Baseball America released their Top 10 Yankees prospect list today with right-handed pitcher Luis Severino taking the top spot in the system. That ranking was not surprising after Severino's stock rose meteorically during the 2014 season. The righty pitched to a 2.46 ERA between Low-A Charleston and Double-A Trenton, and is every bit deserving of being called the Yankees' best prospect. Following Severino, outfielder Aaron Judge appears second on the list from Baseball America. It's another non-surprising ranking after Judge batted .308/.419/.486 between Charleston and High-A Tampa in 2014. The 2013 first-rounder also took his talents out to Arizona for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League where he continued to excel.
Shortstop Jorge Mateo, first baseman Greg Bird, and catcher Gary Sanchez round out Baseball America's Top 5. Mateo's ranking comes from the immense praise he gets from scouts about the kind of player he could be despite only playing stateside for one season. The right-handed shortstop batted .276/.354/.397 in his first taste of the Gulf Coast League in 2014. Bird has long been a favorite of Pinstripe Alley, and it's nice to see him finally being ranked around the place that we have thought he deserved. His breakout season in 2013 really put him on the map with over 100 walks for Low-A Charleston, and Bird continued his hitting ways between Tampa and Trenton in 2014 with an .848 OPS between the two levels. Like Judge, Bird was sent to Arizona where he put together a 16-game hitting streak and has been leading the league in nearly all offensive categories, including home runs. The Yankees will be in need of a first baseman sooner than later, and Bird could be a great fit with his left-handed swing that would fit perfectly in Yankee Stadium. Sanchez has experienced a bit of a fall after being considered the team's top prospect for so long. He's still shy of his 22nd birthday, so it's not as though he has fallen too far behind developmentally. Questions about his attitude have come up, leading to a lengthy benching by his coach in Trenton this season. Sanchez still managed to bat .270/.338/.406 in his first full season at Double-A Trenton. The fact of the matter is just that he's fallen behind others in the pecking order.
Left-hander Ian Clarkin comes in at #6 on the Baseball America list after a fine season at Charleston and briefly Tampa. Clarkin was the lone high school pick of the trio of first-rounders the Yankees selected in 2013. It makes sense that they would move him along a little slower than the others. That leaves Eric Jagielo as the only one of the three to not appear on the list. Second baseman Rob Refsnyder appears at #7 after two straight strong seasons on the farm. Refsnyder is knocking on the door of the majors, and could make it there out of spring training if everything breaks right for him. He managed to put up an .884 OPS between Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2014. Refsnyder's stock hasn't been as high as some of the other players' on the list, but he's very deserving of being high in the second half of a Top 10 list at this point.
The Yankees' 2014 first round pick, left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren, makes the list at #8. He was pushed through the system quickly after being drafted in June of this year before reaching a career high innings between college and pros. There is a very good chance that Lindgren could impress the team enough in spring training to make the bullpen for Opening Day. If he doesn't, it certainly won't be long before we see him in New York. His dominating stuff gave him a season ERA of 2.16 between Rookie Ball and Double-A. The numbers are even a bit inflated by some minor struggles in Trenton that led to a 3.86 ERA in 11.2 innings. Lindgren is amazing and he will be able to showcase that at the highest level before too long. Catcher Luis Torrens comes in at #9 on the list at just 18 years old. He began the season at Charleston, where he struggled a bit, before coming back from injury with the Staten Island Yankees. There he batted .270/.327/.405 in 48 games. He's pretty far away from making an impact at the big league level, but it's easy to see why he made the list.
Rounding out the final spot on the list is a bit of a surprise in third baseman Miguel Andujar. Andujar really struggled for the first half of the season with Charleston before turning it on in the second half. He was very shaky defensively, but ended the season with a .267/.318/.397 batting line as a 19-year-old. Obviously Josh Norris, who has worked as a beat writer for the Trenton Thunder before moving on to Baseball America, sees more of these guys than we do. I'll trust his judgment of Andujar, and it's hard to argue that there was clearly someone more deserving of the final spot on the list. Every prospect I could have put there instead has their own set of question marks. Personally, I might have gone with Jagielo here, but I understand the trepidation after scouts suggested he might not be able to stick at third base long-term.
What do you think of this Top 10 list by Baseball America? What changes would you make?