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BA's Top 10 Yankees prospects


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#1 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:46 PM

Via LoHud Blog. No surprises in the top four.

1. Jesus Montero
2. Manny Baneulos
3. Dellin Betances
4. Gary Sanchez
5. Mason Williams
6. Dante Bichette Jr.
7. Ravel Santana
8. Austin Romine
9. JR Murphy
10. Slade Heathcott

Gone from last year's top 10 are Andrew Brackman (released), Hector Noesi (semi-promoted), Eduardo Nunez (MLB bench) and Brandon Laird. Heathcott and Romine each fell a couple places. Sanchez takes a backseat to the Betances/Banuelos combo after being No. 2 last year. BA gives terrynever's boy Mason Williams a lot of love.

#2 jon abbey


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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

BA gives terrynever's boy Mason Williams a lot of love.


And maybe not even enough, RAB said they will probably have him 4th over Sanchez.

http://riveraveblues...rospects-61381/

#3 billy ashley

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:50 PM

I'd probably rank Williams third, possibly even second. He's got the second best ceiling in the system.

#4 Wingack


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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:25 PM

I'd probably rank Williams third, possibly even second. He's got the second best ceiling in the system.


Where do you see his ceiling at?

#5 terrynever


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:23 AM

Ceilings are tough to figure for 20-year-old players in the lower minors. I look at Mason Williams and think of Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. Williams might turn into Gardner, which isn't a bad thing. Brett played at Staten Island when he was 21 years old and hit .284 with a .377 OBP. This, after three years in college. At age 22, Gardner made his move upwards, hitting .323 at Tampa and then getting to Trenton in AA ball. Williams will be 20 until next August so he's basically two years younger than Gardner was at Staten Island. The big question with Williams is, does he keep progressing when he goes to High A Tampa, or does he hit a bump in the road?

I only mention Ellsbury because I suspect Jacoby was a speedy whippet like Williams when Jake was 20 years old and playing college baseball. Jake's ceiling was pretty damn high, as we found out this past season. No. 2 in the MVP voting, more than 30 homers. Ellsbury grew up big time between ages 20 and 28. And it didn't all come in a straight line.

The fun for us as fans is following young players and seeing how they adapt to each level of pro baseball. The guys who ooze with talent dazzle even their own teammates in the minors. And if you don't mind me boring you with a post-midnight anecdote, here goes: we had a kid from Pawtucket who got drafted in the 23rd round by the Red Sox back in maybe 2004. A lefthanded pitcher named Tom MacLane out of South Carolina who blew his arm out rather quickly. But here he was this one summer in Lowell, pitching to a 0.00 ERA for the Spinners after 15 innings of relief ball. I go up to Lowell and take him out for a beer after the game. (He was a family friend.) And young MacLane starts telling me about a kid named Hanley Ramirez whose talent makes everyone else on the team feel humbled. Hanley was already a legend that summer, in his own dugout. He was hitting about .270 at the time but his teammates knew. And maybe a year later, so did the rest of us.

Edited by terrynever, 22 December 2011 - 12:25 AM.


#6 billy ashley

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:33 AM

Where do you see his ceiling at?


An excellent defensive outfielder who makes a ton of contact (A 13.8% K rate at his age and level is damn impressive) with a chance to fill out and potentially be 15-20 home run threat if he develops physically.

Some might argue that Manny Baneulos or Gary Sanchez have higher ceilings (and they might be right) but Iím a) a little gun shy with respect to pitching prospects (one neednít look further than Bostonís Drake Britton and Stolmy Pimentel to see how bad excellent pitching prospects can turn after a season) and b) issues surrounding Sanchezí defense (once called above average).

Williams looks like a guy who if everything works out, could be a good defender at a premium position, post average walk rates, while making a lot of contact, and feature decent power.

If he falls short on the power, he could still be a very useful player, I mean, yeah, his insanely high batting average was in large part due to high BABIP and Yankee fans should fully expect that to normalize as he climbs the ladder and faces better pitching and defense, but the guy is going to make a lot of contact.

To put it another way, Brandon Jacobs, whoís an intriguing (though admittedly flawed at this time) prospect, spent last year at A ball (heís 9 months older than Williams) striking out every 5th at ball while only walking 2% more of the time than Williams. He also has been routinely skewered for his below average defense despite his athleticism.

There are some posters over at Sox Prospects who believe Jacobs has the second most upside in the entire season (behind Xander).

I have a feeling that if Williams were wearing a Sox uni, a lot of us would be super excited about the kid.

Edited by billy ashley, 22 December 2011 - 08:33 AM.


#7 BigMike


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:14 PM

Seems like Mason williams ceiling, you are basically talking about Bernie Williams.

I would still rank williams behind Sanchez, who i think is just s small bit behind Montero's upside with the bat, but who also has MUCH better potential to make it as an catcher

#8 terrynever


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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:46 PM

Seems like Mason williams ceiling, you are basically talking about Bernie Williams.

I would still rank williams behind Sanchez, who i think is just s small bit behind Montero's upside with the bat, but who also has MUCH better potential to make it as an catcher

The player Williams is comped to most is former Phillies-Cubs CF Doug Glanville. Mason will never have the kind of physical strength that Bernie had. Bernie was a pretty big dude, 6-foot-2 and a rangy 170 pounds when he was 20 years old. Mason is 6-0 at the most and maybe 155 right now, at age 20.

I worry that Mason got a lot of hits last year with his speed, just putting the ball in play. At the next level, or maybe the level after that, pitchers may start to knock the bat out of his hands. That's something the organization is already working on.

#9 samuelLsamson

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:27 PM

Some might argue that Manny Baneulos or Gary Sanchez have higher ceilings (and they might be right) but Iím a) a little gun shy with respect to pitching prospects (one neednít look further than Bostonís Drake Britton and Stolmy Pimentel to see how bad excellent pitching prospects can turn after a season) and b) issues surrounding Sanchezí defense (once called above average).


Not picking on you, as the original post made the same mistake, but it's "Banuelos".

I can understand being wary of pitching prospects, but I have reservations about the way you express this here. Pimentel and Britton had pretty horrible years, and their stock has dropped, but it's probably smart to take bad numbers with as big a pinch of salt as good ones. It seems to me fairly likely that Stolmy and Drake aren't as good as their impressive 2010 numbers, or as bad as last year's. I don't think either are busts at this point, or even close.

Banuelos's control seemed to desert him rather in 2011, uncharacteristically from what we've seen of him before that, but he still has the stuff and the smooth, repeatable delivery. A bump in the road can be the making of a prospect sometimes, depending on how he adjusts, so 2012 will be interesting - for all three guys. I'm intrigued by Williams too, and you may be right about his ceiling, but right now I'm not ready to place him in the top three, though he might be 4th behind Gary Sanchez. I'll have to think about it.

#10 Meff Nelton

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:59 PM

I think there was a bit of a narrative attached to Sanchez this season that stuck to him even after he turned things around. His start was putrid, he struck out a ton and there were alleged discipline issues, yes; but he was only 18 playing in the Sally league, and after he figured the league out he flat out toyed with it. His batting average remained low, but his power and OBP were excellent in relation. Finally, he got hurt before getting an opportunity to make his seasonal stats really pop after his adjustments to the league.

The strikeouts and makeup are a concern, but he would only have been a freshman in college. I assume he's going to start his age-19 season in High-A, which is gaudy as fuck. Basically, he's still on the Montero Plan. We'll see if he can consolidate his gains at the end of last season into a breakout year. If he does, he's a superstar prospect. If not, he's still very far from a bust. I still like him better than anybody else in the system but Jesus, if only because pitching prospects are porcelain.

Overall, it's good to see a deeper list this year. The Yankees are going to have to lean on prospects the next five years more than they have in over a decade.

Edited by Meff Nelton, 22 December 2011 - 03:08 PM.


#11 Brickowski

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 04:54 PM

Can anyone provide information on pitching prospects after Banuelos and Betances?

#12 jon abbey


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:58 PM

Can anyone provide information on pitching prospects after Banuelos and Betances?


Here is RAB's overall pre-draft top 30 list from last June:

http://riveraveblues...rospects-49519/

The pitching prospects after Banuelos/Betances are the Phelps/Warren/Marshall/Stoneburner group who I started a thread on last year:

http://sonsofsamhorn...-the-prospects/

So mostly guys who are already in AA/AAA but don't have superhigh ceilings.

They had a couple of expensive Latin American signings in the last year or two, but those guys have had trouble getting visas and their status is still up in the air as far as I know. I can hunt down more info on that if you want (I think DePaula is one? going from memory).

#13 Brickowski

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:22 PM

Thanks for the info. They also just signed a RHP from NH named Jordan Kote who is supposed to be a decent prospect.

#14 Wingack


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:01 PM

The chunk of guys below the Banuelos and Betances duo do have some ability though, they probably shouldn't be shortchanged and I think we can include Noesi in there.

#15 jon abbey


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Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:51 AM

Interesting top 20 prospect list by John Sickels, pretty different from other people's, with some names I'm not too familiar with:

http://www.minorleag...spects-for-2012

#16 Wingack


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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:23 AM

I think that I like the BA list a little better.

#17 terrynever


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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:02 PM

BA's Top 10 List with story by John Manuel now available on-line. I forgot Yanks originally signed Wily Mo Pena:

http://www.baseballa...12/2612767.html

#18 jon abbey


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Posted 13 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

I think Campos slots in somewhere here now.

#19 Freddy Linn


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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:26 PM

  • Jim Callis: I’d put him at No. 5, between Williams & Bichette. @bdelbanco: how about where Campos would be on #Yankees list?


#20 jon abbey


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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:07 PM

The lightning development of Williams and Bichette had to make Cashman feel a little better about moving Montero, even if he ends up being Edgar Martinez-level good. They do need a youth infusion in the lineup sometime, but maybe those guys are only two years away now (?).

#21 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 03:05 PM

So who's the new No. 1, Banuelos or Betances?

#22 Wingack


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 04:28 PM

Do we all generally agree Campos slots in at 5? I

#23 jon abbey


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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:57 PM

MLB's overall top 100 list is out, 4 Yankees on the list:

Banuelos (12th overall)
Betances (41)
Sanchez (53)
Williams (73)

http://mlb.mlb.com/n...ws_nyy&c_id=nyy

I guess Campos is just below the top 100, next year hopefully.

#24 crow216


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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:20 AM

Banuelos seems a bit high on that list after the year he had last year, regarding his walk rate. Ironically, he's ranked 1 above Montero.

#25 NYCrusader

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:12 PM

Banuelos seems a bit high on that list after the year he had last year, regarding his walk rate. Ironically, he's ranked 1 above Montero.


Well prospect list have as much to do with potential as it does with production.

And the production wasn't terrible.

Edited by NYCrusader, 26 January 2012 - 06:12 PM.


#26 billy ashley

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:36 PM

meh, 11 is too high. I think he ends up being around 40 on most lists. He's a fantastic prospect though.

#27 jon abbey


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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:05 PM

Campos really had an incredible first year in the US, leading his league in ERA, WHIP and Ks, plus just 13 BBs in 81.1 IP.

http://www.milb.com/...id=126&sid=t403

I guess he will start at Tampa this year? If his innings were higher, you could make an argument for AA off that strong of a year.

Here's a piece to get NY fans drooling even more over how Cashman managed to hypnotize Jack Z into giving this guy up:

http://www.milb.com/...t=.jsp&sid=t403

#28 EvilEmpire

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:37 PM

Campos really had an incredible first year in the US, leading his league in ERA, WHIP and Ks, plus just 13 BBs in 81.1 IP.

http://www.milb.com/...id=126&sid=t403

I guess he will start at Tampa this year? If his innings were higher, you could make an argument for AA off that strong of a year.

Here's a piece to get NY fans drooling even more over how Cashman managed to hypnotize Jack Z into giving this guy up:

http://www.milb.com/...t=.jsp&sid=t403


Campos looks like a great pickup -- I'm particularly happy that he doesn't seem to walk many batters. Happy enough that I probably won't be too upset when we find out that he is 2 or 3 years older than advertised.

#29 derekson

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:14 AM

Betances is massively overrated at 41. A 24 year old pitcher with questionable control and no success above AA doesn't belong in the top 50.

Edited by derekson, 29 January 2012 - 07:15 AM.


#30 jon abbey


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:03 PM

Keith Law's lists are out today, Mason Williams (34th overall) and Tyler Austin (5th on the Yankees list) are shockingly high. It's all Insider-only, but here's NY's top 10 according to him:

New York Yankees
1. Manny Banuelos, LHP (23)
2. Mason Williams, CF (34)
3. Gary Sanchez, C (55)
4. Dellin Betances, RHP (83)
5. Tyler Austin, 3B/1B
6. Jose Campos, RHP
7. Dante Bichette, 3B
8. Austin Romine, C
9. J.R. Murphy, C
10. Slade Heathcott, OF

#31 terrynever


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

If Williams continues to succeed at each level of the minors, he could reach the majors by 2014. Yanks have a team option on Granderson for 2013 and should be thinking about extending him before 2013 even rolls around. By the time Williams is ready, Curtis could be moving to right field. He will be 33 in 2014. Gardner is two years younger than Granderson and turns 30 in 2013.

How about an outfield of Gardner, Williams and Granderson in 2014? Would the Yankees actually bring in a rookie CF, or will they trade him for a more important need, as they did with Montero?

Yanks don't really have any OF prospects in the minors, unless you still believe in Slade Heathcott.

#32 jon abbey


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:13 PM

Yanks don't really have any OF prospects in the minors, unless you still believe in Slade Heathcott.


Ravel Santana also has/had stud potential, but had a brutal injury last season (spikes caught in the ground, ankle broken in two places and a "number of torn ligaments") so it remains to be seen how he returns from that. He is on many people's top 10 NY prospect list anyway., see the BA one up above.

#33 alskor

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:19 PM

If Williams continues to succeed at each level of the minors, he could reach the majors by 2014. Yanks have a team option on Granderson for 2013 and should be thinking about extending him before 2013 even rolls around. By the time Williams is ready, Curtis could be moving to right field. He will be 33 in 2014. Gardner is two years younger than Granderson and turns 30 in 2013.

How about an outfield of Gardner, Williams and Granderson in 2014? Would the Yankees actually bring in a rookie CF, or will they trade him for a more important need, as they did with Montero?

Yanks don't really have any OF prospects in the minors, unless you still believe in Slade Heathcott.


I just did a write up on Williams with a couple videos, if anyone is interested:

http://bit.ly/wilrNf

#34 BigMike


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:54 AM

If Williams continues to succeed at each level of the minors, he could reach the majors by 2014. Yanks have a team option on Granderson for 2013 and should be thinking about extending him before 2013 even rolls around. By the time Williams is ready, Curtis could be moving to right field. He will be 33 in 2014. Gardner is two years younger than Granderson and turns 30 in 2013. How about an outfield of Gardner, Williams and Granderson in 2014? Would the Yankees actually bring in a rookie CF, or will they trade him for a more important need, as they did with Montero? Yanks don't really have any OF prospects in the minors, unless you still believe in Slade Heathcott.

I think it would really depend on what they think they have in Williams. If they believe they have another Bernie Williams type player, I suspect they will keep him and make him a starting player. If they are like you upthread here and view him as a Doug Glanville type then they should trade him tomorrow while his value is high

#35 Wingack


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 02:47 AM

Law actually compared Mason Williams to Granderson.

#36 jon abbey


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:20 AM

Law actually compared Mason Williams to Granderson.


Do you have a link for that? He doesn't mention any names in his Williams writeup in his top 100, the only comp I see him making is "I think Williams has a chance to be ... actually, the player I think Colby Rasmus will be." in a chat:

http://espn.go.com/s...sider-keith-law

#37 Wingack


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:02 AM

He said it in the Thursday chat. A questioner asked if Granderson is his best case scenario, and Law said " You are in the ballpark."

So he seems to think he could possibly get to that level.

#38 jon abbey


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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:12 AM

Nathan (PA)

What is the ceiling for Mason Williams. You seem high on him. Is Curtis Granderson the best case scenario or could he be better?


Klaw

I think you're in the ballpark.

#39 billy ashley

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

Goldstein has his list out today, Williams is 99 right behind Lavarnway. Admitting I could never make a better list than either Law or Goldstein, I kind of feel like they're both wrong by about 30.

#40 billy ashley

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

Where the Yankee Prospects rank in relation to KG's list:

29. Manny Banuelos, LHP, Yankees
40. Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
63. Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees
99. Mason Williams, OF, Yankees

#41 terrynever


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:40 PM

I think it would really depend on what they think they have in Williams. If they believe they have another Bernie Williams type player, I suspect they will keep him and make him a starting player. If they are like you upthread here and view him as a Doug Glanville type then they should trade him tomorrow while his value is high

YES has a 10-minute feature on Mason Williams this week in its Yankee Magazine segment. Damon Oppenheim speaks of Williams having 5-tool capabilities, which is rare in a player, of course, and notes that Mason has gained 30 pounds in strength, not in weight, but in the weight room. In the interview, Williams comes off like a young Jeter, talking about winning the championship in Staten Island last year, and trying to win every year. Oppenheim says he has fun playing the game and that is evident in the practice and game footage shown during the segment.
Of course, it's all hype by the YES machine. Let's see how the kid does in 2012. Physically, he looks like will be bigger and stronger than Glanville (who maxed out at 170 pounds over a 6-foot-2 frame). I don't think he grows the way Bernie did.
When interviewed on YES about his first year as a Yankee, Paul O'Neill spoke about Bernie weighing "160 pounds and wearing bifocals. That's our No. 1 prospect?" Well, Mason Williams is two inches shorter than Bernie and weighed 150 last year. Bernie was listed at 180 on his player's card but he seemed more like 200 pounds to me in his prime and later years. He was 6-foot-2 and strong in the upper body. Williams is six foot. How strong will be get? Will he learn to turn on the ball? YES showed one of his four homers last year and it was a shot down the right field line. He turned on that one.
The difference between Mason Williams and Jacoby Ellsbury, of course, is college. Williams came into the pros as an 18-year-old. Jake played three years in college and then did his real development in the minors. It was fun to watch him develop into the player he became in 2011. But that was a five-year process, AFTER he got out of college.
I've said it before: watching young players turn into stars is about as much fun as a baseball fan can have. It's usually a five-year process after you hear the kid's name for the first time.

Edited by terrynever, 15 February 2012 - 01:01 PM.


#42 Behind Enemy Lines

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:42 PM

How in the world do people rank this a top 10 farm. Don't get me wrong I had a hard on for the farm last year but with Jesus freaking Montero gone there's no way this farm is better than mediocre. Banuelos is a solid pitching prospect and Sanchez has unlimited upside. The rest...ehh.

#43 LMontro

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:22 PM

How in the world do people rank this a top 10 farm. Don't get me wrong I had a hard on for the farm last year but with Jesus freaking Montero gone there's no way this farm is better than mediocre. Banuelos is a solid pitching prospect and Sanchez has unlimited upside. The rest...ehh.


Unlimited upside? Man, that's pretty good.

#44 jon abbey


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:22 AM

How in the world do people rank this a top 10 farm. Don't get me wrong I had a hard on for the farm last year but with Jesus freaking Montero gone there's no way this farm is better than mediocre. Banuelos is a solid pitching prospect and Sanchez has unlimited upside. The rest...ehh.


I recommend researching Mason Williams and Jose Campos.

#45 Wingack


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:40 AM

How in the world do people rank this a top 10 farm. Don't get me wrong I had a hard on for the farm last year but with Jesus freaking Montero gone there's no way this farm is better than mediocre. Banuelos is a solid pitching prospect and Sanchez has unlimited upside. The rest...ehh.


There is quite a bit of upside at the lower levels (and yes I realize, upside is all anyone has a the lower levels) but it seems pretty clear that prospect analysts feel pretty good about the Yankees have being doing. Which is kind of funny since the same guys rip the Yankees drafts annually, but the Yankee people are sure doing something right.

The difference between Mason Williams and Jacoby Ellsbury, of course, is college.


Well probably elite speed too right? I mean you have seen Mason much more than I have, but he doesn't have an elite skill like Ellsbury has right?

#46 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:48 AM

Looking at Keith Law's list, do I read correctly that three of the Yankees top four hitting prospects haven't even had an at bat in Low A yet? And that's a top 10 system?

Talk about projecting, wow.

Also, is something wrong with the PB stat in the minors? Gary Sanchez has 42 PB's in 90 career games. That can't be real can it?

#47 Toe Nash

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:24 AM

There is quite a bit of upside at the lower levels (and yes I realize, upside is all anyone has a the lower levels) but it seems pretty clear that prospect analysts feel pretty good about the Yankees have being doing. Which is kind of funny since the same guys rip the Yankees drafts annually, but the Yankee people are sure doing something right.

Banuelos, Betances and Sanchez (and Montero) were all international signings. So yes, they are spending money on top FAs and spending money on the scouts it takes to find those guys. They've made some decent finds in the draft it seems, but without the international guys their system doesn't look too great and they've certainly made some questionable high picks (their first rounders the past few years being Bleich, Culver, Cole (who didn't sign), Brackman and Bichette).

It's not hypocritical to praise their system overall while saying their drafts were poor.

#48 BigMike


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

Banuelos, Betances and Sanchez (and Montero) were all international signings. So yes, they are spending money on top FAs and spending money on the scouts it takes to find those guys. They've made some decent finds in the draft it seems, but without the international guys their system doesn't look too great and they've certainly made some questionable high picks (their first rounders the past few years being Bleich, Culver, Cole (who didn't sign), Brackman and Bichette).

It's not hypocritical to praise their system overall while saying their drafts were poor.


Bentances was a draft pick from Brooklyn. I believe 8th round.

#49 Wingack


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:36 AM

Banuelos, Betances and Sanchez (and Montero) were all international signings. So yes, they are spending money on top FAs and spending money on the scouts it takes to find those guys. They've made some decent finds in the draft it seems, but without the international guys their system doesn't look too great and they've certainly made some questionable high picks (their first rounders the past few years being Bleich, Culver, Cole (who didn't sign), Brackman and Bichette).

It's not hypocritical to praise their system overall while saying their drafts were poor.


Banuelos and Sanchez are the only international signings in Keith Law's top 10 for the Yankees (Campos obviously was traded for) everyone else is through the draft. And Law has them tenth in all of MLB.

Here is his write up:

I might be jumping the gun here, but I see a lot of star potential on their bottom few affiliates, including new acquisition Jose Campos from Seattle, to go with the two power arms from their Scranton club (Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances). The flaw in the system is the lack of near-in talent, especially position players, who could either help the big club soon or provide more fodder for trades.



#50 terrynever


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

Well probably elite speed too right? I mean you have seen Mason much more than I have, but he doesn't have an elite skill like Ellsbury has right?

This is all about Williams being 20 years old. Where was Ellsbury at age 20?

My point with Williams is that it's fun to watch this kid develop, that's all. He may not make it big, but the process is fascinating if you get invested in a young player. Does he have an elite skill yet? No, although he apparently is a terrific center fielder who runs down balls in the gaps. He's young and raw and spending a lot of time in the batting cage, working on an pulling the ball. Hitting is the make-or-break issue for all minor league position players, and Williams has to show again this year that he can handle it at a higher level of the minors.

I have to admit, it was interesting watching Ellsbury in Pawtucket, too, back in 2007, and then seeing how as he matured he became a power hitter at the age of 27. Red Sox fans are rightfully thrilled because Ellsbury has maxed out his talent. He's a four-tool player. In Pawtucket, he hit 2 homers in 400 ABs. He was a kid then, 23 years old and one year out of college.