While injuries are a concern, they are not stopping anyone from considering Jorge Mateo to be one of the top prospects in the Yankees organization. He is definitely the top shortstop prospect in the system and projects to remain at the position as he continues his development in the minor leagues.
After signing for $225,000 out of the Dominican Republic in January 2012, Mateo made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Yankees when he as 17 years old. In his first season he played in just 14 games where he had 14 hits in 55 at bats with two doubles, a triple, homerun and 8 RBIs while walking 12 times. A hairline fracture in his left arm caused him to miss significant time.
Bouncing back from injury Jorge returned to the Dominican Summer League in 2013 where in 64 games he hit .287 with 74 hits in 258 at bats. That season he hit 9 doubles, 6 triples and 7 homeruns while driving in 26 runs and walking 34 times. He earned the promotion to the Gulf Coast League in 2014 where he made his United States debut at age 19. In his first season in the US he hit .276 but was limited to just 15 games after he suffered a broken left wrist. In 58 at bats he had 16 hits, 5 doubles, a triple and 1 RBI.
While the injuries have set Mateo back a bit he still poses some of the best raw tools in the system. He is a topline runner with speed that was rated at 80 on the 80-point scouting scale. Combine that with average power and strong understanding of the strike zone he could develop into one of the better hitters in the farm system. He has shown good range at short with a plus arm.
Look for Jorge Mateo to start 2015 in Extended Spring Training and then head to Pulaski to be the starting shortstop for the new Pulaski Yankees of the Appalachian League.
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