About a week ago I was watching some meaningless inning of a spring training game, I think Melky Mesa was in the process of striking out, and I thought wouldn’t it be great if he could hit? Of course it would. Plenty of prospects miss the map entirely because they have one or two things they just can’t do at all. So since it’s spring training and I’ve literally got no other ideas, let’s play a fun little game: Tell me, who is your daddy, and what does he do? That’s a joke. But seriously, if you could magically give away just 10 AVERAGE tools to anyone in the Yankee system, what would you do? Here’s my plan.
1. Jesus Montero- Defense. So obvious I don’t even feel like this warrants a discussion of any kind.
2. Melky Mesa- Contact. Again, this is beyond obvious. Mesa is so alluring as an outfielder- hits for power, has a great arm and has plus speed. He just can’t make any contact. That’s kind of a big deal. He did cut down on the strikeouts last year but he’s old now for a prospect in A ball. Trenton will be a big test for him but it’d be a lot more exciting if he could make some contact.
3. Jose Ramirez- Slider. Jose needs to improve a lot of things but right now he has an above average fastball and a plus change up. With 3 average or better pitches and some work on his command he could really take another big step forward.
4. Kelvin De Leon- Contact. De Leon has a lot in common with Mesa, in as much as both have serious contact problems. De Leon doesn’t have the other plus tools like Mesa but with solid contact ability, he has a more intriguing future.
5. Corban Joseph- Power. Joseph has a lot of ability at 2nd base including very good plate discipline. He could make a big jump with the ability to hit for some power though. With some power, Joseph would be a solid fit at 3rd where he plays some better defense.
6. Justin Snyder. Contact. Snyder can play all over the field and can get on base. As a smaller guy, he’s not going to hit for power but his ceiling with average contact ability would be a solid super utility candidate.
7. Mason Williams- Power. Williams is so raw that this is just a guess really. He could run into a bunch of obstacles to reaching the majors but giving him average power seems like a good bet. With a solid mix of 5 tools, Williams could have a really high ceiling.
8. Daniel Brewer- Power. Brewer has a future right now as a utility outfielder but with some average power for the position, he could be a second division starter.
9. Cito Culver- Power. Again, it’s kind of early to surmise what he needs most after just beginning his career but most scouts seem to think he’ll never hit for power. So leaning on that, I’ll give Culver some average pop which would do a lot for him. Instead of talking about a future that would include solid defense and some ability to hit for average, adding average power would make it much easier to see him starting at SS in the Bronx.
10. Ramon Flores- Power. A theme, isn’t it? Flores is extremely young (19) so he may develop some pop down the road, but right now it’s not there. He’s not fast enough to fit in CF but with some power he could project pretty nicely in a corner spot.
It’s kind of a fun exercise. Another choice I might have made just because he’s my favorite organizational player is giving Kevin Mahoney some power. Mahoney does two things very well- plays defense and can get on base. With some power, maybe Mahoney has more of a future in baseball.
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