Frankie Piliere of AOL Fanhouse (formerly of Saber Scouting fame) took a look at a few notable names in the Yankee farm system. Even casual minor league followers will know Monterno, Jackson and Brackman, but Piliere points us to two more players who illustrate the depth of the Yanks' system.
At the catching position, which I believe he can stick at, few players are as valuable. You just don't find too many bats as potent as his behind the dish. He's shown offensive skills reminiscent of Miguel Cabrera on his way up.
It's been his ability to hit consistent line drives and keep his swing under control at such an early stage that makes him special.
I saw a pitcher who appeared tentative at times to let his fastball go as he lived around 89-92 mph. He was still able to produce some good downward sink on the fastball, and use his height, but the raw velocity was just not there.
As sleepers, Peliere picks southpaw Manny Banuelos and righty Hector Noesi.
Banuelos is an 18 year old with a David Robertson build (5'10" 155lbs), who signed with the Yanks out of Mexico. The last report I'd read on him put him at 87-91, but Peliere clocks him 90-92 and touching 94. In throwing 108 innings for the Tampa Yankees, he also showed two above average secondary pitches (curve and change).
All we can do is pray that Peliere's praise for Banuelos isn't hyperbolic:
The stuff is above average, but when you consider the advanced feel he has for pitching and the often pinpoint command he possesses it's amazing that he's still only 18. He pitches with such ease and attacks hitters with such a calm demeanor, that he can be a front-of-the-rotation pitcher in the majors a few years from now.
Finally is Noesi, whose previous claim to fame was a 50 game suspension for violating the minor league PED rules.
Noesi started the season with a long scoreless streak as he moved from the pen to the rotation and from A Charleston to A+ Tampa. He struck out a batter per inning while allowing less than a baserunner per inning.
Although he still likes to mostly to work of his well spotted 90-94 mph fastball, this year there was the curveball as well. With good 12-6 action, the curveball came out whenever Noesi seemed to need it this year.
These are part of the mix of players GMs will ask for when Brian Cashman picks up the phone. And Cash has know which guys fit into his plans for the team, which ones are worth trading and which ones could haunt the Yanks for decades.
The offseason is a good time to be a Yankee fan and a hard time to be the GM.