New York Yankees: Top 30 Prospect Breakdown

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are loaded with talent at the major league level, but there is still an abundance of talent throughout the farm. Players such as Sanchez, Judge, Bird and Severino have all had success in the majors and have become the core of players that the Yankees will build around.

These players were the fist wave of talent to be promoted, but the second wave of talent can prove to be even better. The work that Brian Cashman and the front office has done to build up the system is phenomenal.

This article will provide a breakdown of the top 30 prospects in the Yankees system based on the  MLB Pipeline rankings, and will also have my predictions of when they will debut.

The Prospects:

Gleyber Torres: Torres was acquired for Aroldis Chapman at the 2016 trade deadline. He is listed as the 5th best prospect in all of baseball for a reason. He has all the tools to be an elite caliber player.

Torres started off as a SS in the Yankees system, but has since seen playing time at 2nd and 3rd. Torres would have been called up last season if he did not get injured. He is an amazing hitter who posted a .287 AVG, 7 HR and 34 RBI in 55 games combined at both AA and AAA last year.

This small sample size shows the player he can be. His defense is solid. He is basically the total package. I predict he will be called up to the majors at some point this season and when he does he will show everyone how great he is.

Estevan Florial: Florial signed with the Yankees out of Haiti in 2015. He has tremendous raw power, elite speed and a terrific outfield arm. He is lefty bat that will play terrific in Yankee Stadium.

He has the speed to turn a single into a double and a double into a triple. Last season he played 110 games combined in Single A Charleston and Single A+ Tampa. He averaged .298, hit 13 HR, and drove in 57 RBI. He will begin the season in Double A Trenton and should be promoted to Scranton  by mid-season. I predict him to make his debut in 2019.

Justus Sheffield: Sheffield is the top rated pitcher in the Yankees system. He was acquired from the Indians, along with Clint Frazier, Ben Heller, and JP Feyeresin for Andrew Miller, at the same deadline that Torres was. Sheffield has 3 pitches he relies on.

His fastball averages between 92-97 mph, a slider that has been at times dominant and a changeup which is the lowest rated pitch of the 3. His size not a concern at all at 5’11’. Some project him as a number 3 starter, but I see him as an number 2.

He reminds me a lot of Johan Santana. He spent last season in Double A Trenton. He posted a 3.18 ERA, 7 W and 6 L. He missed the last two months last season because he strained his oblique. I predict he will make his debut this season at some point. I do not see him as an injury replacement but, as making his debut after the trading deadline to help with the post season push. He will begin the season in Triple A.

Miguel Andujar: There is so much I can say positive about Andujar. The ball jumps off of his bat and the power he possess is amazing. The most special thing about Andujar is his arm. He has a canon.

His defense needs work, but that is something that he has worked at and so far this spring he has looked good at 3rd. Last season he spent time in both Trenton and Scranton. He put up 16 HR, 82 RBI and a .315 average combined which for a 3rd baseman is incredible.

He made his debut for the Yankees against the White Sox on June 28th last season going 3-4 and driving in 4 RBI. He was then sent back down and recalled in September.  He will still be called up at some point this season and this time he will stay in the big leagues. I believe Andujar has all the talent in the world and will be the 3rd baseman for a longtime in the Bronx.

Albert Abreu: Abreu was acquired in the 2016 off-season for Brian McCann from the Astros. The continued dominance that Abreu has had proves that the Yankees got themselves a talented pitcher.

His three dominant pitches are a fastball that has sink and running action that sits between 93-98 mph and at times can reach 100 mph. His second pitch is a power breaking ball that at times looks like a curve and other times is considered a slider. His third pitch is a fading change-up that he can use as a strikeout pitch that will miss many bats.

Abreu spent last season on three of the Yankees farm teams. He pitched for the Yankees GCL team, Charleston and Tampa. Combined at these three levels he put up a 3.38 ERA, 2 W and 3 L in 19 starts. Look for him to most likely, start the year in Tampa and then move up to both Trenton and Scranton this season. At this time next spring he should be in the mix for a starting role in the Yankees rotation.

Chance Adams: Adams is someone I believe should have made his debut last season. The Yankees drafted Adams as a reliever, but have since turned him into a starter. This was an excellent decision because his career record since becoming a starter is 28-6 with a 2.86 ERA.

Last season in Scranton where he spent most of the season, he led the whole International League in opposing average which was .186. That is an impressive stat to go along with his combined stats of a 2.45 ERA, 15 W and 5 L in Trenton and Scranton. Adams features 4 pitches a fastball, slider, change-up and curve. His fastball is consistently 94  mph and his slider averages in the mid-80s The changeup is the pitch he needs to develop.

If he can develop the change-up into an average change that will make him an even more dominate pitcher. Adams 4th pitch is curve that is considered average. I fully expect Adams to debut in 2018 but, I think he should start out in the bullpen and then in 2019 become a full time starter for the Yankees.

Luis Medina: Medina is a name Yankee fans should get familiar with. At only 18 Medina has all the upside to become an elite MLB starter. Medina’s fastball is truly special, it averages between 95 and 100 mph and at times can get up to 102 mph.

His curveball features a fantastic spin rate and his change has split action that fools hitters. At only 18 Medina stills needs to gain command because he has been erratic a times. In 2017 he spent time in two of the Yankees rookie leagues, the DCL and in Pulaski.

He made 10 appearances combined and posted a 5.35 ERA with a record of 2 W and 2 L. Since he is so young and still needs to establish consistent command I think the earliest he will make it to the Bronx is 2021. If he can develop control maybe we could see him in 2020 but, look for him to debut in 2021.

Freicer Perez: Perez has impressed a lot of scouts and people in the Yankees system. Last year he played in his first full season league of pro-ball. He pitched only for Charleston last season in single A. Perez is a starter who possess a fantastic fastball that sits between 93-97 mph and can get up to 99 mph.

He is a big presence for opposing batters standing a 6’8. His size allows him to make his fastball because, of his length almost unhittable. Perez also has a plus changeup and curve that are viewed as good pitches. Perez has also developed a hard slider which looks promising.

Look for Perez to begin the season in Tampa and probably get promoted to Trenton this season. He will most likely become an option for the Yankees to use in 2019 towards the middle of the season.

Domingo Acevedo: Acevedo finally had a healthy season last year after dealing with injuries throughout the beginning of his career. He stands at 6’7” and similar to Perez he is a force on the mound. As a starter he posted a career high 133 innings last year while pitching for Tampa, Trenton and Scranton.

Acevedo had a 3.25 ERA, 6 W and 6 L throughout all 3 levels of the Yankees system. Acevedo’s fastball ranges from 93-97 mph which sometimes can get up to 102 mph. He averages a high amount of strikeouts because of his low three-quarters delivery.

He also features a mid-80s slider and a changeup that he locates extremely well. I personally think that like Adams, and unlike Sheffield, Acevedo will be brought up as a reliever this season. Acevedo is another pitcher in the Yankees system with huge upside.

Thairo Estrada: Estrada is the Yankees 3rd best infielder in the system. He is a great defender and an offensive threat. He is a natural SS but, like Torres he has seen a lot of time at 2nd and 3rd.

He is overlooked by many people because of Torres and Andujar but, he should not be. Last season at just 21 he challenged for the Eastern League batting Championship. He played 2017 solely in Trenton where he posted a 310 AVG, 6 HR and 38 RBI.

I would expect to see Estrada at some point this season but, that no be totally possible. He was the victim of robbery attempt before Spring Training in his native Venezuela, that resulted him him getting shot in the hip. Luckily Estrada was not seriously injured. I expect Estrada to begin the season whenever that is as he recovers in Scranton and then be called up in September to the Bronx.

Dillon Tate: Tate has completely reversed who he was when the Yankees acquired him from the Rangers for Carlos Beltran at the 2016 Trade Deadline.

When acquired from the Rangers the former #1 pick of the Rangers was having control issues and consistency problems. The Rangers had him change his mechanics but, the Yankees allowed him to revert back to what he did in college and that is how he found success again. His fastball can get up to 98 mph but, averages between 93-95 mph.

Tate also has a solid two-seam, hard slider and changeup. There is some uncertainty as to whether Tate will be a starter or a reliever. Last season in Tampa and Trenton, Tate posted a 2.81 ERA, 7 W and 2 L. Tate should begin the season in Trenton and then hopefully if he continues to develop at a good rate will be in Scranton mid-season and then the Bronx late in the season or definitely next year in 2019.

Matt Sauer: Sauer was drafted last season by the Yankees 54th overall in the 2nd round. Sauer is a staring pitcher who has a fastball that averages between 92-95 mph and can get up to 97 mph. Sauer also has a curve, slider and changeup in his arsenal. The Yankees want him to further develop his curve and also work to use his changeup more. He made 6 appearances for the Yankees GCL West team and posted a 5.40 ERA with 0 W and 2 L. I project that Sauer will begin the season in Staten Island. The earliest I believe that Sauer will take the mound in the Bronx is 2020 because he is only 19 and needs to develop into a good pitching option for the Yankees.

Clarke Schmidt: Schmidt was taken 16th overall in the 1st round of the draft last season. There was a risk taking him because he underwent Tommy John last April. Before he was injured in College Schmidt was throwing a fastball at a rate of 92-94 mph and topping out at 96 mph.

Schmidt also has a slider, curve and changeup in his arsenal. His two off speed pitches can be dominant but, he showed a lack of consistency in college throwing them. When he finally takes the mound this season I think he will begin in Staten Island and he will work a lot on using his off speed pitches to further develop them. I do not think he will be a legitimate option for the Yankees until 2020.

Jonathan Loaisiga: Loaisiga is someone who the Giants cut in 2015 after injuries in his first two seasons. The Yankees signed him after a tryout in 2016 and are happy they did. His injury problems continued with the Yankees, he only made 1 start in 2016 before needing Tommy John.

Upon returning last season he made 11 starts between the GCL West and East teams and also Staten Island. In his 11 starts Loaisiga pitched to a 1.38 ERA, 1 W and 1 L. Loaisiga is 5’11” and 165 pounds but throws his fastball at an impressive rate between 93-96 mph and can top out at 98 mph.

Loaisiga features a curve and changeup to. Loaisiga’s biggest problem is health and if can stay healthy he has the talent to become a productive major leaguer. Expect Loaisiga to begin the season in Charleston and to make his way possibly up to Trenton this season. Towards the end of 2019 is when Loaisiga should be considered an option for the Yankees.

Trevor Stephan: Stephan was the Yankees 3rd pick last season and was selected 92nd overall. In his first season in pro ball Stephan posted impressive numbers. Last season Stephan had a 1.31 ERA, 1 W and 1 L in games for both the GCL East team and Staten Island.

He had a 44 strikeout to 6 walk ratio last season which is an amazing stat. He strikes out batters with his fastball that sits between 90-95 mph and can get up to 97 mph. He features running action on his fastball which creates a lot of deception.

Stephan secondary pitches are a slider/cutter combo and a changeup. I can see Stephan becoming a pitcher similar to Chad Green. I believe Stephan will find his success in the Yankees bullpen beginning in 2020. He will begin the season in Charleston and make it up to Trenton if everything goes right his season.

Deivi Garcia: Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 Garcia is still a young guy with tremendous upside. He is small at 5’10” but, according to MLB Pipeline the spin rate he generates on his fastball and curve are the best in the Yankees system.

Between 15 and 16 Garcia posted a 2.99 ERA, 146 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings. That is truly incredible for such a young pitcher. Garcia continued his success in 2017 by posting a 3.30 ERA, 6 W and 2 L between DSL Yankees, GCL West Team and Pulaski.

Garcia’s best pitch is his curve and has topped 96 mph on his fastball but, averages in the low 90’s. He is also developing a fading curve. He slashed his walk rate per nine innings from 6.0 to 2.9 last season. I project Garcia to start the season in Charleston and make it up to Tampa this season. Do not expect to see Garcia until 2021 the earliest but, I think 2022 is more likely.

Cody Carroll: Carroll is someone who excites me. I personally believe he could step into the Yankees bullpen right now and be elite that is how much upside I think he has. Carroll possess a fastball that is between 96-98 mph and can hit 101 mph.

Carroll is dominate because his breaking ball has slider velocity and curveball action. Carroll against lefties features a nasty splitter. Last season in between Tampa and Trenton,  Carroll posted a 2.54 ERA 3 W and 5 L. This season Carroll should begin the season in Scranton and will probably debut at some point this season.

He has all the tools with his pitches to become a dominant bullpen arm. He can very valuable to Yankees for a long time to come.

Domingo German: German made his debut last season for the Yankees on June 6th last season. He was acquired in 2015 in a trade that sent Martin Prado and David Phelps to the the marlins.

He missed all of 2016 due to Tommy John but came back strong last season which led to him seeing some big league action. German was a starter in the minors last season but, when he made his debut he only made relief appearances for the Yankees.

In the majors, he posted a 3.14 ERA, 18 K and 9 BB in 14.1 innings of work. In the minors where he started all of the games he posted a 2.88 ERA, 8 wins and 6 L. He pitched for both Trenton and Scranton last season. His velocity rose to 96 mph as a reliever in the majors but, as a starter he consistently hit 94 mph on his fastball.

His fastball has running and sinking action. The two other pitches German possess is a curve and a changeup. German will begin the season in Scranton. If there is an injury to the MLB bullpen or the Yankees need a fresh arm German will be the one of the guys along with Cessa and Heller who will be on the Scranton shuttle.

Billy McKinney: McKinney was traded twice before finding a home in the Yankees system. First traded from Oakland to the Cubs with Addison Russel and then traded to the Yankees with Torres for Chapman at the 2016 Trade Deadline.

McKinney gives the Yankees the option of having a nice lefty bat to insert in their lineup that will play well with the short porch. Being primarily an OF for his minor league career the Yankees have started to give McKinney reps at 1st Base.

He is a perfect guy to have to provide depth at 1st in case there is a need there. McKinney posted a .277 AVG, 16 HR and 64 RBI’s in 124 games between both Trenton and Scranton. At the end of the season in Scranton last season McKinney put together a slashline of .306/.336/.541 along with 10 HR in the final two months.

I predict McKinney will get his chance to debut this season. If not before September callups, he will for sure be a guy who gets the nod in September.

Glen Otto: Otto was drafted by the Yankees in last years draft in the 5th round at 152nd overall. Otto was a college reliever but, the Yankees want him to become a starter. Similar to Chance Adams the Yankees have high hopes for Otto.

When he was at college Otto’s fastball was between 92-95 mph and got up to 97 mph. His second pitch is a nasty curve that has 12-6 break. Because the Yankees want Otto to become a starter he will need more than two pitches. He will be developing a changeup this upcoming season a pitch he rarely used in college.

Last season, Otto saw time at both the Yankees GCL East and West teams as well, as Staten Island. He posted a 1.35 ERA, 3 W and 0 L. Otto most likely will begin the season in Staten Island but, look for him to make it to Charleston before the end of the season. The earliest that Otto will be in the Bronx I believe in 2021.

Nolan Martinez: Martinez is one of the youngest pitchers in the system. At only 19 the Yankees drafted him in the second round in 2016 out of High school. In his first two pro seasons he has only pitched in 20 2/3 innings. This is a problem that he is working at.

He has not fully developed physically yet and when he does Martinez is someone that Yankee fans will get to know. He appeared in 6 games last season at both the GCL East and Pulaski. He posted a 0.66 ERA, 0 W and 0 L. Martinez’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and has tremendous spin which makes it difficult for batters.

Martinez is also developing a curve and starting to use changeup. Martinez still has a long road to the Bronx. At only 19, I expect Martinez to be in the Bronx sometime in 2022.

Giovanny Gallegos: Gallegos made his MLB debut on May 12 last season. Gallegos was part of the Scranton Shuttle last year. He was called up 4 different times throughout the season. Gallegos posted okay numbers in 16 games last season in the Majors. He had a 4.87 ERA in 20.1 innings allowing 21 hits and giving up 3 HR.

His numbers in Scranton were much better, he put together a nice season. He had a 2.08 ERA, .179 AVG against, 69 K, and 5 SV. He gave up 3 HR and 28 hits in 43.1 innings. Becoming a full-time reliever Gallegos has risen his fastball velocity. His fastball sits between 93 and 96 mph. Gallegos also features a nice curve that has good spin action. His third pitch is a changeup that he uses not as frequently as he should.

Gallegos will not make the team on Opening Day, but he will definitely be one of the 1st guys the Yankees callup when they need a fresh arm in the bullpen.

Dermis Garcia: Garcia is an talented player who’s biggest asset is his raw power. Garcia has combined for 30 homers in 120 games the last two seasons. Garcia is a 3rd base prospect for the Yankees but, also started to take reps at 1st base last season.

Garcia has a fantastic arm but, has a history of making a lot of errors at 3rd.  In his minor league career Garcia has made 39 errors in 117 games. Defense is an area he needs to work at and if he can become a good defender and cut down his errors that will move him up on this list. Last season at Pulaski and Charleston Garcia posted a .249 AVG, 17 HR, and 45 RBI in 64 games.

Garcia should begin the season in Tampa and maybe if  he improves defensively can be promoted to Trenton towards the end of the season. Expect to see Garcia wearing the Pinstripes towards the end of the 2020 season or definitely in the 2021 season.

Everson Pereira: Pereira was given the biggest bonus by the Yankees last year when he was signed out of Venezuela at the age of 16. Pereira was given a nice bonus of 1.2 million for signing with the Yankees last season on July 2nd.

He did not play for any Yankees affiliate and is currently not assigned to any team. Pereira is an OF who will probably play CF when he begins his career in the minors. MLB pipeline says he has the potential to be a leadoff hitter because of his plus speed and his approach of hitting to all parts of the field. He is not known for power, but may develop gap power when he gets older.

He should make his debut this season in pro ball most likely in Pulaski. It will be a while before we see Pereira in the Bronx, but until then he has the potential to rise into the top 10 list of Yankees prospects over the next couple of years. The earliest we can expect to see Pereira is 2023.

Juan Then: Then was acquired along with J.P. Sears in a trade that sent Nick Rumbelow to the Mariners in November of this past year. Then has 3 pitches that he uses to attack batters. A fastball that sits between 90-94 mph, changeup that produces swing and misses and also a curve.

His curve is his most unreliable pitch but, when starts out the season look for the Yankees have Then place a focus on throwing his curve to further develop it. For Seattle’s DCL team Then posted a 2.64 ERA, 2 W and 2 L in 13 starts.

Then is 6’1” but that has not limited him from becoming a solid rotation option in a few years for the Yankees. I expect the earliest Then will be in the Bronx is 2022.

Tyler Austin: Austin deserves the chance to break camp with the Yankees this season. He has the perfect swing for Yankee Stadium. Austin has one of the most memorable debuts because he homered in his first at bat and Judge followed him with a homer of his own.

Austin has bounced back and forth between the Yankees and Scranton over the last two seasons. The big problem that has hurt Austin is how often he has been injured. He has been injured the last two seasons. He only played in 72 games combined in the majors and minors last season. In the minors Austin hit .286, 10 HR, and drove in 33 RBI in 52 games between Trenton and Scranton. Austin spent the majority of the season in Scranton.

In the MLB, Austin hit .225, 2 HR and 8 RBI in 20 games. Austin should begin the season in the Bronx in my opinion but, knowing Cashman because he signed Adam Lind, I would not be surprised if Austin begins the season in Scranton. When healthy Austin produces at a level that would allow him to start on many teams but, on the Yankees he is a solid guy to have on the bench to give Bird a chance to DH.

Canaan Smith: Smith was selected in the 4th round at 122nd overall as the first position player the Yankees selected in last years draft. Smith is an outfielder who bats from the left side. In his first season of pro ball Smith hit .289, 5 HR, and 28 RBI in 57 games for the GCL Yankees. An impressive stat that Smith had last year was a league high 46 walks, that is impressive for a rookie. His discipline at the plate along with his quick bat speed allows him to use the whole field when he’s at the plate. Smith has the talent to develop into a decent power hitter from the left side. Smith will be playing both corner outfield positions this season. Smith will begin the season in Staten Island I believe. The earliest I expect to see Smith in the Bronx is 2022.

Nick Nelson: Nelson was selected by the Yankees in the 2016 Draft in the 4th round as the 128th overall pick. Nelson pitched in his first full season of pro ball last season for Charleston. He put together a decent season posting a 4.56 ERA, 3 W and 12 L in 22 starts.

The start to Nelson’s season was not good as he posted a 6.34 ERA in his first nine starts, but rebounded in his last 13 starts with a 3.47 ERA. Nelson offers 2 solid pitches right now. A fastball which is the better of the two which sits between 92-97 mph and Nelson adds sink to make this pitch devastating for hitters. Nelson’s second pitch is a hard curve.

Nelson is trying to develop a changeup to use as his third pitch. Based on his numbers and command of two solid pitches I see Nelson becoming a bullpen option for the Yankees, even though for now the Yankees clearly want him to start. I predict that Nelson will take the mound in the Bronx during the 2021 season.

Trevor Lane: Lane was the selected in the 10th round of the 2016 Draft. He had a fantastic season in his first full season of pro ball. Lane posted a 1.52 ERA, 69 K, 15 BB and 3 SV’s between both Charleston and Tampa last year.

Lane’s walk rate in his first two seasons is an astonishing 2.1. Lane throws a fastball that averages between 92 and 97 mph. Lane also features a high-spin breaker that MLB Pipeline compares to a curve. Lane has earned praise for his changeup as well, which can be used to get batters out.

Lane was so dominate last season that he earned a non-roster invite to Spring Training for the Yankees this year. Look for Lane to begin the season in Trenton and if he continues his dominance as a reliever he should be promoted to Scranton this year. He has the possibility of being a September callup this year but, look for Lane to make his debut in 2019.

Ben Heller: Heller came over to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade. Heller was not the top prospect the Yankees received in the trade but, has shown in different stints with the Yankees he can be a solid reliever in the MLB. Heller spent a majority of the season last year in Scranton and only pitched in 9 games with the Yankees last year.

For Scranton Heller posted a 2.88 ERA, 82 K, 21 BB and 6 SV. Heller had a dominate season for Scranton and proved he has the stuff to contribute on daily basis. Heller throws a a fastball that sits between 94-97 mph, a slider that is between 82-85 mph and a changeup he sometimes uses. Heller was dominate in his nine games with the Yankees last season.

He put up a 0.82 ERA, 9 K, 6 W and 0 SV. The walks were a little high ,but besides that Heller was fantastic. Heller has an outside chance to make the Opening Day roster, and will probably begin the season in Scranton. Heller will definitely see big league action this year and can establish himself as a regular option for Aaron Boone to call on.