Its that time again. Three days from now, the Yankees will add 30-40 young baseball players into their organization. Before that happens, it is appropriate that we take stock of the Yankee farm system, so that we may better understand the Yankee draft and signing strategy.
Below are my Top-20 prospect rankings. I usually rank 30 players, but given that we’re a year away from the last draft, I figure there are serious diminishing returns to going all the way to 30 at this time of the year. And it also makes the graphics a little too large. And I irrationally love graphics.
I used my prospect rating system for the ranking. A full explanation of the system is available here. I also copied some helpful graphics explaining the system below the fold to prevent everyone from having to click on the link. I like the system as a way of clearly explaining why I believe that certain players should be ranked where they are. Remember that the final ratings are two combined ordinary variables – a 7.0 is always better than a 6.0, and a B is always better than a C, but you can’t quantify for sure that a, say, 6.0A is better than a 8.5F.
Edit: Just to be clear: I have a longstanding tradition of not rating a prospect until he appears stateside. Rafael DePaula probably wouldn’t be higher than #8, and more likely would end up in the low-teens, if I rated him.
Enough stalling. The ranking:
I feel very comfortable with the top-5. Tyler Austin’s monstrous breakout is a continuation of the success he had last season, and every day that he keeps hitting makes me more confident in his ascent. Jose Campos had a great start to the season, but given Austin’s killer play and Campos’ elbow scare, I’m comfortable with how I placed them. You can see clearly a big drop off after Adam Warren at #12 or so. The prospects between #12 and #20 should be viewed pretty interchangeably.
Just missing the cut were Greg Bird, Rob Segedin, Evan Rutckyj, and Jose Ramirez.
What is your verdict? Did I go too aggressive on Tyler Austin? Should I stop holding out any hope for Betances and relegate him back to the teens? I’m very curious to hear your feedback. An appendix explaining the rating system is located below the read more.
I apologize for the examples being a little bit out of date. I plan on creating be new graphics when I update the system in the fall. Full definitions (What is ‘Prime WAR’, some assumptions that I make, etc) here.