[image title="jesus_montero" size="full" id="24033" align="center" linkto="full" ]Yesterday, we learned that Jim Callis regards the Yankees as a top-6 farm system in baseball. Accompanying them are probably going to be Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and possibly two of Minnesota, Atlanta and Oakland. Among this group, how to the Yankees rank?
At the top of each organization, the Yankees probably have the best prospect. Jesus Montero’s main competition for the title probably includes Jeremy Hellickson in Tampa and the Kansas City trio of Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, and Mike Moustakas. I think Montero is a pretty clear choice over that group – Hellickson is a really good prospect, but probably not a perennial all-star like Montero should be. Hosmer is a 1st baseman without a ton of power (though great at everything else), Montero will hit far better than Myers, and Moustakas is the worst player of the bunch. Montero’s your best player here.
Right below them, the Yankees rank two of Manuelos, Brackman, Sanchez, Betances, and Noesi at spots 2 and 3. No one in the group compares favorably to Kansas City’s dynamic group, led by the previously mentioned Wil Myers and Mike Moustakas. Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings and Matt Moore are clearly better than any of them too. However, the Yankees definitely have an edge up on Cleveland’s Alex White and Jason Kipinis, and no other system really comes close. This same advantage extends to the Yankees all the way down through their top six players. None of the teams has that kind of impact player depth in their farm system.
I really can’t judge the depth of the none-Yankee systems after that, as I’m not too familiar with the players. But I do know that the Yankees have the best group of prospects that they’ve ever had in the 8-15 rankings, headlined by guys like Slade Heathcott, Cito Culver, Brandon Laird, Adam Warren, and Graham Stoneburner. I have trouble imagining that many systems, if any, are that deep.
What’s the conclusion? The Yankees should not be ranked lower than 3rd, behind Tampa and Kansas City, in the overall organizational rankings. That would be the highest ranking that the Yankees have managed in recent memory (they ranked 5th in 2007 and 2002), and a huge step up from their 22nd overall panned ranking last season, which I think BA may regard as a mistake at this point. The Yankees do it on the backs of a whole lot of depth and Jesus Montero, who should yet again be a top-5 prospect in all of baseball. Even BA is starting to accept that Montero will stick at catcher for the time being in the majors, and everything knows how well he can hit.
Very encouraging stuff.