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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/16/22

ESPN publishes its annual top 100 prospects list with a surprise Yankee; Keith Law reveals his top 20 Yankees prospects; Who will be the Yanks’ 2022 first baseman?

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New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

ESPN | Kiley McDaniel It’s not baseball season yet, but at least it’s prospect season! We have seen most lists by now, but ESPN prospect specialist Kiley McDaniel published his on Tuesday. Four Yankees made the top 100: the three usual suspects (Anthony Volpe at 6, Oswald Peraza at 25, and Jasson Domínguez at 32), plus one surprising newcomer in these lists: outfielder Everson Pereira.

Here is what McDaniel had to say about Pereira: “He’s probably always going to have a 20-30% strikeout rate given his power-based approach, and he’s fringy in center field right now, so he could slide over to right field eventually. His raw tools — 55 speed, 55 arm strength, at least 60 raw power, 70 bat speed — are among the better ones on this list. His approach, in-game use of power, defensive instincts and stat line as an extremely young prospect for his level show his potential, too. His breakout was in a limited sample, but this rocket could be ready for takeoff in 2022.” Pretty exciting.

The Athletic | Keith Law: More prospects content to review during these dark, baseball-less days! Keith Law (subscription required) published his list of the Yankees top 20 prospects, and some additional content. Law is not as high on Pereira as McDaniel, as he has four players (pitchers Luis Medina, Luis Gil, Hayden Wesneski, and Clarke Schmidt) before Pereira and after the big three. We won’t spoil too much of the list, but we will tell you that Deivi García is ranked 16th.

He named Pereira as a sleeper, and Schmidt and Gil as potential prospects who can make an impact in 2022.

MLB Trade Rumors | Steve Adams The folks at MLB Trade Rumors recently went through the Yankees’ options at first base, and made a poll among readers. After reviewing the candidates, people think Luke Voit (24.91 percent) is the most likely first sacker for the 2022 season, closely followed by Anthony Rizzo (23.54 percent), Matt Olson (21.1 percent), Freddie Freeman (15.81 percent), and DJ LeMahieu (12.39 percent). The “Other” option had 2.24 percent of votes.

ESPN (content warning for drug use): Much was brought to light yesterday during the trial involving former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay. Kay is accused of supplying the drugs that allegedly contributed to Tyler Skaggs’ death in 2019. Speaking with immunity, former New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey said that he gave Skaggs six or seven Percocets during the season, but Kay was his usual provider.

“Obviously looking back, I wish I had,” Harvey said when asked if he wished he told Skaggs to be more careful. “In baseball you do everything you can to stay on the field. At the time I felt as a teammate I was just helping him get through whatever he needed to get through.”

Other former Angels C.J. Cron, Mike Morin, and Cam Bedrosian also testified. Cron said that he received pills from Kay while with the Angels in 2017, and continued to receive them from Kay when Cron left for the Rays in 2018.