Yankees 21 To Watch Past the Top 50

Ronny Rojas. Gulf Coast League Tigers East vs. Gulf Coast League Yankees West. Tigertown. Lakeland, FL. July 27, 2019. Photo credit Tom Hagerty/MiLB.com on Flickr (lakelandlocal)

Last month we recapped our top 50 prospects per team. The Yankees are so deep I wanted to expand on mine and decided to make a “Yankees 21” to watch past the top 50. These are players that could see some MLB time if injuries hit or are a little too far away to be ranked in my 2020 Yankees Top 50, but I do expect some of these names to be in my midseason top 50. I also think some of these players will go on to help other teams in trades.


Steven Sensley, 1B/OF
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: A+ Tampa
2019 Stats: 110 G, 410 PA, .207/.286/.354/.640, 15 2B, 13 HR, 38 RBI, 9 SB
Major raw power! Sensley can change the game in one swing. He could grow into a 20 homer bat with a decent average. He profiles as a 4th outfielder and is a player with decent pop off the bench that won’t hurt you in any facet of the game. ETA: 2023

Isaiah Pasteur, OF
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: A Charleston
2019 Stats: 50 G, 154 PA, .181/.312/.323/.635, 5 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 15 SB
One word. SPEED! Some scouts rate him the fastest runner in the Yankees organization. Played infield in college at George Washington University. Yankees drafted him in the 13th round in 2018 as a centerfielder so he’s still a work in progress in the field. ETA: 2023

Jhonatan Munoz, RHP
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pulaski
2019 Stats: 11 G,11 GS, 56.2 IP, 5-3, 68 K, 4.13 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
At only 5’8” Munoz throws a low 90s fastball touching 94. His breaking ball is a work in progress which runs between 78-82 mph and flashes depth and bite. Munoz finished 2nd in the Appy league with 68 strikeouts on the season. He recorded a 10.8 K/9 rate, while only surrendering 2.86 BB/9. Munoz had a 4.13 ERA, but that was elevated due to one outing where he gave up 10 ER in 2.1 IP. In his other 10 regular season games, and 54.1 IP on the season, he pitched to a 2.65 ERA. ETA: 2024

Roberto Chirinos, 2B/3B/SS
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pulaski
2019 Stats: 50 G, 217 PA, .256/.304/.404/.708, 6 HR, 27 RBI, 4 SB
Chirinos signed for $900,000 out of Venezuela in 2017. A converted outfielder he will make the average play but his infield skills are still a work in progress. With his strong arm he could be a plus defender in the future. Chirinos has above average speed and is very athletic with great bat speed. At the plate he makes hard contact to all fields and has good bat speed. Roberto is one to watch that could shoot up my list. ETA: 2024

Ronny Rojas, 3B
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Gulf Coast League)
2019 Stats: 44 G, 171 PA, .128/.316/.271/.586, 7 2B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB
ETA: 2025
Rojas offers quick hands and a good hitting approach from both sides of the plate. He has a chance to hit for a good average and makes hard contact from both sides of the plate. In games he has displayed gap to gap power that could turn into home runs in the future. Decent defender with projectable frame. Some scouts see a Robinson Cano-like ceiling to his game, but he’s years away from Yankee Stadium!
ETA: 2025

Brandon Wagner, 1B
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA Trenton
2019 Stats: 117 G, 456 PA, .177/.289/.279/.569, 12 2B, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 1 SB
ETA: 2021
Wagner is a classic left-handed hitting corner infield masher. His calling card is above-average power to all fields. Wagner started to really tap into his power in 2018 following some offseason adjustments that turned him into a launch angle guy. Wagner’s plate discipline is excellent and bordering on passive. There are times he’ll let hittable pitches go by. He has some length to his swing. Defensively, Wagner was drafted as a third baseman but has been primarily a first baseman. Wagner’s a good athlete and his hands are fine, but he lacks the range for second and the quickness for third however, the Yankees have been working him at those spots. Wagner is a good runner who isn’t a liability on the bases but has never been much of a stolen base threat. Wagner strikes me as a potential National League bench bat. A lefty pinch-hitter who can put a mistake in the seats, play some first base and maybe left field, and also fill in at third base in a pinch.
ETA: 2021

Trey Amburgey, OF
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barres
2019 Stats: 124 G, 510 PA, .274/.329/.494/.822, 31 2B, 22 HR, 62 RBI, 6 SB
ETA: 2020
Amburgey has a big league body at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and the athleticism to match. He has slowly but steadily worked his way up through the minor league ranks since being drafted in 2015. He makes consistent contact to all fields and the ball jumps off his right-handed bat, which generates some of the best exit velocities among New York farmhands. He spent 2019 in Triple-A and fared pretty well. He finished the year with 22 home runs and a .274/.329/.494/.822 line. He also hit 31 doubles and three triples. He is a left fielder who has increased his power numbers every season. He is solid across the board, including defensively. He would make a good 4th or 5th outfielder. He was Rule 5 eligible and not selected.

Ben Ruta, OF
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AA Trenton
2019 Stats: 117 G, 497 PA, .260/.330/.396/.726, 26 2B, 8 HR, 55 RBI, 25 SB
Ruta, a 30th round pick in 2016 out of Wagner was a tale of 2 halves in 2019. He was off to a very good start in 2019 and then at around mid-season he completely hit a wall. His first half numbers were .283/.363/.457/.819 with four homers, 16 doubles, and five triples with 12 SB. His second half numbers were just .238/.297/.336/.633 with four homers, 10 doubles, and 13 SB. I’m not sure what went wrong in the second half for Ruta, but he still has a promising set of tools with above average speed, defense, and power potential. If he can get back to whatever he was doing in the first half of 2019 he could make it to the show. He reminds me a little of Brett Gardner, a very scrappy player who gets the most out of his ability. I expect he starts in Trenton with a call up to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
ETA: 2021

Pedro Barrios, RHP
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: DSL
2019 Stats: 2 G, 2 GS, 5 IP, 0-0, 6 K, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
Barrios was another under the radar international signing for the Yankees. The Yankees signed Barrios out of Venezuela back in July of 2015. At only 20 he’s still very raw. He has a mid 90s fastball and a developing curve and change. If he can stay healthy and get some innings in he could shoot up my list. An assortment of injuries has held him back.
ETA: 2024

JP Sears, LHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: A+ Tampa
2019 Stats: 13 G, 6 GS, 48.2 IP, 4-4, 45 K, 4.07 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Acquired from Seattle in the deal for Nick Rumbelow, Sears is a crafty lefty. He throws in the mid 90s with an above average spin rate and good deception. He also owns a curveball and changeup which are average pitches.
ETA: 2023

Stanley Rosario, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Gulf Coast League)
2019 Stats: 37 G, 131 PA, .202/.336/.294/.629, 4 2B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 2 SB
Rosario has easy raw power to all fields with his left handed stroke. Great bat speed with the ability to square up the ball. Rosario has too much swing and miss at times as he gets long and expands the strike zone. He tends to be fooled by the breaking ball. Worth following for the major power potential but is years away from the big leagues.
ETA: 2024

Jose Chambuco, RHP
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: DSL
2019 Stats: 13 G, 8 GS, 50.0 IP, 6-3, 66 K, 4.62 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Just 17 Chambuco is very raw. Just 5-foot-9 he owns a strong arm. He needs to work on his secondary pitches and spin rate. He is an aggressive strike thrower though with very good control for his age. Walking just 8 over 50.2 innings well striking out 66 in 2019.
ETA: 2025

Saul Torres, C
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pulaski
2019 Stats: 48 G, 189 PA, .218/.317/.418/.736, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 1 SB
Torres is all about upside! Behind the plate Torres is already considered a strong defensive catcher. At the plate he has very raw power. As he matures he has potential to be a 20+ home run hitter and hit plenty of extra base hits.
ETA: 2024

Angel Rojas, 2B/SS
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Gulf Coast League)
2019 Stats: 41 G, 151 PA, .241/.298/.343/.641, 8 2B, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 6 SB
Rojas was one of the 13 former Braves prospects who became a free agents in 2018 when the team was disciplined for their international free agency rule breaking under former GM John Coppolella. He has plus speed and has some growing power that you wouldn’t expect from a guy his size. At 6’ 160-pounds he is a tremendous athlete, now he just has to bring the overall game up to speed with his tools
ETA: 2025

Ryan Anderson, LHP
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pulaski
2019 Stats: 10 G, 8 GS, 32 IP, 0-1, 43 K, 4.78 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
ETA: 2023
6-foot-6, 205-pounds, Anderson was the Yankees 12th round pick in 2019. He’s a big kid who is still skinny and has a fastball that maxes out at 93 mph already but usually sits in the 88-91 range. He still gets a lot of strikeouts at that velocity though. With his size and projectability. He threw about 70 innings in college ball, then threw 32 innings in the Appalachian League (Pulaski) in 2019. He was rolled out as a starter initially, which is probably where he fits best. In those 32 innings in Pulaski, he had 43 K : 16 BB and a 4.78 ERA. ETA: 2023

James Nelson, 3B
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+ Jupiter
2019 Stats: 121 G, 470 PA, .228/.279/.296/.575, 13 2B, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 5 SB
Acquired in a trade with Miami for Stephen Tarpley. Nelson generated surprising power from whippy batspeed in the past, but stroke looks slower this year. Nelson shows good feel for hitting, with a short, clean swing from the right side that yields consistently hard contact to all fields early in his pro career. A doubles machine in his first two year as a pro (10 doubles in 162 AB in 2016 and 31 doubles in 395 AB in 2017), some scouts believe Nelson will develop average over-the-fence power based on his projectable frame, bat speed and leveraged plane through the hitting zone. Nelson’s average speed serves him well as a baserunner as well as in the field. A shortstop as an amateur, Nelson has since transitioned to the hot corner. He profiles as an average defender there, with good athleticism and range as well as a plus arm, though he has been prone to defensive lapses early in his career. Someone to watch and see if he can repeat his early pro career success in a new organization.
ETA: 2023

Jesus Rodriguez, C
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: DSL
2019 Stats: 18 G, 72 PA, .310/.403/.552/.955, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB
DSL All Star who showed good pop and some gap power. ETA: 2025

Luis Velasquez, RHP
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: DSL
2019 Stats: 11 G, 0 GS, 34.2 IP, 1-1, 39 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.59 WHIP
DSL All-Star game MVP. Small in stature only 5’10” 155 pounds. ETA: 2024

Gustavo Campero, C
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pulaski
2019 Stats: 36 G, 131 PA, .293/.374/.414/.788, 6 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 10 SB
ETA: 2024
Really good eye at the plate. In 280 plate appearance as a pro he hold a 1:1 K/BB ratio. ETA: 2024

Oscar Silverio, C
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: N/A
Quick hands behind the dish. ETA: 2025

Manuel Placencia, C
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: N/A
The Yankees signed Placencia out of Venezuela in 2019. Placencia is an offensive-oriented catcher with a good swing and a chance to hit for power from the right side. Light years away from the Bronx but someone to keep an eye on. ETA: 2025




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