Last night, MLB Network and MLB.com announced their Top 50 Prospects list, and as expected, former Yankees top prospect Jesus Montero and current Yankees top prospect Manny Banuelos finished near the top. What might have come as a surprise was the order of those two.
Montero ranked 13th overall, with Banuelos one spot ahead of him at No. 12.*
“Once (Banuelos) throws more strikes,” MLB.com wrote, “he has the chance to be an electric starter who can be a No. 2 or 3 starter.”
Montero was, naturally, touted for his “monster” power potential, but Banuelos finished a spot higher on the list.
Dellin Betances landed at No. 40, and like Banuelos, he was touted as a potential No. 2 or No. 3 starter if he improves his command. Back of the rotation or a setup role were also mentioned as long-term possibilities.
Ranking just outside of the Top 50, catcher Gary Sanchez landed at No. 53 overall, touted as a potential offensive everyday catcher in the big leagues. Center fielder Mason Williams ranked 73rd, earning praise for his bat, speed, defense and advanced approach at the plate.
* One spot ahead of Banuelos, ranking 11th overall, was Gerrit Cole, the right-hander originally drafted but unsigned by the Yankees. Now with the Pirates, he seems to have progressed exactly as the Yankees hoped. Former Yankees prospect Arodys Vizcaino — traded to Atlanta in the Javier Vazquez deal — ranked 36th on the list.
Associated Press photo