Yankees have two players named to Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101
Between graduating top prospects to the majors and including some in trades, the Yankees farm system is beginning to thin out, as only two players were named to Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 list.
Having a stacked farm system is good for two things; calling up prospects to fill holes on the major league roster — and including players in trades when immediate needs arise. The Yankees have done both over the past two and a half seasons.
Therefore it’s only natural that the ranks of the Yanks (purposefully rhyming) minor league system is not as robust as it once was.
Baseball Prospectus recently released their list of the 101 best prospects in the game — and yet there were only two Baby Bombers to be found; right-handed pitcher, Jonathan Loaisiga (No. 64) and outfielder, Estevan Florial (No. 66).
In regards to a few of the other prospects lists that initially appear this time of year, although MLB Pipeline has yet to release its first set of official 2019 projections, they do keep an up-to-date tab on the top 30 prospects of each organization.
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And according to MLB Pipeline, Florial and Loaisiga are No. 1 and 2, for the Yanks, respectively. Outfielder Josh Stowers, who was just acquired in the three-team Sonny Gray trade, currently ranks No. 23.
As for Baseball America’s top 100 prospects, not one Yankee is listed. This, after having six players in 2018: Gleyber Torres (No. 6), Florial (No. 38), Justus Sheffield (No. 41), Miguel Andujar (No. 59), Albert Abreu (No. 71) and Chance Adams (No. 81).
Much of Florial’s fallen stock can be attributed to a broken right hamate bone, that limited the 21-year-old to only 84 games in 2018.
A rusty showing in the Arizona Fall League didn’t do much to inspire the confidence of voters, as the speedy Florial slashed .178/.294/.260 with 10 runs scored, two doubles, two triples, no homers, eight RBIs and a robust 29 strikeouts in 85 at-bats (21 games).
As for Loaisiga, who came down with a lengthy bout of shoulder inflammation after only four major league starts last season, the 23-year-old right-hander showed promise, going 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA, 2.88 FIP and 10.5 K/9 during those starts.
Besides persistent trips to the disabled list that have plagued him since he first signed with the Giants back in 2013, Loaisiga needs to find the strike zone with more regularity. If his 4.0 BB/9 as a starter can be addressed, he should be able to extend himself deeper into games and become that much more important to the Yanks moving forward.