Baseball America Reveals Top Yankee Prospects

Baseball America finally made public their much anticipated list of top 10 Yankees prospects today.  Annually, the magazine releases a prospect handbook that has full scouting reports of the top 30 prospects in each organization, which is pretty much the equivalent of the bible for anyone who covers minor league baseball.

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s the list:

1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp

It’s really hard to argue with the number one pick, Joba Chamberlain.  The guy was absolutely lights out at every stop of the minors, and Trenton was no exception.  I was fortunate enough to watch his dominant performance against Harrisburg, where he struck out the side in order twice, and ended up with 12 strikeouts in just six innings of work.

The Senators were a pretty horrendous team to begin with, but he made them look like Little Leaguers out there.

I’m glad that they decided to put Jackson as high as they did, although I’d be willing to bet there are some Yankee fans out there who might take umbrage with it.  He was incredibly impressive during the Thunder playoffs, and to think that both he and the #3 pick, Jose Tabata, will be in the same outfield next season should be enough to make those same fans salivate.

I was also in the house for Ian Kennedy’s Double-A debut against Binghamton, where he faced off against the top pitching prospect from the Mets, Kevin Mulvey.  I didn’t feel like Kennedy exhibited the polish that he’s known for in that particular start, but he got a pass from me since it was his first time facing Double-A hitters.  Obviously, he went on to show that he was worthy of a Major League call-up.

I’d really like the opportunity to see him again, but my projections for him seem to be a little lower than everyone else’s, but again…it’s hard not to be jaded by that first start.

I like Alan Horne at #5, I think the guy is a workhorse and think he has the potential to make more of an impact than Kennedy at the big league level.  Given the success of Chamberlain and Kennedy, Horne was able to win Eastern League Pitcher of the Year pretty quietly.  I’ll be curious to see how he does with a little more pressure on him this season.

Jesus Montero wont turn 19 until November 28th, and has just one professional season under his belt.  He’s certainly someone to keep an eye on, but you’d have to think he’s probably two years away from setting foot in Waterfront Park.

I think Marquez at #7 is a little high, and I’m well aware of his league leading wins total last season.  I’m pretty sure you’ll see him at Triple-A Scranton next season, and deservedly so, but just like Horne, I wonder what he does with a lot more pressure on him for the 2008 season.

To be honest, I’ve never really understood the fascination with Brett Gardner, who spent the last half of 2006 and the first half of 2007 with Trenton.  He’s above average in the field because of his well above average speed, but he has no power whatsoever and is pretty much a singles hitter despite the aforementioned speed.  I can’t see him being a regular player in the big leagues, especially on the Yankees, but if he can develop his bat a little more this season, I could justify his spot at #8.

Ohlendorf is a guy who will likely never put on Thunder colors, and could actually end up on the Opening Day roster in the big leagues this season.  He didn’t blow anyone away while at Scranton, but performed very well in limited action in the Bronx.

Andrew Brackman at #10 is a little surprising, but I guess he replaces either Dellin Betances or Humberto Sanchez as the “guy who’s injured but we still think has a lot of promise” selection.  I’ll be a little curious to see where Brackman’s path takes him, but when he arrives in Trenton is up in the air.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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6 Responses to “Baseball America Reveals Top Yankee Prospects”

  1. JP Says:

    Hey Mike, great job with the site! I just found it but I’ll be sure to check back often.

    I’m probably higher on Gardner than most people. I just think he’s an awesome small-ball player, one of the best I’ve had a chance to see in the fall league.

    Just curious, there’s been some talk about Horne having a flaw in his delivery that causes control problems. Did you notice any inconsistencies with his control?

  2. thunderbaseball Says:

    I would agree in that Gardner’s style is best suited for small ball, but the issue there is that the Yankees aren’t really a small ball team. I’d like to see him increase his extra base hits and possibly his power before I start to agree with what seems like everyone else on his talents. I don’t see him being any more than a 24th or 25th player on an MLB roster, and I think that others have projections that are much higher for him.

    Of Horne’s 27 starts last season, he walked at least one batter in 24 of them. So I wouldn’t necessarily categorize them as inconsistencies, I just think he’s pretty much a given to walk one or two guys a game. But I couldn’t really say whether that was a result of his delivery or just a part of the game. His K/BB ratio was roughly 3 last year…

    From what I saw, I thought he was pretty good at getting ahead in the count and was actually pretty consistent in all aspects throughout the season. He had an incredible stretch of 13 starts last year in which he allowed two earned runs or less.

    Overall, I think some members of the bullpen might have been a little plagued by control problems…but with the starters, and especially with Horne, I didn’t notice that from Horne at all.

  3. Thunderstruck Says:

    Mike – came across your blog within the last week and I think it is great. Odd question but do you have any info on Mitch Jones? Was a big fan of his and those HR’s he would crush when he played for the Thunder. I know he went to Japan last year but was not sure of the type of year he had over there. Any insight would be appreciated.

  4. thunderbaseball Says:

    Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the kind words.

    You can locate Mitch’s Japanese statistics here: https://www.japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=2276

    One home run in 102 plate appearances? Doesn’t seem right…

  5. Erik Says:

    I looked over his stats,and saw only 94 ABs,30 Games played,1 HR,7 RBIs.
    I guess its possible,maybe he got hurt???

  6. thunderbaseball Says:

    He left the Dodgers organization midway through the season, so it’s hard to say. It’s also possible that he might have been let go considering he only had the one home run…and he was obviously brought in for his power.

    Hard to say, really…

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