The Yankees made a big splash in the international free agent market this year, signing two of the top five prospects available according to Baseball America, nabbing catcher Luis Torrens and outfielder Alexander Palma.
Torrens, a 16 year old from Venezuela, is still relatively new to catching after moving from third base when he was 14. He has an exciting hit tool, although the verdict is still out on how much power is in his bat. He doesn't match the power profile of Jesus Montero or Gary Sanchez, but makes up for that with a solid approach and excellent plate discipline for a young player.
Palma, also 16 years old from Venezuela, is physically advanced for his age (6-0 ft, 200 lbs). He profiles as a natural right fielder, and has been impressive on the international circuit. Scouts are mixed on his power potential, although he has the physical gifts to develop a plus tool in that area.
More prospect news after the jump...
Baseball America recently released their Midseason Top 50 prospect list, and three Yankees appear in these updated rankings (Mason Williams #28, Gary Sanchez #30, Tyler Austin #39). It's especially nice to see Austin appear so high on the list, as he wasn't considered by many to be even Top 100 prospect material by many prior to the season. The strides he's made at the plate are astounding, and it should be interesting to see if he continues to hit as he begins his climb through the upper levels of the Yankees minor league system.
The 'Killer Bs' also made two of the additional BA lists. Dellin Betances earned the dubious honor of landing on this year's 'Stock Down' list, being described as "unathletic" and "unable to repeat his delivery". Manny Banuelos finds himself on the 'All Disabled-List Team', along with fellow prospect Jose Campos. It's been a really rough year for the high profile Yankee pitching prospects.
John Sickels updated his Top 120 Prospects, and the usual suspects appear on this list as well (Sanchez #31, Williams #37, Austin #67, Banuelos #82). Betances was considered for the list, but failed to make the cut.
While this doesn't directly relate to Yankees prospects, I found the series of interviews Sickels conducted at the Futures Game to be interesting. Sickels interviewed former Yankees draft pick Gerrit Cole, Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy, and Blue Jays prospect Anthony Gose. The Gose interview, although brief, really details some of the differences between the various minor league levels and is an excellent read. The AL East is loaded with top prospects, so the division isn't going to be getting any easier in the future for the Yankees.