Blog Entry

Yankees Top 10 prospects

Posted on: November 9, 2008 6:54 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2008 6:55 pm

According to Baseball America:

1. Austin Jackson OF
2. Jesus Montero, C
3. Andrew Brackman, RHP
4. Austin Romine, C
5. Dellin Betances, RHP
6. Zach McAllister, RHP
7. Alfredo Aceves, RHP
8. Phil Coke, LHP
9. Mark Melancon, RHP
10. Bradley Suttle, 3B


Brackman rising like a bullet, but still odd to see the top 2 are non-pitchers. Been a few years since that was the case. Puzzling to have Coke and Aceves ahead of Melancon. I would have thought as far as ceilings go, it's not particularly close.

Category: MLB
Tags: Top 10
Since: Jan 5, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2008 9:48 am
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Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: November 12, 2008 8:21 am

Yankees Top 10 prospects

Scranton Yankee beat writer Chad Jennings weighs in with his informed thoughts on the top 10:

1. Austin Jackson, of
I'm still trying to decide whether I consider Jackson or Montero the better prospect. Jackson is much closer to the big leagues, and because of that I too would probably rank him No. 1, but I think Montero has the higher ceiling. Jackson is a stud athlete, but his strikeouts bother me and he seems streaky as a hitter. Neither of those are deal breakers, but both are worth keeping an eye on. I had hesitations about Jackson heading into the season -- his lack or production led me to rank him No. 8 heading into the year -- but those hesitations are gone. Jackson proved himself at Double-A and strikes me as an everyday major leaguer, but it's up in the air just how could he can be when he gets there.


2. Jesus Montero, c
When I first saw Montero this spring I happened to be sitting next to farm director Mark Newman, who couldn't stop talking about the big kid on deck. Of course I'd heard and read about Montero, but seeing him in person was something different altogether. He's huge, and when he came to the plate against -- I believe -- Michael Gardner, he ripped a line drive to left field. Gardner's no Joba Chamberlain, but he's a very good Double-A/Triple-A pitcher and Montero is a kid. It was impressive, and Montero continued to impress in Charleston. If he can stay behind the plate, the sky's the limit. If not, he can still be a very good first baseman, DH or -- Baseball America notes -- possibly a left fielder.


3. Andrew Brackman, rhp
As you might remember from my attempts at ranking Yankees prospects last year, I lean heavily toward proven players. Because of that, I think Brackman might be a few spots too high for my taste. Nothing against the guy -- everything I've heard, read and seen tell me he could be an absolute stud -- but I need to see him prove it before I'm willing to place him this high. Watching Brackman walk around the big league clubhouse in spring training was kind of strange because in this sea of premier athletes, he was the biggest and potentially the most intimidating. If his stuff can live up to his frame, and if his frame can hold up to his stuff, he'll be a stud. I just want to see him get going before I rank him this high.


4. Austin Romine, c
This is the reason Montero's questionable ability to stay behind the plate doesn't matter much. Baseball America notes that Romine is actually the most likely successor to Jorge Posada, and while his bat doesn't have quite Montero's upside, Romero can hit. He also comes from a baseball family, including a brother playing somewhere in the minors (not sure the team).

This seems like a pretty good spot for Romine. I think he's clearly the No. 3 position prospect in the system. It's a matter of how many pitchers you prefer ahead of him.


5. Dellin Betances, rhp
Speaking of pitchers you prefer ahead of Romine, you could make a case for Betances being as high as No. 3 on this list. In fact, I see Brackman, Romine, Betances and McAllister as fairly interchangeable for various reasons.

The knock on Betances is, of course, his health, and I think that's a legitimate concern. The numbers he put up in Charleston this season were very promising, the Yankees just have to hope he can stay healthy next season and repeat those results in Tampa. Despite missing some time, he's still young with plenty of upside.


6. Zach McAllister, rhp
I had to break out the Prospect Handbook to remind myself that Baseball America ranked McAllister 30th heading into this season and 24th heading into 2007. Each time, they noted that as McAllister developed, he could improve significantly. That improvement showed this season. As much as pure stuff makes for flashy prospects, there's a lot to be said for results, and McAllister's results were as good as anyones this season as he jumped from Charleston to Tampa without missing a beat. He doesn't have the flash of Betances or Brackman, but he's healthy and has been repeatedly described as a work horse. I'm basing this strictly on numbers and scouting reports, but I like McAllister a lot.


7. Alfredo Aceves, rhp
Too high, right? I'm glad to see Aceves get this kind of hype, but I certainly wouldn't say he's the seventh-best prospect in the Yankees system. I'm not sure he's top 10. However...

I watched Aceves struggle and I watched him dominate this season. He has a ton of pitches and he seemed able to adjust to better hitters. Nothing he does blows you away, but he's steady, and he stayed steady even as the Yankees tested him throughout the season. He might be too high on this list, but I think he can play a role in New York.


8. Phil Coke, lhp
Another one that surprised me. As much as I'm a sucker for upper level production, I'm not sure Coke's production was enough to place him above David Robertson, and certainly not ahead of Mark Melancon. But those are small disputes.

Fact is, Coke put himself on the map in a big way this season. He still has upside as a potential starter, but seems at the very least to be a capable left-handed reliever at the big league level. You want upside and you want reliability in your prospects, and Coke has both. He might be a bit too high, but not by much.


9. Mark Melancon, rhp
I would probably have ranked Melancon seventh, but if you want to put in the same category as Brackman, Betances, Romine and McAllister that's fine by me. It was honestly fun to watch him work his way through Triple-A hitters. He's just so damn aggressive, and he keeps that attitude on the mound without having that attitude in the clubhouse. The guy is soft-spoken and, by all accounts, an incredibly hard worker. When the season ended and he was talking about keeping up with his rehab, that impressed me. He doesn't seem to take anything for granted. Add me to the list of those who were very impressed with Melancon as a pitcher and as a person. Get excited about this one.


10. Bradley Suttle, 3b
I may have seen Suttle in spring training, but I don't remember it. Everything I think and know about him is based on numbers and things I've read. With that in mind, you should know that when I'm reading about prospects, I like to read about line drives and I like to read the words "pure" and "hitter" side by side. Those things happen with Suttle. The college numbers were impressive, and this year's work in Charleston was good when he wasn't hurt. There seem to be a few injury concerns with Suttle, and I'd probably rather have someone like Jairo Heredia or Alan Horne in this spot, but I see Suttle as the fourth best position prospect in the system, so No. 10 doesn't seem too high.

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 12:35 pm

Yankees Top 10 prospects

BA follows up the list with best tools in the system:

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="1" width="100%" border="0" class="small"> <tbody> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Hitter for Average</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Bradley Suttle
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Power Hitter</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Jesus Montero
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Strike-Zone Discipline</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Chris Malec
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Fastest Baserunner</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Brett Gardner
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Athlete</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Austin Jackson
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Fastball</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Andrew Brackman
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Curveball</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Christian Garcia
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Slider</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Anthony Claggett
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Changeup</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Alfredo Aceves
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Control</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Zach McAllister
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Defensive Catcher</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Francisco Cervelli
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Defensive Infielder</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Ramiro Pena
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Infield Arm</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Marcos Vechionacci
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Defensive Outfielder</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Austin Jackson
</td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td>Best Outfield Arm</td> <td nowrap="nowrap">Seth Fortenberry
</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:06 am

Yankees Top 10 prospects

That's my thinking. Coke stretches the limits of the word, "prospect". He's been in the system since 2002.

Thought there might be someone who the BA guys saw with more of a high ceiling, like Kontos, Heredia, or even Chris Garcia.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2008 9:05 pm

Yankees Top 10 prospects

Have to think that Coke is getting some help from his 14 big league innings, but more importantly, being, for the most part, the only LHP worth mentioning in the organization. I think it is worth noting that Coke is almost three years older, and that Melancon has put up better numbers, in a smaller sampling due to his TJ surgery, at every level.

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