The Yankees must love every part of their transactions involving Aroldis Chapman over the past year. They picked him up for practically nothing from the Reds, giving up only Rookie Davis, Caleb Cotham, Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda (of which, only Rookie Davis has a case to be a Top 10 prospect for the Reds). They then sent him over to the Cubs for top prospect Gleyber Torres as well as outfielder Billy McKinney, Adam Warren and Rashad Crawford. Now, they’ve resigned him to a five-year, $86 million deal. That may be a lot to pay for a relief pitcher, but the Yankees are one of the teams who can afford to pay that much for Chapman.
This is the latest in our ongoing prospect coverage, going over the top 10 prospects for every team. Click the provided links to read about the Baltimore Orioles system and the Boston Red Sox system. Next week, we will be talking about the Tampa Bay Rays.
By the way, if you are interested in more MLB prospects columns, head on over to our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. Throughout the offseason, you will find the rest of our team prospect breakdowns, fantasy baseball prospect rankings, tiered positional rankings, keeper values articles, and more - all in one easy place.
New York Yankees Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues
Top Overall Talent: Gleyber Torres
Top Prospect to Debut in 2017: Gleyber Torres
My early bold prediction: Torres will reach the big leagues in 2017. He will begin the year in Double-A which is essentially one step away from the big leagues, though the presence of Didi Gregorious could potentially delay his debut. Torres has enormous potential and is still so young (he will be 20 for all of the 2017 season). He is starting to flash more power and speed to go along with his advanced approach at the plate. Torres is making a strong case for not only best shortstop prospect in baseball, but best overall prospect.
Top Prospect who won’t debut in 2017: Jorge Mateo
Mateo was the future shortstop for the Yankees until they snagged Torres from the Cubs. Mateo is not quite as reliable of a hitter as Torres, but his bat looks strong enough to profile in the leadoff spot. The most impressive attribute of Mateo is his speed. The 21-year-old middle infield prospect might be the fastest player in the minors and if he can refine his approach a bit more, he could steal 30+ bags per season.
Biggest Boom or Bust: Aaron Judge
I should clarify before I start getting angry emails. I’m not implying that Judge will be a complete bust. He has the power to be an outstanding hitter, a guy who can hit in the middle of a lineup. But he also has shown continued struggles with strikeouts, especially in Double-A and Triple-A. His power will likely mean that he will find a place in a big league lineup, but it would be an absolute killer on dynasty owners if he can’t hit over .250.
Biggest Sleeper: Jordan Montgomery
Everyone was talking about Chance Adams’ breakout 2016 campaign, but Montgomery quietly put together an outstanding season himself. At Double-A, Montgomery struck out 22.2% of batters he faced and only walked 8.2%. And while 37 innings at Triple-A is a smaller sample than the 102.1 at AA, Monty showed improvements, increasing his strikeout rate to 25.7% and decreasing his walk rate to 6.3%. He has great control of his repertoire, though it is not dominant and he does not look like a future frontline starter. Instead, the 6’6”, 225 pound southpaw looks like a potential back-of-the-rotation innings eater for both the Yanks and for any dynasty owners smart enough to snag him.
Top Prospect Hitters
Best Power Hitter: Aaron Judge
Was there ever any question about this category? Judge is an extremely powerful hitter and is physically imposing at the plate, standing at 6’7”, 275 pounds. Judge has progressively started to hit for more and more power and if he could stay off the DL and play for a whole season, there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind he has the power to hit 30, possibly 40 home runs per year.
Most Likely to Hit over .300: Gleyber Torres
Throughout his Minor League career, Torres has shown outstanding patience at the plate and he has never demonstrated any issue transitioning to a higher level of pitching. With lightning-quick bat speed and an understanding of the strike zone well beyond his years, Torres is starting to look like a guy who could potentially compete for batting crowns in the future.
Best Burner on the Bases: Jorge Mateo
Calling Mateo a burner may be an understatement. The guy stole 71 bases in 96 games at Class-A back in 2015 and added 11 more to that total when promoted to High-A. Mateo only managed 36 swipes in 2016, but that was largely the result of a lack of opportunities as he mustered only a .306 OBP and played in only 113 games. There is no denying his speed and once he reaches the majors, he will be a perennial threat to lead the American League in steals.
Top Prospect Pitchers
Strikeout Machine: Domingo Acevedo
This is mostly because of his fastball. Acevedo frequently flies in the triple-digit range and his fastball stands out as one of the most lethal pitches in the minors. Acevedo should never have much of an issue racking up strikeouts in the big leagues, the only question will be whether those strikeouts come out of the rotation or the pen. His secondary stuff leaves a lot to be desired, but if shifted to the bullpen, his fastball will play extremely well in short outings and he could still be a valuable guy to own.
Best Command: James Kaprielian
When drafted in 2015, Kaprielian was widely regarded as one of the most advanced pitching prospects in baseball. Scouts knew that anyone buying into him would not be looking for a potential ace, but rather a guy who was a low risk/medium reward investment and that is all because of his command. He controls all of his pitches very well and commands the strike zone with authority thanks to a solid repertoire that features no below-average pitches. Though his stuff will likely never be described as dominant, Kaprielian can help owners relax knowing they can place their faith in a guy very likely to reach the big leagues as a starting pitcher.
Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the New York Yankees
1. Gleyber Torres (SS, A+)
The more scouts see of Torres, the more they love. Many are seeing a perennial All-Star in the making and the next great Yankee shortstop. It has already been announced he will start the year off in Double-A, which should bring hope to many fantasy owners that they could see him before the season’s end.
2. Clint Frazier (OF, AAA)
The centerpiece of the return for Andrew Miller, Frazier has decent pop and speed and looks poised to be a 20/20 threat each season. He will need to continue to lower his strikeout rate, however, if he wants to hit close to .300.
3. Aaron Judge (OF, MLB)
Judge is a right-handed Joey Gallo in terms of power and has received comps to Giancarlo Stanton for his size and strength. Strikeouts may always be an issue, but home run totals will not be.
4. Jorge Mateo (SS, A+)
With Torres now in the Yankee system, Mateo figures to shift over to second base where his value will go up due to the dearth of explosive offensive players there. Look for him to be a future speedy leadoff hitter for the Bronx Bombers.
5. Blake Rutherford (OF, ROK)
Rutherford has the potential to be another 20/20 outfielder in the middle of the Yankee lineup, but he still has a long way to go before he will reach the majors.
6. Miguel Andujar (3B, AA)
At 21 years old, Andujar has already ascended as high as Double-A and could reach New York before the end of 2017. However, he will need to tap into more of his raw power if he is going to be a consistent starting option at third base.
7. James Kaprielian (SP, A+)
Kapirelian may be the most advanced pitching prospect in the system with advanced control of all his pitches and a wide span of secondary pitches. He looks like a very solid bet to reach his potential as a two or three starter.
8. Justus Sheffield (SP, AA)
Sheffield has the explosive stuff scouts look for in a starting pitcher, but he is very undersized at only 5’10” and he has never thrown more than 127 innings in a single season. He could be a two or three starter if he pans out, but he needs to prove he can hold up over a 162 season.
9. Chance Adams (SP, AA)
Adams is basically a right-handed Justus Sheffield: explosive stuff from a small frame. Adams set a new season-high with 127.1 innings in 2016, so he too will need to show he can accumulate more innings in a full season.
10. Domingo Acevedo (SP, A+)
The 6’7”, 190 pound pitcher generates a lot of heat on his triple-digit fastball thanks in large part to his size, but he will need to improve on his secondary pitches if he wants to avoid the bullpen.
Much like the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees have rebuilt their farm system more through trades than anything else. The top two talents in their system both arrived this season after New York decided to deal away relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller. They were also able to add depth arms like Dillon Tate and Albert Abreu who don’t stand out as top five, or even top 10 prospects, but certainly help build on the strength of the system with their upsides.
Through these trades, the Yankees have brightened their future significantly and are able to boast one of the best farm systems in baseball. They’ve got arguably the most dynamic middle infield prospect duo in baseball with Torres at short and Mateo at second (though Mateo could potentially be headed to the outfield at some point) and a trio of outstanding outfield prospects in Frazier, Judge and Rutherford. They also have a handful of talented pitchers, though admittedly its their bats who draw the headlines and not the arms. Dynasty owners will find that everyone of the players mentioned on this list is worth owning in deeper dynasty leagues.