Thursday, January 28, 2010

How about another top prospect list?

There have been many top prospect lists and organizational rankings list in the past few days and weeks. Today, Keith Law came out with his top 100 prospects list. Two Yankees, catcher Jesus Montero (10) and LHP Manny Banuelos (96), made the list. Here's what Law said Montero and then Banuelos:
Montero is really a "CINO" (catcher in name only), as few people outside the Yankees organization believe the giant player -- listed at 6-4, 225 pounds, although he's bigger than that now -- can stay behind the plate, even with the improvement in his throwing in 2009. Montero's ticket to the big leagues is his bat, and his hitting style is similar to that of another big guy who spent a lot of his career at DH: Frank Thomas. Montero transfers his weight early and hits off his front foot, but he generates tremendous bat speed and is so strong that he hits and hits for power regardless of the fact that he's on that lead foot. Behind the plate, he has arm strength and has improved his accuracy, but he's so big that he doesn't move quickly enough to catch in the big leagues, and his receiving has never been a strength. His bat is so far ahead of his glove anyway that it might end up making sense for the Yankees to employ him as a major league DH soon rather than wait for him to develop as a catcher, knowing that there's a good chance the latter won't happen.
Banuelos and Zach McAllister are both pretty close and I could have put McAllister on the list instead, but I'll roll the dice on Banuelos' age and chance for a little more velocity as he matures physically. He sits 90-92 mph right now as a starter with a solid-average changeup, and a chance for both pitches to improve to above-average in time. His curveball remains his weakest offering, soft without much depth, although he has the arm speed to throw a good breaking ball; it just may turn out to be a slider or cutter instead of a true curve. He has good feel and tremendous mound presence, which helped him survive as an 18-year-old in the full-season Sally League. He's also one of the best Mexican prospects in the minors, as the Yankees are one of the few teams to still scout Mexico aggressively for amateur talent. His ceiling is probably just a No. 3 or No. 4 starter, but given his youth and feel he's got a good chance to get there.
Doesn't sound too convinced that Montero can catch in the bigs, huh? But like we've been hearing for a while now, his defense is the thing that could hold him back. With the Yankees having a lineup full of aging stars, some who may need to DH in the future, he may have to learn to play the outfield.

The key for Banuelos is getting his breaking stuff in order. Luckily he's just 18-years-old, which gives him plenty of time to figure that out. I think most Yankees fans would be happy if he did end up turning out to be "just a No. 3 or No. 4 starter."

Law also posted his list of the top 10 Yankees prospects which looks like this:

1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Manny Banuelos, LHP
3. Zach McAllister, RHP
4. Austin Romine, C
5. Slade Heathcott, CF
6. Jose Ramirez, RHP
7. Gary Sanchez, C
8. Andrew Brackman, RHP
9. David Adams, 2B
10. JR Murphy, C

No arguments here. (hat-tip to TYU)

blog comments powered by Disqus