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Not going to lie, this post should be in all caps. As any proud New Englander would, I got piss drunk before writing this opening. Was it convenient that there was a Patriots playoff game? Sure, but I could have limited myself. Instead I drank too many IPA’s and traded Gausman for Paxton, and can’t remember writing this as I answer your questions. If my grammar is correct, you should see how slow I’m typing. There is no fate for a tried and true Sox fan such as myself worse than writing up the Yankees farm system. Here’s the thing, this farm is sexy AF, as the kids say. I’m 35 Y’all! Things are changing, but I rap/write/live the fantasy life like I’m 22! So I am the kids! All right so maybe I’m trying not to say this, but….the Yanks might have the most exciting farm system for fantasy. Better than the White Sox, Astros, or Dodgers. They have legit high upside bats with close proximity. They have far out internationals. They have it all of course, it’s the Yanks. Their sellers mentality flew in the face of their traditional identity, but it was effective in obtaining a great deal of prospect talent. You know I got to drop the SEO bomb, it’s the Top New York Yankees Prospects, I repeat The Top New York Yankees prospects.

 

Tier 1: Specs On The Beach
Potential stars. Consensus T100 prospects with premium fantasy ceilings.

Gleyber Torres, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: A+

The main piece acquired from the Cubs for Aroldis Chapman, Torres broke out in a big way in the Arizona Fall League. The shortstop slashed .403/.513/.645 with 3 homers and 4 steals during his vacation in the desert. Signed by the Cubs for $1.7 million out of Venezuela, during the 2013 J2 signing period, the same one that netted Eloy Jimenez. He possesses a legit 60 grade hit tool, complemented by developing above average power, and plus baserunning ability that plays up his average wheels. Gleyber has the defensive chops to stick at short, but will more than likely slide to the keystone, unless Didi Gregorius is traded. He batted .270/.354/.421 with 7 homers, 21 steals and 58 walks across two high-A stops. Playing in both the Carolina and the Florida State leagues. What sets Torres apart from other prospects is his excellent pitch recognition skills. He employed a pull happy approach early in the year, but ditched it for an all fields method to better results. The hype train has left the station and is chugging toward the tops of prospect lists. There’s a very good chance that if Gleyber continues on this trajectory, then we could be looking at the top overall prospect heading into the 2018 season.

Clint Frazier, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AAA/AA

The elite bat speed king, also the ginger king, also a player’s player, a man’s man, and Head and Shoulders spokesman in waiting. The 5th overall selection in 2013 by the Cleveland Indians was acquired at the deadline for Andrew Miller. His plus raw power, speed, and across the board tools are driven by a muscular athletic frame. There’s legitimate 20/20 upside here, with a chance for even greater power totals. Frazier needs to improve his approach and cut down on the strikeouts in AAA this year. If he can do that then Frazier could be an early round pick for a decade in fantasy.

Aaron Judge, OF | Age: 24 | ETA: 2017 | 2016 Level: MLB/AAA

You know Judge by now, or at least I hope you do. He’s been around for what seems like a lifetime. The huge power the 24 year old possesses is legendary, as are the whiffs. After destroying the lower levels of the minors, Judge stalled at AAA in 2015, and never really figured out the level until a few months into last season. Once he did the hype machine was back into full gear, and the homers were flying out of ballparks all over the International League. He then sustained an injury right around the time a callup was expected. This turned out to only be a slight delay as he returned, hit, and was called up to the big leagues in mid-August. There’s still swing and miss to his game, but it’s not to the extent it was in his brief 27 game callup. He took some time to get acclimated to AAA, it might be the same with the big leagues. Regardless, the early projections have him between 19-26 homers, with a .250ish average. Seems about right. Setup for a massive breakout in 2017, if he can adjust to major league pitching.

Justus Sheffield, LHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AA/A+

The small lefthanded starter was a 2014 1st round pick of the Indians, and was the other top prospect acquired for Miller. Sheffield has an exciting arsenal, led by a mid 90’s fastball with good sink that he can ramp up to 97.
His secondary offerings feature a mid-80’s slider with short break, and an above average change he can throw for strikes in any count. Sheffield has number two starter upside, with a solid floor for fantasy due to the swing and miss stuff.

Jorge Mateo, SS | Age: 21 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: A+

A speed demon with 80 grade wheels, Mateo stole 80 bags in 2015, and burst onto the prospect radar popping up on top 50 lists everywhere. Unfortunately, he struggled to repeat his 2015 success at Tampa, and maturity issues left him suspended for two weeks. He possesses plus bat speed, but struggles with pitches on the corners and breaking balls. Many scouts this offseason have predicted that centerfield will eventually be his ultimate position. If Mateo can get his head right, and flash some of the raw potential with the stick, he could certainly regain his top prospect status. I view the best case scenario for Mateo, as he turns into Billy Hamilton style speedster with multi-position eligibility and low double digit homer pop.

Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.

Dustin Fowler, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: AA

One of the most underrated power/speed prospects not only in the Yankees system but for all of fantasy. A 2013 18th round pick out of Dexter, Georgia. He’s on the fast track to being the Yankees centerfielder of the future, as long as he can replicate his 2016 AA production in Scranton. Though in order to break through as a full time player he might need to polish up on his pitch recognition skills, as he walked just 22 times last season. He definitely employs a contact-centric approach, but with his base stealing ability you’d like to see a better on-base tool. Last year Fowler slashed .281/.311/.458 with 12 homers, and 25 steals, and was one of the more unheralded breakouts.

James Kaprielian, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: A+

A strained felxor tendon in his throwing elbow cost Kaprielian his 2016, making just three starts. He returned in the Arizona Fall league, and the velocity was up again. Too bad his results were inconsistent. Kap has three plus pitches in his fastball, curve, and slider, and he also throws an average change. The arm slot and mechanics are high effort, putting stress on his arm. Which is why he looks like he could be plagued by injury risk his entire career. Injuries aside, there is legitimate ace makeup and stuff, but bad mechanics could hinder his progression.

Chance Adams, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2016 Level: AA/A+

The 2015 5th rounder out of Dallas Baptist, is a “Ralph Special” small righthander at 6’0, but his stocky build means he’s not someone you would describe as slight. Adams brings a four pitch arsenal, and throws all his pitches for strikes. Led by a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s, a slider that is his best out pitch and secondary offering, as well as a change he throws from the same arm slot as the fastball, there’s a solid skill set. There’s a lot of pen talk due to the violent delivery and height, but so far the results have been excellent, and he’s stayed healthy. Has a solid shot to make some starts in the Bronx in 2017.

Domingo Acevedo, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2016 Level: 2016 Level: A+/A-

A huge steal when he signed for just $7,500 out of the DR in 2012. Acevedo’s game is predicated on the massive velo his 6’7 frame generates on his heater. He can touch triple digits with ease, and typically works 95-98 with good downhill plane. His above-average changeup gives him a second weapon, but ultimately his future as a starter will be decided by the development of his raw breaking pitch. Has yet to throw over 100 innings in a season, but the ability to generate whiffs (102 K’s), throw strikes (22 walks), and induce grounders (45.3% GB rate), make his fantasy upside unique.

Dillon Tate, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: A

The stock has dropped significantly since he went 4th overall in the 2015 draft. The opinions are split on Tate’s long term potential, and ultimate role. During his collegiate career at UC Santa Barbara he played many roles first as the team’s closer, then ace his junior year. During his year as a starter his results were excellent with a 9.6 K/9, 2.26 ERA, and a .91 WHIP. His fastball is a weapon, particularly now that the velocity has returned. Where Tate really gets into trouble is with the inconsistency of his slider and change. If he can throw those for strikes more consistently, my prediction of a career in the pen won’t come to fruition.

Others: Albert Abreu, Jordan Montgomery, Chad Green, Billy McKinney, Tyler Wade

Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs

Blake Rutherford, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2020 | 2016 Level: R

Was considered by many the best prep bat in the draft, even though Mickey Moniak went #1. He dropped to the Yankees at 18 due to the large price tag attached to signing him. The Yanks, never ones to bargain shop paid him a shade under $3.4 million, and added a nice long term spec to their system rebuild. Rutherford’s smooth lefthanded swing effortlessly produces plus power, and was built for Yankee Stadium’s short rightfield porch. I’ve seen his hit tool and power graded at 60, and it showed across two levels of rookie ball last season.

Estevan Florial, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019 | 2016 Level: A-/ Rk

The crown prince of Hati, Florial has received off the charts comps, and scouts grades. With some going as high as 70 on the raw power and speed. Had 8 homers and 10 steals in his brief debut stateside, is certainly the sort of player that could breakout in 2017.

Wilkerman Garcia, SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2020 | 2016 Level: Rk

Could be the year he breaks out or falls off the map. I feel like I’m just repeating this is a big year in development, but it’s really true of many of the top options in the system.

Others: Nick Solak, Nolan Martinez, Freicer Perez, Donny Sands, Leonardo Molina

Check Out Our Minor League Preview Index for all articles and podcasts on all 30 teams!s—————-

   
  1. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great stuff! Can we officially add Bryce Harper (ETA 2019) to the Yankees system yet?

  2. goodfold2 says:
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    neidert SP SEA or diplan, i have a hole with SEA prognosticating not being done anywhere yet (unless you count BA’s top 10 lists where’s he’s 4th at SEA, vs diplan’s 10th at MIL). last year’s BA book had neidert a slightly less risky 50 vs diplan’s more risky 55. this year MLB.com has neidert with near identical tools except better control and they refer to him as an upside 4th SP. (BA book last year says same thing, diplan having “mid-rotation upside” there) neidert has the better curve, diplan the better slider (diplan has no curve) neidert has an extra pitch. SEA only team that isn’t yet covered here, nor minorleague, nor fangraphs.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: neidert SEA vs diplan vs cole ragans TEX. i do have a TEX list and had already asked about it, at time you had said speas ahead of ragan, but i’m not sure if i had diplan in same question as ragan. ragan seems safer than the other two, less fastball upside, but being quoted as a possible number 3.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @goodfold2: I like Diplan

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz: well that is nice then. lots of definite bullpen guys going lately (vieira SEA, j.miller ARI, barnes MIL, vieira you’ve mentioned).

          – on the SEA thing even if trumbo didn’t “break out huge” in what world was the serial killer backup catcher clevinger at all close in value, worse than the s.miller trade that one. dipoto might not have been the guy there at the time, maybe they cleaned out the old guy like lyod christmas mcclendon.

          -having these for long term value
          MI:demeritte/a.rondon (TB)/tejeda (TEX)/p.gonzalez (COL)/salcedo ATL
          CI: craig/padlo/denton (STL)/lavalley (CIN)/kubitza (ATL)/l.encarnacion (PHI)
          OF: kirilloff/g.whitley/cozens/mag sierra/tocci/vj reyes (ARI)/dj davis (TOR), d.alvarez (BAL)
          and also altherr till end of 2019 and b.drury (all positions except C) till end of 2019
          how would you rank these (the remaining good OF/MI and one CI)
          e.rios LAD CI, j.rosario SD OF, vicgar STL OF (in yr 1st year list), hays BAL OF, y.alvarez HOU OF, long CIN MI, galindo CUBS MI. i’m surprised rios is still here (but will craig also fell a long time to me, and other than craig’s better hit tool they have similar bodies/bad defensive profiles). i’m reading about sandtander OF BAL too, but he JUST had some shoulder surgery and is a rule 5. some guys hate him thinking CLE dumped him cheap due to the shoulder and career fears from that.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @goodfold2: oops, and cody thomas LAD.

            • goodfold2 says:
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              @goodfold2: thinking i can rule out rios (reading he might not even hit for enough AVG to play 1st base, which is an ugly thing to say about somebody), j.rosario (some spots don’t like his power projections), galindo (not the best MI here), hays (not as much upside as the others), so it’s down to 2 out of
              vicgar STL, y.alvarez and long.

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @goodfold2: might’ve gotten sniped here on long going 3 picks before me, damn naming names. this owner went strahm with his 1st pick, so maybe not. same owner has 3 more picks before my last one after this one though.

                • goodfold2 says:
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                  @goodfold2: nah, i’m likely just paranoid, this owner is just smart, he took vieira over long about 8 picks earlier.

                  • Ralph Lifshitz

                    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                    @goodfold2: Rios is the best hitter in the group you mentioned. There’s a lot of negative scouting, but it’s a lot of real baseball knocks. As a hitter he’s got the most upside and floor of the players mentioned. Also the best production at the highest level. He’s top 100 for me.

                    • goodfold2 says:
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                      @Ralph Lifshitz: interesting, i’ll find out in about 5 picks (3 owners) if he’s still around. i went vicgar STL just earlier.

                    • goodfold2 says:
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                      @Ralph Lifshitz: also due to where this guy is ranked on some lists i’ll know for a fact now if i’m being sniped if this owner suddenly grabs this guy coming up here.

  3. EnglishMetsFan says:
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    You traded Gausman FOR Paxton.

    Oh dear.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @EnglishMetsFan: Hahaha I can keep Paxton for free and Gausman would count as a keeper. There’s more to it.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: i don’t think they are that far off even on a one to one. gausman has the age benefit and SWK%, but worse park, fly ball rate, division. both injury risks.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @goodfold2: No AL East pitchers! One of my big rules.

  4. Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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    This write-up is an instant classic! On top-10 eve you got me titillated. Fowler from Dexter, the inJustus of a Judge who did not recuse himself after “destorying” the lower levels of the minors, C.J. Wilson Frazier’s hair… kudos. I also appreciate on a pragmatic level that you own a bunch of these guys in dynasty. Prospect Jesus-Alou walkin the walk. Gotta hand it to NY, they stocked the swamp. Yanks pulled an Epstein on Epstein by renting out Aroldis for Gleyber.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: Ha! Thanks Ghul! Too bad my proof reader was a drunk Patriots fan!

  5. Hometown Heroes says:
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    Ralph what do you think of this offseason in my 12 team AL only keeper league? We were out of it last year and acquired a lot of assets and have consolidated it this offseason.
    We traded
    Tim Anderson $1
    Hyun soo Kim $1
    Carlos Rodon $1
    Profar $10
    Kyle Lewis ML
    Frankie Montas ML
    Mitch Moreland $1
    Charlie Tilson $1
    Alex Cobb $1
    For
    Devon Travis $1
    Carlos Correa $16
    Cole Hamels $14
    Victor Martinez $20 (we will probably trade for a cheaper P)

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Hometown Heroes: Anytime you’re trading those players and getting Correa plus the next three best players (at least in the short term) I like it

  6. Hey there Ralph. Your analysis is proving invaluable in sharpening my baseball mind. Wish you could affect my non-baseball mind as well.

    I hope you won’t mind this selfish inquiry:

    In a forever league, which ONE of the following prospects should I hold onto: Willy Adames, Islan Diaz, or Yusniel Diaz?

    I figure if I threw back Adames he would be the first to be drafted by another owner–I would also say Adames is nearest to the majors, so I am inclined to say him, even though….

    Islan Diaz has a higher upside?

    But dropping the other Diaz–Yusniel–also hurts as he arguably has the wildest potential (and most to prove) of the bunch. –I accept longshots like Y. Diaz as part of the process of playing Fantasy–even when I am wrong about them. But, curiously, I’d rather be right than wrong and so I come to the Ralph for Final Illumination.

    Thank you so much! And keep doing your thang–drunk, sober, or in-between, we dote on your analysis!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @FANTHEAD: I’d go Isan Diaz, I think he’s the best hitter of the trio mentioned. Lots of Cano comps.

  7. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Ralph,

    I am in a minor league and I have the next two picks. I am looking at Francisco Mejia (C) CLE, and Blake Rutherford, OF (NYY). I am also looking at at LHP, RHP. Can you make any suggestions?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Scott Kimmel: Yadier Alvarez and Jason Groome

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Adrian Morejon. Unless guys like Josh Hader, Reyes, Glasnow, Martes, Giolito, Kopech, De Leon, and Espinoza are not owned.

  8. regan says:
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    Just started playing in a dynasty league last year so still new to the prospect game. You turned me on to IBW and thanks for that, great stuff! I’m still learning who the best resources in the game are so that’s a question i have wanted to ask for awhile. When it comes to prospecting who do you follow? Maybe like your top 3 favs? Preciate it!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @regan: Baseball America, Eric Longenhagen, Jim Sickels

      • regan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Thanks Ralph, it’s hard to know who to really trust, there is so much information out there. One more question, what do you think of Rich Wilson at 361? I’ve been reading him for awhile, seems really solid.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @regan: for the best list i could find
      http://fantasyrundown.com/2017-mlb-prospect-rankings/

      and by no accident at all the two guys he named (from fangraphs and minorleagueball.com) provide the most detail and longest lists out of them all.

      one weird damn thing on there is if you check prospect361.com’s list for TB, it gives you a link to grey’s recent keon broxton page. very odd.

  9. Matt says:
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    Man this was good. Frazier or Eloy in dynasty, who ya got?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Matt: I’m going Eloy. I’m a sucker for the Latin player with the big power.

  10. ReleasetheMcKracken says:
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    How far away from making this list was Miguel Andujar? Appeared to have a strong season last year and already in AA. What’s his ceiling and could he be Headly’s replacement going second half 2018 going into 2019? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @ReleasetheMcKracken: Close enough that I thought he was on the list, should be the lead in the Floorboreds section. He’s Jeimer Candelario, so an average 3rd base guy with some pop.

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