This year has been a good year for Yankees prospects, something that has been a long time coming for both the organization and the fans. It's no surprise then that they appear (twice) on Baseball America's list of the top 20 prospects in the Gulf Coast League.
Ben Badler ranked Yankees shortstop and 2014 eye-catcher Jorge Mateo as the fourth-best prospect in the league. Mateo got a lot of attention this year after hitting .276/.354/.397 with 11 stolen bases in only 58 at-bats. He was downed by a wrist injury for a good portion of the season, but it's obvious that he has a lot going for him. Badler describes him as top-flight runner, with good range and a plus-arm, "has plus bat speed with average power potential and solid understanding of the strike zone." With the Yankees forming a new affiliate in 2015, it will be interesting to see if the 19-year-old will be pushed up to an advanced rookie league before getting a shot in A-ball.
The other Yankees prospect to make the list is fellow shortstop Angel Aguilar, at No. 15. Frequenters of the Baby Bomber Recap should be familiar with Aguilar's production in 2014, as he hit .311/.373/.536 with seven home runs in 167 plate appearances. Badler says that the 19-year-old is a good fielder, despite his lack of range, and "with strong hands and wrists, he's able to generate power through his bat speed," making him a potential power-hitting shortstop, if he can stick there.
Obviously, it's very hard to get excited about rookie ball prospects because they're so young and so far away from the majors, but Mateo has really caught a lot of eyes and Aguilar had a really good year, so it should be interesting to at least see what they can do in 2015.