As spring training draws near, prospect ranking season kicks into action. On Wednesday, Baseball America will release their annual Top 100 prospects list. This year, however, no Yankees will make the cut.
This stands out as a somewhat surprising development, especially considering that the team had six entries on last year’s list. Due to a variety of graduations, trades, and setbacks, the club will go unrepresented.
It makes sense to consider the Yankees who cracked the Top 100 last season:
6. Gleyber Torres
38. Estevan Florial
41. Justus Sheffield
59. Miguel Andujar
77. Albert Abreu
81. Chance Adams
Torres and Andujar graduated to the big leagues by the end of April, and both became cornerstones for the Yankees infield. That’s exactly how a team wants a player to come off a top prospects list. Not only did they make their debuts, but they propelled the Yankees to a postseason run, finishing second and third in the American League’s Rookie of the Year voting in the process.
Sheffield will appear on the Top 100 list this year, but he will do so for the Mariners. The Yankees traded the southpaw to Seattle in exchange for James Paxton. Considering that Sheffield’s upside is essentially James Paxton, I’m fine with the Yankees moving him.
As for the rest, they all experienced setbacks in 2018. Florial played in an injury-shortened season, suffering a fractured hamate bone early in the summer. He returned in time to finish out the season, hitting .255/.354/.361 with three home runs for High-A Tampa. Florial struggled in the Arizona Fall League as well, so let’s hope he has a bounce-back season in 2019.
Abreu logged 72.2 innings last year, pitching to a 5.20 ERA (4.75 FIP). When healthy, he spent most of his time pitching for High-A Tampa. It was another injury-hampered season for the flame-thrower, but this time he struggled to find quality results.
Adams, meanwhile, earned his major league debut in 2018. He made a spot start and appeared in a pair of games out of the bullpen, to mixed results. Adams spent most of time in the rotation at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he pitched to a 4.78 ERA (4.87 FIP). It’s not hard to see why he and Abreu fell off the list.
Should fans react to this news with disappointment? Maybe. It’s always nice to have prospects on the Top 100 list. The Yankees, however, remain positioned well with a young core and enough intriguing prospects to have plenty of sustained success. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America,