As we near closer to the July 31st trade deadline, I’m sure many of you have been wondering what has happened to the ranking of some of the various Yankee top farmhands. While true talent level doesn’t change, how that talent level is perceived can have a big impact on how other GMs view a package, choosing to go with it or look elsewhere. Prospects are like stocks whose valuation can go up and down, particularly as they climb the organizational ladder. Baseball America did a quick review last week, touting the fine season Austin Romine has had thus far. Jairo Heredia also received some love in the piece, getting tabbed as the Yankee prospect who has made the “Biggest leap forward”. Yankee Farm Director Mark Newman had this to say on Romine:
“He has hit very well and played well defensively,” farm director Mark Newman said of the 2007 second-rounder. “He has become really strong defensively. He manages a game well. At the plate his walk-to-strikeout ratio (19-to-30) is up 30 percent from last year, and he is swinging at better pitches.”
The BP Top 50 mid season list by Kevin Goldstien came out this morning, here’s how the Yankee farmhands stacked up, with preseason rankings added:
7. Jesus Montero (Pre-season #3)
He has not yet put up big numbers this year; there is clearly a frustration factor as he has nowhere to go in New York. At some point, the Yankees just have to trade him and accept the fact that he’ll rake elsewhere.
14. Manny Banuelos (Pre-season #27)
Command has slipped a bit, but he remains a lefty with two excellent pitches in his fastball and changeup. Has looked better as the season has worn on and could be poised for a big second half.
24. Dellin Betances (Pre-season #32)
Dominant stuff to be sure, but whispers about him possibly being better off as a late-inning reliever are becoming more common these days.
39. Gary Sanchez (Pre-season #29)
Seemingly in the process of being written off because he hasn’t dominated, Sanchez has shown impressive power for an 18-year-old while making sufficient strides behind the plate for scouts to project him as an adequate defender.
To no surprise, Montero’s stock has dropped substantially. What makes that ranking worse is that most of the top 10 from the preseason list (Trout, Brown, Chapman, Moustakas, Hellickson) have been promoted, so if Montero was producing as expected he should be right behind Bryce Harper. The same could be said of Sanchez, who had all sorts of trouble adjusting in his first promotion through the system. Banuelos and Betances held their own, and one could argue that Betances deserves to be put ahead of Manny Banny due to their respective 2011 campaigns. Betances has been almost unhittable in AA, allowing just 42 hits in 237 at-bats (.177), and just 10 extra-base hits in his 13 outings this year. But Manny’s younger, healthier, left handed and has always been considered to be the safer bet.
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