Notable Yankees Pitching Prospects July 26, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Christian Garcia, Dellin Betances, Edwar Ramirez, Humberto Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, J. Brent Cox, Joba Chamberlain, Kevin Whelan, Phil Hughes, Ross Ohlendorf, Tim Norton.
Below are some of the Yankees’ notable pitching prospects, with my grade for them so far this year, as well as John Sickel’s grade for them at the start of the season.
Phil Hughes, RHP, Grade A+ [A] Most bona-fide prospect in system–outstanding control and command, throws hard, best curveball according to BA in the Yankee system, and the case can be made that he is the best pitching prospect in baseball.
Joba Chamberlain, RHP, A+ [B]–May have a higher ceiling than Hughes, according to some Yankee insiders. Throws very hard (94-97 MPH), great control, good command, nasty stuff, but must maintain good weight to achieve success.
Ian Kennedy, RHP, A- [B-] At least a back-of-rotation control artist, peaks at a Mike Mussina-type pitcher. They share the same velocity and stretch motion.
Humberto Sanchez, RHP, B [B+] Had TJ surgery–had great stuff before, and we’ll see after. With so many starters, will be a Scott Proctor-type next year if he makes big club
Dellin Betances, RHP, B [B], Despite elbow problems in Staten Island, is a flamethrower that has great stuff and a great breaking ball–if he didn’t have an injury, could be B+ prospect–could be too early to tell
J. Brent Cox, RHP, B- [B] Had TJ surgery–tops out at around 91, good stuff before surgery, and could be, like Sanchez or Whelan, the closer of the future
Edwar Ramirez, RHP, B- [NR] Was an Angels’ system castoff, but has posted most impressive numbers throughout his minor league career. Great in his first outing, but regressed a little bit with the big club due to incosistent usage. Outstanding “bugs bunny” changeup.
George Kontos, RHP, B- [NR] Great arm, had best start of all Yankee draft picks last year, and is doing pretty decent job for Tampa this year. Had bad college career, though.
Tim Norton, RHP, B- [NR] Currently disabled, but is having a somewhat better season in A than Kontos is in High A, but is somewhat of a question able arm that has the potential to be an organizational player
Kevin Whelan, RHP, C+ [B-] Was converted to a starter for Tampa but has only started one of 19 games for Trenton. Still adjusting to Trenton, but is, as mentioned, a potential closer of the future
Ross Ohlendorf, RHP, B- [NR] Best projects, by scouts, as a set-up man. Throws decently hard, and came into his own in the Arizona system in 2006. However, in AAA S/WB, he has regressed, and is still being used as a starter.
Christian Garcia, RHP, C+ [B-] Out all of 2007 so far, surgery–had the best curveball in the Yankee system until Philip Hughes developed his in 2006, according to BA, and ranked 6th of Yankees prospects, also according to BA
Tyler Clippard, RHP, C+ [B] Was one of the best Yankee prospects this year, but will probably fall to the end or out of that category by the end of the year. Was stellar in first MLB outing, but it was inconsistent afterwards. Was demoted to AA with Chase Wright to make room for higher-touted prospects Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy very recently.
Jeff Marquez, RHP, C+ [C+] More than a hit per inning, and the changeup artist’s declining K rate is rapidly lowering his stock and potential. Not always overpowering (88-91 MPH mostly) despite being able to reach 94 MPH. May not be much more than a Jeff Karstens, or he can even be an organizational player
Zach McAllister, RHP, C+ Was reliever for GCL Yankees last year, but as a starter for Tampa is doing a good job. A little early to tell, as he was just drafted in ’06.
T.J. Beam, RHP, C [C] Had a chance to make it in the big club twice last season, but failed to make use of his opportunity, sporting a 8.50 ERA in 20G, although that includes 22-0 loss in Cleveland. He did an outstanding job last year for Trenton and Columbus last year, and is doing good work this year for AAA and on his rehab assignment from the DL. Was looked as a hard-throwing version of J. Brent Cox, but at 26, he might not be more than a September call-up.
Angel Reyes, LHP, C [C] Only notable lefty the Yankees are developing. Hasn’t started consistently in this year. Did a good job for Class A Charleston, but was demoted for some reason to short-season Staten Island and the wheels fell off. Only 20 yrs old, so he still has time.
Chase Wright, LHP, C- [C+] Like DeSalvo and Clippard, were stellar in first outings before wheels fell off. Doesn’t overpower, and at 26, needs to turn his lack of success in the past–as well as his recent demotion to AA–into success to ever see the big leagues again.
Stephen Jackson, RHP, D+ [C+] Has struggled mightily in AAA and Trenton, and has pitched only once in Trenton. Is a fifth starter/long reliever type, as evidenced by his G : GS ratio.