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Gleyber Torres Stands Poised As Yankees' Next Star



For the second Rule 5 draft in a row, the Yankees lost four players to other teams in the major league phase. The desirability of those players to other organizations is a strong indicator of New York's farm system depth, because the Yankees couldn't find room for them on their 40-man roster. Three of the four players lost in the 2017 Rule 5 were pitchers—lefthander Nestor Cortes (Orioles) and righthanders Anyelo Gomez (Braves) and Jose Mesa Jr. (Orioles)—and the other was first baseman Mike Ford (Mariners). It remains to be seen if any of them stick in the big leagues for the entire 2018 season.

The Yankees point to another area where their system has thrived in the past two seasons, with a chance to make it three in 2018.

"The key to me is if you add one impact player to the major league club every year, you will be very good,’’ vice president of baseball operations Tim Neahring said. "In Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, we have done that.

"On the scale of two to eight, with five being a major league regular, these guys grade at six and above. If you get one (player) a year, you start seeing the major league club be good for a while. Look at the Dodgers and Astros.’’

Severino pitched well in 2015, experienced a horrific 2016 and developed into the Yankees’ ace in 2017. Sanchez played two months of the 2016 season and hit well enough to be the runner-up in the American League Rookie of the Year race. Judge won the ROY trophy in 2017 and finished second in MVP voting.

So who is the next "six and above’’ Yankees player?

Shortstop Gleyber Torres is the prohibitive favorite because if the 21-year-old fully recovers from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow, he could fit at either second base or third base, following the Yankees' offseason trades of regulars Starlin Castro and Chase Headley.

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2018 Prospect Graduation Grades

Re-grading the 10 best graduated MLB prospects from 2018, starting with Ronald Acuna Jr. and Shohei Ohtani.

Torres ranks as the system's No. 1 prospect after hitting .287/.383/.480 with seven home runs in 55 games in a season he finished at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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