Baseball America Releases Top 10 Yankee Prospect List

Baseball America has released their list of the New York Yankees top 10 prospects, and it looks like this:

1. Austin Jackson, of
2. Jesus Montero, c
3. Andrew Brackman, rhp
4. Austin Romine, c
5. Dellin Betances, rhp
6. Zach McAllister, rhp
7. Alfredo Aceves, rhp
8. Phil Coke, lhp
9. Mark Melancon, rhp
10. Bradley Suttle, 3b

Four of the ten players spent all or parts of their 2008 season in a Thunder uniform.

My thoughts on the list?  My thoughts are people get too excited about these lists.  Base your opinions of a player off of what you think and what you see, and don’t put so much stock in what these lists have to say or even what I have to say.

People will spend hours arguing over how this guy should be over that guy and so on when — in the long run — it means absolutely nothing.

And how many times do you think the guys in charge of these lists have seen these guys play in person?  And perhaps more importantly, how many times did they see them play during this season?  For example, eighth ranked Phil Coke is the same guy who apparently didn’t even warrant a mention in the top 30 last year.  I know a lot of these places that do this sort of thing stay in touch with managers and farm directors, but I obviously can’t say enough about actually seeing someone play in person. 

I don’t pretend to know everything about the Yankee farm system — and that’s not to insinuate BA is pretending to know things…they’ve got about 20 million more sources than I ever will — and there’s no way you’ll see me doing one of these lists.  Until I see some of these guys play, reading about them in a book, seeing where they’re ranked on a list, or watching short videos of them does nothing for me.  I write about what I know…and I won’t even do the power rankings of the Thunder I did when I started the season out anymore, mainly because that’s probably more of a fan thing anyway, and not something I should have been doing in the first place. 

With that said, please feel free to share your thoughts on this particular list :)

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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8 Responses to “Baseball America Releases Top 10 Yankee Prospect List”

  1. yanksince57-was this 1959 or is it 1965? Says:

    hard to understand your thinking here. if you don’t do something because it’s mostly a fan thing, then why bother running a team blog – the epitome of a fan thing? if rating players affects your relationship with them that much, than perhaps you should reconsider why (not how) you cover them. i think most of us here desire more than just a glorified scoreboard and/or pr puff pieces!

  2. TitansFan99 Says:

    I think Mike does this blog as a reporter, not as a fan. He makes every effort to help the average fan who follows this blog by using his status as a member of the media. This blog is intended, from what I can tell, to provide tons of extra photos, quick interesting interviews into the actual person under the uniform jersey, and including in-game and post-game write-ups. If he has helped to support your enjoyment of the team as a fan, then he is successful in this endeavor. As far as suggesting Mike has “puff” pieces – what do you expect at this time of year? He works for a local paper (not a media giant) and this blog covers a Minor League franchise. The paper does not have the budget to send him to all the various (or even one) far flung locations to see these players in action. The season at this level has been over for almost 2 months, and the major league season has been over for almost 2 weeks (I got to be there for both – sweet!) and yet still he is providing something that the average follower of this blog may not have access to – the BA rankings, and offering his thoughts on them and his reasons for thinking this way – and inviting readers to do the same.

    Mike, I for one, do not think of this blog as a glorified scoreboard. For the most part I don’t need that – I just compare my own scoring of the game to the one posted on MiLB.com. The baseball fan side of me enjoys the additional coverage you provide, and all of the extras you bring to us with this blog. I have always found it interesting to compare the writings of all of the media who cover the games, and seeing how each of you observe the same game I watched when I do go to the games.

  3. yanksince57-was this 1959 or is it 1965? Says:

    WOH!!!! back up,lay down and chill out! i AM NOT denigrating mike’s work here at all – in fact, i come here daily, if not more often, to get my dose of trenton baseball since i am unable to attend any games physically. i merely wished to express my dismay that he seems to want to back off one of the best, if not the best thing here – the power ratings as seen by him. i could care less about most player’s personalties and/or backgrounds, having been inundated with the crap of manny, barry, gary, curt, randy, sidney, carl etc. etc. let alone jobamania! i’ve been avidly following yankee farmhands since the kansas city athletics were our AAAA farm club :) elvio jimenez anyone?

  4. AAFan Says:

    I don’t think anybody here is dissing Mike’s work as we all visit his site regularly and still come here months after the season has ended. And while I do think that Mike is undercutting the value of rankings, he does have a valid point. If you are a member of the media, a season ticket holder, or at least someone who makes it out to a game on a semi-regular basis you are bound to hold a more nuanced view of any particular player and their skill level. But the value of these lists is in their “guidebook” value. Is the #1 rated prospect guaranteed to make it to the majors more than the #8….certainly not and I am confident Baseball America nor any other scouting organization will make that claim. But what the books and the lists and the rankings do provide, are an aggregate look at what scouting intelligence says about a particular prospect. Is Austin Jackson infallible since he has been rated #1…no. He has work to do on his defense and is a streaky hitter but does he have the tools to develop, yes, he’s very athletic and put up a solid year this year. If it is in conflict of journalistic standards than I understand Mike not wanting to infuse power rankings into the blog but I do think there is potential for Mike to be the everyday man/fan at the Trenton Thunder and to compare and contrast what he sees on the everyday basis versus the conventional scouting wisdom.

  5. tdevils Says:

    A few things…

    I stopped doing the power rankings, I think, in May. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but I don’t think it’s something I should do. Find me another beat writer who does them. There’s a reason they don’t.

    However, if there are readers who see the team on a regular basis who would like to do them, I would be open to that. It’s not necessarily about having people think I’m kissing the ass of #1 or that I’m going to get my ass kicked by #24…but it’s also difficult to think that the guy you rank #1 is going to treat you the same as the guy you rank #24.

    I have NO PROBLEM being critical of players…but trust me, it does get back to them. I still have guys giving me a hard time (mostly in jest) about their report card ratings.

    As for me “being the everyday man/fan,” I don’t know how I could do that. It’s really, really hard to explain for someone who hasn’t done it…but once you work in this side of the business, it greatly affects your ability to be a fan in general.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Mike;

    I actually enjoyed reading your power rankings. I thought the real reason you stopped was because it is time-consuming, especially when you try to rationalize placing a guy at #8, instead of #9, etc.

    I like what you bring here – it’s like another set of eyes out there watching the same team I am.

    That said, regarding the BA list. I have a different rational I follow when ranking players. If they did not play in a full season league yet, I can’t rank them. Brackman is an example. So was Betances last year. It is all about potential and hype, and those 2 ingredients are not enough to rank anyone high on a list of top Minor League-rs, IMO.

    That said, Melancon would be #4 on my list, with Dellin #3 ranked guy. I would have Romine #5.

  7. mbn007 Says:

    Mike;

    That last reply was from me. Wonder why it came up as “anonymous”?

  8. kinglear Says:

    I appreciate the candor of this. I, too, find these lists ultimately arbitrary, and don’t really take them seriously. I also laugh at how mesmerized people are by them, and the passionate debates they incite. But I understand it’s a fun sport in itself for people, so let them enjoy it.

    But I don’t believe anything until I see it. For example, I kept hearing about how slow and unathletic Miranda is. Then the Yanks called him up and I actually saw him play, I was pleasantly surprised by his defense and apparently agility. His bat was well documented, and he didn’t disappoint. I would like to see Miranda and his major league swing get a real shot this year, even if it’s within a platoon.

    Conversely, when you HAVE seen a player and they don’t make the grade – like Christian Garcia – but they make someone else’s list – PinstripesPlus had him at No. 7 – you feel vindicated somehow. I am also always amazed at how you can use the same context to rank position players and pitchers – makes no sense.

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