On Saturday night, MLB Pipeline unveiled their latest installment of their Top 100 prospects in baseball. Among the top 100, six of them are in the New York Yankees organization.
Out of those six, infielder Gleyber Torres (fifth), outfielder Estevan Florial (44th), and left-handed starter Justus Sheffield (48th) made the Top 50. Outside of the top 50, the players that made the list were third baseman Miguel Andujar (65th) as well as starters Albert Abreu (74th) and Chance Adams (75th).
The Yankees were one of six teams to have six or more prospects on the Top 100 list as they were tied with the Phillies and Rays for third. The three teams that had more prospects were the White Sox and Padres (seven) and the Braves (eight).
Torres headlines the list and his ranking is one spot higher than his Baseball America ranking from earlier in the week. If the Yankees don’t add a veteran second baseman this winter, Torres won’t be on this list for long if he ends up being the second baseman with the big league club when the season begins.
In 2018, Torres could have some company at the major league level in the infield if Andujar can impress the Yankees in spring training with his improved defense and his strong offensive ability. While being ranked 65th may seem low, remember he was ranked as the third-best third baseman by MLB Pipeline earlier in the week.
If there is one small surprise from this list, it is that Abreu is higher than Adams. While the two are basically the same ranking, Adams is the more advanced pitcher. But, despite his 15 wins with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre last year, the command is still an issue to a degree (43 walks in 21 starts).
Meanwhile, Abreu is coming off a season in which he made only 13 starts last year. With that being said, his fastball that can up to triple digits in velocity at times makes him an intriguing prospect that could rise up any of these lists with a strong 2018 campaign.
If Adams isn’t that far from getting his chance at the big league level, then neither is Sheffield. Sheffield was ranked seven spots lower than his Baseball America ranking. If you go back to last year’s preseason BA ranking, he moved all the way up from number 91 after posting a 3.17 ERA in 18 starts with Double-A Trenton last year.
Finally, if you look at Florial’s ranking, he has risen all the way up in a year that saw him play in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend. While he has to work on cutting down his high strikeout totals (148 in 110 games), the 20-year-old will look to build on the strong finish he had with Class-A Advanced Tampa last season (.303 average in 19 games).
Now, every ranking system is different and you won’t find many that match up with each other. Remember, earlier this week, Keith Law of ESPN came out with his Top 100 prospects list (paid subscription), which had two Yankees in his top 50 (Torres and Sheffield) and right-handed pitcher Freicer Perez in his Top 100 (not on Baseball America or MLB Pipeline).
All of these lists are a good barometer of where the Yankees system stands up among the best in baseball because you get different viewpoints on different players. While the system took a hit with some of the big trades the Yankees made a season ago, they still have plenty of prospects that can make an impact in the next year or so on the big league club and it shows in these rankings.
Of course, you are also going to want to stay tuned to how we rank the top eight prospects in the Yankees system in the coming days here at Pinstriped Prospects.