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Yankees 2018 Draft Profile: Outfield organizational depth

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The Yankees have a lot of outfielder in their system, but what’s a few more?

New York Yankees v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

The Yankees have six starting-caliber outfielders, and Jacoby Ellsbury, on their 40-man roster right now. This organization is probably set here right now, but as the draft comes, you have to consider the future. There are some interesting people floating around in the minor league system, and it wouldn’t hurt for the Yankees to bing in another injections of talent.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton give the big league team plenty of offense, though neither Brett Gardner nor Aaron Hicks are safe in the long-term. This is where the likes of Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney come in. Frazier has been waiting for a chance in the majors for over a year now. McKinney has pulled his stock out of the toilet over the last two seasons, since the Yankees acquired him. Now it looks like he might actually have a big league future. Both players have recently recovered from injury, so we should be seeing them again eventually.

The organization’s only other star prospect is Estevan Florial, who may be the team’s best now that Gleyber Torres has graduated to the majors. While he’s proven he can hit and field, he did just go down with a hamate injury that will require surgery. Florial will be out the rest of the year, which means he will miss most of a year of development time. Hopefully they can get him into fall ball so it’s not a total loss of time.

If you were expecting the Yankees to have more top outfield prospects than this, it’s important to point out why that might be. First of all, Blake Rutherford was traded away last summer in order to get Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle. Rutherford is off to a good start in 2018, but the Yankees definitely benefited from this trade. The other part of the equation is that international signings like Brayan Emery and Leonardo Molina have yet to blossom. They are still too young to declare them as busts, but we’re starting to get close.

The only other semi-legitimate talent the Yankees have in the outfield are two players who have yet to play this year. According to MLB.com, Everson Pereira and Canaan Smith rank as the no. 22 and no. 24 prospects in the system. Having been signed out of Venezuela this past signing period, Pereira has yet to play professional baseball. However, he is a toolsy center fielder who could be a future leadoff hitter. Smith was taken in the fourth round of last year’s draft out of high school and is said to have impressive power and patience at the plate. Both players will get a chance to play once the full minor league season starts later this summer.

If the Yankees can nab one or two intriguing outfield options, it would go a long way toward filling out the system’s depth chart. Things may look good now, but it’s important to keep the good times rolling in order to prevent any talent gaps from forming.