Yankees Prospects: Rafael De Paula makes Baseball America's top 20 list for the South Atlantic League

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball America has placed Rafael De Paula on their list of top 20 prospects in the South Atlantic League. The Dominican righty placed at No. 17 and is one of only two AL East prospects to make the list, as the Red Sox Mookie Betts ranked 8th. The list is almost entirely made up of Rangers (5), Braves (3), and Royals (3) prospects. De Paula pitched 64.1 innings for Low-A Charleston this season and finished the level with a 2.94 ERA, 2.03 FIP, and 13.43 K/9 before getting a promotion to High-A Tampa where he hit an abrupt wall and pitched to a 6.06 ERA and 4.63 FIP in 49.0 innings.

While it's nice to see Yankee prospects on this list, it's a little concerning to only see De Paula, who didn't even stay in the league the whole year. The biggest absence from this list has to be the lack of Greg Bird. He was one of the best hitters in all the minor leagues this year, not just the Sally league, and led all minor leaguers and most major leaguers in walks. His lack of inclusion likely has to do with it being his first full season of pro ball and the fact that he is a first baseman. Of the eight leagues ranked by Baseball America at this point, they have only included a total of four first basemen. Another season close to 2013 and he should making lists all around the internet.

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