Top 54 Prospects: New York Yankees by Eric Longenhagen March 4, 2020 Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the New York Yankees. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. 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 the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this. 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. Top Prospects Team Lists 2020 2019 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Yankees Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Deivi Garcia 20.8 AAA RHP 2020 55 2 Jasson Dominguez 17.1 R CF 2025 50 3 Kevin Alcantara 17.6 R CF 2023 50 4 Ezequiel Duran 20.8 A- 2B 2022 50 5 Alexander Vargas 18.3 R SS 2023 50 6 Clarke Schmidt 24.0 AA RHP 2020 45+ 7 Luis Medina 20.8 A+ RHP 2021 45 8 Estevan Florial 22.3 A+ CF 2020 45 9 Oswald Peraza 19.7 A SS 2021 45 10 Luis Gil 21.8 A+ RHP 2021 45 11 Miguel Yajure 21.8 AA RHP 2021 45 12 Anthony Volpe 18.9 R SS 2024 45 13 Albert Abreu 24.4 AA RHP 2020 40+ 14 Antonio Cabello 19.3 R CF 2022 40+ 15 Roansy Contreras 20.3 A RHP 2021 40+ 16 Oswaldo Cabrera 21.0 A+ 2B 2021 40+ 17 Alexander Vizcaino 22.8 A+ RHP 2022 40+ 18 Yoendrys Gomez 20.4 A RHP 2021 40+ 19 Maikol Escotto 17.8 R 2B 2023 40+ 20 Everson Pereira 18.9 A- CF 2022 40+ 21 Canaan Smith 20.8 A LF 2022 40+ 22 Antonio Gomez 18.3 R C 2024 40+ 23 Anthony Seigler 20.7 A C 2023 40+ 24 Josh Smith 22.6 A- 2B 2023 40 25 T.J. Sikkema 21.6 A- LHP 2023 40 26 Osiel Rodriguez 18.3 R RHP 2023 40 27 Ryder Green 19.8 R RF 2023 40 28 Nick Nelson 24.2 AAA RHP 2020 40 29 Brooks Kriske 26.1 AA RHP 2020 40 30 Glenn Otto 24.0 A+ RHP 2022 40 31 Josh Breaux 22.4 A C 2022 40 32 Frank German 22.4 A+ RHP 2022 40 33 Michael King 24.8 MLB RHP 2020 40 34 Raimfer Salinas 19.2 R CF 2023 40 35 Anthony Garcia 19.5 R RF 2023 40 36 Trevor Stephan 24.3 AA RHP 2021 40 37 Marcos Cabrera 18.4 R 3B 2023 40 38 Denny Larrondo 17.8 R RHP 2024 40 39 Thairo Estrada 24.0 MLB SS 2020 40 40 Alan Mejia 18.6 R CF 2023 35+ 41 Garrett Whitlock 23.7 AA RHP 2021 35+ 42 Yoljeldriz Diaz 18.6 R RHP 2023 35+ 43 Roberto Chirinos 19.5 R SS 2022 35+ 44 Randy Vasquez 21.3 R RHP 2022 35+ 45 Alfredo Garcia 20.6 A LHP 2021 35+ 46 Matt Sauer 21.1 A RHP 2022 35+ 47 Nicio Rodriguez 20.5 R RHP 2022 35+ 48 Madison Santos 20.5 R CF 2023 35+ 49 Jake Agnos 21.8 A- LHP 2023 35+ 50 Anderson Munoz 21.6 A RHP 2022 35+ 51 Dayro Perez 18.1 R SS 2023 35+ 52 Chris Gittens 26.1 AA 1B 2020 35+ 53 Ken Waldichuk 22.2 R LHP 2023 35+ 54 Nelson L Alvarez 21.7 R RHP 2023 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 55 FV Prospects 1. Deivi Garcia, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 163 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 50/55 70/70 45/50 40/50 91-95 / 97 There are workload worries surrounding Garcia because he’s 5-foot-9, 165 pounds, and, more relevantly, saw his walk rates spike last year. But one could argue there’s a selection bias for height in the pitching population, perhaps one that’ll melt away as we keep learning about approach angle, and, 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. It’s unusual to project heavily on the command of a Triple-A pitcher but it isn’t strange to do so on that of a 20-year-old, so even if there are some growing pains related to Garcia’s fastball command it’s good to remember he’s the age of most college pitchers in this year’s draft. Garcia has big stuff. He works 91-95, mostly at the top of the zone when he’s locating, and backs up that pitch with a knee-buckling, old school 12-to-6 curveball that has big depth and bite. He sells his changeup by mimicking his fastball’s arm speed but doesn’t create great movement on that pitch right now. A better third offering during the early part of his career will probably be his mid-80s slider, though that will be more dependent on command to play. It’s possible for a starter to be a 55 when they only throw 120 or fewer innings (Brandon Woodruff and Blake Snell did it last year) but it’s much easier if you inch closer to 140. We may find out about Garcia’s ability to do that in 2020 if the Yankees increase his innings as they have the last two years, or the big club may need to stick him in a lower-volume role immediately. 50 FV Prospects 2. Jasson Dominguez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 17.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 194 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/55 60/65 25/60 70/70 45/55 60/60 There’s as much industry intrigue surrounding Dominguez as there is interest in a Yankee-obsessed public because so few scouts have seen him at all, and even fewer have seen him against live pitching. One director told me Dominguez is impossible to evaluate for a list like this, while a former GM told me he was too low. The Yankees spent almost all but $300,000 of their initial $5.4 million international pool on Dominguez. He is a hyper-sculpted, switch-hitting athlete who could fit at a number of defensive positions, probably either second base or center field. He has plus tools across the board, including power from both sides of the plate. Dominguez has also largely been seen in workouts and not against live, high-quality pitching, so we don’t know much about his feel to hit, but the swing elements are there. There’s perhaps some Mike Mamula risk here, and Dominguez is physically mature for a recent J2, but I don’t know of another 16-year-old on the planet with tools this loud, and struggle to think of a historical example. 3. Kevin Alcantara, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 17.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 50/60 20/55 60/55 45/55 55/55 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. 4. Ezequiel Duran, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/60 35/55 40/35 40/45 45/45 Duran bounced back after his horrendous 2018 and hit for power in the Penn League as a 20-year-old. He’s a stocky guy who only really fits at second base, and as he continues to age he’ll likely only be able to stay there with the aid of good defensive positioning. But boy, does he have power. Whether his contact and approach issues will hinder his ability to get to it in games is debatable. If he overcomes them, he has everyday ability. 5. Alexander Vargas, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 18.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 35/50 20/40 60/60 45/60 50/55 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 DSL, and he was one of several the Yankees promoted stateside in the summer. He’s a potential impact defender at short who also has uncommon bat control for such a young switch-hitter. 45+ FV Prospects 6. Clarke Schmidt, RHP Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from South Carolina (NYY) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 55/60 50/55 45/50 45/50 91-95 / 96 Schmidt throws four average or better pitches and enough strikes to start. Both breaking balls play up against righties because of Schmidt’s rather funky delivery, but the arm action also creates some fear about his long-term health, and those fears are supported by his college injury history. He profiles as a No. 4 starter. 45 FV Prospects 7. Luis Medina, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 65/70 60/70 45/55 35/45 94-98 / 100 Medina appeared to grow into a starter’s control throughout last year. In his first nine starts, 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, so is this trend a sign of things to come or just a blip in a sample too small to trust? 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 2nd 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, has a dominant power curveball that’s projects as a plus-plus pitch, and his sinking changeup moves enough to miss bats when it’s located competitively. The highest walk rates among qualified big league starters are in the 9-11% range, which is where Medina’s walk rates were during the second half of 2019. Reds righty Luis Castillo (10%) is a dominant, two-pitch template for Medina’s projected ceiling, and unless he once again becomes prone to nuclear strike-throwing meltdowns, his stuff will play in high-leverage relief. 8. Estevan Florial, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Haiti (NYY) Age 22.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 60/60 40/55 70/70 45/50 80/80 Florial is officially in the Franchy Cordero Zone, wielding several high-end physical tools, the development of which have been at the mercy of injuries and strikeout issues. He missed a chunk of 2018 with a fractured right hamate then suffered a non-displaced fracture of the right wrist that cost him April and May of 2019. He struggled when he returned, and had an OBP just beneath .300 across 74 Hi-A games, whiffing 33% of the time. It’s correct to be weary of Florial because of the strikeouts and injuries — despite having the physical ability of a top 10 overall prospect, Florial has existed in the 45-50 FV tiers his entire pro career because of the K’s — but it’s too early to be dismissive of or fatigued by his stagnant development. He’s still just 22 and over the course of 140 games at Hi-A as a 20- and 21-year-old, Florial’s .250/.330/.380 line is actually above the Florida State League average. And he seems to have done at least some of that while undergoing a swing change. Florial’s older swing was stiff-wristed (I’m unsure if it had to do with, or was because of, the injuries) and long, and he was often beaten by fastballs near the top of the strike zone and and swung well inside on soft stuff away from him. His newer swing enables him to get around pitches better and his groundball rate dropped for the second straight season last year. What’s more, his minor league spray chart, per Baseball Savant, showed less contact peppering the shortstop area and third base line. His TrackMan data indicates the strength and power were intact coming off of the wrist injury. All of this is evidence that Florial remains a talented work in progress capable of making adjustments, which he clearly needs to continue doing. 9. Oswald Peraza, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.7 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 176 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 40/45 30/45 60/60 55/60 55/55 Peraza has emerged from a group of prospects who, on last year’s list, we evaluated as likely utility or second division regular types, including Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Thairo Estrada, and Pablo Olivares. All are smaller, contact-oriented hitters with good feel for the game and up-the-middle defensive profiles. Now Peraza is a plus shortstop defender with what looks like a future plus hit tool. Plus, he’s only 19 and his exit velocities are beginning to climb. There are lots of infielders in this system with a frame similar to Gleyber Torres‘, stout and strong, and that’s the way Peraza is tracking. It limits the raw power projection, but if Peraza’s rate of contact holds up, he’s going to hit for power by virtue of the quality and amount of contact he’s making. He’s tracking like a lot of the contact-oriented shortstops currently toward the back of the overall Top 100, and is a potential regular. 10. Luis Gil, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (MIN) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 70/70 50/60 40/50 30/40 93-97 / 99 Gil’s velvety smooth delivery belies his control problems, which are concerning and will likely banish him to the bullpen. Mechanical ease is often an indicator for scouts to project on command/control but there are Neftalí Feliz sorts of exceptions, and I think that’s what we’ve got here. The effortlessness with which Gil generates upper-90s heat is unbelievable, but his release point waivers and he walks guys. His presence on the 40-man makes it more likely Gil gets fast-tracked as a reliever, though he should continue starting a) just in case things click, because the ceiling is huge if it does and b) the reps will help sharpen his secondary stuff, which is good but not quite as good as his dominant fastball. There are very few big league pitchers with this combo of velocity and spin and a bunch of them throw cutters. Gil’s heater had a 20% swinging strike rate last year and would probably be harder if he were in the bullpen. He’s going to have a dominant offering that I think eventually spearheads a high-leverage relief future. 11. Miguel Yajure, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/50 50/55 55/60 50/60 91-95 / 97 He looked like a cutter/changeup pitchability guy a year ago, but Yajure has since enjoyed a velo spike and was bumping some 97s late last summer as he climbed all the way to Double-A. A Yankees source credits the velo bump to a foundation laid during Yaure’s 2017 Tommy John rehab. Additionally, Yajure’s changeup has become a plus pitch. It’s a firm, sinking offering in the upper-80s. He works his cutter away from righties for swings and misses, and can dump his curveball in for strikes the second and third time through the order to get ahead of hitters with something new. His huge 60-inning workload increase from 2018 to 2019 was a bit surprising, and assuming Yajure doesn’t come out of the chute sitting 88-92 from the aftershocks of that uptick, he’s tracking like a 50 FV arm. 12. Anthony Volpe, SS Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Delbarton HS (NJ) (NYY) Age 18.9 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 20/40 50/50 50/55 55/55 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 has good feel for contact, but he lacks both strength and the physical projection that enables teams to anticipate strength will come. Keep in mind 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 toward an everyday role, but it’s more likely that he ends up a glove-first utility type. 40+ FV Prospects 13. Albert Abreu, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Dominican Republic (HOU) Age 24.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 65/65 55/60 55/60 55/60 40/40 95-99 / 101 Abreu’s 2019 was like any other year. He missed time with a strained bicep (he’s now had elbow and/or shoulder issues for three straight years), but still made 23 appearances averaging just under five innings per outing, a 30-inning increase from 2018. And Abreu’s stuff remains incredible — 94-99 as a starter, 70-grade changeup, two good breaking balls — but strike-throwing consistency has never materialized here, and he projects as a nasty bullpen piece. He’d be a 45 FV if not for the multi-year injury history. 14. Antonio Cabello, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.3 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 55/55 30/50 65/60 45/50 55/55 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 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. 15. Roansy Contreras, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/55 50/55 45/50 92-95 / 96 Not only did Contreras hold his stuff over a longer season (he threw more than twice as many affiliated innings in 2019 as he did in 2018) but his velo was actually up a tick, and his walk rate came down, too. We’re not talking about premium arm strength, but Contreras should end up with three quality offerings (intentionally or not, he can vary the shape of his breaking ball enough that he functionally has four) and plenty of strike-throwing ability to start. Barring continued development of his changeup, which already looks better than we projected a year ago, he won’t have a plus pitch and therefore fits in the No. 4/5 starter area rather than as a plus, mid-rotation type. 16. Oswaldo Cabrera, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 21.0 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 145 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/55 40/45 20/40 50/50 45/50 50/50 Cabrera went from looking physically overpowered at Charleston in 2018 to generating one of the org’s top exit velocities in 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 Cabrera’s 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. 17. Alexander Vizcaino, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 45/50 60/70 35/40 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. 18. Yoendrys Gomez, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 20.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 50/55 40/50 40/55 93-96 / 98 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 now Gomez is 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. 19. Maikol Escotto, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 17.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 50/60 25/55 50/40 40/50 60/60 I’d classify the reports on Escotto from my sources who saw DSL action as “mixed/positive.” Once he started generating industry curiosity through his statistical performance, expectations were high for scouts went in to get a look at him and the rest of the Yankees DSL players. Proponents saw big pull power for a teenager, coherent ball/strike recognition, and a 2B/3B defensive future. Detractors saw third base-only, a mature build, a pull-only approach to contact, and some swing length. The power and infield future, regardless of where it is, is enough to like Escotto more than Josh Breaux (if you think he’s a first baseman, certainly) and the powerful corner outfield types in this org. 20. Everson Pereira, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 18.9 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 50/50 20/50 55/55 45/55 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 last year, albeit in a small statistical sample and at a level much higher than is typical for a hitter his age. Pereira 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 summer. His swing seemed more uphill than it was before he signed, and he’s the first of several recent prominent amateurs on this list dealing with developmental growing pains. 2019 was basically a wash for Pereira, who had a reasonable shot to be an everyday center fielder just 12 months ago. 21. Canaan Smith, LF Drafted: 4th Round, 2017 from Rockwall Heath HS (TX) (NYY) Age 20.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 60/60 35/55 40/40 40/45 45/45 Smith body comps to late-career Kirby Puckett, just at 6-feet tall instead of 5-foot-8. He’s a tank, the absolute unit, a lefty-hitting thumper with the most fully actualized combination of game power and approach on this entire list. Smith went to full-season ball as a young 20-year-old last season and raked. His hitting hands work such that Smith pushes a lot of contact the other way, and he’s so strong that he often whacks those for extra bases. Smith also has an intelligent approach and advanced ball/strike recognition. His power demands that pitchers work him carefully and Smith has been exploiting this fact since high school. It’s a left field profile (Smith runs well underway but at his size at this age, he’s moving to a corner) but the requisite raw power and on base skills for that seem to be here. 22. Antonio Gomez, C Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 18.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 45/50 20/45 30/20 40/50 80/80 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 allow him to regularly post pop times below 1.80 in games, which is generally a 70-grade time. Gomez is a mature-bodied prospect and a 30 runner presently, someone who appears “unathletic” on the surface. We often talk about football and baseball athleticism as being two different things, and Gomez is not football athletic, but he definitely is baseball athletic. Instead of timed speed or visible strength, he displays quick-twitch movement, first step quickness, and overall explosion through strength in the forearms, wrists, and hands. Gomez is an ideal case study in the differences, as he’s got soft hands and is mobile behind the plate, and has solid average raw power with similarly graded bat control. The Yankees may have a 5 defensive catcher with a 5 bat, 5 raw power, and an 8 arm here. That would be quite a find for $600,000, especially given the current wasteland that is big league catching. 23. Anthony Seigler, C Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Cartersville HS (GA) (NYY) Age 20.7 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 60/60 Since signing, Seigler has been snakebitten by various injuries and has barely even played, catching just over 40 games in parts of two seasons amid hamstring and quad issues, a concussion, and a fractured patella. 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. 40 FV Prospects 24. Josh Smith, 2B Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from LSU (NYY) Age 22.6 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 55/55 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 bench role at least. 25. T.J. Sikkema, LHP Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Missouri (NYY) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 221 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/55 40/50 45/55 90-94 / 95 Sikkema is lower slot, sinker/slider/changeup pitchability lefty who projects to the back of a rotation. He was up to 95 pre-draft but was more 90-92 after he signed. 26. Osiel Rodriguez, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 18.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 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 and was only sitting 86-90 when he threw, his body got soft. This comes 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. The ceiling here is still higher than the relief-only types who follow on this list because I’m not as certain Rodriguez can’t start as I am the Kriske/Otto sorts, though if the velo isn’t back (I’m told it is, that Rodriguez is throwing hard right now) he belongs beneath them. 27. Ryder Green, RF Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Karns HS (TN) (NYY) Age 19.8 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 60/60 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 can point to two seasons of promising plate discipline results from him, 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. 28. Nick Nelson, RHP Video Drafted: 4th Round, 2016 from Gulf Coast JC (FL) (NYY) Age 24.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops 55/60 40/50 45/55 40/45 92-95 / 97 There’s clearly still some breaking ball tinkering going on here, but Nelson has about average raw breaking ball spin and should end up with a viable big league version of some kind given time. For a 24-year-old, he hasn’t been pitching that long, as he didn’t focus exclusively on pitching until he got to his JUCO. If the breaker and another half grade of control fail to develop, Nelson should still end up as a bullpen stalwart. He sat 94-97 as a starter for a while and that velo may come back if he’s pitching in relief. Plus, his splitter is already an out pitch. 29. Brooks Kriske, RHP Drafted: 6th Round, 2016 from USC (NYY) Age 26.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/50 55/60 40/40 92-96 / 98 Kriske was the last pitcher added to the Yankees’ 40-man last offseason, presumably chosen over top Rule 5 Draft pick Rony Garcia, in case you were wondering if this org has pitching depth. Kriske was a standard, two-pitch middle relief prospect until he added a splitter last year. He sits 92-96 (which is up from a couple of years ago) and his fastball has plus-plus carry and life (it generated a 16% swinging strike rate last year). He had an average, two-plane slurve and now has a big league out pitch in the split. 30. Glenn Otto, RHP Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Rice (NYY) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 240 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 55/60 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. 31. Josh Breaux, C Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from McLennan JC (TX) (NYY) Age 22.4 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 60/65 30/50 30/30 40/45 65/65 Cue the Pete O’Brien comps. 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 throw accuracy. He’s a relatively inexperienced defender so those things may still come, but if not then the K/BB stuff needs to improve because we’re talking about a 1B/DH. 32. Frank German, RHP Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from North Florida (NYY) Age 22.4 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 40/50 45/50 40/45 92-96 / 98 German was a solid middle-round college pitching prospect going into the 2018 draft, with most clubs treating him as a sixth to eighth round talent who could possibly be a target for the 11th-12th rounds and a $125,000 bonus, as cheap senior signs fill in the latter stages of the top 10 rounds. Then German (Dominican-born and whose name is pronounced like the European country) had one of the latest pre-draft velo spikes possible, suddenly hitting 95 mph during the Atlantic Sun conference tournament in his final college game just two weeks before Day One. Miles per hour are a dime a dozen these days, but German had the athleticism and arm action of a starter and had put on about 15 pounds in the previous 12 months, so some thought this could be coming. Clubs who had scouts at that final start shot him up their boards, and the Yankees jumped to the front of the line to take him in the fourth round. The velo spike held throughout German’s first summer in pro ball — he sat 92-95 and touched 97 mph in the fall instructional league, and put on about 10 additional pounds after signing — and then moved yet another tick last year — 93-96, touch 98 — even though German is still starting. The length of his arm action and the gap between where his secondary stuff is (German’s college breaking ball was scrapped, and his changeup is now his best secondary) and what it’d have to be to play several times through the order means German is likely a fastball-heavy reliever. 33. Michael King, RHP Drafted: 12th Round, 2016 from Boston College (MIA) Age 24.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/55 45/45 45/50 55/60 90-94 / 95 King probably would have graduated from this list last year if not for a stress reaction in his elbow and a subsequent setback during his rehab. He can manipulate the shape of his fastball and locate it where he wants to generate weak contact, but lacks swing-and-miss secondary stuff. This is a low variance fifth starter profile. 34. Raimfer Salinas, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.2 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 50/55 20/50 60/55 45/55 60/60 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; last year 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. It’s too early to move all the way out on him, especially because the injury stole a year of reps, but Salinas is firmly in the high risk hit tool category now. 35. Anthony Garcia, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 19.5 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/40 70/80 25/60 50/40 40/45 55/55 Garcia missed just about all of the 2019 summer with a quad injury, and scouts’ looks at him during Extended reinforced last year’s report. He’s 6-foot-6, switch-hitting, and if he 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 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 may hit 40 bombs. 36. Trevor Stephan, RHP Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Arkansas (NYY) Age 24.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/60 40/45 40/50 90-94 / 97 Stephan’s cross-bodied delivery compares closely to that of Brewers righty Freddy Peralta, as both get way down the mound (Stephan gets nearly seven feet of extension on his fastballs) and have lower arm slots that make right-handed hitters very uncomfortable. He makes heavy use of a hard slider that at times looks like a cutter. It has enough movement to miss bats if Stephan leaves it in the zone, and he’s been able to back foot it to lefties. I have him in as a middle relief piece but changeup development is arguably still important here because of three-batter minimums taking effect. 37. Marcos Cabrera, 3B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 189 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Raw Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 50/45 45/50 60/60 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 despite his long levers. He’s a power projection third base prospect. 38. Denny Larrondo, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (NYY) Age 17.8 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 He’s only up to 94 right now but Larrondo 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 17, he has elite fastball and breaking ball spin rates. His delivery is a work in progress, but that’s true of most 17-year-olds. He’s a velo spike away from climbing this list. 39. Thairo Estrada, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2013 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 24.0 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/55 45/45 30/40 60/55 45/50 55/55 Estrada rose as high as the 45 FV tier on this list before tumbling after he looked sluggish in the aftermath of a pair of surgeries (the first was botched, the second took place months after) to remove a bullet lodged in his thigh when teens shot him during an attempted robbery in Venezuela. The contact rates from his peak value days were gone last year, and Estrada now looks like more of a fifth infielder than a premium utility or low-end regular. 35+ FV Prospects 40. Alan Mejia, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Mejia is yet another of the several interesting prospects the Yankees moved from the DSL to the GCL in the middle of the summer. 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. 41. Garrett Whitlock, RHP Video Drafted: 18th Round, 2017 from UAB (NYY) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/55 45/50 50/55 92-95 / 96 The Yankees moved Whitlock up the ladder very quickly in 2018, and he looked like a soon-to-be backend starter or swingman sort based on his ability to locate an average sinker/slider/changeup mix. Then he blew out his UCL in the middle of last summer and had surgery. Whitlock began throwing in January but will miss most (if not all) of 2020 and is likely on track to compete for a spot on the staff in 2021, when he’ll be nearly 25. 42. Yoljeldriz Diaz, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 18.6 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. 43. Roberto Chirinos, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (NYY) Age 19.5 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 60/60 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. 44. Randy Vasquez, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 21.3 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 A college-aged spin rate monster who pitched in the Pulaski rotation last year, Vasquez’s realistic projection is in the bullpen, where his fastball velo would theoretically tick up and he could rely more heavily on his tornadic curveball. His size and 40-man timeline both funnel him toward the ‘pen, too. 45. Alfredo Garcia, LHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (COL) Age 20.6 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 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. 46. Matt Sauer, RHP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Righetti HS (CA) (NYY) Age 21.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ 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 last April. 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. 47. Nicio Rodriguez, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 45/60 45/55 30/45 89-94 / 96 He struggles to repeat it, but the flexible Rodriguez has a loose, explosive delivery, and he arrived for camp this spring looking much stronger. The skinnier version sat in the low-90s last year and his fastball has high-end spin. I have him projected in a two-pitch relief role, and he’ll move up the list once the velo does, which, considering the shape Rodriguez was in when he reported, might be this summer. 48. Madison Santos, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 20.5 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 55/55 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. 49. Jake Agnos, LHP Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from East Carolina (NYY) Age 21.8 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 Agnos was up to 96 during his 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. 50. Anderson Munoz, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (MIN) Age 21.6 Height 5′ 8″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Sits/Tops 55/60 92-95 / 97 Released by Minnesota after a just over a year in the DSL, Munoz is now an interesting, bite-sized arm strength prospect. The Yankees lowered his arm slot last year and he started throwing really hard and throwing strikes. They also gave him a slider rather than curveball. Munoz is likely a relief prospect, but it makes sense to develop him as a starter in hopes that either his slider or changeup become an out pitch. 51. Dayro Perez, SS Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (NYY) Age 18.1 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 60/60 His feel to hit is behind, but Perez is an athletic, no-doubt shortstop with a projectable body, and his swing foundation is workable. 52. Chris Gittens, 1B Drafted: 12th Round, 2014 from Grayson JC (TX) (NYY) Age 26.1 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 55/55 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 a) 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 b) a flier for a rebuilding team. 53. Ken Waldichuk, LHP Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from St. Mary’s (NYY) Age 22.2 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 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. It’s a three-pitch mix that fits in a swingman or long relief role. 54. Nelson L Alvarez, RHP Drafted: 13th Round, 2019 from South Florida (NYY) Age 21.7 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 He has a traditional bullpen power arm repertoire but Alvarez is scarily wild and needs to develop a full grade of control to profile at all. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Realistic Bench Pieces Hoy Jun Park, SS Kyle Holder, SS Josh Stowers, CF Pablo Olivares, CF Park is 23 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. Holder is a plus defensive shortstop who doesn’t do much with the bat. Stowers performed for three years at Lousiville 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 last year 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. Guys with Big Arm Strength Justin Wilson, RHP Braden Bristo, RHP Elvis Peguero, RHP Zach Greene, RHP Wellington Diaz, RHP Wilson, 23, 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 last year, sitting 90-93 in 2018 and then 92-96, touch 98 last year. 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 up to 95. Pinstriped Thumpers Jose Martinez, 1B Isiah Gilliam, LF Dermis Garcia, 1B Jacob Sanford, LF This group is pretty self-explanatory. Martinez, who just turned 21, is playing some third base right now but projects to 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 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 and 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, and 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 just had TJ last week. 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 In past years, the Yankees System Overview has consisted of a discussion surrounding their Rule 5 losses, their roster equilibrium and 40-man crunch trades, and their deep, multi-roster approach to development in the DSL and GCL. A huge portion of this list was comprised of teenagers last year, a product of player graduations, trades, and the international scouting program’s quality. It’s still a young farm system, with prospects averaging 21 years of age, 0.8 years younger than the rest of the population on The Board. The dust hasn’t settled on the last couple of international classes nor on the teenage draftees, many of whom have either dealt with injury or poor performance or both. The rate of injury in this system is pretty staggering, actually. How much to weigh poor performance over a small sample, like in the Appy and New York-Penn League, is still unclear; it’s a question I seek to answer with dope from Extended and Instructs. Some of how to handle this issue, not just for me but for actual teams, must be informed by the Yankees’ track record of dev success, which is especially strong for pitchers. Among teams’ full season arms for whom I have TrackMan data, this is the hardest-throwing system (prospects, non-prospects, just dudes in full-season ball all of last year) in all of baseball, with an average fastball velocity of 92.17 mph. Every year guys in this system pop up and throw much harder, which means we really should be looking at players with the traits (beyond the frame) that indicate they’re going to and guess who they might be, but that assumes it’ll happen without whatever magic velo dust the Yanks sprinkle on them.