SBN's resident prospect expert, John Sickels, released his top 120 prospects (because 100 just doesn't cover it) for 2012.
Four Yankees made the list: LHP Manny Banuelos at 45, C Gary Sanchez at 61, OF Mason Williams at 92 and RHP Dellin Betances at 103. A couple more made the "also considered" group: 3B Dante Bichette and RHP Jose Campos.
The top five overall go as such: OF Bryce Harper (Wash.), LHP Matt Moore (Tampa), OF Mike Trout (Anaheim), RHP Yu Darvish and SS Jurickson Profar (both Texas). FYI, Jesus Montero ranked ninth.
As for the Yankees, 45 is the lowest I've seen Banuelos ranked. MLB.com had him 13th overall. I think Sickels is underrating Manny. The Yankees are notorious for being conservative with prospects. For Manny to reach Triple-A at the tender age of 20 is almost unheard of with the Yanks. In fact, he was the youngest player in the International League (and the second youngest in all Triple-A; only 17-year-old Dutchman Rodney Daal, who had all of one PA, qualified as younger). For a player that young to hold his own against much older competition (34.1 IP, 4.19 ERA, 8.1 K/9) is very impressive. He allowed too many hits and walks, but he was also dealing with a velocity spike that may have contributed to his poor control. Regardless, I believe Sickels is putting too much weight on the walks, which only really plagued him in 2011. In his previous three seasons, his walk rate was about 3/9 IP. Too many are focusing on the cons of Manny without seeing the pros: southpaw, fastball into the mid-90s, quality secondary pitches, smooth, repeatable delivery, and the aforementioned ARL (age relative to league).
Take Arizona's RHP Trevor Bauer for instance (ranked seventh overall). He was an incredible college pitcher, but between Hi- and Double-A, he struggled (25.2 IP, 5.96 ERA, 1.52 WHIP). He had an incredible K rate (15/9 IP) coming off a long college season, so I understand the higher ranking, but he was pitching at lower levels and with his right hand; are there really 19 pitchers that separate the two?
It's also odd to see Campos so low. Some think he'll eventually be the best player involved in the Pineda-Montero trade. FanGraphs ranked him the Yanks second best prospect, ahead of Sanchez, Williams and Betances.
With all that said, I think the other rankings are pretty fair. What do you think?