Baseball America is out with their list of the Yankees’ top ten prospects today, and the list has some rather…interesting quirks. You can get the whole list for free here, but need to be a subscriber to read the full scouting reports. Here’s the list:
1. Mason Williams OF
2. Slade Heathcott OF
3. Gary Sanchez C
4. Tyler Austin OF
5. Jose Campos RHP
6. Brett Marshall RHP
7. Angelo Gumbs 2B
8. Manny Banuelos LHP
9. Ty Hensley RHP
10. Rafael DePaula RHP
I won’t put out my own rankings until late February, but I’ve got some quick thoughts on these rankings after the jump.
-Someone really likes Slade Heathcott, eh? I would imagine that the first instinct reaction of a lot of people will be to be taken aback by seeing him ranked ahead of Sanchez and Austin, but in truth it’s not as crazy as it probably seems at first blush. After all, we’re talking about a former first round draft pick who has always had the potential to be a five tool athlete. His problem has been his ability to stay healthy, and if he can do that he probably does have a better combination of ceiling and likelihood to get close to that level than anyone in the system other than Williams. I’m skeptical, but it makes sense if you’re looking primarily at tools.
-On the other hand, I feel like ranking Manny Banuelos so far down the list is a touch rash, at least when compared to some of the players ahead of him. Don’t get me wrong: between the truck load of walks he’s handed out since moving up to Double-A and now losing two years of playing time to injury, and having Tommy John surgery, there’s more than enough reasons to be worried about him. That said, he’s still the most advanced pitcher on the list, save for maybe Marshall, and you really can’t say a whole lot more for Jose Campos, can you? What is he really, other than a very young pitcher who also spent most of this season on the shelf and has all of a month worth of experience at a full season level?
-On a related note: how bad does the pitching in the system look right now, especially in comparison to how it looked back in February? There’s basically no one you can see contributing to the big league rotation before 2015 with the exception of Marshall and (further down the list) Adam Warren, and neither of those two are anything close to a given.
-To close on a positive note, I’m really excited to see Angelo Gumbs ranked so highly. I know that no one breaks your heart more often, but I really like athletic young players, and Gumbs may be the position player who most excites me in the whole system. He’s got work to do in terms of refining his game before he gets anywhere near the big leagues, but he’s also got an insane amount of raw ability, and that’s the stuff you can’t learn.