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The Yankees’ Almost Top 10 Prospects

These are the players just outside the organization’s top prospects, either on their way up or on the way out.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Estevan Florial
Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

When the last out of the World Series is recorded, the offseason officially begins. Fans can look forward to a drawn-out winter of free agent signings, trade rumors, and roster shuffling, but they can also turn their attention to the prospects of their organizations who’ve yet to reach the big leagues. The offseason is prospect season too, with top-10 and top-30 lists popping up all over the internet. We’ll have our own list starting later this week, but we’ll begin by taking a look at the young players in the Yankee organization who, for one reason or another, are just outside that group.

If your idea of a prospect leans toward players with high ceilings, you could make an argument for shortstop Roderick Arias or right-handed pitcher Luis Serna being in the top 10, but they aren’t there quite yet. Arias made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2022 after signing for $4,000,000 in January and only had 108 at-bats around some injuries, but he is a switch-hitting shortstop with the potential for five tools. Serna, also 18, pitched in the Florida Complex League this past summer and jumped onto the scene with a 1.96 ERA while making an impression with his poise, command, and a change-up Baseball America called the best in the Yankees’ organization.

Antonio Gomez, 21, is a catcher who was not protected, nor was he selected, during the recent Rule 5 draft, but he is a potentially above-average defender who is coming on offensively after some adjustments this past season. Word is Gomez had a correction made to his vision sometime early in the season, and it seemed to help him at the plate as he put up a 125 wRC+ from July 1st on. He still has a high ceiling and could put himself squarely in the top-10 with a big 2023.

Some pitchers who would have appeared on a top-10 list in past years have some work to do to restore their standing. Luis Gil still has a future on the Yankees pitching staff, but injury has limited his availability and therefore his spot atop the organizational leaderboard. He is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and may not pitch until the latter half of the 2023 season. Deivi García and Yoendrys Gómez both occupy spots on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, but García has unfortunately lost his once-bright prospect shine due to inconsistent performance and Gómez has battled injuries that have not only held down his innings pitched but have also taken the edge off his stuff.

Also on the 40-man are outfielder Estevan Florial, right-handed pitcher Randy Vasquez, and left-handed pitcher Matt Krook. Florial likely has prospect fatigue since he burst on the scene in 2015 and has yet to establish himself as a major leaguer, but he still has four loud tools and has improved his outlook as a hitter with a strong season in Scranton. Vasquez is a starter who has struck out 250 batters in the last two seasons, and at 23 could make his MLB debut sometime in 2023 in the bullpen or, if things go terribly wrong for the health of the Yankees starters, in the rotation. Some would argue that Krook isn’t much of a prospect since he’s 27 years old, but he is a good bet to see time in the Bronx this year and has consistently put up strong K/9 numbers.

Recent draft picks Brendan Beck, Trystan Vrieling, and Drew Thorpe, all right-handed starters, have yet to throw a pitch in a game for the Yankees, but it is not difficult to imagine all three will appear on a Yankee top-10 list within the next two years. Beck is coming back from Tommy John surgery after being drafted in 2021, and Thorpe and Vrieling were picked last summer. Each of these righties throw strikes with above average secondary pitches. Thorpe, in particular, may be the prospect most likely to jump into next year’s rankings with a healthy and successful 2023 season because of his advanced command and potentially double-plus changeup.

Gil, García, and Florial have already made themselves known in the Bronx to various extents, while Gómez, Vasquez, and Krook are all positioned to see the big leagues next season. Arias, Serna, Gomez, Beck, Vrieling, and Thorpe could each leap into the discussion of the Yankees’ best prospects by this time next year. Each of these prospects has an argument for being included in the top-10 of the organization now, and the Yankees would obviously love to see them push themselves into that group in 2023.