Yankees, short on prospects in Double-A and above, are loaded in Class A
Scouts have said that the Yankees have almost no prospects of value in Double-A and Triple-A, but are starting to rave over the players at Class A Tampa. One scout described 22-year-old Jose Ramirez as the second-best pitcher he has seen in the minor leagues this year, behind Zack Wheeler of the Mets.
The Yankees have had a horrible year at the upper levels of their farm system, with Manny Banuelos and Austin Romine hurt and Dellin Betances struggling.
But scouts watching the lower levels have come away raving about the talent the Yankees have there.
One scout called 22-year-old Class A Tampa right-hander Jose Ramirez the second-best pitching prospect he has seen in the minor leagues this season, behind Mets super-prospect Zack Wheeler.
"He was throwing 96-97 [mph] easy," the scout said. "And he showed a 70 [on a 20-80 scale] changeup."
The same scout said that 20-year-old outfielder Ramon Flores (also at Tampa) reminds him of Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.
"He's 10 times better than Mason Williams," the scout said, naming a more-heralded Yankee prospect.
Tampa catcher Gary Sanchez also continues to impress.
The lack of major-league ready prospects would be a problem if the Yankees try to trade for Cole Hamels, but may not be such an issue if they seek other help at the deadline. As CBSSports.com colleague Jon Heyman wrote today, the feeling now is that the Yankees are more likely to deal for an outfielder than a pitcher.