Hot Stove Report: NY Yankees Turn To Top Prospects

So you’re saying the NY Yankees have a chance?
By Chris Saunders
By the looks of the MLB Hot stove season, New York Yankees are not making any big free agent signings ahead of the 2016 season. The best available pitchers a list that includes Zack Grieinke, David Price, and Johnny Cueto- have all found new teams this offseason. As for the hitters who could help the Yankees, the available sluggers would have a hard time finding a position in the Bronx especially with every spot taken. This situation makes the signing of Justin Upton, Chris Davis, or Yoenis Cespedes none existent in New York.
However, while things might seem doom and gloom on paper, Yankees will be able to add talent to the Major League club by promoting prospects. While once considered impossible to both content and rebuild, the small market approach paid high dividends in 2015, when Luis Severino and Greg Bird became integral parts of the team by season’s end. Will there be another Bird or Severino rising through the ranks in 2016? That may be a long shot, but there are several high-level players waiting for their breaks in New York. Here are three Yankees prospects that could make a big impact next season.
  1. Rob Refsnyder
At the start of the offseason, the front office seemed content with a platoon of Rob Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley at second base. Then they traded for Starlin Castro, giving the Yankees an everyday player at the position. Although that might put a
damper on Regsnyder playing second, he can play other positions as a possible Ryan Roberts Logan Forsythe mold. If  Refsnyder continues putting up numbers like he did in 2015 (.302 BA, .859 OPS in 16 G) New York will find a place for his somewhere!
  1. Gary Sanchez
Though his status in the Yankees system took a hit in recent years, catching prospect Gary Sanchez just turned 23 and is coming off a scintillating performance in the Arizona Fall League. Sanchez blasted 7 HR with a .982 OPS in 22 games. The power display was only one thing that impressed scouts. The young catcher’s poise behind the plate and commitment in every facet of the game garnered rave reviews. John Manuel of “Baseball America” being one of those reviewers on MLB Tonight had an interesting piece on Sanchez saying “Cut down on the receiving mistakes from ten pass balls to two, premium power/arm profiles as a backup catcher for now.” With the trade for John Ryan Murphy, Sanchez will get a chance to flash his power tools in 2016 as Brian McCann’s backup with the hopes of potentially taking over for McCann has his contract expires in a few years.
  1. James Kaprielian

Former first round pick of 2015 for New York can be summed up in one word. POLISHED! According to John Manuel he spoke of Kaprielian with his praise saying that “my money I would take him as the best college starting pitcher in the 2015 draft.” When you look at guys who were drafted ahead of Kaprielian

like Dillion Date (4th overall) as well as Carson Fulmer 8th might very well end up in the bullpen. Kaprielian while starting his career in UCLA in the bullpen for championship ULCA team and (former teammates of Gerrit Cole and Trevor Baur) he was the bonafide ace! The question with Kaprielian is the fastball velocity ranging from 88-92mph instead of his pre draft 92-94mph with ULCA. Beyond that he has great makeup and as a side note was the rock of 2014 Team USA National team. With Solid makeup, command of his off-speed pitches, of which three he can miss bats with Kaprielian has the ceiling of a number three starter. With all the rotation question marks surrounding New York, Kaprielian could receive a call sooner rather than later!

Comment:  Twitter @C_Broadcaster, Facebook: Chris Saunders

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