Potential Yankees Midseason Tier Risers and Fallers

Dermis Garcia, Tampa Tarpons, Florida State League, April 19, 2019 - photo credit @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

It’s been about three months since my Yankees Top 50 has dropped. I have continued to debate some players I had placed in certain Tiers. With that said, I want to focus on potential risers and fallers within each tier for the upcoming Midseason Top 50. The tier structure here at Prospects1500 is much more important than the ranking itself for this exercise. My Yankees Top 50 prospects was published back in January, and here’s a refresher on our tier structure:

Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

Without further ado, here are my possible midseason Yankees prospects tier jumpers and fallers.

Tier 2 possible jumpers to Tier 1

Luis Gil, RHP – Gil is the most electric pitcher in the system! Gil’s big arm helps him regularly hit 95-98 mph and reach 101 mph with his four-seam fastball. He keeps his velocity deep into his starts and can blow his heater by hitters up in the strike zone. He also misses bats with an excellent power curveball that has exceptional spin rates and a good slider that he has developed the last two seasons. I think the Yankees give him more time to develop as a starter, but he may wind up as a dynamic late-inning reliever or closer because his repertoire may work better as a reliever. In my eyes, those late inning holds and saves are very important in fantasy baseball. There’s nothing like a reliever with a high strikeout rate that can net you plenty of saves!

Kevin Alcantara, OF– Alcantara has plus tools across the board with a ton of bat speed, strength and speed. His size gives him great leverage and naturally adds length to his stroke. He has displayed the ability to make consistent contact from the right side. Once he gets more at bats, he will shoot up prospect rankings everywhere. He is years away from Yankee Stadium, but has one of the highest ceilings in the organizations.<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>16-year-old OF Kevin Alcantara signed with the Yankees in 2018 out of the Dominican Republic.

Luis Medina, RHP– Medina’s fastball sits in the mid-to high 90s and tops out at 102. His two secondary pitches, a hammer curveball and a devastating change up, are both above-average offerings right now but have the potential to become plus pitches in the future with increased command. He does lack the ability to locate his pitches at times, as he threw 27 wild pitches in 2019. If he can get his location under control at a reasonable rate, he has the potential to be an ace. Medina had a fantastic off-season in the Puerto Rican Winter League, really showing off his high 90s fastball and curveball. In my opinion, he has the most upside of any Yankees pitching prospect and is a huge sleeper in fantasy. He is still young and extremely raw; but once he matures, he should shoot up rankings everywhere.

Tier 3 possible jumpers to Tier 2

Oswald Peraza, SS – I admittedly am not as high on Peraza as other places. Peraza has great bat-to-ball skill to go with good barrel awareness, and laces the ball to all fields with some of the best exit velocities in the Yankees system. That said, his batted ball profile also does show a tendency for ground ball contact. Peraza does have some pull power and could produce double-digit home runs once he gets stronger. He is an aggressive baserunner with good speed and a knack for stealing bases (23/30 SB in 2019). I think as Peraza matures and grows he has the chance to be a solid middle infielder as long as he learns to hit the ball with more authority. I still think a move to third isn’t out of the cards for Peraza because the Yankees are so stacked in the middle infield, less so at the hot corner. The Yankees seem to have high praise for him and expect big things from him.

Anthony Garcia, OF– A switch-hitter, Garcia has gargantuan raw power from either side of the plate. He has an extremely aggressive approach and a naturally long swing, which resulted in a 41 percent strikeout rate during his pro debut. While it’s easy to dream on his bat speed and his raw power, he’s going to have to make much more contact to deliver on his power potential. Garcia missed most of 2019 with injuries. If Garcia can reign in his aggressive approach some and stay healthy, he has to the potential to not only jump up a Tier but to be more on fantasy radars as well!

Raimfer Salinas, OF– At the plate, Salinas has shown an advanced approach and good bat speed. He sprays the ball to all fields while also showing some home run power. Salinas is also a decent runner. He has real potential to be a legitimate five-tool player and an impact player in the near future. Given his upside, I’m confident Salinas will go up in my rankings in the near future.

Ryder Green, OF – Green has great bat speed and strength that create above-average raw power. He has a good understanding of the strike zone but can lapse into selling out for home runs at times. Green really worked on getting the ball in the air in his second pro season and was successful at it, following a debut season where his aggressive approach led to too many rolled over grounders to the left side of the infield. Ryder has good speed and can take the extra base or get a steal when needed. With continued success in lifting the ball, a bump up in my rankings for Green is very likely.

Osiel Rodriguez, RHP– 2019 was an inconclusive introduction to professional ball for Rodriguez. He only hit mid to high 80s on his fastball while with DSL as he worked on different arm angles. He was slowed by a minor shoulder injury and some aches and pains in his debut season. Before signing out of Cuba, he produced an electric arm that produces 92-95 mph fastballs that top out at 97, with high spin rates that give them extra life up in the strike zone. His hard curveball is a bit more effective than his harder slider, with both displaying the potential to become plus pitches. His changeup has splitter action and similar upside but is a work in progress. He doesn’t have the cleanest arm action and there’s effort in his delivery. Rodriguez has a huge ceiling, as his chances to develop four plus offerings could make him a frontline starter. Once he can get his high 90s fastball under control and show it in the states, the results are sure to follow. Health looked to be a big part of his struggles in 2019. Once healthy and able to show all his pitches in 2021, he should shoot up my rankings.

Tier 4 potential jumpers to Tier 3

Brandon Lockridge, OF– Lockridge has great speed and raw power that could translate into 20 homers per season. A 20/20 player is very possible here. He can get overly aggressive and pull-happy at times. With a step forward in the hit tool, a promotion up my rankings would be in the cards for Lockridge.

Agustin Ramirez, C– Ramirez packs a lot of strength into his compact swing from what he has shown in BP. The balls he currently hits to the fence will go over once he puts some strength on his frame. Ramirez squares up fastballs consistently with the barrel, though he does have some trouble on breaking pitches. He also shows solid patience at the plate. I expect with extra strength and the extra work he has put in a big season from Ramirez both in the power department and the swing and miss department.

Tier 5 potential jumpers to Tier 4

Harold Cortijo, RHP– Cortijo has a great command of a low 90s fastball and a mid-80s slider that flashes quality bite. Cortijo has 2 secondary pitches: a mid-80s changeup and a high 70s hook. He could definitely be a mid-round steal for the Yankees (selected in the 14th round of the 2017 draft 422nd overall) with more innings.



May drop down a Tier

Current Tier 1

Jasson Dominguez, OF– This is no means a hit on Dominguez. He obviously has everything you want in a prospect: strength, speed, understanding of the strike zone, and athleticism to be a future great. Dominguez just has not yet to see any stateside pitching, which results in me thinking he may drop down a Tier and still be a very good player. I want to see how he can handle top tier minor league pitching. With no minor league baseball in 2020, he wasn’t able to show what he truly offers. For every hyped player like generational talent Mike Trout, there’s a Tier 1 prospect who doesn’t work out.

Current Tier 2

Clarke Schmidt, RHP– Schmidt has a fantastic four-pitch mix: a heater that sits between 92-94 mph and tops out at 96, a low-80s curveball, mid-80s slider and a changeup. But Schmidt only has 131 pro career innings between the regular season and postseason well dealing with injury issues. Schmidt will need more pro innings at higher levels and prove he is going to be able to get guys out and stay healthy. Clarke was injured with a extensor tendon strain in his elbow (Tennis Elbow) in spring training this season and had to be shut down for 4 weeks. It was not related to his past Tommy John Surgery. Hopefully durability doesn’t start being a concern. Schmidt reminds me some of Chance Adams a top tier prospect that has flamed out some.

Current Tier 3

Albert Abreu, RHP– All of Abreu’s pitches grade out as plus or better when he commands them. His fastball hits mid-90s and tops out at 101 with some sink and run go along with a power breaking ball wipes out right handers to go along with curveball and changeup as well. His short-arm action provides deception but sometimes hampers him from locating his pitches. If he can’t find better command, he could end up in the bullpen in high leverage situations. In 2019 with Trenton, Abreu walked 53 well striking out 91 over 96.2 innings. He could ultimately ends up in the bullpen as a long reliever or spot starter if he can’t fix his command problems. Middle reliever is Tier 4 with Prospects1500 Tier system.

T.J. Sikkema, LHP– Sikkema fastball only runs between 89-91 mph with run and sink from a lower three-quarters slot. His 78-83 mph slider features high spin rates and can be a plus offering when it’s on. He also has nice feel for his sinking changeup and the trust to use it in any count. I think Sikkema will continue being developed as a starter, but hitters at the upper levels will catch up to his stuff and he ultimately ends up in the bullpen as a long reliever or in middle relief. Middle reliever is Tier 4 within Prospects1500 Tier system.

Anthony Seigler, C– Seigler really needs at bats in 2021 after missing time with injury in 2018 and 2019. Seigler controls the strike zone with his contact-oriented approach and has ordinary bat speed. While he’s not loaded with raw power, he made a lot of weak ground ball contact during his short time in Class A in 2019. I question if he is going to hit enough to complement his good defense behind the plate. He could make it to the majors on his defense alone but for fantasy purposes defense doesn’t help. Hopefully he hits more and can put the whole package together. Tier 4 could be waiting if he can’t figure out how to hit in 2021.

Michael King, RHP– King’s arsenal is based around command and control rather than the ability to blow it by guys. King possesses a two-seam fastball that sits between 92-95 mph. Both King’s slider and changeup can be solid. He has some of the best control and command among Yankees pitching prospects. As more of a finesse right-hander he might fit at the back of a rotation but is probably more of a bullpen arm long term like Sikkema and would drop down to Tier 4.

Current Tier 4

Matt Sauer, RHP– Sauer operates with a 92-95 mph fastball. He also possesses a power curveball and slider. His curveball has the upside to be a plus pitch while his slider will require more work. Sauer has the size for durability and the athleticism to throw strikes and make adjustments. But he can never stay healthy. After having multiple issues including Tommy John Surgery, I would like to see a full season of Sauer healthy. If he can’t stay healthy, he could just end up being released or on another team as a journeyman.

Current Tier 5

Dermis Garcia, 1B– Garcia’s power is his carrying tool hitting 17 homers in 2019 with Tampa but also striking out in 105 times of his 297 plate appearances making him, in my opinion, the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the system. Garcia’s outstanding bat speed and strength give him top-of-the-scale raw power. He still has trouble with recognizing pitches and handling off-speed offerings, and he has yet to prove he can make consistent contact. Garcia has displayed a willingness to accept walks, though he still chases pitches out of the strike zone with alarming frequency. At upper levels he will get a steady diet of off-speed pitching and may not be able to hit them. He very well could end up a quad A player.

Paul Woodin is a huge sports fan who leads the New York Yankees minor league farm system coverage for the Prospects1500 team. Growing up playing and watching baseball while collecting baseball cards, Paul developed a love for the game. Born and raised in Connecticut between Yankees and Red Sox territory, Paul become a Yankees fan because of Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter. An avid sports card, memorabilia and autograph collector, he participates in redraft, dynasty and prospect-only fantasy baseball formats during each season. Feel free to reach out on Twitter

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