Two Yankees will play in today's Futures Games, Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos (ESPN2 at 2 p.m.).
Montero will catch and hit fifth. Y'all know about him: 19 years old, phenomenal bat, can he catch full time though? Spanning High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, his stats look as such: .330/.386/.542, but he's only thrown out 18% of potential base-stealers.
I can see him competing for batting titles... Montero is arguably one of the top five pure hitters in minor league baseball.
The southpaw Banuelos is a relative newbie to prospect lists. The 18-year-old is in his second pro year, refining his craft at Low-A Charleston and doing a good job of it: 77.2 ip, 2.20 ERA, 68 K, 1.00 WHIP.
I've had the opportunity to see a number of former first round picks and top international free agent pitchers and Banuelos ranks right up there with them... At 18, he has a remarkable combination of feel and poise, but it raises the question of how much better he can become.
- Elsewhere in prospect land, Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman does seem to be 21, not 26 as was reported by the New York Times. I'd love to have him in the organization.