Josh Norris: Hello, all. I’ve just finished lunch and have a break in putting together the almanac and making Tigers calls. It’s a perfect time to chat.
Frank (Indianapolis IN): How many of these guys are likely to make the BA 100?
Josh Norris: With the caveat that the Top 100 is a long way off, but I could very easily see Nos. 1 through 8 in this system making the Top 100. That’s Torres, Frazier, Rutherford, Mateo, Kaprielian, Judge, Sheffield, Adams. It’s a really, really good system.
Grant (NYC): I know its difficult for relievers to make this list, but did Jon Holder get any support?
Josh Norris: For the Top 10? Absolutely not. He should be in the 30 though.
Dan (Bronx, NY): Between W and D Garcia and Florial, which Pulaski Yankee ranked highest for you and why?
Josh Norris: Florial. Some scouts put him with 70 grades on his speed, power and throwing arm. His ceiling will be as big as anybody in the the Top 30, but there’s big risk at this point of him reaching it.
Rich (Connecticut): Are the Yankees down on Judge? I've heard Jon Heyman talk about signing a RF.
Josh Norris: There are legitimate questions about the swing and miss to his game. He comes with the same caveats as do most players his size: Long levers and lots of areas for pitchers to attack. It’s very early, obviously, but 42 punchouts in 84 at-bats is really scary going forth. That said, he has shown that it does take him a little while to get going at a level.
Noel (Portland): Is this one of the top 5 systems in the game?
Josh Norris: Yes, yes it is. I think there is a very good argument that it is the No. 1 system in the game.
Sean (Centreville, VA): Is it going to be difficult coming up with a op 30 for the handbook? The Yankee system seems to have impressive depth. Do you think that there will be any left off the top 30 that BA might regret?
Josh Norris: Outside of the idea that writing a Top 30 is difficult in general, it will not be hard to come up with 30 prospects for this list (31 if you buy directly from Baseball America!)
Sean (Centreville, VA): How close was Miguel Andujar to making the top 10? He puts up good numbers and seems to be a solid two-way player but is often overshadowed by his stellar teammates.
Josh Norris: Very, very close and was in early iterations of the Top 10. His exclusion is primarily of product of how beefy this system has become after the tradestorm in July. There are definite questions surrounding defense and strike-zone discipline, but he did just fine for a 21-year-old at Double-A.
Marcus (New York): The Yankees went from having tons of young relief prospects to now having question marks at best. They are still viewed as starters, and should be, but are Severino and Acevedo their best reliever prospects?
Josh Norris: I’m certainly not banishing Luis Severino to the bullpen at this point. Not at 23 years old. I think Dillon Tate belongs among that reliever prospect discussion, as well as Jonathan Holder (but I wouldn’t be surprised if the moved Holder to the rotation this year given that he has four pitches) and Nick Rumbelow and Nick Goody and Branden Pinder (all still prospect-eligible) Jacob Lindgren is still lurking somewhere once he gets healthy too. Giovanny Gallegos also throws in the mid-90s and could get a look.
Pat (NY): Which of the 2014 July 2 prospects has shown the most promise thus far?
Josh Norris: Probably the Garcias, Dermis and Wilkerman: Dermis has well above-average raw power and is starting to get to it in game but he whiffs a ton. Wilkerman has solid tools but didn’t have a great year due to some fatigue. He could stand to add some strength to help him through the rigors of a long season. Hoy Park, too, has shown well. Intriguing mixture of contact and speed with a little bit of power at low Class A this year.
Sean (Centreville, VA): Who are the most intriguing "lottery tickets" among the 14 prospects that the Yankees acquired (other than the 5 prospects who are or have been in the BA top 100)?
Josh Norris: Of the 14 players returned in those deals, I think Rashad Crawford is one of the few who truly fit the lottery ticket definition, by which I mean a mix of intriguing tools that haven’t necessarily manifested themselves into skills and production. Righthander Juan De Paula (from the Mariners) fits that mold in the same way Vicente Campos did a few years ago. The Mariners had big numbers on him internally and he’ll be one to watch going forth.
Marcus (New York): Kyle Holder seemed to have a successful year at the plate, but did he do anything to influence the questions about his bat in the future?
Josh Norris: Not really. The ceiling from scouts outside the organization seem to be a glove-first utility type of player. Nice year in low Class A, but the evaluators I’ve spoken with who saw that club prefer Park over Holder.
James (NY): There was a BA article earlier in the year about Rony Garcia. Do you anticipate him making the handbook and if it all comes together for him what is the ceiling?
Josh Norris: I wrote that article, as a matter of fact. He’s probably going to make the depth chart, but the mix of pitches was very intriguing. Certainly a name to watch, along with a few others who will make the depth chart as well.
Bernie (Warwick, RI): What to you think of Tate and his ability to stick as a starter?
Josh Norris: I think he’s probably a reliever in the long-term. Next year will be big for him. The stuff (particularly the fastball velo) returned after injuries when he was still a Ranger, but the question will be consistency of the offspeed stuff. If you see him on a good day his slider and changeup are weapons, but they can also come out flat and get smacked around.
Bernie (Warwick, RI): I'm trying to find some MLB comparisons who have had success with a roughly 20/100 bb/k ratio like Fowler and they're few and far between. S. Marte, S. Castro, Galvis, Castellanos. Any chance Fowler can improve his pitch recognition/selectivity at this point in his career?
Josh Norris: He’s 21, so yes he can. Tim Anderson is another guy who’s had success without a good BB/K ratio. Fowler will also have significant value in the field as well.
Eric (New Jersey): Trying to project Yankee outfield in 2 to 3 years. Is Blake Rutherford part of the equation and if so, how do you analyze his skills.
Josh Norris: Yes, Blake Rutherford is part of the Yankees’ outfield future, with three years maybe being a little early. I’ve analyzed his skills as part of the write-up in the original article.
Kip (Taiwan): Does Tyler Wade have future regular potential, or is he destined to become a super utility guy?
Josh Norris: He could be a second-division regular with a different club, but with the Yankees he might be a super utility guy simply based on their current roster and the prospects ahead of him.
David (Atlanta): Miguel Andujar had a nice season and is scorching the ball in the AFL, what are the reports on him and why didn't he make the top 10?
Josh Norris: He’s got excellent tools and would have been a Top 10 guy if this system weren’t loaded to the gills after the trades. The biggest question for him is pitch-recognition. He got a reputation around the Eastern League as a bit of a hacker. Still, 21 years old gives him plenty of time.
Jim H. (St. Catharines, Ontario): Of all the outfield prospects, who has the highest ability to play center field ?
Josh Norris: I’d say Fowler. People in and out of the org love his defense.
Jay (New Hartford, NY): If Adams is able to stick as a starter with the questions concerning his build, what kind of projection do you for him?
Josh Norris: Adams’ ceiling is a No. 2-3 type of guy. He’s part of the reason I would suggest not trading the farm for a big-name pitcher at this point. I think it’d be prudent to see if they can’t fill the rotation with guys like Kaprielian, Adams, Sheffield, Montgomery etc.
Jason (Marlboro): Can Justus Sheffield be a number two or is he more of a mid rotation guy?
Josh Norris: He’s probably closer to a mid-rotation guy than a No. 2 starter at this point, but the latter scenario is certainly not out of the question if everything breaks right. A lefty with the dynamic FB/SL combo he has certainly is a great base on which to build.
Scott (Henderson, NV): Who just missed out on the top 10? i assume Tyler Wade was no 11?
Josh Norris: The 11-31 has not been written yet, but I do not believe Tyler Wade will be No. 11.
Bill (New Canaan, CT): Does Cashman use many of his top 30 prospects to acquire pitching this off-season and are only Torres and Rutherford "untouchable"?
Josh Norris: I don’t think he does that, but if he does and tries to get the top-end arms you crave, he’s probably going to have to part with a package that will make you cringe. Think of it this way: the Yankees got Torres, Crawford, McKinney and Warren for a half-season of Chapman. What would three seasons (he’s got two team options) of Chris Sale fetch? Answer: A whole lot.
Richard (Trenton, NJ): What do you think the ceiling is for Jordon Montgomery? Does he have a shot at the Top 30?
Josh Norris: I think he could be a solid No. 4 starter, and he will definitely be in the Top 30. Probably somewhere in the 11-15.
Josh (New York): Gleyber top 10 prospect by next mid season? Are us Yankee fans looking at an All Star shortstop in our future?
Josh Norris: There’s certainly a chance he’s among the Top 10 next summer, and he could very well be an all-star shortstop. Also, don’t count out Gregorius doing that ….
Josh Norris: OK, peeps. That’s all for today. I’ll be back when the Tigers list gets posted.