MLB.com will be releasing their top 100 prospects for the 2014 season later this week, but in the meantime they are publishing their top 10 prospects at every position. So far they have released the lists for first base, catcher, left-handed pitcher, right-handed pitcher, and shortstop, with the Yankees' Greg Bird making the list for first baseman and Gary Sanchez making the list for catchers. While the lists for third, second, and outfield have yet to be released, it is unlikely that any Yankee prospect ranks in the top 10 at those positions.
Greg Bird ranks 7th on the list of top 10 first base prospects after leading all the minors with 107 walks. This year's first base class isn't considered as exciting as seasons past, but Bird ranks behind Jonathan Singleton of the Astros, Dominic Smith of the Mets, C.J. Cron of the Angels, Dan Vogelbach of the Cubs, Matt Olson of the Athletics, and Kyle Parker of the Rockies. On the 20-80 tool scale, where 80 is well above-average, 50 is average, and 20 is well below-average, Bird scored a 55 Hit, 50 Power, 30 Run, 45 Arm, and 45 Field, while scoring a 50 overall.
Basically what this means is he is an average-to-above-average hitter while providing below-average defense. These marks don't exactly make Bird a slam dunk, but MLB explains that "scouts like Bird's hitting ability more than his raw power, but he could wind up being solid in both categories." After a great year, the 21-year-old will likely start the 2014 season in High-A Tampa. If scouts think he will only get better from here then there's a chance he will rank higher overall and by position this time next season.
Gary Sanchez ranks as the 4th best catching prospect in baseball after another solid year at the plate, sitting behind Travis d'Arnaud of the Mets, Austin Hedges of the Padres, and Jorge Alfaro of the Rangers. On the 20-80 scale, he scored a 55 Hit, 65 Power, 30 Run, 70 Arm, and 50 Field, scoring a 60 overall.
It means Sanchez is an above-average power hitter with a cannon for an arm and at least average defense. MLB says "He's always had a huge arm, and while his overall defense has made strides, it's still a work in progress. Sanchez's best improvement may have come in terms of his attitude, something he used to get knocked for." It's good to hear that his defense is actually making some strides, since reports of his defense have been mixed depending on the source you're listening to. He's already in Double-A at the age of 21, so he's well ahead of the curve and has plenty of time to work on his game. If he's become easier to work with then it can only help him reach the majors in a year or two.
The only Yankee prospect expected to be among the top 100 is Gary Sanchez, though the likes of Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, and Slade Heathcott could end up towards the back of the list. Bird could also reach the top 100, though I would be pleasantly surprised if he did.