New York Yankees: Top 10 Prospects

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects 

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TOP TEN

PROSPECTS

1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp
BEST

TOOLS

Best Hitter for Average Jose Tabata
Best Power Hitter Jesus Montero
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Brett Gardner
Fastest Baserunner Brett Gardner
Best Athlete Austin Jackson
Best Fastball Joba Chamberlain
Best Curveball Joba Chamberlain
Best Slider Joba Chamberlain
Best Changeup Edwar Ramirez
Best Control Ian Kennedy
Best Defensive Catcher Francisco Cervelli
Best Defensive Infielder Alberto Gonzalez
Best Infield Arm Marcos Vechionacci
Best Defensive Outfielder Austin Jackson
Best Outfield Arm Seth Fortenberry
PROJECTED 2011

LINEUP

Catcher Austin Romine
First Base Jesus Montero
Second Base Robinson Cano
Third Base Alex Rodriguez
Shortstop Derek Jeter
Left Field Brett Gardner
Center Field Austin Jackson
Right Field Jose Tabata
Designated Hitter Bob Abreu
No. 1 Starter Joba Chamberlain
No. 2 Starter Phil Hughes
No. 3 Starter Chien-Ming Wang
No. 4 Starter Ian Kennedy
No. 5 Starter Alan Horne
Closer Mark Melancon
TOP PROSPECTS

OF THE DECADE

Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Eric Milton, lhp Reds
1999 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
2000 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
2001 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
2002 Drew Henson, 3b Out of baseball
2003 Jose Contreras, rhp White Sox
2004 Dioner Navarro, c Devil Rays
2005 Eric Duncan, 3b Yankees
2006 Phil Hughes, rhp Yankees
2007 Phil Hughes, rhp Yankees
TOP DRAFT PICKS

OF THE DECADE

Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Andy Brown, of Out of baseball
1999 David Walling, rhp Out of baseball
2000 David Parrish, c Pirates
2001 John-Ford Griffin, of Blue Jays
2002 Brandon Weeden, rhp (2nd) Out of baseball
2003 Eric Duncan, 3b Yankees
2004 Phil Hughes, rhp Yankees
2005 C.J. Henry, ss Phillies
2006 Ian Kennedy, rhp Yankees
2007 Andrew Brackman, rhp Yankees
LARGEST BONUSES

IN CLUB
HISTORY

Hideki Irabu, 1997

$8,500,000
Jose Contreras, 2002

$6,000,000
Andrew Brackman, 2007

$3,350,000
Wily Mo Pena, 1999

$2,440,000
Ian Kennedy, 2006

$2,250,000
YANKEES

LINKS

Yankees’ Team Page
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2007 Draft: Yankees (Basic Database)
2007 Draft: Yankees 

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2007 Draft Report Cards: American League 

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Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
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New York Yankees

For all the back-page news the Yankees made in 2007, the biggest story was the cold, hard fact that they no longer are the preeminent franchise in baseball.

The Red Sox passed them in 2007, winning the American League East—the first time New York hadn’t won the division since 1997—and then winning their second World Series of the decade. It’s a decade in which the Yankees have yet to win a championship despite consistently maintaining the game’s largest payroll.

The Yankees’ 2007 season included 94 victories and rallying from a 21-29 start to make the playoffs. It also included superlative individual performances by the likes of BA Player of the Year and AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, a career year from 35-year-old catcher Jorge Posada and the dynamic major league debut of Joba Chamberlain, the organization’s No. 1 prospect.

But 2007 also included a 4.49 team ERA for New York, a figure that ranked just eighth in the AL. The team had to turn to 44-year-old Roger Clemens when injuries and a slow start jeopardized the season, and Clemens proved to be no savior. A four-game defeat to the Indians in the Division Series marked the third straight first-round playoff exit for the Yankees, who have gone 4-13 in the playoffs since taking a 3-0 lead on Boston in the 2004 AL Championship Series.

The string of playoff disappointments, plus the ascendancy of brothers Hank and Hal Steinbrenner to prominent roles in the ownership group as their father George continued to fade into the background, helped shape the franchise’s immediate future. Club officials insisted the younger Steinbrenners already had become more involved in recent years, and one went so far as to say it was “business as usual around here,” but events say otherwise. Manager Joe Torre was ousted after 12 seasons when he rejected a one-year extension, and the Yankees turned to Joe Girardi, their former catcher and color analyst on the YES Network, and the 2006 National League manager of the year with the Marlins.

Girardi’s Florida team was built around young pitchers such as Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen and Dontrelle Willis, and he’ll have more young talent to work with in New York. Staff ace Chien-Ming Wang is coming off consecutive 19-victories seasons and is still just 27. Also, the Yankees are counting on Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to claim rotation spots. That trio has undeniable talent, but also just 16 starts and 116 innings in the big leagues between them.

The farm system has made significant strides in the last four years, with improved talent allowing the system’s domestic affiliates to combine for four first-place finishes, two league championships and a collective .597 winning percentage, the best mark in baseball. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, who started running New York’s drafts in 2005, has the budget to pick aggressively, and the Yankees regularly pay draft picks more than MLB’s bonus recommendations.

That was true more than ever in 2007, when they went over slot for five picks in the first 10 rounds and spent $8.03 million on the draft, more than any other team. They also were as active as any organization internationally, adding high-priced, high-ceiling talents led by Dominican outfielder Kevin DeLeon, who signed for $1.1 million.

Scouting reports for the Top 10 Prospects 

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