We have gone through the 2017 Yankees and talked about which players should win different team awards, but we have yet to cover the prospects within the system. While offseason ball is still ongoing, it’s probably safe to give out these awards. Here are the prospects in the Yankees organization that deserve recognition for their play in the 2017 season.
MVP: Estevan Florial
The Yankees’ uber-prospect in the making has finally taken his first big step toward can’t-miss territory. This is the kid that teams wanted to trade for when he was just 17 years old in the Dominican Summer League. Brian Cashman has smartly held onto him, and now we see what it’s getting him.
Florial, at the age of 19 years old, hit .298/.372/.479 with 13 home runs and 23 stolen bases between Charleston and Tampa. To say he is advanced for his age is an understatement. He’s now the organization’s No. 3 prospect, and he could move up soon.
For those wondering at home, I initially felt Gleyber Torres deserved this honor, but considering his elbow injury took him out in June, it’s only fair to give the award to someone who played through the entire season.
Cy Young: Chance Adams
The season’s best pitcher was hands down Chance Adams, who put together a strong campaign in 2017. Drafted in 2015, he was converted to be a starter in 2016, where he seemed to flourish. It was impossible to know exactly what he would do from there, but this season was his best yet with a 2.45 ERA and 8.1 K/9 through 150.1 innings of work between Trenton and Scranton.
While this was only his third season in the organization, many believed the Yankees would call him up to the big leagues after accelerating him through the system. He likely would have made his debut this year too, if it wasn’t for those pesky inning limits. He’s bound to make an impact in 2018 at this point.
Comeback Player: Billy McKinney
The Yankees got Billy McKinney from the Cubs in the trade for Aroldis Chapman last year. While the headline was Gleyber Torres, McKinney was a promising prospect who just hadn’t broken out, so Chicago was fine giving him up. Considering he was still recovering from a broken knee, it shouldn’t have been surprising that he struggled in 2016.
Fast forward to 2017, and things have completely changed for him. He hit .277/.338/.483 as a 22-year-old between Double-A and Triple-A, and he managed to hit a career high 16 home runs. He’s gone from being a future minor league free agent to possibly getting a spot on the 40-man roster as soon as this offseason.
Silver Slugger: This isn’t an exact science, but I generally tried to figure out who had the best offensive season at each position. Debate if you must, but I tried to focus on legitimate prospects over the cannon fodder of the year.
C - Donny Sands
1B - Chris Gittens
2B - Nick Solak
SS - Tyler Wade
3B - Miguel Andujar
OF - Isiah Gilliam
OF - Jake Cave
OF - Estevan Florial
DH - Mike Ford
It’s too bad we have no way of judging defensive abilities, otherwise we’d have a Gold Glove award too.