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