The Yankees' farm system was ranked 21st in the MLB by Baseball Prospectus for 2015. Even though it's in the bottom half of the league, the Yankees have some impressive kids in the system, like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino. Some prospects are struggling, while others are performing well above expectations. Is it time that some get a chance with the big club?
In the offseason, Baseball America (among other sites) tabbed Severino as the Yankees' top prospect, and they rated Severino 35th in the entire league. Severino was signed for the low price of $225,000 back in 2011, hailing from the Dominican Republic, but he wasn't very highly regarded for his small frame. Severino was off to a great start in Double-A, posting 34 strikeouts, 8 walks, and allowing only 29 hits in 28 innings. His WHIP was 1.32, which is a little high, but nothing to be concerned about. Severino demonstrated a lot of promise this season, up until he experienced some issues with his right middle finger. Severino left his latest start after two innings and four earned runs, and he was then put on the 15-day-DL. Trenton manager Al Pedrique says that Severino's DL stint is nothing to be concerned of, however. Severino will look to continue his quick path from nowhere to the New York Yankees, and he has a good chance of being promoted if he keeps it up.
Judge is the Yankees' second best prospect behind Severino in the system, and some analysts, like ESPN's Keith Law, consider him to be even better than Severino. Judge, a right fielder hailing from California, was drafted in the first round in 2013. And so far this season, Double-A can't stop Judge, they can only hope to contain him. In his first 32 games, Judge's triple slash is .323/.372/.541, and his wRC+ is all the way at 158, which is second on the Thunder only trailing Eric Jagielo. Judge is also second in the Eastern League with six home runs, trailing only Josh Rodriguez of the Binghamton Mets. After seeing some of Carlos Beltran's struggles, some fans called for Judge or Slade Heathcott to be called up to replace him, but I don't think it'd be in the Yankees best interest to rush Judge along, though I could see Heathcott getting a chance with the team. Hopefully, Judge can keep up this current hot streak, as he looks like a very good shot to get into the majors.
Refsnyder was one of the last players cut in spring training, mainly so that he could work on his shaky defense at second base. In his first 13 games in Triple-A Scranton, Refsnyder committed seven errors, further proving the fact that his defense is not MLB-ready. However, since those first 13 games, Refsnyder has only committed one error. The kid's triple slash this season is .289/.348/.380, while striking out 21 times and drawing 10 walks. With Jose Pirela back from injury, there isn't much room on the major league roster for Refsnyder, so for now, Triple-A Scranton is just the place for him to continue improving his glove, which scouts and writers say is still rocky.
Jagielo was drafted 26th overall by the Yankees in 2013, and some people thought that he would be the replacement to Alex Rodriguez at third base. Since that time, the Yankees traded for Chase Headley, and Joe Girardi announced that Rodriguez was not a third baseman anymore. Jagielo hit .259/.354/.460 with 16 home runs in 85 games in High-A Tampa last season. This season, Jagielo was placed in Double-A, where he is dominating the competition. Jagielo has a triple slash of .293/.373/.569, a .942 OPS, and a wRC+ of 165, all of which lead Trenton. Jagielo, like Judge, has been in talks to be promoted to some level, and I feel that increased competition Triple-A Scranton might do Jagielo well. If his numbers stay this high, he may find himself on the Yankees soon enough. Some scouts have even said that Jagielo will someday be an MLB starting third baseman, which would be great news for the team.
Lindgren has been known as "The Strikeout Factory" in Triple-A Scranton so far this season. The 22-year-old has 22 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings pitched, and with the latest UCL tear to Chase Whitley and the callup of Jose Ramirez and Branden Pinder, some have wondered if Lindgren should be the one that's called up to the Yankees. In my opinion, Lindgren would benefit from the MLB time. Like Judge and Jagielo, Lindgren is simply dominating right now. He has a WHIP of 1.22, an ERA of 1.65, and he's only given up 13 hits. Although the competition would be tougher, I feel as though Lindgren would hold a very valuable spot in the bullpen, possibly appearing before the Betances-Miller monster. As long as these stats sustain, Lindgren should find himself on the Yankees very, very soon.
Bird has had somewhat of a rough season so far with the Thunder. His triple slash in his first 25 games this season is .226/.351/.419, with three home runs and 16 strikeouts. Not only are his numbers not the greatest, but Bird is also on the DL right now with an injury to his right shoulder. Bird, like Severino, should be back to 100% soon enough, and maybe some recovery time will help to put Bird back to his normal self. Nevertheless, Bird is still one of the top prospects for the Yankees, and many fans can't wait for him to make it to either Triple-A or the MLB.
These are some of the top prospects in the organization, but other top ones like Slade Heathcott, Jorge Mateo, and Gary Sanchez were left out. The Yankees, in my mind, have an underrated farm system, and if everyone can stay healthy and keep doing what they're doing, it looks like the minor league teams will have great seasons this year. Fans, how do you think these prospects are doing, and should any moves, promotions, or demotions be made?