In the last two days, I ranked and analyzed the Yankees’ top 10 prospects as well as prospects 11-20 through the first four months of the 2014 season. Today’s installment looks at prospects 21 through 30.
#21 Miguel AndujarAge: 19
Position: Third Base
2014 KATOH: 78%
Miguel Andujar looked pretty over-matched to start the season, but has started to turn things around as of late. While his overall numbers are still mediocre, he’s quietly hit nine home runs on the year.
Andujar had been all tools and no performance up to this point, so its encouraging to see some signs of life. Still a teenager, Andujar’s quite young for his level, which makes his recent success all the more encouraging. Andujar’s still a very raw commodity, but his recent performance suggests he may be growing into his tools and tapping into his potential.
#22 Nick GoodyAge: 22
Position: Right Handed Pitcher
Nick Goody sat out a month for an undisclosed reason, but rejoined the Trenton Thunder last week. Goody’s performance hasn’t skipped a beat this year, even after missing all of 2013 with Tommy John surgery. Through 19 innings, he’s struck out 35, while only walking eight.
As great as Goody’s been, he’s still reliever, which means he can only have so much value long-term. We’ll see how he fares in the upper levels of the minors, but his performance to date suggests he could develop into a top-notch reliever sooner rather than later.
#23 Jose RamirezAge: 24
Position: Right Handed Pitcher
Jose Ramirez spent some time in the big leagues earlier this year, but returned to the minors to work on his spotty command. He went on the minor league DL shortly thereafter and hasn’t pitched since July 6th.
The hard-throwing Dominican certainly has the stuff to thrive as a reliever, but a combination of injuries and command issues are holding him back for now. If he can find a way to stay healthy, it will be interesting to see what he can do once he gets acclimated to pitching just one inning at a time.
#24 Taylor DugasAge: 24
2014 KATOH: 67%
Since he was drafted in 2012, Taylor Dugas has posted exceptional plate discipline stats at ever minor league stop and this year’s been no exception. Dugas slashed an impressive .294/.403/.424 at Double-A Trenton before hitting an impressive .289/.369/.351 mark with Triple-A Scranton.
At 24, Dugas is a little old to be just arriving in Triple-A, but his on-base numbers speak for themselves. Dugas will probably never be much of a hitter, but he can draw a walk and can cover a good amount of ground in the outfield. The last thing the Yankees need is another punchless lefty outfielder, but that’s exactly what Dugas is — and he’s very close to being big-league ready.
#25 Leonardo MolinaAge: 16
2014 KATOH: 22%
Leonardo Molina, the Yankees’ big prize from last year’s international signing period, is getting his first taste of pro ball this year. The Yankees clearly think highly of Molina, as they opted to start Molina in the GCL this year rather than in the DSL, where many international signees get their start. The performance hasn’t been there yet, but for at 16, he still has plenty of time to parlay his tools into on-field performance.
Molina’s a top-notch athlete, which is why the Yankees dropped $1.4M last summer. He’s still über raw, but has plus-plus speed and is projected to be a good hitter as well. Based on his loud tools, most scouts to believe that he’ll develop into an excellent center fielder a few years down the road.
#26 Jose PirelaAge: 24
Position: Second Base, Left Field, Right Field, Shortstop, First Base
2014 KATOH: 97%
After getting off to a slow start, Jose Pirela has hit the snot out of the ball since May, and now holds an impressive .330/.377/.468 batting line in his last 83 games. Although he’s a second baseman by trade, he’s played all over the diamond this year, including significant time in the outfield.
Pirela’s never going to be a star, but is highly versatile and could be a useful major league player right now. His future’s almost certainly as a backup or platoon player, but players like that can certainly be valuable. There’s a good chance he’ll get a cameo in September, and could be in the mix for a bench role in 2015.
#27 Jorge MateoAge: 19
2014 KATOH: 25%
2012 international signee Jorge Mateo had a very impressive stint in the Dominican Summer League last year, which earned him a trip to the United States this year. The shortstop was hitting very well before going on the DL with an unknown injury in early July. No clue what’s going on with him, but hopefully he’ll be back soon.
Mateo’s tools are obvious. He’s stolen a remarkable 60 bases in 77 games between this year and last, and has even hit seven homers to boot. He still has a very long way to go, but could develop into a lethal power/speed threat. That would be an extraordinarily valuable combination if he’s able to stick at shortstop.
#28 Tyler WadeAge: 19
2014 KATOH: 71%
Tyler Wade hasn’t been great in his first full pro season, but has consistently held his own as a 19-year-old with Charleston. He hasn’t hit for a lick of power, but has still managed to get on base at a solid .356 clip.
A fifth round pick from last year, Wade doesn’t have a tremendous prospect pedigree. Nonetheless, he mans a premium position and hasn’t embarrassed himself at the plate despite facing pitchers much older — and much better — than he’d ever seen before. Still, he’ll struggle against upper-level pitching if doesn’t add a little more power to his game.
#29 Alex PalmaAge: 18
2014 KATOH: 45%
The Yankees signed Alexander Palma to a $800k signing bonus back in 2012, and opted to bring him state-side following a strong performance in the Dominican Summer League last year. Palma’s struggled to get on base in the Gulf Coast League, but has struck out just 9% of the time, while also hitting for decent power.
Palma was pretty highly-touted when he came over from Venezuela and has hit pretty well since joining the Yankees organization. But as with any 18-year-old, he’s all tools and projection at this point.
#30 Angel AguilarAge: 19
2014 KATOH: 31%
Venezuelan shortstop Angel Aguilar also made the trip to the States this year after playing the last two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. Aguilar’s hit for an impressive amount of power this year, clubbing six homers in 32 games thus far.
Aguilar’s another projection guy, but he’s put forth a strong showing at the plate so far. And that kind of power showing is certainly encouraging, especially coming from a shortstop. He’s still very far a way, but will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.