New York Yankees Top 44 Prospects by Eric Longenhagen March 6, 2023 Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports Top Prospects Team Lists 2023 2022 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG 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 my own observations. This is the third 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. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player has to be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but I use that as a rule of thumb. A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here. All of the ranked prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here. Yankees Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Anthony Volpe 21.9 AAA 2B 2024 60 2 Oswald Peraza 22.7 MLB SS 2023 50 3 Jasson Domínguez 20.1 AA CF 2025 50 4 Everson Pereira 21.9 AA CF 2024 45+ 5 Trey Sweeney 22.9 AA SS 2025 45 6 Will Warren 23.7 AA SP 2024 45 7 Drew Thorpe 21.4 R SP 2026 45 8 Spencer Jones 21.8 A RF 2027 45 9 Brando Mayea 17.5 R CF 2028 45 10 Yoendrys Gómez 23.4 AA SP 2024 40+ 11 Randy Vásquez 24.3 AA MIRP 2023 40+ 12 Austin Wells 23.7 AA LF 2024 40+ 13 Agustin Ramirez 21.5 R C 2025 40+ 14 Roderick Arias 18.5 R SS 2027 40+ 15 Jhony Brito 25.1 AAA SP 2023 40+ 16 Sean Boyle 26.4 AAA SP 2023 40 17 Clayton Beeter 24.4 AA SIRP 2023 40 18 Luis Gil 24.8 MLB SIRP 2023 40 19 Richard Fitts 23.2 A+ SP 2025 40 20 Brendan Beck 24.4 R SP 2025 40 21 Omar Gonzalez 17.6 R SP 2027 40 22 Trystan Vrieling 22.4 R SP 2026 40 23 Luis Serna 18.6 R SP 2027 40 24 Elijah Dunham 24.8 AA LF 2025 40 25 Anthony Hall 22.1 R RF 2027 40 26 Blas Castano 24.5 AA SP 2024 40 27 Greg Weissert 28.1 MLB SIRP 2023 40 28 Enmanuel Tejeda 18.2 R SS 2028 40 29 Antonio Gomez 21.3 A C 2025 40 30 Carson Coleman 24.9 AA SIRP 2024 35+ 31 Alex Mauricio 26.5 A+ SIRP 2024 35+ 32 Deivi García 23.8 MLB SIRP 2023 35+ 33 Chase Hampton 21.6 R SIRP 2026 35+ 34 Andres Chaparro 23.8 AA 1B 2024 35+ 35 Carlos Lagrange 19.8 R SP 2027 35+ 36 Angel Benitez 19.5 R SP 2028 35+ 37 Brock Selvidge 20.5 R SP 2026 35+ 38 Justin Lange 21.5 R SP 2025 35+ 39 Tyler Hardman 24.1 AA 3B 2025 35+ 40 Brett Barrera 21.8 A 2B 2026 35+ 41 Anthony Garcia 22.5 A RF 2026 35+ 42 T.J. Rumfield 22.8 A+ 1B 2026 35+ 43 Matt Krook 28.4 AAA MIRP 2023 35+ 44 Alexander Vargas 21.4 A SS 2023 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All AllC1B2BSS3BLFCFRFSPSIRPMIRP 60 FV Prospects 1. Anthony Volpe, 2B Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Delbarton HS (NJ) (NYY) Age 21.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 60 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 55/55 45/60 45/40 40/45 45 Drafted as a glove-first shortstop prospect, Volpe had a uninspiring professional debut, but he totally transformed himself during the lost pandemic season and returned in 2021 with one of the best campaigns in all of the minor leagues, slugging .604 across two levels. After a slow start to 2022, Volpe hit .273/.355/.502 with Double-A Somerset from May through August and earned a late-season call up to Scranton. He’s poised to start his age-22 season at Triple-A and likely make his big league debut at some point in 2023, perhaps usurping Gleyber Torres as the everyday second baseman if it becomes clear that Volpe is a superior offensive option. Working with a private instructor on a daily basis during the pandemic, Volpe completely re-engineered his swing, which now produces impact power, especially for a middle infielder. You’ve probably seen big league hitters use a “toe tap,” or heard broadcasters use that phrase. Well, Volpe’s swing starts with what is best described as a “heel tap” of his rear leg, as he loads all his weight onto his back side before he strides forward and swings with verve and ferocity. The swing changes that helped enable his breakout created a bat path built to lift the ball to the extreme, and Volpe’s average launch angle was a whopping 24 degrees last year. His swing is like a right-handed version of Juan Soto‘s, capable of getting underneath the baseball in basically every part of the zone, in part because of the flexibility and athleticism in his lower half. Even though he’s been on a throwing program to strengthen his arm, Volpe still doesn’t have the hose typical of a big league shortstop. If he had somehow improved his throwing (which isn’t terrible — he could play short in an emergency), he’d still be behind Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner-Falefa in this regard and would end up at second base anyway. As Volpe has added strength and mass, the trunk of his body has thickened substantially and impacted his defensive mobility a bit. His second base defense could trend down as he gets deeper into his 20s, but he should be fine there for a while. Volpe’s game power should routinely put him in the mix for All-Star teams for as long as he stays on the middle infield, and he’ll still be a productive everyday player if he moves later in his career. 50 FV Prospects 2. Oswald Peraza, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 176 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/45 50/50 40/50 60/60 55/60 55 Peraza had another solid offensive season, this time as a 22-year-old at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, where he slashed .259/.329/.448, hit 19 homers, and stole 33 bases. He performed well during a September call-up to New York, posting a BABIP-aided .306/.404/.429 line in 18 games. It was enough for the Yankees to roster him for their postseason series against Houston, who worked Peraza with sink and breaking balls in the bottom of the zone, which he consistently swung over the top of. His swing is geared for pull-side damage. He loads his hands high and cuts down at the ball, which makes him tough to beat in the upper two thirds of the strike zone because Peraza is so short to those locations. However, this type of swing also makes it tough to scoop underneath low pitches. Peraza seems to realize this and tends to let strikes in the lower third of the zone go by until he absolutely has to swing at them. His ability to do this consistently is surprising considering that Peraza is a fairly aggressive hitter in general, likely to run OBPs in the .310-.320 range. Peraza’s true carrying tool is his shortstop defense. He is sure-handed and slick, twitchy and acrobatic, wielding plus range, hands, actions and arm strength. His internal clock is precise and allows him to make fundamentally uncompromised throws to first with confidence because he knows he’s going to beat the runner there. He is quite comfortably the best defensive shortstop on the Yankees 40-man entering the 2023 season and likely to play there every day in the near future, producing on par with an average regular at the position. 3. Jasson Domínguez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 60/65 30/60 60/55 40/50 60 Often described on this website as “Baseball’s Zion Williamson,” Domínguez entered the 2022 season as one of the most volatile prospects in the sport. He signed for $5.1 million in 2019 as easily the toolsiest player in his signing class, a plus-plus running center fielder with huge switch-hitting power. In a bodily sense, he was also unlike any amateur prospect most scouts had ever seen. Built at age 16 like Maurice Jones-Drew or a late-20s Mike Trout, nobody was totally sure how Domínguez’s body and physicality would develop as he entered his 20s, and this (plus the internet hype) is where the Zion comp came from. Domínguez also wasn’t seen facing live pitching very much as an amateur, so while his showcase tools were evident, there wasn’t as much confidence in his hit tool as is typical of a top-of-the-class prospect. At age 18, Domínguez spent most of his first pro season at Low-A, where he was only ok. Rust and the automated ball/strike system likely had an impact on his peripherals (31% K%, 10% BB%) in year one, but the Yankees felt they needed to send him back to the level to start 2022. After a little bit of a slow start, Domínguez not only made relevant adjustments there but improved upon promotion to High-A, where he slashed .306/.397/.510 and struck out just 19% of the time. Some of the volatile characteristics of his profile are still here. Domínguez is massive for a 20-year-old, and even though he’s a plus runner who is currently a fit in center field, it’s hard to say how he’ll trend athletically into his 20s because there’s virtually no precedent for his build. His left-handed swing is very uphill, the sort typically associated with strikeout issues, but his levers are so short that his swing is still fairly compact. There will probably be a consistent hole against fastballs up and away for Domínguez. Things aren’t so bad that he’s in a red flag bust risk area because of his hit tool, but it’s enough that it will probably dial down how much in-game power he’s actually getting to. He doesn’t have traditional long-term power projection, but he’s already so powerful that if all the pop Domínguez ever has is what he’s working with now, it will still be plenty for him to be a good everyday big leaguer for as long as he’s a center fielder. 45+ FV Prospects 4. Everson Pereira, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.9 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 40/55 55/50 40/45 55 The 102 games Pereira played in 2022 nearly matched the total he’d previously accrued in his entire professional career, having lost time to injury and the pandemic since signing in 2017. His half-season of power production in 2021 (20 dingers in just 49 games) made for mounting intrigue as to how his first fully healthy season might play out. He didn’t match that cartoonish home run rate, but Pereira slashed an impressive .277/.350/.469 mostly at High-A Hudson Valley, and ended his year in Somerset. It was an impressive line for a 21-year-old with so little pro experience. There’s still hit tool risk here, as Pereira K’d at a 27% clip in 2022, his slider recognition is still pretty raw, and his swing has an odd, stabbing path. That is ultimately what kept him off the overall Top 100 prospects list, though Pereira’s argument to be included was driven by his power and bat speed. He generated an average exit velo of just over 90 mph in 2022 and had a hard-hit rate of just under 45%, both excellent for any hitter let alone a college-aged one, but Pereira’s swing isn’t actualized for launch and his swing-and-miss rates are pretty rough. His approach needs refinement, particularly his ability to lay off more advanced breaking balls, and while he’s a fit in center field for now, he will probably move to a corner fairly soon based on how he’s expected to mature physically. That will put pressure on his bat-to-ball skills and his in-game power production. The Yankees put him on the 40-man roster after the season. Pereira will likely spend 2023 split between Somerset and Scranton proving he has the hit tool acumen to play a big league role next year. 45 FV Prospects 5. Trey Sweeney, SS Drafted: 1st Round, 2021 from Eastern Illinois (NYY) Age 22.9 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 55/55 40/45 45/45 30/40 40 While it happened at a small school (Eastern Illinois), Sweeney’s draft year was statistically overwhelming, as he produced an incredible .382/.522/.712 line and performed well in his limited exposure against pro-quality arms. Draft models loved him, the Yankees selected him with the 20th overall pick, and he has hit the ground running as a pro. Sweeney spent most of 2022 at High-A Hudson Valley, where he hit .241/.350/.415 with a 13% BB% and a 24% K%. When you include his 11-game cup of coffee with Somerset, Sweeney hit 16 bombs and had 40 extra-base hits in 111 games. He is a very physical lefty stick whose swing is compact for a hitter his size, and his bat-to-ball ability is what’s driving his prospect profile. Sweeney struggles to drop the bat head on low, scoopable pitches, but otherwise has very good plate coverage. He’ll show you above-average power in BP but his in-game power production has only been fair so far, in part because Sweeney’s bat path tends to generate groundball contact. More athletic on defense than he is in the box, Sweeney is surprisingly agile for his size and makes lots of high-effort plays at the very edge of his range. He’s lacking anything close to what is typical arm strength for a shortstop, but the quickness of Sweeney’s hands and exchange enable him to get rid of the baseball with pace. He may ultimately be a better fit at second or third base, but all he has played as a pro is short. Is there more power lurking here? That will probably be the difference between Sweeney being a versatile infield platoon bat and him being a true everyday player. Right now, he projects to be a player similar to Josh Rojas. 6. Will Warren, SP Drafted: 8th Round, 2021 from Southeastern Louisiana (NYY) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 55/55 70/70 50/50 30/45 40/45 40/45 92-95 / 97 Warren yo-yo’d between the bullpen and the rotation at Southeastern Louisiana and went unselected as a true junior in the shortened 2020 draft. He moved into the Lions’ rotation in 2021 and had a great season, working 91 innings, striking out 95, and allowing just 98 baserunners. At the time, Warren was sitting 89-93 mph and would show you a shapely mid-70s curveball that had more depth than it did power. His on-mound athleticism and feel for spin made him a Day Two draft pick for the Yankees. Shut down for the post-draft period of 2021, Warren was back in 2022 with a new breaking ball and much more velocity. He sat 92-94 over the course of the season and by the very end of 2022 (and out of the gates in 2023), Warren would often cruise at 94-95 mph, working with big sink. His primary breaking ball is now a mid-80s sweeper slider with huge two-plane break, and he can vary the shape and velocity such that he essentially has a cutter and curveball variant as well. While Warren has feel for locating his changeup, that pitch lacks consistent fade and is very vulnerable in the zone, so he will probably need all of his breaking ball shapes to get big leaguers out unless his changeup develops to give him an arm-side weapon. Like a lot of Yankees upper-level starters, Warren’s delivery is pretty violent. He has a head whack and throws with a lot of effort, which when combined with the lack of changeup puts him at risk of ending up in the bullpen. Because he was only drafted in 2021, he has more developmental runway from a roster timeline standpoint than several of the other similarly talented pitchers in the Scranton and Somerset rotations. 7. Drew Thorpe, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2022 from Cal Poly (NYY) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 35/50 50/55 55/60 35/70 88-92 / 94 Thorpe doesn’t have huge velocity but both of his secondary pitches are good and he has impact command of his entire repertoire. His sinker lives at the bottom of the zone and to his arm side, with his changeup in that area and below, and he rarely ever hangs a slider. Thorpe’s age relative to other 2022 draftees, very projectable frame, and general athleticism indicate that his velocity might yet spike, and his fastball’s tailing action already gives it grounder-inducing movement to his arm side. Considering his arm slot (which is fairly north/south), it’s kind of strange that he imparts sink/tail movement on the ball, and this might be augmented in pro ball to give him a four-seamer he can use at the top of the zone in addition to his sinker. Thorpe arguably had the best command in the entire 2022 draft, and he’s the kind of pitcher who could explode if he starts throwing harder, a feat pro teams (including the Yankees) seem consistently able to help pitching prospects achieve. Thorpe has no. 4/5 starter skills already on board even if his velocity and fastball utility never improve. 8. Spencer Jones, RF Drafted: 1st Round, 2022 from Vanderbilt (NYY) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 65/70 35/60 40/40 30/50 50 A fantastic two-way prospect in high school, Jones had surgery to repair a fracture in his elbow as a senior and matriculated to Vanderbilt, where he then had Tommy John; he never toed the rubber for the Commodores. When he first began to hit and play some first base, he looked overmatched in every way and was limited to part-time duty. As a full-time starter during his junior year, Jones tweaked his swing throughout the spring and began to look more comfortable, both with his swing and huge body, and with playing against high-level opposing pitchers. He started hitting for big time power while using a low-effort swing, as if he was starting to understand how big and strong he was, and how simple he could keep things at the plate while still doing damage. He still had strikeout issues (a 25% K% in college tends to be a yellow flag, and that’s what Jones’ was) and probably always will, as his lever length makes him vulnerable in on his hands and Jones’ uphill swing might make it impossible for him to get on top of heaters running up and away from him. But Jones has missed huge chunks of time, he’s barely focused on hitting, and it’s taken him a bit to dial in a swing he seems comfortable with. He’ll likely have to make constant adjustments because of his size, but he’s already shown some ability to do that and he’s now with the org that helped things click for Aaron Judge, who had similar issues as a college prospect. What’s more, Jones looks surprisingly comfortable galavanting around in center field. His stride length allows him to eat up enough ground to give him a long-term look there, but it’s very rare for athletes this size to stay in center. There’s hit tool-related bust risk here, but if Jones develops even a 40-grade hit tool, he’s likely to be a very good big leaguer. 9. Brando Mayea, CF Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Cuba (NYY) Age 17.5 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 40/50 25/55 60/60 45/60 60 One of the top prospects in the 2023 international signing class, Mayea signed with New York for $4.3 million in January. He is a well-rounded prospect who derives his power from precise, flush contact. Somewhat more physically mature than most prospects his age, Mayea isn’t especially big and strong, nor is he especially projectable. He simply has great feel for contact and swings with rotational verve, the combination of which is enough to punish the baseball. Short levers and prodigious bat control help drive an impact hit tool projection, while his posture through contact creates natural swing loft that indicates he’ll get to whatever power he ends up growing into. Additionally, Mayea looks poised to stay up the middle of the diamond due to his speed, defensive instincts, and medium build. He may not have sky-high upside barring development of a plus-plus hit tool, but he’s otherwise an exciting, well-rounded young prospect. 40+ FV Prospects 10. Yoendrys Gómez, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 23.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 55/55 50/55 40/45 50/55 40/55 93-96 / 98 Gómez was a surprise 40-man addition following the 2020 campaign since, in part because of a Tommy John, he has yet to make his big league debut and is quickly running out of options. Arm soreness shelved him early in 2021 and Gómez had TJ that August, so it was a miracle that he pitched in 2022 at all. Returning in June, less than a year removed from his surgery, Gómez spent most of the back half of the season at High-A Hudson Valley and wrapped with Double-A Somerset. His arm strength had not totally returned, and instead of the sitting in the 93-96 mph range, peaking at 98, Gómez was more often 92-94 with average movement. His repertoire had lost oomph across the board in terms of spin, velocity, and overall pitch quality. Gómez did return from TJ very quickly and that might be part of why his stuff was suppressed. He came out throwing harder in his 2023 spring debut, sitting 93-96 and nearly touching 97, while his breaking ball spin rates were all back to normal, which is a great sign. Gómez will vary the shape of three different breakers, working 86-88 with a cutter (most often) and in the low 80s with his curveball and slider. PitchCom makes it hard to know which of the slider and curveball Gómez has thrown, as those two pitches tend to run together velo- and shape-wise. He has the firm, short-action changeup that lots of Yankees prospects (and Luis Severino) have, a curt little upper-80s power cambio that they just turn over at release. Gómez’s lacks great movement right now, but it’s important he develops a pitch that breaks to his arm side. His delivery has some effort and head violence, but Gómez’s stride down the mound is very athletic and his line to the plate is consistent enough for him to throw starter-level strikes even if his command is imprecise. Better command might come the further away from surgery he gets. Gómez has just one option year left and because he’s only made four starts above A-ball, the Yankees are likely to use it to allow him to get some traction as a starter in the upper minors. It means he’ll either have to make the active roster straight out of camp next season or be exposed to other teams, which might make it more likely that the Yankees put Gómez in the bullpen soon, perhaps in a multi-inning role that will give him the innings foundation to transition into the rotation later on. The combination of the early 40-man add and Gómez’s Tommy John really compressed his development and might ultimately alter his role even though he looks like a starting pitching prospect. 11. Randy Vásquez, MIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 24.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 50/50 70/70 45/50 45/50 40/45 93-95 / 97 A spin-rate sleeper near the bottom of this list for several years, Vásquez broke out in 2021 when he had a two-tick velocity bump, climbed three levels and finished the year at Double-A. Vásquez spent all of 2022 with Double-A Somerset, where he continued to pitch pretty well as a starter, amassing 115 innings and striking out 120 hitters while walking 44. His low-80s, two-planed sweeping breaking ball has elite spin and is Vásquez’s best pitch. He can vary the shape on his 93-95 mph fastball to feature more or less sink, though his long, low arm swing always tends to impart tail and sink on that pitch. An upper-80s cutter and changeup round out a repertoire full of firm pitches that make Vásquez’s slower slurve more conspicuous to hitters. Because his mechanical operation has always been pretty violent, he tends to be projected in the bullpen by scouts, and he has been here at FanGraphs for the duration of his life as a prospect. He has the four-pitch mix and a multi-year track record of starter-quality strike throwing, but there’s just not another big league starter whose delivery is this long, low, and violent looking. The 2023 season will be Vásquez’s first on the 40-man and it makes sense to let him keep starting during at least his first option year, but after that it might be tempting to move him into a long relief role and hope there’s more velo in the tank. He’s going to be a valuable member of a pitching staff in some capacity starting this year. 12. Austin Wells, LF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Arizona (NYY) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/45 55/55 45/55 30/30 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. He’s now a career .270/.388/.493 hitter in the minors and spent most of 2022 at Double-A Somerset. The general sentiment across the industry (though it’s not universal) is that he isn’t an acceptable defensive catcher. His receiving has improved to the point of viability but Wells’ arm, which has been below-average since he underwent shoulder surgery as an amateur, has not. Many of his throws don’t even reach the bag on a fly, tending instead to one-hop in front of it, though Wells does lob them in there pretty accurately and often gives his middle infielders a chance to apply a quick enough tag to make things close. His caught stealing rates were much better in 2022 than in years prior (remember he surrendered 98 steals at an 87% success rate in 2021), but most of Wells’ pop times are still 2.05 or slower, which would put him toward the very bottom of the big league leaderboard. Wells has some experience in the outfield corners dating back to college but has focused on catching in pro ball. Because 2023 is his 40-man evaluation year, it’s probably time for the Yankees to start expanding his defensive horizons to see what else he can do before they have to decide whether to roster him. Offensively, Wells has great plate discipline and plus pull power, and the short-levered lefty is especially great at turning on pitches that find the inner half of the plate. Conversely, his swing is long to the up-and-away portion of the zone and, akin to J.J. Bleday, he swings underneath tons of fastballs running away from him out there, enough to worry that it will be a problem against major league righties, who tend to ride their fastballs in that area. Lefty power bats have some utility off the bench even when they can’t play a position, so if Wells can catch situationally and play another position at the bottom of the defensive spectrum, he’ll still be an interesting bit player. Fair warning: An adjustment against those aforementioned ride-and-run fastballs will probably have to be made for that to be the outcome. 13. Agustin Ramirez, C Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 55/60 35/55 30/30 30/45 55 Here we have a situation where the lost pandemic season makes it extra tough to interpret a player’s performance. In part because there was no 2020 minor league season, Ramirez has spent four years in rookie ball. Historically, players for whom that’s true haven’t tended to make it. Ramirez repeated the complex level in 2022 and hit .304/.386/.506 as a 20-year-old catcher. It’s dubious to trust that performance given his age for the level, but with Antonio Gomez (and Anthony Seigler, for a while) ahead of him at Low-A, there wasn’t another place to put Ramirez. You would expect a player repeating a level to improve, but Ramirez’s leap was stark. He halved his strikeout rate from the previous season (from 30% to 15%) and produced immense power for a 20-year-old hitter, with hard-hit and barrel rates well above the big league average. The power isn’ new — it enabled Ramirez to have an above-average offensive season in 2021 despite his swing and miss issues at the time — but his ability to tap into it to this degree thanks to improved feel for contact unlocked a whole new level of power production in 2022. His bat speed is plus and causes Ramirez’s swing to have that dramatic, over-the-head helicopter finish Yankees fans know from Miguel Andújar. The power is real, but is the same true of his bat-to-ball ability? The underlying data is very encouraging (85% Z-contact%), but how much of the improvement is simply due to Ramirez’s extended stay in rookie ball? Ramirez isn’t a lock to stay at catcher but has the arm to play there if he can polish the other aspects of his defense. The old adage is that catchers tend to break late, and in this case you hope “late” means after having toiled away at the lowest levels for a pretty long time. Ramirez is the same age as a college draft prospect and if you were to parachute his tools (chiefly, the power and arm strength) into a college catcher, I think this toolset goes in the late-second to third round. It will be interesting to see what kind of line the Yankees take here. Ramirez is Rule 5 eligible. Do they accelerate his promotion track to see if they want to roster him after the 2023 season or do they take a more conservative line and leave him at Tampa all year knowing it’s unlikely another team will pop him in next offseason’s Rule 5? If their behavior with Antonio Gomez is any indication, they’ll slow play Ramirez. Regardless, he’s an interesting high-variance prospect in the lower part of the system. 14. Roderick Arias, SS Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.5 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 40/50 20/50 55/50 45/60 60 Arias’ 2022 DSL line was terrifying. After signing for $4 million in January of 2022, he hit just .194 and struck out 32% of the time in the DSL. If he weren’t a top-of-the-class amateur prospect whose name you already knew, that performance would be enough to exclude him from a prospect list, and it’s likely that if actual teams are having theoretical trade discussions with the Yankees, Arias won’t carry 40+ FV weight in a deal because of how bad his 2022 statline was. However, he was dealing with a hand injury and the sample was quite small, a much shorter run than his amateur track record as a top-of-the-class prospect. He is still a physical switch-hitting shortstop whose skill foundation combined with his body projection creates lots of positive potential outcomes if it turns out he actually has a viable hit tool. Physically, he could mature into the Goldilocks Zone, where he adds strength via maturity to hit for power while also staying agile enough to play shortstop. Even with a below-average hit tool, that’s a good big leaguer. Obviously after a year like the one Arias had, his hit tool is at risk of bottoming out entirely. His amateur report still carries a ton of water here, but if he has a 2023 season anything like his 2022, Arias will be in the Puason zone and it will already be time to move on. 15. Jhony Brito, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 25.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 50/50 45/45 55/60 45/45 50/55 93-96 / 97 Brito began 2022 at Double-A Somerset and finished it at Scranton, posting a combined 2.96 ERA between the two levels in 112 innings. He enjoyed a two-tick velo bump in 2022, with his fastball now averaging just south of 95 mph in the 93-96 mph range. In spite of his long arm action, Brito throws a ton of strikes and has an above-average power-sink changeup in the 85-89 mph range, which he turns over from a tilted-out, high arm slot à la Michael Wacha. He runs it away from left-handed hitters and often uses it early in counts as a way of inducing weak contact. Neither of Brito’s two breaking balls is especially nasty, but he commands both his upper-70s curveball and mid-80s cutter/slider to his glove side with consistency, which should enable him to work hitters who struggle to identify those pitches. Like Randy Vásquez, Brito’s size and delivery are not typical of a big league starter, but he’s sustained strong velocity across over 100 innings and thrown enough strikes to put himself in the big league picture as a starter. He’s a capable spot start option right now and would be fine pitching toward the back of the rotation if injuries force him into extended major league action in 2023. As his options run dry, he’ll either establish himself as a steady backend starter or end up working in a valuable multi-inning relief role. 40 FV Prospects 16. Sean Boyle, SP Drafted: 25th Round, 2018 from Dallas Baptist (NYY) Age 26.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 40/40 55/55 40/45 45/50 55/60 88-92 / 94 A Selden, New York high schooler, Boyle began his college career at Suffolk County Community College. After two years, he transferred to Dallas Baptist, where he pitched as an extremely short reliever for two seasons (he had many more appearances than innings pitched). Initially deployed as a reliever in pro ball, the Yankees stretched him out beginning in 2021, when Boyle climbed three levels while his per-outing workload grew. The reins came off in 2022, as Boyle was working deep into games at Somerset and was promoted to Scranton late in the year. He uses an east/west operation, working in a heavy dose of sliders to his glove side. His slider and sinker enable him to split the plate laterally and keep hitters off balance, while his cutter gives him a way of changing speeds and shape off both of those. His changeup still needs to improve a little bit to help keep Boyle from being vulnerable to lefties in the big leagues, but he has fifth starter stuff right now and a floor as an effective low-slot long man. 17. Clayton Beeter, SIRP Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from Texas Tech (LAD) Age 24.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops 60/60 60/60 60/60 30/40 94-97 / 98 Beeter spent most of his college career either injured or in the Texas Tech bullpen until he came out of the gate as a Red Raiders starter in 2020. He was not only electric, sitting in the mid-90s with two plus or better breaking balls but, for the first time in his life, he was also throwing strikes. It was at this point that his draft stock exploded. His fastball has big carry thanks to its back-spinning axis, and it works similarly to the way Rays righty Nick Anderson’s does, as do his breaking balls. While the Dodgers and Yankees (Beeter was the prospect return for Joey Gallo) have deployed Beeter as a starter, his delivery is stiff and his release is inconsistent, generating relief projection here. He tilts out to create a vertical arm slot that helps impart the carry on his fastball (which often sails to his arm side) and the depth on his two breaking balls (which he actually has a better feel for landing in the zone than his heater). The stuff is monstrous and Beeter has never struck out fewer than 13/9 IP at any level of the minors. A riding mid-90s fastball pairs with a vertical low-80s curveball and a two-planed mid-80s slider to create a modern power pitcher’s mix, just with zero feel for location. The 2023 season is Beeter’s 40-man evaluation year, so if he continues to miss bats, he’ll likely be added to the roster. Even though he is much less likely to make it as a starter than the other 40+ FV arms here, his stuff is nasty enough to play a late-inning role in the bullpen. 18. Luis Gil, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (MIN) Age 24.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/70 55/55 30/30 35/35 93-97 / 99 Gil was acquired in the one-for-one Jake Cave trade with Minnesota back in 2018 simply because Cave was getting squeezed off the Yankees roster. At that juncture, Gil was a hard-throwing lottery ticket with a velvety smooth delivery and projectable frame, but he had such crude feel for release that he likely profiled in relief. Gil has since developed a good slider and his strike-throwing was fine enough that he traversed the minors and made his big league debut as a starter, but his control (especially of his fastball) realistically only fits in a bullpen. Gil had Tommy John in late May of 2022 and will probably miss most of 2023. FanGraphs has learned that the Yankees have been given a fourth option year for Gil because of injury, which makes it less likely he gets squeezed off the roster as soon as he returns; without the extra option, Gil was going to have to sink or swim on the active roster as soon as his rehab was over. The timing of the surgery will still make it very difficult for Gil to rebuild starter’s innings, all but ensuring he ends up in the bullpen once he’s back from TJ. He might be able to work in high-leverage situations if he has a velo boost airing it out one inning at a time, but just a stock middle-inning role is more likely at this stage. 19. Richard Fitts, SP Drafted: 6th Round, 2021 from Auburn (NYY) Age 23.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 50/55 40/45 35/60 91-94 / 96 Fitts spent most of his college career in Auburn’s bullpen, but he broke out as a starter late during his draft year with the Tigers. Not only has Fitts been developed as a starter in pro ball, but he checked the strike-throwing box quite emphatically throughout his 2022 season. His fastball control is exceptional — he threw his heater for strikes at a whopping 71% rate in 2022. His arm slot looks a little higher now than when he was at Auburn and his body looks a little leaner, but his stuff was largely the same as it was when he was a sixth round pick in 2021. He still sits mostly 92-93 mph, uses a 80-84 mph slider as his secondary weapon of choice, and barely throws a firm, 86-87 mph changeup. Big extension gives the fastball a little extra giddyup and enabled Fitts to blow it past the low-minors hitters he dispatched in 2022, but his velo means that its performance might plateau as he reaches Double-A and above. Ideally, he’ll further incorporate his changeup or some other tertiary offering, which big league starters tend to need. Fitts’ command makes him a high-probability backend starter prospect with a shot to break out of if he can improve either his velocity or find a third meaningful pitch. 20. Brendan Beck, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2021 from Stanford (NYY) Age 24.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/40 45/55 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. He still hasn’t pitched as a pro due to a TJ in late 2021 that cost him all of 2022. Beck carved in college 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 it 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, as well as his ability to vary fastball shape with his two- and four-seamers, is why he performed so well as a collegiate player. Since arm strength has become a relatively easy thing to develop, you could argue that this is the kind of pitcher teams should want to draft. But there’s less overt athleticism and secondary stuff quality here than with other efficient college starters, so consider Beck a low-variance fifth starter prospect. 21. Omar Gonzalez, SP Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Panama (NYY) Age 17.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/55 45/55 40/55 20/45 89-92 / 94 A fascinating teenage pitching prospect with a sawed-off arm arm action similar to the one promoted by Dr. Mike Marshall, Gonzalez has a blend of present stuff, projection, and polish that sets him apart from most complex-level pitchers his age. His low-90s fastball jumps on hitters because of his deceptive delivery and its riding life, his arm slot allows him to create huge depth on his breaking ball, and he can somehow turn over a changeup from this slot. At a skinny 6-foot-4, there’s room for more size and velocity as Gonzalez matures. It’s too early to make a call on Gonzalez’s command, but he has the makings of three real weapons if you buy that the velocity will arrive over time. 22. Trystan Vrieling, SP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2022 from Gonzaga (NYY) Age 22.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 40/45 55/55 40/45 50/55 35/55 90-94 / 96 Vrieling had one of the deeper repertoires in the 2022 draft, with four pitches headlined by his cutter/slider and curveball, which have distinct shape and which Vrieling commands to his glove side. He doesn’t throw all that hard, only sitting 90-94 mph most of the time, but he’ll reach back for the occasional 96 and his heater has carry that plays at the letters. His fastball command is notably worse than his feel for locating his breaking stuff even though his arm action is quite short. This is exactly the kind of pitching prospect the Yankees have drafted and tended to make throw harder. If that happens here, then Vrieling will move into the 40+ FV tier along with the other stuff-heavy impact arms on the starter/reliever line. If he doesn’t throw harder as a pro, it’s more back-of-the-rotation stuff, but he’ll need to polish his fastball command to seize a role like that. 23. Luis Serna, SP Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Mexico (NYY) Age 18.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 162 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/40 45/50 50/60 25/60 90-93 / 94 Serna is a very advanced, strike-throwing teenage pitching prospect who lacks prototypical physicality. In 2022, he sat 90-93 mph with uncommon spin for a fastball of below-average velocity. He fills the strike zone with the heater, as well as his precocious mid-70s changeup (which bottoms out just as it reaches the plate) and an upper-70s slider (which has long lateral movement). It’s tough to project on Serna’s fastball because he’s so small, but he’s athletic and has a loose, whippy arm, which is part of how he sells his changeup. The cambio is so slow that it also feels like a difficult pitch to project, but it gave complex-level hitters fits in 2022. Unless Serna’s velocity develops in an unexpected way, he isn’t a high-ceiling prospect. Instead, he’s the rare low-variance teenage pitching prospect who seems likely to be a backend starter. 24. Elijah Dunham, LF Video Undrafted Free Agent, 2020 (NYY) Age 24.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 213 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/45 55/55 40/50 45/45 40/40 45 A draft-eligible sophomore in 2019, Dunham was drafted by the Pirates in the 40th round but didn’t sign, instead returning to Bloomington for his junior year. He ended up signing with the Yankees after the shortened 2020 draft and they’ve pushed him through the system quickly. Dunham has responded well. In 2022, he hit .248/.349/.448 with 17 homers, 46 extra-base hits and 37 stolen bases (84% success rate) at Double-A Somerset. Yes, Dunham was 24 for most of the season, but he’s done nothing but rake throughout a college and pro career that now spans five years, and it’s as easy to buy his statistical track record because of its length and consistency as it is to be skeptical of it due to his age. He has a big leaguer’s physicality, he’s short to the ball but still produces power, and he covers most of the plate. Dunham’s footwork in the box has been altered to keep him on time without detracting from the movement that his sweet-looking open stance helps create as he strides closed. His posture — bent at the waist, his torso hanging over the zone — helps him create the lift that generates modest (but meaningful) game power. The stiffness in his lower half can prevent him from getting to pitches on the outer third and this may yet be an issue, but otherwise Dunham’s hit/power combination feels stable enough to consider him a bat-driven fifth outfielder, a great near-ready depth option for now who’s jockeying for position with several similar hitters in the upper levels of the system. 25. Anthony Hall, RF Video Drafted: 4th Round, 2022 from Oregon (NYY) Age 22.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 55/60 35/50 40/40 30/50 45 The Yankees sure do love their physical, lefty-hitting corner college performers and Hall is the most recent acquisition. The club’s 2022 fourth rounder is a strapping 6-foot-2 and already has above-average raw power with room for more as he matures into his mid-20s. Hall is incredibly similar to Elijah Dunham, right down to the stiff lower half that impacts Hall’s ability to cover the whole zone. His swing is a little long but it has lovely natural loft once it gets on plane, and Hall will golf out some epic pull-side homers. He was a career .307/.374/.554 hitter at Oregon and he has the left-handed power to make frequent situational impact in a corner platoon if his swing’s length doesn’t prove to be an issue against upper-level arms. If his stride elongates and Hall’s lower half looks less stiff, he’s a breakout candidate. 26. Blas Castano, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 24.5 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 162 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 40/40 55/60 50/55 40/45 45/50 92-95 / 96 Signed at the very end of the 2017 international period (June of 2018), Castano has slowly marched through the minors, reaching Double-A at the end of 2022. He made a career-high 20 starts and worked 108 innings, with 8 K/9 innings and just 2.8 BB/9 innings, continuing a long track record of strike throwing. Castano is little, but he’s a plus on-mound athlete with two above-average secondary pitches in his slurve and changeup. He also sits 92-95 mph and his size creates uphill angle on his fastball, but Castano’s fastball shape is of the sink/tail variety, so it doesn’t play like a power heater. He actually pitches off his slider more often because of his fastball’s vulnerability. There’s enough happening here to consider Castano a big league spot starter candidate within the next couple of years, especially if he can keep throwing strikes at Double-A and above. 27. Greg Weissert, SIRP Drafted: 18th Round, 2016 from Fordham (NYY) Age 28.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 60/60 50/50 40/40 92-95 / 96 Weissert was a starter at Fordham and moved into the bullpen as soon as he entered pro ball, often serving as the closer of whatever affiliate the Yankees had sent him to all the way through 2022. His cross-bodied delivery and low three-quarters slot are a nightmare for right-handed hitters, as is Weissert’s low-80s slider, which has an absurd amount of lateral action while lacking much depth. You worry that relievers like Weissert will have drastic platoon splits because of how long lefties see the baseball, but his changeup — in the mid-80s with considerable sink and tail — is good enough that lefty batters can’t just tee off on him. Weissert is a polished middle relief prospect likely to graduate from rookie status in 2023. 28. Enmanuel Tejeda, SS Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 40/50 25/50 50/50 40/50 60 A physical, medium-framed shortstop, Tejeda was one of a few Yankees DSL infielders who put up inflated OBPs due to a sheer lack of swinging. Tejeda, though, has an interesting collection of tools. He seems to actually have feel for the zone, and he’s an above-average rotational athlete with a compact swing. Sinewy and strong, Tejeda has pretty good pop for his age and could mature into average raw power. His frame isn’t especially projectable, which will likely cap his long-term pop, but it also makes him a better bet to stay at short. There is still hit tool risk here (don’t let the DSL K% fool you), but the middle infield likelihood combined with the precocious power is enough to grade Tejeda as the equivalent of a third- to fifth-round draft prospect. 29. Antonio Gomez, C Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 50/55 30/40 30/30 45/55 70 Gomez is a lock to catch despite still being a little rough around the edges as a ball-blocker, which might be because he’s perpetually catching on a knee, often with a very wide base that seems to impact his mobility. It doesn’t impact his pop times, however, as Gomez is still quick out of his crouch and fires lasers to the bases, with his pop times often hovering around 1.80 seconds. His defensive ability allows him to project as a high-probability backup catcher while his raw power gives Gomez a puncher’s chance to develop into a primary backstop down the line. Still, in three pro seasons, he has struggled to make even an average amount of contact against low-level arms, and it will probably take a while for his bat to develop if it does at all. 35+ FV Prospects 30. Carson Coleman, SIRP Undrafted Free Agent, 2020 (NYY) Age 24.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 70/70 40/50 30/35 94-97 / 98 Coleman and the Yankees have added about four ticks to his fastball since he signed after the 2020 draft, and when you combine the mid-90s velocity with his heater’s nasty uphill angle and tailing action, he now has a vicious plus-plus fastball. That is almost solely why Coleman was able to punch 95 tickets in just 63 innings throughout a 2022 season spent as Somerset’s closer. His command and secondary pitches are all well below average and at least one other aspect of Coleman’s skill set needs to evolve if he’s going to play a consistent big league role, but if he develops another plus characteristic, he’ll have a shot to work late innings. His slider (which hitters struggle to parse from his fastball, but which Coleman struggles to locate) is his best shot given this org’s ability to develop those. 31. Alex Mauricio, SIRP Drafted: 27th Round, 2017 from Norfolk State (NYY) Age 26.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 55/55 55/55 35/40 94-96 / 97 Mauricio only threw 1.1 innings from 2019 through 2021, and I had to go back to 2017 to find the last time I had notes on his stuff and velocity. Way back then, Mauricio was sitting 92-93 mph and topping out at 95. Back after essentially three years away from an affiliated mound, Mauricio’s velocity saw a significant boost in 2022, when he sat 94-96 with uphill angle and ride. His slider/cutter, which he actually throws more often than his fastball because his feel for landing it is more consistent, averaged 85 mph in 2022 but has been more 86-90 mph early on during 2023 spring training. He is extremely athletic and has plus arm speed, but Mauricio’s line to the plate is very inconsistent, which impacts his fastball control. He has only thrown a few dozen innings during the last several years, so that may continue to improve. He’s already in position to be an up/down reliever and may just be a consistent middle inning option if there’s late development due to the time away. 32. Deivi García, SIRP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 23.8 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 163 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/50 45/45 45/50 40/40 93-96 / 97 García’s command/control regressed in 2021 and hasn’t rebounded, as he again struggled badly with walks in 2022. He has never both been healthy and thrown an above-average rate of strikes at the same time, and his walk issues have trended in the wrong direction as he’s climbed the minor league ladder. Now García (who was given an extra option year due to missed time) is competing for one of the last Opening Day spots in the Yankees bullpen with Albert Abreu (optionless) and Clarke Schmidt (who has one option remaining). García’s velocity has waxed and waned over the last couple of seasons, dipping into the 92-93 mph range for most of 2021-22. He was throwing harder out of the gate to start 2023 spring training, sitting 94-96 out of the bullpen and living off his heater’s upshot angle rather than actual riding life. He has a fairly new cutter that seems to have replaced the rainbow mid-70s curveball García used to throw about 10% of the time. García has the athleticism to, over time, find a second plus pitch that would enable him to stick in a big league bullpen. It’s encouraging that he came out throwing hard again to start 2023, but as of this moment, he’s a fastball-only reliever whose secondary stuff is in flux, at least partially because he’s been hurt and lost reps. 33. Chase Hampton, SIRP Drafted: 6th Round, 2022 from Texas Tech (NYY) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 55/60 50/55 30/40 45/55 30/45 93-96 / 97 A belief held here at FanGraphs is that Texas Tech is among the college programs that recruits talented pitchers but doesn’t do a great job of developing them, as pro teams tend to help Red Raiders make pretty significant leaps after they sign. Hampton is perhaps the latest. He sat 91-94 mph during his final year in Lubbock, part of a four-pitch mix that the walk-prone draft-eligible sophomore used to strike out 72 batters in 56 innings. More than his pure stuff, Hampton is interesting from a mechanical standpoint. His lower half is balanced and powerful, and it helps him maintain an athletic drop-and-drive delivery, which creates flat angle on his fastball. The Yankees shut him down after the draft, and when Hampton made his pro debut during big league spring training the following year, he came out throwing three ticks harder than he had in college; he sat 94-96 and was working with a mid-80s cutter that was much harder than his college breaking balls. He was coming off prolonged rest and probably amped up to pitch in a big league game, but Hampton appears to have breakout potential now that he’s throwing harder, and the track record of pitchers leaving Tech and improving is long enough at this point to anticipate it will happen for Hampton, too. 34. Andres Chaparro, 1B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 23.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/50 50/50 45/50 30/30 30/40 30 Chaparro would be a very prominent prospect at any other position, but the offensive bar at first base (which some scouts don’t even think Chaparro can play) is just so high that he sits below the threshold where it’s fair to expect big impact. He can hit, though, and is much more athletic in the batter’s box than he is anywhere else. Especially adept at getting on top of high fastballs, Chaparro blends contact and power to do (mostly) pull-side extra base damage. He makes an above-average rate of contact with about average power in a vacuum, which is below average at first base. If given a full season of plate appearances, Chaparro would likely fall in the bottom third of first basemen at the big league level, perhaps with some peak years closer to the middle of the group. He’s great upper-level injury depth for the Yankees, and he’ll likely keep hitting enough to earn an opportunity with a rebuilding team that wants to see if he can perform against big league pitching, or maybe even play in Japan. 35. Carlos Lagrange, SP Signed: International Signing Period, 2022 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 19.8 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/60 20/45 95-98 / 99 The gigantic Lagrange threw incredibly hard in the 2022 DSL, sitting 95-98 mph with sink and tail while bending in the occasionally plus curveball. The track record of pitchers this big who throw this hard at this age isn’t great, and Lagrange’s fastball has some “round down” characteristics (like downhill plane), but his velocity, breaking ball quality, and potential ability to eat starter’s innings because of his size are all very exciting. 36. Angel Benitez, SP Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 19.5 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 204 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/55 45/55 20/50 93-95 / 97 One of the biggest and hardest-throwing teenagers in the entire DSL, Benitez sat 93-95 mph throughout a 17-inning 2022 season. His fastball has extreme downhill plane because of his height and it’s hard to tell how that angle will play against better hitters. His changeup, which has sinking action that plays nicely with his pitches’ downhill plane, is his best secondary right now, but Benitez is still in the very early stages. At this point, he’s simply a great arm strength and body projection prospect in the very low levels of the system. 37. Brock Selvidge, SP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from Hamilton HS (AZ) (NYY) Age 20.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 40/55 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 and Combine, showings he converted into a $1.5 million bonus as a third round pick. Selvidge certainly looked the part in a uniform, with a well-built frame that produces low-to-mid-90s fastballs and a power slider that can flash plus at times. At times very wild in high school, Selvidge again struggled with control on the complex in 2022, and his fastball velocity was more in the 89-92 mph range than the mid-90s peak he showed as an amateur. His breaking ball still really plays and he’s still quite young and has that prototypical pitcher’s frame, so you want to stay on him as a low-level developmental arm, but it isn’t as if Selvidge took a huge leap in his first season or anything like that. 38. Justin Lange, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Llano HS (TX) (SDP) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/55 40/50 40/50 20/40 92-95 / 100 When Lange’s velocity exploded during his senior year of high school, his draft stock did, too. He was 89-93 mph at the Area Code Games the summer after his junior year, up to 95 in the fall, and then came out throwing even harder during his draft spring. He had added considerable muscle and had some spring 2020 starts where he was sitting in the upper-90s. Which teams liked him depended on which start they saw and how data-driven their pitch evaluations are. As some teams pivot toward drafting pitchers with good command of good secondaries and try to develop velocity, Lange was a bit of the opposite. The Padres gave him $2 million in the comp round. He presented the Padres dev group with an elite frame, arm strength, and athleticism, but they didn’t have much opportunity to shape his stuff as he dealt with a shoulder and knee issue that limited him to 22 walk-riddled pro innings before he was shipped to New York for Luke Voit just before the 2022 season. Lange had a fair season on the complex, where he punched tickets at a nearly 30% clip, but he struggled with walks and his velocity seems to have settled in the 92-95 mph range. Lange’s secondaries are sushi raw. His fastball tilt isn’t ideal, but the velo and angle created by his drop-and-drive delivery will mitigate that. It’s breaking ball depth that might be an issue from this arm slot, and Lange currently deploys a mid-80s cutter as his secondary pitch of choice. The Yankees have a track record of coaxing more velocity out of big, well-composed athletes like Lange, but you really have to dream on a breaking ball and Lange’s command to see an impact big leaguer here. He’s purely a developmental ball of clay at this stage. 39. Tyler Hardman, 3B Drafted: 5th Round, 2021 from Oklahoma (NYY) Age 24.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 60/60 45/50 35/35 40/45 60 Passed over in the 2020 draft, Hardman had a sensational fourth year at Oklahoma and went in 2021’s fifth round. He spent almost his entire first full pro season at Hudson Valley, where he hit 22 homers but struck out 30% of the time, a worrying mark for a 23-year-old in A-ball. Hardman does have big power, already comfortably plus on the big league scale. His bat head tends to traverse the lower and inner portions of the strike zone, leaving Hardman very vulnerable to high fastballs and well-located sliders, lots of which he’d see in the big leagues. If he can polish his third base defense (he has a plus arm but his accuracy comes and goes), he could be a power-over-hit corner infield piece, but when a 23-year-old is striking out a third of the time in A-ball, it’s not a guarantee he’s actually going to hit. 40. Brett Barrera, 2B Drafted: 8th Round, 2022 from Stanford (NYY) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 217 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 50/55 35/50 30/30 30/40 45 Barrera’s free-swinging approach and the risk that he slides deep down the defensive spectrum due to his size are largely why he fell to the eighth round of the 2022 draft. He does have big bat speed, though. If Barrera can improve his conditioning and mobility enough to stay on the dirt, he could be a Jonathan Schoop-like power-hitting piece. 41. Anthony Garcia, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/30 70/80 35/60 40/30 30/40 60 I don’t want to come off Garcia completely even after he struck out 40% of the time in A-ball in 2022. He has immense raw power for any prospect, let alone a switch-hitter, and a scouting rule of thumb is to give switch-hitters and big-framed, long-levered hitters more time to perfect the feel for their bodies and swings. Garcia is extreme in both regards, at a whopping 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds or so (the Yankees list him at 204). Remember, too, that Garcia missed two consecutive years with a severe quad injury and then the first year of the pandemic. He is still sushi raw, but throughout all of baseball there are maybe a handful of switch-hitters with this much power. It seems feasible Garcia could get his contact ability to a place that allows him to be a dangerous bench bat. 42. T.J. Rumfield, 1B Drafted: 12th Round, 2021 from Virginia Tech (PHI) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/55 30/40 30/30 40/50 50 It felt like the Phillies (who drafted him) and then the Yankees (who traded Nick Nelson and Donny Sands for him and Joel Valdez) might be getting in on the ground floor of a tip-of-of-the-iceberg prospect in Rumfield, who barely played as an underclassman at Texas Tech and then had a great draft year (his only real college season of at-bats) at Virginia Tech in 2021. He is a very physical lefty-hitting first baseman with good feel for contact and more power at 5 o’clock than when the game actually starts. Rumfield tends to be a little late into the hitting zone and doesn’t turn on as many pitches with power as would be ideal for a first base-only defender. He’s lurking here toward the bottom of the list as a swing change breakout candidate who, remember, hasn’t played a ton of high level baseball because of the pandemic and injury. 43. Matt Krook, MIRP Drafted: 4th Round, 2016 from Oregon (TBR) Age 28.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 45/45 60/60 40/40 40/45 40/40 88-91 / 93 A 2013 first round pick of the Marlins out of high school, Miami flunked Krook’s post draft physical and he ended up at Oregon, where he struggled with walks. The Giants took him in the fourth round in 2016 and traded him to the Rays as part of the Evan Longoria deal after the 2017 season. He spent the next several years doing a mix of starting and relieving while with Tampa Bay, again struggling with walks and declining velocity (mid-90s at peak, upper 80s more recently) while still showing big sinking action on his fastball and big break on his slider. The Yankees made him a minor league Rule 5 pick in 2020 and returned Krook exclusively to the rotation. While his command is still well below average, the length and depth of his slider makes it a plus pitch, and his upper-80s fastball sinks enough to keep it off barrels and generate a ton of groundballs (55% GB% overall for Krook in 2022); both pitches are aided by his funky delivery. He doesn’t have the command you ideally want out of a spot starter or multi-inning reliever, but his stuff is a great fit in either of those roles, especially the latter. He seems likely to begin 2023 as an optionable starter but could move into a bulk middle inning role throughout the year. 44. Alexander Vargas, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 30/30 30/30 60/60 45/60 60 Once a 50 FV prospect as a dynamic switch-hitting shortstop who needed to get stronger to make any real offensive impact, Vargas struggled so badly in 2022 that he nearly fell off this list entirely. He needed to use his entire body just to whip the bat around and he was still often late against fastballs. Chase was also an issue (36% chase rate), and Vargas hit .203 at Low-A in 2022. He has added muscle during the offseason, so let’s see how things progress in 2023. Varga is so athletic and his frame is so well-composed that he’s still an interesting prospect despite his struggles with the bat. Even if his new strength has a meaningful impact on his ability to hit, however, he still needs to curb his chase some to feel like a solid future big leaguer. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Low-Velocity Arms Zach Messinger, RHP Sean Hermann, RHP Matt Sauer, RHP Mitch Spence, RHP Edgar Barclay, LHP Steven Jennings, RHP Messinger, 23, has undergone deprogramming after spending his college career at UVA. The 6-foot-6 righty now has a 92-94 mph fastball that plays up due to big extension. If he can throw harder and/or locate his slider more consistently, he could breakout. Hermann, 19, was a 2022 high school draftee. His fastball sits 91-92 with uphill angle and he pounded the zone with it last year, throwing strikes at a 71% clip after he signed. His mid-80s slider is more average right now but this org’s core competency is developing those, so he’s a likely 2023 helium guy. Sauer, a former high-profile high school draft pick, is now 24 and sitting mostly 92-93 with vulnerable shape. His secondaries (especially his mid-80s slider) are all pretty good, and he’s a fine emergency depth option. Spence (cutters and slurves) and Barclay (changeups and sliders) are 24-year-olds who sit 90-92, throw plenty of strikes, and try to get by with their superior secondary pitches. Jennings, a former high draft pick of the Pirates, has also thrown lots of strikes with 40-grade stuff in the upper minors. Potential Late-Breaking Catcher Mickey Gasper, C/1B Anthony Seigler, C Carlos Narvaez, C Josh Breaux, C Gasper, who barely catches anymore, is a switch-hitter with great feel for contact. Seigler, a former first rounder who is now 23, has struggled with injuries and spent most of 2022 at High-A, where he performed above the league average. Recall that he’s a funky, switch-hitting former switch-pitcher. He has unique baseball skills that make me want to stay on him to a degree. Narvaez and Breaux are both upper-level power-over-hit types who might get a cup of coffee due to injury. Toolsy, Volatile Young Bats Daury Arias, CF Dayro Perez, SS Marcos Cabrera, 3B Alan Mejia, OF Madison Santos, OF Christopher Familia, OF Felix Negueis, OF This entire group has yet to play above A-ball. They all flash power and speed, and scouts can dream on how their power might grow as they mature. But each of them also has sizable hit tool question marks. Knockout Breaking Balls Joel Valdez, LHP Tyrone Yulie, RHP Juan Carela, RHP Yorlin Calderon, RHP Josue Panacual, RHP Aside from Panacual, this entire group leans on their sliders more often than they do their fastballs. Valdez (acquired from Philly) is 22 and his uphill 93-94 mph heater has bat-missing traits, which isn’t true of most of this group, but he struggles to locate it and it’s why he needs to throw his plus slider a ton. Yulie, 21, has thrown harder in the past but sat 93 in 2022. He threw his mid-80s slider 43% of the time. Carela (slider, fastball, cutter) has plus-plus breaking ball spin but struggles to throw strikes with his 92-mph heater. Calderon is a wispy 21-year-old righty with a nasty two-plane slider and a below-average low-90s fastball. He’s loose and projectable enough to hope that he can throw harder with training. Panacual is a low-slot starter with a sinker and slider that have a nice horizontal split. Hitterish Up-The-Middle Types Engelth Urena, C Jared Serna, 2B Keiner Delgado, 2B Urena is an athletic, well-rounded, medium-framed catching prospect who raked in the 2022 DSL. Serna, 20, tracks pitches beautifully and barely strikes out, but he makes relatively low-impact contact. Delgado’s DSL numbers were ridiculous and he has a really cool, left-handed version of Jose Altuve’s scissor kick swing, but some of his 2022 OBP is due to sheer passivity. Hard Throwers Lisandro Santos, LHP Tanner Myatt, RHP Jack Neely, RHP Eric Reyzelman, RHP Santos, 24, signed as a minor league free agent after he showed a huge K% uptick with the Braves in 2022. He has rare lefty velo, sitting 93-96 mph and mixing in a short, mid-80s cutter. Myatt, 24, sits 95 and gets above-average whiff rates on his slider and changeup, but he struggles to throw strikes. Neely is a gigantic guy who hopped around to a few schools (Texas, San Jacinto, Iowa Western, Ohio State) before pro ball. He now sits 95 and has a low-spin slider that dominated Low-A in 2022. Reyzelman was just drafted out of LSU. He sits 95, touches 99, and needs to find a second pitch. Like, at all. Seriously, he was like a 90% fastball guy in college. System Overview The Yankees continue to be great at developing pitching. Every year, a couple of college pitchers they’ve taken on Day Two or Three of a recent draft take a gargantuan leap forward. There are often arm strength upticks, but more and more frequently now you see fresh sweeper sliders akin to the one the Dodgers taught Blake Treinen and Evan Phillips. Will Warren was the big riser of this variety from 2022. This core competency almost ensures that New York will always have in-house depth to deal with bouts of pitcher injuries at the big league level. There are the big names at the very top, but the middle of this system is thin on position player prospects. The Yankees’ approach to the international market (where they tend to put most of their bonus pool eggs in one $4 million-plus prospect basket every year) is perhaps contributing to this. Their tendency to target physical, lefty-hitting corner bats in the draft has littered the group with a handful of solid if monochromatic role players of modest upside. The org needs an injection of up-the-middle talent even with the Peraza/Volpe combination poised to hold down the middle infield at the big league level for a while. The overall quality of the system is near the middle of the pack right now, and it will probably finish the calendar year in the bottom third due to graduations (especially if Gleyber Torres and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa don’t hit and require Volpe to be pushed) and trades. Oswaldo Cabrera is a Dude and should have been a Top 100 prospect last year, but he doesn’t have the hands for the infield (just put him in an outfield corner and let him rake), so New York will probably need to upgrade third base and possibly catcher at some point during the season. That’s probably going to cost the club prospects, but when center field was the need in 2022, the front office found a way to move some of the team’s big league pitching surplus to patch the hole, so perhaps they can take that line again.