The Yankees ten best prospects still playing in the minors

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10. CF Blake Rutherford Charleston

Blake was the Yankees top draft choice last year, picked at 18. But he was projected as a top five pick and probably only skipped college because the Yankees are his favorite team. Last year, as a 19-year old, Rutherford excelled at Pulaski, batting .382/.440/.618.

That meant a promotion and Blake has collected his 245 AB’s this year in Charleston. His slash is good but getting better at .278/.343/.384. I say getting better because his average has been creeping up; Rutherford has batted .325 in his last ten games. Blake has just one home run, but he is only 20 and projects to be an outstanding power hitter.

But Blake also brings a lot of athleticism to the game and a great head for it; he’s also a money player. He has already been a key contributor to a World Title and was named to the 2017 SAL All-Star team. Rutherford is currently the Yankees third-ranked prospect and 30th overall. Right now, though, he is only playing as the Yankees tenth best prospect. My guess is he moves up this list and soon.

9. SP Jorge Guzman Staten Island

It would take something special for me to choose someone who had barely played in 2017; Guzman is that special. And the things that make him special are his fastball and his fastball command.

His numbers in the short sample size are outstanding. He has thrown 22.2 innings and put up a 1.99 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. Jorge has only allowed 13 hits while striking out 26. Those are all great, but it is still just four games at Staten Island. And Guzman is 21, so he has a serious advantage at the level.

But it is one other number that separates him: 105. That is the fastest pitch Guzman has thrown, and it is not an aberration. Danny Borrell, the Yankees minor league pitching coordinator, watched him pitch recently and noted that,

"“He didn’t throw a fastball below 98 until the seventh inning,” Borrell reported, also raving about Guzman’s “slurve” that goes 86-88 and an improving changeup."

Guzman has the best fastball in the Yankees organization, at any level. And he seems to be able to control it. That makes for a future closer. The Yankees, however, still dream on Guzman as a starter.

The above article makes it seem as if he has one good secondary pitch, his slurve, but needs to add a third pitch. As he is in Staten Island, it seems as if he will have time to develop his entire repertoire.

Unless Guzman blows out his arm, he will get a chance one day to pitch for the Yankees. My guess is we see him late next year. It might be as a starter or reliever, and he might not be successful, but he will get his chance. 105 is 105, at any level.