This year my New Year’s resolution is to complete all thirty minor league previews by Opening Day. And lose 50 pounds. And stop drinking. And stop smoking. One of those is doable. I’ll let you figure out which one! We’re about through the AL East with this Yankees preview, who recently lost one of their best prospects in a trade (Justus Sheffield). Once we take the turn into the National League, we’ll pause and start cranking out the Top 100 list. Something to look forward to! For now, let’s discuss what I believe are the ten best specs in New York’s system.
1. Estevan Florial, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2020
This system is mucho heavy on pitchers, and since TINSTAAPP, it’s not too hard to stand out as a legit hitter. That shouldn’t take anything away from Florial though. He’s an above-average power/speed combo with 20/20 potential. A wrist injury sidelined him for a chunk of 2018, so this will be his first year in the upper minors. His solid walk rates make me think he’ll fare well against more advanced pitching.
2. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2019
Loaisiga pairs a plus heater and slider with good command to rack up decent strikeout numbers. He struck out over 10 per nine in 34 innings at Double-A while walking under two per nine. His ceiling is a 2/3 starter, and the floor is a good reliever with strikeouts, so it’s a relatively low-risk profile depending on your league format.
3. Albert Abreu, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2019
Abreu’s injury history and control/command make him more of a gamble than Loaisiga, but he also has about five inches on him and a slightly better fastball. He spent the majority of 2018 in High-A, where he fanned a batter an inning but also walked over four per nine. On stuff, he ranks pretty highly, but there’s significant bullpen risk that should be considered and the lack of control worries me.
4. Domingo Acevedo, RHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2019
Acevedo is a big dude at 6’7″/250 who anchors his arsenal with a double-plus heater that can reach triple digits. I’d slot him above Abreu, but while Abreu still has a chance to start, I really think Acevedo is destined to be a reliever in the late innings…impacting strikeouts and either holds or saves at some point.
5. Everson Pereira, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2023
Okay, enough with the pitchers (I could fill the whole list with them – Garcia, Schmidt, Green, etc.). Now we’re diving a bit deeper to get into some hitters. Pereira is obviously a youngster and will require some patience. He’s also currently a better defender than hitter, but there’s some decent projectability in that area. He could develop into a 25-30 steal player with a chance for double-digit homers down the road. He could also completely bust being so young, but that’s the tangled web we weave here in prospect country. Prospect country is a lot like Marlboro country but with less cowboys and cancer.
6. Antonio Cabello, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2023
Cabello had a nice 2018 campaign – hitting .308 with a 14% walk rate compared to a 20% strikeout rate. He also hit five homers in about 160 at bats in Rookie ball. The tools are average across the board, but like Pereira, there is a ton of potential here.
7. Anthony Seigler, C | Age: 19 | ETA: 2023
Seigler was a first-round pick in 2018. In fantasy first-year player drafts I’d let him slide to the thirdish round just because catchers tend to be riskier stocks to invest in and Seigler’s bat isn’t really his calling card. What I do like are the reports that he’s a fantastic athlete, because that could lead to a successful position switch down the road if the backstop gig doesn’t pan out. I’d cap the ceiling at around 15 homers and a .260 average.
8. Thairo Estrada, SS | Age: 22 | ETA: 2020
Estrada is probably looking forward to the calendar flip. In 2018 he got shot and then to make things worse he lost his season to a back injury. Estrada looks destined to become a utility infielder – one that can hit for average and possibly steal a base or two, but won’t contribute much in the power department.
9. Ezequiel Duran, 2B | Age: 19 | ETA: 2022
Duran might be one that you haven’t heard of. And that’s one of the fun parts of my job. Every now and then I get to mention something new(ish). He’s not a world beater, but has average tools at the keystone and just enough power to be interesting. In about 200 at bats in the Appy, he hit four homers and stole seven bags. He also hit .201 (transparency point!). He should hit full season ball in 2019.
10. Dermis Garcia, 1B | Age: 20 | ETA: 2021
Garcia isn’t hard to profile. He’s big power with a ton of strikeouts, making him a risky but possibly rewarding investment down the line. For example, in 2018 he hit 15 homers in 325 at bats while striking out in almost 31% of his appearances. That’s pretty much it in numbers right there.