Yankees place seven prospects in Baseball America's Midseason Top-100 ranking
The Yankees' youth movement was the talk of spring training, and its extended further into regular season play as a host of rookies have made their MLB debuts for the Bombers this season, while playing crucial roles on a team with its eyes on a postseason run.
Senior Vice President and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was lauded for the moves he made in 2016 to help supercharge New York's farm system entering the new year, and many of the players he landed were recently included on Baseball America's Midseason Top-100 Prospects list, revealed Friday.
Here now we examine which seven players made BA's list, and how they've fared so far in 2017.
No. 3 - INF Gleyber Torres
The central piece in the 2016 Aroldis Chapman trade with the Cubs, the 20-year-old infielder is widely considered a can't-miss prospect despite the fact that his season came to an end after suffering a freak injury sliding into home plate shortly after his promotion to Triple-A on May 23.
Torres successfully underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his non-throwing left elbow, and will be back for Spring Training 2018, looking to build on a blazing start to his Yankees career. In 23 games at the Triple-A level, Torres slashed .309/.406/.457 with seven extra-base hits, 16 RBI, nine runs and 13 walks over 96 plate appearances.
No. 36 - OF Blake Rutherford
Rutherford was New York's first-round pick selected 18th overall in last year's amateur draft, and the California native has wasted little time adjusting to his new occupation as a pro ballplayer in the minors. With 95 career games in Low-A and Rookie ball, Rutherford has posted a slash line of .296/.362/.439 with a whopping 36 extra-base hits during that span.
Rutherford remains one of the several strong outfield prospects the Yankees have stockpiled through trades and the draft, and could be a major impact player after he's had more time to develop.
No. 49 - OF Clint Frazier
The man known as "Red Thunder" made his MLB debut in historic fashion last July 1, as he became the first Yankee in history to log a home run and a double in his first big league game. Frazier is not short on confidence, but his early success and immense physical tools make him another intriguing Yankees outfield prospect with huge promise.
The Yankees have enjoyed huge production from their starting outfield unit, however injuries have allowed Frazier a chance to show fans and team personnel the kind of talent he's got on the biggest stage.
No. 56 - RHP Chance Adams
Adams has garnered considerable attention throughout the first half of the 2017 season as his Triple-A outings continue to dazzle. The 22-year-old former fifth-round pick enters Friday with a 6-2 record and a 2.39 ERA over his first 10 starts for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and Bomber fans have clamored for his arrival with the big league club.
There's a great chance Adams will get his first taste of MLB action before the year is up, but for now he'll hope to keep up his stellar season as he awaits his opportunity.
No. 71 - OF Estevan Florial
Previously unranked on Baseball America's latest update, the 19-year-old Haitian-born outfielder has made waves with his play this season in Single-A Charleston. In 73 games for the RiverDogs, Florial has sported a slash line of .302/.386/.507 with an eye-popping 11 homers, 39 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
It appears that Florial has seemingly improved upon all facets of his game entering 2017, and could be another name to watch as the Yankees youth movement continues to progress.
No. 73 - LHP Justus Sheffield
The top Yankees lefty pitching prospect in the system, Sheffield has pitched well since he joined the Yankees organization in return from Cleveland as part of the 2016 Andrew Miller trade. The 21-year-old southpaw has made 16 starts for the Double-A Trenton Thunder this year, going 7-5 with a 3.09 ERA.
In his minor league career (75 games, 71 starts), Sheffield has averaged a stellar 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, while showing improvements year to year.
No. 89 - OF Dustin Fowler
Fowler's MLB debut was marred by tragedy when in the first inning of his first-ever game with the Yankees, he suffered a season-ending knee injury after crashing into the wall and severely rupturing his right patella tendon. He was due up to lead off the following inning, but never got a chance after the devastating injury.
While his rehabilitation process will be formidable, Fowler was having one of his best seasons as a pro in 2017, slashing .293/.329/.542 in 70 Triple-A games, along with 13 homers, 13 stolen bases and eight triples. It's tough to predict how he might overcome this knee injury setback, but Fowler did everything possible to force his way into the majors ahead of schedule. Fowler expects to be ready by next spring training.