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December 22, 2009

Future Shock

Yankees Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

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top 11 prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Jesus Montero, C
Four-Star Prospects
2. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
3. Manny Banuelos, LHP
4. Zach McAllister, RHP
5. Austin Romine, C
6. Gary Sanchez, C
7. Slade Heathcott, CF
8. Kelvin De Leon, RF
9. J.R. (John) Murphy, C
10. Mark Melancon, RHP
11. D.J. Mitchell, RHP

Four More:
12. Corban Joseph, INF: A gritty infielder with a good approach and a line-drive bat, Joseph still generates questions about his ability to stay at an up-the-middle position.
13. Eduardo Nunez, SS: Nunez was once a highly regarded prospect, and he had a bounce-back year at Double-A. However, his approach and defense remain sloppy.
14. Melky Mesa, RF: He has an exciting power/speed combination, but his bat lags well behind
15. Jeremy Bleich, LHP: The command-focused lefty needs to make adjustments after getting rocked at Double-A.

1. Jesus Montero, C
DOB: 11/28/89
Height/Weight: 6-4/225
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2006
2009 Stats: .356/.406/.583 at High-A (48 G); .317/.370/.539 at Double-A (44 G)
Last Year's Ranking: 1

Year in Review: Already the top prospect in the Yankees' system, Montero became one of the top prospects in the game by dominating High- and Double-A pitching as a teenager before his season was cut short by a broken finger.
The Good: Simply put, Montero is one of the best offensive prospects in the game, and possibly the best. He's a massive slugger with the contact skills of a batting champion, with one scout classifying his ability to put the middle of the barrel on the ball "almost supernatural." His raw power is at or near the top of the charts-and he's just starting to tap into it. He has the potential for 30-40 home runs annually. He's a hard worker who puts as much work into his defense as his hitting, and he's made great strides behind the plate.
The Bad: Montero remains a well below-average catcher, despite his improvements. His big, thick build doesn't provide much agility defensively, and he's only expected to get bigger, which will almost assuredly mean a move to first base. His approach is good for his age, but it could use some improvements, as he swings at a lot of bad pitches, making up for it by often crushing them.
Ephemera: Playing in Double-A games away from the offensive black hole that is Trenton, Montero hit .400/.457/.718 with 61 total bases in 22 games.
Perfect World Projection: Montero will be one of the best run producers in the game-a .300 hitter (or better) with plus-plus power.
Path to the Big Leagues: This is where things get complicated. The bat is well ahead of the glove, and to the point where waiting for the defense would be remarkably inefficient. It's highly similar to the development of Carlos Delgado, with the additional barrier of Mark Teixeira, who is signed through 2016, playing first.
Timetable: Montero will begin 2010 as one of the youngest players in the Triple-A International League, and while he should see the big leagues at some point during the season, his presence also gives the Yankees the ability to pull off a blockbuster deal this July if needed.

2. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
DOB: 11/13/90
Height/Weight: 6-0/189
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2007
2009 Stats: 2.13 ERA (42.1-34-15-52) at Short-season (10 G)
Last Year's Ranking: 5

Year in Review: The high-ceiling Dominican dominated the much older hitters of the New York-Penn League.
The Good: Vizcaino's combination of stuff and refinement is rarely found in a teenager. His clean arm action leads to effortless 92-94 mph fastballs that get up to 97 when he reaches back for a bit more, while his smooth mechanics allow him to harness his pitches and pound the strike zone. His power curveball already grades out as big-league average with the projection of becoming a true wipeout offering.
The Bad: Vizcaino is a touch undersized, which limits his projection, although his leg drive helps convince most that he can remain a starter. He telegraphs his changeup, but it's a flaw often found in young power arms. More than anything, he just needs experience.
Ephemera: Playing for Staten Island, 18 of Vizcaino's 52 strikeouts came in the second inning, where he faced just 37 hitters.
Perfect World Projection: Vizcaino's ceiling tops that of any pitcher in the system, by a significant margin. It will take time, but the skills are there for him to become an All-Star starter.
Path to the Big Leagues: Vizcaino is at least three years away from the big leagues, but the Yankees have a recent history of struggling with the development of young pitchers once they reach the majors.
Timetable: Vizcaino will make his much-anticipated full-season debut at Low-A Charleston in 2010.

3. Manny Banuelos, LHP
DOB: 3/13/91
Height/Weight: 5-10/155
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2008
2009 Stats: 2.67 ERA (108.0-88-28-104) at Low-A (25 G); 0.00 ERA (1.0-0-0-2) at High-A (1 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Not ranked

Year in Review: This import from Mexico impressed scouts with both his stuff and maturity.
The Good: Banuelos has plus-plus command and control, but his stuff is far from pedestrian. His fastball sits at 89-92 mph, and he can dial it up to 94-95 at times, while he also has the ability to add and subtract from the pitch, add movement to it, and fill up the strike zone. His changeup is also advanced for his age, and he flashes a solid curveball.
The Bad: Banuelos is downright small and not much of an athlete, so there are a lot of questions about his projection. His stuff is very inconsistent; one scout noted when, seeing him twice in a week, Banuelos was around 87-90 mph in one start, and then never went below 90 the next. He has a tendency to flatten out his curveball.
Ephemera: Moved to the bullpen in August to preserve his innings count, Banuelos was especially dominant as a reliever, allowing just four hits over 12 innings while striking out 21.
Perfect World Projection: Scouts are split as to whether Banuelos will be a third starter or a late-inning reliever in the end.
Path to the Big Leagues: Banuelos has multiple paths to the big leagues based on his versatility and left-handedness.
Timetable: The Yankees have been busier than any team in baseball when it comes to scouting and signing talent from Mexico, and Banuelos is their biggest prize. He'll begin 2010 at High-A Tampa.

4. Zach McAllister, RHP
DOB: 12/8/87
Height/Weight: 6-6/230
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 3rd round, 2006, Illinois Valley Central HS (IL)
2009 Stats: 2.23 ERA (121.0-98-33-96) at Double-A (22 G)
Last Year's Ranking: 9

Year in Review: McAllister is a gigantic righty who led the Double-A Eastern League in ERA (2.23), eclipsing the second place finishing by more than a full run.
The Good: McAllister is a finesse pitcher hiding in a power pitcher's frame. His 87-91 mph fastball features a bit of natural sink, while his size adds downward plane to the offering. He throws two quality breaking balls and a solid changeup, while mixing his arsenal well and keeping hitters on their toes. His big frame and clean mechanics give him outstanding stamina.
The Bad: McAllister doesn't have the kind of stuff to blow big=league hitters away, so his projection falls well short of star level. Some scouts had concerns about his body, worrying that conditioning could be an issue in the future.
Ephemera: In a pair of starts against Erie, McAllister recorded 17 strikeouts over just 8 2/3 innings. In his other 20 starts, he averaged 6.3 K/9.
Perfect World Projection: McAllister projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter who delivers 200 solid innings annually.
Path to the Big Leagues: For a team that rarely has room for back-end starters, McAllister's big-league career might begin in the bullpen.
Timetable:McAllister will start the 2010 season at Triple-A, but he should make his pinstripes debut by the end of the year.

5. Austin Romine, C
DOB: 11/22/88
Height/Weight: 6-3/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2nd round, 2007, El Toro HS (CA)
2009 Stats: .276/.322/.441 at High-A (118 G)
Last Year's Ranking: 4

Year in Review: An athletic catcher, Romine had a fine showing in the Florida State League, but he left many scouts frustrated over his lack of development.
The Good: Romine has impressive tools for a catcher. He's an adept hitter with a knack for hard contact, and his raw power rates as 55-60 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He has a strong build with speed that rates only a tick below average, and his arm is strong.
The Bad: Multiple scouts noted that Romine was the same player in 2009 as 2008, with little to no advancement in the two areas of his game that need the most work. He's a free swinger who is prone to chasing breaking balls, and he expands his strike zone when behind in the count. Defensively, he has all the tools to succeed, but his receiving skills are quite raw.
Ephemera: While none of the 15 players drafted out of El Toro High have reached the big leagues, the school has produced a pair of NFL starting quarterbacks in Rob Johnson and Steve Stenstrom.
Perfect World Projection: Romine still has the ability to develop into an above-average everyday big-league catcher.
Path to the Big Leagues: It might be clearer than Montero's, as his ability to stay behind the plate makes him the heir apparent to Jorge Posada, unless the Yankees make a big trade or free-agent play.
Timetable: Romine will begin the 2010 season at Double-A Trenton, but scouts want to see the potential begin to transform into reality.

6. Gary Sanchez, C
DOB: 12/2/92
Height/Weight: 6-2/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Domincan Republic, 2009
2009 Stats: Did not play
Last Year's Ranking: Did not qualify

Year in Review: With all of the attention on Miguel Sano in the international market, the Yankees quickly scooped up Sanchez, who was generally seen as the second-best player available, for a $3 million bonus.
The Good: Like Montero and Romine, Sanchez has the hard-to-find and much-desired combination of contact skills and above-average power.
The Bad: The track record for Dominican catchers is exceptionally poor, as young players there focus far more on tools than games, so Sanchez's receiving skills and in-game instincts are quite poor. He's already thickly built, and some wonder how big he'll get as his body matures.
Ephemera: Want to feel old? Yankee captain Derek Jeter was drafted by the Yankees 184 days before Sanchez was born.
Perfect World Projection: Sanchez's ceiling is significantly higher than that of Romine, but obviously there is a lot more risk.
Path to the Big Leagues: Let's get him a professional at-bat first.
Timetable: Sanchez's name will show up in a box score for the first time this coming summer, when the Gulf Coast League begins its 2010 campaign.

7. Slade Heathcott, CF
DOB: 9/28/90
Height/Weight: 6-1/190
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2009, Texas HS (TX)
2009 Stats: .100/.182/.282 at Rookie-level (3 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Did not qualify

Year in Review: Attached to the Yankees all spring, it was not surprising to see New York select the toolsy outfielder with their first-round pick, signing him for an over-slot $2.2 million bonus.
The Good: Heathcott offers plenty to dream on. His speed and arm both rate as 70+ on the 20-80 scouting scale, and his raw power also projects as above-average, giving him a total tool package that eclipses anyone else's in the system. His swing is quick, simple, and repeatable-it will need little refinement. Scouts love the fact that even in high school, he never cruised on his natural talent and consistently gave maximum effort.
The Bad: Heathcott is quite raw. He needs to work on his outfield routes and base running to better take advantage of his speed, while his pitch recognition needs work as well. He has a history of behavior issues going back to high school, and he comes from a troubled background, but the Yankees think he's a good kid who just needs to escape from his environment.
Ephemera: Heathcott's given name is Zachary, but let's face it, Slade just sounds cooler.
Perfect World Projection: Heathcott has the tools to be a power/speed center fielder with star potential.
Path to the Big Leagues: Curtis Granderson is signed through 2013 with an option for 2014, and while Heathcott might take a while, it won't be that long.
Timetable: The Yankees hope that Heathcott shows enough this coming spring to earn the club's confidence for a full-season assignment to Low-A Charleston to begin the year.

8. Kelvin De Leon, RF
DOB: 10/29/90
Height/Weight: 6-2/180
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2007
2009 Stats: .269/.330/.438 at Rookie-level (56 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Just missed

Year in Review: A seven-figure bonus baby, this Dominican outfielder shined in his stateside debut.
The Good: De Leon profiles as a prototypical right fielder. His compact swing generates plus power to all fields, with plenty of natural loft and backspin. He's a good athlete who plays a solid outfield, and his arm is a potential weapon.
The Bad: One scout characterized De Leon's approach as "completely unbridled," as there's a lot of swing-and-miss in his game due to a tendency to chase pitches. Much of his game is raw, but nothing glaringly so that won't be taken care of with experience. He's a tick above an average runner now, but that will likely no longer be the case once his frame fills out.
Ephemera: Of De Leon's seven Gulf Coast League home runs last summer, four came against the Pirates.
Perfect World Projection: De Leon looks to be an above-average everyday right fielder.
Path to the Big Leagues: He's still years away.
Timetable: De Leon will make his full-season debut in 2010 with Low-A Charleston.

9. J.R. (John) Murphy, C
DOB: 5/13/91
Height/Weight: 5-10/170
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 2nd Round, 2009, The Pendleton School (FL)
2009 Stats: .333/,405/.485 at Rookie-level (9 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Did not qualify

Year in Review: The Yankees continued to spend big money in the draft, giving Murphy a $1.25 million bonus in the second round.
The Good: Murphy's bat was one of the more advanced in the draft among high school players. His swing is both quick and smooth, and the ball flies on his bat with power that is surprising for his size. He's a good athlete who runs well for a catcher, and his solid arm is augmented by a quick release.
The Bad: Murphy is still new to catching and quite messy behind the plate, needing to work on his lateral movement and receiving skills. Some scouts wonder if he has the frame to handle a season-long workload behind the plate, without seeing another positional possibility for him other than left field.
Ephemera: Murphy played on an IMG Academy team that included shortstop L.J. Mazzilli, the son of Lee, who will be a freshman next year at the University of Connecticut.
Perfect World Projection: If he develops, Murphy could be an above-average big-league catcher.
Path to the Big Leagues: No organization in baseball matches the Yankee collection of catching prospects, so it's not an easy road.
Timetable: Murphy will be the primary catcher at Low-A Charleston in 2010.

10. Mark Melancon
DOB: 3/28/85
Height/Weight: 6-2/215
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 9th round, 2006, Arizona
2009 Stats: 2.89 ERA (53-37-11-54) at Triple-A (32 G); 3.86 ERA (16.1-13-10-10) at MLB (13 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Not ranked

Year in Review: The top pure relief prospect in the system, Melancon limited Triple-A hitters to a .196 average, but he struggled in his big-league debut.
The Good: Melancon pitches primarily off his fastball, which sits at 92-94 mph and can touch 96, also featuring plenty of sink. His power curve is another plus pitch that generated plenty of swings and misses during his brief big-league stint. He even mixes in a useable changeup at times, and he earns high praise for his makeup.
The Bad: Melancon's plus command abandoned him in the big leagues, as he had a tendency to overthrow, costing him both location and movement. His delivery has effort, and he's already had a Tommy John surgery in his past. He's a finished product, and his stuff is a bit short of closer-worthy.
Ephemera: Melancon pitched in just seven day games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he gave up just four hits over 10 2/3 innings in those appearances, striking out 17.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be an excellent set-up man.
Path to the Big Leagues: Melancon needs no more development in the minors, but the Yankee bullpen is already crowded.
Timetable: Melancon will compete for a Yankee relief job this spring, but he'll need to blow hitters away to avoid a return engagement to Triple-A.

11. D.J. Mitchell, RHP
DOB: 5/13/87
Height/Weight: 6-0/170
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 10th round, 2008, Clemson University
2009 Stats: 1.95 ERA (37.0-31-6-42) at Low-A (6 G); 2.87 ERA (103.1-93-38-83) at High-A (19 G)
Last Year's Ranking: Not ranked

Year in Review: An over-slot player from the 2008 draft, Mitchell succeeded at both levels of full-season A-ball in his full-season debut.
The Good: Mitchell is a ground-ball machine, registering a ratio of more than 3-to-1 in 19 games for High-A Tampa. His 89-92 mph sinker is nearly impossible to get lift on, and he gave up just two home runs in 515 at-bats in 2009. He throws a curve and a changeup, both of which showed marked improvement as the season went on. He's a fantastic athlete for a pitcher, and his smooth, repeatable delivery produces above-average command and control.
The Bad: Mitchell has yet to develop a second pitch to rate as major-league average, as his curveball merely flashes at times, and his changeup lags well behind. Those issues, as well as his slight frame, have some projecting him as a reliever in the end, where his stuff would only fit in the middle innings.
Ephemera: Mitchell starred in both baseball and basketball at North Forsyth High in North Carolina, the same school that produced Seattle top prospect Dustin Ackley.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a back-end rotation starter or a middle reliever, but he'll be a clutch ground-ball generator either way.
Path to the Big Leagues: It's hard being a prospect who projects as a non-impact big leaguer with the Yankees, who rarely have room for anything but stars.
Timetable: Mitchell will begin 2010 at Double-A Trenton, after which we'll have a much better idea of what role his future lies in.

The Sleeper: Short and squat outfielder Abraham Almonte hit .377 in his last 30 games for Low-A Charleston and packs some intriguing tools into his roundish frame.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (Born 4/1/84 or later)

1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Joba Chamberlain, RHP
3. Philip Hughes, RHP
4. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
5. Melky Cabrera, OF
6. David Robertson, RHP
7. Manny Banuelos, LHP
8. Zach McAllister, RHP
9. Austin Romine, C
10. Gary Sanchez, C

Chamberlain's 2007 showing was an aberration by any measure, but the Yankees have done no favors to his development with either iteration of the silly "Joba Rules," and he should still make an impact once the team shows more confidence him. Hughes seems to have had a breakthrough before breaking down towards the end of the year; we'll see which one is real in 2010. Cabrera has always been a bit of a tweener who doesn't have the bat for a corner. If the Yankees sign a big bat this winter, he'll move to the role he's best suited for: a valuable fourth outfielder. Robertson has recorded 12 strikeouts per nine so far as a pro, but he can be hittable at times, and his control is average at best.

Summary: The Yankees' system lacks much in the way of elite-level prospects, but their depth matches nearly any system in baseball, with a three-star list that could get them into the late teens. They also have the best collection of catching talent in the game.


Next up: the Oakland Athletics.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

76 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

jtanker33

Kevin, can we get your read on Austin Jackson? How many stars? And where would he have ranked on the Yankees and Tigers lists?

Dec 22, 2009 04:17 AM
rating: 7
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Four stars, right behind Arodys -- I think I like him more than most. Not an impact guy, but certainly a nice every day big league CF for me.

Dec 22, 2009 09:50 AM
 
dwinning

So, no formal write-up then?

Dec 22, 2009 11:16 AM
rating: 0
 
nschneider

I think in the past Kevin has done revised top 11's if there are trades that add notable players who haven't yet been profiled. He'll get his write-up sooner or later.

Dec 22, 2009 11:33 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Thanks for giving me more work! In all seriousness, absolutely you'll get one.

Dec 22, 2009 12:06 PM
 
Cangrejero

Eduardo Nunez, major league material?

Dec 22, 2009 04:32 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Not yet, but looking much better than it did a year ago -- utility guy maybe?

Dec 22, 2009 09:51 AM
 
dtisch30

Kevin, Thank you for the great work. Gotta tell you, this was like Christmas morning for my father and me. waking up to it really made my day.
Is a possible platoon split with Posada and Montero possible between C and DH? It would seem to benefit Posada and get Monetro's bat in the lineup (in 2011). I know Posada was never AWFUL, but he was never Pudge back there either. It would seem the organization has no problem allowing a great hitting catcher struggle behind the plate as long as 3 Run Homeruns keep coming.
Thanks again.

Dec 22, 2009 05:15 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Posada is a MUCH better catcher than Montero. We're not talking about below average here, we're talking boderline mlb acceptable.

Dec 22, 2009 09:53 AM
 
Drew Miller

Wow. Posada NOW is a much better catcher than Montero? There's no way he stays there, then.

Dec 22, 2009 10:45 AM
rating: 1
 
Adam Hobson

Remember though that when Posada was Montero's age he was still a second baseman. Of course Posada does pretty much have the stereotypical catcher's body, while Montero is much taller and bigger so he does have that added challenge to overcome, and might never overcome it.

Dec 22, 2009 10:55 AM
rating: 0
 
dtisch30

Ok, fair enough. Montero is a butcher. Any chance he follows the Miguel Cabrera route and plays some RF/LF until 1B or DH is really freed up? I mean, he may be a little unathletic in RF, but its RF in Yankee Stadium, how much room does he really have to cover? Is this a Yankee fan dreaming too much or is there any credence to this idea?
Thank you for the great work

Dec 22, 2009 14:59 PM
rating: 0
 
Rob_in_CT

To be fair about the Joba rules, at least in their initial incarnation, they were really the "Torre rules." I liked Torre, really, but his bullpen management was a weakness.

Dec 22, 2009 06:21 AM
rating: 4
 
Matt Kory

"[Torre's] bullpen management was a weakness."

That's putting it kindly.

Dec 22, 2009 10:21 AM
rating: 0
 
ScottyB

Cashman stated on several ocassions that Torre was told in no uncertain terms how to limit Joba's innings in 2008.

Dec 22, 2009 14:15 PM
rating: -2
 
catomi01

Great read - where would Andrew Brackman fit into the scheme of things at this point?

Dec 22, 2009 06:25 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

We he did at the very end of the season out of the bullpen gave a tiny glimmer of hope, but it's just a tiny glimmer. Based on his age, injury history, performance record (he's never EVER been consistently good), and scouting reports, there's no way he'd be in the top 20 for me.

Dec 22, 2009 09:54 AM
 
Drew Miller

Not a great system, thankfully (to this Red Sox fan). I'm more scared about what it will look like in a couple years, when many of these three-star guys might morph into four- or five-star guys.

Is Montero really so bad at catcher that the Yankees wouldn't at least try him back there at the MLB level? I suppose they could DH him, which really wouldn't be a terrible compromise.

Dec 22, 2009 06:26 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think Montero's career path could end up highly similar to Carlos Delgado, who also came up as a bad defensive catcher with an amazing bat.

As for your system assessment, I totally agree. It's not a monster system yet, but there's certainly the potential for that to happen with all of the young talent.

Dec 22, 2009 09:55 AM
 
Stepehc

The thing that struck me about Montero during a spring training game was that his body wasn't as bad as I expected. With all the reports about his horrible body, his lack of athleticism, the rumors that the Yankees had regrets after they got him into instructionals, I expected him to look like Ramon Castro, wide and squat, top heavy, with a chubby face. Instead, he wasn't all that chubby looking and he had long arms. It really surprised me. That said, he has a massive frame and it's a lot of body being folded into a crouching position so it's understandable that he doesn't physically excel at catching.

Dec 22, 2009 06:28 AM
rating: 0
 
basejaw

I think it was John Manuel who said Montero projects to have close to an 80 bat with 80 power...is there anyone in the majors outside of Pujols with those kind of grades?

Dec 22, 2009 06:54 AM
rating: 0
 
billm21

80 bat and 80 power --- if he fulfills that potential then you are talking about a Hall of Fame caliber talent. Is there any trade worth making in which you would trade away someone with this kind of potential?

Dec 22, 2009 08:31 AM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

If he's limited to first base, there's definitely a trade worth making, especially to the Yankees, who have Teixeira at first.

Also, teams trade away potential for surety all the time.

Dec 22, 2009 11:11 AM
rating: 0
 
Adam Hobson

I almost feel like Montera will end up a Miguel Cabrera. What I mean there is that he seems like a guy people think should hit 40 homers regularly, but instead will sit comfortably in the 30 range but ends up hitting for way more contact than expected.

All in all a dangerous bat you don't think about letting get away.

Besides, couldn't the Yankees always just shove Montero in left on the days A-Rod or whomever need a break at DH? Would he really be worst than a Dunn or Manny out there?

Dec 22, 2009 08:43 AM
rating: -1
 
Rob_in_CT

*Waves goodbye to the #2 guy on this list*

Dec 22, 2009 07:11 AM
rating: 1
 
jasonwood

It has to be tough to leave out David Phelps? By every statistical measure known to man he was one of the Yankees top three pitchers in the minors. And ... he got more dominant as he jumped from Charleston to Tampa. People forget this kid was a top 2 round talent before Notre Dame over used him.

Category Number Organizational Rank
Innings Pitched 150 1/3 1
IP / Start 5.77 1
LOB% 86.9% 1
Starts 26 2
K/W Ratio 3.94/1 2
W.H.I.P. 1.21 3
Strikeouts 122 3

Dec 22, 2009 07:37 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It wasn't hard at all actually. You're talking about a 22 year old who did pretty well in Low-A as a average-at-best stuff strike thrower. He might have some relief possibilities down the road, but he's not a top 10 guy.

Dec 22, 2009 09:58 AM
 
mduncan78

These lists must change fast. Arodys Vizcaino just got traded to the Braves.

Dec 22, 2009 07:38 AM
rating: 0
 
Drew Miller

Along with Melky and Dunn for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan.

The next time somebody lambastes me for suggesting a big trade that you think is a) hopelessly one-sided in favor of the big-market club, and b) would never happen, I propose this trade as Exhibit A in my defense.

Dec 22, 2009 07:58 AM
rating: 0
 
DWrek5

Two years of being annoyed by Yankee fan making up rediculous Melky Carbera trade scenerios, one finally goes through.

Dec 22, 2009 08:13 AM
rating: 6
 
Adam Hobson

I can't help but think that Arodys Vizcaino will end up being the most valuable asset the Braves acquire via this trade, and yet I don't mind seeing him go. After the Hughes/Chamberlain experiences and the insanity of turning potential star pitchers into "8th inning" relievers, is there any way that the Yankees wouldn't have screwed up the 6'0" Vizcaino?

I almost feel the best pitching prospects for the Yanks are the Zach McAllister types. There's no way he wows anyone from the pen, so he might just end up a useful 4th starter for a few years. To me, McAllister has Chien Ming Wang version 2.0 written all over him.

Dec 22, 2009 08:34 AM
rating: 1
 
airlifting

Good for two years and then injured and bad for the rest? Sweet.

Dec 22, 2009 13:02 PM
rating: -1
 
pbconnection

Melky Cabrera is clearly not the best player the Yankees sent over in this deal. A 4-star prospect is highly valuable in the current state of MLB.

Dec 22, 2009 08:47 AM
rating: 3
 
basejaw

Its hilarious to read the comments on mlb.com that are pissed that NY gave up their best OF for Javy Vazquez...I suggest you go check them out if you're in the mood for a laugh.

Dec 22, 2009 08:52 AM
rating: 2
 
Drew Miller

Even at BTF some of those people are doing it.

Dec 22, 2009 09:06 AM
rating: 0
 
NYYanks826

Where would Vizcaino fit on the Braves Top 11?

Dec 22, 2009 07:42 AM
rating: 0
 
sunpar

Heyward for sure is ahead of him. I'd say Freeman and Teheran as well. It'd be a surprise if Delgado was ahead of Vizcaino, so I'd say at most he's 2nd, but probably 4th.

That does give the Braves 4 prospects that are either 5 or 4 star though, which is impressive. And Schafer was a 4 star prospect last year but a wrist injury washed out his first season in the majors.

Dec 22, 2009 09:51 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I haven't done the Braves list yet, so we'll see then.

Dec 22, 2009 09:58 AM
 
serviceoutrage

Well played.

Dec 22, 2009 15:24 PM
rating: -1
 
baconjeff

Dellin Betances is off the list? Has he fallen so far?

Dec 22, 2009 07:45 AM
rating: -1
 
Rob_in_CT

Injuries. I expect Kevin just doesn't think he'll stay healthy for any length of time.

Dec 22, 2009 08:01 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

We was drafted in 2007 and we have gotten a total of 214 innings out of him. Just can't stay healthy, and as a raw arm, he needs innings. There's still some upside there at least.

Dec 22, 2009 10:00 AM
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Drafted in 2006, make that.

Dec 22, 2009 10:00 AM
 
jlefty

Saw Arodys in Staten Island this past July. Sad to see him go, I was super impressed. We'll see how it plays out if the yanks offer javy arb at the end of the year, but as much as i appreciate the help to this years club, it puts a sizeable dent in the future.

and who the hell is going to play LF if they insist at staying at 200mil?

Dec 22, 2009 08:45 AM
rating: 1
 
Brian Kopec

A truly honest Top 11 list for the Yankees would involve Montero stuck somewhere between the 10 most desirable MLB players with contracts expiring in the next 2 years. Montero is the only guy on this list (I guess maybe Romine) who has any chance at a significant career with the Yankees.

Dec 22, 2009 09:18 AM
rating: -3
 
Matt Kory

So you're calling this list dishonest? Do you know what a Top 11 list is? This is a list of the top 11 prospects in the Yankee system according to Mr. Goldstein. It has nothing to do with ranking the players who's contracts are expiring... you know what? Let me just say this: Your comment makes as much sense as my 11 month old.

Dec 22, 2009 10:44 AM
rating: -1
 
KerryFam4

I don't think Brian Kopec is confused about what a Top 11 list is, he's just trying to make the tired point that for a team without a cap on salary, the best prospects available to them are the best players on other teams that could be made available. As we've seen, it's more likely that the Yankees best prospects will become trading chips than they will become Yankees.

Dec 22, 2009 10:54 AM
rating: 5
 
sgrcuts
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who are these best prospects that have a) been used in trades over the last few years and b) shown to be so great the yankees are missing out on them?

Dec 22, 2009 11:21 AM
rating: -4
 
Brian Kopec

Noooo no no no no no no.

My point was that with the exception of Montero, the top prospective future Yankees are currently playing for other major league teams. How many of these guys have star level upsides? Montero. Kevin said it himself in the article that there is precious little room on a Yankees' major league roster for any thing but. That's the way it goes when you have a perennially championship level club. Time and roster space are more precious commodities to the Yankees than cash.

Are you trying to pretend Manny Banuelos is more likely to make 30 starts some year for the Yankees than Zack Grienke? Zach McAllister than Cliff Lee? Go find all the contracts that expire between now and 2013, list out the top 10 names, throw Montero in there somewhere, and that list better represents the Yankees' future than this list.

Please don't think I'm complaining. That's the way it should be with a team that aims to win 100 games and the World Series every year. I'm merely making the point that this list could more accurately be titled "The Top 11 Prospects in the Yankees' System." But it is surely not the "Yankees' Top 11 Prospects."

Dec 22, 2009 11:39 AM
rating: 0
 
Adam Hobson

For the most part I agree with you, and for a contending team one of the prime purposes of a farm system is to provide assets to trade for current needs. The Dynasty of the late '90s was built on trading farm hands for the right "win now" piece, David Cone, David Justice, David Wells, etc...

But it's not like the Yankees never promote non-top prospects from within. They have practically a fully home grown bullpen, and they always seems to find guys in their system like Cano, Wang, Melky and Gardner, who while never top prospects provide the Yankees with some unexpected cheap talent for some time.

Dec 22, 2009 11:55 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

But are those bullpen arms and 4th outfielders in the top 11 if we consider all the potential future free agents the Yankees can select from?

I realize the crux of my argument is semantic. Moving on.

Dec 22, 2009 12:41 PM
rating: -1
 
Jay Taylor

I understand your point, but Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke aren't prospects. Neither are any of the other guys that will be free agents between now and 2013. This isn't an article about the top ten future Yankees, it's about the Yankees' Top 11 prospects, so it's a perfectly honest title to the article.

Dec 22, 2009 13:58 PM
rating: 0
 
Eugene

Come on, you know that "Top 11 Prospects" means Top 11 prospects in the club's system and not Top 11 players most likely to contribute to the team in the future. If you want to make the point that the Yankees are less likely to promote average to below average prospects to their roster than any other team, that's fine. We all agree with you. The "truly honest" thing would be state your argument outright and not criticize lists that are only tangentially related.

Dec 23, 2009 09:33 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

I wasn't criticizing anything.

Dec 23, 2009 11:25 AM
rating: -1
 
Drew Miller

Chamberlain/Hughes/Cano/Gardner/Jeter/Posada/Rivera disagree with you. As much as the Yankees annoy me with buying up all kinds of players, they have brought up useful players too.

Dec 22, 2009 11:34 AM
rating: -2
 
Brian Kopec

Jeter, Posada, Rivera?

That's a different era.

I'll put your Chamberlain, Hughes, Cano, Gardner against my Teixeira, Sabathia, A-Rod, Vazquez, Burnett, and Damon.

The Yankees look at prospects differently that any other club...rightfully so! Their approach to prospects and player acquisition is entirely appropriate for their circumstances. I never said the Yankees have not brought up useful players. (Though I would point out that you had to go back to 1995 to find enough players to make your list.) Surely they will again in the future.

Dec 22, 2009 11:50 AM
rating: -1
 
sockeye

Missing the Point, Exhibit B in this thread.

The IQ in this whole comment series today seems unusually low. Hmmm...

Dec 22, 2009 18:06 PM
rating: -3
 
sockeye

Ughh. Such vitriol, and from someone who completely missed the poster's point.

Obviously, he was making a wry comment regarding the Yanks ability to buy players away from their natal teams. I thought it was a halfway clever editorial, and certainly nothing to get worked up about.

Dec 22, 2009 18:03 PM
rating: 6
 
chico123

Miguel Cabrera playing in poor hitting parks may have something to do with him "only" hitting 30-39 hr a season.

Another good trade by Cashman and company, although he is not a good fit for that park. Javy better have his change up working at home.

What are the Braves doing? A good 4th OF for an AL #2/3 with only one year left on his contract?

Tom
www.elguaposghost.com

Dec 22, 2009 10:01 AM
rating: 0
 
KerryFam4

As good as Vizcaino may be some day, this deal is a mistake for Atlanta if they don't already have a deal (trade or free agent signing) in place to use the money they saved today to improve the 2010 squad with the big bat in LF or 1B that they sorely need.

Dec 22, 2009 10:56 AM
rating: -2
 
Drew Miller

I don't understand who the Braves are going to use in the rotation who could be both cheaper than Vazquez and able to adequately replace Vazquez's production. Even if they get that big bat, they're just treading water if they don't have a solution to that.

Dec 22, 2009 11:38 AM
rating: -2
 
Jeff Reese

They have starting pitching:

Hanson
Jurrjens
Hudson
Lowe
Kawakami/Medlen

I think Hudson bounces back in a big way this year. Losing Vazquez hurts a little bit, but Atlanta will have an elite rotation (barring injury).

I think they should have received more for Vazquez than what they did, but I do like Vizcaino a lot.

Dec 22, 2009 11:55 AM
rating: 1
 
Drew Miller

I'm not sold on Hudson at all. That rotation looks decent to me if Lowe rebounds. Atlanta has to compete with Philly/after all, though I suppose a WC spot might work.

Dec 22, 2009 12:00 PM
rating: -1
 
Jeff Reese

He looked good at the end of last year and his peripherals were in line with his previous seasons.

Philly has the best pitcher without question. The rest of the rotation isn't anywhere near as thrilling though, and I think they should have kept Lee by any means necessary.

With a legitimate first baseman, the Braves will make it a very interesting race.

Dec 22, 2009 12:07 PM
rating: 1
 
ScottyB

I'm sold on hanson and Jurjjens, but relying on Hudson, Kawakami & Lowe????? This move will come back to haunt the Braves, big time.

Dec 22, 2009 14:18 PM
rating: -1
 
Jeff Reese

Hudson? Absolutely, so long as he's healthy, he'll be a very good starter.

Lowe? He's definitely on the downside of his career and overpaid, but he should be solid.

Kawakami? Yeah, I'm not sold on him either, but he's not a bad 5th starter. If he really falls apart, they could move Medlen back into the rotation.

Dec 22, 2009 16:15 PM
rating: 0
 
Jeff Reese

In fact, Kawakami had a better season than I remembered. Lowe/Kawakami is a very good 4/5; I can't think of a better one in the NL.

Dec 22, 2009 16:22 PM
rating: 1
 
markjstachura

Kevin, so I will have to wait until after Christmas for the A's? So much for the one gift I wanted.....

Dec 22, 2009 11:25 AM
rating: -1
 
pbconnection
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Did Melky Cabrera not make the Top 10, 25 and under list on merit or by accident? A league average CF seems like someone that would deserve a spot.

Dec 22, 2009 13:02 PM
rating: -7
 
clobberthesaurus

He's #5 (by merit I am guessing.)

Dec 22, 2009 13:12 PM
rating: 1
 
pbconnection

They make me look pretty foolish by fixing things afterwards.

Dec 23, 2009 12:51 PM
rating: -1
 
sockeye

Jeez...

Dec 22, 2009 18:08 PM
rating: -2
 
jobathebeast

Kevin, how close was Jose Ramirez to making the list? And do you believe Melky Mesa will ever get his strikeouts rates low enough enough to play in the majors?

Dec 22, 2009 13:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Any update on the outlook for Pat Venditte, the ambidexterous pitcher? Or is he still considered a novelty?

Dec 22, 2009 15:18 PM
rating: -1
 
jillsinmo

I know someone already brought this up, but I have a little bit of first hand experience to add so I'll bring it up again:

David Phelps really isn't on your top 11? I know you say he's just an average at best strike thrower, but then I don't really know what happened to him. I faced him as a senior in high school and he was throwing 96 miles an hour with one hell of a slider. His numbers have been good all the way up except for a bad year or two at Notre Dame and he's been nothing sort of excellent in the minors.

What exactly happened to his stuff? Did they really ride him that hard at Notre Dame to the point that he's not even prospect worthy anymore?

Dec 22, 2009 23:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Ben Solow

I don't know anything about Phelps' exact situation, but it's believable that he lost all that velocity. Anecdotally, I went to high school with a 2nd round pick of the Dodgers of a few years ago (Zach Hammes). He was clocked at 95+ in high school, but the story was that they rebuilt his mechanics in the low minors because they were worried about his arm, and he couldn't break 91-92 after that. Now he's basically flamed out as a 24 year old bullpen arm in AA.

Dec 24, 2009 09:56 AM
rating: 0
 
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