Baseball Prospectus recently released its top 10 prospects for the New York Yankees’ 2020 season. Some names you may recognize, but others will look less familiar, so let’s get to know them. Today, we’ll cover five of the top 10 players, while we’ll look at the top-five later in the week. Without further ado, let’s start with a 17-year-old outfielder.
10) Kevin Alcantara
The Yankees signed the 6-foot-6 center fielder last year for $1 million out of the Dominican Republic. In his first season in rookie ball, he appeared in 32 games, hitting .260/.289/.358 with an 85 wRC+. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he’s young, and it was his first season as a professional. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Alcantara’s potential, as his numbers improved each month, and he finished red hot, slashing .333/.365/.450 during August.
9) Clarke Schmidt
As a former first-round pick in 2017, Schmidt received Tommy John surgery two years ago, but in pitching to a 3.09 ERA in 2018, he showed he was fully recovered from the injury and ready to prove himself as a healthy pitcher this past season.
He made the jump from High-A to Double-A during his impressive 2019 campaign. His 2.87 FIP and 9.81 K/9 in 13 games led the charge to his promotion to the next level. Schmidt’s dominance at the end of his first full season as a pro suggests he could be ready for a bigger workload in 2020. If he can dominate in Double-A and Triple-A next year, he could be a major leaguer in no time.
8) Ezequiel Duran
Duran is a 20-year-old second baseman who had a very good season with his bat in 2019. In Low-A, he posted an OPS of .824 and a 143 wRC+. Along with that, he even has some speed and power. He stole 11 bags and blasted 13 home runs, sporting a .240 ISO. Duran had a poor 2018, but he quickly became a force for the Staten Island Yankees. He has all the tools and a decent glove that could make him an exciting prospect in the near-future.
7) Estevan Florial
This is a name most people are familiar with. Florial used to be the Yankees’ top prospect, but has dropped down the ranking as of late. Injuries have plagued the 22-year-old outfielder, including a broken right hamate bone and a broken wrist. Subsequently, he’s never played above High-A. He had an average season in 74 games played last year. He definitely needs to have a better (and healthier) performance in 2020 if he wants a future on this team.
6) Anthony Volpe
Eighteen-year-old Anthony Volpe was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the most recent MLB draft. He attended Vanderbilt University and made his professional debut with the Pulaski Yankees, where he slashed .215/.349/.355 with a modest 102 wRC+. He played 288 innings at shortstop, making nine errors. He won’t be in the majors for awhile, but it will be fun to watch him develop.
Be sure to come by for the top half of this list on Thursday!