It wasn’t a great year for the Yankees’ farm system, but they still managed to land two players on MLB.com’s top 100 prospects.
Gary Sanchez finds himself at 47th overall after placing 27th in 2013. Sanchez hit just .253/.324/.412 while splitting time between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Both ballparks are notoriously pitcher friendly, and despite that, Sanchez combined for 15 home runs at the age of 20. The catcher also showed some improvements with his plate blocking skills, and scouts have been blown away by his arm. Sanchez still has a lot to prove, and hopefully he can find some more success in Trenton in 2014.
Mason Williams, who ranked 37th overall in 2013, placed 75th overall in 2014. Williams hit just .245/.304/.337 between both High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2013. The outfielder’s struggles were exacerbated by off the field issues, which included an arrest for a DUI in April. Williams’ value comes from his raw tools. His defense is highly touted, where he combines speed and great routes in center field.
Overall, I’m a bit surprised by MLB.com’s optimism with Yankee prospects. I didn’t expect to see Williams on any top 100 lists this year. If you’re interested in non-Yankee prospects, Twins’ outfield Byron Buxton topped the list for the second straight year, followed by Red Sox’ shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras. Somehow, Kris Bryant found his way to the 9th overall spot after just 146 professional plate appearances, and Mark Appel at 17th overall after just 10 starts. I remain a big fan of both players, but I would rather have a handful of lower-ranked prospects with actual professional track records.