Yankees’ Newly Updated Prospect Watch List
With the New York Yankees’ recent trade of closer Aroldis Chapman and the acquisitions of four players in return, three minor leaguers, the 2016 prospect watch list has made a few moves. The seasonal list created by MLB.com features top thirty prospects in each organization for the season.
Prior to the recent trade, the Yankees’ top prospects were shortstop Jorge Mateo and outfielder Aaron Judge. Mateo is coming off a recent two-week suspension which is allegedly linked to him expressing his disappointment in not being promoted from High-A yet this season. As for Judge, he has suffered a slight setback with a minor knee injury before the All-Star break but, if he can get back to his hot hitting ways, he is expected to see the Bronx for the season closes.
Below is a list of the newly released list of the top five prospects in the New York Yankees’ organization.
- Gleyber Torres, SS
The newly acquired Torres is now the Yankees’ top prospect sliding the fellow shortstop Jorge Mateo to #2. He is a 19 year old shortstop phenom who was signed by the Chicago Cubs on July 2, 2013. Torres was hitting .275 with nine homers and 47 RBIs with High-A Myrtle Beach before being traded. Entering the 2016 season he was ranked as the eighth best shortstop prospect in baseball and the 24th best prospect in the top 100. He will report to High-A Tampa where he is said to be infield neighbors with Mateo.
2. Jorge Mateo, SS
The twenty-one year old entered the season as the top prospect in the Yankees’ organization but with the recent additions and an almost “underwhelming” performance so far this season, it seems that Mateo is still where he was at the start of the 2016 season. He is hitting just .258 with six homers and 36 RBIs and has gone just 3 for 21 since returning from suspension. His speed and athleticism however, above average and does keep him above the pack in compared to other young players. There is a concern about the thirty errors he made at shortstop last season which has allowed the Yankees to move him to second base at several occasions this season. With the acquisition of Torres, this could mean that Mateo will play more second base, especially with the two both playing in Tampa.
3. Aaron Judge, OF
The twenty-four year old Judge, who was previously ranked at number two, has the best chance of the any of the top five to make it to the big leagues this season, if not then definitely in 2017. Judge has spent the this season with Triple-A Scranton and has hit .261 while homering sixteen times and racking up 54 RBIs and five stolen bases. His power at the plate is what the Yankees have noticed most about him throughout his minor league journey. As an outfielder he spends most of his time at right field but can also play center and left if need be. In terms if prospects, Judge would be the obvious choice for the right field position if Carlos Beltran leaves.
4. Gary Sanchez, C
Fans and scouts alike assumed that the twenty-three year old Sanchez would have been Bronx bound by now, but things haven’t worked out that way. He competed with Austin Romine for the backup position to starting catcher Brain McCann this spring but with days remaining in spring ball was assigned to Triple-A Scranton. He did make his Major League debut this season as a designated hitter in just one game before being sent back to Scranton. He has had success at the plate this season, hitting .283 with ten homers and 47 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
5. Billy McKinney, OF
The twenty-one year old was originally drafted by the Oakland A’s in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft. He was dealt to the Cubs as part of the Jeff Samardzija trade in 2014. So far this season with the Double-A Tennesse Smokies he was hitting .252 with 31 RBIs and 75 hits in 88 games. In August 2015 his season ended early after suffering a hairline fracture to his right knee. As a new addition to the Yankees he will be assigned to Double-A Trenton.
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