MLB.com has released their list of the top 20 Yankees prospects going into the 2014 season. The list might be one of Jim Callis' most daring as it removes some lesser prospects near the majors in favor of projectable players with several years to go. I tend to value prospects closer to the majors more since we've seen our fair share of disappointments, but it's no doubt that this list displays the absolute best prospects going into the season.
Callis's ranking goes as follows:
|1||Gary Sanchez||11||Gosuke Katoh|
|2||Mason Williams||12||Manny Banuelos|
|3||Slade Heathcott||13||Jose Ramirez|
|4||John Ryan Murphy||14||Bryan Mitchell|
|5||Eric Jagielo||15||Mark Montgomery|
|6||Tyler Austin||16||Rafael De Paula|
|7||Greg Bird||17||Luis Torrens|
|8||Ian Clarkin||18||Abiatal Avelino|
|9||Aaron Judge||19||Miguel Andujar|
|10||Luis Severino||20||Jose Campos|
We have six new names on the list, including Bird, Severino, Katoh, Torrens, Avelino, and Andujar. Unfortunately, that also means six were outright removed from the list. While it certainly makes sense to remove Dante Bichette (finally), Angelo Gumbs, Zoilo Almonte, and Ty Hensley, Nik Turley and Ramon Flores still have value. I still think Mitchell should drop off this list, or at least be ranked in the bottom five, considering the results he's shown in his career.
Some of the biggest changes from 2013 to 2014 include Murphy, who shot up from No. 12 to No. 4, while Campos dropped from No. 14 to No. 20, and De Paula fell all the way from No. 4 to No. 16. I think Tyler Austin got somewhat of a raw deal, falling from No. 3 to No. 6 because of one injury-plagued season while Mason Williams somehow stuck around as the second-best prospect in the system and Slade Heathcott jumped from No. 7 to No. 3 despite undergoing another surgery.
This year we'll get a full season look at 2013 draft picks Eric Jagielo, Ian Clarkin, Aaron Judge, and Gosuke Katoh, and hopefully they'll prove their worth. We'll also get another year of Greg Bird and get to see how Manny Banuelos rebounds after a return from Tommy John surgery. This should be a fun year for Yankee prospects. Hopefully.