THE YANKEES TOP PROSPECTS GOING FORWARD

OF Tyler Austin – 19 G, 79 PA, .304/.392/.449, 21 H, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 12 K, 4 SB, 2 CS
AftTyler Austin, often injured, came on at the end of the season.   Tyler continued his hot stroke into  Fall ball.  Austin  ended up colliding with Greg Bird in the outfield and suffered another bone bruise, this one in his knee.  Let’s face it, he is the second coming of Nick Johnson.   Genius Cashman just placed him on their 40-man roster, so not only must they feel confident in his health, but they must think very highly of what he managed to do this year in order to raise his stock back up. If Austin  hits like he did, the Yankees might  find him a place for him in the big leagues, whether they use him in the outfield or behind  the also often injured Mark Teixeira at first base.

3B Dante Bichette – 20 G, 82 PA, .260/.317/.274, 19 H, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 18 K,SB, CS
Bichette was able to  fix his swing and actually showed  some potential with his bat. Once again the Yankees speculated poorly as Bichete has dropped   on the third base prospect depth chart.  There is an outside shot that Bichette might offer some kind of value if he can continue to hit. His biggest problem is that he may not end up having a position,  and does not hit for enough power.  In a time when it is difficult to sign young free agents, the Yankees prospects are iffy at best.

1B Greg Bird – 26 G, 115 PA .313/.391/.556, 31 H, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 13 BB, 23 K, SB, CS
Greg Bird has impressed.  After reduced playing time, due to a back injury, the Yankee’s  top first base prospect ended up having a solid season that allowed him to move into their top 20 prospect list. Bird played in the  Fall to make up for  lost time and he ended up putting together perhaps the best performance anyone could have asked for. BIRD  dominated the Arizona Fall  League, where he won  MVP. With Teixeira’s failing health and slipping overall value, we could be seeing Greg Bird within the next two seasons.

RHP Caleb Cotham – 10 G, 13.1 IP, 6.08 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 18 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 14 K
Cotham was an odd choice for the Arizona Fall League this year. At 27, Cotham is another example of the Yankees’ players not developing quickly enough.  Cotham is just  another player to list,  it’s disappointing he offers too little potential.

RHP Kyle Haynes – 10 G, 11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 11 H, 7 R/3 ER, 8 BB, 9 K
The Yankees received Haynes from the Pirates in the Chris Stewart trade.  Haynes is 23-years-old reliever had a mediocre start to his Yankee career (but what do you expect to get in exchange for a backup catcher.  Haynes was mediocre this  Fall. He might see time in Double-A next year, but if his control doesn’t improve we won’t be hearing much more of him, like Mason Williams and other Yankee stiffs.

C Kyle Higashioka 6 G, 27 PA, .409/.480/.682, 9 H, HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, SB, CS
After undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Yankees gave their 24-year-old catcher a few more reps in the AzFL. In limited action, Higashioka  hit well in a small sample size. If Austin Romine is lost to waivers this offseason (and this would not be a catastrophe,)Higashioka could get some playing time in Triple-A as a stopgap until Gary Sanchez can take the next step. He’s not going to be a major league option, but expect to see his name around the organization in 2015.

OF Aaron Judge – 24 G, 106 PA, .278/.377/.467, 25 H, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 13 BB, 22 K
The Yankees outfield prospect continued his torrid debut season with a solid showing this Fall. Although no  Greg Bird, Bird is The Word, was effective late  this year. Judge ended up with over 600 At Bats, and after so much success, it won’t be surprising to see him in Double-A already. He might not be the power hitter  the Yankees  expected, but he seems to be able to handle the bat for just about anything. It will be important to see how he keeps things going in 2015 and whether or not he can be this good going forward.

RHP Alex Smith – 10 G, 10.1 IP, 10.45 ERA, 7.79 FIP, 25 H, 15 R/12 ER, 8 BB, 7 K
There has never been much excitement surrounding the generically named Alex Smith, and at 25 and still in A-ball, don’t expect to hear too much more. This year,  his first full year at High-A Ball , the righty put together a pretty  solid season that the Yankees clearly wanted to see of him.   Smith absolutely tanked in his time with the Scottsdale Scorpions, making it easy for the organization to see that 2014 was an aberration.

So this is what we have to look forward to.  A clueless GM, Owner and scouting staff.  Hal can tell us about the Championship caliber squad all he wants.  Bob Lorenz and the Yankee propaganda soothsayers can might it seem wonderful.  The prospects are not good for the Yankees.

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