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Where Are They Now: Yankees Top 30 Prospects (2016) – #25-21

At the end of the 2016 season the #1 prospect in the MLB was Corey Seager. Earlier this week he just got a contract for $325M over 10 years. This got me thinking: Where are the Yankees Top-30 prospects from that 2016 season?

Today we look at 2016 prospects #25 through #21:

 

Prospect #25: James Pazos (LHP)

2016 Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Where Is He Now? Minor League Free Agent (Elected on November 7th, 2021)

Where Was He Last? Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A, 2021)

According to his profile on the MLB Pipeline, James Pazos was at one point considered an untouchable prospect by Hal Steinbrenner. Needless to say, James Pazos did not reach the expectations that were placed on him. He spent parts of two seasons at the MLB level with the New York Yankees in 2015 and 2016, pitching a total of 18 games and just 8.1 innings in relief to a 5.40 ERA.

Pazos was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of San Diego. After the 2016 season, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Zack Littell to make room on the 40-Man roster. Pazos then spent 2 years in Seattle before being a part of a small part of package to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.P. Crawford, and then traded again to the Colorado Rockies before the 2019 season where he spent another 2 seasons before being DFA’ed. Before 2021 he signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is now a free agent.

What Was His Value? Officially, 0.1 bWAR at the MLB level and Zack Littell (who was later traded with Dietrich Enns for Jamie Garcia in 2018)

 


Prospect #24: Jeff Degano (LHP)

2016 Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Where Is He Now? No longer playing baseball

Where Was He Last? Staten Island Yankees (Short Season Class-A, 2017)

A member of the 2005 Canadian Little League World Series team (yes, seriously), Jeff Degano was a 2nd round draft pick by the New York Yankees in the 2015 MLB Draft out of Indiana State Univeristy. By 2018 he was out of professional baseball. Draft eligible in 4 different drafts, Degano had one breakout year in college after coming back from 2013 Tommy John Surgery.

As a professional, Degano pitched just 28.0 innings over 3 seasons around a combined 10.61 ERA. Before the season for the Staten Island Yankees began in 2018 began he was released and did not find another team to play for. He’s now been out of professional baseball for 3 years.

What Was His Value? -$650,000 signing bonus

 

Prospect #23: Kyle Holder (SS)

2016 Scouting Grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 30 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 65 | Overall: 45

Where Is He Now? Minor League Free Agent (Elected November 7th, 2021)

Where Was He Last? Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A, 2021)

Kyle Holder is, was, and will always be a defensive-first player. Since he was drafted, visions of Gold Gloves have been expected for him at the MLB level, but his bat has always lagged far behind. Over the course of 6 minor league seasons so far, Holder has had just one full season with an OPS above .700 (coming in 2019 as a 25-year-old at Double-A). Time is not lost on Holder as he is still just 27-years-old and was playing in the Yankees system at Triple-A in 2021, though he played in just 58 games and hit to a triple-slash of .216/.295/.276 (.571 OPS).

Drafted in the first round with the 30th overall pick by the New York Yankees in the 2015 MLB Draft (It was a bad draft year), Holder hasn’t been with the Yankees ever since. He was a Rule 5 pick for the 2021 season by the Philadelphia Phillies (and then traded for cash to the Cincinnati Reds, and then returned to the Yankees before the season began). He is now a minor league free agent.

What Was His Value? -$1.8 Million signing bonus; +$50K from Rule 5 return from the Reds

 

Prospect #22: Cale Coshow (RHP)

2016 Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

Where Is He Now? Minor League Free Agent (Elected November 7th, 2021)

Where Was He Last? Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers: Double-A, 2021)

Cale Coshow, after 8 minor league seasons is still trying to get that one chance to break onto a Major League roster and one has to think he has a chance. Since 2016, every minor leagues season that Coshow has pitched in he has exclusively been in Double-A ball or better. This has been consistent since the Yankees stopped trying to develop him as a starter in 2016 and he saw his best stats in 2017 between Double and Triple-A to a combined 3.75 ERA over 60.0 innings. However, while he remained a Yankee Coshow’s ERA never went below 4.90.

Coshow was signed by the Yankees in the 13th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Oklahoma Christian University. He spent 7 years in the Yankees organization before becoming a minor league free agent after the 2019 season. In 2020 Coshow played Indy ball in North Dakota and in 2021 he signed with the Detroit Tigers organization and pitched to a 4.18 ERA at Double-A Erie. He’s a minor league free agent again going into his age-29 season.

What Was His Value? -$100K signing bonus.

 

Prospect #21: Chance Adams (RHP)

2016 Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

Where Is He Now? Minor League Free Agent (Elected November 7th, 2021)

Where Was He Last? Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals: Triple-A, 2021)

At one point, Chance Adams was a Top-100 prospect in the MLB, and was considered a rising starting pitcher in the New York Yankees organization. Now, he’s attempting to make it back to the MLB after Tommy John surgery at the end of 2020. Adams pitched 33.0 innings for the Yankees over 2018 and 2019 while collecting a combined 8.18 ERA. He was then DFA’ed by the Yankees in a subsequent move to when they signed Gerrit Cole to his record-breaking 9-year contract after the 2019 season. At one point Adams was considered a potential prospect to trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Cole, how ironic and gut-punching that move must’ve been for the Yankees.

Adams was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 5th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Dallas Baptist University. 5 Days after being DFA’ed in 2019 Adams was traded to the Kansas City Royals for SS Cristian Perez (who reached Triple-A as a 22-year old this past season). After becoming a Royal, he was on the Alternate Site shuttle in 2020 while pitching to a 9.35 ERA over 8.1 relief innings. Like Coshow, Adams could return to the MLB and he does have a better prospect pedigree and is only entering his age-27 season.

What Was His Value? Officially -0.9 bWAR and trade fodder for a young non-prospect shortstop

 

What’ve We Learned So Far? (Part II)

We reach another 5 players who provided very little of value for the New York Yankees. Collectively, they combined for a total of 34 games (all from pitchers) with a total bWAR of -0.8. Only 2 of these 5 players cracked the MLB bubble and though Kyle Holder may re-sign with the Yankees for 2022, his chances of making the MLB are likely very slim. Outlook: Very Easily Replaceable

Collectively when it comes to signing bonuses, the Yankees spent a combined $2,980,000 to sign the five players above ($1.8M for Holder, $650K for Degano, $300K for Adams, and $100K each for Pazos and Coshow). None of them were traded for cash considerations, and though the Yankees did receive $50K back for letting Kyle Holder go for a little bit that’s not going to change our outlook. Outlook: Negative

As for players the Yankees have received in return in trades, the Yankees got half of Jaime Garcia (because Littell- from Pazos- was only half of the trade package to the Minnesota Twins) was an attempt to get a cheap and solid pitcher in 2017 for a Yankees team that made (and lost) the Wild Card game. It didn’t work. Additionally, the 22-year-old shortstop from Adams looks interesting, but he’s not a prospect and has a lot of competition for reps. Outlook: At least they tried?

———

We’re closer to reaching a more credible tier of prospects within a teams farm system, and combined over this post and yesterday’s the bottom 10 prospects from the 2016 Yankees Top-30 prospects played just 145 games in pinstripes/road grays. Together they’ve combined for -0.9 bWAR. Together they’ve cost the Yankees $5,429,000 in signing bonuses (not counting MLB or MiLB salaries), though they have helped relieve the Yankees of $13,000,000 in contractual obligations (thanks to Bryan Mitchell).

Like yesterday, I challenge you to consider the Yankees current #21-25 prospects in their farm system. One of them has made the MLB roster. Are these players that would make you want to hold up any type of deal for an MLB talent?

Tomorrow things get a bit more interesting.

#WhereAreTheyNow

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