There’s no question that the Yankees farm system had a successful 2015 campaign. Here are the players at each position that stood out above the rest.
[nextpage title=”1″ ]
Pitcher- Luis Severino
MiLB Stats: 99.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 8.9 K/9
You have to go back all the way to 2005 and look at Phil Hughes to find a Yankees starting pitcher with as much buzz as Luis Severino. He cruised through two levels, en route to the Major Leagues this season. Severino has everything that’s needed to become a pillar in which the Yankees rotation can count on for the next few years. The best news of all, is at the age of 21, he’s only going to get better.
[nextpage title=”2″ ]
Reliever- Nick Goody
MiLB Stats: 62.1 IP, 1.59 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 12.1 K/9
The Yankees have built impressive bullpen depth throughout their farm system over the past few years. Nick Goody fits the profile for what the team looks for in reliever, a power arm that strikes out a lot of batters. He’ll certainly make a run for the 2016 big league bullpen
[nextpage title=”3″ ]
Catcher- Gary Sanchez
MiLB Stats: .274 AVG, 18 HR, 62 RBI, .815 OPS
Now 22 years old, it appears that the Yankees patience with Gary Sanchez’s growing pains are paying dividends. His bat has never been a question and continues to be steady as he’s risen through the system. Defensively, he continues to make strides to become an adequate defender behind the plate. Sanchez sits on the cusp of the big leagues after a cameo big league appearance in 2015. The most likely scenarios have him returning to Scranton or being moved in a trade this offseason.
[nextpage title=”4″ ]
First Base- Greg Bird
MiLB Stats: .277 AVG, 12 HR, 52 RBI, .825 OPS
With the “Core Four” retired, the fan base has been awaiting the next group of youth to lead the way in the Bronx. Greg Bird has been praised for his sweet left handed swing, plate discipline and solid power through his ascension in the system. The question is always, how will minor league performance translate into Major League results? The proof is in the pudding, Bird will force his way to some at bats in the Bronx for 2016.
[nextpage title=”5″ ]
Second Base- Rob Refsnyder
MiLB Stats: .271 AVG, 9 HR, 56 RBI, .761 OPS
There’s no question that Rob Refsnyder’s bat will play, but would his defense improve enough to be adequate going forward. That picture remains cloudy at best, as Refsnyder will have to hone his defensive skills in order to be viable at second base going forward. Offensively, he would fit the Pinstripes like a glove. A right handed batter that can hit for average and has pop, you take that at second base everyday of the week. The opportunity is there, but can he make the adjustments needed to seize it? The jury is still out on that one.
[nextpage title=”6″ ]
Shortstop- Jorge Mateo
MiLB Stats: .278 AVG, 2 HR, 40 RBI, .737 OPS, 82 SB
This pick will surprise no one as Jorge Mateo garnered national media attention this season. You talk to anybody that has seen him play live and the reactions are the same. He’s a special talent that possesses a quick bat, incredible speed and developing defense. More than likely he’ll begin the 2016 season in Tampa, but it’s possible that he could push the envelope and end next season in Trenton. Still only 20 years old, it’s exciting to dream about the dynamic presence that he could provide going forward.
[nextpage title=”7″ ]
Third Base- Nelson Gomez
MiLB Stats: .243 AVG, 11 HR, 55 RBI, .785 OPS
Nelson Gomez continues to show the bat that scouts had praised during the 2014 International Free Agency period. While he’ll have to cut down on his strikeouts going forward, he did show the ability to get on base at an above-average rate. At just 18 years old, Gomez has a very long road ahead, but his first season was certainly a success.
[nextpage title=”8″ ]
Left Field- Trey Amburgey
MiLB Stats: .346 AVG, 5 HR, 30 RBI, .923 OPS, 21 SB
It appears that they Yankees pulled off a steal when the drafted Trey Amburgey in the 13th round of the Major League Draft. He started his career with an assignment in the GCL, but the adjustment didn’t faze him as tore through the league with a triple slash of .333/.404/.430. Promoted to Short Season Staten Island in mid-August, he would help drive the offense for their NYPL playoff run. You couldn’t have scripted a better start to a professional career than the start that Amburgey experienced. His next challenge will most likely come from full season ball in 2016.
[nextpage title=”9″ ]
Center Field- Ben Gamel
MiLB Stats: .300 AVG, 10 HR, 64 RBI, .830 OPS, 13 SB
Other than the pitching categories, this was the toughest position to choose the best player. When level of play and the numbers were crunched, Ben Gamel was indeed that guy in 2015. He began the year as a fourth outfielder in a position of great depth in the organization. On a Scranton team that saw many players shuttled back and forth to the Bronx, Gamel was the one constant. He certainly has put himself on the prospect map, but will he be a one hit wonder or will he force his way to New York?
[nextpage title=”10″ ]
Right Field- Aaron Judge
MiLB Stats: .255 AVG, 20 HR, 72 RBI, .777 OPS, 7 SB
Like Severino and Bird, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding Aaron Judge. After all, he’s the biggest hitting prospect that the Yankees have had in many years. It wasn’t all roses for Judge, as Triple-A pitching proved to be challenging. A player with Judge’s size will always have some swing and miss in his game, that’s just the way it is. He’s on the cusp of the major leagues and if he makes the necessary adjustments to his game will find himself in the Bronx at some point in 2016. The most likely scenario has him taking over the right field reigns in 2017.
[nextpage title=”11″ ]
Utility- Jose Pirela
MiLB Stats: .310 AVG, 3 HR, 23 RBI, .792 OPS, 1 SB
A new age has dawned in the baseball world as more and more teams are looking for positional flexibility using players that fit the Ben Zobrist mold. Jose Pirela fit this description perfectly. During the 2015 season, Pirela played first base, second base, third base and all three outfield positions. While he won’t win a gold glove for his defense or a triple crown for his bat, what he does bring is serviceable defense and a solid bat.
Many names that made this are well known and have appeared on many different top prospect lists. Others that were named honorable mentions are on their way to taking those spots in 2016.