Yankees prospects in KATOH’s Top 100, and those who missed

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Chris published his top 100 KATOH prospects on Fangraphs yesterday. Here are the Yankees that made the cut:

14. IF Gleyber Torres (8.9 WAR)

26. IF Tyler Wade (7.3 WAR)

62. RHP Chance Adams (5.0 WAR)

Torres’s rank is slightly lower than the consensus, but still excellent. KATOH has always been high on Wade, who is certainly a good prospect but not one who is a top prospect in scouts’ eyes. Opinions on Adams vary by publication, but clearly KATOH is a fan.

Some of the notable Yankees prospects who fell short in KATOH’s eyes: Justus Sheffield, Miguel Andujar, Estevan Florial, and Albert Abreu. Chris let me know each of their projections:

  • LHP Sheffield: 3.3 WAR
  • 3B Andujar: 3.2 WAR
  • CF Florial: 2.0 WAR
  • RHP Abreu: 0.9 WAR

So Sheffield and Andujar are in the category of “just missed”. Mauricio Dubon was the 100th ranked prospect per KATOH, and he had a 4.0 WAR projection, not far ahead of Sheffield and Andujar.

There are a few reasonable guesses to explain why KATOH isn’t as high on these four as others:

Pitchers tend to be riskier prospects, and KATOH accounts for this, hence the suppressed forecasts for Sheffield and Abreu. Both pitchers are currently more “stuff over results” prospects at this point, which also helps explain KATOH’s evaluation. Still, Sheffield’s projection is nothing to scoff at.

Andujar’s 3.2 WAR projection isn’t bad even though it didn’t make the top-100 cut. His 132 wRC+ paired with a low 13.6 percent strikeout rate was impressive in time with both Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton last year, and his power (.183 ISO) was solid to boot. However, it’s his defense that must be holding back the soon-to-be 23 year old’s projection. KATOH uses Clay Davenport’s stats for defense, and Andujar fared poorly per those metrics in the minors last year.

When it comes to Florial, the outfielder’s strikeout rate is the culprit. He went down on strikes 31.1 percent of the time last season with Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, which is troublesome. It’s hard to grade out highly from a stats-only model when you go down on strikes at such a high clip.

In all, having three top-100 caliber prospects from a stats-only model’s eyes is very good. Combine that with the young talent already in the big leagues that have graduated from prospect status, and things look even better.

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