As we return to regularly scheduled baseball tonight after the All-Star break, we decided that it might be a good time to check in on the Yankees prospects at the mid-point of the season. We put together a Top 30 list before the season began, but decided to shorten that to a Top 10 for these purposes. Andrew, Jason, and I submitted our individual lists, which you can see at the bottom of the page, and I combined them for the purposes of one master list. Keep in mind that some of us weigh things like future potential, ceiling, and current results differently. It's amazing to see how close we were on some while being so far apart on others. With that being said, on to the list.
1. RHP Luis Severino - Double-A Trenton
Andrew: I felt optimistic about Severino before the season, including him at the bottom of my top 10, but the 20-year-old has rocketed up the list by thoroughly dominating both levels of A-ball. Scouts say his is the real deal, and if so, the Yankees could have a real gem on their hands.
Jason: The righty has taken the system by storm this year and has generated enough excitement to push his way to the top of the list. While his delivery is violent, he's getting the results you want to see and could have three plus pitches very soon.
Tanya: The right-hander has shot up through the Yankees' system this season with fantastic results, and represented the organization well in his outing at the Futures Game. A promotion to Trenton already means that the Yankees aren't afraid to hand him a challenge, and he's been able to meet all of those they've thrown his way so far this year. And he's only 20 years old.
2. C Gary Sanchez - Double-A Trenton
Andrew: Although the five-game benching and middling performance have led to some serious questions about Sanchez's prospect status, he still certainly has enough potential to remain highly regarded.
Jason: Despite his status as a top prospect, Sanchez hasn't generated the excitement that Severino has recently. He's been solid, but his value has been floundering for awhile now.
Tanya: Sanchez is currently putting up a similar season to what he did a year ago between Tampa and Trenton. Between his lengthy benching and so-so performance, he's not the most exciting prospect in the Yankees' system anymore.
3. OF Aaron Judge - High-A Tampa
Andrew: Like Severino, Judge has flown up the Yankees' top prospects list with full force, as A-ball pitching has badly struggled against him all year long. Could Judge be the position player prospect who finally breaks through for the Yankees?
Jason: The Yankees' monstrous draft pick is already pushing his way toward the top of the list, not just for his power-potential, but for his actual in-game ability to to get on base.
Tanya: Judge has emerged as the top outfielder in the system after the disappointments of Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, and Slade Heathcott. He crushed Low-A pitching to start the season and has kept right on hitting since his promotion to Tampa. No reason he can't continue to rise quickly through the system and on prospect lists.
4. 3B Eric Jagielo - High-A Tampa
Andrew: Although a ribcage injury oddly sustained during a home run at-bat has limited Jagielo to 43 games so far, the bat has remained hot since his initial success with Charleston last year.
Jason: He was really starting to do well before he went down with an oblique injury. Jagielo's position gives him added value, though his defense has come under scrutiny recently.
Tanya: The home run power is enticing, as is the fact that he was able to meet the challenge of starting this season at High-A. An injury cost him some time this year and there are questions about his future at third base, but the bat will likely be what carries him anyway.
5. LHP Ian Clarkin - Low-A Charleston
Andrew: Just 19 years old, the Yankees challenged Clarkin somewhat by having him skip Staten Island, and he hasn't missed a beat, as the lefty has pitched to a 3.49 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, both figures that are easily better than league average.
Jason: He's definitely the top lefty in the system and he's been more impressive than his ERA shows he's been.
Tanya: Clarkin's stuff has been as advertised so far this season, even after starting out in Charleston instead of Short Season ball. His ability to dazzle when he takes the mound already makes him the best left-handed prospect in the Yankees' system.
6. 1B Greg Bird - High-A Tampa
Andrew: Now in Tampa, Bird has understandably regressed somewhat from his otherworldly 2013 season, especially in the power department, but a 116 wRC+ is nothing to completely dismiss.
Jason: While he hasn't been as amazing as he was last season, he's still been fairly solid. As a first baseman he needs to keep hitting and so far that hasn't been a problem.
Tanya: Bird's numbers aren't as eye-popping as last year and the power just hasn't been there yet in 2014. However, he's still hitting extremely well and working walks, which helped him get to a 100-walk season a year ago.
7. 2B Rob Refsnyder - Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Andrew: The third prospect on this top 10 to make a huge jump up the list, Refsnyder's ceiling isn't as high as Severino or Judge, but his unstoppable bat at Trenton and now Scranton cannot be ignored. He should really be in the majors already.
Jason: Yes, he's been given a lot of hype, but seeing as how many of the Yankees' prospects are crashing to earth and his star continues to rise, it makes sense for him to show up.
Tanya: I am all in on the Refsnyder hype train. His bat has impressed at every level, including the ones that aren't especially friendly to hitters. He's shown power recently and knows how to get on base. Seems like it's just a matter of when he gets the call. Obviously I weighed his success this season much more aggressively than Jason or Andrew.
8. SS Abiatal Avelino - Low-A Charleston
Andrew: Did not rank
Jason: Another prospect whose season was interrupted by injury, the top shortstop in the system has shown the ability to hit after his breakout 2013 season.
Tanya: The hopes for a homegrown shortstop of the future likely fall to 19-year-old Avelino. Injuries have restricted him to 33 games this season, but he has a .786 OPS in that span of games.
9. C Luis Torrens - Short Season-A Staten Island
Andrew: Did not rank
Jason: While he struggled with his initial assignment to Low-A Charleston, Torrens continues to show that he has a legitimate bat and can learn the position.
Tanya: The 18-year-old started the season struggling a bit in the Sally League, but after returning from injury and suiting up for the Staten Island Yankees all Torrens is doing is hitting. He has plenty of time to master the next level.
10. RHP Rafael De Paula - High-A Tampa
Andrew: The control problems that tarnished de Paula's stint in Tampa last year have subsided, and it's easy to salivate at his wicked 10.4 K/9 and 3.36 FIP in 19 games thus far.
Jason: Did not rank
Tanya: Did not rank
|Rafael De Paula
Who would you consider the Yankees' top prospect as of the halfway point this season? Are you looking for ceiling more than performance or vice versa?