In covering both the Yankees and Mets, I always try to not let bias get in the way when discussing local prospects. That said, I've always wanted to do an overall Top 20 New York Prospect List, and make it a community discussion to see if Yankees/Mets fans can put their feelings aside when evaluating the talent. Let's see what my fellow Yankee fans think about how their prospects match up with those punks from the other side of town...
If you're not totally familiar with the prospects from both farm systems, allow me to link you to a handful of current organizational lists from a variety of sources, so you can do your own homework before engaging in the discussion:
Here is how I see the Top 20 Prospects in the New York baseball universe:
1.Manny Banuelos, SP, Yankees
2.Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
3.Zach Wheeler, SP, Mets
4.Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
5.Mason Williams, OF, Yankees
6.Jose Campos, SP, Yankees
7.Dellin Betances, SP, Yankees
8.Brandon Nimmo, OF: Mets
9.Dante Bichette Jr., 3B, Yankees
10.Jeurys Familia, SP, Mets
11.Ravel Santana, OF, Yankees
12.Michael Fulmer, SP, Mets
13.Austin Romine, C, Yankees
14.Jordany Valdespin, SS/2B, Mets
15.Wilmer Flores, SS, Mets
16.Slade Heathcott, OF, Yankees
17.Tyler Austin, 3B, Yankees
18.David Phelps, SP, Yankees
19.Cesar Puello, OF, Mets
20.Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Mets
- Outside of Nimmo, I'm not a huge fan of the Mets positional prospects. Way too many question marks with their positions and bats. Valdespin has a chance to be an exciting player, but I need to see another good year out of him before I'm a true believer.
- I give Harvey the nod over Wheeler based on personal preference, but they are both excellent. If I had to choose between them and Banuelos/Betances, I'm going with the two Mets. There is a better chance both wind up as impact starters, even if I like Manny as the best of the bunch. Now, if we're talking Banuelos/Campos, that changes everything...
- Speaking of Campos, I almost ranked him ahead of Williams, and even thought about giving him the nod over Sanchez. His arm is electric, and his ceiling may even be higher than Manny, although he's much farther away. The Mariners have such a great eye for pitching talent, and Campos was just below their current big pitching farm hands (Walker, Hultzen, Paxon). Make your own evaluations of Campos, but this guy loves him.
- The Yankees have the better high end talent, and it isn't even close. Even the second tier positional prospects (Bichette, Santana, Romine, Heathcott, Austin) trump the best of the Mets.
- Mets pitcher Michael Fulmer could develop into something special. The 2011 draft was extremely deep, and in any other year, he'd probably have snuck into the top half of the first round. He needs work on his changeup, but his fastball and slider have plus potential.
- I'm low on Betances. I hate his mechanics, as I highlighted here last week. I know he has an electric arm, but if he can't throw the ball over the plate, it won't matter. The only thing that is keeping him relatively high on this list is upside. Jeurys Familia may actually end up as the better pitcher if both end up in the bullpen. At least he has control of his stuff.
- What's not to like about David Phelps? He's one of those unheralded guys who could wind up having a really solid career thanks to good command of a deep arsenal. Is he ever going to get a chance to start for the Yankees though? Unless we're talking spot starts, probably not. If he ever got a chance, he could surprise some people.
- Remember when Wilmer Flores was being compared to Miguel Cabrera? Talk about swinging and missing with a comparison.
- Tyler Austin is a really good prospect that many are sleeping on. He may never do anything great, but he has a solid skill set across the board, and could develop into a productive big leaguer in the future.
Well, that's my list. I thought it was a fun excercise, and hopefully it sparks some good discussion. Take a stab at creating your own Top 10 or 20 in the comments.