Baseball America has released their 2014 top 10 prospects list and it's a little different than we have normally seen.
1. Gary Sanchez, c
2. Slade Heathcott, of
3. Mason Williams, of
4. J.R. Murphy, c
5. Eric Jagielo, 3b
6. Aaron Judge, of
7. Ian Clarkin, lhp
8. Greg Bird, 1b
9. Luis Severino, rhp
10. Gosuke Katoh, 2b
Sanchez is obvious, but after that Heathcott overtakes Williams. J.R. Murphy ranks highly since he is considered major league-ready. Having Jagielo, Judge, and Clarkin so high when two of them haven't had much time in pro ball either shows just how good the Yankees' 2013 draft was or how bad the system has been. After them come a trio of new names. Greg Bird finally gets some recognition after his incredible year, Luis Severino had a solid year in Charleston at the age of 19, while Gosuke Katoh surprised everyone with a great season in Rookie Ball right out of the draft.
Ranking the organization's top 15 prospects under the age of 25 amounts to the same players because the Yankees don't have any older prospects. As part of the team's top 15 prospects, Manny Banuelos, who should be returning from Tommy John surgery this season, makes it at number 11. Abiatal Avelino of Rookie Ball represents the Yankees' best shortstop, Jose Ramirez, Jose Campos, and Rafael De Paula round out the top 15. This all makes me wonder, what happened to Tyler Austin?
Giving out the best tools superlatives:
Greg Bird is the organization's best hitter for average and has shown the best strike-zone discipline.
Mason Williams is the fastest baserunner, the all-around best athlete, and best defensive outfielder.
Cito Culver won best defensive infielder and best infield arm.
Jose Ramirez has the best fastball and the best changeup in the system.
Gary Sanchez is the system's best power hitter.
Nik Turley possesses the best curveball.
Mark Montgomery owns the best slider.
Vidal Nuno has the best control in the system.
J.R. Murphy is the Yankees' best defensive catching prospect.
Slade Heathcott owns the best outfield arm.
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