The Yankees are emptying their minor league tanks and unleashing their prospects onto Major League Baseball in 2015. We've seen Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores, Mason Williams, Branden Pinder, Danny Burawa, Nick Rumbelow, Jacob Lindgren, Matt Tracy, Diego Moreno, and Jose De Paula make their major league debuts with the Yankees this year. That's 10 players and we haven't even reached the All-Star break yet. There are plenty other options waiting for their turn and we might just see some of them over the next three months. Here's a look at the 10 Yankee prospects that have the best chance to reach the majors this year, ranked from most to least likely.
1 | Joel De La Cruz - After a brief call up where he was in the clubhouse for a day and then outrighted without ever pitching, it's still possible that we see Joel De La Cruz at some point this year. If the Yankees were willing to give Diego Moreno a chance, they can't be against De La Cruz getting a token appearance, right?
2 | Nick Goody - Tommy John surgery is now in the rearview mirror and he seems back to the level he was at before the injury. Right now he's still in Double-A, but that should change soon, and he could get caught up in this whole reliever roulette thing if they want someone who might actually be more reliable than Jose Ramirez.
3 | Luis Severino - There exists a real possibility that if the Yankees can't make a significant upgrade to their rotation or bullpen, that Luis Severino might become a major league option at some point in the second half. It's much more likely that they use him as a reliever down the stretch, though maybe it's a better idea to let him get his feet wet in Triple-A first and give him a chance to make the rotation in 2016. How he performs over the next few weeks will be crucial, though.
4 | Ben Gamel - The Yankees have had a lot of outfielders get hurt this year this year and the current outfield alignment isn't too amazing. Any more injuries and they'll need another fourth outfielder, which could end up being Ben Gamel, who is currently in the middle of his best offensive season yet.
5 | Aaron Judge - It's hard to believe, but Aaron Judge is already on the cusp of a major league call up. Sure, if he makes it up, it'll likely be as a September call up, but he's still right there after less than two professional seasons in the books. 2016 is likely to be his year, but there's still a chance here, especially if Carlos Beltran gets hurt (though he seems to be impervious to destruction at this point).
6 | Tyler Webb - There are plenty of left-handed relievers on the active roster right now, so an injury might not necessitate a Tyler Webb call up. Maybe Webb could be used as an additional LOOGY in September if Jacob Lindgren can't return from surgery, but this role seems to be covered for now.
7 | Rob Refsnyder - At this point, if the Yankees don't trust him over the garbage they've been playing at second base this year, you have to imagine that they think very lowly of him as a prospect. There's still a chance the Yankees eventually have no other option, but it's not looking good for him. It's entirely possible that they might even bring him up to serve as a designated hitter to show off his bat before they trade him in the offseason, like they did with Jesus Montero.
8 | James Pazos - Though he hasn't pitched much this season, he's in the same boat as Webb as far as the role he can fill and the space that's available to him. He'll likely be used as more of a middle reliever than as a specialist, like Webb would be, but there are still plenty of arms ahead of him in the pecking order.
9 | Gary Sanchez - The Yankees' top catching prospect isn't really doing much this year, but if Brian McCann or John Ryan Murphy get hit with a serious injury, he's the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. Maybe they could turn to Austin Romine instead, but there is also a non-0% chance Sanchez gets the call in that scenario.
10 | Miguel Sulbaran - He's essentially in the same position as Jaron Long, except he's actually been serviceable this year. Neither of them get scouts very excited, but a Vidal Nuno-type arm could be useful for the short term. If he can be better than Nuno, which shouldn't be hard, there's some value there.
Players like Tyler Austin, Taylor Dugas, Jaron Long, and Eric Ruth, and Mark Montgomery were also considered for this list, but might make up the next five.
We likely won't be seeing most of these guys, but if anyone is going to make it this season, it will be those among these 10 players. Trades are probably going to take place soon, but a lot can happen in three months. Who do you feel is on the way?