Why the Yankees farm system is much better than what most people think
By: Chad Raines
Let’s be honest, grading prospects at the major league level is incredibly hard. Sure, scouts have the ability point out those prospects that will be studs in the majors from an early age. However, there are so many scouts on so many different experience levels which typically correlate to their ability to evaluate potential major leaguers. That’s why coming to a consensus on a farm system is extremely subjective at all levels.
At 20 years old, the Yankees top prospect Severino is likely looking at another full season of minor league ball before making the 40-man roster. The right-hander dominated last season posting a record of 6-5 with an earned run average of 2.46 and 127 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings pitched. Our 2nd overall prospect Gary Sanchez could be a September call-up in the 2015 season barring he doesn’t end up involved in a trade which I would be incredibly disappointed in. Sanchez could be a middle of the lineup hitter in 2016.
RHP Ian Clarkin is just 19 years old. Clarkin is the Yankees 4th best prospect and as a southpaw, he has the upside of being a number 2 starter in the majors. Aaron Judge, at 6-7 230 pound comes in as the Yankees 5th best prospect. He draws comparisons to Dave Winfield and Giancarlo Stanton and has the chance at being a 40-man roster add-on in September if he stays healthy and turns in a good year.
The team’s 6th ranked prospect is Rob Refsnyder. Refsnyder was brought onto quite a few Yankee fan’s radars upon Brian Robert’s being DFA’d as some (including myself) would’ve liked to see him get the call-up in 2014. After hitting .318 in the minors last year, Refsnyder has a shot at making the opening day roster in 2015 as he will be 24 years old.
Lefties Manuel Banuelos and Jacob Lindgren could potentially see action in Yankee pinstripes in 2015 as they rank as the team’s 8th and 9th prospects respectively. Banuelos has been on the 40-man roster and I would certainly like to see Jacob Lindgren added to it either before or during Spring Training as they are both very close to being MLB ready.
Tyler Austin and Greg Bird come in as very interesting prospects. As Austin was protected from the rule-5 draft, Bird was not. Bird is certainly on the rise, however, as he could be a potential replacement when Mark Teixeira’s contract ends. Austin could be a trade piece in 2015 although he is very close to making it to the Bronx. The Yankees also have utility man Jose Pirela who played extremely well in his brief stint with the big league club in September.
Jose Ramirez and Bryan Mitchell have seen major league innings and they will likely go up and down in the coming season. These two are also trade candidates as they could potentially help MLB teams in 2015.
Now, I’m a firm believer that upon being added to a minor league roster in any system, a player has the ability to control their own destiny in a sense. Yes, some players have the tools that are serviceable in the major leagues. And then you’ve got those mid-late round picks that have to work a bit harder to get noticed, and move up in the system. With that, there will be even more prospects to sneak up on us this upcoming season. Although some of the players mentioned in this article could be dealt in the future, some of them will be the future of our beloved Yankees, and I encourage you all to get excited about these prospects that are making their way to the Bronx.