The 2016 IIATMS Top 30: The Honorable Mentions

Heathcott HR vs TB II One last piece of pregame business before we get into this year's top 30.  The guys who didn't make the cut.  We do a composite ranking based on all our individual rankings, and when you're making a 30-player list you're bound to get more than 30 different players.  These are the guys who made at least one individual list but didn't accumulate enough points to make the final composite top 30.  it's an interesting group of players too.  There's some under-valued lower level guys, a couple 2015 draft picks, and a former longstanding top prospect list member who was one of many to make his MLB debut in pinstripes last year.  Here are the six 2016 IIATMS Top 30 honorable mentions:

31) Thairo Estrada- SS, Low-A Charleston Age: 19, Bats: R, Throws: R Ranked #21 on Brad's list

In an organization that's deep in up-the-middle prospects, it's easy for a player like Thairo to get overlooked.  He doesn't possess a single tool that stands out as individually impressive and his greatest strength at the moment is his defensive ability.  But that ability is legitimate, and Estrada is already acknowledged by scouts as having the arm and the range to stick at shortstop long-term.  And for all that he doesn't offer in terms of power, Estrada has shown the ability to put the bat on the ball and he's taken steps forward with his approach.  His .267/.338/.360 line at SS Staten Island wasn't bad and was hurt by a slow finish, and if he can continue to develop as a contact hitter with speed he should start to get some more recognition.

32) Jeff Degano- LHSP, Low-A Charleston Age: 23, Throws: L Ranked #29 on Brad's list, #27 on Dom's list

Sandwiched between the flashier Kaprielian and Finley picks, Degano was mostly unheralded as the 2nd rounder.  He hardly pitched at all in 2013 and 2014 after blowing out his elbow, but he was pretty good in his redshirt junior year at Indiana State in 2015.  He pitched to a 2.53 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 10.2 IP over 4 appearances with SS Staten Island after being drafted, and the general consensus is that his stuff has gotten much better as he's gotten further away from TJS.  If he can develop a reliable changeup to go with his fastball-curveball combo, Degano could profile as a mid-rotation starter.  Expect the Yankees to take it easy on him despite his age with a full season of A-ball in 2016.

33) Slade Heathcott- OF, Triple-A SWB Age: 25, Bats: L, Throws: L Ranked #28 on EJ's list

Calling Heathcott a prospect in the year 2016 is a rarity, and that's understandable given how long he's been around in the Yankee system and how impossible it's been for him to stay healthy.  But there's no denying that the talent that made Heathcott a top prospect as recently as a few years ago is still there.  He showed flashes of that talent in 64 games at Triple-A last season and even brighter flashes when he got his call up to the big league squad in late May.  All in all, Heathcott hit .400/.429/.720 in 30 big league plate appearances with 2 homers, 6 runs scored, 8 RBI, and one of the team's most memorable home runs of the season.  He'll be in the mix for a call up again this year as long as his body holds together.

34) Jordan Foley- RHSP, High-A Tampa Age: 23, Throws: R Ranked #28 on Dom's list

There are many who see Foley eventually profiling as a power reliever, but for now the Yankees continue to use him as a starter and he continues to give them no reason to change that plan.  Foley had a 2.88 ERA with a 26.5% K rate in 17 Low-A starts last season and held his own in a late-season call up to SWB.  His stuff seems like it will definitely play at the high levels, but it remains to be seen whether or not Foley can develop the consistent command needed to succeed as a starter against better hitters.  This year should be a good challenge for him in terms of taking that next developmental step and building innings.

35) Josh Rogers- LHSP, Low-A Charleston Age: 21, Throws: L Ranked #28 on Brad's list

I was a fan of the Rogers pick as soon as the draft wrapped up and was very excited to see the Yankees pull him away from returning to school with a big signing bonus.  He's got good size (6'3"/200), he's left-handed, and he commands all 3 of his pitches - fastball, slider, changeup - well, something you don't always see from a pitcher his age.  There's also reason to expect he can boost his velocity into the low 90s as he fills out and works with pro coaches to improve his delivery.  Rogers struck out 16 and walked only 3 in 13.1 pro innings last year, and although he doesn't profile as anything more than a back-end starter right now, he's got a lot of tools to work with and could project higher than that if he's able to improve his secondary stuff.

36) Carlos Vidal- OF, Low-A Charleston Age: 20, Bats: L, Throws: L Ranked #30 on Dom's list

Signed during the big 2014 international spending spree as an 18-year-old, you probably haven't heard or read much about Vidal since then.  That could start to change if he carries his hot bat from App League Pulaski into full-season ball in 2016.  Vidal was an All Star at that level last year, hitting .303/.389/.492 in 281 plate appearances with 15 doubles, 9 homers, 16 stolen bases, 46 RBI, and 49 runs scored.  He also played center field, although his defensive skill set has him better suited for a corner down the road.  There's a little bit of Ramon Flores to Vidal's game, in that the sum of his performance is greater than any individual tool, and if his bat continues to play against better pitching competition, he'll be on more top organizational lists in years to come.

** Coming up tomorrow- The 2016 Top 30: Positions 30-21 **