The All-Ceiling Top 20

While attempting to sleep last night, an idea popped into my head. Why not have some fun and rank the top-20 Yankee prospects by ceiling alone? Here’s the list I scratched down late at night, with some comments on what their ceiling looks like. I excluded mostly busted prospects so not to make the list too silly. Sorry, Garrison Lassiter. I also excluded some IFAs that I don’t really know a lot about. Here is the list.

  1. Jesus Montero – Poor defensive catcher who slugs .600
  2. Gary Sanchez – Good defensive catcher who slugs .500
  3. Dellin Betances – Josh Beckett on a good day
  4. Manuel Banuelos – Cliff Lee
  5. Andrew Brackman – A right-handed Randy Johnson, but not as good
  6. Melky Mesa – Somewhere between Granderson-2006 and Granderson-2010
  7. Slade Heathcott – Hard to compare, but I’ll say Mike Cameron
  8. Angelo gumbs – A shortstop who can hit home runs
  9. Mason Williams – A little slower than Brett Gardner, but with 10-12 HRs
  10. Evan Rutckyj – Pick your power lefty starter
  11. Brett Marshall – Pick your power righty starter
  12. Austin Romine – Good defensive catcher who slugs .450, but lowish OBP
  13. Jose Ramirez – A strong across the board power starter
  14. Matt Gamel – A high-average, modest power left fielder
  15. Graham Stoneburner – Derek Lowe
  16. Robert Segedin – An all-around above average third baseman
  17. Hector Noesi – James Shields
  18. David Adams – Orlando Hudson with merely above average defense
  19. Cito Culver – The good years of Marco Scutaro
  20. Corban Joseph – Mark Ellis

Don’t take the list too seriously. Its all pie in the sky stuff anyway. But hey, its fun to think about. What do you guys think?

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He lives and works in Washington, DC.

16 thoughts on “The All-Ceiling Top 20

  1. I’m a fan; I think it’s a pretty damn interesting concept. I did not know Heathcott had that type of power potential, though.

  2. Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I would think Jesus’ ceiling would be that of an AVERAGE major league catcher.

    • EJ Fagan

      So, I tried to be reasonable with what I called a player’s ceiling. Sure, there is a world where Jesus Montero puts it all together and plays average defense at catcher. There’s also a world where Jason Giambi plays shortstop. Both aren’t all that likely. We’ll be very lucky if Montero plays poor (say, 30% below the average) instead of terrible (50-60% worse than average, theoretically) defense. If he plays average defense? Then we should all buy lots of lottery tickets.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Really? Giambi at shortstop is the best you can do? How bad do you think Montero is at catcher? What do you think Montero needs to work on to be a better defensive catcher? Did he call his own games last year, or did the coaches call the pitches from the bench?

        • EJ Fagan

          He needs a whole lot more agility. Besides having a semi-strong arm, Montero doesn’t have a whole lot of the tools necessary to be an average catcher. He’s really big and slow.

          • If Montero is a bad catcher slugging .600 we have the best catcher in the league haha.

  3. Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Really? Giambi at shortstop is the best you can do? How bad do you think Montero is at catcher? What do you think Montero needs to work on to be a better defensive catcher? Did he call his own games last year, or did the coaches call the pitches from the bench?

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      GRRRR. Nevermind. I’m not even smart enough to figure out your posting system My opinions are invalid.

  4. Scout

    If Gumbs is that much more promising than Culver, then I go back to my contention made immediately after the draft that the Yankees should have picked Nick Castelanos in the first round and taken however remained between Gumbs and Culver with their next selection. I know, I know, I have to get over it, but the wound is still raw and EJ tore the scab off again…

    • “More promising” doesn’t mean he will make it to the majors when you have both you have a better chance at one actually succeeding, I basically just saw it as the Yankees doubling down.

    • EJ Fagan

      Here’s the big difference: Culver is a pretty sure bet to be a good defensive shortstop in the majors, while Gumbs may or may not stick at the position. But Gumbs is one of those five tool, all-around athletes with loads of hitting potential, while Culver has less to draw on.

  5. daneptizl

    What percentage of Randy Johnson would you say? 85%? Any chance you could give comparables for the rest of them?

    • EJ Fagan

      Comparables are kind of difficult, but I’ll throw a few out.

      Montero – Piazza
      Sanchez – McCann (Credit to BA)
      Mesa might be a better Cameron comp than Heathcott
      Gumbs – Tulo?
      Mason Williams – Doug Glanville, Kenny Lofton, etc
      Romine – Varitek
      Gamel – If you believe the hype, kinda sorta Mark Grace

      No where near as good as Randy Johnson,who is one of the best pitchers of all time. Brackman isn’t a 100 mph fastball thrower anymore, but he his Johnson-like height still could be a huge, huge thing for him. Thats why I brought RJ up. Like Johnson, he takes advantage of it for a really deadline breaking pitch.

  6. Jack Florham

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!. The list should start like this…

    1. Crousett (God)…could create the world in 6 days…you could say His ceiling is unlimited
    ……(followed by a large gap)…
    2. Montero (Jesus)…can turn water into wine
    …followed by a large gap)…
    3….Sanchez…………………………………………

  7. Reggie C.

    Rather see a tinge of realism and have Montero’s description read: “Never going to be a much of a catcher, but that’ll take a backseat once he starts contending with Teixeira for team OPS leader in a couple seasons.”

    Brett Marshall … a guy TOO many of us are sleeping on. I think there’s a Roy Oswalt comp that can be made.

    • EJ Fagan

      How about, “Never going to be much of a catcher, but we won’t notice while he’s OPSing 1.000″?

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