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Five Yankees prospects land on FanGraphs’ 2022 Top 100 list

The familiar trio of Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and Jasson Dominguez made the cut, as did a couple surprises.

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Syndication: Poughkeepsie Journal Patrick Oehler/Poughkeepsie Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

One of the highlights of every offseason is the period when various baseball publications release their Top 100 Prospects lists. Last month, Kevin summarized the three Baby Bombers who landed on Baseball America’s list. Subsequently, The Athletic’s Keith Law and ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel have released their own prospect rankings, with Law placing three Yankees prospects and McDaniel placing four in the top 100.

FanGraphs has now released its annual list of the top 100 prospects in baseball, and five Yankees farmhands made the cut for 2022. As was expected, the most oft-discussed Yankees prospects — shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, and outfielder Jasson Dominguez — made the cut. However, pitcher Luis Medina and shortstop Alexander Vargas also made surprise appearances in FG’s Top 100. Let’s see what FanGraphs had to say about each of the five.

12. Anthony Volpe, SS

Overall grade: 60 FV

Tool grades (PV/FV): 35/60 Hit | 55/55 Raw Power | 35/60 Game Power | 50/50 Run | 40/45 Fielding | 50 Throw

Perhaps no prospect in baseball has seen his stock rise more in the last year than Anthony Volpe. FanGraphs ranks Volpe as the third-best shortstop prospect in the game, behind KC’s Bobby Witt Jr. (2nd overall) and Pittsburgh’s Oneil Cruz (8th). He’s also the only Yankees prospect to be given a Future Value grade above 50.

Volpe’s monster 2021 campaign at both levels of A-ball forced every evaluator to reexamine their projections for the soon-to-be 21-year-old shortstop. He put on 15-20 pounds of muscle during the pandemic and redesigned his swing to make it more compact with a cleaner bat path. The result: an increased ability to impact line drives and fly balls with power. He’s a decent runner and defender — aided by instincts beyond his years — though his average arm could limit his ability to stick on the left side of the infield.

39. Oswald Peraza, SS

Overall grade: 50 FV

Tool grades (PV/FV): 50/55 Hit | 50/50 Raw Power | 40/50 Game Power | 60/60 Run | 55/60 Fielding | 55 Throw

Although he lacks the power of his fellow shortstop prospect, Oswald Peraza possesses a skillset that should allow him to comfortably pass the grade as a shortstop on offense. He has a knack for consistently barreling the ball, aided by excellent pitch tracking and a flat bat path. His flexibility gives him good plate coverage and he’s shown the ability to make adjustments mid-AB.

It’s on the defensive side where Peraza really shines, with FanGraphs projecting him as an everyday shortstop. He’s also the closest to the majors of any prospect on this list, and if Gleyber Torres continues to struggle, Peraza may wind up as the Yankees’ best middle infield option. Keep an eye out for a potential MLB debut in this summer.

60. Luis Medina, RHP

Overall grade: 50 FV

Tool grades (PV/FV): 65/70 Fastball | 60/70 Curveball | 45/55 Changeup | 30/40 Command | Sits/Tops 96-99/101

Medina’s electric raw stuff rocketed him up the Yankees’ prospect rankings in 2021. He has three potential plus pitches: a fastball that frequently touches triple digits, a low-80s hammer curveball which may wind up as his best pitch, and a high-80s tumbling changeup.

That said, Medina’s below-average command may ticket him for the bullpen. He ran up elevated pitch counts in many starts and possesses a delivery and finish that may not be sustainable as a starter. His repertoire is there; now, he just needs to focus on throwing strikes.

73. Jasson Dominguez, CF

Overall grade: 50 FV

Tool grades (PV/FV): 20/50 Hit | 60/60 Raw Power | 20/60 Game Power | 60/55 Run | 40/50 Fielding | 60 Throw

There is likely no prospect in baseball with wider error bars than Jasson Dominguez. He made his stateside debut amid overzealous comparisons to Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout, which inevitably created an unrealistic set of expectations against which he was almost always going to come up short.

That said, there are some legitimate concerns about Dominguez’s first season of pro ball. He put on 30 pounds in a 24-month period and not all was muscle. He showed an alarming amount of swing-and-miss and struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. Once considered a burner, his speed is still decent but perhaps better suited to a corner outfield spot. Regardless, he’s only 19 and still possesses the strength to produce top percentile exit velocities. There is plenty of time to get back on track, but perhaps not quite to the meteoric level as was first forecast.

93. Alexander Vargas, SS

Overall grade: 50 FV

Tool grades (PV/FV): 30/55 Hit | 35/50 Raw Power | 30/45 Game Power | 60/60 Run | 45/60 Fielding | 60 Throw

What Alexander Vargas lacks in the power department, he more than makes up for in all other facets of the game. He is freakishly athletic, has great speed, and projects as a plus-plus defender at shortstop. He’s a switch-hitter with average plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills, which is more than acceptable in concert with his defensive prowess.

The next step is for Vargas to add muscle to his wiry frame. If he can compliment his electrifying athleticism with meaningful strength, we could be looking at another breakout star shortstop prospect in a year’s time.