Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2013-2014 AB4AR Top 30 Prospects: 30-21

I'm pretty sure I've used some variation of this as the intro the last 2 times I've started officially releasing my prospect rankings, but screw it, I'm doing it again.  After all the games, all the injuries, all the research, all the ranking, re-ranking, and re-re-ranking, all the hints dropped, all the plugs at the end of old posts, all the Facebook reminders, and the last 2 days of lead-ins, we've finally come to this moment, the unveiling of the first third of the 2013-2014 AB4AR Top 30.  This first group has a lot of new faces and a few familiar ones.  It's got players still scratching the surface of their potential, players still struggling to reach their potential, and players whose potential could already be shrinking.  After the jump, spots 30-21 of this year's AB4AR Top 30.

Yankees Sign 17-Year-Old Australian Pitcher Brandon Stenhouse

(Stenhouse and his dad.  Courtesy of News Limited)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Already over their 2013-2014 international spending limit, the Yankees pushed themselves further over by reportedly signing Australian pitcher Brandon Stenhouse to a 6-figure contract yesterday.  Stenhouse, 17, is a right-hander who drew the eye of scouts after pitching in the Under 18 National Championships.  There's not much out there on him scouting report-wise, but the report from Australia references fastball velocity in the low 90s and the pictures make him look like he's got a decent frame.

The exact figures of the deal are unknown, but the Yankees' plan for Stenhouse is not.  He's going to report to the team's Tampa complex for a 2-week Extended ST "orientation" in April and then go back to Australia to complete school.  Once that's done, he'll return to the US to start his professional baseball career full-time.

Keith Law Ranks Yankee Farm System 20th In MLB

Keith Law released his list of farm system rankings on yesterday.  The top 3 teams were the Astros, Twins, and Pirates, and the Yankees came in at 20th.  It's an Insider-only article, but if you don't have access here's what Law had to say about the Yankee system:

"It seemed like everyone who mattered in this system got hurt in 2013, and of those who didn't most had disappointing years. The good news is every one of the injured prospects should be healthy to start 2014 (except Slade Heathcott, for whom 'healthy' is an abstract concept), but it also means the Mason Williamses and Tyler Austins of the system will run out of excuses if they don't hit."

Nothing we didn't already know there.  The bulk of the Yankee system had a down year, but they've got enough talent and enough depth to move back up in the rankings if a few guys turn things around in 2014.  Law also cited the "strong" 2013 draft class as an upgrade to the system.  For what it's worth, Law had the Yankees 10th in his 2013 rankings.