This is the time of year where all the prospect lists start to come out and two notable compilations were posted this week. MLB.com’s list compiled by Jon Mayo came out Tuesday and Keith Law has been rolling out his work at ESPN all week.
It’s no secret that I’m not really a fan of MLB.com’s prospect list which is put together by Jon Mayo who essentially just polls scouts. Last year Montero ranked #19 which a lot of people reacted rather poorly to. This year there was a similar clamor when after many graduations from the list, Montero only moved up to #9. Here are the Yankees that popped up on Mayo’s list:
#9- Jesus Montero
#32- Gary Sanchez
#35- Manuel Banuelos
#52- Dellin Betances
Betances was included in the “just missed” category.
I tend to rely on Keith Law’s list more than others because he actually scouts these players himself. He’s also willing to ask other scouts about certain players just to get a variety of opinions or angles on a prospect. 5 Yankees made his top 100. Only Tampa Bay, Toronto and Kansas City had more players in the top 100. Below I included Law’s 2010 list just for comparison sake. Overall ranking is in parenthesis.
Law said that Austin Romine was a “just missed” guy as well and he noted there were several issues concerning his receiving skills. Personally I was pretty surprised by Banuelos at #12. Law does his rankings primarily on upside but I was still interested to see him ahead of names like Kyle Drabek and Jeremy Hellickson. McAllister’s awful year dropped him off the list completely and he’s not even on the top 10 Indians prospect list. I’ve never been a big fan of his so I was shocked by this. Stoneburner and Warren were both nice to see pop up. He also added this nugget in his Thursday chat:
Obviously that’s a real nice thing to hear.
Also on the prospect front Joel Sherman chimes in with some info about where the Yankees expect their pitching prospects to open the year.
Nothing very surprising there. Sherman does bring up an interesting scenario though about the competition for the 5th starter spot in spring training. He wonders what will happen if Banuelos or Betances really stand out in March. Given their inning limits (125 apiece), could they actually make the team? Then he stirs the pot a bit by asking what would happen if Girardi thinks Banuelos or Betances give the Yankees the best chance to win in 2011? Could he go over Cashman’s head, a la the Soriano signing, to rush them up in order to help this year?
Sherman also says that Girardi was one of the big influences pushing for the Soriano signing against Cashman’s objections. Obviously, I don’t know anything about that. I do know that the Yankees like to handle their pitching prospects delicately and this is something I’m totally behind. I would rather be conservative and keep the risk of injury as low as possible. Baseball prospects have such an unpredictable nature that I think treating them cautiously can give them the greatest chance to succeed. So I would really hope that Betances or Banuelos are not pushed into roles above their heads this year.