Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus released the company's annual Top 101 Prospects list, and it was not a pretty showing for the New York Yankees. This result is not really surprising since in his review of the Yankees' top 10 prospects (subscription required), Parks remarked, "It's Gary Sanchez and a list of interchangeable prospects with reliever profiles or bench futures," though he did note that "the lower levels of the system might be able to put a much-needed charge into a lifeless system in the coming years."
As of now though, the catcher Sanchez was the only Yankee to make Parks's list, and he didn't show up until all the way down at #85 on the list. Although he had quite the fall, this was Sanchez's fourth time on BP's Top 101; he debuted at #29 on now-Astros Pro Scouting Director Kevin Goldstein's 2011 list, stayed on at #40 in 2012, and finished at #47 in 2013 when Parks took over. Sanchez was the seventh catcher to be ranked on the BP Top 101, finishing behind the Padres' Austin Hedges (#18), the Rangers' Jorge Alfaro (#41), the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud (#48), the Twins' Josmil Pinto (#56), the Pirates' Reese McGuire (#59), and Boston's Blake Swihart (#73). Sanchez's 2013 season was up and down, but I think that's a little too glum a perspective on Sanchez, who probably belongs much closer to Swihart and almost certainly above McGuire, a 2013 mid-first round pick who basically only has a 46-game stint at Rookie Ball to his name.
Nonetheless, it's telling about the state of the Yankees' system that a legitimate prospect evaluator only ranked one Yankee on his list and he was toward the end of the countdown. It's hard to blame Parks for not including more prospects from the Yankees' system on his list. BP has ranked prospects since 2007 and only once before have the Yankees only had one representative on the list (2010, when Jesus Montero was Goldstein's #4 prospect) MLB.com had Sanchez at #47 and also Mason Williams at #75 on their list, but even I thought it was a bit too kind to Mason to include him in a top 100. Williams made Parks's top 101 prospects last year at #51 and understandably tumbled off the list in 2014 due to his shaky performance in High-A Tampa. Parks didn't even have Williams among his top five Yankees prospects.
It is worth noting that Parks did have good things to say about the likes of Jose Ramirez, Greg Bird, and Eric Jagielo in his ranking of the top 10 Yankees prospects, so with some strong 2014 campaigns from them, perhaps they could appear on next year's list. (Don't be disheartened, Bird fans; Parks only had one first baseman on his Top 101 prospects: the Astros' Jonathan Singleton at #57.) This list is just another reminder that the farm system overall really needs a far better showing in 2014 than it did in 2013. The Yankees aren't really getting any younger, and at least some hope from the minors could go a long way to ensuring future success.
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