New York Yankees Top 38 Prospects by Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein January 14, 2022 Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the New York Yankees. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as our own observations. This is the second year we’re delineating between two anticipated relief roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers. A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here. All of the numbered prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2022 2021 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Yankees Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Anthony Volpe 20.7 A+ SS 2024 60 2 Oswald Peraza 21.6 AAA SS 2022 50 3 Luis Medina 22.7 AA MIRP 2022 50 4 Jasson Dominguez 18.9 A CF 2025 50 5 Alexander Vargas 20.2 R SS 2023 50 6 Clarke Schmidt 25.9 MLB SP 2022 45+ 7 Yoendrys Gómez 22.2 A SP 2022 45+ 8 Everson Pereira 20.8 A+ CF 2022 45+ 9 Antonio Gomez 20.2 A C 2024 45+ 10 Deivi García 22.7 MLB SP 2022 45 11 Luis Gil 23.6 MLB SIRP 2022 45 12 Oswaldo Cabrera 22.9 AAA 2B 2022 45 13 Trey Sweeney 21.7 A 3B 2025 45 14 Ken Waldichuk 24.0 AA MIRP 2023 45 15 Austin Wells 22.5 A+ RF 2023 40+ 16 T.J. Sikkema 23.5 A- SP 2023 40+ 17 Hayden Wesneski 24.1 AAA SP 2022 40+ 18 Ron Marinaccio 26.5 AAA MIRP 2022 40+ 19 Stephen Ridings 26.4 MLB SIRP 2022 40+ 20 Randy Vasquez 23.2 AA MIRP 2022 40 21 Anthony Garcia 21.4 A RF 2023 40 22 Matt Sauer 23.0 A+ SP 2022 40 23 JP Sears 25.9 AAA SP 2022 40 24 Beck Way 22.4 A+ SP 2024 40 25 Brock Selvidge 19.4 R MIRP 2026 40 26 Brendan Beck 23.3 R SP 2025 40 27 Anthony Seigler 22.6 A+ C 2023 35+ 28 Marcos Cabrera 20.3 R 3B 2023 35+ 29 Mitch Spence 23.7 A+ MIRP 2023 35+ 30 Nicio Rodriguez 22.4 A SIRP 2023 35+ 31 Tyrone Yulie 20.4 A SIRP 2024 35+ 32 Ryder Green 21.7 A RF 2023 35+ 33 Denny Larrondo 19.6 R SP 2024 35+ 34 Madison Santos 22.4 A CF 2023 35+ 35 Fidel Montero 18.1 R RF 2025 35+ 36 Edgar Barclay 23.6 A+ SIRP 2023 35+ 37 Brandon Lockridge 24.8 AA CF 2022 35+ 38 Josh Breaux 24.3 AA C 2022 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 60 FV Prospects 1. Anthony Volpe, SS Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Delbarton HS (NJ) (NYY) Age 20.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 55/60 35/60 50/50 40/45 50 The 30th overall pick in 2019, Volpe had a uninspiring professional debut but transformed himself during the lost pandemic season and returned in ’21 with one of the best performances in all of the minor leagues, slugging .604 across two levels and not missing a beat after earning a mid-season promotion from Low- to High-A. Working with a private instructor on a daily basis during the pandemic, Volpe completely re-engineered his swing, which is now exceptionally compact and uncomplicated, while also focusing on a bat path that leads to line drives and more balls in the air. He complemented that with a workout routine that added 15-20 pounds of muscle without sacrificing anything in the way of athleticism. Volpe has a solid approach and a potential plus bat with feel for contact and plenty of plate coverage. Despite the gaudy home runs totals, his power falls more in the plus category than being anything monstrous, though some evaluators think he could hit between .280 and .300 with 20-25 home runs a year if everything comes together. And while he stole 33 bases in 2021, he’s more of a solid runner than a burner; his totals do speak to his baseball instincts, however, which are well beyond his age in every aspect of his game. Volpe has also impressed defensively. He’s not a special fielder, and his arm is merely average, but he projects as good enough to stay at shortstop and reach the big leagues as an average defender at baseball’s hardest position. He doesn’t turn 21 until the end of April, but Volpe should start the year at Double-A Somerset, and while a 2022 big league debut is unlikely, it’s not out of the question. 50 FV Prospects 2. Oswald Peraza, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 176 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 50/55 50/50 40/50 60/60 55/60 55 Peraza moved into our 50 FV tier last offseason and spent most of 2021 as a 21-year-old at Double-A, where he hit .294/.348/.466 at the new Somerset affiliate. If Gleyber Torres continues to scuffle, Peraza might simply be the best big-league ready middle infielder currently in the organization by early summer, and we think his talent is commensurate with that of an everyday shortstop. Peraza seems to track pitches with his eyes extremely well and while his curt, top-hand-driven swing has a flat path, he still manages to hit a lot of line drives and fly balls. These three things in concert suggest that he has special feel for impacting the bottom half of the baseball, and not just for making frequent contact but for absolutely squaring it up. Peraza uses a big, slow leg kick and has a very athletic, balanced, and flexible lower half throughout his swing’s finish. It helps him bend at the waist and dive toward the outer half of the zone, where he can smack balls the other way. He ditches the leg kick with two strikes to prioritize contact. While the entire offensive package is dragged down a little bit by his tendency to expand the strike zone, the hit/power combination comfortably clears the offensive bar at shortstop, where Peraza is a good defender. 3. Luis Medina, MIRP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 65/70 60/70 45/55 30/40 96-99 / 101 Medina’s prospect status exploded last winter with an overwhelming performance in Puerto Rico, and it continued to grow after a seven start run at High-A Hudson Valley that included 50 strikeouts and just 18 hits allowed over 32.2 innings. Spending the last two-thirds of the season at Double-A Somerset, he continued to showcase fantastic raw stuff, but the flaws in his game also became more readily apparent. On the right day, Medina can be nothing short of electric. His fastball is parked comfortably in the 96-98 mph range, and he hit triple digits frequently during the season. His low-80s curveball is a plus or better offering with tremendous depth, and he really deadens the spin on an upper-80s changeup that features hard, tumbling action. Medina’s command remains below average, as his sub-standard 13.3% walk rate in 2021 was actually an improvement from his career rate of nearly 16%. High pitch counts had him averaging fewer than five innings per start in 2021, and his upright, arm-heavy delivery, which has a finish that causes him to spin off strongly to the first base side, gives many scouts strong reliever vibes. It’s a starter’s repertoire but it will take considerable improvement for him to continue to profile there. Medina’s 2022 affiliate assignment will be determined in spring training, with all of the focus being on his ability to throw strikes, as the arsenal is already more than big-league ready. 4. Jasson Dominguez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 60/60 20/60 60/55 40/50 60 Dominguez spent a couple of years holding the title of the most famous prospect without a professional at-bat, a crown he was happy to relinquish after spending the first part of 2021 in extended spring training. While all of that attention led to what were surely unrealistic public expectations, his performance in Low-A disappointed to the point of creating some legitimate questions about his upside. Any conversation about Dominguez begins with his size, as he’s put on somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-plus pounds in the last 24 months, not all of which is muscle. He has a powerful swing and generates tremendous exit velocities for his age, but he also showed far more swing-and-miss than expected. A switch-hitter, Dominguez’s swing was much better from the left side, as he slugged just .241 against southpaws with a 43% strikeout rate. A borderline burner when he signed for a $5.1 million bonus in 2019, Dominguez is still a plus runner, but his size has led many to think his future is in a corner, where he profiles as a plus right fielder with a weapons-grade arm. There are plenty of mitigating factors to excuse Dominguez’s performance, particularly his age and the rust that had almost certainly accumulated in the time between his signing and when he finally made his pro debut. He’ll be just 19 years old for the entirety of the 2022 season, and there’s still plenty to be excited about in terms of his potential, as his tools are still on par with those of a typical draft’s top handful of picks. But also, Dominguez’s showing last season made it appear as though he isn’t going to have a meteoric, superstar ascent. 5. Alexander Vargas, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 20.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/55 35/50 30/45 60/60 45/60 60 Most teams had multi-million dollar evaluations on Vargas when he was an amateur based on how he looked in workouts. Because of when he left Cuba, he was old enough to sign immediately. The Reds were interested and are rumored to have offered more money, but they needed Vargas to wait until the following signing period to get the deal done, so the Yankees swooped in with comparable money and got pen to paper sooner. The broad strokes scouting report here — über-athletic, switch-hitting, no-doubt shortstop with explosive rotational athleticism — is the foundation of a great prospect, arguably one with both a high floor and ceiling. Switch-hitters who can play an excellent shortstop tend to be rosterable big leaguers for a whole host of obvious reasons, even if they lack power. While Vargas hasn’t developed notable pop yet, he’s barely 20, has a sinewy, somewhat projectable frame (we’re not talking about Fernando Tatis Jr. or anything like that) and is an electrifying athlete. His plate discipline and bat-to-ball skill are both fine, definitely behind those of the other complex-level shortstops we’ve championed to this degree (Brayan Rocchio comes to mind first) but not so bad as to be a red flag. Because of his defensive fit, Vargas need only develop an acceptable level of strength to project as a decent everyday player (which we think he’ll do) and because he’s such a special athlete, there’s a chance he blows right past “acceptable” and becomes a freak. Because of when Vargas signed, his 40-man evaluation year is already here. There’s a sizable gap between the physicality of the typical big leaguer and that of 2021 Vargas. At this stage, he’s shaping up to be a very interesting Rule 5/40-man case for next offseason, though there’s a chance he adds meaningful strength over the winter and everything we’ve been projecting for the last couple of years starts to arrive. 45+ FV Prospects 6. Clarke Schmidt, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from South Carolina (NYY) Age 25.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 70/70 40/45 45/45 91-95 / 96 Schmidt looked primed for a big role on the major league squad in 2021, but a spring training elbow strain lingered well into the summer, delaying his return to the mound until late July and limiting his time in the big leagues to just a couple of appearances at the end of the season. It’s hard to know if Schmidt was ever fully healthy last season, as his stuff was below what he had shown in previous years. His two- and four-seam fastballs sat between 92-94 mph and were generally two ticks under the range he had normally shown in the past. His best pitch remains a low-80s curveball with strong, late bite, but he’s also brought an upper-80s slider back into his arsenal and it’s nearly as effective an offering. His changeup is firm but moves well. Schmidt’s injury history (he had Tommy John surgery in 2017) and lunging, unathletic delivery have many wondering if he’d just be better off as a reliever, despite his deep repertoire. The Yankees, meanwhile, are just hoping his stuff can rebound to its previous level before they spend too much time considering his future role. 7. Yoendrys Gómez, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 22.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 50/55 40/50 40/55 93-96 / 98 Gómez was a surprise 40-man addition following the 2020 campaign, but his ’21 began with a bout of arm soreness that delayed his season. The Yankees treated him with kids gloves upon his return, limiting him to four innings or less in his nine starts for Low-A Tampa, although he pitched well in limited action. The quality of Gómez’s stuff has seen slow and steady growth since he signed out of Venezuela in 2016. He gets solid backspin and movement on a low-to-mid-90s fastball than can touch 98, and he’s shown an ability to not only throw strikes with the pitch but to locate it within the zone as well. His most frequent out pitch is a power breaker in the low-to-mid-80s that some see as a distinct curve and slider. His changeup flashes average, but lacks consistency. A clean delivery with good momentum, combined with three solid offerings, gives him potential to be a No. 4 starter, but questions remain. Between the pandemic, three seasons in short-season ball and his shortened 2021 campaign, Gómez has yet to throw more than 56.1 innings in a season, so he still hasn’t proven that he can deliver the goods over a full season, though in fairness he hasn’t had much opportunity to do so. He’ll look to in 2022, likely beginning the year at High-A Hudson Valley. 8. Everson Pereira, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/60 35/60 55/55 40/45 55 The Yankees slow-played Pereira in 2021 after he struggled in short-season ball, but by the end of the year, they were accelerating his progression. After beginning the season in extended spring training, Pereira slugged his way from the Complex League to High-A Hudson Valley while launching 20 home runs in just 49 games. Pereira’s bat speed is nothing short of special. He already shows plus or better raw power with the potential for more, as he doesn’t turn 21 until April, and he has already added considerable muscle to his athletic frame. He demonstrated significant improvement in his swing decisions in 2021, but his uphill bat path creates some holes, and he’ll likely always rack up lofty strikeout totals. Pereira has primarily played center field as a pro and is still an average-or-better runner, but he profiles more as a future plus right fielder with a strong arm. His 2021 created a lot of anticipation as to what he can do over a full season, and he’ll likely begin 2022 back in High-A. 9. Antonio Gomez, C Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 45/50 30/40 40/30 45/60 80 Gomez stood out as a young amateur because of his one truly freakish ability: he has a stone-cold 80 arm (clocked in the mid-80s with a radar gun) and a quick release that allows him to regularly post pop times below 1.80 in games. Gomez used the initial COVID layoff to remake his body. He was a thick-in-the-middle 30 runner as an amateur, which is part of why he signed for just $600,000, but he was clearly a good baseball athlete. Instead of timed speed or visible strength, he displayed quick-twitch movement, first-step quickness, lateral agility while ball-blocking, and hitting explosion through strength in his forearms, wrists, and hands. A virtual lock to catch, Gomez has soft hands and is mobile behind the plate, and he has impact arm strength. The pandemic cost him a vital season, and he enters his 40-man roster evaluation year with just 17 games of experience above rookie ball. To this point, Gomez has hit everywhere he’s been, even if it has been the low minors. He’s slashed .269/.369/.423 across two seasons and didn’t turn 20 until this offseason. While somewhat grooved, his swing is geared for in-game power, which gives him a chance to get to average raw pop. He’s tracking a lot like Austin Hedges was at the same age, although Gomez has better plate discipline. Here we have the ceiling of an everyday catcher, likely one with one-dimensional offense and a golden glove and arm. The developmental timeline and bust rate of young catchers is factored into the FV here. 45 FV Prospects 10. Deivi García, SP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.7 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 163 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/45 50/55 55/55 45/55 40/50 91-95 / 97 García’s command/control regressed in 2021, and he walked 15% of the hitters he faced at Triple-A Scranton. He has never both been healthy and thrown an above-average rate of strikes at the same time; he’s only ever done one or the other, and his walk issues have trended in the wrong direction as he’s climbed the minor league ladder. The issues were part of why he was limited to just two big league starts a year after he had made six of them during the shortened 2020 season. There are still starter ingredients here: García is as plus on-mound athlete with a well-defined four-pitch mix. He started using his slider more in 2021, and we think he has continuous changeup projection because of his arm action and athleticism. We haven’t and still don’t have size-related concerns about García handling a starter’s workload; instead, it’s a lack of strike-throwing efficiency that makes him look more like a five-and-dive type of starter than one who’ll consistently give you six-plus innings. He only sat 92-93 mph in 2021, down a tick from his ’19 peak. He’s now in No. 4/5 starter territory. 11. Luis Gil, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (MIN) Age 23.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/70 55/60 30/40 35/40 93-97 / 99 Gil’s big league career began with two efficient starts at a time when the injury-riddled Yankees desperately needed them. That efficiency was a pleasant surprise given Gil’s walk-prone history, but he quickly regressed to career norms and continues to project as a late-inning reliever. That would still be a great outcome, as Gil was acquired in the one-for-one Jake Cave trade with Minnesota, simply because Cave was getting squeezed off the roster. At that juncture, Gil was a hard-throwing lottery ticket with a velvety smooth delivery and projectable frame, but he had crude feel for release. He’s since developed a good slider and his control is now dialed in enough that he is unlikely to have serious, role-altering walk issues, but not so much that he projects as a starter. Gil’s pitch usage at Triple-A (60% fastball, 33% sliders, 6% changeups) indicates that even though the Yankees were deploying him as a starter, they weren’t truly developing him as one, as it appears as though there was no real intention of finding a third pitch. Again, that’s fine; it means Gil will merely be a dominant set-up man type of reliever. He was sitting 95 mph as a starter, and we anticipate a spike if Gil is allowed to air it out three outs at a time. 12. Oswaldo Cabrera, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 22.9 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/45 50/50 45/50 40/40 40/45 50 Cabrera went from looking physically overpowered at Charleston in 2018, to generating one of the org’s top average exit velocities throughout ’19, to slugging just shy of 30 home runs across three levels in ’21. Cabrera has become a power-over-hit utility prospect. He added mass in his lower half and traded some contact for power, resulting in 29 doubles in 2019 and then that big home run total last season. We’ve also learned more about how Cabrera’s new physicality interacts with his defensive fit. He is now best deployed as a shift-aided second baseman. He has some of the best defensive hands and actions in the whole org, and a great internal clock, but he doesn’t have the arm strength for the left side of the infield. He knows this, and tries to get rid of the baseball as quickly as possible even if it means making a fundamentally unsound throw. His first-step quickness has regressed with his uptick in power, and his range is pretty fringy, an issue mitigated by defensive positioning. While Cabrera has played 2B/SS/3B throughout his career, we have him penciled in as second base-only unless you can hide him at third here and there. Cabrera has developed average raw power, and his aesthetically-pleasing uppercut swing enables him to hit the ball in the air consistently and get to that power in games. But his free-swinging ways and the extreme nature of the uppercut, which leaves him very vulnerable at the top of the strike zone, are both round-down offensive traits. In the end we’re still talking about a middle infielder with actionable raw power, so we think it’s very likely that Cabrera turns into a key role player on the Yankees infield soon. 13. Trey Sweeney, 3B Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from Eastern Illinois (NYY) Age 21.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 55/60 35/55 40/40 30/50 40 While it happened at a small school (Eastern Illinois), Sweeney’s draft year was statistically overwhelming at .382/.522/.712 and he performed well in his limited exposure against top competition. Draft models loved him, the Yankees selected him with the 20th overall pick, and he hit the ground running as a pro, slugging .548 over 138 plate appearances. Sweeney has an unorthodox swing, but it works for him. He has excellent plate discipline, outstanding zone coverage, an advanced feel for contact and enough power to be dangerous. He’s a big, physical player but not especially twitchy, and while he remained at shortstop during his pro debut, his size, 40-grade speed and solid arm should work well enough at third base. Offensively, Sweeney is ready for a challenge and could reach Double-A in his full-season debut. He’s a polished player who shouldn’t need many reps in the minors to be big-league ready. 14. Ken Waldichuk, MIRP Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from St. Mary’s (NYY) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/65 50/50 45/45 60/70 45/50 90-94 / 95 Waldichuk made his first seven starts of the year at High-A and amassed a 0.00 ERA, demanding a promotion to Double-A, where he ended up spending most of the year. He doesn’t technically have to be added to the 40-man until after the 2022 season, but he is virtually on the doorstep of the big leagues and has been totally dominant as he’s blazed through the minors, so he may end up forcing himself there sooner than 2023. Though Waldichuk doesn’t have a traditional starter’s mechanical look, he is loose, throws a fair rate of strikes, and has four pitches. The best of those is Waldichuk’s four-seamer. One analyst described it as, “the perfect fastball.” It’s flat, has huge carry, and enjoys the deceptive benefits of Waldichuk’s elaborate, arm-and-legs delivery. And when hitters have geared up for the fastball, Waldichuk pulls the string on a plus, low-80s changeup, which is a relatively new pitch for him. His breaking balls have also been augmented since he entered pro ball, and his new slider also flashes plus when it finishes, while his delivery gives him some margin for error when it doesn’t. The atypical mechanical look colors our projection of Waldichuk, who we think will be a great multi-inning reliever, especially if his fastballs tick up out of the bullpen. 40+ FV Prospects 15. Austin Wells, RF Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Arizona (NYY) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 55/55 35/55 40/40 30/40 40 Wells vaulted into the back of the first round of the 2020 draft based on his offense prowess at the University of Arizona, and had a solid season with the bat across two A-ball levels before finishing the year with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. While there is little finesse to his swing, which features plus power and a fair share of swing-and-miss, he makes up for middling batting averages with home runs and plenty of walks, and projects as a No. 5 hitter in a good lineup. He’ll need that offensive potential to actualize, as Wells did little in 2021 to comfort scouts about his future ability to stay behind the plate. His hands are a bit hard in terms of receiving, and a history of arm problems has left him with a 40 grade arm on a good day, with opposing teams stealing 98 bases against him in just 70 games in 2021, good for an 87% success rate. Wells is well aware of the issue and has worked hard on his defense, with his throwing showing some improvement over the course of the year. He has the athleticism to provide acceptable left field defense, although the Yankees have given no indication they’re moving him yet. He’ll likely begin the year at Double-A Somerset, with the focus being on which glove he’ll wear when his bat is big-league ready. 16. T.J. Sikkema, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Missouri (NYY) Age 23.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 221 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 50/55 40/50 45/60 90-94 / 95 Despite lacking the power arsenal that teams tend to covet on Day One, Sikkema was the 38th overall pick in 2019 after dominating at Missouri against top-notch competition and showcasing some of the best command in the draft. He has a career ERA of 0.84 as a pro, but that is comprised of just 40 batters faced in 2019, as between the lost pandemic season and a nagging lat injury that kept him out for all of ’21, it has been nearly two-and-a-half years since he’s taken the mound in an official game. Sikkema is a highly polished pitcher with a 88-92 mph fastball that can touch 94 and goes along with a sweeping slider and solid changeup that both earn 50-55 grades from scouts. Everything he does plays up due to his ability to use all four quadrants of the zone while keeping hitters off-balance with unpredictable sequencing and location strategies. Short and bulky, Sikkema is what he is at this point and offers little room for improvement. He has the ceiling of a No. 4 or 5 big league starter, and a healthy year would do wonders for him reaching that projection. 17. Hayden Wesneski, SP Drafted: 6th Round, 2019 from Sam Houston (NYY) Age 24.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 50/55 60/60 45/50 50/50 45/45 92-95 / 96 The Yankees either target or seem to know how to develop players with incredible scapular mobility. Wesneski, who was an awkward, low-slot slinger at Sam Houston State, has remade his physique and now has something more akin to a typical starter’s delivery. His upper back almost folds together behind him like a properly-held slice of pizza as his arm circles back, a trait many Yankees pitchers share. Along with the physical transformation has come more velocity. Formerly just a kitchen sink righty, Wesneski is now a kitchen sink righty with a 92-95 mph fastball, and he can peak above that with his four-seamer (he throws the two-seamer more often). He has a firmer, mid-80s breaking ball (we have listed as a cutter) and a slower, low-80s version (slider) that tend to run together in terms of their movement, but both are plus when they’re finishing glove-side. He also has a nearly average changeup. Hitters don’t seem to offer at it consistently, but it has plenty of arm-side movement. The ascendant Wesneski looks like a fifth starter right now, but he’s perhaps in the midst of a continuous upward trend. 18. Ron Marinaccio, MIRP Drafted: 17th Round, 2017 from Delaware (NYY) Age 26.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 50/50 60/60 40/40 93-95 / 97 At least for us, Marinaccio was a 2021 revelation. The former Blue Hen had a four-tick bump in velocity and now sits 94 mph. While pitching exclusively in relief, he rode a three-pitch mix across three levels in 2021, performing better and better at each stop, en route to a 40-man add after the season. Marinaccio is extremely likely to factor in the Yankees’ 2022 bullpen as a bulk middle-inning reliever, and his stuff quality portends a bigger future role. Even with the velocity bump, his best pitch is still his trapdoor-action changeup, which sits mostly in the 80-84 mph range. His command is only fair, but Marinaccio’s changeup has so much movement that it still elicits whiffs when he doesn’t locate it well. His slider and tailing fastball, which have divergent movement, are more reliant on location and deception. Indeed, righty batters look very uncomfortable in the box against Marinaccio, who has a loose, quick arm stroke and low-ish slot. He’s a nice four-to-six out fireman right now, and will be utterly dominant if he can add length and consistency to his slider. 19. Stephen Ridings, SIRP Drafted: 8th Round, 2016 from Haverford College (PA) (CHC) Age 26.4 Height 6′ 8″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 70/70 55/55 45/45 96-98 / 100 Ridings is already on his third org since being drafted in 2018 out of tiny Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Entering the year, the last notes we had on him were from 2019, when he sat 92-95 mph with Kansas City’s Idaho Falls affiliate. He’s had a four tick spike since then and now sits 96-99. He generated an 18% swinging strike rate in the minors, among the highest in the entire Yankees org. Ridings is a giant at 6-foot-8, his arm is relatively fresh for a 26-year-old and the arrow is pointing way up on his stuff. He’s a major league-ready middle-inning reliever with eventual late-inning upside. 40 FV Prospects 20. Randy Vasquez, MIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 23.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 70/70 40/45 40/45 90-94 / 95 Another Yankee who enjoyed a velo bump between 2019 and ’21, Vasquez went from sitting about 92 mph to sitting about 94. A spin rate sleeper near the bottom of this list for the last few years, Vasquez climbed three levels and finished the year in Double-A, striking out 130 hitters in 107 total innings while walking just 38. He has elite curveball spin, and when he’s on top of his 79-82 mph hammer, it’s a plus-plus pitch. Vasquez’s ability to miss bats trended down throughout the year, and he’s a smaller-framed prospect with a pretty violent delivery and a changeup that’s still developing (his slot drops when he throws the changeup), so we have him projected in the bullpen at maturity. If he enjoys yet another uptick in velo because of the move, he’ll belong in an impact FV tier (40+ and above). Recall that Vasquez was in the initially-reported version of the Joey Gallo trade, then was not part of the ultimate deal. 21. Anthony Garcia, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 70/80 35/60 50/40 30/45 60 Garcia missed two consecutive years with a severe quad injury and then the first year of the pandemic, so it was very encouraging to see him perform on paper after the layoff, especially considering he already had hit tool question marks. In 40 games he hit an incredible .306/.444/.678 and produced among the top high-end exit velocities in all of rookie-level baseball. He is the most impressive and imposing physical presence of all the young Yankees hitters. A 6-foot-6, switch-hitting leviathan, if Garcia doesn’t have 80 raw power now, he will in the next few years. He is still sushi raw, but there are maybe two or three other switch hitters on the planet with this kind of power (Garcia, Oneil Cruz, Elly De La Cruz). Garcia has the arm to profile in right field, but down the road, he’ll likely be an average glove there at best and might need to move to first base since all human beings tend to get heavier as they age and Garcia is already really big. There may be some late bloom to the hit tool (remember he missed two years and we’re talking about a huge switch-hitter) but swing-and-miss will likely always be part of the profile. How much that matters will depend on how much power Garcia is getting to, and his early-career performance is promising on that score even though he has high groundball rates. He’s a high-variance corner outfield prospect who might turn into a Steven Moya type or hit 40 bombs. 22. Matt Sauer, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Righetti HS (CA) (NYY) Age 23.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 245 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/60 50/55 40/50 40/45 92-95 / 97 Sauer was one of the feel-good stories of this system’s 2021 season. One of the most coveted high school arms in the 2017 draft, teams got mixed messages as to his signability, but the Yankees built him into their overall selection strategy, calling his name in the second round and signing him to a larger bonus than they gave first round pick Clarke Schmidt. The early parts of Sauer’s career were defined by inconsistent performance and injuries, including a 2019 Tommy John surgery, but he finally delivered a healthy season in ’21 and looked good doing it. Sauer’s stuff was as good as we saw prior to his surgery, as his fastball sat 93-95 mph with some 96s and 97s peppered in during the summer. His hard slider flashes plus and he has enough feel for a changeup to project it as average. Sauer’s command remains in the fringy category, but he made improvements in his strike-throwing and pitch efficiency as the season wore on and his delivery looked less complicated than it had in the past. If he can remain healthy, he looks like a future part of a big league rotation. 23. JP Sears, SP Drafted: 11th Round, 2017 from The Citadel (SEA) Age 25.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 50/50 45/50 55/60 92-94 / 95 The Yankees got Sears (and Juan Then) from the Mariners in exchange for Nick Rumbelow a few years ago, and while the hard-throwing Then (who was later traded back to Seattle) is also approaching a big league role, Sears may turn out to be the best long-term player from that deal since he’s got a real chance to take a turn in a big league rotation every five days. He missed most of 2019 with injury and fell off the radar in part because he’s already 25, but in ’21 Sears made about 20 efficient starts split between Double- and Triple-A and earned a 40-man spot. Of the 40-man pitchers who aren’t currently projected in the Yankees’ Opening Day rotation, Sears is arguably the most stable strike-thrower. He has a 2.6 career BB/9 and his command has weaponized his stuff enough to flummox Triple-A hitters, at least. Sears sits about 93 mph and his fastball lives off its angle at the top of the zone, which is hard to hit. He also has a swing-and-miss slider that has great back-foot angle against righties. He alters his release somewhat when throwing the slider but hitters haven’t been able to pick that up so far. A great on-mound athlete, Sears may yet develop a better changeup but for now it’s a fringe pitch. He’s a low-variance fifth starter prospect. 24. Beck Way, SP Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Northwest Florida JC (NYY) Age 22.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 45/50 45/50 30/45 91-94 / 96 Way was working his way up draft boards out of a Florida JUCO in 2020 when the pandemic hit; he ended up landing in the fourth round of the greatly shortened draft. His pro debut was defined by plenty of strikeouts, including a near-40% K rate after moving up to High-A, as well as some questions about his command and future role. Way is a big-bodied pitcher with a low-to-mid-90s fastball that can touch 96 and features plenty of run. His best offspeed offering is a mid-80s changeup that he sells well, and while his slider can flash average at times, it’s driven more by velocity than movement. He threw his slider more than any other pitch in 2021. Beck’s slinging delivery and low arm angle create deception, but also lead to command issues and some platoon troubles, and scouts are split as to whether his future is as a starter or a reliever. There’s no need to start a conversion this early in his career, however, and he’ll likely begin 2022 in the High-A Hudson Valley rotation. 25. Brock Selvidge, MIRP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from Hamilton HS (AZ) (NYY) Age 19.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 45/60 45/55 20/40 90-94 / 95 Selvidge had an up-and-down 2021 spring at his Phoenix-area high school, but he saved his best looks for the right moment, with his finest outings coming in front of scouts as well as shared pitch data aggregators at the inaugural Draft League, a combination he converted into a $1.5 million bonus as a third round pick. Selvidge certainly looks the part, with a well-built power frame that produces low-to-mid-90s fastballs and a power slider that can flash plus at times. Like many high school draftees, his changeup will be an early focus in his pro development, but it’s not a foreign concept to him and he’s shown some feel for deadening the ball. The other big item on Selvidge’s to-do list is to improve his command, as his slow-to-fast delivery that features a wild finish needs to be harnessed a bit to enhance his ability to locate. Selvide has big league stater upside, but there’s a very wide gap between what he is now and what he might be down the road. 26. Brendan Beck, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2021 from Stanford (NYY) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/40 40/45 50/55 40/45 35/60 87-90 / 94 The younger brother of Giants prospect Tristan Beck, Brendan was drafted as a fourth-year junior (he had an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic) out of Stanford who amassed a 3.11 career ERA against mostly PAC-12 hitters. In 2021, he struck out 143 and walked just 26 in 108 innings, punctuating an ultra-efficient college career. Beck does this while sitting mostly 91-92 mph; he typically tops out at 94 a handful of times over the course of his starts. He has a five-pitch mix headlined by his curveball. It only sits about 74-77 but has good depth and bite, commensurate with an average big league curveball. It operates best as a first-pitch strike. The pitch Beck uses most often, though, is his low-80s slider. Purely on stuff, Beck’s slide piece is clearly below average, but he has such fantastic glove-side command of it that it will play better than that. His plus command of the slider and his below-average, mid-80s changeup, and his ability to vary fastball shape with his two- and four-seamers are the reasons he performed so well as a collegiate player. You could argue this is the archetype of pitcher teams should want to draft, since arm strength has become a relatively easy thing to develop, but there’s less overt athleticism and secondary stuff quality here than with other efficient college starters, so we consider Beck a low-variance fifth starter prospect. 35+ FV Prospects 27. Anthony Seigler, C Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Cartersville HS (GA) (NYY) Age 22.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr S / S FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 40/40 30/35 45/40 45/55 60 Seigler’s impressive contact skills and plus defense at catcher made him a first-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2018, but the pandemic and a seemingly never-ending slew of injuries have limited him to just 98 pro games. Adding to the trouble is the fact that Siegler just flat out hasn’t hit in that limited action, with a career line of .217/.338/.324 in 391 plate appearances. Seigler has a patient approach and a swing that is still viscerally appealing from both sides, but he just doesn’t square balls up very often and is frequently tied up by offspeed pitches, especially from left-handers, against whom he hit just .136 in 2021. He’s a decent receiver with solid arm strength that plays down due to lapses in accuracy. Seigler’s age worked against him in the draft, and now it’s working against him in terms of development, as he’ll turn 23 in June and has yet to generate much in the way of optimism for his future. 2022 feels like a make or break season. 28. Marcos Cabrera, 3B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 189 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 45/55 35/55 45/40 30/50 60 Cabrera is a power projection third base prospect with questionable bat-to-ball skills. He was among the GCL home run leaders in 2021 with eight and has a career .248/.382/.437 line as a teenager in the DSL and FCL. His present raw thump and broad-shouldered frame portend plus raw power, though a long swing might get in the way of in-game output. 29. Mitch Spence, MIRP Drafted: 10th Round, 2019 from South Carolina-Aiken (NYY) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/45 60/60 45/50 30/40 30/45 90-94 / 95 Spence started in college, began his pro career as a reliever, then moved back into the rotation in 2021 and had a great year, posting a nearly 4-to-1 strikeout to walk rate across 20 starts. He began the season working about three innings at a time but was routinely going six strong by the middle of the summer. He’s a slider monster, with a potential plus-plus slide piece headlining a four-pitch mix. His low-90s heater also has big cut/carry traits that help it play up. Spence will show you a curveball and changeup on occasion. It’s not an obvious starer’s mix but the changeup is relatively new and might still develop, in which case he’d look like a backend starter. Or Spence might move back into the bullpen and throw harder an inning at a time. Either way, he’s an arrow-up prospect from 2021 and has a chance to be put on the 40-man roster after the 2022 season. 30. Nicio Rodriguez, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 50/60 45/55 30/45 89-94 / 96 Rodriguez sat 89-94 mph throughout 2019 but was up to 96 late in the year and his velocity kept climbing during the pandemic layoff. He sat 95 in 2021, and has nearly elite fastball spin, but missed most of the year with injury and is a relief-only prospect due to mechanical stiffness and a grip-it-and-rip-it style of pitching. He has a shot to be a 40 FV fastball/curveball reliever if he develops another grade of command, which is plausible given the pandemic/injury layoff. 31. Tyrone Yulie, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 60/70 50/55 20/30 94-96 / 98 It’s weird for a pitcher with an ERA over 6.00 to be on a prospect list, but here we are with Yulie, a sturdily-built 20-year-old with elite arm strength and a plus-flashing slider. Yulie sits 95-98 mph, he has a power two-plane slider in the mid-80s, and was unhittable until he had to deal with the robot umps at Low-A Southeast. There Yulie’s walk rate exploded. He is currently miscast as a starter and will likely end up in relief, where he need only be a 40-grade strike thrower to work out of a big league bullpen considering the quality of his stuff. 32. Ryder Green, RF Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Karns HS (TN) (NYY) Age 21.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 65/70 30/55 55/50 45/50 60 Like Everson Pereira, Green spent the first part of the season ramping up his game in extended spring training, but unlike Pereira, he didn’t explode onto the scene once he was placed on a roster. Green’s combination of brute strength and bat speed generates plus-plus raw power, but he’s still working on getting to it more often in game settings. There are some moving parts to his swing mechanics, including a sizable leg kick and some drifting body movements that prevent him from making consistent contact. His approach waivers, and he became a more aggressive hitter as the season wore on and his performance struggled for it. An average runner, Green is stretched in center field but has a chance to impact the game from right, where he has above-average range and and one of the best outfield arms in the system. Turning 22 in May, Green is a little behind the standard age/development curve, but that’s been expected since his draft year. He’ll likely move up to High-A to begin the season. He’s a player with high variance, but also some breakout potential. 33. Denny Larrondo, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/60 55/60 35/50 35/55 88-92 / 94 Larrondo didn’t show many signs of progress in 2021. He sits about 90-92 mph and has below-average control, but he is long-limbed, projectable, and one of the better athletes in this system. He has among the best 10- and 20-yard sprint splits in the org and played a good center field as an amateur. He’s just an athletic sleeper with premium spin talent right now, but that’s all Randy Vasquez was a year ago, too. 34. Madison Santos, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.4 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 45/50 30/40 70/70 45/55 55 Santos has been on this list for the last couple of years as a toolsy sleeper with premium athleticism and a rough, almost unusable swing. He finally started to put things together and have on-field success in 2021, albeit in a relatively small sample. He remains in an area of interest for us but isn’t an imminent big leaguer. 35. Fidel Montero, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 55/70 25/55 60/50 30/50 70 Montero’s toolset popped late during the international amateur process, and the sixth-month delay to the start of the signing period made it so other teams with remaining pool money had time to try to sign him for more than he had initially agreed to with New York. He grew three inches in the span of about a year, which allows for more long-term power projection but also created concern about swing length. Montero struck out 40% of the time in the DSL, so those concerns seem legitimate.The power/speed/body projection mix is still really exciting, but now we know there’s hit-related bust risk. 36. Edgar Barclay, SIRP Drafted: 15th Round, 2019 from Cal State Bakersfield (NYY) Age 23.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/40 45/50 55/60 35/55 90-92 / 94 Barclay is a short, three-pitch lefty relief prospect with a great changeup. He struck out over a third of opposing A-ball hitters in 2021 despite only sitting about 91 mph with his fastball. His heater and seldom-used slider both have tough-to-square angle, but the changeup is Barclay’s best offering. He looks like a potential low-leverage middle reliever. 37. Brandon Lockridge, CF Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Troy University (NYY) Age 24.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 45/45 30/35 80/80 60/70 40 Lockridge’s speed and glove are both plus or better, so he has a clear path to a low-impact role as a glove-first fourth or fifth outfielder. He likely won’t hit enough to play a platoon role or better. 38. Josh Breaux, C Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from McLennan JC (TX) (NYY) Age 24.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 70/70 30/55 30/30 30/40 60 Breaux has been famous since his Texas high school days and he put up insane numbers at McLennan Community College in his home state, batting .403/501/.800 over two years there and earning a second round selection in the 2018 draft. He’s shown plenty of power as a pro, but at times the positives about his game are limited to his thump. Now that Chris Gittens has gone to Japan, Breaux arguably has the best raw strength in the system. He’s capable of jaw-dropping bombs, but he’s also a mistake-crusher who drives balls from a very small area of the zone, and offspeed pitches give him fits. That leaves him as an all-or-nothing, high home run/high strikeout type of bat, and he doesn’t have much in the way of on-base skills thanks to an aggressive approach and some ugly chase tendencies. He’s only been used as a catcher or designated hitter as a pro, but his defense behind the plate is well below average, and while his arm is strong, it’s rarely accurate. Breaux’s power, which is truly special, will get him plenty of time and opportunities, but he needs to find something else to complement it in order to spend time in the TV league. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Young Bats Hans Montero, INF Daury Arias, CF Cooper Bowman, 2B Dayro Perez, SS Roberto Chirinos, INF Raimfer Salinas, OF Alan Mejia, OF Willy Montero, INF Hans Montero was a big money signee from the 2021 international class who we were simply lower on than the Yankees and industry at large. He’s a compact, hit-tool oriented infielder who had only a fair DSL debut in 2021. Arias, 20, is a well-rounded center field prospect who had a great on-paper DSL summer. He’s close to being physically maxed out. Bowman’s swing is super short back to the baseball, giving him a chance to hit while playing a decent second base. The last hitterish second baseman the Yankees took out of Louisville turned out okay. Perez is an exciting athlete with some bat-to-ball feel, but he’s made more than 20 errors in each of his pro seasons and needs to polish his glove soon. Chirinos, 21, has a bench infield shot since he can play all over the place and might develop a 50 hit tool. Salinas was also a big name amateur who finally had a good offensive season, but he is 21 now and hasn’t gotten out of rookie ball. Mejia, 20, was a scout source’s favorite from the Yankees’ DSL group back in 2019, and he has continued to stay down there, though he had a good statistical 2021. Willy Montero (Fidel, Hans, and Willy Montero were the three youngest DSL Yankees) was just 16 when the DSL season began. He has a plus frame and power projection. Young Sleeper Pitching Yarison Ruiz, RHP Jan Pena, RHP Pedro Rodriguez, LHP Ruiz began the DSL season as a 21-year-old and came stateside for the back end of his summer. He has huge stuff — 93-96, elite curveball spin — but 20-grade control right now. Pena was also too old to be left back in the DSL, starting the season at age 20. He threw strikes and located a promising slider, which enabled him to dominate even though he sits 88. He is a fairly projectable 6-foot-4. Rodriguez, 19, also carved the DSL sitting 88; his secondary weapon of choice is a nasty mid-70s curveball. Catching Depth Rodolfo Durán, C Carlos Narvaez, C Agustin Ramirez, C Gabriel Bersing, C With just two catchers currently on the 40-man, Durán is in the mix with Rob Brantly for third catcher duties. He has above-average pop and arm strength but a 30 bat, and his receiving regressed during the last couple of years with the Phillies. He’s a workmanlike third catcher. Narvaez has performed at every minor league stop, he’s just been much older than the rest of the league. He has average raw, a 30 bat (that combo isn’t bad for a catcher), and is now 23 but hasn’t played above A-ball. Ramirez, 20, had big 2021 exit velos on the complex, but he’s more physically mature than most players his age and may not stay at catcher. Bersing crushed the DSL statistically, but we don’t have anything beyond that at this point. He’s a priority 2022 Extended target. The Next Chris Gittens Jake Sanford, OF Elijah Dunham, LF T.J. Rumfield, 1B Grant Richardson, OF Connor Cannon, DH Sanford, 24, was the club’s 2019 third rounder out of Western Kentucky. He had a strong statistical 2021 and he is cartoonishly buff, with arms bigger than some New York apartments. There’s big power and bat speed here, but also an awful lot of stiffness. Dunham was a 2020 undrafted free agent out of Indiana who slugged .500 at Low-A during his first full season, then went to Arizona and crushed the Fall League. He has about an average hit/power combination, nothing too crazy, enough that he could be a 40 FV left fielder when he’s closer to the big leagues. Rumfield struggled to find playing time at Texas Tech, and the pandemic furthered disrupted his college career before he found consistency after transferring to Virginia Tech. He really only got college at-bats in 2021 and is a “tip of the iceberg” sleeper prospect with no-doubt big-league physicality and power. Richardson was Dunham’s Hoosier teammate. He had among the highest peak exit velos in the org, though he did it as a college prospect on the complex. Cannon was acquired from the Giants in June. He has 80-grade measurable raw but has had many injuries, including knee surgeries, and didn’t play in 2021. Injured Arms Yoljeldriz Diaz, RHP Alfredo Garcia, LHP Jake Agnos, LHP Most of these guys have been on the list at some point in the past but have fallen off due to persistent or severe injury. Diaz, 20, is a plus athlete with a good curveball and sat in the low-90s when healthy. Garcia, 22, was in the midst of a breakout 2019 when the Rockies dealt him to the Yankees for reliever Joe Harvey. He looked like a potential spot starter with three average pitches, with the changeup maybe a little better than that. He hasn’t pitched since 2019. Nor has Agnos, the club’s fourth rounder from 2019, who had TJ in May. Find the Pop-Up Guy Sean Boyle, RHP Zach Greene, RHP Greg Weissert, RHP The players on this year’s list who broke out were mostly older pitchers, already in their mid-20s, who found an extra gear of velo or a new secondary pitch. Here are some potential 2022 guys who have interesting stuff and might be next. Boyle, 25, climbed four levels and ended the season at Triple-A. He has a plus slider right now, as well as a cutter and a changeup, and he can vary his fastball shape. He only sits 91-93 right now but could be up in 2022 if he starts throwing harder. Greene, also 25, had 91 strikeouts in about 55 innings of work while also sitting about 92. He, too, has a comfortably plus slider. Weissert is a spin-rate flier type (2,900 rpm breaking ball) at age 26. System Overview This is one of the shallower Yankees lists we’ve done at FanGraphs, though it’s mostly due to factors unrelated to the club’s talent acquisition acumen. Remember that the team has tended to put a lot of its international signing bonus eggs in one basket lately, targeting top-of-the-market hitters (which the club is poised to do for the next couple of years as well, with Roderick Arias signing in 2022 and Brandon Mayea poised to sign in 2023 assuming there isn’t a draft) rather than spreading things around to accrue depth. The Yankees also didn’t have an instructional league group this year, not even one that was around to play intrasquads and take BP or perform any other kind of scoutable activity, which limited our sources’ exposure to their youngest group of players. The Yankees have also been busy trying to win the whole damn thing, which has resulted in trades that have sent many good prospects to other teams. As of this list’s publication, there are a whopping 22 players who were originally drafted or signed by the Yankees who are currently on other teams’ prospect lists, including several who will be on this offseason’s Top 100 (Kevin Alcantara, Roansy Contreras, Miguel Yajure, Ezequiel Duran). That’s basically two thirds of an average club’s farm system traded away in an effort to climb over the Rays’ machine. There is a middle infield logjam here, even after some of it was cleared in the last year (Hoy Park, Diego Castillo, Duran). Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera are just about ready, Anthony Volpe is screaming up behind them, and Alexander Vargas’ 40-man timeline puts him not far behind. It’s very likely that at least a couple of those guys get traded, and of course that likelihood skyrockets if a high-profile shortstop gets added via free agency. What a nice problem to have.