Over the past two weeks, both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America released their 2020 Top 10 Yankees Prospects, and the lists look awfully different. The Yankees’ farm system has graduated players like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Clint Frazier in recent years, but is still considered by many to be at least middle of the road. While they don’t have any of the league’s top ranked prospects, there’s significant depth, especially when it comes to right-handed pitchers.
Baseball Prospectus Top 10 Yankees Prospects (subscription required)
Baseball America Top 10 Yankees Prospects (subscription required)
Six players made both lists; Deivi Garcia, Jasson Dominguez, Luis Gil, Clarke Schmidt, Anthony Volpe, and Luis Medina. Among those six players, Clarke Schmidt created the biggest difference in opinion. Baseball America ranked Clarke Schmidt as the Yankees’ best pitching prospect, ahead of Deivi Garcia. Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus ranked four pitching prospects ahead of the right-hander and suggested that his future could be in the bullpen. Schmidt might have a lower ceiling than high velocity pitchers like Luis Medina or Luis Gil, but it’s clear Baseball America’s scouts are buying much more stock in Schmidt’s strong finish to the Double-A season.
One player both outlets were able to agree upon is 16-year-old outfielder Jasson Dominguez. Baseball America went as far as to declare Dominguez the Yankees’ No. 1 overall prospect, and Baseball Prospectus wasn’t far behind. There’s not a ton of video on Dominguez, who has not yet made his stateside debut, but comparisons to Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle will certainly grab your attention. It’s just batting practice, but not a lot of 16-year-old baseball players look this good from both sides of the plate.
If Dominguez lives up to expectations in his US debut, he’s going to show the world why some scouts have him ranked right at the top of the farm system.
While all prospect rankings are expectedly subjective, those who follow the Bombers’ prospects closely might be surprised to see Oswald Peraza ranked 5th in the system by Baseball America. The 19-year-old infielder batted .273/.348/.333 in 46 games at Class-A last season, displaying solid bat to ball skills at a young age. MLB Pipeline ranks Peraza 29th in the Yankees’ system and projects him as a future defense-first utility player, but it’s clear Baseball America sees a bit more upside at this point in time.
Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus included second baseman Ezequiel Duran in their rankings, citing his power surge in the Penn League (led league with 13 home runs) and his smooth defense, which draws comparisons to Robinson Cano. Baseball Prospectus also included 17-year-old outfielder Kevin Alcantara two spots behind Duran (10th overall), a year after the Yankees signed the 6-foot-6 center fielder for $1 million out of the Dominican Republic. Ben Carsley of Baseball Prospectus compared Alcantara to another Yankees prospect, Estevan Florial. “If you enjoyed betting on Florial, you’ll love the sequel in Alcantara: 2 Fast 2 Florial,” he wrote.
Speaking of Florial, Baseball America chose to exclude the outfielder from their Top 10 list entirely, just a year after ranking him 2nd in the system, behind only Justus Sheffield. Injuries limited Florial to 74 games at High-A in 2019, and he scuffled to a .237 batting average, setting back his fast track to the Bronx and raising more questions about his hit tool moving forward. Baseball Prospectus still believes in Florial’s tools enough to keep him in their Top 10, but 2020 will be a real test for the 21-year-old as he tries to reach the upper levels of the minor leagues.
It’s hard to say anybody was snubbed from these rankings, because the Yankees have so much depth at the lower levels, but two prospects you could point to are left-handed pitcher T.J. Sikkema, the 38th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and Miguel Yajure, a right-handed pitcher who posted a 2.14 ERA in 138.2 innings at High-A and Double-A last season. Everybody’s prospect rankings are different, but the variance from these two trusted outlets demonstrates the polarizing nature of the Yankees’ farm system entering 2020.