Yankees Prospects: Examining MLB.com's top 20 by tools

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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MLB.com released their top 20 list of Yankees prospects, grading them on a 20-80 scale based on what their tools project to be as major league players. 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Jim Callis graded the Yankees as such, with the list's best tools highlighted in bold:

Rank Hit Power Run Arm Field
1 Gary Sanchez 55 65 30 70 50
2 Mason Williams 60 50 60 50 65
3 Slade Heathcott 50 50 60 60 60
4 John Ryan Murphy 45 45 20 55 50
5 Eric Jagielo 50 60 35 55 45
6 Tyler Austin 55 50 45 55 50
7 Greg Bird 55 50 30 45 45
9 Aaron Judge 45 60 55 60 50
11 Gosuke Katoh 55 45 60 50 55
17 Luis Torrens 45 45 35 60 50
18 Abiatal Avelino 55 30 50 65 55
19 Miguel Andujar 50 55 45 60 50

– Giving Mason Williams a 60-grade hit tool is beyond ridiculous when there are more than enough questions about his strikeout potential.

– It's interesting to see that Sanchez projects to be a better power hitter than the monstrosity that is Aaron Judge.

– It's pretty bizarre that Murphy was rated as a 20-grade runner. I'd understand Sanchez being rated as below-average, but there's nothing that Murphy has done in his career that would make me think that he's even worse than that on the base paths.

– Sanchez has by far the best overall throwing arm, while Heathcott and Judge have the best outfield arms, and Abiatal Avelino has the best infield arm out of the top 20.

– Williams is the overall best fielder among the top 20, but it was a little surprising that after everything that was said about his glove, that Katoh only graded out as a 55.

– While Callis says that Jagielo will be good enough to stick at third base, it seems that he won't even be league-average in the field. That's kind of disappointing.

– The biggest difference between Avelino and Andujar seems to be their power potential. Avelino is the better fielder while Andujar has a lot more power potential.

Rank Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Slider Control
8 Ian Clarkin 60 55 50 50
10 Luis Severino 65 50 55 50
12 Manny Banuelos 60 55 55 45
13 Jose Ramirez 60 45 60 45
14 Bryan Mitchell 65 60 45 50 45
15 Mark Montgomery 60 40 70 45
16 Rafael De Paula 65 40 45 40
20 Jose Campos 55 50 45 50

– It's interesting that Ian Clarkin is now the best pitcher in the system. Maybe things will change if Banuelos proves himself healthy and effective, but ranking a prospect with five professional innings as the top pitcher in the system is bold.

– I didn't realize that Severino graded out so well compared to other, more seasoned, prospects. He has one of the best fastballs and control in the system, which is likely why scouts are raving about him.

–Bryan Mitchell has the best curveball in the top 20 by a wide margin. Despite the mixed results he's seen throughout his career, it's clear he has good stuff when he has two above-average pitches and another average offering.

– Jose Ramirez still has the best changeup in the system, but since he has only one other plus pitch and shaky control, he's likely destined for the bullpen.

– Rafael De Paula has one of the best fastballs of the top 20, but his other pitches and control look to be below average. That sounds like a future reliever to me.

What observations can you make from this information?

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