Though we remain in the doldrums of the owner-imposed work stoppage that has ground Major League Baseball to a halt, America’s pastime is being played elsewhere, with the NCAA season in full swing. Moreover, minor league baseball is on the horizon, which means some of the best and brightest young players in the Yankees system will be on the field soon.
A quick look at the club’s 40-man roster reveals that of FanGraphs’ top 10 Yankees prospects, more than half of them are not on the 40-man and will therefore be able to play ball. Unfortunately for Luis Medina, Oswald Peraza, Clarke Schmidt, and Deivi García, their 40-man status will prevent them from hitting the diamond until we have a new collective bargaining agreement.
Inevitably, some prospects will overperform in 2022 and some will underperform. When FanGraphs releases its list of top Yankees prospects in 2023, it is likely to look much different than their most recent ranking. Players will fall from the top 10 and others will rise into it. With that said, over the past year, whose stock fell and whose stock shot up, based on FanGraphs two most recent rankings of Yankees farmhands?
Stock Down: Deivi García
2021 FG Ranking: 2nd | 2022 FG Ranking: 10th
The once (and future?) wunderkind starting pitcher trended way downward in 2021. A disastrous campaign at Triple-A saw García drop eight spots in FanGraphs rankings, almost leaving the top 10 completely. Perhaps worse, FG downgraded the young right-hander’s Future Value (FV) from a 50 to a 45.
Quickly summarized, FV “is a grade on the 20-80 scale that maps to anticipated annual WAR production during the player’s first six years of service.” For a more detailed rundown of FV, click here.
There is hope that García can have a bounce-back 2022 campaign. Perhaps, as posited here by Andrés Chávez, pitching coach Matt Blake can fix what ails young Deivi, who spent 2021 plagued by walks and gopher balls, with 68 and 21 surrendered, respectively, in only 90.2 innings at Triple-A.
Stock Up: Everson Pereira
2021 FG Ranking: 18th | 2022 FG Ranking: 8th
The soon-to-be 21-year-old Pereira, on the other hand, shot up FanGraphs’ rankings over the past 12 months. Not only did he climb 10 spots in their rankings, FG also upwardly adjusted his Future Value (FV) from a 40+ to a 45+.
Here at Pinstripe Alley, we are even more bullish on Pereira. Check out this piece by Dan Kelly looking at Pereira and his placement on the PSA Top-10 prospects list.
One possible reason for FG’s optimism for Pereira’s future? They believe in the young outfielder’s power potential. After hitting 20 dingers in only 188 at-bats in 2021, FG adjusted both his future raw power and future game power from 50 on the 20-80 scale to 60. That’ll do.
Everson Pereira averaged a home run every eight at-bats in 2021 with a 1.084 OPS (5th best in MILB among qualified players). Of his 57 hits, 31 were for extra bases. Excited to see what he can do at the upper levels in ‘22. pic.twitter.com/3BPkTbI4Z8— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) January 26, 2022
Stock down: Anthony Seigler
2021 FG Ranking: 21st | 2022 FG Ranking: 27th
Seigler, the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2018 Amateur Draft, entered 2021 with an opportunity to climb the ladder of Yankees prospects. A strong season could have catapulted him to within at least striking distance of the top 10 headed into 2022.
Unfortunately, after missing huge chunks of development time in previous seasons to a litany of injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, Seigler only made it into 41 games in 2021, wherein he hit an uninspiring .219 with a .715 OPS. Instead of rising, Seigler instead fell six spots in FG’s rankings, and they downgraded his FV from a 40 to a 35+. Their profile of Seigler ends with a statement that feels pretty on-point … “2022 feels like a make or break season.”
Stock Up: Anthony Volpe
2021 FG Ranking: 14th | 2022 FG Ranking: 1st
Ending on a high note, young Anthony Volpe absolutely shot up FG’s rankings after his transcendent 2021 season. The 13-spot rise into the pole position is impressive on its own. But FG also raised its ceiling on Volpe’s potential moving forward.
A year ago, his future raw power and future game power sat at a relatively uninspiring 45 and 35, respectively. But after Volpe spent 2021 punishing baseballs for some offense they apparently committed against him, FG has adjusted both those numbers to 60. And his Future Value? A year ago it rested at 45. Now? It’s sitting at 60. Only four players in FanGraphs’ Top-100 have a higher FV. And no one at or below Volpe’s level of MiLB can top it.
Volpe heads into 2022 as one of baseball’s truly elite prospects and it is not much of a spoiler to forecast that he will likely appear next week as PSA continues to count down its Top 10 Yankees prospects. And he’s already putting in work to continue improving in 2022.
Anthony Volpe in the batter’s box: pic.twitter.com/OvBDD9JMoY— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 23, 2022
Is there another Volpe lurking somewhere in the Yankees system, ready and waiting to have a breakout season that catapults them to the upper echelon of baseball’s prospects a year from now? I don’t know, but I sure hope so. Just as I hope that players who struggled in 2021 can regain their form and re-solidify their places in the Yankees’ farm system.