Yankees ranked as the 6th best farm system in baseball by ESPN insider

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
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ESPN recently released its top-100 prospect list ahead of the 2024 season, placing six Yankees in the top 100, which is one of the highest totals for any team on their list. With their farm system beginning to emerge as one of the best in baseball, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN ranked the top farm systems in baseball, and the Yankees finished as the sixth-best organization in baseball. The Yankees finish behind only the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East, who recently used their top-ranked farm system to acquire Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Yankees boast one of the best collections of young talent in baseball, and they’re expected to bring up more young players this season as they look to contend for a World Series title.

Young Talent Emerging in the Yankees’ Farm System

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Yankees
Sep 9, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jasson Dominguez (89) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

A strong farm system helps a team remain sustainably great throughout years of contention, and the Yankees’ ability to identify young talent has come a long way. Their drafting throughout most of the 21st Century had been lackluster, but in recent years they’ve leaned towards a more data-centric approach and have found some quality pieces to add to their farm system. The two pitchers featured on ESPN’s top-100 from the Yankees’ organization were Will Warren and Chase Hampton, both of whom were drafted after the fifth round.

Both pitchers added a sweeping slider to boost their profiles during instructs with the team, and they could provide MLB value as soon as this season. Warren in particular is expected to carve out a role on this pitching staff in the near future, and he could be a valuable reliever or starter based on what the Yankees need. In Chase Hampton’s case, he’s one of the most talented pitching prospects that New York has had in its recent history. There’s a lot to love with their pitching development, but they also feature some heavy hitters on offense.

spencer jones, yankees
Vanderbilt right fielder Spencer Jones (34) hits a single against Texas A&M during the eighth inning at Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, April 28, 2022. Vandy Tam Base 042822 An 010

Spencer Jones impressed mightily with his raw athleticism and excellent defense in centerfield, and the premium defense at a premium position makes him highly valuable. The Yankees need to help him work on his bat-to-ball skills and ability to do damage in the air, but for the most part, he’s a player who could have nearly immediate MLB value thanks to the aforementioned defensive tools. The power is monstrous and he led all of Minor League Baseball in average exit velocity, I’m expecting some progression in his game power tool as he starts the season in Somerset.

Austin Wells is another left-handed prospect in the organization, but we’ve already seen him at the MLB level and there’s a lot to like early on. First and foremost he’s an excellent hitter, possessing good power and aggression at the plate while generating loft and pull in his swing. He’s perfect for the short porch in right field and is expected to become the Yankees’ starting catcher. Progression behind the plate has led to above-average defensive numbers at catcher despite concerns that he wouldn’t stick there.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Sep 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees catcher Austin Wells (88) runs to first base on a single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Roderick Arias has an excellent profile athletically and walked in 20% of plate appearances last year, displaying a great power-speed combination and impressing many in the Florida Complex League. A hand injury ended his season prematurely, but he still made enough noise to rank on both ESPN’s and Baseball America’s top 100 lists. Arias is the furthest away from any player ranked in the top 100 for the Yankees, but he could become their number-one prospect in the near future.

Jasson Dominguez is the player who headlines their farm system and rightfully so, he’s a tool shed with an excellent feel for the strike zone. Cutting his strikeout rate below 18% in the second half allowed him to surge into the Major Leagues all the way from Double-A, and there’s a very good chance that he ends up hitting in the top half of the Yankees’ lineup for a very long time. He’s a switch-hitter with enough power to get the ball out in any part of the ballpark, and the hit tool has finally come around.