Friday, February 27, 2015

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: #2

This is the part of the list where it gets a bit anti-climatic. The Top Two Yankees Prospects. I think we all know it is going to be some combination of Aaron Judge and Luis Severino and I think 99 lists out of 100 will have Judge in this #2 spot, including my list. Aaron Judge is the Yankees second best prospect on my list. 

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Judge:

Current Level/Age: High-A/22.7, 6’7/250, R/R
Drafted: 32nd overall (1st round) in 2013 out of Fresno State by NYY for $1.8 million bonus, Agency: PSI Sports Mgmt
Hit: 20/50, Raw Power: 70/70, Game Power: 20/60, Run: 50/45, Field: 50/50, Throw: 60/60

Scouting Report: I saw Judge in his junior year at Fresno State, which you can pretty easily pick out of the video above by uniform colors. I thought he was incredibly talented, but the Giancarlo Stanton comps were ridiculous, as Judge was struggling to perform close to his potential in college at age 21, while Stanton already had about 50 big league homers at that age. The Stanton comps are still ridiculous for the same reason, but, physically speaking, it’s hard to find a comp. Judge is 6’7/250, is a solid average runner underway with a plus arm and plus-plus raw power. Scouts were resorting to comparing Judge to basketball players (LeBron James and Blake Griffin were common ones) to find someone other than Stanton even remotely similar.

In the weekend I saw Judge face Stanford, we was a non-factor at the plate Friday versus 2013 #1 overall pick Mark Appel (on one of the best stuff days of Appel’s life) was just okay on Saturday, then went 5-for-5 with four singles and a massive homer (included on the above video) on Sunday against the weakest pitching of the weekend. I recount that weekend because there were a couple GMs are about 10 scouting directors there that weekend and it encapsulated the amateur experience of scouting Judge: mostly struggled against top arms, excelled against weaker arms and didn’t hit for enough power in games.  These struggles weren’t because he didn’t have the bat speed of physical ability to hit amateur pitching, but his long limbs obviously created contact problems, which is a big reason why there aren’t many 6’7 hitters in the big leagues.

Judge would shorten up to hit singles in college and scouts began to wonder if he could consistently hit for some kind of game power and make enough contact at the same time, which is why he slid to the end of the first round. There were whispers he was stubborn and un-coachable or other various mental explanations for not tapping into his raw ability. Multiple clubs I talked to didn’t have him anywhere close to the first round and some area scouts turned him in as a middle round pick. The Yankees had three first round picks at the end of the round and know that most 45 or 50 FV big league players don’t really move the needle for them, so they were in a position to take a risk and Judge was on the board, as they hoped he would be.

After signing late and sustaining a quad injury that kept him from playing in the regular season, 2014 was Judge’s first pro experience and he has smashed mine and everyone else’s expectations. Some scouts wondered how quickly or if Judge would get out of A-Ball and, this year, he smoked Low-A and High-A for a combined .308/.419/.486 with 17 homers and 89 walks in 543 PA, then raked in the Arizona Fall League: .278/.377/.467 over 106 PA.
He still isn’t completely tapping into his raw power, but no one saw him hitting for good average/on-base and 21 homers in his first full season unless it was all taking place at Low-A. Yankees development people keep telling me that they aren’t responsible for making any notable changes to his swing when I ask what was different this year from past years. The Yankees let kids do it his way in his first season, then they can then make adjustments if things don’t work. It suggests something at Fresno State wasn’t right that Judge is performing so well by dictating his offensive development.

I put his hit/game power grades at 5 and 6, but if Judge can continue this performance at the upper levels, both grades may be a notch light. He’s making adjustments and Yankees’ personnel are all praising his work ethic, makeup and ability to know what’s necessary for him to succeed. The phrase “we just stay out of his way” was thrown around by a couple sources and it seems to be working so far.

Summation: Judge will head to Double-A next year at age 23 and should be challenged, but likely will also get a taste of Triple-A, where he’ll be age appropriate for a top prospect after taking a little while to get going at the plate. If he keeps hitting, he should be in line for an extended big league look in 2016, with a chance for a 2015 September look or a slower path with him sticking by 2017. We haven’t yet found the limits of what Judge can do and he hasn’t even really tapped into his raw power in games yet, so he could struggle at the upper levels or just keep proving scouts wrong.

Upside: .270/.340/.490, 30 homers
FV/Risk: 55, Medium (3 on a 1-5 scale)
Projected Path: 2015: AA/AAA, 2016: AAA/MLB, 2017: MLB

2. Aaron Judge
3. Greg Bird
4. Jorge Mateo
5. Robert Refsnyder
6. Gary Sanchez
7. Jacob Lindgren
8. Ian Clarkin
9. John Ryan Murphy
10. Luis Torrens
11. Tyler Austin
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Miguel Andujar
14. Eric Jagielo
15. Jake Cave
16. Austin DeCarr
17. Tyler Wade
18. Juan DeLeon
19. Dante Bichette Jr.
20. Domingo German
21. Slade Heathcott
22. Nick Rumbelow
23. Jose Ramirez
24. Ramon Flores
25. Gosuke Katoh
26. Chasen Shreve
27. Taylor Dugas

28. Johnny Barbato


  1. Perfect example of the Yankees bringing a prospect along too slowly. 3 year college player, tore through low a, high a, and the afl. He'll turn 23 this year. Why even put him in aa? Why not straight to aaa, and if he can handle that, cut ties with Chris Young?

  2. Jeff I too can't believe I am agreeing with you on things, but on this I am 100% in your camp. This is on Cashman and anyone that says otherwise is fooling themselves

    1. I'm here to add another stick on the fire. You draft polished college players so they move through the system fast. The Yankees cannot seem to grasp this concept for some reason. Judge should at least be in consideration for a spot this season, although I'd rather have him developing in AAA than sitting on the Yankees bench at this point.

  3. I'm okay with starting him at aaa and bringing him up if one of our starters goes down. I don't want to see him sitting on the bench either. But let's not kid ourselves here. It will never happen. The Yankees are really good at burning prospects out with boredom. He'll sit in the minors until the Yankees have to add him to their 40 man, and then he'll end up designated for some 38 year old with bad knees coming off a .220 season with 6 homeruns. The Yankee way lately.

    1. No, you're right, we'll re-acquire Ichiro before we give Judge a shot. I think Austin is ahead of him on the depth chart anyway.

  4. Whatever happened to the days when a 21year old kid could make the team? If you were working on the farm and tearing it up as Willie Mays (19) and Mickey Mantle (19) did at a young age you were called up to replace someone anyone.
    I mean look at this litany of Yankees called up before they were 23 years old; A-Rod (18), Mickey Mantle (19), Jeter (20), Yogi (21), Ford (21), Joe D (21), Andy (22), and Stottlemyre (22). I know, A-Rod wasn't called up as a Yankee!
    I think this one is on George, he always traded our best for older players and there weren't many guys in our farm system good enough to play anyhow. Remember how the Yankees wouldn't talk to a player about an extension or raise until the end of his contract? Well, they broke that in signing Brett.
    Now bring up the young guys that can play baseball...before they are too old to play anymore!

    1. BRAVO, ROCKET REED...a great point.

      Today it seems like you have to graduate from all the minor league levels, before
      one can go on to a MLB career. Why ?
      That can not be true for everyone, as Rocket Reed states, but it sure seems that way.

      Was it not only this past week that bloggers, from all sites, wanting Yoan Moncada to
      be the starting second baseman. The 19 year old Moncada.
      I'm still waiting for my response from Hal Steinbrenner, on that one.

      Bottom line, some of these young Yankee prospects should be given their chance earlier.

      It helps the player, the players toiling behind him, and ignites the fan base.

    2. It still happens, it just doesn't happen here. Plenty of teenagers make MLB rosters all the time, see Bryce Harper, Brandon Finnegan (which I don't think he was a teen but made the team the same year he was drafted), etc

  5. Patrick, remember the "Kiddy Korp" back a few years ago?
    I called them that for an obvious reason as one can guess. I had IPK, Joba, Hughes, Brett and Cervelli on my list years before they were called up. All of them made the Big Time. Having seen those players play a few times on the farm, it was easy to see they would make it.
    Now we have much better talent and unlike days gone by, I will not get to see most of them play unless they come to town in the western NY area.
    One of the old bunch had a airplane and we (he two others and I) would get together for a four week run around the farm system every year. Life is a bit-h and then you die.
    I believe it was Mateo I saw play last year. Anyhow, he has nice (not yet great) footwork around the bag, and the quickness to get the balls others would not get to and better yet...the arm to finish the play! He should be starting in Charleston and progress to Tampa by the end of the year! IF all were to go well, forget the age, he will be 20 years old this year. He needs work but will not improve very well playing with players his age or younger. 2017 his time to shine in the Big Show.
    Just my opinion of him compared to what we have.

  6. KENNETH....I remember all your words. Even words that don't make sense.
    Stay well, and take care.................................patrick.

    1. Da all make sense Patrick! It just takes someone of a lower mental capacity to understand the ramblings of a old decaying dat de truf!

  7. Replies
    1. Noon today, not that everybody on their mothers don't already know who it's going to be.

    2. THE POWER of WORDS..............
      I always take a deep breath, when I know I'm not following edwardgeneral.

      When one wields the sword of language, as edward does, he controls the stage.

      A compliment to you, edwardgeneral...........
      When you speak, the world goes silent.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)