The minor league season is over. After a 2010 season that saw breakout performance after breakout performance, the 2011 season saw its share of ups and downs, but overall it was a positive for the Yankee farm system. The Yankees had a few legitimate breakouts (Dante Bichette, Mason Williams), a few crash-and-burns (Andrew Brackman, Jose Ramirez) and a whole lot of players who mostly maintained their status and value. It would have been nice to see guys like Banuelos, Betances, and Montero build on their 2010 gains, but overall they are still about the same prospects they were a year ago.
Again, I used my TYA Prospect Rating System to assign scores to the prospects. At that link, you can read a full explanation of how it works. Basically, a score is assigned based upon how good a prospect can be if 75% of things go right for them, and then a risk rating is assigned based upon factors that could derail they potential. Here is the list:
As with any prospect list, don’t get too hung up over who’s at #15 versus #17. For the most part, prospects within a certain tier are interchangeable. Tiers are #1, #2-#4, #5-#8, #9-12, #13-19, #20-24, #25-30.
The Yankees have a very strong farm system, arguably stronger than it was last season. The Yankees were a top-5 system in baseball as of last year. They didn’t infuse a ton of talent into the system from the draft, but enough players had solid-to-breakout seasons to maintain their past strength. Mason Williams took the biggest leap forward, and should be a good bet to enter the BA Top-100 list on the back end. Ivan Nova was the only major prospect to graduate to the big leagues. There were things not to like about Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and Sanchez in 2011, but all had pretty good seasons when all was said and done, and are set up for success next season. Andrew Brackman was the biggest disappointment of the year, followed by David Adams, Brandon Laird, Melky Mesa, Slade Heathcott, and Ryan Pope. All took big hits in their prospect rating, but only Pope remains hopeless to have a successful MLB career in some capacity.
Projecting forward a little bit, the Yankees may be wanting for top-end talent a year from now. Montero and Noesi are as good as graduated (Noesi is techincally over 50 IP, but I left him here anyway), while Betances, Romine and Banuelos could also move up in the next 52 weeks. The Yankees haven’t added a ton of top-end talent at the draft in recent years, even if they have quite a few respectable showings on the list for above-slot signings. Gary Sanchez is a blue-chipper, and Mason Williams could easily get there pretty soon, but they’ll be looking for the 2011 draft class to show some ceiling. Luckily, both the Staten Island Yankees and GCL Yankees had a ton of strong seasons from hitters, including Santana, Tejada, Austin, and others. Dante Bichette’s development will also be important.
So that’s the list. If you have any questions about the rating system, please use this thread instead of the old one I linked to. At some point soon, this list will be posted on the top of the site for easy access. What do you all think?
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