All-Star Break Stock Up, Stock Down for the New York Yankees' Top 10 Prospects
With the first half of the MLB season finally concluded and the trade deadline just over two weeks away on July 31, the focus on a team's minor league system will start to shift.
Teams will spend time re-evaluating the top players in their system and will look for ways to improve their big league club.
The New York Yankees find themselves in a precarious situation where they want to be buyers when, in reality, they should be sellers.
With that said, since the Yankees believe they are buyers, an update on the Yankees farm system seems imperative.
The following will be a status update on the Yankees' top 10 minor league players as determined by MLB.com.
Based on their stats from the past week, I will determine if each individual has raised or decreased his stock. In some instances, a player's value could remain the same.
10. Gosuke Katoh, 2B
Last Seven Days: 5 G, .333 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB
2014 Stats: 79 G, .231 BA, 38 R, 15 SB, 101 SO
Gosuke Katoh was the Yankees' surprise second-round choice in the 2013 draft.
Considered a reach at the time, he continues to surprise everyone else with his stellar play. His strengths are his high baseball IQ and smooth defense at second.
His season started off very rough, so his season totals are not enticing; however, he has batted .329 over the past 28 days.
9. Luis Severino, RHP
Last Seven Days: 1 GS, 4 IP, 0.00 ERA, 8 SO
2014 Stats: 18 GS, 4-3, 2.45 ERA, 98 SO, 22 BB
Luis Severino might have the most upside of anybody on this list. He has been lights out this season between low Single-A and low High-A ball.
His impressive strikeout rate is turning heads and making him a wanted commodity.
8. Aaron Judge, OF
Last Seven Days: 6 G, .273 BA, 1 HR, 6 R
2014 Stats: 88 G, .316 BA, 13 HR, 61 RBI, 54 R
Aaron Judge was the Yankees' second first-round draft choice from a year ago. Like Severino, he has performed well enough to earn a promotion to high Class-A Tampa.
Judge is a big guy with pure raw power—the exact guy the Yankees need on their big league club.
Like any young hitter with a big swing, he strikes out a bit much—he has 83 so far this season—but as long as he continues to develop his power, the Yankees will take that trade-off.
7. Ian Clarkin, LHP
Last Seven Day: 1 GS, 4 IP, 9.00 ERA, 4 BB, 4 SO
2014 Stats: 12 GS, 3-3, 3.49 ERA, 19 BB, 61 SO
Ian Clarkin was the third and final first-round choice of the Yankees' 2013 draft.
He is another early success story from that draft. He is the third player from that draft to appear on this list, and he won't be the last.
Clarkin is a hard-throwing lefty whom the Yankees have high hopes for. Lefties are an important weapon for the Yankees thanks to their home stadium.
He is holding left-handed batters to a .224 average on the season. If he can work on getting right-handed bats out more consistently, he will have a bright future.
6. Gregory Bird, 1B
Last Seven Days: 5 G, .238 BA, 3 R, 6 SO
2014 Stats: 59 G, .266 BA, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 32 BB, 58 SO
Gregory Bird was drafted as a catcher and immediately transitioned into a first baseman. Health has been an issue for the 21-year-old, but in his first full season at low Single-A, he led the minors with 107 walks in 2013.
Unfortunately, Bird has not been able to carry that success over into 2014 at high Single-A Tampa.
With Mark Teixeira locked in at first for years to come, Bird will have time to develop his power. However, the Yankees would love to see an improvement over the rest of this season.
5. Tyler Austin, OF
Last Seven Days: 6 G, .250 BA, 1 HR, 2 R, 0 BB
2014 Stats: 72 G, .248 BA, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 23 BB
Tyler Austin began his minor league career with the Yankees with a bang, crushing his way through Single-A and turning into a better prospect than the team might have imagined.
Unfortunately, injuries and a rise to Double-A have seen Austin's numbers decrease rapidly.
He was only a 13th-round choice in the 2010 draft, but he did raise expectations early.
If Austin can get healthy and regain some of that early power, he could make an impact on the Yankees roster come 2015.
4. Eric Jagielo, 3B
Last Seven Days: 2 G, .111 BA, 1 HR, 0 BB
2014 Stats: 49 G, .251 BA, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 42 SO
Eric Jagielo was the first of the Yankees' three first-round draft choices from the 2013 draft.
He was scouted as one of the best college bats available and a player who could rise through the minors quickly.
Considering the hole the Yankees have at third base, that prospect had to entice them.
Jagielo is just coming back from an injury, so his recent progress is incomplete. He has displayed great power, and his lefty swing is tailor-made for Yankee Stadium.
Jagielo has not wowed in the minors yet, but gaining more consistent at-bats will help the Yankees fully assess what they have in their young third baseman.
3. Slade Heathcott, OF
Last Seven Days: Out for season after knee surgery
2014 Stats: 9 G, .182 BA, 0 HR, 4 R, 3 BB
Slade Heathcott has all the talent in the world but may never be able to display it because he can't stay healthy.
He had a big 2012 season in high Single-A, earning a promotion to Double-A to start 2013.
That is pretty much where the positives end. His numbers decreased across the board, and he battled more injuries.
Hoping to rebound this season, in a short sample size Heathcott was off to a slow start before being lost to an injury. Considering he ranks as one of the highest prospects in the organization, the Yankees need him to stay on the field.
2. Mason Williams, OF
Last Seven Days: 6 G, .128 BA, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SB
2014 Stats: 86 G, .206 BA, 47 R, 19 SB, 36 BB
Things continue looking bleak for the Yankees as we rise in their prospect rankings. Mason Williams at one point was the darling of the Yankees farm system.
Williams rose all the way to No. 32 on Baseball America's list entering 2013. He has since seen that rank drop to all the way to No. 85.
He is another prospect who steamrolled through Single-A only to hit a significant roadblock once reaching Double-A Trenton.
Williams has been fighting with the Mendoza Line all season, but the Yankees aren't giving up on him yet.
1. Gary Sanchez, C
Last Seven Days: 5 G, .200 BA, 0 HR, 1 BB, 5 SO
2014 Stats: 76 G, .270 BA, 9 HR, 45 RBI, 60 SO
Gary Sanchez is the Yankees' top prospect, and it has been that way for the past several years.
A strong arm and a power bat make him a promising prospect, but something just isn't right.
He seems to have plateaued at Double-A Trenton, and his numbers have become stagnant. They aren't bad, and he shows decent consistency, but you expect more from the top prospect.
Frankly, I believe the signing of Brian McCann is a big red flag and an indication that Sanchez isn't quite ready. The Yankees may be willing to move on from him and trade him for an important piece.