New York Yankees Top 30 Prospects

1. Justus Sheffield, LHP

Age: 22 (5/13/96)

Level: MLB

2.2 IP, 10.13 ERA, 8.39 xFIP, 0.00 K/9, 10.13 BB/9, .364 AVG - MLB

116 IP, 2.48 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 9.54 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, .193 AVG - AA/AAA

Sheffield commands four pitches. His fastball touches 96 and under the tutelage of C.C. Sabathia has seen improvement on his cutter. The slider flashes plus with the changeup lagging a bit behind. The emergence of the cutter adds a fourth pitch to the mix which makes him a viable starting pitcher. Sheffield profiles as a low ceiling, high floor mid-rotation starter.  ETA: 2019

2. Estevan Florial, CF

Age: 20 (11/25/97)

Level: A+

.283/.377/.422, 6 HR, .138 ISO, 130 wRC+, 12.8% BB, 24.6%K, 16 SB

After a stellar 2017, Florial struggled in the Florida State League. Partly due to the advanced pitching and a wrist injury that held him to 84 games. Florial’s tools shine but he is still raw. Between the numbers, there is a lot to like about 2018 and he made tremendous strides in walk and strikeout rate. He still has some swing-and-miss issues and the power hasn’t shown up in High A, but he’s starting to figure things out. Be patient, trust the process, and believe in the tools. In his final 28 games, Florial walked 18 times while striking out 30 while posting a .781 OPS (His highest of any month). A strong Arizona Fall League will silence a lot of his critics. ETA: 2020

3. Deivi Garcia, RHP

Age: 19 (5/19/99)

Level: AA

74 IP, 2.55 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 12.77 K/9, 2.43 BB/9, .186 AVG

Garcia has dominated older hitters at every level. His fastball sits 94 with what looks like a high spin rate. His curveball is a plus MLB ready right now. The changeup is coming along nicely but is a firm offering at present. Despite his small stature with little body projection, the separator between Garcia and other teenage arms in the system is his plus command. Jason Pennini coined the phrase “nine-quadrant command” when talking about Deivi. What he means is that Garcia locates his fastball anywhere he needs to with ease, elevating with two strikes and generating swing-and-miss. The curveball extends both sides of the the plate and what his changeup lacks in movement, he makes up for in his ability to locate at the bottom of the zone while maintaining his fastball arm speed. The Yankees have been aggressive with his assignments so far and he has conquered every challenge. ETA: 2020

4. Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP

Age: 23 (11/2/94)

Level: MLB

24.2 IP, 5.11 ERA, 2.95 xFIP, 12.04 K/9, 4.38 BB/9, 2.71 AVG - MLB

56 IP, 2.89 ERA, 3.04 FIP, 10.77 K/9, 1.29 BB/9, .263 AVG - A+/AA/AA

Loaisiga blew through the lower levels of the minors and reached the Big Apple in June. He posted 12.04 K/9 in 24 2/3 MLB innings. He possesses three plus pitches (FB, SL, CH) and can throw all three for strikes. Like most young pitchers though, his control failed him a bit in the big leagues. The stuff plays up to a rotation spot however questions about his health and durability limit his ceiling. Loaisiga has only thrown 159 2/3 innings in his minor league career so the Yankees may choose to limit his workload. ETA 2019

5. Michael King, RHP

Age: 23 (5/25/95)

Level: AAA

161.1 IP, 1.79 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 8.48 K/9, 1.62 BB/9, .200 AVG

Much like Loaisiga, King has ascended the minor league levels with ease, featuring a three-pitch mix: fastball, slider, changeup. He has a deceptive low three-quarters delivery and attacks the bottom half of the zone. King utilizes both a two-seam and four-seam fastball. King changes eye-levels and extends the plate to both sides as well as any starting pitcher in the system. His slider is an emerging plus pitch and while his changeup is fringey, his arm speed and command allow it to play up to average. King has a chance to compete for a back-of-the-rotation spot in Spring Training. ETA: 2019

6. Roansy Contreras, RHP

Age: 18 (11/7/99)

Level: A

63.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 8.53 K/9, 2.98 BB/9, .194 AVG

Contreras has a small frame with an athletic build and delivery and fast arm action. Contreras’ double-plus fastball, average velocity of 98-plus, is the calling card but the youngster also flashes a potential plus curveball and above-average changeup. The changeup is firm but he shows an improving feel and command of the pitch. ETA: 2022

7. Clarke Schmidt, RHP

Age: 22 (2/20/96)

Level: SS A

23.1 IP, 3.09 ERA, 2.61 FIP, 11.57 K/9, 2.31 BB/9, .193 AVG

Schmidt was the Yankees’ 2017 1st-rounder. Recovering from Tommy John, Schmidt should move quickly in 2019. As for 2018, the elbow is healthy and Schmidt has shown good command, albeit against younger, inferior competition. He features a low-to-mid 90’s fastball and average to above average slider, curveball, and changeup with above average control and feel for all four pitches. He has a three-quarters arm slot and thick lower half. The delivery and injury history are cause for concern but for now, Yankees brass are pleased with where Schmidt is. ETA: 2021

8. Luis Medina, RHP

Age: 19 (5/3/99)

Level: Adv. Rookie

36 IP, 6.25 ERA, 6.46 FIP, 11.75 K/9, 11.5 BB/9, .235 AVG

Medina has been plagued by command issues his entire career which may shed some doubt on his future role and makes him a risky prospect. However, if he can improve to 45-50 command, we are talking about one of the best, if not the best, starting pitching prospect in baseball. His fastball sits 98-99 with run and sink. His curve is a 12-6 beast of a pitch that plays up due to a 15-mph difference in velocity. His change-up is 91 and is firm but with two electric 70-80 grade pitches, Medina just needs to maintain fastball arm speed and locate for the changeup to play up to average. In a two inning start in Instructs, Medina walked two. The control was good and the walks came from overthrowing his fastball with two strikes. At only 19, Medina is crazy athletic with a fluid delivery. There is plenty of time for him to harness his stuff and when he does….watch out. ETA: 2022

9. Garrett Whitlock, RHP

Age: 22 (6/11/96)

Level: AA

120.2 IP, 1.86 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 9.1 K/9, 3.06 FIP, .211 AVG

Whitlock was too advanced for the lower levels of the minors, dominating young hitters with a fastball that sits 93-94 and a plus slider. Whitlock has good feel for pitching. He mixes his pitches well and commands the bottom half of the zone. The changeup is an average third pitch at present. Starting to sense a trend here with these Yankee righties? Unlike some of the others, Whitlock has an extra-large frame, is high-waisted with a low three-quarters slot. The deception in his delivery allows his stuff to play up as the fastball seems to get on hitters quickly. ETA: 2020

10. Josh Breaux, C

Age: 22 (10/7/97)

Level: SS A

.269/.289/.352, 0 HR, .083 ISO, 88 wRC+, 3.5% BB, 18.4% K, 0 SB

I know what you’re thinking…Breaux over Seigler? In essence, it boils down to the more polished power hitter. Breaux is a physical specimen at the plate. Yes, his swing gets long and there are some swing-and-miss concerns, but his power projection is his stand-out tool. He isn’t the athlete that Seigler is. But at this stage in their development, he is the better overall hitter. ETA: 2021

11. Trevor Stephan, RHP

Age: 22 (11/25/95)

Level: AA

124.1 IP, 3.69 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 2.75 BB/9, .222 AVG

Stephan has a big, strong frame at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds. His delivery is deceptive, throwing across his body from a low three-quarters slot. His fastball touches 97 with run and his slider flashes plus with two-plane tilt. He mixes both pitches well. In order to stick in the rotation, his changeup will need to improve. Currently, the pitch is fringe. After dominating the Florida State League, Stephan struggled against advanced hitters in Double-A. The lack of a projectable third pitch and average command limit his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter. ETA: 2021

12. Anthony Seigler, C

Age: 19 (6/20/99)

Level: Adv. Rookie

.266/.379/.342, 1 HR, 0.76 ISO, 108 wRC+, 14.7% BB, 12.6% K, 0 SB

The Yankees 2018 1st-rounder is a dynamic athlete with a plus arm. He has a small frame but is sturdy, with a thick lower half. A switch-hitter, Seigler is more of a gap hitter at present. He has struggles to pick up spin and make consistent contact, but that is to be expected with young hitters. He reminds me of Francisco Mejia. Works long at-bats, quick hands, good bat speed. ETA: 2022

13. Luis Gil, RHP

Age: 20 (6/3/98)

Level: SS A

47 IP, 1.96 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 13.3 K/9, 6.07 BB/9, .188 AVG

Gil is another young fireballer whose fastball reaches triple digits while flashing spin on his plus curve ball. The curve has consistent shape and depth. The lack of a third pitch could lead to some struggles against advanced hitters, but Gil is young and athletic. His delivery is fluid and easy so the command issues should eventually work itself out. Another exciting arm in the low levels of the Yankee system. ETA: 2022

14. Erik Swanson, RHP

Age: 25 (9/4/93)

Level: AAA

121.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 10.28 K/9, 2.15 BB/9, .210 AVG

Swanson has a prototypical pitcher’s body at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds. His fastball touches 97 with run and generates swing and miss. He is a fastball-dominant pitcher and occasionally loses command within the zone, leading to some hard contact. He also throws a slider and changeup with the slider flashing tight spin and generates swing and miss. In order to reach his ceiling as a fourth or fifth starter, Swanson needs to improve his sequencing and command within the zone. Otherwise, he could be a valuable bullpen arm due to his plus fastball. ETA: 2019

15. Domingo Acevedo, RHP

Age: 24 (3/6/94)

Level: AA

69.1 IP, 2.99 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 7.14 K/9, 2.73 BB/9, .221 AVG

Acevedo has plus stuff but can’t stay healthy. Going into his age 25 season, he will only have thrown 12.1 innings above Double-A. Coming into his age-25 season, he will need to show that he is able to translate plus stuff into results at the upper level of the minors. While the arm screams mid-rotation starter ceiling, Acevedo is likely destined to the bullpen. ETA 2019

16. Everson Pereira, CF

Age: 17 (4/10/01)

Level: Adv. Rookie

.263/.322/.389, 3 HR, .126 ISO, 88 wRC+, 8.2% BB, 32.8% K, 3 SB

Pereira received a tough first assignment in the Appy League and struggled to make consistent contact. The floor is high and at present, defense may be his carrying tool. Pereira has a quick first step and gets excellent reads in center field. His athleticism should translate into the batters box where he projects above average hit tool and power. He has looked overmatched though, struggling to keep his hips closed and his hands back. Pitch recognition is a work in progress but the tools are there. ETA: 2023

17. Chance Adams, RHP

Age:  24 (8/10/94)

Level: MLB

7.2 IP, 7.04 ERA, 6.05 xFIP, 4.7 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, .267 AVG - MLB

113 IP, 4.78 ERA, 4.23 xFIP, 9 K/9, 4.62 BB/9, .235 AVG - AAA

Adams was the guy going into this season but has fallen on hard times. The fastball-slider grade as plus offerings but his command is 40 grade at best. It’s highly likely he winds up in the bullpen as the Yankees have repeatedly passed him over when they needed a starter. His stuff plays up in the pen though and he could provide the type of quality innings a la Chad Green. But first, Adams has to get himself in pitcher’s counts to maximize his stuff. ETA: 2019

18. Antonio Cabello, CF

Age: 17 (11/1/00)

Level: Rookie

.308/.427/.522, 5 HR, .214 ISO, 168 wRC+, 14.1% BB, 20.8% K, 10 SB

Cabello is a phenomenal athlete with a strong frame. He generates plus bat speed and grades as a future 60 hitter with above average power. He feasted on inexperienced pitchers in the GCL before a shoulder injury ended his season. Read his full Prospects Live scouting report here. ETA: 2023

19. Thairo Estrada, SS

Age: 22 (2/22/96)

Level: AAA

.192/.210/.231, 0 HR, 0.38 ISO, 21 wRC+, 0% BB, 21% K, 0 SB

Estrada is a plus defender with a plus arm. He can play shortstop in the big leagues right now but profiles more as a utility infielder with some pop. He has a good feel for the barrel and makes solid contact. His swing is linear but he flashes good bat speed. There is some untapped power in the bat which could make him an intriguing option going into 2019. The hip injury and the back injury are cause for concern though and could limit his ceiling offensively. ETA: 2020

20. Nick Nelson, RHP

Age: 22 (12/5/95)

Level: AA

121.2 IP, 3.55 ERA, 3.12 FIP, 10.65 K/9, 4.66 BB/9, .214 AVG

Another right-hander with a 97-mph fastball and a nasty slider with tilt. Also, another right-hander struggling to refine a changeup and consistently command the strike zone. Nelson was too good for the FSL. The fastball and slider are swing-and-miss offerings. His changeup is firm and can generate weak contact if he keeps it down in the zone. ETA: 2021

21. Albert Abreu, RHP

Age: 23 (9/26/95)

Level: AA

72.2 IP, 5.20 ERA, 4.75 FIP, 9.17 K/9, 3.96 BB/9, .239 AVG

I am the low man in the industry on Albert Abreu. I also haven’t met one scout yet that thinks he isn’t destined for a bullpen role. His fastball touches 98-99 but is straight. His curve has nice shape and depth but he cannot extend the plate away from right-handed hitters with it, leaving it floating over the inner half. His changeup is plus with nice fade and depth, allowing him to neutralize lefties. More importantly, Abreu struggles to command his fastball, often missing over the plate. He gave up 9 HR in 62 2/3 FSL innings. I think I saw six of them in person. ETA: 2021

22. Matt Sauer, RHP

Age: 19 (1/21/99)

Level: SS A

67 IP, 3.90 ERA, 4.16 xFIP, 6.04 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, .234 AVG

Sauer has a projectable body at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and should add weight without losing his current athleticism. His fastball touches 97 and his curveball is a tight-spinning hammer with good depth. The changeup needs refinement at present. The delivery is a bit funky but he is still young and raw with time to clean it up. His ceiling is mid-rotation starter if and when the CH develops. ETA: 2022

23. Glenn Otto, RHP

Age: 22 (3/11/96)

Level: A

10.1 IP, 3.48 ERA, 5.04 xFIP, 6.97 K/9, 6.1 BB/9, .211 AVG

Otto features two plus pitches with a fastball that touches 97 and a tight curveball that flashes 12-6. He has a fairly high ceiling as a reliever, but the Yankees are developing him as a starter. The changeup is below average as is the command. He has a plus body that should hold up to starting. 2018 has been a lost year of development due to a blood clot in his shoulder. If he is able to harness his stuff and add a third pitch, Otto’s ceiling is in the rotation. ETA: 2022

24. Nolan Martinez, RHP

Age: 20 (6/30/98)

Level: A

61.2 IP, 3.36 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 5.98 K/9, 3.65 BB/9, .210 AVG

I may be too low on Martinez. He looked good in the Instructional League when I saw him a few days ago. Love his athleticism and ability to repeat his delivery. It’s an easy and fluid motion. His command looked good as he pounded the bottom of the zone. The lack of a third pitch and his inability to consistently miss bats is why he is lower than some of the other young arms. Overall, I like what I saw and there is a ton of projection. ETA: 2023

25. Dermis Garcia, 3B

Age: 20 (1/7/98)

Level: A

.241/.320/.444, 15 HR, .204 ISO, 117 wRC+, 9.9 BB%, 30.6 K%, 3 SB

I’ve seen Dermis and been completely off on him. The I see him again and become enamored with the body and the strength. The power is prodigious and is the carrying tool. His extra large frame and thick lower half and core lead me to believe that a full-time move to first base is eminent. With experience though, Garcia should improve his pitch recognition which would lead to an increase in game power. Currently, the swing-and-miss issues limit his game power despite his 70-grade raw power. ETA: 2022

26. Freicer Perez, RHP

Age: 22 (3/14/96)

Level: A+

25 IP, 7.20 ERA, 5.54 xFIP, 7.2 K/9, 6.84 BB/9, .277 AVG

After struggling through four starts in Tampa, Perez was shut down for the season due to shoulder surgery. When I saw him early on, I saw a pitcher that struggled to repeat his delivery. The delivery was extremely stiff and unathletic with poor command. Perez breezed through the Sally in 2017 where his plus fastball at 99 generates a lot of swing and miss. Against advanced hitters, Perez struggled to throw strikes and use his off-speed pitches effectively. He should be back in time for instructs. His plus size and stuff are worth keeping an eye on and make him an intriguing bounceback prospect for 2019. ETA: 2022

27. Philip Diehl, LHP

Age: 24 (7/16/94)

Level: AA

75.1 IP, 2.51 ERA, 2.24 FIP, 12.9 K/9, 2.75 BB/9, .202 AVG

Diehl was used as a multi-inning reliever in Tampa and ordinarily those guys fly well under the radar. In fact, everything about Diehl flies under the radar. He is listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. His fastball sits 92-93. What’s the big deal? Diehl throws a “Bugs Bunny” changeup and will throw it in any count. That allows the fastball to play up which has a high spin rate and comes from a deceptive in arm slot. ETA: 2019

28. Wilkerman Garcia, SS

Age: 20 (4/1/98)

Level: A

.218/.274/.305, 6 HR, 0.88 ISO, 67 wRC+, 6.7% BB, 20.2% K, 16 SB

Switch-hitter with good feel for hard contact. More advanced swing from left side. Gap power currently but should project into 45 game power with maturity. Love his hands at the plate. Versatile infielder with plus arm. Ceiling of utility infielder with a chance to start. Will need to shorten up the swing to improve the hit tool. ETA: 2022

29. Dom Thompson-Williams, OF

Age: 23 (4/21/95)

Level: A+

.299/.363/.546, 22 HR, .247 ISO, 157 wRC+, 8% BB, 24.8% K, 20 SB

DTW is an athletic player with strong wrists. I don’t love the hands when he loads. He drops them low and keeps them low but he has made it work. I spent all season waiting for pitchers to expose the hole in his swing. As the months went by, he kept hitting. I do think he will struggle in the upper minors, but he is an above average runner whose baseball IQ allows his speed to play up in game action. ETA: 2021

30. Isiah Gilliam, OF

Age: 22 (7/23/96)

Level: A+

.259/.313/.397, 13 HR, .137 ISO, 103 wRC+, 6.9% BB, 29% K, 4 SB

Gilliam is an intriguing prospect. He is an athletic switch-hitter that has flashed future average power projection. That alone projects him as a fourth outfielder. Advanced pitching in the Florida State League exposed the holes in his swing, especially from the left side. Gilliam has below average bat speed as a lefty and overall struggles to pick up spin. He will expand the zone, especially on high fastballs. ETA: 2021

On the outside looking in (and a strong case these five could be 25-30 instead of the above five)

Rony Garcia, RHP; Diego Castillo, SS; Harold Cartijo, RHP; Hoy Park, IF, Pablo Olivares, OF