Yankees Top 25 Teens

Banuelos will pitch as a teeanger in 2010

Demanded by our subscribers, PinstripesPlus.com ranks the top 25 teenage Yankee prospects by combining the cream of the crop already in the United States with the high-ceiling prospects from the Dominican Summer League and the July 2nd signing period.

All players must be not be any older than 19 years old by the start of the 2010 season to be eligible for the rankings, which excludes the likes of Jose Ramirez, Brett Marshall, and Mikey O'Brien to name a few who are still teenagers now but won't be by the start of the season.

1. LHP, Manny Banuelos [D.O.B. - 3/13/1991] - How special is Banuelos? Well he's just a year older than Flores, a good prospect in his own right who not only struggled in his professional debut season this past year but a player who is also one of the youngest players in these rankings, and Banuelos has the realistic chance to see some Double-A action next year. Amazing!

2. RHP, Arodys Vizcaino [D.O.B. - 11/13/1990] - The young flame-thrower will be most certainly not only be one of the youngest pitchers in the South Atlantic League next season, he's sure to be one of the hardest throwers too. He'll spend all of next season pitching as a 19-year old.

3. OF, Slade Heathcott [D.O.B. - 9/28/1990] - Outside of a handful of at-bats this past season, the toolsy outfielder will be making what in essence will be his professional debut season in 2010, and the early signs point towards him doing that in the South Atlantic League.

4. C, Gary Sanchez [D.O.B. - 12/2/1992] - Already ranking fourth in what is an unbelievably deep teen ranking, Sanchez is also the second youngest person on this list. Consider the fact he's already very advanced as a hitter and has a strong defensive foundation, he should rank atop this ranking for the ensuing two years.

5. C, J.R. Murphy [D.O.B. - 5/13/1991] - The youngest American born player on this list also is arguably the most mentally mature player on this list. The offensive-minded backstop needs to gain more experience behind the plate, but there's no questioning his strong leadership skills and overall baseball intelligence.

6. OF, Kelvin De Leon [D.O.B. - 10/29/1990] - The slugger has seemingly been around forever so it is forgiveable if some forgot that he's still a teenager. He'll spend all of next season as a 19-year old and he has a decent chance to do that in the long-season leagues.

7. C, Kyle Higashioka [D.O.B. - 4/20/1990] - Like Murphy, despite being a teenager, Higashioka's makeup is off the charts. Already a defensive wiz behind the plate, few question his ability to make the necessary adjustments offensively and he has an outside chance of skipping the low-A level entirely next season. He's that mature!

8. OF, Eduardo Sosa [D.O.B. - 3/14/1991] - People who are down on Sosa's less than impressive Gulf Coast League performance need to keep in mind that he won't be out of his teens for over another year plus. He still has a lot of time on his side.

9. RHP, Bryan Mitchell [D.O.B. - 4/19/1991] - The teenage prodigy of sorts has yet to make his professional debut and he reportedly already boasts two plus pitches and command. In any other organization he would be a shoe-in to break in the long-season leagues, but it remains to be seen if he can do the same with the Yankees depth of quality pitchers.

10. 1B, Reymond Nunez [D.O.B. - 9/25/1990] - A behemoth slugger, Nunez has shortened his swing in quick fashion over the last year and has become more of a better overall hitter. His placement in the Top 50 also means that twenty percent of the Top 50 Yankees prospects are in their teens and that's quite an accomplishment for the organization.

11. OF, Yeicok Calderon [D.O.B. - 12/23/1991] - Despite playing on the 'B' team for the Yankees in the Dominican Summer League this past season, Calderon, who hasn't even turned 18 years old yet, is an early frontrunner to come States-side in 2010. And he's also one of the more polished hitters in the organization despite his youth.

12. RHP, Chris Cabrera [D.O.B. - 12/25/1992] - The youngest player in these rankings has serious upside to him. And despite not having made his professional debut yet, there's still a chance that the 16-year old could skip the Dominican Summer League next season. What's even better news, however, is that he shows good spin with his curveball and at his age that means it could be a special pitch down the road.

13. LHP, Evan DeLuca [D.O.B. - 3/19/1991] - Plus arm strength for a lefty as well as a really good curveball and changeup combination give this lefty a very high ceiling. His command is spotty, however, and his arm slot and release point both need work. Should he correct those issues in quick fashion, he'll be one to climb the rankings.

14. OF, Ramon Flores [D.O.B. - 3/26/1992] - He spent last year as a 17-year old Latin American in the United States in his debut season. So while the numbers weren't great, that in itself was quite the accomplishment and it can't be overlooked. He has the look of a real good looking hitter.

15. OF, Victor Reynoso [D.O.B. - 10/31/1991] - He is not only one of the youngest players in the organization, he has one of the highest ceilings in the organization. His overall tools dictates he should be higher in these rankings, but until he can show an ability to lay off of good breaking pitches he's a bit of a wild card.

16. OF, Kelvin Duran [D.O.B. - 11/10/1990] - How can playing hardball during negotiations hurt your prospect standing? Duran is a prime example. He's three days younger than Arodys Vizcaino, a player who will be in the long-season leagues next season, and yet Duran, who lost a year of development time trying to get a higher signing bonus, is destined for the rookie leagues in 2010. However, the talent is unquestionable.

17. 2B/OF, Ericson Leonora [D.O.B. - 8/25/1992] - The third youngest player in these rankings also has a full year of development under his belt [the other two, Sanchez and Cabrera, have yet to see official minor league action] and has experienced in-game success. His tools are through the roof and he's gaining experience at a new position.

18. LHP, Juan Marcano [D.O.B. - 8/24/1990] - How hard is it for Latin American pitchers to make their mark at the professional level? Just ask Marcano, the third and final one in these rankings. And considering it has taken him two years to harness his power and breaking ball and he still hasn't made it States-side, Marcano, seven months older than Banuelos, is a testament to just how special Manny Banuelos is.

19. C, Jackson Valera [D.O.B. - 4/8/1992] - Valera, who has real thunder in his bat at a young age, gets buried in the Yankees depth of teenage prospects because his defensive game is lagging far behind his offensive prowess. Considering how hard it is to transition to catcher, however, there is still a lot of upside here.

20. RHP, Matthew Richardson [D.O.B. - 5/28/1990] - The fact that Richardson - who has shown above average velocity, a plus curveball at times, and the ability to have pinpoint command - ranks this low among the teenagers is a huge credit to the entire Yankees scouting department.

21. RHP, Brett Gerritse [D.O.B. - 3/4/1991] - Like Richardson, there's nothing really wrong with Gerritse's game. In fact, there's significant upside here too. He shows average to above average velocity with his fastball and the spin he gets on his curveball gives it plus potential. However, the delivery is a work in progress and the changeup is still developing.

22. OF, Ravel Santana [D.O.B - 5/1/1992] - There's no better example of how the Yankees depth is an embarrassment of riches than Santana, an outfielder with all five tools in his game and some of which, his arm, are of the plus, plus variety. Despite being somewhat polished and incredibly toolsy, he still might have to play in the Dominican Summer League next season and that's sinful.

23. OF, Henry Pena [D.O.B. - 10/26/1990] - Pena's tools are considerably lower than just about everyone else in these rankings, but his best tool, his plus plate discipline, actually gives him the best chance of reaching his potential. He's too advanced for the Dominican Summer League and few teenagers have his eye at the plate.

24. SS, Gian Carlos Arias [D.O.B. - 10/6/1991] - Like Pena, Arias' best tools are his plate discipline and patient approach, and those should serve him well as he climbs the minor league ladder. However, conditioning is an issue already and that's always a red flag when you're talking about a player who will be a teenager for two more seasons.

25. OF, Melvin Rosario [D.O.B. - 11/2/1990] - Another five-tool player, Rosario has a plethora of competition at the outfield position at the lower levels for the Yankees and like Ravel Santana, guys with his talent shouldn't rank this low in any organization.

Honorable Mention

OF, Judd Golsan [D.O.B - 12/6/1990] - He hasn't shown an ability yet to make consistent contact and, quite frankly, his power is considerably less in comparison to others. However, above average to plus speed and plus defensive ability gives Golsan a nice foundation at the start of his professional career.

C, Jhorge Liccien [D.O.B. - 10/10/1990] - In nearly every other organization Liccien would rank among the top catchers, but he simply gets buried in the Yankees depth of quality hitting catchers with average or better power potential. He's Francisco Cervelli-like and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

OF, Daniel Lopez [D.O.B. - 1/17/1992] - World-class speed gives this outfield prospect a leg up on most, but his bat is a bit cruder than most right now too and that could hinder him somewhat. The Yankees like his power potential too but he just signed this past summer and he has quite a few prospects to beat out for playing time.

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