Top Prospects, Top Tools

Heathcott has tools galore

Over the next few weeks we'll be dissecting the top ten prospects in many different tools' categories in a series of articles called "Tool Time". Before we do, here is a look at the top pitching, offensive and defensive tools as we crown players with titles such as "Best Curveball", "Best Outfield Arm", "Best Power", and many more.

Offensive Honors:

Best Hitter For Average - Jesus Montero - Though his career average slipped to .314 last year with a lackluster first-half, he did .351 after the break.
Honorable Mention - Corban Joseph
Coming Soon - Gary Sanchez

Best Hitter For Power - Jesus Montero - He hit a career-high 21 home runs last season and that was in spite of hitting just seven during his first-half swoon.
Honorable Mention - Brandon Laird
Coming Soon - Gary Sanchez

Best Fastball Hitter - Jesus Montero - When he stays back in his approach there isn't a fastball that can overmatch him.
Honorable Mention - Melky Mesa
Coming Soon - Gary Sanchez

Best Breaking Ball Hitter - Jesus Montero - Yeah, he can hit plus curveballs and plus sliders too.
Honorable Mention - David Adams
Coming Soon - Gary Sanchez

Best Plate Discipline - David Adams - He highlights an impressive group of very disciplined hitters in the organization: Jesus Montero, Kyle Higashioka, J.R. Murphy, Austin Romine, Austin Krum, Bradley Suttle, etc. Adams though never swings at bad pitches.
Honorable Mention - Corban Joseph
Coming Soon - Ramon Flores

Best Left-Handed Swing - Corban Joseph - Few can match his consistent swing mechanics or his uncanny ability to adjust mid-swing and still barrel the ball.
Honorable Mention - Bradley Suttle
Coming Soon - Ramon Flores

Best Right-Handed Swing - David Adams – Gets overlooked by hitters like Montero, but the swing is silky smooth.
Honorable Mention - Brandon Laird
Coming Soon - Gary Sanchez

Best Base Runner - Abraham Almonte - His torn labrum kept him out of action but he has become a great base runner.
Honorable Mention - Slade Heathcott
Coming Soon - Mason Williams

Best Raw Speed - Slade Heathcott - He has more to learn stealing bases, but the kid can flat-out fly.
Honorable Mention - Abraham Almonte
Coming Soon - Mason Williams

Best Athlete - Slade Heathcott - He has some work to do refining his bat, but he's got tools galore.
Honorable Mention - Melky Mesa
Coming Soon - Mason Williams

Best Untapped Talent - Slade Heathcott - Though he is already considered a top prospect, he has barely scratched the surface of his talent.
Honorable Mention - Kyle Higashioka
Coming Soon - Fu-Lin Kuo

Pitching Honors:

Deepest Repertoire - Manny Banuelos - Some hurlers throw more pitches, but nobody throws three of the quality and command that Banuelos posssesses.
Honorable Mention - Dellin Betances
Coming Soon - Nik Turley

Best Fastball For Starting Pitcher - Dellin Betances - Brackman might hit a shade higher on the gun, but Betances' fastball gets better movement.
Honorable Mention - Andrew Brackman
Coming Soon - Bryan Mitchell

Best Fastball For Relief Pitcher - Shane Greene - Though he's a starter now, he projects best as a reliever and his sinker is nasty.
Honorable Mention - Grant Duff
Coming Soon - Tommy Kahnle

Best Curveball - Dellin Betances - Headlines a list of impressive curves - D.J. Mitchell, Hector Noesi, Jairo Heredia, etc.
Honorable Mention - Andrew Brackman
Coming Soon - Bryan Mitchell

Best Slider - Shane Greene - The command of it still needs work, but few sliders break the way Greene's does.
Honorable Mention - David Phelps
Coming Soon - Conor Mullee

Best Changeup - Dellin Betances – He came back from Tommy John surgery with great command of his plus changeup and he'll throw it in any count.
Honorable Mention - D.J. Mitchell
Coming Soon - Tommy Kahnle

Best Control - Craig Heyer – Almost an afterthought in the pitching-rich Yankee farm system, he walked a ridiculous 0.58 batters per nine innings a year ago.
Honorable Mention - Hector Noesi
Coming Soon - Gabe Encinas

Best Mechanics - Manny Banuelos - There isn't a more fluid delivery in the organization.
Honorable Mention - Adam Warren
Coming Soon - Taylor Morton

Best Raw Arm - Dellin Betances - Now that he's completely healthy again, his upside is as high as it gets.
Honorable Mention - Andrew Brackman
Coming Soon - Conor Mullee

Best Overall Potential - Dellin Betances - He has work to do fielding his position and holding runners, but should he nail those aspects down, with three plus pitches in the can already, the sky is the limit for him.
Honorable Mention - Andrew Brackman
Coming Soon - Gabe Encinas

Most Polished Pitcher - Manny Banuelos - He still has to find his old great fastball command, but few believe he can't. Everything else is firmly in place.
Honorable Mention - Adam Warren
Coming Soon - Zachary Varce

Defensive Honors:

Best Defensive Pitcher - D.J. Mitchell - The former outfielder and standout high school basketball player is a great athlete.
Honorable Mention - Brett Marshall
Coming Soon - Conor Mullee

Best Defensive Outfielder - Slade Heathcott - Imagine Brett Gardner range and a Vladmir Guerrero arm - that's Heathcott.
Honorable Mention - Abraham Almonte
Coming Soon - Mason Williams

Best Defensive Infielder - Bradley Suttle - With a great arm and smooth hands, he's got Gold Glove defensive ability already.
Honorable Mention - Kevin Mahoney
Coming Soon - Cito Culver

Best Defensive Catcher - Kyle Higashioka - He doesn't have the arm strength of some of the others but he has a quick, consistent release and accurate throws. Everything else is on the plus side.
Honorable Mention - Austin Romine
Coming Soon - Gary Sanchez

Best Outfield Instincts - Slade Heathcott - His great arm allows him to instinctively make plays others can't.
Honorable Mention - Austin Krum
Coming Soon - Mason Williams

Best Outfield Range - Slade Heathcott - Now that his knee is completely healthy, nobody covers more terrain.
Honorable Mention - Abraham Almonte
Coming Soon - Mason Williams

Best Outfield Arm - Melky Mesa - Mesa barely squeaks this one out over Heathcott because he has been doing it longer, but realistically it's a tie.
Honorable Mention - Slade Heathcott
Coming Soon - Ravel Santana

Best Infield Arm - Bradley Suttle - It took him a while to come back from shoulder labrum surgery but the zip is completely back in his plus arm.
Honorable Mention - David Adams
Coming Soon - Cito Culver

Best Infield Range - Bradley Suttle - The promotion of Eduardo Nunez has left a void of great range in the long-season leagues.
Honorable Mention - Kevin Mahoney
Coming Soon - Cito Culver

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