Top 48 Prospects: New York Yankees by Eric Longenhagen February 5, 2021 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. As there was no minor league season in 2020, there are some instances where no new information was gleaned about a player. Players whose write-ups have not been altered begin by telling you so. For the others, the blurb ends with an indication of where the player played in 2020, which in turn likely informed the changes to their report. As always, I’ve leaned more heavily on sources from outside the org than within for reasons of objectivity. Because outside scouts were not allowed at the alternate sites, I’ve primarily focused on data from there. Lastly, in effort to more clearly indicate relievers’ anticipated roles, you’ll see two reliever designations, both in lists and on The Board: MIRP, or multi-inning relief pitcher, and SIRP, or single-inning relief pitcher. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of Future Value’s merits and drawbacks, read Future Value. All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here. Editor’s Note: Fidel Montero was added to this list after he agreed to a deal with the Yankees on February 6. Top Prospects Team Lists 20212020ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFGALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Yankees Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Jasson Dominguez 18.0 R CF 2025 50 2 Deivi Garcia 21.7 MLB SP 2021 50 3 Oswald Peraza 20.6 A SS 2022 50 4 Clarke Schmidt 25.0 MLB SP 2021 50 5 Alexander Vargas 19.3 R SS 2023 50 6 Luis Medina 21.8 A+ MIRP 2021 50 7 Kevin Alcantara 18.6 R CF 2024 50 8 Ezequiel Duran 21.7 A- 2B 2023 50 9 Yoendrys Gomez 21.3 A SP 2022 45+ 10 Antonio Gomez 19.2 R C 2024 45+ 11 Alexander Vizcaino 23.7 A+ SIRP 2021 45 12 Austin Wells 21.6 R RF 2023 45 13 Luis Gil 22.7 A+ SIRP 2021 45 14 Anthony Volpe 19.8 R SS 2024 45 15 T.J. Sikkema 22.5 A- SP 2023 40+ 16 Oswaldo Cabrera 21.9 A+ 2B 2021 40+ 17 Fidel Montero 17.1 R RF 2025 40+ 18 Everson Pereira 19.8 A- CF 2022 40+ 19 Josh Smith 23.5 A- 2B 2023 40 20 Ryder Green 20.8 R RF 2023 40 21 Anthony Seigler 21.6 A C 2023 40 22 Beck Way 21.5 R SP 2024 40 23 Antonio Cabello 20.3 R CF 2022 40 24 Matt Sauer 22.0 A SP 2022 40 25 Josh Breaux 23.3 A C 2022 40 26 Nicio Rodriguez 21.4 R SIRP 2022 40 27 Anthony Garcia 20.4 R RF 2023 40 28 Denny Larrondo 18.7 R SP 2024 40 29 Trevor Hauver 22.2 R 2B 2023 40 30 Marcos Cabrera 19.3 R 3B 2023 40 31 Estevan Florial 23.2 MLB CF 2021 35+ 32 Dayro Perez 19.0 R SS 2023 35+ 33 Albert Abreu 25.4 MLB SIRP 2021 35+ 34 Brooks Kriske 27.0 MLB SIRP 2021 35+ 35 Alfredo Garcia 21.5 A SIRP 2021 35+ 36 Brandon Lockridge 23.9 A CF 2022 35+ 37 Glenn Otto 24.9 A+ SIRP 2022 35+ 38 Raimfer Salinas 20.1 R CF 2023 35+ 39 Osiel Rodriguez 19.2 R SP 2023 35+ 40 Alan Mejia 19.6 R CF 2023 35+ 41 Randy Vasquez 22.3 R MIRP 2022 35+ 42 Yoljeldriz Diaz 19.6 R SP 2023 35+ 43 Roberto Chirinos 20.4 R SS 2022 35+ 44 Jake Agnos 22.7 A- MIRP 2023 35+ 45 Ken Waldichuk 23.1 R MIRP 2023 35+ 46 Chris Gittens 27.0 AA 1B 2021 35+ 47 Nelson L Alvarez 22.7 R SIRP 2023 35+ 48 Madison Santos 21.4 R CF 2023 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 50 FV Prospects 1. Jasson Dominguez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.0 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/55 70/70 25/60 70/70 45/55 60 At a certain point in time, before he began playing actual games, we only knew as much about Wander Franco as we currently do about Jasson Dominguez. At a certain point in time, the same was true of Kevin Maitan. That is the range of potential outcomes here, as we still only truly know about Dominguez’s showcase tools (what it’s like to watch him take BP and run, both of which are scintillating) and very little about how he’ll perform against pro pitching. Because of how early and how covertly the Yankees and Dominguez agreed to a deal (New York spent all but about $300k of its initial $5.4 million international pool on him), few scouts have seen him at all, and even fewer have seen him against quality live pitching, although that number has started to creep up as he participates in live BPs in the Dominican Republic. The mystery and intrigue, rare for elite, contemporary teenage athletes because of the prevalence of social media video, and those slick Yankees pinstripes have created a fever pitch of expectation for Dominguez in both the real world and the baseball card finance bro space. Last year, when Dominguez was close to near the top of the 50 FV tier (where he’ll remain), one scouting director told me he is impossible to evaluate for a list like this, while a former GM told me he was too low. It’s hard to find switch-hitters with power like this, let alone ones who already have usable swings from both sides of the plate at this age. Dominguez got very jacked in 2020 and looked more like a Mr. Universe competitor than a baseball prospect. Not everyone digs this, and it’s discussed with the same tone of captivation and alarm as Zion Williamson’s size and explosion. There’s no precedent for someone this age being as big and strong as Dominguez already is, but nobody is sure what that means for his long-term athletic viability. I’m probably more comfortable ranking someone like this highly than a GM would be acquiring him for equivalent value, but it’s possible that, a year from now, Dominguez will have become unacquirable. He’s the highest-variance prospect in baseball, and maybe the highest-variance athlete in sports. (DR Instructional League) 2. Deivi Garcia, SP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.7 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 163 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 45/50 60/60 55/60 50/55 91-95 / 97 Any WAR-based analysis of pitching (including FV) is influenced by the innings total, and there are still questions about whether Garcia can handle something close to a 180-inning workload because he’s only 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, and the pandemic made it impossible for Garcia, or anyone like him, to answer those questions either way. I think it’s fair to wonder simply because Garcia hasn’t done it yet, but I’m more inclined to dismiss arguments focused on his size. I wrote last year that, because part of the formula for torque (which could theoretically be used as a measure of stress on the elbow) is the distance from the fulcrum, that longer-armed, usually taller pitchers might actually be more of an injury risk than a little guy like Deivi. But having watched Garcia go about his business at the big league level, I’m backpedaling his FV by a grade, since I think his power-pitcher’s approach will make it tough for him to work as efficiently as he’ll need to in order to log the aforementioned sort of innings total. Marcus Stroman sets great precedent for smaller pitchers like this, but while Garcia is really well-put together and athletic, he’s not quite the elite-level on-mound athlete that Stroman is, and Stroman’s stuff works in such a way that he gets one or two early-count grounders every inning, while Garcia just doesn’t pitch like that. Instead, Garcia’s tries to sneak 91-95 past hitters at the top of the zone. The angle and spin axis of his fastball helps it play up, but it isn’t a plus pitch. His 12-6 curveball is beautiful, but can be easy to identify out of his hands because of its rainbow shape, so even though it has what I’d consider plus-plus depth, and plus spin, it also plays more in the 50/55 range. Garcia’s changeup, which has about 12 mph of velocity separation from his fastball, is likely to become his most effective secondary weapon, and he already has great feel for locating it. His slider’s shape is similar to his curveball’s, just with more velocity. The entire repertoire is either average or a shade above it, and I think Garcia will end up working around 140 innings and generating 2-ish WAR annually. (Alternate site, MLB) 3. Oswald Peraza, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 176 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/60 40/45 30/45 60/60 55/60 55 Last year, Peraza emerged from a group of prospects I had initially evaluated as likely utility or second division regular types. He added strength to a contact/defense foundation and his exit velocities moved very close to major league average, which was impressive for a 19-year-old. Peraza got some reps early during big league spring training before heading home for the summer. He then played sparingly for Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League. There he showed a modified stance and hand set-up, but he played so little that it’s hard to say how it might impact his quality of contact without more looks and/or data to support it. I do think he’d benefit from taking a longer stride, though. Either way, this is a contact-oriented shortstop who’ll likely be an above-average defender, maybe better than that. I have conviction in the hit tool due to Peraza’s curt, short swing, his visible barrel control and his track record of hitting as a young-for-the-level player so far. He may only ever hit for doubles power but on a good-gloved shortstop, that’s an everyday player. (Venezuelan Winter League) 4. Clarke Schmidt, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from South Carolina (NYY) Age 25.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 70/70 40/45 45/45 91-95 / 96 Schmidt’s breaking ball spin rates in 2020 were about 300 rpm higher than what I had on record from him in 2019 and he also threw substantially harder, though that might be because he was deployed in a couple of relief outings and a short start. He works with what amounts to four different pitches: a high-spin two-seamer that he works to his arm side, a four-seamer that he locates up and to his glove side, a nasty two-plane breaking ball, and a changeup. It’s a slam dunk starter’s repertoire in a vacuum, but Schmidt has one of the longer, gnarlier arm actions in baseball and already has one surgery under his belt. He also shows pretty significant release variation depending on pitch type, with his breaking balls coming from a lower, wider point while his fastballs, especially the four-seamer, comes from a vertical one. All of his release points viewed at once look more like a crescent rather than one tight, circular cluster. It’s possible hitters will be able to pick up on this, but it’s also possible Schmidt hides the ball so well that they won’t. It’s something we’ll just have to learn by watching big leaguers face him. The confluence of arm action length, release variance and injury history all create substantial relief risk here, but even if Schmidt ends up in a role of that sort, I think his repertoire depth will enable him to either close or work in a valuable multi-inning role. (Alternate site, MLB) 5. Alexander Vargas, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 19.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 35/50 20/45 60/60 45/60 55 There’s no real change to Vargas’ write-up. Most teams had multi-million dollar evaluations on Vargas while he was an amateur based on how he looked in workouts. He ran a 6.4 60-yard dash, had electric infield actions and a plus arm, as well as surprising ability to hit despite his stature, at the time weighing just 143 pounds. He was twitchy, projectable, looked fantastic at shortstop, and was old enough to sign immediately. The Reds were interested but needed Vargas to wait until the following signing period to get the deal done, so the Yankees swooped in with comparable money and got it done sooner. Vargas’ name was often the first one out of the mouths of scouts who saw New York’s talented group in the 2019 DSL, and he was one of several the Yankees promoted stateside during that summer. While he doesn’t have the strength and physicality of Dominguez, I’m betting on Vargas’ athleticism, his ability to rotate with ferocity in the batter’s box, and his underlying body composition, and project that he’ll eventually have some power. I think he has star-level ceiling but, due to proximity from the big leagues, a lot of risk, too. (DR Instructional League) 6. Luis Medina, MIRP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.8 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 94-98 / 101 Remember that when we last saw Medina for an extended stretch, his ability to throw strikes seemed to be improving very quickly. In his first nine starts of 2019, he tossed 35 innings, walked 41 batters, and threw 53% of his pitches for strikes. His next five starts included 23 innings, 14 walks, and 57% strikes. His final eight starts were incredible: 45 innings, 63 strikeouts, and just 15 walks. 60% of those pitches were strikes. Mixed into the back half of his season were still some clunky four and five walk outings. Then Medina spent 2020 at the alternate site before the Yankees turned him loose on the Clemente League in Puerto Rico during the winter. He won the league’s Pitcher of the Year award, striking out 32 hitters in 16 innings while walking just six. Medina’s stuff is fantastic and has been for a while. He was up to 96 mph as a 15-year-old amateur, eventually going unsigned on July 2 due in part to his horrendous command. Then he hit 100 mph as an amateur with improved feel, which is when the Yankee scooped him up for $300,000. He still sits 94-98, has hit 101 mph (he was supposedly up to 103 in 2020 but I can’t confirm it), has a dominant power curveball that projects as a plus-plus pitch, and his sinking changeup moves enough to miss bats when it’s located competitively. He loses mechanical consistency late in outings, but remember that Medina is still just 21, he’s super loose and athletic, and held premium stuff throughout a huge inning increase in 2019. There’s enough relief risk here that I’d go so far as to say the bullpen is the likely outcome, but Medina is going to have three impact pitches, so his outcome there might be elite. (Alternate site, LigaPR) 7. Kevin Alcantara, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/40 50/70 20/60 60/55 45/55 55 I’ve made no change to Alcantara’s FV from last year since I can’t find anyone from outside the Yankees org who has seen him, though his ranking among the 50 FV prospects in the system has changed based on continued conversations about him with front office personnel from other clubs. For context, Alcantara was fourth on my international list in 2018, and was one of the players the Yankees promoted from the DSL to the GCL in the middle of the summer of 2019. He was part of New York’s DR instructs in the Fall. Athletic 6-foot-6 outfielders who can rotate like Alcantara can are rare, and this young man might grow into elite power at maturity. He is loose and fluid in the box but does have some swing-and-miss issues, though it’s not because lever length is causing him to be late — it’s more of a barrel accuracy issue right now. This is one of the higher ceiling teenagers in the minors, but of course Alcantara might either take forever to develop or never develop at all. (DR Instructional League) 8. Ezequiel Duran, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/60 35/60 40/35 40/45 45 Duran bounced back after his horrendous 2018 and hit for power (.256/.329/.496) in the 2019 Penn League as a 20-year-old. He looked comfortable in a handful of 2020 big league spring training at-bats before the pandemic, then picked up at-bats in the DR during the Fall. He’s a stocky guy who only really fits at second base, and isn’t very good there. As he continues to age he’ll likely only be able to stay there with the aid of good defensive positioning, and even then Duran’s hands need to improve. But boy, does he have power. His long, slow, aggressive leg kick helps him generate big pop, and he can move the bat head around the zone. The titanic hacks he takes create some swing-and-miss but this isn’t a guy with a grooved swing, and there’s impact bat-to-ball/power interplay going on here. This is a site that tends to avoid prospect comps unless they’re flush to the prospect’s profile, and Duran’s is a dead ringer for Dan Uggla’s. (DR Instructional League) 45+ FV Prospects 9. Yoendrys Gomez, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.3 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 I’ve got nothing new to add to Gomez’s report, though his FV has shifted upon discussion with teams due to the likelihood of him remaining a starter compared to other arms in the system. That the Yankees added him to their 40-man even though he wasn’t at the alt site and decision-makers in the org had no traditional instructs to see is supporting evidence if you want to infer that they feel this way, too. The baseball gods gave Yoendrys Gomez a velo bump, which is like giving an Austrian composer a Les Paul. A year ago, Gomez was being described as a pitchability righty who could effectively vary his fastball’s movement. Now he’s touching 98. Talk of the fastball cutting and sinking has stopped and Gomez is now taking a power approach, working his fastball at the top of the zone in concert with a curveball at the bottom. He still needs a weapon to deal with lefty hitters and to repeat his delivery better, something that should come as his limbs fill out. And Gomez has sort of an odd build. His limbs are skinny but his trunk is not, and his shoulders are rounded and pitched forward. It’s perhaps irrelevant because he is already throwing hard, but the build is similar to Jorge Guzman’s, whose strike-throwing hasn’t materialized. Last year, Gomez’s stuff looked like it projected to be close to average but now he may end up with at least one plus pitch and the curveball has a shot, too. (At-home dev) 10. Antonio Gomez, C Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 45/50 20/45 40/30 40/55 80 Gomez stood out as a 15-year-old because of his one, truly freakish ability: he has a stone-cold 80 arm (clocked in the mid-80’s with a radar gun) and a quick release that allows him to regularly post pop times below 1.80 in games. Gomez used the 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. Over the summer he reworked his body, and has been working out in Miami with Aaron Judge, and he’s now svelter but still plenty strong. A virtual lock to catch, Gomez has soft hands and is mobile behind the plate, and he has impact arm strength. While somewhat grooved, his swing is geared for in-game power, which gives him a chance to get to average raw pop. Purely from a talent perspective, Gomez might belong in the 50 FV tier (he’s defensively similar to Drew Romo though I feel better about Gomez’s bat, if you want to gauge where I think he’d go in a draft), but he’s barely played in games and the attrition rate for teenage catching is very high. (At-home dev) 45 FV Prospects 11. Alexander Vizcaino, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 45/50 60/70 30/35 93-97 / 98 A velo bump and uptick in changeup quality (he now has one of the nastier cambios in the minors) were the cornerstones of a 2019 breakout for Vizcaino, who was promoted to Hi-A Tampa for his final five starts of the year. While he now has 70-grade fastball velocity, his long arm action and three quarters slot create sinking action on the pitch that ends up generating groundballs more than swings and misses. The whiffs are going to come from the changeup, which bottoms out as if a trap door has opened beneath it just as it approaches the plate. At this age, I think the breaking ball refinement necessary to make Vizcaino a starter is unlikely, but I would have said the same thing about his fastball and changeup last year. (Alternate site) 12. Austin Wells, RF Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from Arizona (NYY) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 55/55 35/55 45/45 30/40 40 Had scouts thought Wells could catch coming out of high school, he probably would have been drafted highly enough to sign, but an elbow injury kept him from squatting as a senior and he was set to be a draft-eligible sophomore anyway, so he was a courtesy 35th rounder (the Yankees drafted him) and matriculated to Tucson. At Arizona, where he split catching duties with Mets fourth rounder Matt Dyer, Wells raked. He hit .357/.476/.560 in two years at U of A, and while I’m inclined to discount that line because PAC-12 pitching wasn’t very good during that time, he also hit .308/.389/.526 on Cape Cod, where it is. Still a fringy receiver, his arm strength impacted by a previous arm injury, Wells probably can’t catch but he is mobile enough to run around in the outfield. He’s likely to take the Kyle Schwarber route and move quickly, and his frame suggests he’ll be able to sustain mobility for longer. (At-home dev) 13. Luis Gil, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (MIN) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 70/70 50/50 40/45 40/45 93-97 / 99 Gil was acquired in the one-for-one Jake Cave trade with Minnesota, and at that time, he was a hard-throwing lottery ticket with a velvety smooth delivery and projectable frame. The grace and ease of his delivery belied his control problems, similar to how Neftalí Feliz and Yadier Alvarez both tricked evaluators into projecting heavily on their command. Gil’s feel for release is now dialed in enough that he is unlikely to have serious, role-altering walk issues, but not so much that he suddenly projects as a starter. His presence on the 40-man adds to the likelihood that he ends up working in relief and only relief, as does his limited repertoire. His fastball is dominant (it generated a 20% swinging strike rate in 2019) and he can execute a slider to his glove side fairly regularly, but that slider relies on location and is crushable in the zone. His changeup is still relatively new but isn’t great. I think it has more ceiling than the slider just by virtue of the fact that Gil hasn’t had as long to work with it. If that develops into an out pitch then perhaps he’ll be able to close, but for now I think he’s a fastball-dominant set-up type. (Alternate site, LIDOM) 14. Anthony Volpe, SS Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Delbarton HS (NJ) (NYY) Age 19.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 40/45 20/35 50/50 50/55 55 There’s no change here. The steadiest infield defender among the high schoolers in the 2019 Draft, Volpe compared similarly to Oakland A’s shortstop Nick Allen when he was a high schooler. Volpe will likely be a plus shortstop defender — his feet, hands, and actions are all plus, his range is average — and he has good feel for contact, but he lacks both present strength and the physical projection that enables teams to anticipate strength will come. Keep in mind that this is what Peraza’s scouting report read like last year, and he appears poised to make so much contact as to render his relatively modest raw power projection irrelevant. That path is the one Volpe could take to an everyday role, but it’s more likely that he ends up a glove-first utility type. (At-home dev) 40+ FV Prospects 15. T.J. Sikkema, SP Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Missouri (NYY) Age 22.5 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 Sikkema moved into the Missouri rotation after the first month of his sophomore year and over the next 14 months turned in some dominant starts against several of the best college baseball programs in the country, notching double-digit strikeout games against Vanderbilt, Arkansas, LSU and Florida during that span. He’s a low-slot lefty who was up to 95 at Mizzou but sat more 88-91 after the draft. His slot enables his slider to play and his changeup’s shape mimics his fastball’s, and the whole package works great when Sikkema is locating. See him at his best and you’ll drop a 70 on his command. If he can do that consistently, he’ll pitch toward the middle of a rotation. If not, then he could still end up in a Ryan Yarbrough-esque relief role. (At-home dev) 16. Oswaldo Cabrera, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.9 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 40/45 30/40 50/50 45/50 50 There’s no change to Cabrera’s blurb. He appears to have spent all of 2020 in Tampa and perhaps worked out there, but I can’t find anyone outside the org who saw him doing baseball activities. Cabrera went from looking physically overpowered at Charleston in 2018 to generating one of the org’s top average exit velocities throughout 2019. He added mass in his lower half and traded some contact for power, resulting in 29 doubles. It will be interesting to see how his new physicality interacts with his defensive fit. He has some of the best defensive hands in the entire org and should at least be a shift-aided multi-positional infielder even if he continues to thicken and slow. Cabrera sometimes swings at suboptimal pitches because he can move the bat head around and make contact with pitches all over the place, but this will limit his OBP and power output if it continues. He’s got a shot to be an everyday player of some kind but it’s more likely he becomes a super utility infielder. (At-home dev) 17. Fidel Montero, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 17.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 55/70 25/55 60/50 30/50 70 Montero wasn’t on here upon initial publication because he had not yet officially signed, as other teams were rumored to have made a late run at him. Indeed Montero’s toolset seems to have 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 tried to sign him for more than he had been offered by New York earlier on. He grew three inches in the span of about a year, which allows for more long-term power projection, and grew into present power, arm strength, and speed, running the 60-yard dash in the 6.6 range. Montero’s swing is pretty long but his power/speed/body projection mix is really exciting, and if he outgrows center field, then he’ll have a traditional right fielder’s toolkit because of the arm. (International signee) 18. Everson Pereira, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 50/50 30/50 55/55 45/55 55 He was viewed as a polished hitter with middling tools as an amateur but Pereira swung through a lot of pitches in the zone in 2019, albeit in a small statistical sample and at a level much higher than is typical for a hitter his age. He went to the Penn League as an 18-year-old and whiffed in over a third of his paltry 74 plate appearances before injuring his ankle and getting shelved for the rest of the summer. His swing seemed more uphill than it was before he signed, and he became the first of several recent prominent amateurs on this list dealing with developmental growing pains. Now he’s coming off of two years without real at-bats. (At-home dev) 40 FV Prospects 19. Josh Smith, 2B Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from LSU (NYY) Age 23.5 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/50 50/50 30/45 50/50 45/50 55 Smith hit a career .313/.420/.478 at LSU and had a huge summer on Cape Cod after his freshman year. A stress reaction in his back nixed his sophomore campaign, including the Cape, but he returned and allayed any concerns about his back remaining an issue. Though not especially toolsy, Smith is a capable infield defender with an advanced approach and above-average feel for the barrel. He plays really hard and is procedurally polished. His pathway to becoming an everyday player likely involves him developing a plus or better bat, but he’s a high-floor infielder who should play a key utility role at least. There was some support for him to be higher than this but Smith is already 23 and still hasn’t played full-season ball yet. (Fall Instructional League) 20. Ryder Green, RF Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Karns HS (TN) (NYY) Age 20.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 65/70 35/55 55/50 45/50 60 The one thing to add to Green’s report from last year — remember that this guy was a Pick to Click, meaning I thought he had a shot to be on this year’s Top 100 but we lost the season and NYY had no instructs, so he isn’t moving — is that I learned he coaches kids at a hitting facility in Knoxville, so it would appear this guy is a baseball-loving obsessive. The tightly-wound Green has filled out and gotten a little stiffer since he was signed away from a Vanderbilt commitment for just shy of $1 million in the 2018 draft, but he now also has two solid years of statistical performance under his belt, an important feather in the cap of a prospect who had strikeout issues in high school. He still strikes out a lot, but we have two seasons of promising plate discipline results from him to point to, and his speed gives him a shot to stay in center field, both of which make the whiffing less worrisome. He remains a high variance power/speed prospect with the arm for right field should he need to move. (At-home dev) 21. Anthony Seigler, C Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Cartersville HS (GA) (NYY) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr S / S FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 45/45 30/35 45/40 50/55 60 There’s no change to Seigler’s blurb, though I will note that as I discussed this list with scouting sources there was some push/pull regarding him. He was a unicorn prospect as an amateur but was old for a high schooler, and he’ll be nearly 22 when the season starts despite having only played in 54 pro games. Since signing, Seigler has been snakebitten by various injuries and has barely played, catching just over 40 games in parts of two seasons amid hamstring and quad issues, a concussion, a fractured patella, and then the pandemic. This was once the most interesting prospect on the planet, a baseball oddity: a switch-hitting catcher who was also an ambidextrous reliever. Unlikely to develop relevant power, Seigler needs to actualize both his high school contact skills and ball/strike recognition to make enough offensive impact to play every day. But right now the goal is just for him to play every day at all. (At-home dev) 22. Beck Way, SP Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Northwest Florida JC (NYY) Age 21.5 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 a hard-throwing JUCO pop-up arm who went from a low-level Pennsylvania prep school, to D2 Belmont Abbey, to the Cape, to Northwest Florida JC. Next would have been LSU if not for pro ball. Way tops out at 96, his heater has tailing action, and he’ll flash an above average slider and changeup. He’s really well-built, has plenty of room for more mass (A.J. Burnett is the body comp), and really smooth, clean-looking arm action, the type of raw material New York has a strong recent track record of developing. (At-home dev) 23. Antonio Cabello, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 55/55 30/50 65/60 45/50 55 There’s no change to Cabello’s blurb, as we’re still waiting to see if his 2019 was the result of a nagging shoulder issue. It’s ironic that the Yankees didn’t want to slow down Cabello’s bat development by asking him to catch (he did as an amateur, and his build and arm strength are both visual fits behind the plate). Instead, his offensive development stalled on its own. Most of the physical tools are intact, Cabello’s swing just looked out of whack, and he was coming off of a dislocated shoulder that truncated his 2019. His front side was leaking way down the third base line (which happened during his incredible 2018, too), and his swing was described as long to me, which is odd for a hitter this size. This is still a rare blend of skills, especially if the catching is ever revisited. Cabello still runs well, and last year he inspired one of my favorite scout quotes of all time when I was told that he has a “grinding gait, full effort, kicking up grass as he runs like the rooster tail of a speed boat.” In addition to potential plus hit and run tools, there’s above-average arm strength, and what was billed as above-average raw power that hasn’t shown in the exit velos yet. Though Cabello’s top end exits are still good for his age, his averages are not good for someone as physically developed as he is, a piece of evidence that supports the visual assessment of his swing. Still, I’m not out after one bad year, and think Cabello has everyday physical ability. (At-home dev) 24. Matt Sauer, SP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Righetti HS (CA) (NYY) Age 22.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 245 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/60 50/55 40/50 35/45 92-95 / 96 Sauer experienced wild fluctuations in stuff as an amateur and first-year pro, which reinforced concerns about his somewhat Scherzer-y, violent delivery and culminated in Tommy John surgery in April of 2019. At his best, Sauer will sit 93-95 (he was up to 96 in his two outings before the surgery) and pitch with a plus curveball, a two-pitch duo that could close games. If Sauer’s changeup and command improve, he has mid-rotation upside, but he’s barely had pro reps because of injury and it’s more likely he ends up in relief if his stuff comes back. He began throwing off a mound in mid-February of 2020 and has been sitting 92-96 in the bullpen lately. (At-home dev) 25. Josh Breaux, C Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from McLennan JC (TX) (NYY) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 70/70 30/55 30/30 40/45 65 There’s not much to add to Breaux’s report since he only ended up playing in five games in the Constellation Energy League before working out at Dynamic Spots Training and taking live BP with a few dozen other pros for the rest of the summer. I’ll also note that new catching coach Tanner Swanson (who came over from Minnesota) is a proponent of one-knee catching, so look for Breaux to implement that in 2021. Breaux is a very physical hitter with huge raw power, red flag peripherals, and stuff that might prevent him from catching. When he was a two-way JUCO prospect, he was in the upper-90s on the mound. A sore elbow cost him a bunch of 2019 and may also have sapped some of his arm strength, depending on when you saw him. Even a fully operational Breaux has some footwork and exchange issues that can slow his release or impact throwing accuracy. He’s a relatively inexperienced defender so those things may still come, but if not, the K/BB stuff needs to improve because we’re talking about a 1B/DH. (Constellation Energy League, at-home dev) 26. Nicio Rodriguez, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 50/60 45/55 30/45 89-94 / 96 Rodriguez was a 2020 breakout candidate thanks to his combination of frame, nearly elite fastball spin, and what appeared to be burgeoning velocity. He struggled to repeat his delivery but for a 20-year-old his size, Rodriguez was really loose and flexible and still clearly honing his delivery and getting feel for his body. He sat 89-94 throughout 2019 but was up to 96 late in the year. He’s continued to develop velocity and has been creeping up toward touching 98 in the bullpen more recently. He doesn’t have to be put on the 40-man until December 2022 so there’s still some developmental runway to work with here, but I think Rodriguez will be a good fastball/curveball reliever. (DR Instructional League) 27. Anthony Garcia, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.4 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 40/45 55 It’s Garcia, not Dominguez, who 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. For now, he’s an average runner underway, though his first step isn’t great and he’ll lose a step or two with maturity. 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. There may be some late bloom to the hit tool, especially now that he’s missed most of the last two years due to a quad injury and then the pandemic, because 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 end. He’s a high-variance corner outfield prospect who might turn into a Steven Moya type, or hit 40 bombs. (DR Instructional League) 28. Denny Larrondo, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 18.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/60 55/60 35/50 35/55 88-92 / 94 Nothing new on Larrondo: He’s only up to 94 right now 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. But Larrondo’s future is on the mound where, still just 18, he has elite fastball and breaking ball spin rates. His delivery is a work in progress, but that’s true of most 18-year-olds. He’s a velo spike away and innings count away from climbing this list. (DR Instructional League) 29. Trevor Hauver, 2B Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Arizona State (NYY) Age 22.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 50/50 35/50 40/40 30/40 45 Hauver sees a lot of pitches, he has fair barrel control, and his swing has a lot of lift. From a bat speed and athleticism standpoint, he’s middling, and he really struggled to play an even a passable left field in college. Hauver was a high school infielder who arrived to campus at the same time as Alika Williams, Gage Workman, Spencer Torkelson and Drew Swift, all excellent defenders, so he was relegated to a new position immediately, and never took to it. His best chance of profiling in a big league role is if he can get back on the dirt, play a passable second base, and reach base at a high clip. (At-home dev) 30. Marcos Cabrera, 3B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 19.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 189 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 45/55 25/50 50/45 45/50 60 His frame and questionable quickness are strong indicators that Cabrera will move to third base, but more power should also arrive as he fills out, and Cabrera is a strong early-career performer with the bat (.269/.380/.445 in the 2019 DSL) despite his long levers. He’s a power projection third base prospect. (DR Instructional League) 35+ FV Prospects 31. Estevan Florial, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Haiti (NYY) Age 23.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/30 60/60 40/45 70/70 45/50 80 Florial spent 2020 at the alt site, made his big league debut, then got a lot of run for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League. I simply don’t think he’ll hit enough to be anything more than fourth outfielder. His swing’s length makes it so he has to cheat to catch velocity at the top of the zone, and if he gets caught doing that, he ends up swinging over top of well-executed offspeed and breaking stuff away from him. He has elite physical ability and I’m sure he’ll golf out dingers when pitchers miss down-and-in to him, but big league pitchers are too good to make that kind of mistake over and over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some white-hot Domonic Brown month or two before pitchers adjust to him. I’ll gladly eat crow if Florial ends up being a consistent big league hitter for a half decade because that’ll mean we’ll have gotten to see his electric tools (he has one of the best throwing arms I’ve ever seen), but I don’t think that’s going to happen. (Alternate site, MLB, LIDOM) 32. Dayro Perez, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 19.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 35/45 20/40 60/60 45/55 60 His feel to hit is behind, but Perez is an athletic, no-doubt shortstop with a projectable body, and his swing foundation is workable. His defensive footwork and actions are sublime and he appears to barely be touching the infield dirt at all as he glides in all directions, bends without effort, collects the baseball and turns it around toward first base. Whether he develops any sort of impact offensive ability will be dictated by how strong he is at physical maturity, as well as several approach/pitch recognition attributes we don’t know anything about yet. (DR Instructional League) 33. Albert Abreu, SIRP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Dominican Republic (HOU) Age 25.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/55 60/60 30/30 95-99 / 101 Maybe if Abreu could throw his secondary stuff for strikes and then run his fastball up the ladder to finish hitters, this could work. But he doesn’t have good feel for locating those secondaries and tends to pepper the bottom and middle of the zone with his fastball, either by accident or because he’s fallen behind and needs to get one over for a strike. At times, he has looked like he has three plus or better pitches, but his fastball just doesn’t play like it’s elite, even though his velocity sometimes has been, and the secondaries suffer because Abreu is often behind in the count and struggles to locate them. I think he’ll be up and down while he’s on the 40-man. (Alternate site, MLB) 34. Brooks Kriske, SIRP Drafted: 6th Round, 2016 from USC (NYY) Age 27.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/50 55/60 35/35 92-96 / 98 Kriske had a velocity spike a couple of years ago and now has a chance to have an impact fastball if he can more consistently locate it at the top of the strike zone. He also has a plus, side-spinning changeup, and he’ll throw an occasional breaking ball. It’s stuff commensurate with a middle reliever who stays on your roster all the time, but Kriske’s control drags him into more of an up/down relief bucket. He throws an awful lot of non-competitive changeups and misses middle-middle with his fastball quite a bit. If that stuff gets ironed out, he’ll just stay in the big leagues, but until it does he’ll probably be back and forth from Scranton. (Alternate site, MLB) 35. Alfredo Garcia, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (COL) Age 21.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 45/50 50/55 40/45 90-94 / 95 Nothing new to share on Garcia, who was passed over in the Rule 5. His report from last year: Garcia was in the midst of a breakout 2019 when the Rockies dealt him to the Yankees for big league-ready reliever Joe Harvey, who was on the 40-man fringe for New York. Even though he had pitched well at Low-A Asheville, the Rockies demoted Garcia to the Pioneer League not long before they traded him. He’s a big-framed lefty with average stuff, though the changeup is often above and projects to be his best pitch. (At-home dev) 36. Brandon Lockridge, CF Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Troy University (NYY) Age 23.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding 30/40 45/45 30/35 80/80 60/70 Lockridge was not on the initial draft of this list as I passed it around for feedback, but lots of people in baseball think his speed and defensive ability in center will enable him to play some kind of big league role, even though he likely won’t do enough damage with the bat to play every day. He projects as a glove-first fourth or fifth outfielder. (At-home dev) 37. Glenn Otto, SIRP Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Rice (NYY) Age 24.9 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 55/55 55/60 35/40 92-94 / 96 Otto was a reliever at Rice (winces) who the Yankees wanted to develop a changeup and try to start, but he missed nearly the whole 2018 season with blood clot issues in his shoulder. He was up to 98 mph and flashed a 70 curveball in short stints before the injury, then last year was sitting 92-94, albeit with other traits (spin rate and axis) that enabled it to play better than that. Otto’s arm action is NC-17 violent but his is a relief profile anyway. I have him in an up/down role. (At-home dev) 38. Raimfer Salinas, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 50/55 20/50 60/55 45/55 60 For some international scouts, Salinas was ahead of Cabello and Pereira, and was the top prospect in their 2017 signing class; he got the biggest bonus of the group at $1.85 million. Salinas’ 2018 season was ruined by a broken ring finger and knee bursitis that limited him to 11 games; in 2019 he was healthy and just didn’t look great. He’s still a plus runner with a plus arm and a chance for plus defense in center field, but his swing and approach have become questions. He struggled in a brief December run with Aguilas de Zulia in Venezuela, looking like a punchy Guillermo Heredia type at best. (LVBP) 39. Osiel Rodriguez, SP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 19.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/60 45/55 50/60 45/55 35/50 86-89 / 90 Rodriguez was shut down for almost all of 2019, was only sitting 86-90 when he threw, and his body backed up. This came after he had a pretty long track record of chucking 94-97 in international competition. He pitched as a 14-year-old for the 15-and-under Cuban team, and posted a 69 IP, 32 H, 2 XBH, 20 BB, 102 K line for that squad. Even though his velocity returned in a bullpen environment in 2020, Rodriguez’s frame is still close to maxed and his arm action (and how it’s already changed a couple times) is scary. 40. Alan Mejia, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding 20/45 45/66 25/55 55/55 40/50 Mejia is yet another of the several interesting prospects the Yankees moved from the DSL to the GCL in the middle of the summer of 2019. He’s a medium-framed center field prospect with more present power than you’d expect for someone his size. He’s seen time in the corners because of the presence of other center field prospects, and has some contact issues that need remedying, but the base of tools and athleticism was appealing to scouts who saw him in the DSL at the start of the season. (At-home dev) 41. Randy Vasquez, MIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 55/60 40/45 40/45 90-94 / 95 I have nothing new on Vasquez. A spin rate monster who pitched in the Pulaski rotation in 2019, Vasquez’s realistic projection is in the bullpen, where his pedestrian fastball velo would theoretically tick up and he could rely more heavily on his tornado-like curveball. His size and 40-man timeline (December 2021) both funnel him toward the ‘pen, too. 42. Yoljeldriz Diaz, SP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/45 35/55 50/60 40/45 35/50 90-92 / 93 He’s not especially lanky or big-framed, but Diaz is a plus on-mound athlete with an athletic build, clean arm action, and plus-flashing curveball. Because he doesn’t have clear, framed-based velocity projection, it’s important that Diaz either develop a bevy of good pitches or sniper’s command, and I think he has a chance to do both based on how athletic he is. (At-home dev) 43. Roberto Chirinos, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.4 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 45/50 20/40 45/40 40/50 60 Nothing new here. I thought maybe Chirinos would play for Anzoátegui in the Venezuelan Winter League (the team that won that league and went on to play in Serie del Caribe), but he isn’t listed on their roster. Chirinos’ 2019 line was much more in line with his tools than his pro debut. After the Yankees moved him around to various positions in an instructional setting, he started seeing time all over the infield in actual games last year, and some scouts think his body, arm strength, and toughness would be an interesting fit at catcher, even in a part-time capacity. Realistically, he profiles as a utility infielder, but the catching possibility is intriguing. (At-home dev) 44. Jake Agnos, MIRP Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from East Carolina (NYY) Age 22.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 206 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/45 45/45 50/55 40/50 88-92 / 93 No change here. Agnos, New Yorks’ 2019 fourth rounder, was up to 96 during his 2018 summer stint with Team USA but sat 88-92 as a starter the following spring, and that’s where his post-draft velo was as well. Unless the pre-draft summer velo returns (which is more likely if he ends up in the bullpen), Agnos projects as a fifth or sixth starter with three average pitches. (At-home dev) 45. Ken Waldichuk, MIRP Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from St. Mary’s (NYY) Age 23.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/55 45/50 45/50 45/50 90-94 / 95 Waldichuk is a loose, lanky lefty who gets way down the mound (he generates nearly seven feet of extension) and has big carry on his fastball. He might be able to add strength and velocity, at which point he could break out. Until then, Waldichuk’s three-pitch mix fits in a swingman or long relief role. (At-home dev) 46. Chris Gittens, 1B Drafted: 12th Round, 2014 from Grayson JC (TX) (NYY) Age 27.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 250 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/35 80/80 50/55 30/30 40/40 55 No change to Gittens’ report, though I’ll add that it sounds like a couple of teams were interested in signing him as a six-year minor league free agent this offseason, perhaps including some clubs with a clearer path to 1B/DH playing time than the Yankees, who were able to convince him to come back. A former two-way player who used to tip the scales at a cool three bills, Gittens is now hitting for huge power in the upper levels of the minors. Based on the data I have, he led all minor leaguers in 2019 average exit velo at a whopping 96 mph. Gittens was a 25-year-old repeating Double-A, and he struck out nearly 30% of the time. Those two things make it unlikely that he’ll carve out a big league career, but he might be either an interesting depth piece in the event of a bunch of first base injuries (a phenomena the Yankees have dealt with in recent years) or a flier for a rebuilding team. (At-home dev) 47. Nelson L Alvarez, SIRP Drafted: 13th Round, 2019 from South Florida (NYY) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / r FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/55 30/40 94-96 / 97 This Nelson Alvarez is now the only Nelson Alvarez in the Yankees system after they released first baseman Nelson B. Alvarez last year. This Alvarez spent two years at Miami Dade Community College before transferring to South Florida, where he immediately became the team’s closer, though he’d also sometimes work multiple innings (he once threw 2.1 innings against Bethune-Cookman, accruing all seven outs by strikeouts). He was throwing in the mid-90s there, and became New York’s 13th rounder in 2019. Then Alvarez sat 94-97 after signing. He’s an arm strength relief prospect who needs to find a dynamic second offering. He is one of several Yankees who have been working out in Miami. (At-home dev) 48. Madison Santos, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.4 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 No change here, though I think a prospect like Santos is the sort especially harmed by the lack of a minor league season since I’d have liked to see him make either mechanical adjustments or even just show better baseball feel and acumen. Santos is a toolsy, frustrating prospect with above-average bat speed. His swing is often unbalanced and his weight is often forward much earlier than it needs to be, but he has the hand talent to make impact contact anyway. He needs considerable polish but the speed and raw power are interesting, and while Santos’ issues are somewhat severe, they’re at least easy to diagnose. (At-home dev) Other Prospects of Note Realistic Bench Pieces Hoy Jun Park, SS Josh Stowers, CF Pablo Olivares, CF Park is 24 and has an average contact/patience profile and 45 raw power. He might be someone’s bench infielder, but the Yankees big league roster is packed. Stowers performed for three years at Louisville and was red hot leading up to the 2018 draft. The Yankees traded Shed Long Jr. to Seattle for him as part of the Sonny Gray deal with the Reds. He performed in 2019 but I’ve never been on his tools in anything more than a fourth outfielder capacity. Olivares is the contact/defense version of the fourth or fifth outfield profile. Young, Slow Burn Infielders Brenny Escanio, SS Hans Montero, 2B The Yankees got Escanio from the Brewers straight up for reliever J.P Feyeresien. Escanio is an athletic, switch-hitting infielder with a narrow frame, but I feel pretty good about him developing relevant physicality. Montero, who signed for $1.7 million in January of 2021, is a little more physically-mature, contact-oriented, slower twitch infiedler. The bat will need to carry him, obviously the Yankees think it will. Guys With Big Arm Strength Daniel Bies, RHP Justin Wilson, RHP Braden Bristo, RHP Elvis Peguero, RHP Zach Greene, RHP Wellington Diaz, RHP Bies is sneaky. He’s 90-93 with some carry and his slider breaks late. He was the last cut from the main part of the list. Wilson, 24, was at a JUCO and had TJ before his only year at Vanderbilt in 2018. He’s one of the hardest throwers in this system (94-98, touch 99) but has 30 control. Bristo has a 2800 rpm curveball and will touch 95 in relief. Peguero had a huge velo bump in 2019, sitting 90-93 in 2018 and then 92-96, touch 98 before COVID hit. He’s a 6-foot-5 22-year-old with new arm strength, and that’s it right now. Greene was the club’s 2019 ninth rounder from South Alabama and sits just 90-92, but he can really spin it — 2500 rpm with nearly pure backspin. His slider and changeup are both average. Diaz is a hard-throwing sinker guy who’s up to 95. Pinstriped Thumpers Jose Martinez, 1B Isiah Gilliam, LF Dermis Garcia, 1B Jake Sanford, LF This group is pretty self-explanatory. Martinez, who just turned 22, is playing some third base right now but projects only to first. He has the best natural feel to hit of this group but he’s pretty filled out for his age and will max out with 55 raw. Gilliam is a switch-hitter with plus-plus raw and some strikeout issues in the outfield; Garcia is that but at first base. Sanford was the team’s 2019 third rounder but I’m not really on him. He’s a stiff lefty outfield bat with plus power who slugged .805 as a junior. A Total Mess of Other Guys I Like Enger Castellano, 3B Jesus Rodriguez, C Miguel Marte, SS Nick Paciorek, RHP Jose Chambuco, RHP Jhonatan Munoz, RHP Carlos Narvaez, C Castellano is a 2019 July 2 signing, one of the few aside from Jasson Dominguez, who occupied most of the bonus pool. Castellano can really rotate; he’s a relatively positionless bat speed marvel. Rodriguez, 17, had strong DSL numbers in a meaningless 18 games. The carrying tools here are on defense, both the receiving and the arm. Marte has a plus arm, plus speed, and can stick at shortstop, but needs to grow into physicality to hit. Paciorek is a converted catcher up to 97 with an average slider. He might be a relief fit. Chambuco is 17 and had TJ about a year ago. He’s in the low-90s but has an absolutely vicious curveball. Munoz, 20, is a 6-foot pitchability righty with average stuff. Narvaez, 21, is a slow-twitch catcher with some contact skills and a good frame. System Overview The Yankees understandably tailored their alt site group to provide big league depth rather than prioritize developing prospects. This, combined with a lack of stateside instructs and closed workouts in the Dominican Republic, made this system the one to which I’ve applied the lightest touch so far. It has thinned artificially because there are fewer new prospects in whom I am confidently excited due to the lack of instructs, and in actuality because of some recent trades. This is also one of the orgs I think was most impacted by the shortened draft and cancelled minor league season. The Yankees have been very good at developing pitching (look at the last several Rule 5 drafts), and every year they draft a couple college arms who enter the system and start throwing harder. With just five rounds in 2020, they had fewer opportunities to find those pitchers. It’s important for this org to have more poles in the water on the domestic amateur side because their approach internationally has been top-heavy of late, and it sounds like it will continue to be for the next couple of years. The 2017 class of mostly high-profile Venezuelan players isn’t really working out (at least some of that is a tough luck combo of injuries and the pandemic), and the next couple classes were more about high-profile, big-money guys rather than depth. Perhaps with a limit on minor league roster spots looming, go-wide approaches present a crunch later on. COVID-driven rule changes also made it tough on teams that had planned on trading for more international pool space to sign more players. Ordinarily, teams can trade for up to 50% of their original pool space, but MLB put a moratorium on those kinds of swaps for the year. That meant if you had a $5 million bonus pool to start but had handshake agreements to outlay $7 million in bonuses, you could no longer acquire the pool space to sign all of your players at the originally agreed upon bonus. Some teams and players agreed to kick the can down the road and wait until the following bonus period, when the player could sign for the original amount — this type of thing has been happening for a while, often when a Cuban player hits the market late and wants to sign with a team whose pool for the year is already totally committed. Others could not come to such an accord and agreements were broken. The Yankees and Venezuelan catcher Jesus Galiz were at the center of the highest profile of these broken agreements, and Galiz ended up signing with the Dodgers. It’s one of a few recent examples of late changes to expected Yankees signings (Jhon Diaz with Tampa Bay is another), though maybe it happens more frequently with other clubs than I realize and I’m just noticing it here because it’s the Yankees. Those pinstripes sure are sharp, and double-edged.