NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As far as top prospects go, for the first time in a while both New York baseball teams appear to be in really good shape.
Baseball America, one of the leading publications on high school and minor league development, recently revealed its list of the majors’ midseason Top 50 prospects, and the Yankees and the Mets are featured prominently.
The Yankees have gone to great lengths in recent years to rebuild their farm system in the hopes of finding the next Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Despite the pressure to win now, the Bombers have for the most part fought the temptation to trade away their top youngsters, and as a result appear to have several players that could one day make an impact at the major league level.
Some of them — like Jose Pirela, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams and Ramon Flores — have already seen time with the big club this season, but it’s the players waiting in the wings that should have Yankees fans most excited.
Take Aaron Judge, for example. Baseball America has Judge ranked 13th on its list, stating “There aren’t many 6-foot-7, 270-pound outfielders, but Judge’s plate discipline adds to his power.”
Judge, 23, started the season at Double-A Trenton and hit .284 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs in 63 games before being promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he’s hitting .268 with a homer and seven RBIs in 15 games.
The Mets have been turning out quality arm after quality arm over the last several seasons and now pitchers like hard-throwing Matt Harvey, 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom and rookie standouts Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are making a major impact at the big league level. Now the Mets look like they might have a real good hitter on the way as well.
Their current top farmhand, outfielder Michael Conforto, is ranked 14th on Baseball America’s list.
The 10th overall pick in the 2014 Amateur Draft out of Oregon State is hitting ,313 with an on-base percentage of .397 for Double-A Binghamton, and by most accounts has the potential to be a premier contact hitter in the majors.
The Yankees have had some success in recent years developing young pitchers, primarily relievers, as evidenced by All-Star Dellin Betances and versatile right-hander Adam Warren. But what’s on the horizon could trump both.
Baseball America ranked Luis Severino 17th on its list, saying that despite his slender frame the 21-year-old right-hander’s “stuff matches up against almost anyone in the minors.”
Severino made 14 starts at Double-A over the last two seasons, going 4-4 with a 3.00 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 63 innings, but has really taken his game to the next level since being moved up to Triple-A, sitting at 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA in seven starts.
Baseball America has Mets outfield prospect Brandon Nimmo ranked at No. 48, saying while he’s not necessarily a blue chipper, “he plays center field, gets on base and shows occasional pop.”
A 2011 first-round pick, Nimmo is hitting .279 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 52 games at Double-A.