Want to talk prospects this afternoon? Yesterday, mlb.com and MLB Network announced their Top 50 prospects, with three Yankees making the cut. This afternoon at 2 ET, minor league guru Jonathan Mayo will chat about the list and about prospects in general.
For those of you only interested in the Yankees who made the cut, the Yankees were one of eight teams to have three different players in the top 50, and one of only four teams to place three players in the top 35. These are the Yankees who made the list.
No. 9: Jesus Montero
The Yankees top prospect landed in the top 10 on the strength of, “a bat that should be penciled into the middle of the big league lineup for years to come.” Predictably, mlb.com mentioned Montero’s defensive future as the only remaining question, but the site also noted that Montero has “more than enough bat” to be a designated hitter or first baseman.
No. 32: Gary Sanchez
Even in an organization with remarkable catching depth, mlb.com note that Sanchez, “just might end up being better than all of them.” He’s very young, which is why he’s only in the middle of this list, but Sanchez has “plenty” of power and ability to hit for average — similar to Montero — and he has “better defensive tools” than Austin Romine. The question with him is development. He still has a long way to go.
No. 35: Manny Banuelos
It’s been mentioned several times that Banuelos came back from appendectomy and showed better fitness and stuff. He gained velocity to show a mid-90s fastball, and mlb.com noted that he’s shown “glimpses of above average or better” secondary pitches. If his development continues, Banuelos could have “front-of-a-rotation stuff,” and he doesn’t have far to go before he’s ready for New York.
No. 53: Dellin Betances
In addition to the Top 50, mlb.com listed the 10 players who just missed the cut, including the top right-handed pitcher in the Yankees farm system. Betances was actually ranked ahead of Banuelos by Baseball America. With a list like this, the difference between No. 35 and No. 53 is pretty small.