New York Yankees Top-25 Prospects
As much as I hate to say this as a Red Sox fan, the Evil Empire is in a great spot right now. And this is after graduating the likes of Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres from the prospect ranks. Personally, I’m in an incredible spot with the Red Sox celebrating another World Series championship as I write this, but moving forward, the Yankees are looking strong. They’re coming off another 100-win season and have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball right now. Between various trades, international signings, and strong draft classes, this system is stocked. And if you’re wondering where all the right-handed pitching prospects are, they’re right here. If you have some weird fear of right-handed pitching prospects then I advise you turn around and run the other way, because 60% of the Yankees prospects below are right-handed pitchers.
Overall System Grade: B
Minor League Affiliates
Triple-A: Scranton Wilkes-Barre – International League
Double-A: Trenton – Eastern League
Single-A (Advanced): Tampa – Florida State League
Single-A (Full): Charleston – South Atlantic League
Short-season Single-A: Staten Island – New York-Penn League
Rookie: Pulaski – Appalachian League, two teams in the Gulf Coast, one team in the Dominican Summer League.
New Top 25 New York Yankees Prospects
1. Estevan Florial, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 11/25/97, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (RK/A+): .283/.377/.422/.799, 19 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 16 SB, 12.8 BB%, 24.6 K%, 325 AB
The toolsy Florial was limited to just 84 games in 2018 due to a hamate injury that required surgery. Still, even in a little over half a season, he was able to make gains in his development. What sticks out the most for me is his improved plate discipline. Florial’s walk rate rose from 10.5% to 12.8% while he dropped his strikeout rate from 31.1% to 24.8%. He’ll always have some swing and miss to his game, but these improvements are a welcome sign for his overall hit tool.
— The Welsh (@IsItTheWelsh) October 10, 2018
Speaking of that hit tool, Florial makes plenty of hard contact and loft with a quick swing from the left side. That loft is key. Why? Remember where his future home ballpark is and how freaking short the right field seats are. In a neutral park, Florial would be a 15-20 HR threat, maybe a little more. But in Yankee stadium, 25-plus home runs are calling his name if he can continue to add strength and keep that natural loft in his swing. Oh yeah, he’s got plus wheels as well and that speed helps him cover ground in the outfield to go along with his strong throwing arm. If the bat continues to progress, we’ve got an all-star caliber outfielder on our hands.
2. Deivi Garcia, RHP, DOB: 5/19/99, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A-/A+/AA): 74.0 IP, 2.55 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 12.8 K/9, .189 AVG
Ever since he signed with the Yankees in the summer of 2015, Garcia has been a force to be reckoned with in the lower minors. Through his first three minor league campaigns, Garcia has racked up a 12.4 K/9 in 182.1 IP with his lowest strikeout rate at any level being 10.6. He dominates opposing hitters with a plus fastball/curveball combination and mixes in a fringy, yet developing changeup. I’d even go as far as giving Garcia’s curveball a 65/70 grade due to its high spin rate and depth. If Garcia can continue to develop his changeup, he has top of the rotation upside. Though, his small frame causes some doubts that he can reach that lofty ceiling.
Deivi Garcia side view mechanics from his start last week in Tampa. High effort, bit of a short arm, a little stiff. FB was sizzling. Commanded his offspeed. Not bad for a 19 year old pic.twitter.com/pFRZRUJYZx
— Jason (@Jasenelpartido) June 12, 2018
3. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP, DOB: 11/2/94, ETA Debuted in 2018
2018 Stats (RK/A+/AA): 56.0 IP, 2.89 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, 10.8 K/9, .263 AVG
2018 Stats (MLB): 24.2 IP, 5.11 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, 12.0 K/9, .271 AVG
Loaisiga is another arm that got time with the Yankees this season. While his four starts and five relief outings yielded mixed results, he did flash his upside by striking out 33 batters in his 24.2 innings. Small in size, Loaisiga can dial it up into mid-90’s with some life on his fastball. Loaisiga features two average to plus secondary pitches with a hard curveball being the best of the two. The changeup lags behind but projects as an average offering at the very least.
The best thing about Loaisiga is his strong control, registering a tidy 1.6 BB/9 over his minor league career. Even with the Major League time under his belt, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Yankees sent him back to Triple-A to start 2019, depending on what they do in the free agency. Loaisiga only had nine starts in Double-A at the time of his promotion to the Bronx.
4. Clarke Schmidt, RHP, DOB: 2/20/96, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (RK/A-): 23.1 IP, 3.09 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 11.6 K/9, .195 AVG
The Yankees first-round pick in 2017 finally got into minor league game action after missing all of 2017 and most of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He wasted no time showing why the Yankees took him in the first round either. Clarke features four pitches, all of which are average to plus. His low to mid-90’s fastball features heavy sink and induces a ton of groundballs. Both his curve and slider have good shape to them and flash plus at times and his changeup, while inconsistent, has shown promise with some solid fade. The delivery has some effort and isn’t overly fluid, but if he can smooth that out, Schmidt has the upside of a #2 or #3 starter in the Majors.
In the ongoing From the Field Prospect Mock 480, I took Schmidt at #294 overall, which I considered being really good value.
5. Mike King, RHP, DOB: 5/25/95, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 161.1 IP, 1.79 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, .202 AVG
Mike King pitched like a king in 2018. Just look at that ERA and WHIP. Beautiful. As was that 1.6 BB/9. The only thing missing was an eye-popping strikeout rate. But that’s never been what King is about. That 8.5 K/9 was his best single-season mark in the minors so far, and it’s not even close. King has found success by locating and commanding his three-pitch arsenal well, especially his low to mid-90’s fastball that has late run and sink to it. However, the big strikeout numbers haven’t been there due to a lackluster duo of secondary pitches.
The added strikeouts this season can be attributed to a more developed slider, but that pitch still grades as above-average at best with the change-up being average without much movement. King’s ceiling isn’t overly high, but he might have the highest floor in the system and is a strong bet to emerge as a #4 starter.
6. Luis Medina, RHP, DOB: 5/3/99, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK): 36.0 IP, 6.25 ERA, 2.17 WHIP, 11.5 BB/9, 11.8 K/9, .239 AVG
Yes, you’re seeing that walk rate correctly. Medina walked 46 batters this season in 36 innings. Honestly, I struggled ranking Medina. He arguably has the best stuff in the entire system, but also probably the worst control. His fastball sits in the mid to upper-90’s with life and mixes in a plus hammer curve and an average changeup that usually sits 6-8 mph below his heater. The problem is, Medina can’t command any of them worth a damn. If he can learn to locate his pitches better, the 19-year-old Dominican native will skyrocket up prospect rankings. Remember the upside and cross your fingers that he figures it out. It would be a shame to see this arm go to waste. Though, if he’s moved to the bullpen, Medina could develop into one of the best closers in the game.
7. Roansy Conteras, RHP, DOB: 11/7/99, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A-/A): 63.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.5 K/9. .196 AVG
The soon to be 19-year-old Dominican native might not have the upside of his fellow countryman (Deivi Garcia), but has the higher floor of the duo. Contreras has a fluid and repeatable delivery that bode well for his future as a starter. There are similarities with he and Garcia’s arsenals. Contreras also features a mid-90’s fastball that is a tick or two higher than Garcia’s and a plus curveball with good depth that isn’t quite as effective as Garcia’s. His changeup, like most in this system, is fringy but projects as an average third pitch. Overall, the upside is a high floor, mid-rotation starter.
8. Trevor Stephan, RHP
2018 Stats (A+/AA): 124.1 IP, 3.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 10.1 K/9, .224 AVG
A big 6’5 right-hander, Stephan was cruising at High-A Tampa to start the season before experiencing some struggles with Double-A Trenton. In the one start of his I saw live, Stephan was working in the 91-95 mph range with arm side run and displayed an above-average to plus slider. That slider isn’t your prototypical mid to upper-80’s slider though, as Stephan was throwing it mostly around 80-82 and even got down into the upper 70’s with it at times. Still, it has good shape to it and should continue to be an above-average pitch for him moving forward. His changeup is inconsistent and not used often, but still projects to be an average offering. Stephan extends well and uses a 3/4 delivery. The upside here is a mid-rotation starter with a fairly high floor as well.
9. Antonio Cabello, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 11/1/00, ETA 2023
2018 Stats (RK): .308/.427/.522/.949, 9 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 10 SB, 14.1 BB%, 20.8 K%, 159 AB
Remember when I mentioned the Yankees success in the international market in the intro? Well, Cabello is a big reason for that statement. A converted catcher, Cabello’s defense isn’t anything special in the outfield. It’s 110% due to his bat and overall offensive upside that he’s already in my top-10 Yankees prospects. At the plate, Cabello’s swing is fluid from the right side with exceptional plate coverage and above-average raw power that should show up more consistently once he incorporates his lower half more. When he does, 20-25 home runs are very attainable due to the strength in his upper half. While his bat is intriguing, his speed tops it. Cabello is a plus-plus runner and should develop solid range in the outfield once he gets used to playing out there. This is a name likely to shoot up prospect rankings over the next couple of seasons.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, insane bat speed from Cabello, courtesy of my fellow prospector, Jason Woodell.
10. Garrett Whitlock, RHP, DOB: 6/11/96, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A/A+/AA): 120.2 IP, 1.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 9.1 K/9, .214 AVG
Whitlock screams innings-eating mid-rotation starter to me. He has a durable 6’5 frame with a repeatable and deceiving 3/4 delivery, and solid three-pitch assortment, featuring a mid-90’s fastball, above-average curveball, and an average changeup. Not much more to say.
11. Everson Pereira, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 4/10/01, ETA 2023
2018 Stats (RK): .263/.322/.389/.711, 8 2B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 8.2 BB%, 32.8 K%, 167 AB
Another good international signing by the Bronx Bombers. The 17-year-old Pereira won’t even be 18 until around the start of next season but already projects to have five average to plus tools. His defense in center is sound with a strong throwing arm and he’s shown the makings of a top of the order hitter at the plate, even if the numbers don’t hammer that statement home. Periera displays above-average contact skills but needs to work on his pitch recognition if he wants to bat high in the batting order. If he can do that, his speed and hit tool will make him an offensive weapon.
12. Domingo Acevedo, RHP, DOB: 3/6/94, ETA 2019
2018 Stats (A-/AA): 69.1 IP, 2.99 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 7.1 K/9, .222 AVG
Acevedo is a beast on the mound at 6’7 and 250 pounds and has the fastball to match. His delivery isn’t overly smooth but Acevedo has never had problems throwing strikes during his minor league career. What he does have problems with is staying healthy. He’ll be 25 on opening day and has one lone 100-plus inning season to his name. The stuff is there, but a bullpen role is looking more and more like the end result here.
13. Josh Stowers, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 2/25/97, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A-): .260/.380/.410/.790, 15 2B, 5 HR, 20 SB, 15.2 BB%, 23.4 K%, 200 AB
A wide range of grades on his tools makes Stowers an intriguing prospect to monitor. Most of the intrigue around Stowers is from his plus speed and advanced plate approach. During his three-year tenure at Louisville, Stowers racked up 60 steals without being caught and walked more than he struck out. Both of those strengths carried over into the short-season Midwest League after Seattle drafted him in the 2nd round back in June. Stowers has made gains at the plate over the last 12-18 months, shortening his swing and using the whole field more. With his revamped swing and average to above-average contact skills, Stower should be able to hit for a respectable average moving forward with a fairly high OBP to go along with it and double-digit pop.
14. Alexander Vargas, SS, Bats: S, DOB: 10/29/01, ETA 2023
2018 Stats: Did Not Play
A switch-hitter from the Dominican Republic, Vargas was one of the top shortstops available in the last J2 period and the Yankees swooped in and signed him for $2.5 million. Vargas shows a good feel for hitting from both side and budding raw power, especially from the right side. He’s exceptionally quick, both on the bases and at shortstop where he displays good range and a strong throwing arm.
15. Anthony Seigler, C, Bats: S, DOB: 6/20/99, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK): .266/.379/.342/.721, 3 2B, 1 HR, 0 SB, 14.7 BB%, 12.6 K%, 79 AB
He might not have as much power as the catcher below him, but Seigler has the much more advanced hit tool. It’s not that close either. Seigler makes a ton of contact and has incredible plate coverage. The power is below average, but Seigler has enough strength to reach double-digits annually. Defensively, he has a strong throwing arm and projects as an above-average catcher.
16. Josh Breaux, C, Bats: R, DOB: 10/7/97, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK/A-): .269/.289/.352/.641, 9 2B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 3.5 BB%, 18.4 K%, 108 AB
Back to back catchers Eric? How dare you! I know, but hey, they’re both quality catchers, what can I say? Breaux possesses two plus tools that should make him a backup catcher at the very least. Those being a strong throwing arm and plus raw power. The hit tool needs some work, though, if he wants to become a starting backstop in the Majors.
17. Luis Gil, RHP, DOB: 6/3/98, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (RK/A-): 46.0 IP, 1.96 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 6.1 BB/9, 13.3 K/9, .190 AVG
If I was certain that Gil would remain a starter long term, he’d be several spots higher on this list. With a fastball in the upper-90’s and a hammer curve, Gil has the upside of a dominant reliever, but the hope is that he can develop some sort of a changeup and harness his control. He’s still only 19, so there’s plenty of time for that to happen.
18. Albert Abreu, RHP, DOB: 9/26/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (RK/A+/AA): 72.2 IP, 5.20 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, 9.2 K/9, .241 AVG
Welcome to the “he’s got good stuff, but will likely end up in the bullpen” part of these rankings. Abreu has three above-average or better pitches but struggles with command issues and location. His fastball is straight and too hittable at times and his off-speed pitches lack consistency. I’m also not a fan of his delivery which adds to the notion that his future is as a reliever.
— Mike Rosenbaum (@GoldenSombrero) November 7, 2017
19. Ryder Green, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 5/5/00, ETA 2022
2018 Stats (RK): .203/.316/.392/.708, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 11.6 BB%, 36.8 K%, 79 AB
The Yankees third-round pick this past June carries an intriguing offensive profile. Most noteworthy is his plus raw power. He popped three home runs in his first 79 professional at-bats and projects as a 25-plus home run threat in Yankee Stadium. However, he needs to work on his pitch selection and plate coverage if that’s going to happen.
20. Matt Sauer, RHP, DOB: 1/21/99, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A-): 67.0 IP, 3.90 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, .236 AVG
Alright, back to the pitchers. Well, Sauer improved his control in 2018 but missed fewer bats. Fair trade-off. Sauer is a tall right-hander with a not-so-clean delivery. The type of delivery that will push him to the bullpen if not cleaned up. If he can clean that up, Sauer has the upside of a mid-rotation starter thanks to his mid-90’s fastball, high-spin curve with good break, and a serviceable changeup.
21. Dermis Garcia, 3B/1B, Bats: R, DOB: 1/7/98, ETA 2021
2018 Stats (A): .241/.320/.444/.764, 17 2B, 15 HR, 3 SB, 9.9 BB%, 30.6 K%, 324 AB
Garcia possesses two plus tools in his plus raw power and strong throwing arm that will likely carry him to the Major Leagues. How good of a Major Leaguer he becomes rests solely on his hit tool and if he can cut down on his aggressive approach.
22. Chance Adams, RHP, DOB: 8/10/94, ETA Debuted in 2018
2018 Stats (AAA): 113.0 IP, 4.78 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 4.6 BB/9, 9.0 K/9, .236 AVG
2018 Stats (MLB): 7.2 IP, 7.04 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 4.7 K/9, .267 AVG
Remember when Chance Adams was one of the top Yankees prospects? I’m getting really tired of repeating myself here, but Adams is destined for the bullpen. And not as a high octane closer either. Adams sits in the low 90’s, doesn’t have a consistent changeup, and lacks a solid breaking ball. He just seems to be regressing in his development instead of progressing.
23. Thairo Estrada, 2B/SS, Bats: R, DOB: 2/22/96, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A+/AAA): .192/.210/.231/.441, 3 2B, 0 HR, 0 SB, 0.0 BB%, 21.0 K%, 78 AB
The 2018 calendar year has been quite the ride for Estrada. He was shot in the hip during a potential robbery and missed a bunch of time with a back injury. In between all that he managed to sneak in 18 games without much to show for it. Estrada is a plus defender, capable of playing second base or shortstop right now in the Majors. His above-average speed gives him good range and he has a strong throwing arm on top of that. At the plate, ht has minimal power but makes enough contact to hit .270 or above.
24. Nick Nelson, RHP, DOB: 12/5/95, ETA 2020
2018 Stats (A/A+/AA): 121.2 IP, 3.55 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 10.7 K/9, .216 AVG
What do you know, another future bullpen arm. They seem to grow on trees in this system. The man I’ve called “Nasty Nicky” features a mid-90’s heater and hammer curve, but that’s about it. His command is suspect and a decent changeup is nowhere to be found.
25. Kevin Alcantara, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 7/12/02, ETA 2024
2018 Stats: DID NOT PLAY
Yes, that’s a 2002 birth year. Yes, I’ll likely have gray hair by the time Alcantara comes up, but I couldn’t help myself. The tools Alcantara possesses are tools dynasty league owners salivate over Plus speed and the potential to hit for both power and average don’t come around every day. Alcantara has a knack for barreling up the ball and makes a ton of hard contact with solid loft to his swing. It will be interesting to see how he handles his first taste of professional baseball in the United States.
Others to Monitor
Freicer Perez, RHP – When it comes to the potential range of outcomes, Perez’s range is the highest on this list. The reason why is his shaky control. Perez throws in the mid to upper-90’s and has flashed three above-average to plus secondary pitches but is wildly inconsistent with them all which gets him into jams. He looks like a future bullpen arm to be, especially if the command doesn’t improve.
Anthony Garcia, OF – Garcia is a mammoth at that plate with elite raw power to match. The hit tool and plate discipline, however, are miles away and needs a ton of refinement if he wants to put that raw power to good use. The 10.6 BB% is nice but gets vastly overshadowed by the massive strikeout rate. Two main problems that have led to that strikeout rate are his long swing and pull-happy nature. He’ll need to short up his stroke and learn how to handle pitches on the outer half if he ever wants to hit for a respectable batting average.
Isiah Gilliam, OF – Plus power but struggles with pitch recognition and plate coverage.
Glen Otto, RHP – Another right-hander with a plus fastball and curve, but no command or usable change-up. Future high-leverage bullpen arm.
Nolan Martinez, RHP – A projectable right-hander with two above-average to plus pitches and decent control. Just needs to develop his changeup more to become a back-end rotation arm.
Brandon Wagner, 3B – Strong left-handed power bat with good loft that is a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium. However, his overall hit tool and contact skills need a ton of work and his swing isn’t direct through the strike zone.
Ezequiel Duran, 2B – Love the bat speed, hate the plate discipline. If Duran can work on his approach at the plate, he’ll shoot up these rankings.
Osiel Rodriguez, RHP – Rodriguez just signed with the Yankees this summer and is one to keep an eye on moving forward He features a mid 90’s fastball and a deceptive delivery.
Other Team Prospect Reports
All other team top-25 prospect rankings can be found here.
Eric Cross is the lead MLB writer and prospect analyst here on FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.Photo/Video Credit: Jason Woodell, Chris Welsh, and Mike Rosenbaum.