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Mateo was signed for $225,000 in January 2012, and blazed past injured catcher Luis Torrens to become the jewel of the Yankees' international signing class of that year. However, Mateo's development has taken a while. He took time to get out of the Dominican Summer League, in part due to a broken arm in 2012 that limited him to just 14 games. Once he came to the U.S., a broken hand cost him all but 15 games in 2014 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Even so, the Yankees were aggressive with Mateo in 2015, jumping him over both shortseason Staten Island and Pulaski, the system's new affiliate in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, in favor of low Class A Charleston. Despite the relative lack of experience, Mateo thrived in his first taste of full-season ball. With the RiverDogs, he showed off plenty of tools, the foremost of which was his blazing speed. He stole 71 bases before being moved to high Class A Tampa, where he debuted with a four-hit game and added 11 more steals to finish with 82, the best figure in the minor leagues. At midseason, he was one of the main players rival teams sought when trying to strike a deal with the Yankees, along with outfielder Aaron Judge and righthander Luis Severino. Even though he's nowhere close to a finished product, Mateo still gave evaluators plenty to like in his first year in full-season ball. A wiry strong player, the 20-year-old showed aboveaverage range and hands and well above-average arm strength, a combination that gives him plenty of tools to stick at shortstop in the long term. As with any young shortstop, there were areas to iron out. He made 30 errors between the two levels 2015 and needs to learn to slow the game down. Coaches at Charleston worked with Mateo to improve his technique on backhanding balls in the hole to his right. And while his arm strength his plus, his accuracy could stand to improve. Once he learns to set himself instead of rushing his throws, improvement should come quickly. He also saw a little bit of time at second base during instructional league, but only for future versatility. At the plate, he needs to develop more of an approach, which is to be expected for someone of his age at that level. When he does learn to refine his plan at the plate, he'll be able to more easily and frequently tap into the above-average raw power evaluators see. He shoots plenty of balls out of the yard in batting practice all across the field, but homered just twice in 449 at-bats in 2015. He's got 80 speed on the basepaths, which clearly plays as ascertained by his 82 stolen bases, but he also has showed sub-4.00 times to first base out of the righthanded batter's box. Even though he showed well in his brief time with high Class A, he ended the season on the disabled list with an injury sustained while running the bases. He's likely to head back to Tampa to start the year, where he'll pair up the middle with fellow prospect Abiatal Avelino. If he shows well there, he could move up to Double-A Trenton after the all-star break, where he'll get his first taste of the upper levels at 21 years old and is likely to be paired there with fellow infield prospect Tyler Wade. If he reaches his ceiling, he could be an above-average shortstop in the mold of current Yankee Didi Gregorius with a little more offensive potential and a little less glove.
Signed for $3 million in 2009, Sanchez had his best year in 2015. His talent has been evident; his attitude had held him back. He'd been criticized for fluctuating effort and earned in-house suspensions for off-field infractions. In 2015, he turned a corner and finished the season in New York. Sanchez profiles as a front-line catcher with an extremely strong arm producing 1.8-second pop times and plenty of raw power. He's spent years refining his receiving and blocking, and in 2015 cut his passed balls to just two from 10 in 2014. He performed well offensively as he started using the while field more, and scouts noted he played with more energy. He still has some polish to add as a receiver and could stand to be a little more selective at the plate, but he's come a long way in the last 12 months. Sanchez's strong play in the Arizona Fall League helped prompt more confidence, and the Yankees dealt incumbent backup John Ryan Murphy to the Twins. That opens the door for Sanchez to earn that spot in 2016. He's not likely to unseat Brian McCann for the starter's job in 2016, but if McCann should go down with an injury, the Yankees would be comfortable giving Sanchez the lion's share of the playing time in his stead.
Drafted with the second of the Yankees' three first-round picks in 2013, Judge was sought after for the monster power potential he showed over three years at Fresno State. After signing for $1.8 million, Judge has moved from center field to right field, where his offensive skills profile much better. He wrecked the competition at Double-A Eastern League in 2015, earning a starting spot in the Futures Game. Things got a little tougher when he moved to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes- Barre for the second half of the season, though. As would be expected for someone his size, Judge can hit a ball a long way. Even so, the Yankees laud Judge for resisting selling out for power and becoming a one-dimensional hitter. He's got more feel to hit than one would expect for a man his size. Triple-A pitchers found holes in his swing and his performance dipped. He's more athletic than one would expect in the outfield, running well once underway, and his raw arm strength is well above-average. Refined mechanics would improve this throwing accuracy. Judge checks all the boxes of a profile right fielder. With Carlos Beltran in the final year of his deal in 2015, there's still time for Judge to head back to Triple-A to continue refining his skill set before he's needed in the major leagues. The Yankees were unwilling to part with Judge at the trade deadline, and they expect him to be part of the team's effort to get younger on the fly.
The Mariners drafted Kaprielian in the 40th round out of high school but he went to UCLA, serving as a setup reliever for the Bruins' 2013 national champions, then pitching in the rotation for two years. His $2.65 million bonus is the secondlargest in Yankees' draft history behind 2007 pick Andrew Brackman. Kaprielian starts his arsenal with a heavy fastball that sits in the low 90s and topped out at 96 mph in 2015 while he pushed short-season Staten Island to the New York-Penn League championship series. He complements the fastball with his bread-and-butter curveball in the mid 70s as well as a hard slider in the low to mid-80s that projects as plus pitch. He's also got a changeup that behaves a bit like a split-fingered fastball for the way it drops straight down instead of fading away from a hitter. he locates all four pitches and has feel for his offspeed stuff. The pitch package plus his college pedigree, athleticism and high-quality makeup gives him a future as a mid-rotation starter. The Yankees likely will send Kaprielian to high Class A Tampa to begin his first full season.
Acevedo was signed as an 18-year-old in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic for a bonus of just $7,500. The Yankees were attracted to his big frame, arm speed and the big-time velocity that corresponded. Slated to start the year at low Class A Charleston, Acevedo had blisters derail his first half. He resurfaced with shortseason Staten Island before making up the innings he missed in the Arizona Fall League. Acevedo's calling cards are his massive, physical frame and his elite heat. He regularly sits in the upper-90s fastball that boasts late life and reaches tripledigits with a peak of 103 mph on multiple occasions in 2015. He also showed an advanced feel for a changeup before signing, and it's above-average when his delivery is in sync. The Yankees scrapped his curveball and installed a slider. It sits in the low 80s, and scouts who saw him in 2015 would like to see more velocity. Acevedo has issues keeping his delivery together, leading to well below-average present command. Acevedo again is ticketed for Charleston, where he'll work on tightening his slider and harnessing command of his arsenal.
The Yankees signed Davis for $550,000 to keep him away from his commitment as a two-player at East Carolina. They liked Davis for his big, physical frame and the athleticism that came with being a position player. They believed that once he began to focus on pitching his stuff would begin to tick up, and it has over the course of the last two seasons. The Yankees have tweaked Davis' delivery to help him utilize his lower half through an increased stride, as well as increased extension. The results were higher velocity and more swings and misses on his fastball. Davis has developed an arsenal that corresponds with his sizable frame. He starts his mix with a hard, lively fastball in the 93-95 mph range that peaks a couple of ticks higher. He complements it with a sharp-breaking curveball in the mid-70s. He also holds a changeup in the low 80s, which he continued to develop all the way through instructional league. He throws plenty of strikes, too, which profiles him as a major league rotation piece. Davis is likely to return to Double-A Trenton to begin 2016.
Wade was a top 200 prospect out of high school in Southern California and stood out for his ability to get the barrel on the ball and for his smooth play in the field. Seemingly stuck in a pack of talented shortstops within the system, Wade emerged in 2014 after an injury to Abiatal Avelino gave him extended playing time, and he put up solid numbers at low Class A. He continued to shine at high Class A in 2015 and reached Double-A as a 20-year-old. Wade is a shortstop now, but may have to move to second base in the future. He's got quick feet and solid hands, but he needs to gain strength to develop the arm necessary for shortstop. He's a line-drive hitter with a short, compact swing who doesn't project for more power, but could turn singles into doubles with his plus foot speed and instincts on the basepaths. He split his time between shortstop and second base in the Arizona Fall League, and may move to the right side of the diamond in deference to Jorge Mateo. Wade is likely headed back to Double-A Trenton, where he'll continue to work to gain strength and should play shortstop until either Mateo or Avelino move to the upper levels.
The Most Outstanding Player in the 2012 College World Series, when he was Arizona's starting right fielder, Refsnyder signed for a bonus of $205,900. The Yankees shifted him to second base in instructional league that year, and he's played just nine games in the outfield since. He made his major league debut in July, returned to the majors in September and was on the roster for the wild-card loss to Houston. Refsnyder profiles as an offensive-minded second baseman. He worked hard in 2015 at Triple-A and benefited from the presence of former Giants infielder Nick Noonan on the roster. He's got a smooth swing geared for line drives and power that could play to fringe-average in the future, and some evaluators project even more than that once he gets a chance to play regularly in Yankee Stadium. He's unlikely to be an average defender, but has worked enough to make himself playable at the position. Some scouts see him in the mold of former Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Refsnyder will be given every chance in 2016 to win the everyday job, with only new acquisition Dustin Ackley standing in his way. If he doesn't get the nod, he's likely to head back to Triple-A to continue to work on his defense.
The Yankees signed Garcia for $1.35 million and pushed him to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League as a 17-year-old, a sure sign of how highly he's regarded. Garcia rewarded their faith with one of the strongest showings in the league. Garcia, ranked as the No. 7 international prospect in 2014, spent the offseason training in Miami, adding strength and flexibility thanks to a focus on plyometrics. Much as when he signed, Garcia still draws raves for his switch-hitting ability and feel to hit from both sides of the plate. He walked (24) more than he struck out (19) in the GCL, showing an exception feel for the strike zone for his age. Garcia has worked hard to improve his speed and explosiveness, which has translated into improved defense at shortstop. He has fluid infield actions, and his speed and arm also grade as plus, though he needs refinement on the bases and experience in the field. The Yankees encouraged their players to be aggressive on the basepaths, so Garcia's ability to steal bases could improve as he refines his technique. If everything clicks, Garcia has the potential to be a five-tool player, with some scouts even giving him future average power. The Yankees were aggressive with Jorge Mateo, another prized shortstop, in 2015 and could do the same with Garcia. If they aren't, he'll start at Rookie-level Pulaski or short-season Staten Island after extended spring training.
The Yankees handed Fowler a $278,000 bonus to keep him from a commitment to Louisville, and he broke out in 2015. He started back at low Class A Charleston and pushed his way up with a .759 OPS in his first 58 games. When moved to high Class A Tampa, he kept hitting and showed the same intriguing mix of hitting, speed and defense. The Yankees have depth of center fielders in the minors, but Fowler stands out with the best power-speed mix. He runs excellent routes in center field and takes a quick first step, too, which makes him appear even speedier than his home-to-first times would indicate. He hasn't shown in it in games much yet, but some scouts believe there's enough raw power in Fowler's lefthanded swing to project average pop when he's done developing. Fringy arm strength is Fowler's only tool that ranks as below-average. When you put it all together, scouts can see an everyday center field job in Fowler's future if everything clicks. Fowler's blue-collar approach and all-around tools showed in the Arizona Fall League season, where he started as a member of the taxi squad and finished as a member of Surprise's full roster. He homered in the AFL Championship game, further setting himself up for a jump to Double-A Trenton in 2016.
The Yankees lured Mitchell from a commitment to North Carolina with an $800,000 bonus in 2009, and his stuff never has been the problem. Instead, his biggest issues have related to command of his arsenal and retaining his concentration and focus on the mound. At Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2015, Mitchell had his best season, earning him a June promotion back to New York. He dealt with an oblique strain at midseason but recovered to make several more appearances with the big club, including a few starts. His two primary offerings are still his high-octane fastball, which sits around 97 mph and hits 100, and low-80s hammer curveball, but he also incorporates an above-average cutter and an occasional changeup to complete his mix. Mitchell's walk rate remains too high for a rotation spot--4.4 per nine innings at Triple-A--but his stuff is just so explosive that he should easily fill a role as a reliever. With the Yankees flush with starting pitching, Mitchell could continue in a swing role in New York or get more time at Scranton working as a starter.
Signed for $750,000 in 2011, Andujar began his pro career in the U.S. in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. To this point in his career, he's gotten to a level, started very slowly and then turned it around in the second half. To wit, his OPS jumped 135 points from the first to the second half of 2015 at high Class A Tampa--and he was even one of the Florida State League's youngest players. There are a lot of rough edges to polish, but Andujar's raw tools are still there despite the ugly batting line. His standout tool is his raw power, which could play as double-plus eventually if he refines his plate approach. He puts on shows in batting practice, but his power gets muted in games because of his free-swinging approach. Andjuar has worked hard to tone it down to become less susceptible to breaking pitches and put together more competitive at-bats. At third base, he's rangy despite below-average speed, and he can cover some of his deficiencies with a well above-average throwing arm. He's not a burner on the basepaths, but he's also not a baseclogger. Andujar has time on his side, so he's a candidate to return to Tampa for a half-season while Eric Jagielo continues his work at Double-A Trenton.
With the first of their three first-round picks in 2013, the Yankees took Jagielo after a standout college career at Notre Dame that included a star turn in the Cape Cod League. The Yankees saw Jagielo as a polished hitter who could move quickly and stick at third base, but he hasn't stayed healthy since signing for $1.875 million, missing time with a sprained ankle (2013), being hit in the face with a pitch (2014) and knee surgery to remove bone chips (2015). Injuries forced him to miss the Arizona Fall League two years in a row. Evaluators who saw Jagielo in 2015 at Double-A Trenton gave him little chance to stick at third base and didn't like what they saw from him at first base, thanks to limited range, agility and mobility. He still has a plus throwing arm. Even so, there's still offensive potential. Jagielo got rid of a leg kick in 2015 in favor of a stride. The results were a more complete hitter capable of shooting the ball to all fields with power. Jagielo may hit enough to have value as a DH, but the Yankees want to see how he fares, when healthy, at third base. He should return to Trenton in 2016.
Without a first-round pick in 2014, the Yankees used their second-round choice on Lindgren, a power reliever with Mississippi State. Once he signed for $1,018,700, Lindgren jumped on the fast track. He ended 2014 at Double-A Trenton, then breezed through Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2015 before making his major league debut on May 25. In the majors, he learned the hard way that he'd need to command the baseball even with premium stuff. Scouts who saw him in the minors noted how rough he was against lefthanders with his funky delivery and fastball-slider combination. Even so, they also saw a delivery with a stiff front side and tendency to spin off during his finish. Those two mechanical flaws caused him to leave some pitches up, which resulted in three home runs in his first seven major league innings. His season ended on June 12, his last outing before having surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow. He should be ready to go for spring training and will compete for a spot in the big league bullpen.
The Yankees were familiar with Jackson entering the 2015 draft cycle because he played two seasons at Hillsborough (Fla.) CC, less than 30 miles from the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa. Jackson transferred to Florida Southern as a junior and obliterated Division II competition, ranking among national leaders in home runs (ninth with 20), batting (30th, .417) and slugging (eighth, .857). That was good enough for the Yankees, who chose him in the seventh round, signed him for $100,000 and sent him to short-season Staten Island. Managers around the New York-Penn League raved about Jackson, first for his sculpted body and then for the well above-average raw power it produces. His throwing arm ranks as a plus tool. Jackson has shown signs of adjusting to the better breaking balls he's seen as a pro, and he's an average runner once he gets going. He has the ceiling of an everyday right fielder, and he'll continue to work on adding polish in 2016 at low Class A Charleston.
Drafted with the third of the Yankees' three first-round picks in 2013, Clarkin signed for $1,650,100 but has had a rough go of things during his pro career. He missed time in 2014 with an ankle injury, then missed all of the 2015 regular season managing left elbow inflammation. Even though Clarkin's season was lost, for all intents and purposes, the fact that he didn't need surgery was a positive. He was healthy enough toward the end of the year to pitch in instructional league and the Arizona Fall League. In the AFL, Clarkin showed a lower arm slot than in the past as well as a fastball between 88-92 mph that he effectively worked both inside and out. He complemented the pitch with his signature, heavy-spinning breaking ball and a changeup that some evaluators gave a chance to be above-average. After a full offseason, Clarkin will head into 2016 ready for an assignment to high Class A Tampa.
The 2014 season looked so promising for Torrens, a catcher whom the Yankees plucked out of Venezuela for $1.3 million two years prior. He was aggressively assigned to low Class A Charleston as an 18-year-old, but a shoulder strain limited him to just nine games there before requiring a trip to the disabled list. He returned later in the year at short-season Staten Island and hit well enough to earn a spot in the league's all-star game. Slated for a return to Charleston in 2015, Torrens was again struck down with shoulder problems. Before the season, he was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his right shoulder and missed the season after having surgery to repair the damage. Despite his history, Torrens still has time on his side. He'll be a teenager when the 2016 season begins, and scouts believed before the injury that he'd be an above-average hitter with the potential for power. He had a plus arm before the surgery, but how much of his arm strength returns will be a big question entering the year. Once fully recovered, he probably will head back to Charleston.
Heathcott's troubled past has been well documented. He's had issues with family and alcohol, and his career on the field has been marred by repeated injury. Non-tendered by the Yankees after the 2014 season, he was free to sign with any club. He chose to stay with the Yankees on the condition that he'd be allowed to use his preferred medical staff to help him recover from injuries. He made his major league debut in May 2015 but quickly strained his right quad and didn't resurface in the majors until September. As the Yankees battled down the stretch for a playoff spot, Heathcott hit a key home run to tie a game against the Rays. The scouting report on Heathcott is the same as ever. He's an above-average defender in center field, has an above-average arm, remains a plus runner and can spray the ball around the park with more than a little bit of power. He's the prototype grinder, too, and plays with an all-out style that has lent itself to his injurious past. The Yankees' crowded outfield makes it hard to see a big league role for Heathcott in 2016, so he'll head back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Much like Slade Heathcott, Williams' career has been littered with peaks and valleys. He starred at short-season Staten Island in 2011, then performed well at low Class A Charleston and high Class A Tampa before dislocating his shoulder attempting to make a diving catch. His career took a sharp nosedive once he reached Double-A Trenton, where he produced OPS numbers of just .428 and .593 in his first two tries. Evaluators also questioned his effort, which earned him team-issued suspensions. In 2015, however, Williams found himself. He hit his way to New York and made his major league debut on June 12 against the Orioles. He played just eight games with the Yankees before an injury to his right shoulder required season-ending surgery. Before that, he hit his first big league home run and also made a highlight-reel catch. When healthy, Williams can be a well above-average center fielder with enough speed and feel to hit to slap balls to the alleyways and sprint around the bases. The Yankees' outfield projects to be crowded in 2016, so Williams will head back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre barring a trade.
Four years ago, the Yankees sent catcher Jesus Montero and righthander Hector Noesi to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and Campos. Pineda was coming off an all-star rookie season with Seattle, and Campos ranked as the No. 5 prospect in their system. Campos had Tommy John surgery in 2014, then worked back slowly in 2015. He pitched just 54 innings between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and high Class A Tampa, but he impressed evaluators when he did pitch. Big and physical, Campos showed an above-average fastball that peaked in the mid-90s as well as a curveball and changeup that scouts ranked as either plus or potentially plus in the future. Seeing this, the Yankees added Campos to the 40-man roster in November to prevent him from qualifying for minor league free agency. He'll be 23 once the 2016 season starts, so there's still a bit of catchup to play. Campos will begin that process in 2016 when he moves to Double-A Trenton for his first crack at the upper levels.
The brother of former big leaguer Mat Gamel, Ben signed for $100,000 out of high school in 2010 and slowly but surely hit his way onto the radar. He doesn't wow scouts with any particular tool, but the sum of his parts makes him attractive. He plays all-out, makes plenty of solid contact and in 2015 hit a career-high 10 home runs at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He added 14 triples, second in the minors. Gamel has played all three outfield positions with the bulk of his starts coming in left field until 2015. He got 74 turns in center field and the Yankees like him there, where he's an average defender. Even with the breakout year, his power probably won't profile in a corner, so he'll have the most value up the middle. The Yankees added Gamel to the 40-man roster in November, and he probably will compete with Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams for center-field time at Scranton in 2016.
The Yankees lured Lail away from an Arizona commitment in 2012 with a $225,000 bonus, the largest bonus awarded in the 18th round that year. Since then, Lail has made a quiet but efficient ascent up the Yankees' ladder. He's climbed four levels in the last two years, including a 2015 season that began with one start at high Class A Tampa and culminated with seven at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Evaluators both internally and externally praise Lail for his intelligence on the mound and pitchability. His arsenal starts with a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, with peaks at higher velocities at times, and occasional cutting action. He backs it with a sharp curveball in the mid-70s as well as a changeup. He's still developing his feel on the latter, though it has earned plus grades in the past. Triple-A hitters had little trouble with him. Scouts praise his competitiveness and the way he commands the ball down in the zone. He's got a future in the mold of an Adam Warren, and will return to Triple-A in 2016 for more polish.
The Yankees took Degano with their third selection of the 2015 draft--in the second round--and signed him for $650,000. Degano missed nearly two full seasons at Indiana State while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then dominated as the Sycamores' ace. He's a three-pitch starter, with the primary offerings being a low- to mid-90s fastball that he commands well in on righthanded batters and a 78-82 mph curveball he uses as an out pitch. His changeup is a work in progress at this point and was fringy and seldom-used in college. Degano was monitored carefully after tossing 99 innings after his return from surgery. The Yankees remain starved for lefthanded starters and see him as one who can miss plenty of bats. He'll head to either low Class A Charleston or high Class A Tampa in 2016.
Finley announced himself to the 2015 draft class with a 20-strikeout game in which he hit 93 mph with his fastball. His father, David, played professionally and is the Dodgers' vice president of amateur and international scouting. The Yankees signed him away from Southern California with a $950,000 bonus. Finley pitches primarily in the 88-92 mph range but gets good extension to make his fastball play up. He couples the pitch with a power curveball that projects as plus but currently is inconsistent. The Yankees would like to see Finley drive the curveball down in the zone more often. He didn't need a changeup in high school and is currently learning one in pro ball. He never went more than three innings in his debut, so his innings will be watched closely in 2016, either at low Class A Charleston or short-season Staten Island.
The Yankees signed Park to a $1 million bonus during their international spending spree of 2014. While that was far from their largest signing bonus, he immediately ranked as one of the most advanced players signed during that period because he already was 18. He spent his first pro season at Rookie-level Pulaski in the Appalachian League and showed off excellent range and arm strength at shortstop, even if he did need to be told to avoid the flashy play at times. He also showed good barrel control and feel to hit with a little bit of power. The Yankees want Park to add some more strength to his 6-foot-1, 163-pound frame to both help him put more authority behind the balls he hits and also to help him withstand the rigors of full-season ball once he gets there. He appears ticketed for short-season Staten Island once he completes extended spring training in 2016.
Signed as an 18-year-old in May 2014, Vidal spent 2015 at Rookie-level Pulaski and showed an impressive array of average or better skills. In the mold of former Yankees outfielder Ramon Flores, Vidal is a center fielder whose defensive chops profile better in a corner. He's got an excellent knowledge of the strike zone and bat-to-ball skills with a little bit of power too. The Yankees worked with Vidal in 2015 to help him improve his speed and shift him away from a pull-happy approach. He's got plenty of arm to play in the corner, but the power has to come on a more consistent basis. He also earns plaudits for his makeup and competitive nature. He led the Appalachian League in runs (49) while ranking third in hits (74) and sixth in home runs (nine) while spending the whole year in the leadoff spot. Vidal probably will head to either short-season Staten Island or low Class A Charleston in 2016.
The Yankees selected Holder with their second first-round selection (compensation for the departure of free agent David Robertson) and signed him for $1.8 million on the strength of his well above-average, major league-ready defense. A fine athlete with premium body control and an average-to-plus arm, Holder has explosive first-step quickness, easy range and fluid actions. All agree that he's got the glove for the highest level, with several scouts comparing him to former Yankees utility infielder Brendan Ryan. The question is whether Holder will hit. The Yankees want him to lower his leg kick to improve his timing and tap into the line-drive ability they believe is in his bat. They also want him to stay within himself and not try to swing for the fences by adjusting his swing path that tends to get uphill. Others see below-average bat speed that will hinder his offensive development. Holder will move as quickly as his bat will take him, but his glove will buy him time to develop.
Undrafted out of high school in 2013, DeCarr received $1 million from the Yankees after a year spent in the post-grad program at the Salisbury School in 2014. In his pro debut, DeCarr showed a low- to mid-90s fastball that peaked at 96 mph and featured good downhill plane, as well as power curveball in the low 80s that features 11-to-5 break. He was also working to refine a changeup that he didn't need much in high school but will require if he's to remain in the rotation as he moves up the ranks. His pro career was interrupted, however, when he had Tommy John surgery before the 2015 season. He missed the entire season but, based on typical recovery time, should be ready at some point in spring training 2016. If he shows the same arsenal once he returns, he'll have the ceiling of a rotation piece. Once ready, he's likely to head to either short-season Staten Island or Rookie-level Pulaski.
After turning down the Rays out of high school, Pazos went first to Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) CC for his freshman year, then transferred to San Diego for his sophomore and junior seasons. All but five of his appearances with the Toreros came out of the bullpen, and he has made only one start as a pro. As a result, Pazos has risen fairly quickly, and he debuted with the Yankees on Sept. 5, 2015. Scouts who have seen Pazos praise his mix of a low- to mid-90s fastball and low-80s slider. He can throw the latter pitch for strikes or increase its break for swings and misses. He pitches with aggression and guts, and fared well in his brief time in the majors. With projected openings for lefthanded relievers in the big league bullpen, Pazos could vie for one of those spots in 2016.
Estrada signed for just less than $50,000 in 2012 and has moved slowly through the system. A pulled groin meant he played just 21 games in 2014, so he returned to short-season Staten Island in 2015. He's a solid, gifted defender at shortstop, but a lack of range and the presence of so many other young, talented shortstops within the system means that Estrada probably will slide over to second base for the long haul. He has put on good weight since signing and makes solid contact with the ball. He's also got an excellent knowledge of the strike zone--as shown by his 30 strikeouts against 23 walks in 247 at-bats in 2015--but he might need to add a little bit more discipline to his game. Estrada has gifted hands, and the Yankees worked with him in 2015 to utilize his lower half more to help get the most of out of his swing. After earning an all-star berth with Staten Island, Estrada appears destined to land at low Class A Charleston to start 2016.