We're going to have a 'prospect watch' this season, so please let us know who you're most interested in. The poll can be found on the right sidebar.
The candidates are as follows:
Austin Jackson is a solid, all-around centerfielder. He doesn't have one standout skill, but doesn't have any major weaknesses either. He'll start the year in Triple-A Scranton with an outside chance to take over centerfield in the Bronx if both Gardner and Melky struggle and he excels. ETA 2010.
Mark Melancon is the best relief prospect in the Yankees system. He was the closer for the University of Arizona and had Tommy John surgery soon after joining the Yankees in 2006. He throws a low 90s fastball and a great power curve. His K/BB rate was a tremendous 5.50 in Scranton last year. The most amazing aspect was that he improved with each step up the organizational ladder in 2008. ETA 2010.
Jesus Montero is the highest-ceiling position player in the organization. He was signed out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old for a record sum of $1.6 million in 2006. Despite being listed as a catcher, most 'experts' doubt he'll stay there, predicting a move to 1b, LF or DH before he makes the Show. ETA 2012.
Andrew Brackman is the highest-ceiling pitcher in the organization. He was drafted in the first round in 2007 out of North Carolina State and, like Melancon, almost immediately had TJS. Most of the excitement over him is due entirely to projection: he's 6'10" and has reached 99 MPH on the radar gun. His problems will he staying healthy and keeping his mechanics consistent. ETA 2012.