The offseason is winding down which means that it is time for new prospect rankings. Earlier in the week, Baseball Prospectus and Minor League Ball both released their updated prospect rankings. Though the former focuses on the top 101 prospects in baseball, and the latter is Yankee specific, they both agreed that Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are the top three prospects in the Yankees' system. This also holds true on MLB's Top 100 Prospect list that was released last night.
Among Yankee prospects, Mateo took the top spot at #30. The young shortstop is known primarily for his speed as he stole a whopping 82 bases in 117 games last season. He's also a decent hitter and slashed .278/.345/.392 last year between Charleston and Tampa. Although he only hit two home runs during the season, he has shown the ability to hit for power during batting practice. In the past there had been concern about his throwing arm, but scouts say he has gotten stronger and consider it a plus tool now. Considering that Mateo has yet to hit above High-A in the minors, he is still a long ways away, but MLB thinks he could break into the majors in 2018 if all goes according to plan.
Aaron Judge took the second highest ranking of the Yankee prospects, finishing just behind Mateo at #31. When this list was released at the same time a year ago, the only Yankees that were included were Luis Severino (#23) and Judge (#68). He made quite a jump up the list over the past year as he split the season between Double-A and Triple-A. While he thrived in Trenton batting .284/.350/.516 and hitting 12 home runs, Judge did not adjust quite as easily in Scranton. The huge right fielder's strikeout percentage rose to 28.5% and he collected less hits (although his walk percentage did rise to 11.2%). There's no huge cause for concern over just half of a season though, and in all likelihood, Judge will make his major league debut at some point in 2016.
The last Yankee to make the list is Gary Sanchez, taking the 59th spot. Sanchez has always been said to have a lot of raw power, and that really showed in 2015. He started the year in Double-A where he hit 12 home runs before being promoted to Scranton for the first time. Unlike Judge, Sanchez had no trouble adjusting and slashed .295/.349/.500 in 146 plate appearances. Sanchez also played in the Arizona Fall League where he was absolutely dominant, hitting 7 home runs and slugging .625 through 22 games. The catcher still has some work to do on his blocking and receiving, but he's said to have shown improvement in those areas in 2015. Now that the Yankees have traded away John Ryan Murphy, Sanchez is the top catcher in the minors, and it appears that he will compete with Austin Romine for the backup catcher role during spring training. Even if Sanchez doesn't start the season in the majors, the Yankees will certainly call him up at some point during the year.
Do you agree with this order? Should any other Yankees have cracked the Top 100 list?