from Low-A to Double-A this season, but is currently on a throwing program coming back from a minor injury.
11. Estevan Florial – 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, CF, LHB, 23-years-old – The reason Florial continues to stick around on this countdown is because of his pure athleticism and tremendous tools. His injuries over the years have hurt his development for sure, but he got a lot of playing time in at the alternate site last year and is apparently crushing the ball this year. He plays a position where a big bat is a huge bonus. The defense is not in question with Florial. The biggest knocks on him are strikeouts and ability to recognize and hit offspeed pitches. If he has addressed those things, Florial could be ready to contribute in the majors. As the only outfielder in the minors on the 40-man roster now that Tauchman has been traded, his turn could be up soon. Estevan has 5-tools, but perhaps the most important thing is his work ethic and captain-like leadership skills. Florial showed some important progress in the winter leagues this year as well. In 2019 the stats weren’t pretty, but he remains an exciting player who could help the major league team sooner than you may think. He will start in Double-A this year.
12. Nick Nelson – 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, SP/RP, RHP, 25-years-old – Nelson had two rough outings in the majors this year that have hurt his overall numbers, but that disguises what was otherwise a fantastic Spring Training and start to the season. He also had 15 K in just 8.1 innings, though has an inflated 9.72 ERA because of some big hits he let up. Nelson will be back though and he will be better. His stuff is too good not to be. Nelson is working with an average velocity of 96 peaking at 98.5 mph this season. He also has a slider, curve, and changeup at his disposal, of which the slider is currently the nastiest. His future with the Yankees lies in the bullpen at this point, but Nelson should develop into a late inning, shutdown reliever type over the next year or so. If he does end up getting traded I could see him being a part of the starting rotation and succeeding. He will start in Triple-A this year.
13. Mike King – 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, SP/RP, RHP, 25-years-old – King showed up to camp this year in different form. He increased his average fastball velocity to 94.8 from 93.8, and has been hitting 96 with regularity. He has a sinker, four seamer, changeup, slider, and curveball. He throws all for strikes, and all are above average major league pitches. The sinker and four seam don’t have elite velocity, but they have plus movement. King appears to have found his niche as the swiss army knife of the pitching staff. He can give you two innings or six innings if you need it. He appears poised to have a breakout season in 2021. He is currently in the majors.
14. Beck Way – 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, SP, RHP, 21-years-old – Way is already sitting 96-98 mph in camp. He has a decent changeup and a breaking ball that needs work, but there is plenty of time to refine the arsenal. If he comes along like the Yankees hope, they will have another high ceiling starting pitcher in the system. The system is overflowing with these types of players right now, but Way has a bright future. The Yankees are excited about him. He could start in Low-A this year as a college pitcher. Way has been sent to Extended Spring Training this season. This is likely to limit his innings as he does not have many under his belt yet.
15. T.J. Sikkema – 6-foot-0, 221-pounds, SP, LHP, 22-years-old – The Yankees picked Sikkema in the supplemental first round in 2019, and he pitched well in limited action that year. Sikkema is a deceptive lefty who changes angle and has excellent command and control. He doesn’t throw exceptionally hard, but he can dial it up when he throws at a higher angle. His velocity varies from 89 mph all the way up to 95 mph depending on the angle. He also throws a changeup, curveball, and slider from three different angles. All are average to above average. He commands all of his pitches exceptionally well. He may not be your traditional top prospect, but that’s part of what makes him intriguing. It also remains to be seen if the Yankees can squeak a bit more velocity out of him. At worst he sounds like a Nestor Cortes type with already better velocity. The ceiling is tough to gauge because there aren’t many players like him. T.J. Sikkema is currently on a throwing program and will start the season on the DL.
16. Ken Waldichuk – 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, SP, LHP, 23-years-old – Waldichuk is a big lefty the Yankees drafted in the 5th round in 2019 and immediately became a sleeper with the Yankees’ “gas station.” He came to the team sitting 89-90 mph. Towards the end of his first season that ticked up to 91-94 mph. He is now sitting 94-96 mph and topping out at 98. In 2019 he was overmatching guys at Pulaski, throwing 29.1 innings while striking out 49 and walking just seven with a 3.68 ERA. He also throws a curveball and changeup which are also solid pitches. Ken is poised for a breakout in 2021. He will start in High-A Hudson Valley.
17. Ezequiel Duran – 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, 2B, RHB, 21-years-old – Duran is a compact, explosive athlete who has been making his way up the ranks in the Yankees’ system out of the Dominican Republic. He hit .256/.329/.496/.824 with 13 homeruns, 12 doubles, four triples, and 11 SB in 66 games for Staten Island in 2019. He is an above average defender at second base, and registers some of the most impressive exit velocities in the system. He was ranked 84 on the Zips top 100 prospects this season. Zips is pretty good at identifying future major leaguers, so keep an eye out for this guy. He could be a fast riser. He will start in High-A this season, which is an aggressive move but shows a lot of faith on the Yankees’ part.
18. Kevin Alcantara – 6-foot-6, 188-pounds, CF, RHB, 18-years-old – Alcantara is a massive, toolsy centerfielder who has just one season under his belt in the DSL/GCL. He fared pretty well during that season though, hitting .255/.305/.360/.665 with one homerun, eight doubles, and three triples between the two levels. Alcantara is very athletic for his size and could stick in centerfield. He is also expected to develop some serious power as he moves up. He already has registered some 100 plus mph exit velocities. He has an all-fields approach and an excellent hit tool. Defensively he is currently a plus defender with a borderline plus arm, but that could change as he fills out. This is a 5-tool athlete. He should see some time in Low-A this season but given that the Yankees no longer have teams in the New York Penn League or the Appalachian League, he may get stuck in the GCL again.
19. Trevor Hauver – 6-foot-0, 205-pounds, 2B, LHB, 22-years-old – Yankees drafted Hauver in the 3rd round in the abbreviated 2020 draft. An elite bat to ball hitter with some pop, Hauver spent his college days in the outfield. Behind the scenes he has always taken reps at second base though. Before going to the University of Arizona he played second base as well. The Yankees are confident he will stick there. He will never be an elite defender, but he has the skills to be above average. The Yankees were able to pick up a great hitting talent in the third round here. The Yankees have elected to start him in Low-A this year.
20. Anthony Seigler – 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, C, SH, 21-years-old – The Yankees took Seigler in the first round in 2018. Since then he has had trouble staying healthy. He missed most of 2019 with nagging injuries. Seigler has solid all around catcher tools with no spectacular tools. If he has one plus tool it would be his hit tool. Defensively he has everything he needs to stick at catcher and be an above average to borderline plus defender. Offensively he has a good hit tool and is a switch hitter. He doesn’t have much power at this time, and he has tons of competition. The hope is that he will develop more power as he progresses. He will start in High-A alongside Breaux in 2021.
21. Albert Abreu – 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, RP, RHP, 25-years-old – Abreu’s fastball has been sitting at 98.3 average this season and has hit 100 mph multiple times coming out of the bullpen. He has thrown 2.0 innings for the major league ball club and let up one solo homerun while striking out three and walking two. He has a fastball, slider, and changeup, all of which can be plus if he is locating them. The problem is he is still working on location and can be very wild. He will likely be up and down this season, which is his last with options. If he can figure it all out he is a shutdown reliever. He’s been assigned to Triple-A.
22. Chris Gittens – 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, 1B, RHB, 27-years-old – Gittens has elite exit velocities. They are on the level of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge when he connects. The only problem is he is a first baseman who strikes out a lot in the minors. Moreover, he is a decent first baseman but mostly average. He doesn’t move well at first, though he has a good glove. He might be a good DH for the Yankees if Stanton wasn’t already in that spot. In 2019, he hit .281/.393/.500/.893 with 23 homeruns and 139 K in 115 games. He has been assigned to Triple-A this season.
23. Everson Pereira – 6-foot-0, 191-pounds, CF, RHB, 20-years-old – Pereira is a centerfielder with Gleyber Torres-like tools who the Yankees signed out of Venezuela. He has all of the tools to become a high average hitter. He uses the whole field and has top notch bat speed. Scouts feel he will have above average power down the line as he builds muscle and strength. Pereira has the plus speed to be a base stealer if he gets on enough and doesn’t lose speed as he develops. Defensively he has the ability to stick in centerfield with good range and arm strength. Pereira has been sent to Extended Spring Training and will likely be one of the first callups to Low-A if there are any promotions.
24. Raimfer Salinas – 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, CF, RHB, 20-years-old – Salinas was also signed in 2017 and is perhaps one step behind Pereira in his development. As an 18-years-old in 2019, he has a nice season in the GCL, hitting .270/.329/.415/.745 with three homeruns, 10 doubles, two triples, and 11 SB. He has explosive bat speed with impressive exit velocity. He has above average power potential. He has a bit of swing and miss and can be overly aggressive sometimes, but overall, he has the potential to be a high average hitter if he makes some adjustments long term. He has plus speed and athleticism. Defensively he is a plus defender in every sense, including arm strength. It is likely that Salinas will be in the GCL but could see some time in Low-A this season.
25. Mitch Spence – 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, SP, RHP, 22-years-old – Sleeper alert! Spence was selected in the 10th round of the 2019 draft. At that time he was a low-90’s guy with some solid secondary offerings and spin rates. Since then, he has added velocity and now sits 93-96 and tops out at 97 mph. This is a huge deal for him because his secondary pitches were already plus, and he has the spin rates that will make all of his pitches play up. Before the uptick, Spence had a 3.54 ERA and 29 K : 4 BB in 28 innings for Pulaski in his first professional season. He appears poised to start the 2021 season in High-A.
26. Hayden Wesneski – 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, SP, RHP, 23-years-old – Yet another beneficiary of the “gas station,” Wesneski is another sleeper this season. Wesneski is now sitting 95-97 and touching 99 with his sinking fastball. He also throws a slider and cutter. He previously threw a changeup as well but I’m not sure if he has scrapped that. His debut in Pulaski was rough from a statistical perspective, with a 4.76 ERA in 28.1 innings. He did have a 30:6 K:BB ratio. He has come a long way since then though. He is starting in High-A.
27. Alexander Vargas – 5-foot-11, 148-pounds, SS, SH, 19-years-old - Vargas got his feet wet in his first professional season in 2019 and he held his own. He had a .233/.313/.373/.686 line in 48 GCL games. Vargas hit one homerun, 10 doubles, and seven triples with 15 SB. He struck out 28 times. Vargas has a long way to go, but he also has tons of potential. Vargas has plus plus defensive capabilities, a plus hit tool, and plus speed. There is a lot of projection left in him, so if he packs on a few pounds Vargas could turn into an all-around impact player. He should repeat the GCL this season with an outside chance of getting some time in Charleston.
28. Anthony Volpe – 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, SS, RHB, 20-years-old – Volpe had a rough debut in 2019 after being drafted in the first round by the Yankees. He finished with a .215/.349/.355/.704 line. Buried in those numbers is the fact that he had a much better second half than first half as a result of being sick with mononucleosis. He hit two homeruns, seven doubles, and three triples while stealing six bases in 34 games that season. The scouting community believes he has the tools to be a high average hitter with his all-fields approach and advanced bat to ball abilities. He also possesses a patient approach. He has average to possibly below average power potential long term. He has above average speed and he has the tools to stick at shortstop and potentially be a plus defender. He will be starting at Low-A this season.
29. Oswaldo Cabrera – 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, SS, SH, 22-years-old – Cabrera has steadily improved up the ladder as you would expect from a switch hitter gaining experience. In 2019, he hit .260/.310/.378/.687 with a career high eight homeruns and 29 doubles. He also stole 10 bases. Cabrera is a plus defender at SS and can also play 2B and 3B. Long term scouts feel he has all of the tools to be a plus hitter for average. He also has elite patience at the plate. Cabrera will start 2021 in Double-A Trenton. Cabrera has a future in the MLB as a utility player.
30. Tyrone Yulie – 6-foot-6, 200-pounds, SP, RHP, 19-years-old – Yulie is a high ceiling out of the Dominican Republic who is now stateside and ready for his debut. He has a 96-98 mph fastball that has touched 99 already. Yulie also has a slider which he is now landing for strikes. Yulie appears poised to burst onto the scene this year and take the GCL by storm. There aren’t too many hitters in that league who will be able to handle his fastball. This should give him a chance to work on his secondary pitches. Yulie has a bright future.
31. Juan Carela – 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, SP, RHP, 19-years-old – Carela came stateside as a 17-year-old in 2019, and the results were not good. He was just 17 though and trying to command mid-90’s heat with secondary pitches that move a lot. He sits 94-96 mph and has a curveball with a ton of movement. Carela will likely repeat the GCL again this year. The issues with control were pretty severe but he has apparently come a long way from the 24 walks in 25.1 innings in 2019. He is a bit Medina-like in that regard, though the stuff isn’t quite at the same level.
32. Brandon Lockridge – 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, CF, RHB, 24-years-old – The Yankees took Lockridge in the 5th round of the 2018 draft. First and foremost, you have to talk about Lockridge’s tools. He is a 5-tool athlete, but none of the tools are plus. All grade out as average to above average. He has above average speed, and average to slightly below average arm. He appears to get to his tools in games though. He hit .251/.319/.410/.729 in his first full season with 12 homeruns, 33 doubles, five triples, and 22 SB in 121 games. He will start in High-A this season.
33. Anthony Garcia – 6-foot-5, 204-pounds, LF/RF, RHB, 20-years-old – If anyone has the potential to jump from closer to the bottom of this list to near the top, it’s Garcia. Garcia is huge, has serious power, and is more athletic than you would expect for his size. In limited action, he hit .294/.417/.706/1.123 in 6 games in the GCL in 2019. Before that he hit 10 homeruns in the GCL in 2018 as a 17-year-old. Garcia could emerge this season as a top prospect if everything breaks right. He will likely spend most of the season in Extended Spring Training with an outside chance at getting some time in Low-A.
34. Antonio Gomez – 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, C, RHB, 19-years-old – Gomez played well in limited action in the GCL in 2019, hitting .288/.351/.442/.793 with one homerun and five doubles in 15 games. Gomez has excellent bat control and barrels the baseball well. His power is above average, especially long term. He uses the whole field and has the earmarks of a high average hitter. Defensively Gomez is a solid catcher. He has plus arm strength, receiving, and blocking balls. Gomez is also bilingual which benefits his ability to communicate with his pitchers. He will likely start out in the GCL this season but could see time in Low-A if things break right for him.
35. Glen Otto – 6-foot-3, 240-pounds, SP, RHP, 25-years-old – Otto is currently at the alternate site. In 2019 he managed to total 85.1 innings which was a career high for him. He had 100 K and 49 BB with a 2.84 ERA. He finished in High-A. Otto possesses a mid-90’s fastball in the 93-96 mph range. He also has a hammer curve, and a changeup that flashes plus but has been inconsistent. He has the pitch mix to be successful in the majors as a starter or reliever. He will start in Double-A this season and if a need arises could even make an appearance or two in the majors towards the end of the year.
36. Ryder Green – 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, OF, RHB, 20-years-old – Green had a good year in Pulaski in 2019, hitting .262/.343/.444/.787 with eight homeruns, 15 doubles, one triple, and 10 SB in 61 games. Green has a nice mix of speed, athleticism, and power. He’s a good fielder and obviously can hit. Green could develop into a serious prospect if his game continues to blossom over the next couple of years. He was a third-round pick in 2018. The Yankees have sent him to Extended Spring Training, and he could be one of the first callups to Low-A if there are some promotions.
37. Josh Smith – 5-foot-10, 172-pounds, SS/2B/3B, LHB, 23-years-old – Yankees took Smith in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft and he really impressed in his debut. He hit .324/.450/.477/.927 with three homeruns, six doubles, one triple and six stolen bases in 33 games. Smith was lauded for his hitability when he was drafted by the Yankees. He is an all fields type hitter with decent pop. He has the tools to play both SS and 2B, and is expected to be a high average hitter at the next level. He has not been assigned to a full season team this year. This is one of the big mysteries of the early season but there may be a reason such as an injury we don’t know about.
38. Jake Sanford – 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, OF, LHB, 23-years-old – Sanford displayed some serious power in 2019 both in the NCAA where he hit 22 homeruns and in Staten Island where he hit 7 homeruns, 13 doubles, and three triples in 60 games. Sanford was a third-round pick, and apparently has good speed in addition to his power. Given that he is a bit raw, losing a full year may have hurt him more than others. Still, the Yankees just announced he made the team for Charleston, so he will have an opportunity to make it happen this year.
39. Matt Sauer – 6-foot-4, 195-pounds, SP, RHP, 22-years-old – Sauer, who was drafted out of high school by the Yankees in 2017, seems to have gotten old fast! He missed almost a full year due to Tommy John Surgery and then the pandemic hit. Now that he is recovered, Sauer has a 92-95 mph fastball with a developing curveball and changeup. He certainly has room to fill out more and build more velocity. He will start in Low-A this season.
40. Randy Vasquez – 6-foot-0, 165-pounds, SP, RHP, 22-years-old – Vasquez came in and impressed at Pulaski in 2019, finishing with 53 K : 28 BB and a 3.79 ERA in 54.2 innings as a 20-year-old. Vasquez sports a 94-95 mph fastball to pair with a nasty, 3,100 RPM curveball. He is learning a changeup as well. He will play in Low-A this season and should continue to improve on his already good stuff.
41. Tanner Myatt – 6-foot-7, 220-pounds, SP/RP, RHP, 22-years-old – Myatt has always had big velocity. He hits 99-100 mph with frequency. He also has a devastating curveball and a changeup with good fade. The issue is and has always been his ability to control his pitches. Word in camp is that he has taken a huge step forward in that department. If that continues, Myatt could be in for a big breakout this year. In 2019 Myatt had 45 walks in 40.1 innings. He also struck out 40. The fact that he still managed to have a 4.24 ERA despite those horrendous walk rates is somewhat impressive. If he can cut down on the walks, there is no telling how high the ceiling can be. He will be in High-A to start out, and it’s not clear whether he will be in a starting or relief role.
42. Justin Wilson – 6-foot-0, 180-pounds, RP, RHP, 24-years-old – Wilson dominated in Staten Island in 2019, finishing with 37 K : 13 BB and a 1.4 ERA in 25.2 innings. He has a fastball the hits 100 mph regularly and sits in the upper 90’s. He also has a power slider and changeup that he can use as secondary pitches. The Yankees placed him in High-A to start 2021, so they obviously see him as a guy who can move quickly.
43. Harold Cortijo - 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, SP, RHP, 22-years-old – Cortijo was picked in the 14th round of the 2017 draft. Cortijo’s biggest bugaboo so far in his career has been fluctuating velocity. When he is going good, he’ll sit 92-94 mph. When he’s not going good, he’ll sit 89-92 mph. He has a high quality changeup and decent breaking ball to go with that fastball. The Yankees are working with him on consistency with his delivery to stay in the 92-94 range and grow from there. In 2019, he had a solid year statistically and reached a career high 73 innings. He spend the year in Low-A and had 57 K : 30 BB and a 3.45 ERA. The Yankees have him repeating Low-A this season, which is now the Tampa Tarpons.
44. Elijah Dunham – 6-foot-0, 213-pounds, LF/1B, LHB, 22-years-old – The Yankees signed Dunham as an undrafted free agent in 2020. This is obviously different than your typical UDFA, because there were only a few rounds in this draft. Dunham has been an excellent hitter throughout his college career. He has an all-fields approach to hitting and is a tireless worker already. Dunham also has good patience at the plate. Scouts feel his power will improve throughout his career in the minors. The Yankees have sent him to Charleston, which is a good sign that they think highly of him.
45. Dermis Garcia – 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, 1B/3B, RHB, 23-years-old – This is a big year for Dermis. He just hasn’t been able to stay healthy and put it all together yet. Now the Yankees have him in Double-A, which I take as a sink or swim move. He has mostly played first base over the past few seasons. If he stays there, he has to really hit the cover off the ball to stick. If he shifts to third base, he still has Miguel Andujar and Gio Urshela ahead of him. The performance really needs to tick up now for him. In 2019 he did hit 17 homeruns in just 75 games. The problem is he also struck out 105 times and batted just .247. There is still time for him to turn things around, but he’s running out fast. If he ever can put it all together, the power is sensational. In fact, exit velocities aside, he has the best power in the entire system.
46. Brooks Kriske – 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, RP, RHP, 27-years-old – Kriske made his major league debut last season and got knocked around a bit. He pitched an inning this season so far and let up a solo homerun and two walks. The walks have been a recurring theme for him against major league hitters. This is not typical for him, so maybe it’s a case of the jitters. He had 80 K and 28 BB in 60.2 innings in the minors in 2019, finishing with a 2.23 ERA. He sits in the upper 90’s with the fastball, and throws a splitter and slider. The Yanks will have him stashed in Triple-A until they have a need.
47. Ron Marinaccio – 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, SP/RP, RHP, 25-years-old – The Yankees got Marinaccio in the 19th round all the way back in 2017. Until this year, he was a low-90’s guy who had excellent movement on his secondary pitches. The Yankees sent him to the “gas station” at 24-years-old and unbelievable he came back sitting a 95 mph which is about a 5 mph jump for him. The secondary pitches ticked up as well, and now you have a real sleeper going into the 2021 season. Back in 2019, Marinaccio threw just 32.1 innings and had 40 K : 18 BB with a 5.01 ERA. The Yankees placed him all the way in Double-A this year. It is unclear whether he will start or pitch in relief, but the Yankees are giving him a real opportunity this year.
48. Ryan Anderson – 6-foot-6, 205-pounds, SP, LHP, 22-years-old – The Yankees picked Anderson in the 12th round in 2019, and he appears to be on the Jordan Montgomery trajectory. He came in throwing 89-90 mph and now he is up to 92-93 mph. He already had the nasty slider to go with it, so he just made himself that much more difficult to hit. Anderson is deceptive and throws from a low slot with a ton of movement. The Yankees had him in Pulaski his first season where he was decent. He had 43 K : 16 BB and a 4.78 ERA in 32 innings as a starter. He has been assigned to Low-A Tampa and seems likely to be rolled out as a starter again this season.
49. Jio Orozco – 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, SP, RHP, 23-years-old – Orozco was just assigned to High-A Hudson Valley, and with good reason. He sits 92-95 mph with very good movement on the fastball. He has even better secondary pitches in his curveball and changeup. With some more development Jio could become a major league starting option, likely in the back half of the rotation. Obviously there’s no telling what will happen in the “gas station” though.
50. Stephen Ridings – 6-foot-8, 220-pounds, RP, RHP, 25-years-old – The Yankees signed Ridings as a minor league free agent this year when he began throwing 99-100 mph. He still needs work with his secondary pitches, but any time you can hit those type of numbers you are going to get noticed. The Yankees recognized this and placed him in Double-A Somerset to start 2021.