Accountability Check: Yankees 2012 Top 15 Prospects

New York Yankees 2012 Top 15 Prospects (1/5/12)

Last year’s Yankees rankings were completed in advance of the trade that shipped Jesus Montero to the Mariners in exchange for Michael Pineda. As a result, Montero ranked atop the list and I don’t regret that at all. He was one of the consensus elite prospects in baseball and possessed impact potential with his bat.

Continuing to rank Manny Banuelos and Delin Betances highly was a common thread throughout the industry and I had the same reports as everyone else. They were some of the better prospects in this system entering the 2012 season. Injuries derailed Banuelos and Betances regressed and struggled with his delivery and ability to throw strikes; something that had been a consistent problem for him. Their rankings were appropriate heading into the year but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed in the outcome.

I was overly aggressive with Ravel Santana and admitted as much in some of my Accountability Checks throughout last year. I didn’t give enough weight to the severity of his injury and the new risk associated with him. That’s something I’ve been working to investigate more as it arises this year.

I knocked Gary Sanchez for his lack of progress behind the plate and attitude, but his offensive potential should have kept him among the top three or four in this system. I was still a fan of the bat last year and it’s prowess should have been enough to allow him to fly a little higher on my list. I regret this ranking.

Slade Heathcott’s performance this year will force him up the rankings, but heading into 2012, there were enough questions about his overall profile to keep him down. Looking at the projection of the players in front of them, I believe I should have been a little more aggressive with Heathcott, probably pushing him into the 8-10 range.

The most glaring exclusion from last year’s list was outfielder Tyler Austin. He was in the mix at the back of the list but was never in serious consideration, something that hindsight tells us was a mistake. With the development of his bat he will be higher in 2013.

In the end, the right players were there with only guys like Brett Marshall and Tyler Austin as significant omissions from last year’s list, and given Marshall’s long term profile, I’m not convinced that was a big miss. The 2012 Yankees list was a solid job overall but one where improvements to the process can be discovered.

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