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Comparing the Top 10 Yanks Prospect Lists

By Mike Silva ~ January 2nd, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, Yanks Minors.

John Sickels, who appeared on WGBB with me last January, announced his Yankees prospect list. Since Jed Weisberger of MILB, and contributor to NYBD, launched the first NYBD Yankees “Top 50 Prospects”, the major publications have done their annual version. I thought it would be interesting to compare the Top 10 from each of the majors.


Back in November Jed did his “Top 50″ and here are his top ten. You could also hear him talk about it with me on WGBB by downloading the show here. Jed comes on at the 35:00 minute mark.

1 Jesus Montero, C
2 Austin Jackson, C
3 Zach McAllister, RHP
4 Francisco Cervelli, C
5 Austin Romine, C
6 David Phelps, RHP
7 Kevin Russo, IF
8 Eduardo Nunez, IF
9 Ian Kennedy, RHP
10 Ivan Nova, RHP

Baseball America

John Manuel of BA had the following top 10:

1. Jesus Montero, c
2.Austin Romine, c
3.Arodys Vizcaino, rhp
4.Slade Heathcott, of
5.Zach McAllister, rhp
6.Manny Banuelos, lhp
7.Gary Sanchez, c
8.J.R. Murphy, c
9.Jeremy Bleich, lhp
10.Andrew Brackman, rhp

Baseball Prospectus

1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
3. Manny Banuelos, LHP
4. Zach McAllister, RHP
5. Austin Romine, C
6. Gary Sanchez, C
7. Slade Heathcott, CF
8. Kelvin De Leon, RF
9. J.R. (John) Murphy, C
10. Mark Melancon, RHP
11. D.J. Mitchell, RHP

Kevin Goldstein does his annual “Top 11″ Prospects for the Yankees.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball

Keep in mind that Sickels is more focused on grades than positioning. Read through the details if you haven’t, but the top six got “B-” grade or higher.

1) Jesus Montero, C
2) Austin Romine, C
3) Manny Banuelos, LHP
4) Zach McAllister, RHP
5) Slade Heathcott, OF
6) Mark Melancon, RHP
7) Gary Sanchez, C
8) John Murphy, C
9) Kelvin De Leon, OF
10) D.J. Mitchell, RHP

The biggest difference is we have decided to count “major league readiness” in our lists (both Mets and Yanks) and put “potential” a little lower on the list. That is why you didn’t see the departed Arodys Vizcaino in Jed’s Top 50. I think the most interesting leap of faith taken by the mainstream publications was with Gary Sanchez and Slade Heathcott, both new members of the Yankees system. Heathcott’s inclusion might have to do with the departure of Austin Jackson, who was still a member of the Yankees when we published, than necessarily him “earning” a spot in any top ten. If anything, outside of the catching position, the Yankees farm system clearly is questionable with positional players. To their credit they have developed some interesting role players in Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, and Francisco Cervelli, but if Romine, Montero, or Heathcott don’t perform well this year than it looks even bleaker in the near term. That is why you see the Yankees signing fringe players like Freddy Guzman and Jamie Hoffman.

A couple of years ago John Manuel joined me on the show and said the Yankees have done an “outstanding job” drafting relievers. So far, and this includes Hughes and Chamberlain, he’s right. Don’t scoff at this because the Yankees have saved a ton of money in the bullpen. This can conceivable make them even more dangerous when spending since pitching costs at a premium (see Brandon Lyon 3 years/$15 million for Houston). If Chamberlain and/or Hughes live up to their potential in the rotation – watch out. This includes Zach McAllister as well.

Overall there isn’t a “good” or “bad” list as each entity uses their expertise to make a decision. Personally, I am not big on the rankings of the players. What is the difference between number eight and six? I like how Goldstein gives them “stars” and Sickels puts a “grade” on each. Perhaps we can incorporate that into our spring reports.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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