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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: New York Yankees

More classical gas from Baseball America about Yankee minor leaguers.

1. Mason Williams, of
2. Slade Heathcott, of
3. Gary Sanchez, c
4. Tyler Austin, of
5. Jose Campos, rhp
6. Brett Marshall, rhp
7. Angelo Gumbs, 2b
8. Manny Banuelos, lhp
9. Ty Hensley, rhp
10. Rafael De Paula, rhp

Recent top draft picks Cito Culver (2010) and Dante Bichette (2011) also floundered, but other position prospects flourished while playing together in Class A. Outfielders Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin and catcher Gary Sanchez need more time to develop, but all are candidates to become the first homegrown Yankees to crack the big league lineup on a consistent basis since Brett Gardner in 2008.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner has said he doesn’t want to exceed the $189 million luxury-tax threshold in 2013, but that will be difficult. New York spent roughly $210 million on payroll in 2012, and it carries unenviable contracts for declining players such as Alex Rodriguez ($114 million through 2017) and Mark Teixeira ($93 million through 2016). Its top player, Robinson Cano, is a year away from free agency.

The Yankees have signed and developed young core players in recent years, but they traded Austin Jackson and Montero. The end of the 2012 season made it clear that a new nucleus will have to be developed, and soon.

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4299612)
It'll be interesting to see how & whether they retool, since last year they fielded literally the oldest team in franchise history.
Didn't seem to hurt them much, but it doesn't seem like much of a long-term plan, either.
   2. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4299618)
unenviable contracts for declining players such as Alex Rodriguez ($114 million through 2017)


FTA:

"PROJECTED 2016
LINEUP
Catcher Gary Sanchez
First Base Tyler Austin
Second Base Angelo Gumbs
Third Base Robinson Cano
Shortstop Eduardo Nunez
Left Field Curtis Granderson
Center Field Mason Williams
Right Field Slade Heathcott
Designated Hitter Mark Teixeira"

Ouch!
   3. puck Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4299623)
Recent top draft picks Cito Culver (2010) and Dante Bichette (2011) also floundered

Dante Sr is another guy the Rockies tried to hire, as the batting coach. They have offered the job to Giambi, but he's unsure he'd retire to taking a coaching job.
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4299624)
PROJECTED 2016 LINEUP...Ouch!
That's the silliest thing Baseball America does. The idea that the any team--let alone the Yankees--would have a line-up entirely devoid of free agents or trades is just bizarre. For example, here's the "Projected 2012 Line Up" from the Baseball America 2008 Top Ten Yankee Preview:

Catcher Austin Romine
First Base Jesus Montero
Second Base Robinson Cano
Third Base Alex Rodriguez
Shortstop Derek Jeter
Left Field Brett Gardner
Center Field Austin Jackson
Right Field Jose Tabata
Designated Hitter Bob Abreu

It's just utter fantasy, and I frankly don't understand why Baseball America does it.

EDIT: Also, "Bob" Abreu?
   5. JJ1986 Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4299644)
I think the point is more to see where guys would fit. So if you have three shortstop prospects, which one goes at SS, which one at 2B and which one on the bench. Or which of 4 outfielders will end up in center. They should do it without established players, though.
   6. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4299648)
The idea that the any team--let alone the Yankees--would have a line-up entirely devoid of free agents or trades is just bizarre. For example, here's the "Projected 2012 Line Up" from the Baseball America 2008 Top Ten Yankee Preview

You're taking it way too seriously. It's just a fun/simple way of showing how guys in the system line up.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4299658)

I think the point is more to see where guys would fit. So if you have three shortstop prospects, which one goes at SS, which one at 2B and which one on the bench. Or which of 4 outfielders will end up in center. They should do it without established players, though.


I think the established players usually signify the organization has little in the way of serious MLB talent at that position.
   8. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4299714)
Sorry, I probably should have made it clearer that I do understand it exists primarily to represent where prospects in the organization project at the MLB-level. But I don't see how that's any better than just saying that in their little write-up.

And sometimes it even contradicts the write-up, which just confuses me. The subscriber Top 10 list, for example, says "A corner infielder in his first two seasons, [Tyler] Austin found a home in right field in 2012, exhibiting solid range and a plus arm." But then they slot him in as the 2016 first baseman.

Does this mean 35-year old Curtis Granderson projects as a better player than Austin, so that's why he's in LF and Austin is at first? Or is it just to mean that the Yankees have no first base depth so Austin (who apparently can play there) will be there? I think the whole exercise is just too cute by half, and doesn't serve any real purpose.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4299715)
Owner Hal Steinbrenner has said he doesn’t want to exceed the $189 million luxury-tax threshold in 2013 . . .

Thought that was the goal for 2014.
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4299809)
Speaking of Yankees prospects, this morning I was reading an old Baseball Prospectus and came across this player comment about Robinson Cano. This was written after the 2003 season, i.e., after his age-20 season. Did they have a reasonable basis for missing on him? Should they have seen that he was a legitimate prospect, as they say the Yankees' scouting department saw? Or was it just too early?

Quoting now from the annual:

His age and the organizational affection for him mark Cano as a prospect, but there's not much here. Forget how BP likes plate discipline and how Cano doesn't walk. Having been moved off of shortstop in 2003, he's a second baseman who isn't fast and who hasn't hit for very high averages. His prospect status is almost entirely a scouting thing, where they like the way he looks at the plate and project that he'll fill out his six-foot frame with time. That might happen, but for now, Cano looks like he needs at least one full season in Double-A and lots of improvement. Trade bait.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4299812)
In contrast, here is BP's comment on Dustin Pedroia after the 2004 season, i.e., after his age-20 season:

The first pick by the Sox in the 2004 draft, Pedroia was a superstar at Arizona State, All-Pac-10 all three seasons, once Pac-10 player of the year, and twice National Defensive Player of the Year. He slipped to the Sox at 65th overall because he's only 5'8", but the organization loves him. Though he won't show much power, he hits for a high average and keeps his walks up. His pro debut saw him blitz through the Sally League before performing well at high-A Sarasota. The presence of the newly signed Edgar Renteria and Hanley Ramirez plus Pedroia's size mean his future is most likely on the other side of second. He could quickly turn into the player everyone in Anaheim thought David Eckstein was.
   12. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 10, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4299819)
Should they have seen that he was a legitimate prospect, as they say the Yankees' scouting department saw? Or was it just too early?
I don't really think they missed that badly, reading the comment. Reviewing his performance record to that point, his highest OPS at any level was .756, and he'd never hit higher than .280 anywhere. They do say "prospect status is almost entirely a scouting thing," which basically comports with the numbers. If you leave out the "Trade Bait," line, it's just about perfect.

(In fact, Cano did show "lots of improvement" in his second go-around at Double-A, hitting .301/.356/.497 in '04.)
   13. SM Posted: November 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4299861)
And Sickels missed on him too :
2002 Grade C; 2003 Grade C; 2004 Grade C+; 2005 Grade B-. I was definitely too low on him. He turned out much better than I expected.
   14. Srul Itza Posted: November 10, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4299875)
And Sickels missed on him too :


Isn't this the part where somebody should be quoting Dave Cameron:


I guess I should have nominated Cano in the most overrated prospect thread the other day. That he still gets talked up as some kind of top prospect (not pointing at John here, by the way) amazes me.

I've seen Cano play a lot, and I'm not even sure he'd be a productive Triple-A player. Let's start with his defense; it's brutal. He has terrible footwork and simply lacks any kind of instincts around the bag. There's no way you want him playing up the middle. He might have the raw speed to not be awful in left field, but that's about as kind as I can be regarding his glovework. Offensively, he's a fastball hitter. He sits dead red on every pitch and waits for a mistake. Any good breaking ball or offspeed pitch will have him out in front. He's mostly a gap hitter, lacking the power to drive the ball consistently over the wall. To add insult to injury, he's also a terrible baserunner.

In his prime, I think he could hit .280/.320/.400 while playing awful defense. Yipee.

-David Cameron, February 20, 2005
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4299898)
If you leave out the "Trade Bait," line, it's just about perfect.


He was trade bait too. The Yanks moved him to third briefly in the minors to try to entice the Royals into acquiring him for Carlos Beltran, but the Royals were more interested in Mark Teahen.
   16. catomi01 Posted: November 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4299900)
he's also a terrible baserunner


at least cameron got something right in his review....
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4299901)
Cameron's negative report being entirely a SCOUTING report rather than based on numbers is particularly striking.
   18. Harvey Berkman Posted: November 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4299907)
It's just utter fantasy, and I frankly don't understand why Baseball America does it.


I'll bite:

2016 LINEUP
Catcher Matt Wieters
First Base Jesus Montero
Second Base Robinson Cano
Third Base David Wright
Shortstop Elvis Andrus
Left Field Alex Gordon
Center Field Andrew McCutchen
Right Field Justin Upton
Designated Hitter Mark Teixeira"
   19. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: November 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4299978)
And sometimes it even contradicts the write-up, which just confuses me. The subscriber Top 10 list, for example, says "A corner infielder in his first two seasons, [Tyler] Austin found a home in right field in 2012, exhibiting solid range and a plus arm." But then they slot him in as the 2016 first baseman.

Does this mean 35-year old Curtis Granderson projects as a better player than Austin, so that's why he's in LF and Austin is at first? Or is it just to mean that the Yankees have no first base depth so Austin (who apparently can play there) will be there? I think the whole exercise is just too cute by half, and doesn't serve any real purpose.


It means the Yankees have organizational OF depth. Again, I think the exercise does what it's supposed to do and it seems clear to me.
   20. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: November 11, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4300114)
Mason Williams

What a gas!
   21. philly Posted: November 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4300132)
It's just utter fantasy, and I frankly don't understand why Baseball America does it.


They actually stopped doing it several years ago and supposedly there was an overwhelmingly negative response to it. So they brought it back because it is apparently what the people want.
   22. CONservative governMENt! Posted: November 11, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4300274)
Bookmark this page.

The ten prospects listed here are good for 100 win shares, easy.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4300280)
What a gas!

See intro :-)
   24. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4300339)
Not to get back to the prospects or anything, but two of these guys have experience in AA or above. One of them missed most of the season with an elbow injury and the other struck out 6.8 in the pitcherest of pitcher parks.

The young guys are exciting players and all, but a long way away. The system is really not where it was a couple of years ago. Which is understandable given the trades and promotions, but still kind of a bummer.
   25. CONservative governMENt! Posted: November 12, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4300429)
If by a couple of years ago you mean the 2010 list, it read as follows:
1 Montero
2 Sanchez
3 Betances
4 Banuelos
5 Brackman
6 Romine
7 Noesi
8 Nunez
9 Heathcott
10 Laird

I like the current list better, even with Banuelos and Campos dealing with injuries.
   26. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 12, 2012 at 02:48 AM (#4300431)
I like the current list better, even with Banuelos and Campos dealing with injuries.

Well, in retrospect, a lot of those guys did absolutely nothing. And a few of them were role players in the upper levels. It was high risk guys mixed with low ceiling guys. But Betances was making progress, Montero looked like an impact bat, Romine looked like a good catcher and some of those guys (I can't remember exactly who) didn't appear to be all that far away. Brackman and Laird probably never belonged on the list in the first place. But at least that list had guys who appeared to provide depth to the Major League team.

Prospects in Single-A, even promising, toolsy guys like Williams Sanchez, or Gumbs, are still extremely long shots. Almost all of these guys are so far away that it's hard to get worked up about them or realistically project them in the majors. I suppose it's a matter of taste, but I prefer seeing at least some guys in the high minors. I mean, I like David Adams and Corban Joseph a bunch, but the Yank's impact talent is just so far away right now.
   27. CONservative governMENt! Posted: November 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4300572)
Montgomery will be an impact reliever in 2013 and Romine still has a chance of being a useful player soon.

I like this list because the position players have produced, rather than just having tools or being young for their league. Another year of similar progress plus Campos, DePaula and Hensley and the system could be viewed as stacked in 2013.
   28. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 12, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4300627)
Brackman and Laird probably never belonged on the list in the first place.


I dunno, Brackman after the 2010 season was looking like a legitimate major league pitcher. For a highly-touted college arm two years removed from TJ surgery to suddenly put up a 3-1 K/BB ratio with 8K/9 while demonstrating major league "stuff" and a 6'10 frame has to be considered a good sign for optimism. His falling apart in 2011 was depressing as hell as his 2009 control problems not only reappeared but actually got demonstrably worse.
   29. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 12, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4300656)
Montgomery will be an impact reliever in 2013 and Romine still has a chance of being a useful player soon.

I forgot about Montgomery, he should be fun to watch. Romine's defensive rep have gone down every time he has moved up a level. And I don't really see the bat developing. Of course, he is a catcher and they tend to take longer to develop as hitters.

I like this list because the position players have produced, rather than just having tools or being young for their league. Another year of similar progress plus Campos, DePaula and Hensley and the system could be viewed as stacked in 2013.

That's a reasonable and positive way to look at it. Of course, you need that one more year of similar progress and that's exactly why low minors guys don't excite me nearly as much. This will certainly be a big year for the farm system.

For a highly-touted college arm two years removed from TJ surgery to suddenly put up a 3-1 K/BB ratio with 8K/9 while demonstrating major league "stuff" and a 6'10 frame has to be considered a good sign for optimism.

I definitely agree there was reason for optimism, but the 5th best prospect in the system? I know age doesn't matter as much for pitchers, but he was very old for his league, he had a 5.10 ERA in A ball during that year (60 IP) to go along with his 6.22 K/BB ratio, and while his numbers in AA (80 IP) were promising, they weren't overwhelming (7.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9) and he put them up in Trenton. I was excited at his progress at the time, but I'm not sure that's what the best year of a top five in the system prospect should look like, even one with grade A stuff. Of course, the guys below him weren't all that impressive.

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