Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another look at the Yanks farm system

Not a ranking, but a good preview of some of the higher-potential, upper-eschelon players the Yanks can look forward to seeing in pinstripes soon trading away for other teams over-priced players.

A sample:

Mark Melancon has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and he flew threw the minor league system while playing at three levels in 2008, including his final stop at Triple-A. At the senior level, Melancon allowed just 11 hits in 20 innings pitched. He also walked just four with 22 strikeouts. In total, the right-hander allowed 69 hits in 95 innings. Impressively, his strikeout rate rose during each promotion and topped out at 9.90 K/9 in Triple-A. Melancon, 23, is in a perfect position to help out in New York in 2009.

Arguably the Yankees’ best prospect, outfielder Austin Jackson is still raw in many facets of his game, but his tools and potential are undeniable. Only 22, he had a solid season in Double-A last year with a line of .285/.354/.419 with nine homers and 19 stolen bases in 520 at-bats. He also posted rates of 9.7 BB% and 21.7 K%. He didn’t run a lot last year and he also does not have a ton of home run power in his bat. That said, he is a solid all-around player who does a little bit of everything and plays above-average defense. Jackson could very be patrolling center field for the Yankees before the end of 2009.

Jesus Montero has the potential to be a monster offensive player in the big leagues. He’s only 19 and will be playing at High-A ball in 2009. Last season in A-ball, Montero hit .326/.376/.491 with 17 home runs and 87 RBI in 525 at-bats. He walked just 6.6% of the time and posted a strikeout rate of 15.8 K%, which is excellent for a young power hitter. Montero’s defense behind the plate has improved, but it’s still below average and there are not many people who think he’ll remain a catcher for longer. He could be in New York in 2010, especially if it’s at 1B, DH or LF.
Of course, A-Jax hit a grand slam against the Sox yesterday and promptly got returned to the minors.

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