New York Yankees 2019 Preseason Top 10

Estevan Florial
Estevan Florial. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan


Player: Estevan Florial
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: Florial has a traditional right field profile, cannon of an arm and real raw power, but has enough athleticism that he could stick in center. The instincts are not there yet in the field and there is concern he will lose some of his current speed as he fills out, but he should remain an above-average runner even after adding strength. There is concern about his ability to make consistent contact, as he has a leg kick and shoulder dip that leads to a lot of swing and miss. When he does make contact, he can crush the ball, so there is plenty of upside.


Player: Jonathan Loaisiga
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 24 2018 Highest Level: MLB
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs.
Quick Report: Loaisiga has began his minor league career in 2013 with the Giants but missed two full years due to injury and has logged just 184.1 innings over six pro seasons. He did reach the big leagues in 2018, with just 34.1 innings pitched above High A, and put up impressive strikeout numbers. Based on pure stuff, he is one of the better pitching prospects in the game, but his lack of innings and ability to stay healthy leave a ton of questions. His fastball runs into the high 90s with a very good breaking ball and a change that has developed into a solid pitch. There are real concerns with his arm action, showing the ball well behind his back and still managing to bring the ball back in enough to almost be short arming the ball.


Player: Deivi Garcia
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’10” Weight: 163 lbs.
Quick Report: Garcia moved across three levels for the second consecutive year in 2018, ending up with five innings of hitless ball in his lone appearance in AA at just 19 years old. At first glance, Garcia screams reliever. He has a busy delivery and falls to the first base side, his arm is whippy and is only 5’10”, but the more I see him throw, the more I think he sticks it out as a starter. His fastball sits in the low-90s but gets on the batter fast and has some run to it. His curve is his best pitch, showing signs of being a plus pitch. His change is lagging far behind his fastball and curve, and he will need it to develop to stick as a starter, but even if it doesn’t, he has the floor of a solid reliever.


Player: Roansy Contreras
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Low A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ 175 lbs.
Quick Report: Unlike Garcia, Contreras very well be on the path to becoming a reliever rather than a starter, but that ship has not sailed just yet. He has a big fastball, sitting up to 96, with a breaking ball that can be a bit slurvy but has also shown good two-plane depth that allows it to play above average to plus. His change comes with some decrease in arm speed and is easily recognized currently, but it has flashed at least serviceable at times. If he can develop better command and improve the change, he can be a mid-rotation guy, but without that he is a late inning reliver.


Player: Anthony Seigler
Position(s): C Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Switch Throws: Switch Height: 6’ Weight: 190 lbs.
Quick Report: Seigler is a catcher with little doubt he will stick there long term. He has soft hands that receive the ball well and blocks the ball better than most catchers his age. He has a plus arm that allows him to control the running game well. His swing has natural loft from both sides of the plate but has plenty of work ahead of him there. The bat can get a little long from the right side, although it is pretty quick to the ball from the left.


Player: Everson Pereira
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 190 lbs.
Quick Report: If there is a stereotype from international signings that proves to be accurate more often than not, it is that of the solid defensive Venezuelan without flashy tools but a solid all-around game. Pereira fits that stereotype and could have the brightest future of the trio of 2017 July 2 outfielders. He can play center thanks to his athleticism and very good jumps, but he also has enough arm to stick in right if he needs to. The bat has real raw power, although it has yet to present itself in game action. He has a deep stance but gets the bat head down to the zone well, although there are some issues with his ability to stay balanced through the swing that will need to be rectified for him to be a consistent producer.


Player: Antonio Cabello
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’10” Weight: 160 lbs.
Quick Report: The second of the 2017 July 2 outfield trio, Raimfer Salinas is the third and did not make the list, Cabello is a bit tough to get a feel for. He was a catcher as an amateur, but has plus speed at any position, so the Yankees have moved him to center. Behind the plate, the arm looked below average, in center it is an above-average arm. His reads in the outfield obviously need some work, but there are those who feel he has a real shot to stick in center. At the plate, his hips open too much and over-extending his stride, sapping the raw power he possesses. He has shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields, but he needs coaching, something he missed out on during Fall Instructs as he was out after having surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.


Player: Mike King
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: Acquired from the Marlins in a deal that went basically unnoticed in 2017, King pitched across three levels and was named MiLB’s Pitcher of the Year in 2018. King does not have the biggest upside, but he is all but a lock to be a starter in the back end of a rotation sooner than later. He works low-to-mid 90s with his fastball, and his best secondary offering is his cutter. The cutter can expand into a slider, but when it does it loses its sharpness and effectiveness. His change is solid, although it will never be a plus, and he throws with just enough command to succeed. King will never wow you with stuff, but he has shown he knows how to get batters out, as evidenced by his 1.79 ERA in 161.1 innings last year.


Player: Clarke Schmidt
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: Short A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 205 lbs.
Quick Report: Drafted 16th overall in 2017, Schmidt has only put in 23.1 pro innings after Tommy John surgery delayed his debut. He has four pitches that all rate average to above-average, although the velo difference between his change and fastball aren’t what you want currently. His lower 3/4 slot allows the fastball to really run, and his slider cuts late. It will be interesting to see Schmidt facing batters more in line with his age (he was old for complex and Short A ball last year) and could very well find himself as high as AA sometime during this season.


Player:  Luis Medina
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: Medina means my top 10 Yankees prospect list is comprised of six teenagers. The determining factor in Medina’s ceiling will be his command, walking 8.4 per nine in his career thus far, the stuff alone is not a concern. He has hit 101 on the radar gun and has some run to it. His curve is a plus pitch that could pair with his fastball to be an impressive bullpen arm, but he has shown enough feel for the change to believe he has the future repertoire of a starter. He is just 19, so there is plenty of projection left, but the fact you can see many different arm slots and angles in his delivery suggest a mechanical adjustment could improve the command enough to become a viable starter long term.

Others of Note:

Albert Abreu – RHP – 23 – AA
Luis Gil – RHP – 20 – Short A
Josh Breaux – C – 21 – Short A
Josh Stowers – OF – 21 – Short A
Garrett Whitlock – RHP – 22 – AA
Domingo Acevedo – RHP – 24 – AAA
Thairo Estrada – SS – 22 – AAA
Matt Sauer – RHP – 20 – Short A
Chance Adams – RHP – 24 – MLB

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