New York Yankees: Top 24 Yankee prospects, one is taller than Aaron Judge

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

The New York Yankees have plenty of arms in the system, in no small part because they seem to coax more velocity out of young pitchers than any other organization. They also have a wave of Latin American prospects coming. In recent years they’ve done more with less and hit on a few high draft picks, too. Other than Jasson Dominguez, Oswald Peraza, and Anthony Volpe, the Yankee’s area of weakness with prospects is having power hitters. It is unusual for the Yankees, but they seem focused on pitching and contact hitters rather than the power guys.

To qualify for these rankings, a player must still be eligible for the rookie of the year award in 2021, which means they may not have more than 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days on an active roster heading into the season. The rankings are by Keith Law of The Athletic.



The first number is the Yankee’s number, and the second the top 100 MLB number in the listing.

1-48 Clarke Schmidt RHP

Clarke Schmidt is the New York Yankees’ number one prospect. Schmidt in spring training and summer camp dazzled manager Boone and other coaches. He, like Deivi Garcia, made his Major League debut last season. Schmidt made three appearances for the Yankees in 2020, two in relief and one as a starter. In the Majors, Schmidt had hiccups with unusual wildness resulting in no record. Should any pitcher in the Yankee rotation becomes injured, expect to see Schmidt on the mound at Yankee Stadium.

2-66 Jasson Dominguez OF

Jasson Dominguez is a powerhouse of a seventeen-year-old. He walks, talks, and acts like a man much older. He has a massive body for a young man. If all the scouts and hype are correct, he will become a big star outfield for the Yankees, but probably not until he develops further. It is not likely that he will show up at Yankee Stadium before he turns 20 years old.

3-81 Deivi Garcia RHP

Garcia made his Major League debut last season, going 3-2 in six games with an ERA of 4.98. This season, Garcia has a chance to be the anchor in the pitching rotation but more likely will start the season in Scranton Wilkes/Barre due to his elevated ERA this past season. If he isn’t there for the opening day, he surely will be at the Stadium at some point in the season.

4-NR Luis Medina RHP

Medina just missed an MLB rating. He is a great athlete with quite an arm and delivery. He can hit 99 mph but has trouble throwing strikes. In 2019 he walked 70 guys with 27 wild pitches in just over 103 innings. If he can put together a whole season building on his recent success, he could be a top 50 prospect at the worst.

5-NR Oswald Peraza SS

Peraza was signed in the international free-agent market in 2014. He is a very athletic shortstop with plus speed. Still very young, he is still growing into his body; the New York Yankees are hoping for big things from Peraza at some point.

6. Luis Gil, RHP

Gil is probably a reliever in the end but will continue to develop as a starter for now, with a dominant fastball in the upper 90s that could miss bats the way Chad Green’s does. He has the body to start and could end up in that role, but his secondary pitches will have to be developed.

7. Austin Wells, C

The Yankees’ first-round pick in 2020 was a bat-first college guy with the potential for a plus-hit tool. He’s a pull-oriented guy, but there’s nothing in the swing that says he can’t use the whole field. He’s probably not a catcher in the long run; if scouts thought he had even a 20 percent chance to catch, I would have put him in the top 100.

8. Yoendrys Gomez, RHP

Gomez sat at 94-95 mph as a starter for most of 2019, touching 98 mph with high spin, before wearing down in August, showing an average curveball and the potential for an average changeup as well. His delivery works well, and I like him as a potential three-pitch starter with no worse than average command.

9. Alexander Vizcaino, RHP

Vizcaino has been up to 99 mph with a plus-plus changeup, and the Yankees added him to the 40-man roster this winter. He’s a starter for now but could probably pitch in the big-league pen right now if need be. To remain a starter, he needs to find or develop a better breaking ball than his present slurvy slider.

10. T.J. Sikkema, LHP

Sikkema has barely pitched since the Yankees made him their competitive balance round selection in 2019, as they limited his work after he signed that summer, then had him pitch only a little in spring training last year, so he spent some time in the spring as a DoorDash driver while waiting to see if there’d be a season. He did work on his conditioning, at least, but we have to see him in games. Before the draft, he showed three pitches, up to 96 mph with a slider and changeup, showing excellent feel to pitch, working to both sides of the plate and changing speeds, and even sometimes his arm slot to get hitters out.

11. Ezequiel Duran, 2B

Duran is listed at just 5-foot-11, but the Dominican infielder, who signed for only $10,000 in 2017, produces very high exit velocities and legitimate line-drive power in games. There are swing-and-miss issues here, and his fringy arm might limit him to second base despite speed and hands that would play at short. The Yankees praise his work ethic, and he should get the most out of his tools, so he’s one to watch once we get these guys back on the field. A modest cut to his strikeout rate would mean a substantial boost to his long-term projections, making him a potential regular at second or above-average regular at short.

12. Estevan Florial, OF

Florial has been all sizzle and no steak — he has tools to rival guys in the global top 50, but he doesn’t recognize pitches and has had huge swing-and-miss issues, exacerbated by some unfortunate injuries to his hand and wrist in 2018-19. He has plus-plus power, can run and defend, and has bat speed, but he’s going to have to show better pitch identification at least to get to any of those tools. Florial was once the New York Yankees top prospect.

13. Kevin Alcantara, OF

Alcantara is still just 18 years old — he won’t turn 19 until July — but has been in the system for two and a half years, debuting in pro ball in 2019 and playing in the Yankees’ Dominican instructs last fall. He’s 6-foot-5 and has long strides to give him plus speed once underway, with good reads in center field to project as an above-average to plus defender there in time. His bat is behind, although his swing is reasonably short for someone with levers this long.

14. Albert Abreu, RHP

Abreu threw about 20 innings in 2020 between two major-league appearances and five starts in winter ball. He averaged 96.4 mph on his four-seamer in the big leagues but threw so many of them in the heart of the zone that hitters hammered the pitch, and he barely even used the curveball that at least used to be his best off-speed pitch.

15. Antonio Gomez, C

Gomez is an outstanding catch-and-throw prospect who impressed the Yankees in their Dominican instructs program this fall. He has strong hands and good rotation in his swing for future power as well, but the 19-year-old has just 57 pro-at-bats, all in 2019, in his career because of the shutdown.

16. Ken Waldichuk, LHP

The Yankees’ fifth-round pick in 2019, Waldichuk went from 90-91 mph that year to touching 98 mph in workouts this past summer, and he already had a solid-average curveball and above-average control. His delivery had the effort to it in college, but he should at least go out as a starter with the velocity spike and see if he can sustain that.

17. Anthony Seigler, C

Seigler has been snakebitten since the New York Yankees took him in the first round in 2018, suffering a concussion, a fractured kneecap, and strains to a hamstring and a quad muscle in just two-plus years in pro ball. He’s a switch-hitter and was a switch-pitcher in high school, with a strong arm and above-average receiving skills, but he hasn’t hit at all in pro ball and needs at-bats if he’s going to develop as a hitter.

18. Anthony Volpe, SS

Volpe was the Yankees’ first-round pick in 2019, despite a relative lack of tools on either side of the ball, based on their belief that he will end up with a plus hit tool because of his intelligence and instincts. He’s not a shortstop and doesn’t project to power or plus speed, so he has to hit, but like so many other prospects drafted or signed in the last year or two, he needs at-bats.

19. Josh Smith, SS

Smith was the New York Yankees’ second-round pick in 2019, with solid-average tools all around but nothing plus, although he did hit well as a junior at LSU and Staten Island after the draft. If he stays at shortstop, he probably has a utility infielder floor.

20. Beck Way, RHP

Way is a projectable, athletic right-handed starter heading to LSU from junior college had the Yankees not signed him as their fourth-round pick. He has good deception in his delivery and projects to have several solid-average offerings as he fills out. Given the Yankees’ history of helping pitchers add velocity, he’s a name to watch.

21. Hyden Wesneski RHP

Wesneski hit 100 mph with the short-season Staten Island Yankees in 2019. The Yankees selected him in the sixth round in 2019. He, like other minor leaguers, did not pitch in 2020.

22. Daniel Bies RHP

The Yankees picked Bies in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. He can look down on Aaron Judge. Bies is a giant at 6 foot 9 inches and 245 pounds. He has pitched for six Yankee minor league teams getting as high as high A Tampa in the past three seasons.

23. Trevor Hauver

The New York Yankees picked Hauver in the third round of the 2020 draft. He is a left-fielder that throws and bats from the left. He is from Arizona State. The Yankees plan to convert him to a second baseman.

24. Everson Pereira

The 19-year-old Venezuelan hit .263 for the Pulaski Yankees but took a step backward in 2019 with the short-season Staten Island Yankees hitting just .171. Ranked as the 5th best international talent going into the 2017 IFA pool, he is still young with plenty of time to develop.

2021 impact

García is already in the rotation right now. However, there is competition for those last two spots depending on the health of various other candidates. Schmidt is a rotation candidate for later in the season if the need arises. Abreu could appear in the bullpen, but I doubt he starts the Yankees after their offseason acquisitions.

These are only the New York Yankees’ top prospects, they have a total of 178 minor league players that hope to someday play at Yankee Stadium. With the Minor League contraction this year the Yankees have two fewer teams, so all of these players will fight for playing time making the competition even greater.

 

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