New York Yankees 2022 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat

Image credit: Jasson Dominguez (Cliff Welch)

Following the release of our 2022 Yankees Top 10, Josh Norris answered questions about the state of New York’s farm system. 

Josh Norris: Live from Bearizona, it’s Chaturday Night Live!

Daron (Edina, MN):

     The Yankees still have a lot of upside prospects in the lower minors. Pereira, A Garcia, Dunham, Gomez, Selvidge, F Montero, & Vasquez. Who should we be looking at to have a breakout 2022?

Josh Norris: I think Pereira and Vasquez kind of broke out this year, no? So let’s cross them off. Of the remaining group, my picks would be Anthony Garcia (I am a sucker for massive power, which he’s got in spades) and Brock Selvidge, who ranked No. 140 on our final BA 500. The Yanks gave him big money in the third round, so it’ll be interesting to see what he can do once he gets his first real season underway.

Evan (New York):

     Everson Pereira seemed to have a breakout season in 2021. How close was he to making the top 10? What do you see as his ceiling?

Josh Norris: Very close. He’s No. 11. I could see him as a power-hitting corner outfielder who wouldn’t be out of place in center field.

Kyle Weatherly (Timmonsville, South Carolina):

     If Luis Gil can improve on his control (averaged over 5 BBs per 9 innings last year in the minors) could you see him becoming a #1 or a #2 in a MLB rotation?

Josh Norris: No. He could be more toward the back-end of a rotation with a ceiling of a No. 3 in my opinion. He needs to sharpen the control/command and also continue to make strides with his offspeed pitches.

Thomas Richardson (Tallahassee, FL):

     The BA projected lineup for the Yankees in 2025 has Peraza at shortstop and Volpe at third base. What is the likelihood that Volpe sticks at shortstop and if that were the case, where do you think Peraza would end up playing?

Josh Norris: This is not necessarily to say that Volpe cannot stick at shortstop—he has some doubters in the regard, but they’re not extraordinarily strident or anything—but rather a function of Peraza being the better defender. Two shortstop prospects, one position, though I have heard at least one evaluator mention third base as a possibility for Volpe.

Danny (Brooklyn):

     By your write up and ranking, you don’t like Austin Wells’s chances of staying at catcher either?

Josh Norris: I see a lot of games, but almost none of what I write is based on personal evaluations or opinions. The way we do these lists is to talk to as many people as possible from around the game and try to take their temperatures on various players. People inside the system believe Wells has a chance to stick behind the plate. People outside were not as rosy. That said, his bat definitely drew excellent reviews this season, and he’s continuing that stretch in the Fall League.

Dave (Hastings):

     It seems like the Yankees had quite a few pitchers who missed the entire season because of injuries. Was there any update or progress made by Jake Agnostic, TJ Sikkema, or Nolan Martinez by the end of the season which might lead you to believe that they may be back in action in 2022?

Josh Norris: Jake Agnos had his elbow scoped at some point during year. Sikemma was dealing with a shoulder issue of some kind.

Wright (Virginia):

     How does the Yankee farm system compare with the other teams in the AL East?

Josh Norris: Let’s go down the list: Rays: Even with a bunch of T100 graduates, they are stupid deep. Just ridiculous. Absurd. Unfathomable. Orioles: Hard to argue with their top, which includes Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez, top 10 prospects both. The system still isn’t crazy deep, but DL Hall is excellent when healthy, Kyle Bradish had a breakout year and Colton Cowser looked quite hitterish in his debut. Blue Jays: Gabriel Moreno has a chance to be so very good, but Nate Pearson has struggled to stay healthy. Orelvis Martinez shows huge power but needs more consistency, and Jordan Groshans got mixed reviews at Double-A. Red Sox: Casas had an excellent season, and Nick Yorke was extremely impressive after being somewhat of a wild card in the draft. Marcelo Mayer fell into their laps, giving them an excellent top 3. The system thins out a bit after that. Overall, I’d probably put the Yankees third in that group behind the Rays and the Orioles. Their top two is excellent, and so many prospects made huge strides that their depth is looking really strong.

Zak (Boston):

     What has happened with Deivi Garcia? Is it just poor command or was there a noticeable diminish in his “stuff” this year?

Josh Norris: Outside evaluators noticed changes in his delivery that caused the quality of his stuff as well as command and control to diminish somewhat. I left him on the T10 at midseason because he is still so young and had already reached the big leagues. There’s no denying that this year was rough for him and there’s plenty of development left to go.

Dave (Hastings):

     It seems like a number of pitchers Took huge leaps forward in 2021. Someone moved up the deadline, some have already been covered, but of Sean Boyle, Ron Marinaccio, JP Sears, Stephen Ridings or Greg Weissert, did any of them impress enough to be in the top 30?

Josh Norris: The Top 30 isn’t fully written yet (tick tock, Josh, tick tock) but I would expect at least Marinaccio, Ridings and Weissert to figure in there somewhere. If not, they will at least be in the 31-40 section we added last year.

Dave (Hastings):

     As noted several times throughout the month of October, Elijah Dunham, who was not even drafted, had a terrific regular 2021 season and has been outstanding in the fall league. Having said that, which one of Dunham, Pereira, and Jake Sanford do scouts like better, and are there any other outfielders in the system worth noting besides Dominguez?

Josh Norris: Dunham was an NDFA, sure, but the draft was only five rounds, after all (and the Yankees only had three picks), so there were plenty of talented guys left unselected. The Yankees are definitely high on him, and he will be somewhere in the 11-20 range when the list is said and done. In regard to the second part of your question, I’d go Pereira, Dunham, Sanford.

Mila (Atlanta):

     Anthony Garcia – does he have enough bat to ball skills to get to his plus plus power at the upper levels- or is he going to turn out to be an Adam Duvall type bat? Also- do you see him as more of a first baseman, based on Yankee needs?

Josh Norris: That’ll be the key (and where he plays on defense; first base or right field seem likely): Outside evaluators were really impressed by the quality of at-bats he took this year and the improvements he made to cut down on the swing and miss. There’s still a long way to go, but that power is absolutely silly from both sides of the plate.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

     Under “more prospects to know” in last years Handbook we find Wesneski and Lockridge. We know more about Wesneski as he is now in the top 10. Will be find out more about Lockridge? Will we see a write up on him in the Handook top 30 to come?

Josh Norris: It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Lockridge, who I believe is Rule 5 eligible this year (I’m sure a certain JJ Cooper will correct me if I am wrong). He’s got an intriguing blend of hittability, power and speed and produced quite well at Somerset after returning from injury. Whether he’s in the book obviously depends on what happens to him this winter.

Don (Nj):

     Hi josh, you have taken the air out of dominquezs balloon. From potential super star to perhaps a mlb regular. Has the weight gain affected him that much or is it a combination of things? Thanks, Don

Josh Norris: Here’s the thing with Dominguez: The hype surrounding him was unfair. His star was so enormous before even playing a pro game that he needed extra security precautions around him this year in Tampa a la Bryce Harper in the minors. For an 18-year-old playing mostly in full-season ball, his season was pretty good, especially considering the circumstances surrounding everything before his debut. Has he gotten the rave reviews one would expect given how loud his praise was as an amateur? No he has not. But is anybody out there killing him or saying he’s a bust or anything close to it? No they are not. A fine debut by a fine prospect who’s got plenty of work ahead of him.

Brad (NJ):

     Why does it always seem like the yankees go for “toosly” up the middle guys, who are boom or bust, and never go for high floor low ceiling guys who may never be stars, but can be useful role players for cheap so we can then use money for star free agents instead of paying mediocre players $8-10M a year like urshela, or hicks or Severino or britton… all adds up to a lot of money and little production. We should be able to fill spots with cheap young players who can perform just as well as those guys but for $600K not 8-12MM each.

Josh Norris: Because you want to get the best players possible, and the best players usually have pretty darn loud tools? I’m certainly not going to get in to the ways the Yankees or any other team choose to spend their money, but I will say that Urshela’s acquisition was a coup and the other three guys on your list are pretty darn good when healthy. Unfortunately, they’ve just … not been healthy. I’m gonna bet on those tooled-up talents every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Erik (Chicago):

     Hayden Wesneski jumped from being not in the Top 30 to #6 this season. What has changed? Do you think he will make a start in the MLB next season?

Josh Norris: The list of guys in that org who took unreal strides this past season is silly: Nobody expected this kind of year out of Anthony Volpe, but he looks like a potential superstar and was untouchable in trade talks this past season. Oswald Peraza increased his power and also was a no-go at the deadline. Oswaldo Cabrera went from a high-contact, low-power infielder to finishing second in the org in homers behind Dermis Garcia. Diego Castillo and Hoy Park found power and morphed into Clay Holmes. On the pitching side, Wesneski and Waldichuk made big strides as did the since-traded Glenn Otto. Stephen Ridings’ breaking ball improved to the point that he reached the big leagues. Ron Marinaccio was impressive at the upper levels. That’s a long way of saying that there were a ton of guys who left 2019 as question marks and returned in 2021 as exclamation points after adhering to their development plans and killing their remote training.

Danny (Brooklyn):

     You may be agnostic because he hasn’t made his pro debut yet but where does Roderick Arias fit in this top 10, assuming he signs in January as expected (and the CBA doesn’t change IFA for the upcoming class)?

Josh Norris: Weird that this is the second time the word “agnostic” has come up in this chat (first was an autocorrect of Jake Agnos’ name). I will give my standard cop-out answer here and say that it is difficult enough to rank the system with the players it does have, so I haven’t put too much thought into the players it doesn’t have yet.

Marley (Taiwan):

     Do you see any improvement on Austin Well’s defense? If not, is it the time for Yankees to let him start at outfield?

Josh Norris: I’ll answer the second part of this question: I’d say it’s too early to move him to the outfield or anywhere else just because the sample is so small as a professional. You’ve got to give him a little bit more of chance, IMO, to stick back there. Also worth considering that some parts of the job may change if roboumps come into play in the coming years, so stay tuned.

Andy (Pennsylvania):

     Right to it ….is the next person to play 200 games at shortstop for the Yankees already in the organization?

Josh Norris: I’ll close with this question: I doubt it. There’s just too many high-end shortstops out there to think the Yankees won’t reel in one of them.

Josh Norris: Thanks all. I’ll chat again here in a couple of days (or tomorrow) for the Marlins Top 10!

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