In another indictment on the current state of the Yankees' farm system, Marc Hulet of FanGraphs only ranked one Yankees prospect in his list of the top 100 prospects in the game. Unsurprisingly, it was Gary Sanchez, who came in at 44th on Hulet's list. Sanchez was the third-highest ranked catcher behind the Padres' Austin Hedges (#34) and the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud (#39), so he fared a little bit better than he has on other prospect lists.
Hulet also made a valid observation--that with Brian McCann entrenched behind the plate for the immediate future, Sanchez seems likely to become "tantalizing trade bait" if the Yankees are trying to fill a hole in their roster (*cough* infield) later on in the 2014 season. Although the Yankees very well could continue to develop Sanchez and try to improve his defense behind the plate past Jesus Montero levels while building toward an arrival that could maybe push McCann to first base as he ages, anyone who is a Yankees fan knows that no prospect is ever truly safe.
It was a rough year for the Yankees' system, and that is evident simply by comparing Hulet's top 100 this year to his 2013 rankings. Sanchez stayed roughly the same since he was #42 last year, but toolsy outfielder Mason Williams fell all the way from #36 to off the list entirely. Ouch. That's not a huge surprise though since he fell off other top 100 lists and struggled to a .261/.327/.350 triple slash with a 95 wRC+ in High-A Tampa during the 2013 season. We've said it before and we'll say it again--Mason is in dire need of a rebound year in 2014 with Double-A Trenton to reclaim his higher prospect status of a year ago. Also falling off the 2014 list from last year was outfielder Slade Heathcott, who just made it at #87 in 2013. Heathcott fought injuries again in 2013 and though he ended the season on a hot streak, as Jesse noted a few days ago, his inconsistency leaves a lot to be desired.
If the Yankees can take small comfort in anything about only having one prospect in the Top 100, it's that four other teams (the Tigers, Athletics, Brewers, and Giants) also only had one prospect on the list, and the Angels didn't have any at all. Yippie. Such is life for the Yankees' system these days. Like Williams, they really need to have a better year in 2014 to assuage doubts about the team's future.