A darkhorse in the minor leagues is a player who is talented, but flying under the radar. Most have yet to truly break out. I think that quite a few of these prospects are lurking deep down in the Yankee system. Here are the five which I think are most worth watching in 2012, in no particular order:
- Angelo Gumbs – Mason Williams and Dante Bichette Jr. sucked a lot of the air out of the short-season leagues this season. That’s not a bad thing, since they are fantastic prospects, but it causes us to overlook a guy like Angelo Gumbs. His .264/.332/.406 batting line was not as flashy as Williams’, but it is a positive all the same. Gumbs didn’t turn 19 years old until this October, and was considered a raw project-type player when he was drafted a year and a half ago. That he held is own against competition much older and more experienced than he was is a big deal. Gumbs has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order offensive threat in a middle-of-the-field position. That’s huge.
- Slade Heathcott – Heathcott is a lottery ticket at this point. Chances are his recurring shoulder injuries will prevent Heathcott from staying on the field long enough to become an impact player in the major leagues. However, if the Yankees hold the golden ticket and Heathcott manages to put his injuries behind him, they win big. In my mind, I always think of Josh Hamilton when I think about Heathcott. At the beginning of the season, before his shoulder started acting up, Heathcott was tearing the cover off the ball. He is still just 21 years old, so Heathcott has plenty of time.
- David Adams – Like Heathcott, David Adams can flat-out play when he is healthy. He is a capable 2nd baseman, and managed to hit .370/.421/.509 in an abbreviated 29-game season between rookie ball and the Florida State League. I don’t think there is much doubt about the caliber of his talent. If Adams can stay healthy – and that’s a huge if – he could very well become a top prospect as early as mid-season. While 2nd basemen haven’t been as offensively challenged as shortstops of late, any middle infielder who can hit will be a great asset for the Yankees.
- Corban Joseph – In so many ways, Joseph is the opposite of David Adams. Both are 2nd basemen, although Joseph struggles with the position a little more than Adams. He lacks a lot of the hitting flair that Adams brings, plugging along with a high-.700s OPS throughout the minor leagues. He’s consistent, healthy, and about to hit Triple-A. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Yankees start prepping him for a bench spot next season, since he can hit better than Eduardo Nunez can. But he’s a darkhorse because he has even more potential. Joseph’s consistent .284/.364/.418 average minor league hitting line, if mostly carried over to the majors, would make him an above-average MLB 2nd basemen, and a strong trade candidate or Robinson Cano insurance.
- Melky Mesa - After a breakthrough season in 2010, Mesa made his way onto the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the Rule V draft. He flashed his 5-tools by hitting .260/.338/.475, and managed to bring down his sky-high strikeout rate ever so slightly. He started out 2011 horribly at Double-A, but a very strong 2nd half kept his numbers at .249/.332/.399 on the season. We’ve seen with Brett Gardner that gold glove defense can keep a guy like Mesa around the major leagues. If he can keep his OBP above .320, watch out for him, because he can hit 15 home runs easily.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees