Yankees final farm report: The summer is ending but not the harvest

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(16) RP Jose Mesa: 24/just promoted to Trenton


Mesa is both another sure September call-up and a player who appeared on my mid-season report. Since then, Mesa has continued to dominate in mostly relief duty, sporting a 2.38 ERA in his 68 IP; that goes with only 42 hits but 85 strikeouts. I’m not sure if Mesa will be a starter or reliever, but I am sure he will be a Yankees player.

(15) SP Brian Keller: 23/Tampa


I overlooked Keller in my earlier piece; he made sure no one overlooked him for the second half of the season. Keller has a 3.07 for the year but got better when he advanced from Charleston to Tampa. He lowered his ERA and WHIP (3.29/2.70) while his IP/SO/BB ratio increased: 82/90/17 at Charleston to 50/55/8 in Tampa.

Keller has one real edge over all the other pitchers anywhere on this list: he knows how to pitch deep into games. His four complete games lead not only the Yankees farm system, but all minor league pitchers in baseball.

And Brian has one more mark of distinction from the 2017 Yankees farm system: He pitched the best game of any Yankees prospect. In his complete game, two-hit shutout at the end of July, Keller struck out nine but walked only one.

That performance earned him Florida State League Pitcher of the Week honors and his inclusion here in the Yankees top 15. Were he younger or higher in the organization, he would also be more highly rated.

(14) 2B Thairo Estrada: 21/Trenton


Thairo has a long track record of success in the Yankees organization and figures prominently in any listing of top Yankees prospects. He has at this moment 448 AB’s in 2017 and a .301 batting average, .349 in his last ten.

He has collected only 6 home runs and eighteen doubles this season, but is more than young enough to put up plenty of power for a second baseman. There is an outside chance he gets a September call-up, but a 100% chance he gets some time with the big club in 2018.

Not to say that he can win a starters job, but he will be invaluable depth at Triple-A. Thairo would probably project as the second baseman of the future for many clubs, and one of those teams might get their wish by the 2018 trading deadline.

(13) SP Rony Garcia: 19/Charleston


The great thing about Rony is that his whip and era have been consistently phenomenal. Rony’s thrown 58.2 inning so far, with a 2.45 ERA. His hits are good (46), while his strikeouts are respectable if not overwhelming (48). And because he has only issued fifteen walks, his 2017 WHIP is 1.04.

Rony’s even been getting into the seventh inning lately. Between his history and progress this year, Garcia is looking like a real sleeper.

The problem is his entire history is last year and this. Still, the Yankees have seen enough to have promoted him above other players and Rony looks ready to take another Baby Yankees step. Keller is a better pitcher right now but he’s four years older and only one level up.