With the MLB season hitting the All Star break, I thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look back at EJ’s Top 30 prospects list (since the man himself is out in the woods) to see if there have been any substantial changes in the fortunes of the Yankee prospects in the top 30. I haven’t had the time to put together my own midseason list (might happen soon if I’m feeling motivated), but I figured I would at least take a look at some of the changes I might make from the beginning of the season, to see whose stock has risen and fallen the most. I had intended to do a more thorough analysis, but alas wordpress ate my original post. My apologies Here are some more concise thoughts.
The top 10
- The top 4 will almost certainly remain the same (though I would probably slot Betances ahead of Gary Sanchez at this point, and probably would have in the offseason as well).
- Andrew Brackman’s prospect stock is in free-fall right now, and will likely tumble way down the list, certainly out of the top 10, and possibly much further (depending on whether he gets his act together in the 2nd half).
- Romine, Noesi, Warren, and Nova have largely held their ground, though Nova will presumably graduate from the list (if he hasn’t already) based on innings. Noesi hasn’t really had a chance to show his stuff in the minors as a starter, but he has been fairly effective out of the big league bullpen in limited use.
- Slade Heathcott could see the biggest variation in his ranking of any Yankee prospect, as he has showed the tools and skills to tantalize when healthy, but has also given evidence to those who question his makeup and ability to stay healthy. A season-ending shoulder injury and a lost half-season of development will certainly make many question whether he is worthy of a top 10 slot, but the talent is definitely there.
- Mason Williams, who was ranked aggressively at #11 (good call EJ) seems like a sure bet to ascend into the top 10 if he can keep up his strong performance so far this season. He has shown more power than expected, and flashed the other 4 tools in spades. I couldn’t really have asked for a better debut from the talented teenager.
- The 12-16 of Marshall, Adams, Laird, and Stoneburner has not been especially impressive (or in teh case of Stoneburner, Ramirez, and Adams, unable to stay healthy). They could all see a significant decrease in their prospect status, as they get passed by guys at lower levels who are putting together strong seasons.
- Cito Culver at #17 is likely to move up the list by showing that he can hold his own at the dish in Staten Island at 18, and handle the shortstop position. Despite some early harsh reports from Keith Law, Culver is definitely looking like he belongs, and he may start to persuade some of the non-believers that he was a good (or at least not horrendous) first round pick.
- As expected, there will be a lot of movement at the back of the list. JR Murphy has a lot of helium, as showing off his pure hitting ability and some power throughout the season, while showing improved defense behind the plate. If he keeps this up, he could sniff the top 10.
- Segedin and Joseph have continued to hit as expected, though Segedin has not been as successful since his promotion to high-A.
- Evan Rutckyj has impressed in his short time in the Gulf Coast League, and despite his rawness he has been very effective. I’d be curious to hear some scouting reports, both on his velocity and the development of secondary offerings. The 6’5″ Canadian lefty has a very high ceiling, and could move up the list.
- Several guys not on the current list who could jump into the top 30 include Zoilo Almonte, who is having a breakout season in Tampa, lefties Evan DeLuca and Nik Turley, and OBP machine Ramon Flores (who’s been my big sleeper for well over a year now). It will be interesting to see where the 2011 draftees fit in on the list, but I assume that Dante Bichette Jr. is a lock (low batting average non-withstanding), and 2nd-rounder Sam Stafford will likely make the list too. Several of the high-ceiling high school draftees could be in consideration as well, including Jordan Cote and Jake Cave as well as several others (the size of the signing bonuses will give us some idea who should be potentially ranked highly).
I haven’t had the time to get a full midseason list together yet (maybe Sean and I can do dueling lists if I give him a few of his favorite drinks), but it’s interesting to see how prospect statuses changed at this point in the season. It’s still too early to jump to major conclusions, but there are definitely some early signs of where certain guys are going. Nonetheless, it’s been another interesting year for the Yankee system, and despite some stagnation at the top (hard to match the lofty success of 2010 for those guys), the depth of the system still looks strong.
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