Gary Sanchez remains atop the list for the franchise’s top prospect. A trio of 2013 first round picks — Eric Jagielo, Austin Judge, and Ian Clarkin are off to tremendous starts.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE
1. Gary Sanchez, C, Age: 21
In the conversation for the top minor league backstop, Sanchez is having another Sanchez-like season: .275/.345/.442 with 26 extra-base hits and a career high 40% caught stealing rate. Obviously, Brian McCann is locked into the position for the foreseeable future, but Sanchez could be used as trade bait or push the former All-Star into another position (first base, DH?).
2. Eric Jagielo, 3B, Age: 22
Showing more power in the professional ranks than he did throughout his three-year career at Notre Dame, Jagielo, the 26th overall pick last season, has sandwiched some solid production (.256/.339/.500) around an oblique injury. If he can maintain the power moving forward, Jagielo has a shot to develop into an above-average third baseman.
3. Gregory Bird, 1B, Age: 21
Bird put up some eerily similar numbers to former top prospect Tyler Austin during their respective stints in low Class A (.288/.428/.511 vs. .320/.405/.598, with both players’ posting wRC+ totals of 170). Bird, however, has a more promising basic skillset – better plate discipline with a little more pop – which bodes better for his future — luckily.
4. Manny Banuelos, LHP, Age: 23
Back from the Tommy John scrapheap, Banuelos, who missed all of last season, looked strong in his stint in the Florida State League, allowing just four runs – all of which came in one start – in five appearances. His work in the Eastern League (23.0 innings, 21 strikeouts, and 11 walks) is promising, though he’s showing the requisite control issues that many returning Tommy John Survivalists battle.
5. Aaron Judge, RF, Age: 22
The massive 6-foot-7 corner outfielder made quick work of the Sally this season, hitting .333/.428/.530 with 26 extra-base hits in 65 games, before earning a well-deserved promotion to Tampa. Through his first 15 games in the FSL, Judge is continuing his torrid start: .286/.470/.592.
6. J.R. Murphy, C, Age: 23
Looked at as the potential Opening Day starter prior to the McCann signing, Murphy struggled in his brief tenure with the Yankees (.286/.308/.365) this season and hasn’t fared much better in Class AAA (.216/.247/.392).
7. Ian Clarkin, LHP, Age: 19
The club’s third first round pick last season, #33 overall, Clarkin has had a strong showing in low Class A this season, averaging 9.69 K/9 and 3.02 BB/9. After several players – including Greg Bird and Tyler Austin – put up some video game-esque offensive numbers in Charleston, Clarkin’s work could be a harbinger of things to come. Definitely a name to watch in the future.
8. Tyler Austin, RF, Age: 22
Austin’s stock has slowly tumbled from his dominant showing in the Sally two years ago. Since then, the former 13th round pick was aggressively pushed through high Class A and has struggled in two stints in the Eastern League. He looks like organizational depth at this point, nothing more.
9. Mason Williams, OF, Age: 22
Oh, the cautionary tale of promising prospects. Williams, who was once looked upon as the crown jewel of the system, is in the midst of the worst season of his once promising career: .214/.291/.288. He is still showing promising peripherals (9.5% BB-rate and 12.1% K-rate) and above-average speed. His power, though, has all but dried up at this point (.074 ISO).
10. Rafael De Paula, RHP, Age: 23
After splitting his time between Charleston and Tampa last season, De Paula is back in the Florida State for a quick tune up after struggling in his first go round. This time the 6-foot-2 right-hander is averaging 10.53 strikeouts and 3.96 walks per nine innings to go along with a solid 3.24 FIP. He’s ready for Class AA.