December 17, 2007
John Sickels Top 20 Yanks Prospects
John Sickels has published his list of the Yankees Top 20 Prospects for 2008:
1. Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Grade A
2. Jose Tabata, OF, Grade B+
3. Ian Kennedy, RHP, Grade B+
4. Alan Horne, RHP, Grade B
5. Austin Jackson, OF, Grade B-
6. Bradley Suttle, 3B, Grade B-
7. Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B-
8. Austin Romine, C, Grade B- (hate grading guys who haven't played yet, could be C+)
9. Jesus Montero, C, Grade C+ (borderline B-)
10. Dan McCutchen, RHP, Grade C+
11. Brett Gardner, OF, Grade C+
12. Damon Sublett, 2B, Grade C+ (love this guy)
13. Andrew Brackman, RHP, Grade C+ (could slot anywhere from 9 to 20 depending on what you want to emphasize)
14. Jeffrey Marquez, RHP, Grade C+
15. George Kontos, RHP, Grade C+
16. Kevin Whelan, RHP, Grade C+ (check those K/IP and H/IP, but command?)
17. Frank Cervelli, C, Grade C+ (great glove, bat?)
18. David Robertson, RHP, Grade C+ (stunning numbers)
19. Jairo Heredia, RHP, Grade C+
20. Zach McAllister, RHP, Grade C+
No Humberto Sanchez? No J. Brent Cox? No Mark Melancon? That's fine...but, then, how can you have Brackman at # 13? Note that Ross Ohlendorf and Edwar Ramirez did not make the top twenty either.
Comparing the list to Kevin Goldstein's latest on the Yankees system, tells us that Kevin and John agree that Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, and Alan Horne are the Yankees top five prospects.
It will be interesting to see if the Yankees rotation in 2009 will be Wang, Chamberlain, Kennedy, Hughes, and Horne - or, if the Yankees will move one of the kids for someone like Santana, and/or, try and bring back Pettitte for 2009.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at December 17, 2007 09:33 AM
I guess Hughes and his 73IP are no longer considered a prospect, right? Otherwise, I'm kinda surprised he's not on this list.
As to the 2009 rotation question, bank on Hughes/Kennedy not being a part of it. I'm convinced Hank Frankenstein (looks like him to me) wants to preach youth but won't practice what he preaches. I think he's itching to spend $150M of daddy's cash.
Yeah, Hughes is not on the list because of his big-league innings.
I like this list a lot more than I like Goldstein's, who, admittedly, most Yankee fans hate.
I wouldn't put Horne above Jackson, and I'm surprised Suttle is number 6.
It is also kind of weird that J.B. and Sanchez don't get a mention because of injury, but Brackman is there, and he hasn't thrown a single pro inning.
For me, prospect lists have to be considered like a national broadcast team calling your local game. They know a little, but they don't watch the team every day, so they don't know EVERYTHING. There's no way anyone can really know everyone on every team in the minors, so they end up relying a lot just on numbers and other people's opinions. It's tough.
Baileywalk, did you see Sickels' writeup of the Boston prospects? I agree that all these reports should be taken with a grain of salt. But even with the proper amount of skepticism, it still shows how far the Yanks have to go before they catch up with the kind of depth the BoSox have.
MJ, actually (according to Sickels), the Yanks have more depth than the Sawx. he thinks they have a couple more top end prospects (w/o including Hughes of course) but the Yanks have more quality lower down the ladder.
Jed Lowrie an A- but Kennedy just a B+?
oh, and he just increased AJax to a B.
btw, just bc Sickels says so doesn't make it so. this isn't holy writ.
Posted by: Travis G. at December 17, 2007 01:29 PM
I took a look at the Red Sox list. It's really impossible to judge it myself because I know very little about most of them. But since I don't always agree with what Sickels has to say about Yankees' prospects, like Travis said, I won't take it as the definitive last word on those players.
I guess it should be noted that Sickels wrote the following: "I will admit that posting this makes me nervous, as Red Sox fans are increasingly passionate about their farm system. This is a good thing, obviously...however some members of Red Sox nation are starting to get obnoxious, acting, I dare say, like Yankees fans. Watch your hubris, guys and gals."
So I guess we're just a bunch of obnoxious jerks. Hey, thanks for casually painting the millions of Yankee fans with that brush, dude. I'm so sick of this attitude -- like Yankee fans are these slobbering idiots. What will we get blamed for next?
Anyway... Sickels seems to be overrating Ellsbury and Lowrie (based on the numbers) in my opinion.
The thing to keep in mind is: if the Yankees were willing to add Horne/Jackson or Kennedy to Hughes and Melky, the Twins would have jumped (hell, they were supposedly willing to take Jeff Marquez instead of Horne and Jackson).
The Sox offered up all their guys -- Lester/Ellsbury (supposedly an A-) plus Lowrie (another A-) and Masterson, but the Twins didn't want any part of it.
This doesn't mean Lowrie and and Masterson (and Ellsbury, who can hit) aren't good, but if all three were really going to be that good -- Sickels' rating system says Ellsbury and Lowrie are potential superstars -- wouldn't the Twins have jumped on that deal?
Lowrie is pretty good, the main question is wether he could at least be a adequet SS. if he's a 2B than it's a lot more problematic obviously. Sickle himself admited he would be a B+ if he was a 2B.
Ellsbury, we'll have to wait and see. he's exicting though . just not sure if assuming a speed / average guy translating everything into the bigs so easily is such a good idea.
I don't disagree with this list too much. for the Yanks, most of the guys with truely great ceilings are still not in AA yet. ( A-jax / Tabata / Montero / Beteance ) while the guys who have done well in the upper minors of majors (aside from Joba ) isn't likely going to be a big time star.