With the regular season concluding, we've decided to take a look at each team's future -- not by using a crystal ball or other psychic abilities, but by evaluating their farm systems. Below you'll find our ranking of the top five prospects in the organization -- sorted by perceived future potential -- as well as five other players who fit various categories. Those categories are:
2020 contributor: A player who is likely to play a role for the big-league team next season.
Analyst's pick: A player who is a strong statistical performer and/or whose underlying measures are better than the scouting reports suggest.
Riser: A player on the way up.
Faller: A player on the way down.
One to watch: An interesting player to keep in mind (for whatever reason).
These rankings were compiled after talking with various industry sources about the systems (and players) in question. It should be acknowledged that this process is more art than science, and that there are limits to ordinal rankings. Still, it's an intuitive system, and our hope is that the write-ups will answer any questions by providing additional context and analysis of each player -- such as their pluses and minuses; the risk factors involved; and their estimated arrival date.
One last word on eligibility: we're following MLB's rookie guidelines by disqualifying any player with more than 130 big-league at-bats or 50 innings pitched.
The Yankees have graduated a lot of quality players in recent years. It's not too surprising then to see their system on the downswing. Still, there are some intriguing prospects who could turn the ship around in due time.
1. Deivi Garcia, RHP
Deivi Garcia is one of the most controversial prospects in the minors despite having an arsenal full of average or better offerings and having already debuted in Triple-A before turning 21.
The main knocks on Garcia are his size and his command. He's listed at 5-foot-9, 163 pounds which would put him in a small group if he can stick in the rotation. Since the last round of expansion, only three pitchers shorter than 70 inches and lighter than 180 pounds have made at least 30 starts: Marcus Stroman, Mike Leake, and Jesus Sanchez.
Garcia may in time join that group, though he did issue too many free passes for comfort throughout the season, walking 4.4 per nine across three levels. He's known for being a good athlete, which should bode well for him throwing more strikes. But, at the same time, his delivery does feature some tics -- throwing across his body; recoil on the follow through -- that can rob pitchers of command.
Whichever way Garcia's command goes, he remains extremely young. There's no real reason to rush him to the majors, but the Yankees might find it hard to ignore his potential impact over the course of the 2020 season. As such, the Yankees may make a call on whether he's best suited as a starter, reliever, or some kind of hybrid before the year is out.
2. Jasson Dominguez, OF
The Yankees signed Jasson Dominguez for more than $5 million in July. He won't turn 17 until next February, but he's a switch-hitting outfielder nicknamed "The Martian" for his absurd physical tools and enormous, superstar-level upside.
Considering that Dominguez won't be able to legally drink until 2024, it's probably wise to temper expectations and embrace that he's years away from being years away.
3. Clarke Schmidt, RHP
Clarke Schmidt, the 16th pick in the 2017 draft, has missed significant time since turning pro due to Tommy John surgery (that he was rehabbing from at the time) and an oblique injury. He threw 90 innings in 2019, the second-most he's thrown when including his time at South Carolina, and posted some quality numbers across three levels: a 3.47 ERA, 10 strikeouts per nine, and 3.4 strikeouts per walk.
Schmidt doesn't have the prototypical size or delivery, but he throws strikes with an assortment of quality pitches and he's already reached Double-A. There's risk that his body can't hold up to a starter's workload, yet he should debut in the majors in 2020 and has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter should all go well.
4. Luis Gil, RHP
Luis Gil has big-time arm strength and has been clocked into triple digits before. He also shows the ability to spin the ball, giving him two potential high-quality pitches.
Alas, Gil has struggled to find a consistent release point throughout his professional career. He walked more than four batters per nine in 2019 … which was somehow the second-best rate he's put forth in four years as a professional. Woof.
Gil's upside is such that he's on this list despite a downside of never reaching the majors. He'll turn 22 next June, so he still has time on his side.
5. Estevan Florial, OF
Estevan Florial might've had the most disappointing season of anyone in the system. He suffered another wrist injury, costing him a large swath of the season. Then, upon his return, he didn't play particularly well. He hit .237/.297/.383 in a repeat performance at High-A.
Florial has the speed and defense to be a quality big-league player. The question is whether he'll hit enough to maximize those secondary tools. His approach has raised concerns for years, and another disappointing season could see him drop off the list.
Florial has star upside if everything clicks. It just seems highly unlikely at this point that it does.
2020 contributor: Michael King, RHP
Originally acquired as part of the Garrett Cooper trade, Michael King made his big-league debut this season, throwing two innings in a late-September appearance. King's game is built on the deception he gains from a crossfire delivery, as he comes up short in terms of raw stuff -- his sinker, for instance, clocks in around 92 mph. He does command his pitches well, and there's some precedent for this type outperforming their so-so raw stuff. King should get the opportunity to strut his stuff at the big-league level throughout the upcoming season.
Analyst's pick: Roansy Contreras, RHP
Roansy Contreras is slightly bigger and slightly younger than Garcia, but shares other similarities with Garcia -- including their delivery quirks. He's listed at 6-foot and he's shown the potential for a pair of high-quality offerings in his fastball and breaking ball. Contreras hasn't posted the strikeout rates you'd expect from a legitimate prospect -- he fanned about eight per nine in 2019 -- yet he was also the youngest pitcher in the South Atlantic League. Check back in a year to see if Contreras can crack the top five.
Riser: Ryder Green, OF
A third-round pick in 2018, Ryder Green hits the ball hard when he makes contact and has shown a willingness to draw walks. He'll need to continue to do both, as he's expected to end up in a corner-outfield spot and he's prone to striking out.
Faller: Anthony Seigler, C
The No. 23 pick in the 2018 draft, Anthony Seigler was on the older side for a prep prospect. Unfortunately, that's the least of the concerns about him anymore. Seigler has appeared in just 54 games since being picked, and missed significant time in 2019 due in part to a patella fracture. Seigler will turn 21 next June, and while there's still reason for hope -- his athleticism, his intelligence -- it's fair to wonder if his body is going to permit him to stick behind the dish.
One to watch: Albert Abreu, RHP
Formerly a top prospect, Albert Abreu has slid down lists and the organizational depth chart due to injuries and inconsistency. At his best, he shows multiple high-quality offerings. At his worst, he's either unavailable or having too much trouble finding the zone to be as effective as the raw stuff would suggest. He has one option year remaining, so 2020 will be a pivotal season as it pertains to his future with the Yankees organization.