Last year the New York Yankees did something they haven’t done in over a decade, they were sellers at the deadline. With that in mind, the Yankees traded away big names like Carlos Beltran, Aroldis Chapman, and Andrew Miller. The surprise of these trades was at the time New York still had a chance of making the Wild Card spot, they had a record of 50-48 and were only 4 1/2 games out of the last Wild Card spot and they always sat at the buyer’s table. However, insiders and Brian Cashman knew that the Yankees, even if they made the WC were not a contender, at least not with Toronto and Boston dominating the East and the fact that they were battling six other teams for a spot, this team also just went through some emotional transitions in the past few years, with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera retiring ending an era in the Bronx, but who were they going to pass the torch to? The Yankees have already had success with a number of prospects who play for the team now such as Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Jordan Montgomery, and Louis Severino. Since Judge and Sanchez came into the league they have done nothing but put up all star numbers, Severino has bounced back nicely from a rough 2016 and Montgomery has come from nowhere to win the fifth starter spot in the rotation. These are the guys that made the team this year and so far have helped turn the Yankees into one of the top teams in the American League, so with that in mind I’m not going to include them in my list of top Yankee prospects, it doesn’t look like any of them will be sent to the minors any time soon and should probably start looking for apartments in the New York area if they already haven’t. Here’s a list of five Yankee prospects that have yet to put on the pinstripes, but could be the key to another World Series or the start of another Dynasty.
Gleyber Torres ss/2B
[the_ad id=”384″]Torres was acquired by the Yankees in the Chapman deal and the main piece New York was looking for, He became the youngest everArizona fall league MVP hitting .403 with an OPS of 1.158. This 20-year-old future superstar has the potential to be the next Derek Jeter. Scouts are very impressed with his quick hands and plate vision. although he only has average speed Gleber has the potential to be a 20 plus home run hitter. He has great range and as he develops and gets stronger his arm should be more than strong enough for the SS position, however with Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro taking up the SS and 2B positions look to see Torres play some games at third in the minors. Ever since coming to the States from Valenzuela he has done nothing but succeed, at 18 he was the class A Midwest League top prospect and helped Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach win the Carolina League Championships in 2015. Expect to see Torres with the big club late this year and challenge for a full-time job in 2018. He ranks #2 in Baseballs top 100 prospects. A shoulder injury has slowed him down this year but it’s not expected to be anything serious.
- 2016 stats: 125 GP, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 21 SB, .270 Avg .775 OPS
- 2017 stats (AA): 10 GP, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, .237 Avg, .341 OPS
Clint Frazier OF
The 22-year-old Frazier was another prospect that Cashman cashed in on during last year trade line and was a part of the Andrew Miller deal with Cleveland. Clint was drafted 5th overall in the 2013 draft and was the first high school player picked. His bat speed and raw power are the highlights of his swing however he does have issues with the breaking ball and needs to tone down his aggressiveness at the plate, he started as a CF but moved to the corners last year where his speed and arm can be put to better use. Although he strikes out a lot he has the potential to hit for a solid average and hit 30 plus home runs a season. In his first year with the team, he helped the Yankees AAA affiliate Scranton/Wilkes- Barres when the international title. Like Torres expect to see Frazier in pinstripes late this year with probably a full-time position next year
- 2016 stats (minors): 119 GP, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 13 SB, .263 Avg, .782 OPS
- 2017 stats (AAA): 14 GP, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB, .224 Avg, .771 OPS
Jorge Mateo SS/2B
[the_ad id=”693″]At only 21 Mateo is probably the fastest player in the minors he stole a total of 82 bases in 2015 and although he dropped to only 36 last year he can reach first base in under four seconds. Speed is Jorge main forte, but he does have some pop and scout project that he could be a double digit HR guy, what he needs to work on is his plate discipline, where he tends to strikeout a lot, if he can improve on this look to see him hit around .280 with 12 – 15 HRs. He has very good arm strength but can be erratic in the field and tends to make a lot of errors, with the emergence of Torres Meteo will probably play more 2B and with his woes, at defense, you may see him become a CF. A future leadoff man looks to see Mateo battle for a spot on the Yankee roster in 2018.
- 2016 stats: 113 GP, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 36 SB, .254 Avg, .685 OPS
- 2017 stats (A+): 16 GP, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 10 SB, .238 Avg, .585 OPS
Justus Sheffield LHP
Sheffield was another piece acquired in the Miller trade that saw Frazier also join the Yankees, this 20-year-old lefty has a 94 mph fastball and has the makings of a top of the line starter, he has a smooth delivery and an above average curve (which he has now developed into a slider) and changeup. Justus lead the Low-Class A Midwest League in strikeout rating with a 9.7 per nine innings in his first pro year, bu saw his walk ratio jump from 2.7 to 3.8 in nine innings last year. Although he seems to have a very good delivery Sheffield needs to work on his command and polish his changeup so he can be a more effective hurler. He is ranked the #8 LHP in baseball’s top 10 and look to see him on the mound for the Yankees late 2018.
- 2016 stats: 25 GS, 125 IP, 10 W, 129 K, 1.28 WHIP
- 2017 stats (AA): 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 1 W, 11 K, 1.03 WHIP
Blake Rutherford OF
Rated the top High School player out of the 2016 draft the Yankees drafted Rutherford 18th overall, he helped the 18-and -under US team win the 2015 world cup in Japan and is said to be a rare talent by many scouts. He has a smooth left-handed swing a good eye at the plate and has the ability to hit for average and power and has the ability to use all of the field and could make for a good gap to gap hitter. Blake is only 19 and still has some work to do he has an average arm and is average defensively but his athleticism makes up for that, some scout has compared him to David Justice, look to see him become a corner outfielder but don’t expect him to be in the Show until around 2019.
- 2016 stats (Rookie League): 33 GP, 3 Hr, 12 RBI, .351 Avg, .986 OPS
- 2017 stats (A): 15 GP, 0 HR, 7 RBI, .309 Avg, .842 OPS