• Yankees Batting Prospects

    Posted by on October 27th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    I usually try and stay away from this – as it’s not my area of expertise. But, it’s still something that I thought would be fun to do – and to look back on, at a much later date.

    Below is my list of the Yankees top “position player” prospects in their organization. Note, for this list, in addition to excluding pitchers, I’m not including anyone who has already reached the majors – like Shelley Duncan, Alberto Gonzalez and Bronson Sardinha.

    1. Austin Jackson, OF
    2. Juan Miranda, 1B
    3. Francisco Cervelli, C
    4. Jose Tabata, OF
    5. Jesus Montero, C
    6. Colin Curtis, OF
    7. Bradley Suttle, 3B
    8. Brett Gardner, OF
    9. Mitch Hilligoss, 3B
    10. Carmen Angelini, SS
    11. Reegie Corona, SS
    12. P.J. Pilittere, C
    13. Prilys Cuello, 2B
    14. Seth Fortenberry, OF
    15. Eric Duncan, 1B
    16. Kyle Anson, C
    17. Austin Romine, C
    18. Justin Snyder, 2B
    19. Juan Francia, 2B
    20. Matt Carson, OF
    21. Josue Calzado, OF
    22. James Cooper, OF
    23. Edwar Gonzalez, OF
    24. Ramiro Pena, SS
    25. Don Hollingsworth, OF
    26. Cody Ehlers, 1B
    27. Taylor Grote, OF
    28. Abraham Almonte, OF
    29. Damon Sublett, 2B
    30. Chase Weems, C
    31. Brandon Laird, 3B/1B
    32. Braedyn Pruitt, 3B/1B
    33. Jose Pirela, SS
    34. Kelvin DeLeon, OF
    35. Justin Christian, OF

    Keep in mind that this was a “quick and dirty” attempt to list these prospects. Is there anyone that you would have included that I missed?

    Comments on Yankees Batting Prospects

    1. October 27th, 2007 | 12:09 pm

      Marcos Vechionacci?

      Sublett, Almonte & Romine are too low, and Jose Tabata’s still my #1 until he stops hitting, injury or not.

    2. brockdc
      October 27th, 2007 | 1:27 pm

      I realize Tabata suffered through injuries this year, but does he project to have decent power at any point?

    3. October 27th, 2007 | 1:35 pm

      I think you can make the case that Austin Jackson is the better prospect than Jose Tabata, but I don’t think you can make the case that Cervelli or Miranda are better.

    4. Bob R.
      October 27th, 2007 | 2:25 pm

      It is not a very impressive list. Aside from Gardner, himself a very iffy prospect, there is not one player from the top 10 who played a full season above A ball in 2007. Jackson has had one outstanding 1/2 season at A ball out of 2 full seasons. There are some 25-26 year old prospects on the list who are in AA ball and are not anything special there. The #6 player on the list, Colin Curtis, had a .298 OBP with 10 doubles and 3 Home Runs at AA in his 1/2 season there.

      In addition, I have not seen any of them crack the top 35 on any listing of top prospects. At BA, no Yankee minor leaguer makes the top 20 list at either the AA or AAA level and only 5 make any top 20 list: Tabata (9), Jackson (10), Cervelli (17) at A ball, Sublett (17) in the short season rookie league and Montero (2) in the Gulf Coast league. Everything I have read indicates Montero cannot remain at catcher.

      Naturally, minor leaguers often surprise (both ways), but the Yankees have a lot of work ahead of them to find non-pitching prospects.

    5. sju38621
      October 27th, 2007 | 3:36 pm

      I’m assuming Alberto Gonzalez is never projected to miss (unless I didn’t see him).

      Anyway, to thread-jack a little bit, ESPN is saying that we’re going to offer A-Rod a five year extension for around 30M per…

    6. sju38621
      October 27th, 2007 | 3:39 pm

      And now I see Alberto Gonzalez in the top paragraph, my bad..

    7. dan
      October 27th, 2007 | 3:44 pm

      Eric Duncan can’t be below Pilittere, who profiles as a backup catcher at best. Tabata is either #1 or #2 depending on who you ask. Colin Curtis shouldn’t be in the top 15. I’ve been following the system for a long time and honestly don’t even know who James Cooper is. Braedyn Pruitt and Sublett need to be moved way up too. Chad Jennings isnt an expert on the low-level guys, but he has hilligoss as the 6th best third basemen in the system, not anywhere close to #9 overall. Not sure if this is based on production or potential, seems to be both randomly dispersed.

      I’m gonna assume you just forgot about Vechionacci, he’s one of the the best 3rd base prospect in the system even with my anti-vech inclination

    8. DownFromNJ
      October 27th, 2007 | 4:13 pm

      Absolutely no offense intended Steve, but from one Yankee blogger to another, stick to your day job :)

      (and take a look at Colin Curtis)

    9. Don
      October 27th, 2007 | 4:34 pm

      Austin Jackson is clearly number one on such a list. He had a wonderful second half in high A ball and is playing very well in Hawaii. That Jackson is a talent should not be a surprise, BA had him as the top 14-and-under and then the top 16-and-under player in America.

      Tabata is another matter. His lack of power, with the hamate bone trouble as a possible excuse, is worrisome. But there are other signs too, running speed has already declined, thickening of his lower body, a weight problem that forced the organization to have him show up early every day when the team was home.

    10. October 27th, 2007 | 5:55 pm

      ~~~Marcos Vechionacci~~~

      I know he’s young, still, but, the last 3 years have turned me off him. I don’t think the stick is there.

    11. October 27th, 2007 | 6:01 pm

      ~~~and take a look at Colin Curtis~~~

      I know, he stalled at Double-A this year. But, there’s something about his batting eye and contact rate that tell me he could be a big leaguer someday.

    12. October 27th, 2007 | 6:05 pm

      ~~~Eric Duncan can’t be below Pilittere, who profiles as a backup catcher at best. ~~~

      But, P.J. may make the majors, to stick, even as a back-up, before Duncan ever does…that’s my logic.

    13. October 27th, 2007 | 10:07 pm

      ~~~I’ve been following the system for a long time and honestly don’t even know who James Cooper is.~~~

      He was drafted in 2005 – an OF – a repeater at Charleston this year – but he did well there – albeit at an age that’s old for that league.

    14. Bob R.
      October 28th, 2007 | 8:08 pm

      I find this a very depressing list. Assuming the best, that the Yankees re-sign Posada, Abreu and A-Rod, I think it fair to say that the following positions are questionable as early as next year:
      C: Posada is terrific, but he will be 37 next August and is coming off a career year. His defense is adequate, and the offense is bound to decline some, and as a catcher, possibly precipitously.
      1B: The Yankees do not have a first baseman who is better than major league replacement level.
      DH: Giambi looks cooked. There is nobody else worth considering.
      LF: Matsui is showing signs of decline. His defense is weak, his power is ordinary at best for a corner and he is increasingly prone to injury.
      CF: Damon is no longer a center fielder and despite his late season resurgence also appears both fragile and in decline, whether as a player or a DH. Cabrera is increasingly looking like a superior 4th outfielder. He is fine defensively, but not very productive offensively.
      RF: Abreu seems also to be aging, increasingly vulnerable to long slumps and with inferior power for a corner.

      That is 6 of 9 positions where the Yankees are vulnerable to declining play. Given their ages and fragility, it is possible for a collective collapse, and even an optimistic projection has to consider 2 or 3 lineup holes as likely. Even if all play at their current pace, there is exactly one serious power threat (A-Rod) in the offense, and he can hardly be expected to repeat his prowess of 2007. Unless Miranda or Montero are ready sooner than expected, and even then both are 1B/DH types, there is no obvious power in the system who might help next year or even in 2009. Even the Yankees cannot fill that kind of void from free agency and or trades. And who is tradeable except for the young pitching, which is pretty much too valuable to let go?

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