Yesterday's first 10 was an eclectic mix of prospect talent, a jumbled combination of MLB-readiness, high-ceiling projection, and reliable floor. Positions 20-11 on the 2016 IIATMS Top 30 are very similar. We've got pitchers knocking on the door to the big leagues, pitchers who've just started their pro careers, and pitchers who are switching roles. We've got a 6-year MiL veteran who never popped up much on the prospect radar until breaking out last year and a former blue chip international signing who may have already flamed out in A-ball. If you haven't seen positions 30-21, you should probably go back and read that first. But if you're ready to move on, here's the middle 10 of our 2016 top 30:
20) Cale Coshow- RHSP, Double-A Trenton Age: 23, Throws: R Drafted: 13th Round, 2013 2015 Stats: 2.45 ERA,85 H, 97 K/28 BB in 114.0 IP (A-, A+, AA) ETA: 2017-2018
Scott's Take- His 33 IP as a starter at AA were just OK (3.51 ERA; 3.5 BB & 5.7 K/9), but there’s more. He’d been among a faceless horde of hard-throwing righty relievers before being converted to starting. You relieve rather than start mainly if you lack a third pitch, durability, talent, and/or composure – so among many relievers, the Yankees clearly liked his 4-pitch arsenal and durability (he’s 6’5”/260) best. Starting also requires more strategy and growth mindset than relieving, and check out how Coshow’s 2015 recap showed more mental horsepower than most have:
“I’m working on my changeup and slider. I’ve seen success with both … because the coaches have really guided me well.… My cutter has come a long way. It’s become a high quality and high strikeout pitch for me that I can command against righties and lefties. … Mechanically I’ve been sound. … [F]inetuning, like not stepping too closed, thus making it harder to throw down and away to righties. … No big changes this offseason. Just clean up my eating and get in better shape … I always strive to be the hardest worker.”
Compare man-child CC Sabathia, who wasted his God-given talent early by disintegrating the knee he kept plopping his 300-pound tub of a body onto. That contrast is why I never liked old CC but am pulling for Coshow – the new CC – who doesn’t have Hall-of-Fame talent, yet is a terrific bet to max out what he does have.
19) Miguel Andujar- 3B, High-A Tampa Age: 20, Bats: R, Throws: R Signed as international FA, 2011 2015 Stats: .244/.288/.363, 24 2B, 8 HR, 57 RBI, 54 R, 12 SB in 520 A+ PA ETA: 2018
Tamar's Take- Another young Yankee infield prospect, Andujar turns 21 next month and just wrapped up a decent year in Tampa, where he hit .243/.288/.363. A strong defensive player with a lot of as offensive potential, Andujar projects to stay at third base down the road thanks to a strong throwing arm and good hand. Speed is not his strong suit on either side of the field, however, despite his improved footwork at third. Often one of the youngest players in the league he is playing in, Andujar has typically been slow to adjust as he is promoted each year, so don’t be concerned if he starts his eventual bump to Trenton off a bit cold.
18) Kyle Holder- SS, Low-A Charleston Age: 21, Bats: L, Throws: R Drafted: 1st Round, 2015 2015 Stats: .213/.273/.253, 8 XBH, 23 R, 12 RBI in 250 SS SI PA ETA: 2018-2019
EJ's Take- Sometimes, you wonder if the Yankees learn their lesson. Kyle Holder looks a lot like Cito Culver. The 21-year-old shortstop has elite defense skills, but very little offensive ceiling. If he's lucky, he'll put up an empty batting average that keeps him in the major leagues. Think Alcides Escobar. But if his offensive skills sink just a little bit, he won't be a major league starter regardless of how good his glove his. For a (late) first round pick, that's not a lot of value.
17) Drew Finley- RHSP, Low-A Charleston Age: 19, Throws: R Drafted: 3rd Round, 2015 2015 Stats: 3.94 ERA, 41 K/19 BB in 32.0 IP (App. League Pulaski) ETA: 2019
Brad's Take- In many ways, Finley is a slightly younger version of top 2015 pick James Kaprielian. He has similar size (6'3"/200), they're both Cali kids, they both throw fastball-curveball-changeup (with Kap also featuring a slider), and they even pitch with the same hand (!!). Finley made the jump from HS to the pros, unlike Kaprielian, but don't let that fool you into thinking he's a raw project. He's considered very advanced for his age, with plus command of all 3 pitches and a smooth delivery. Finley got the most work out of the crop of 2015 draft prospects, making 12 carefully managed starts for rookie league Pulaski. His BB (12.6%) and HR (2.53/9) rates were way out of line with his reported command, but I'm willing to chalk part of that up to rust. He only surrendered 1 ER in 13.2 IP over his final 5 starts with 17 strikeouts, and that's enough to get me excited about his first full season. He has all the tools to become a mid-rotation starter at worst and a strong showing in 2016 could vault him into the top 10.
T-15) Nick Rumbelow- RHRP, AAA/MLB Age: 24, Throws: R Drafted: 7th Round, 2013 2015 Stats: 4.02 ERA, 15 K in 15.2 MLB IP/4.27 ERA, 57 K in 52.2 AAA IP ETA: 2016
Tamar's Take- After an exciting first full season of baseball in 2014, in which Rumbelow busted his way through Charleston, Tampa, Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he put together some solid work in SWB in 2015 and even got a taste of the big leagues. He threw 15.2 innings for the Bronx Bombers and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on two homers and five walks, all while striking out fifteen. The right-handed reliever has a strong mid-90s fastball and an outstanding curve, contributing to his ability to miss bats quite a bit. He's expected to be in the mix in the big league 'pen again this year and could sneak onto the Opening Day roster.
T-15) Tyler Wade- SS, Double-A Trenton Age: 21, Bats: L, Throws: R Drafted: 4th Round, 2013 2015 Stats: .262/.321/.333, 15 2B, 3 HR, 57 RBI, 33 SB in 535 PA (A+, AA) ETA: 2018
EJ's Take- Wade is hard to read. We know he can play defense. We know that he received a surprising early promotion to Single-A Charleston in 2014, and went on to hit a decent .272/.350/.349 (101 wRC+) as a 19 year-old. We know that he followed it up by hitting an even better .280/.349/.353 in Tampa a year later, before earning a promotion to Double-A as a twenty year-old and an invitation to the AZFL. We don't know if Tyler Wade has any real room to grow as a hitter and that's what we need to find out this year. If he keeps putting up an average batting line, he's could have a very long career as an Erick Aybar or Didi Gregorius type. Or he could stop hitting just barely well enough and end up as Brendan Ryan.
14) Brady Lail- RHSP, Triple-A SWB Age: 22, Bats: R, Throws: R Drafted: 18th Round, 2012 2015 Stats: 2.91 ERA, 141 H, 85 K/43 BB in 148.1 IP (A+, AA, AAA) ETA: 2016-2017
Brad's Take- I'll be honest and admit that I don't fully know what I think of Brady Lail as a prospect. He threw a lot of innings last season and he was mostly effective in them. His K rates at Double-A and Triple-A were comically low though, and that doesn't necessarily bode well for his future potential in the Majors. At age 22, he was a little young for Triple-A and I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he could improve his results across the board there with some more experience. But he's also been in the system since 2012, so he's close to Rule 5 eligibility without being on the 40-man, and he's never shown consistent swing-and-miss ability with his stuff. If he can learn from his SWB experience in 2015 and unlock something more in his repertoire, he could become a viable 5th starter/swingman option. And even if he doesn't, he's only a few injuries away from the show.
13) Luis Torrens- C, Low-A Charleston Age: 19, Bats: R, Throws: R Signed as international FA, 2012 2015 Stats: DNP (Shoulder Surgery) ETA: 2019
William's Take- Torrens was receiving some accolades as the best catcher in the Yankees’ system in 2014, which is saying something when Gary Sanchez is among that group and Torrens hadn't been playing the position very long. He lacked patience at the plate, but seemed to be hitting the ball with authority and he was gunning out potential base steals at a great pace. There were signs that something wasn’t quite right though, and he had one stint on the disabled list for a balky shoulder. That turned out to be a serious injury, as it was diagnosed as a labrum tear and Torrens ended up missing the entire 2015 season. According to George King, Torrens is now healthy and ready to return this spring. The Yankees did not invite him to camp, which is understandable after losing an entire season. But Torrens won’t turn 20 until May, so he is young and has plenty of time to develop.
12) Ben Gamel- OF, Triple-A SWB Age: 23, Bats: L, Throws: L Drafted: 10th Round, 2010 2015 Stats: .300/.358/.472, 52 XBH, 64 RBI, 77 R, 13 SB in 551 AAA PA ETA: 2016
EJ's Take- I didn't get the hype around Gamel before his breakout 2015 season. Gamel had 'bloodlines' in the sense that his brother barely held on in the majors as a journeyman in recent years. Scouts liked his swing, but Gamel never seemed to get results, and wasn't particularly athletic or great defensively (although he has played a bit of CF in the minors). Then, coincidentally when Gamel finally escaped some of the minor's toughest hitting environments, he put together a killer .300/.358/.472 (115 wRC+) batting line in 2015. Gamel is still only 23 years old, has proven to be a strong hitter, and won't embarrass anyone on defense. Gamel is a dark horse 2016 contributor for the Yankees. Think Kole Calhoun.
11) Wilkerman Garcia- SS, GCL Age: 17, Bats: S, Throws: R Signed as international FA, 2014 2015 Stats: .281/.396/.347, 6 2B, 20 R, 18 RBI in 121 GCL PA ETA: 2019-2020
EJ's Take- Every season, a mysterious super athletic Latin American teenager gets attention as the next big Yankee prospect. Think Leonardo Molina or Ravel Santana. This year, that guy is Garcia. His solid .281/.396/.347 stateside debut at 17 was very encouraging, considering his age and keeping in mind the fact that many of his fellow big money '14 signees were playing in the Dominican Summer League. He's athletic, has some power projection, seems to have a very good approach and eye for his age, and may stick at shortstop. He could be the next Jorge Mateo or we could never hear from him again. There's not much more to say after one rookie league season other than we'll see.
** Coming up tomorrow- The Top 10 **