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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (11) | 2012 (6) | 2011 (5) | 2010 (22) | 2009 (15)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [85-77] AL East
AAA: [68-76] International League – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
AA: [74-67] Eastern League – Trenton
A+: [58-78] Florida State League – Tampa
A: [75-63] South Atlantic League – Charleston
A(ss):  [34-41] New York-Penn League — Staten Island

Graduated Prospects
David Adams (INF); Austsin Romine (C); Adam Warren (RHP); Preston Claiborne (RHP)

The Run Down
With a big league roster that’s seemingly always loaded with big money assets at every position, the Yankees don’t have a lot of room for homegrown prospects to arrive and make impacts, and it’s important to keep that in mind when scouring this farm system for future fantasy pieces.  Not to suggest that there isn’t value to be had here — prospects like Gary Sanchez and Eric Jagielo are must-owns in dynasty leagues — but historically, the Yankees are more inclined to address needs through spending on the free agent market, rather than exploring the cost-controlled options from their farm.  It’s a baseball ops model that’s worked out well for New York over the past 15 years — there’s no arguing that.  In 2014, though, the Yankees look frighteningly old and in desperate need of some youth in their lineup.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Masahiro Tanaka, RHP:  The headliner of my top 25 for 2014 post, here’s what I had to say:  “Tanaka isn’t exactly a prospect in the purest sense, but technically speaking, he’s rookie-eligible, and that’s the only criteria for making this list.  Grey wrote a post on Tanaka shortly after the Yankees inked him, and then ranked him #31 in his preseason SP rankings.  I’m on the same page as Grey regarding the 25-year-old Japanese import’s 2014 outlook — the stuff is advanced and he commands his arsenal well, but there’s an aura of uncertainty here that leaves me uncomfortable with paying his hype-inflated price in drafts.  That said, every name that follows on this list comes with its own special brand of uncertainty.  Tanaka’s projected fantasy value figures to carry the least risk among 2014 rookies.”  ETA:  2014

2.  Gary Sanchez, C:  Through 117 games between High-A and Double-A in 2013, Sanchez posted a line at .253/.324/.412 with 15 homers.  The 21-year-old has long been touted for his offensive skill set — most notably his power potential — but with concerns popping up regarding his receiving skills, it’s fair to wonder if his long-term role is as at catcher or first base.  That sort of positional shift would severely negate Sanchez’s potential fantasy impact, so let’s hope he gets his shizz together behind the dish.  ETA:  2015

3. Eric Jagielo, 3B:  Drafted 26th overall last June, Jagielo brings an advanced hit tool and plus power potential to the Yankees, and considering the uncertainty around Sanchez’s future role, he might be the safest bat in this org from a fantasy perspective.  The 21-year-old will make his full-season debut in 2014, where he’s a prime candidate to post exciting numbers and force his way through the lower levels quickly.  ETA:  2016

4.  Tyler Austin, OF:  After a huge 2012, Austin’s development slowed somewhat in 2013 as he battled injury, batting .257/.344/.373 in just 83 games at Double-A Trenton.  The 22-year-old still features a plus hit tool and enough pop to knock 20 homers, but he’ll need to stay on the field in 2014 if he’d like to see his prospect status return to where it was a year ago.  ETA:  Late 2014

5.  Aaron Judge, OF:  Six picks after drafting Jagielo, the Yankees took Aaron Judge, a 6-foot-7 beast of a 21-year-old out of Cal State.  Injury kept Judge from debuting as a pro in 2013, so there’s a lot to be determined on the field, but the consensus among talent evaluators is that this is a prospect with limitless power potential and surprisingly good athleticism given his size.  I’m thinking the Yankees will give him a Low-A assignment this spring, and I can’t wait to see him take the field in Charleston.  ETA:  2016

6.  Mason Williams, OF:  Williams is a toolshed, but his impressive skill set is yet to translate into measurable success on the stat sheet.  The road to fantasy relevance might be a long one for the 22-year-old, but don’t be surprised if he blossoms into an extremely useful fantasy piece a handful of years after his big league arrival — think Carlos Gomez.  ETA:  2015

7.  Jose Ramirez, RHP:  Ramirez features the best pure stuff in this Yankees system, but staying healthy has been a struggle for him, and that has folks concerned that his eventual role will be in the bullpen.  The fasball/slider/changeup arsenal certainly reflects a starter’s repertoire, and there’s potential here to rack up whiffs, but the 24-year-old needs to prove he can hold up as a starter if he’s going to max out his fantasy potential.  ETA:  2014

8.  Slade Heathcott, OF:  Heathcott is a toolsy outfield prospect with impact potential in the stolen bases department, but to this point, the 23-year-old hasn’t shown a whole lot of promise in the other categories.  Because of his plus defensive profile, you’ll find him ranked higher on lists that aren’t fantasy-specific — don’t let that fool you into reaching for him in dynasty formats. ETA:  Late 2014

9.  Gosuke Katoh, 2B:  He’s yet to play above the instructional level, so there’s a long way to go with Katoh, but early reports on the 2013 2nd rounder are hugely encouraging.  The 19-year-old brings a promising combination of speed and pop to the middle infield, making the fantasy upside quite clear.  Katoh will make his full-season debut in 2014, and we’ll have a much better gauge as to his potential fantasy impact once his first year of A-ball is in the books.  ETA:  2017

10.  Rafael De Paula, RHP:  De Paula exploded onto the prospect scene early last season thanks to some silly strikeout totals at Low-A Charleston to begin the season (96 SO in 64 IP).  His fastball is an elite-level pitch, hence the enormous whiff production, but commanding that offering has proven to be a struggle for the 22-year-old, not to mention that the secondary stuff is wildly inconsistent.  If De Paula can learn to harness his stuff, there’s significant upside here as a starter, but being that he’ll turn 23 next month and he’s yet to play above class-A, it seems likely that the Yankees will shift him to a bullpen role to facilitate a faster rise toward the bigs.  ETA: 2015

For a retrospective look at the Yankees farm, peep their 2013 MiLB preview.  

From Around The Web

  1. The Thumb says:
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    Hey Scott, if Banuelos proves that he’s healthy this spring and over the first few months of the year, how far up does he shoot in the rankings? After Sanchez in terms of upside?

    Please don’t kill my prospect crush lol

    • Dan says:
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      @The Thumb: My guess would be after Heathcott.

  2. Bernard Gilkey says:
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    Luis Torrens will be shooting up this list soon.

  3. Yescheese says:
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    Really interested to see how Judge develops, especially for fantasy

  4. The Thumb says:
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    What do you think of Severino? I think I’m spelling that right…

    • @The Thumb: Another awesome arm like Ramirez/De Paula, but just like the others, he probably ends up in a bullpen role… he’d be in my T10 if it weren’t fantasy-specific & he probably is interchangeable w/ De Paula on my list here..

  5. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Scott: I asked you the other week for a site for Ready NOW 2014 prospects ..

    Once again, the USA today baseball weekly with their Need To Know 100 for 2014 (this weeks 12 – 18 Feb.) This comes about as close to it as anyone does in the public domain (low cost or free) to a narrow rating system.

    There is a Rookie/Prospect magazine try to do justice to ready players that has been coming out in March… Name??? Not bad for a take along read… Problem with these is they tend to come and go. Never certain of their publication year to year.

    Baseball Prospectus is an expensive rag IMO … It is thoroughly infected with the standard “Dream State” prospect ratings mindset – that is mostly useless for forecasting impact talent in terms of time and in season MLB reality. (the exception is found most often on the pitching side)

    The Yanks… What a strange world of prospects they always seem to present… New York, big media chauvinism and hype always abounds here … Top ranked players too (who are often undeserving)..

    That said, for this year, a once always hyped “once always top ranked – now forgotten” is now about ready move to pitch in MLB (not a cup of coffee – mean installed)- finally. Dellin Betances… Yes, he is wild … But, if he can learn to find the dish, he could be a force in the Yankee BP this year… Closer someday?? if he can limit – FB and control issue ??? Yes, he has been moved into the RP side.. The guy is a K machine IF IF IF

    Slade Heathcoat and Almonte (already up) are ready for their showcase cups of coffee and spot fill ins..

    Vidal Nuno – with a name like this, he has to be something. He is a crafty on the small side lefty fella that did well last year at the end when given a chance and deserves to be watched for spot MLB starts this year. Even in ESPN.

  6. The Thumb says:
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    How is Donaldson as a Jagiello comp?

    • @The Thumb: Jagiello has upside capable of offering Donaldson-like production, but tough to comp the two prospect-to-prospect, as Donaldson’s path to the bigs was not quite so straightforward as Jagiello’s figures to be…

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: yeah Jagielo. He was my first round pick in this year’s prospect draft (2oth overall) in my 30 man league. He’s also the highest guy i got (other than D’Arnaud) out of this year’s top 10 lists.

  7. Count de Monetball says:
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    Thanks for the write up Scott. If you were going to say where the Yankees ranked overall with regards to there fantasy minor-league’s about where would you rate them? General range..

    • @Count de Monetball: middle of the pack… maybe a tick or two lower than 15… i’m definitely doing a fantasy-specific org rank once I get through these team T10’s, so there’s still some shuffling & sorting I need to get through… stay tuned.

  8. Sky

    Sky says:
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    It will be fun seeing which teams these kids get traded to for 35-37 year olds by the All-Star break this year.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Seems legit. Seriously, when was the last legit Yankees prospect that 1) went on to do great things and 2) actually did it for the Yanks. I’m asking this as an honest question, if it’s happened it’s not in recent memory. Cano? He was a free agent draftee, though, was he ever highly touted?

        • @Sky: Cano was the last homegrown Yankee to come up & bring high-end impact… Phelps was supposed to be that guy… Joba, too… but we know how that worked out… just isn’t a point of emphasis for the Yanks, but I suspect they change their tune on that end when their 2014 squad of dinosaurs misses the postseason…

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Oh I agree. Their approach is so weird. They DO know the steroid era is over and those 30+ year olds they’re giving huge contracts to can’t PED themselves into staying relevant past 34’ish, right? Eh, what do I care. Mariners fan and a guy who roots for the Rays so whatevs.

        • seph meier says:
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          @Sky:

          I can’t think of anyone besides Cano, Jeter, Rivera..

          So probably Jeter mid 90s.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Exactly. It’s been awhile.

    • RELATED: Jim Thome is actually the assistant coach of my boss’s kid’s tee ball team… my boss’s wife is head coach. I find this fact utterly hysterical.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Thome: WHAT ARE YOU BLIND, UMP! THAT BALL WAS CLEARLY OUTSIDE!

        Boss’ wife: Sit down, Thome

        Thome: Yes ma’am.

        • @Sky: Hahaha that’s precisely how I envision it…

  9. Matt says:
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    Scott, not exactly a prospect question, but all three guys are REALLY young so you might be able to answer. If I need to save it for Grey tomorrow just let me know.

    I’ve been offered the following trade in a 12 team HTH keeper with 6 OF spots:
    My Wil Myers for
    Nolan Arendo and Julio Teheran

    Myers is my 3rd OF with Tavaras also on the roster. I don’t have a 3b keeper and could use a good SP. I feel like its fair value as there will be plenty more solid OF available in the draft than good young 3B-what is your take?

    • @Matt: I lean toward Myers being that he’s the highest impact player in the swap, but considering your needs, it’s definitely justifiable… I’d consider it…

  10. Matt says:
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    Other OF keepers (out of 14): Mccuthc, Stanton, Kemp, Tavaras.

  11. goodfold2 says:
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    just noticed you have souza (OF WAS) projected to come up this year. I will most definitely be waiting to waiver the shit outta this guy, since we would have to wait till all star break for bidding period on minor guys otherwise. He’s the highest ranked guy that’s unowned in 30 man dynasty. Is there some good website (better than rototimes, which seems workable) that shows when everybody/anybody comes up. We could waiver him the week he comes up (our waivers go every in season friday).

    • @goodfold2: Any player news site — rotoworld is probably the best — is all over all the call-ups within minutes of their announcements… unless you’re asking for specific ETA’s, in which case, you’re not gonna find that sort of thing anywhere

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: no specific ETA’s like any other, are just guess work. unless somebody actually happens to know a GM or a few. Rototimes is the same info as Rotoworld.

  12. Swfcdan says:
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    Whoa my team! Need to check this out but not too hopeful, so many of our prospects have gone backwards (Williams, B Sp bros).

    Anyway lot of activity since, took Appel over Frazier in our annual milb draft in one league, good call? Someone who drafted him said Frazier was the best available talent in the draft class (over Brynant), I think hes nuts. Safety and readyness were factors for me taking Appel too, could be ready as soon as 2015?

    Also dealt Bogartes for Tanaka (and a higher mlb draft pick) in my newly created keeper as I was set at 3B and needed SP help…like it? Think Tanaka will start out fine? Plus I couldnt turn down a Red Sox swap for a Yankee!

    • @Swfcdan: Appel should be ready THIS season, but I figure the Astros hold him back ’til 2015… I would never trade Bogaerts for Tanaka in a keeper league… that’s crazy talk.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: damn appel is already ready. dude was just taken last june. no wonder he went so high.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: But why is it crazy talk (action not talk, I actually did it), the guys were next to each other on prospect rankings, plus Tanaka should be a lot better this year? I got another pick to even it out too. Dont understand how you and others can rank these guys so close, yet when we deal one for the other its suddenly a crazy move…Plus we have no CI or MI spot in this league (had Zimmerman and Tulo already) so how much impact would he have made as a Util? Doesnt it make more sense now? Sorry not wanting to have a go at you as much as rankings in general, if theres such a disparity they should be ranked accordingly.

        Good news on Appel though…lol

        • TheNewGuy says:
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          @TheNewGuy: And before it seems like some crappy shallow league, it isnt as its a 16 teamer. Im kinda glad we dont use them actually, deep enough as it is with 2 Util slots.

        • @TheNewGuy: Respective ceilings make it an awful deal for you… maybe not for the short-term… and maybe not ever, I suppose… but Bogaerts has upside to be Tulo while Tanaka has upside to be… like a 2013 Homer Bailey? maybe?

          And let’s make it clear that we’re talking dynasty league trades right now… my rankings last two weeks were for 2014… Tanaka wouldn’t be close to Bogaerts on a dynasty list…

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Scott Evans: Well its not quite a dynasty but a keeper. I know their upsides are quite different, but I still think I can win of it in the next couple of years, and like I said it addressed my needs. Maybe it wasnt a smart move, but you could have been a bit less brash in bashing my trade. And like I said, prospect ranking sites I’ve used have had them 1 or 2 spaces apart, so thats what I followed.

            • @TheNewGuy: You’re right — I could have been less brash, but that’s just not the way I approach these matters and you’ve followed me long enough to know that it’s not personal…

              the fun part in playing fantasy is taking ownership of your team & making your own moves & understanding just because I don’t like your move doesn’t mean it’s the wrong move to make… I’m not always in tune with your needs & your readiness to win now or desire to win later… there are so many variables involved….

              it’s silly to come here and look for me (or anyone) to validate a trade that’s already been made… it’s in the books… own it & move forward…

              • TheNewGuy says:
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                @Scott Evans: Ok man, yeah I accept what youre saying. Probably is a poor idea to ask for validation after the event, not what I usually do as you know.

                Anyway this is that new league im trying, not too keen on it being a points league (first time ive tried one) so I may not be sticking around longer than a year anyway (hope my commmish isnt reading this) ha…so maybe my term term approach can pay off and ill take home the marbles and run!

                • TheNewGuy says:
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                  @TheNewGuy: short term* -damn fiddy ipad keyboard

                • @TheNewGuy: I’m with you on that — can’t argue against win-now moves as long as you’re in a position to win now…

  13. Swfcdan says:
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    Popping up concerns regarding recieving with Sanchez? Please translate for us non-catchers, was considering offering Frazier for him in my new keeper where I have no long term catcher.

    • @Swfcdan: receiving is generally considered a catcher’s ability to frame pitches — real-deal scouts can elaborate, but just think of it as a Yadi Molina-type skill that’s hugely important, but tough to quantify on paper (although some really smart folks are getting better at measuring this facet using tools like pitch f/x)…

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Scott Evans: short version of framing, a catcher makes umpires think (due to how he catches the ball) more often that a ball is a strike. Pretty messed up that in these modern times a sport can’t simply get objective and use modern technology to nip this kind of stuff in the bud. If they need to stay in the dark ages and keep having human errors determine how their sport is run, framing will work and is a great strategic adaption. Like taking poker chips from a blind guy during a game.

    • @Swfcdan: and DO NOT trade Frazier for Sanchez. That’s an awful deal for you.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Seen them closely ranked on some sites but ok I take your word…we need your rankings out man!

  14. Luis says:
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    Scott, not that I think that you have a journal somewhere with my questions to you on how to continue to develop my dynasty team but I have good news. I have that 20 team dynasty league where you told me not to trade Rizzo. I took your advice and I held. I got Wong for basically a song (yeah, I know it rhymes). I traded my number one overall for the number 2 overall. The guy wanted the rights to Abreu because he needs a 1B. I wasnt considering him anyway, I’m taking Polanco, and I got Wong in exchange. Now I’m just hoping that kid Meyer or Appel fall to my second pick of the first round. I doubt I get Appel. So you can now check off my update in your journal. Continue with your fantasy musings….

    • @Luis: Haha thanks for the update! I keep a detailed ledger of all commenter keeper league transactions — commenter luis’s roster has been updated.

      • Luis says:
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        @Scott Evans: As well you should sir. As well you should…

  15. Mike says:
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    Hey Scott, I’m entering the 2nd year of a 10 team dynasty league w/ 100 player rosters for a team I took over. Too many players to list obviously, but I completely blew up the roster to obtain as many prospects as possible. I have the first pick for our March draft which is 5 rounds. Likely options are Tanaka or Jose Abreu. However I have an offer to trade the pick (tanaka is his target) for a combonation of one of Arenado, Moustakas, Carlos Martinez plus 2 of Maikel Franco, Trey Ball, Alex Meyer or Jagielo.

    My initial thoughts is if I do the deal, to select Arenado, Maikel Franco and Alex Meyer. Do you agree I should do the deal? If so do I have the players correct ? Thanks for any input you have….

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