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Yankees Prospects: Transcript of Jim Callis' Twitter chat

Some insightful bits about the Yankees farm system


Following's release of their top 20 Yankees prospects list, Jim Callis opened up his Twitter account for questions about the system. Here is what we were able to learn:

The system's real problem:

It seems that Callis believes the system has struggled recently due to health problems. In the last few years, they have dealt with injuries to top prospects Manny Banuelos, Jose Ramirez, and Tyler Austin, as well as draft picks like Ty Hensley and Jake Cave. It's worth wondering whether this really is the true issue or if something still needs to be fixed.

Eric Jagielo:

It's good to see that Jagielo should be fine at third base. It's unfortunate that it could take as many as three seasons before he is ready for the big leagues because they could use him as soon as right now. Hopefully he'll be ready when the time comes.

Aaron Judge:

The Yankees took Aaron Judge because they liked his projectable power, but he has yet to show that power in-game, so a lot of his value is hypothetical. While some have said the Yankees could rush him through the system, I think they see him as much more of a project until we see if he can do what they think he can do.

Manny Banuelos:

If Manny Banuelos can recover from Tommy John surgery and become, not just a staple, but a top of the rotation option, that would be amazing. With CC Sabathia likely in decline and Hiroki Kuroda being gone after 2014, Banuelos could become very useful in 2015

Breakout candidates:

Mitchell made his list at No. 14 and Jake Cave was among those mentioned in his 21-25 prospects group. Cave has dealt with injury, but there's reason to believe he can put things together in 2014. Mitchell has been disappointing, though the potential is there. He's been impressive in camp so far.

Rafael De Paula:

While De Paula was certainly exciting to follow in the first half of 2013, he was beaten up once he reached a higher level. If he can't adapt to more challenging hitters then moving him to relief makes a lot of sense. I suppose it's all a balance of whether it's better to hold out hope as long as possible or make the call now and get him to the big leagues faster.

Gary Sanchez:

We know that Gary Sanchez has a cannon behind the plate, but his receiving is what we're all wondering about. If he "can be" average, that's fine, but it also means he's got a lot of work to do. After we saw how bad Jesus Montero was behind the plate, it's made me fearful that the Yankees will try to pretend like Sanchez is improving when he's really not in order to increase his value.

2014 call ups:

I hope that all four can help in 2014, but it's pretty obvious that the Yankees won't be getting much help from their position players, just like in 2013. Perhaps he's not counting someone like Jose Pirela, but then an appearance from him might not end up being much of a good thing.

Outfield prospects:

It's likely that the Yankees decided to extend Brett Gardner because they lost faith in their top outfield prospects, so I don't see any of them threatening his chances with the team. Seeing how Austin was the only one among them to drop in ranking from 2013, it's likely that Callis still doesn't expect much from the rest of the bunch. Slade Heathcott can't stay healthy to be an everyday player and Mason Williams isn't much of a hitter, so Austin, despite a wrist injury, could be the best of them.

I think Refsnyder offers the Yankees the quickest solution at second base, though Katoh likely has a better upside. If Refsnyder can hit like he did last year and offer adequate defense then it's possible they push him through the system to make him an option in 2015. If Katoh is for real, they would then have an All-Star quality second baseman waiting in the wings as well.

As excited as we have been about our favorite Greg Bird, it's important that he shows he can repeat his success this season. Scouts like his power and OBP potential, so it could make sense to line him up as a potential replacement for Mark Teixeira after 2016.

What do you think?