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Jorge Mateo (Bryan Green)

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Judge, Sanchez, Mateo headline Baseball America’s top 100 list

  1. Three Yankee prospects were revealed in Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list. Jorge Mateo and Gary Sanchez were revealed on Friday night’s top-50 countdown televised on MLB Network. Aaron Judge was revealed online at no.76 list prior to the show.

Here’s how Baseball America writers, media and scouts evaluated the talent of each player.

#76—Aaron Judge, OF
Age
: 23   ETA: 2016
Hit: 45. Power: 75. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60

A free-swinging approach has led to many hits, but also a lot of strikeouts. He dropped 23 spots from his ranking last year.

“I don’t think people are as high on him as they had been. There are flaws that need to be corrected, and people are rightly concerned about his frame giving pitchers plenty to attack when looking for Ks. He’s got massive raw power for sure. Let’s put it this way: When I was considering No. 1 prospect in this system, I always thought it was a two-horse race between Mateo and Sanchez.”
– Josh Norris, Assistant Editor, in a December interview.

#36—Gary Sanchez, C
Age
: 23   ETA: 2016
Hit: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 30. Fielding: 50. Arm: 70

The consensus on Sanchez was that he’s been a top prospect for a long time. His development, both offensively and defensively at the upper levels, has earned him an opportunity to take control of the primary backup role to Brian McCann in 2015.

“To me, Gary Sanchez is their next catcher. Brian McCann signed for a long time, but Gary Sanchez. They cleared out, trading John Ryan Murphy in the offseason for Aaron Hicks of the Twins. That’s because of what Gary Sanchez did in the [Arizona] Fall League. [He] showed improved polish behind the plate, better receiving, 10 passed balls the year before, just two in 2015, he’s always had plus arm strength, he’s always had plus raw power. I think after what he’s done in Triple A and the Fall League, he’s ready to help in the big leagues now.”
John Manuel, Editor

“I feel like Gary Sanchez has been on this list forever. It does feel like that.”
JJ Cooper, Managing Editor

#26—Jorge Mateo, SS
Age
: 20   ETA: 2018
Hit
: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 80. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

Mateo stood out last season for his ability to combine blazing speed (82 steals in 117 games) with a solid .278 batting average across Single-A Charleston and Tampa last season. There was debate among the Baseball America writers about evaluating Mateo versus the next shortstop on the list, and no. 29 overall, Raul A. Mondesi of the Royals.

“Arguably the fastest player in the sport. Also has a great glove, he’s going to stick [at shortstop] in the big leagues.

Raul Mondesi Jr. what is it you guys see? He’s a career .240-something minor-league hitter, never above Double A, the Royals saw something, brought him up to the World Series for his debut. Why is Jorge Mateo, with over 80 steals last year, neck and neck with Raul Mondesi Jr.?”
Greg Amsinger, MLB Network Studio Host

Look where they played. As you said, Mondesi’s played a game in the World Series, but Mondesi spent all last year in Double A…He’s younger than Mateo. Mateo mainly did his domination in the [South Atlantic] league. That’s two steps ago, two years ago for Mondesi. Mateo though, he’s had more production so far.”
JJ Cooper, Managing Editor

He (Mateo) just produced more, and that’s just what it was for me. I was shocked that Mateo [wasn’t] younger than Mondesi when I started evaluating all of this. The big thing for me is the closer you get to the big leagues, the more you’ve got to perform. I know [Mondesi] is young for the level, but the reason I ranked Mateo over Mondesi is Mondesi still hasn’t performed.”
John Manuel, Editor          

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