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Track Record: After signing a huge international class in 2014, the Yankees began 2015 in the international penalty box, meaning they could not sign any player for more than $300,000. Despite the limitations, that signing class has already produced three intriguing prospects, including outfielder Estevan Florial, righthander Luis Medina and Garcia, who ranked among the system’s biggest risers in 2018. Scouting Report: The biggest knock on Garcia is his size and high-effort delivery, which many scouts believe will eventually force a move to the bullpen. His stuff, however, has been dominant. He struck out 12.8 hitters per nine innings across three levels in 2018. He uses a three-pitch mix that starts with a low-90s fastball that topped out around 95 mph from a whip-quick arm. The gem of his arsenal is his power curveball. The pitch shows downer break and has an elite spin rate of better than 3,000 revolutions per minute. He needs to shorten the break on the pitch, but the spin and bite are enough to get plenty of swings and misses. The Yankees believe his changeup has developed to the point that it is nearing the quality of his curveball. The Future: Garcia likely will return to high Class A Tampa after making five starts there in 2018.
Track Record: The Yankees wanted to sign Florial well before they did, but an identification issue scuttled their plans. Once the details got sorted out and Florial had served a suspension, New York inked him for $300,000 and watched as he rose through the ranks to near the top of a very deep system. After a breakout season at the lower levels in 2017 that vaulted him to the top of the Yankees’ ranking and made him a top trade target, Florial endured what essentially was a lost season in 2018. He broke the hamate bone in his right wrist, which sidelined him for two months at high Class A Tampa. In all, Florial was limited to just 84 games. He made up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League, though his numbers suggested a player still struggling to regain his timing and pitch recognition. Scouting Report: Florial remains a tantalizing but risky combination of outstanding tools and limited refinement. He generates above-average power thanks to quick hands and above-average bat speed. He can drive the ball to left field and center nearly as easily as he yanks it over a right-field fence, but he needs to make solid contact more consistently. Florial is relatively patient and is not prone to chase, but his bat has a long path to the strike zone thanks to high handset he uses to start his swing. Evaluators noticed improved angles and routes in center field. He’s also got a plus throwing arm that would help him profile in right field if that becomes necessary. Florial is a plus runner who is faster than that once he gets going, though he needs to refine his instincts on the basepaths to become a bigger threat to steal. Evaluators inside and outside the organization also point to outstanding makeup that they believe will help him turn his tools into skills. The Future: Florial is likely to head back to the Florida State League to try to reclaim his 2017 magic. A strong first half should get him to Double-A Trenton. His future will depend on the development of his offense. If he can make more consistent contact and start turning his raw power into home runs, then he’ll go a long way toward reaching his ceiling as a center fielder with all-star potential. If not, his defense will allow him to at least serve as a fourth outfielder.
Track Record: The Yankees completed their 2017 international class by signing outfielders Raimfer Salinas and Antonio Cabello, but their biggest signing on July 2 was Pereira, who got $1.5 million. He’s bulked up significantly since signing, and now stands at a sturdy 190 pounds. Salinas, Cabello and Pereira are all working toward futures in center field, so to help find playing time Pereira was pushed to Rookie-level Pulaski for his pro debut just two months after he turned 17. Scouting Report: As an amateur, Pereira was lauded for his all-around blend of skills, and scouts saw the same against more advanced competition. He doesn’t have any 70- or 80-grade tools, but some scouts were confident enough to put future plus grades on his hit, run and raw power already. They also saw a defender in center field with plus range and instincts with an average throwing arm. Those things were especially impressive on the surface, but even moreso because they were coming from someone so young. The Future: It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Yankees continue to be aggressive with Pereira and move him to low Class A Charleston to begin the year with the possibility of him moving back to short-season Staten Island in June if needed. He’s a long way off, but he has a chance to be an impact player in the big leagues.
Track Record: Gil signed with the Twins as a 16-year-old in 2014 and was dealt to the Yankees before the 2018 season in a one-for-one deal for outfielder Jake Cave. The Yankees skipped Gil over the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in favor of starting his stateside career in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. Scouting Report: The first thing that jumps out about Gil is his fastball. The pitch already sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and touches triple-digits. At its best, the pitch shows explosive riding life up and in to lefthanders. He pairs his heater primarily with a curveball in the 79-84 mph range that shows variable break. It is most effective when it shows more depth than sweep. With more consistency, the pitch could project as above-average. He also throws a firm, low-90s changeup in its nascent stages. Wiry and long-levered, Gil tends to lose the zone when his delivery gets out of sync, the reason behind an ugly 6.3 walk rate in 2018. The Future: Gil will head to low Class A Charleston in 2019 to keep sharpening his arsenal and command.
Track Record: The Yankees signed Peraza for $175,000 as part of a 2016 international class that also included Roansy Contreras and the since-traded Jose Devers. Pezara attracted with a solid blend of tools across the board, as well as a frame that would allow him to add more strength without sacrificing the flexibility and athleticism necessary to play shortstop. He made it to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his pro debut before moving to Rookie-level Pulaski in 2018. Scouting Report: The most appealing part of Peraza’s game is his bat. Evaluators see at least an average future hitter with average raw power, with some seeing future plus in both departments. His in-game power is limited now because of his size and lack of present strength, though his plus bat speed and sound stroke could lead to more power in time. Defensively, Peraza shows outstanding instincts at shortstop, which helps mitigate his somewhat limited range. He’s an average runner and shows smooth actions and a solid internal clock. He’s got an average arm but needs to clean up his mechanics to improve his accuracy. The Future: Scouts are split on Peraza’s ability to stick at shortstop, but he’s young enough to improve as he moves up the ladder. That journey should continue at low Class A Charleston in 2019.
Track Record: The Yankees spent a good chunk of the 2017 offseason acquiring international bonus pool space in their effort to sign Japanese two-way talent Shohei Ohtani. Once Ohtani eliminated them, however, they spread that money around to acquire other targets, including Cabello and outfielder Raimfer Salinas. The pair signed with the Yankees just before Christmas, meaning neither player even had the benefit of an instructional league before embarking on their first pro seasons. Scouting Report: Cabello was advanced enough in extended spring training that the Yankees moved him quickly out of the Dominican Summer League to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. To earn that boost, Cabello displayed a diverse blend of skills, showing plus speed and the potential for a plus bat with plus power and plus defense in center field. He also shows an advanced ability to hit the ball hard, with exit velocities as high as 106 mph already. His throwing arm is already at least average. Cabello was a catcher as an amateur, meaning his outfield defense will be the toughest tool to gauge. The Future: Cabello dislocated his non-throwing shoulder late in the season and needed surgery, which cost him a chance to participate in instructional league. He has a chance to be a true impact bat in the middle of the order.
Track Record: Abreu was part of package the Yankees received from the Astros for Brian McCann after the 2016 season. The other player, Jorge Guzman, was dealt to the Marlins in the deal that made Giancarlo Stanton a Yankee. Abreu opened eyes in his first season in the organization, but he dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2018. It all began with an appendectomy toward the end of spring training and elbow inflammation at midseason. Scouting Report: In terms of stuff, Abreu still shows the big, upper-90s fastball that the Yankees sought when they acquired him from Houston. The pitch has late life and is particularly effective when thrown up in the zone. He backs up his fastball with a power curveball in the mid-80s and a changeup that each project as at least above-average, if not plus, offerings. He also throws a slider, but he leans heavily on his three main pitches. While Abreu’s pure stuff is tantalizing, his command is fringy at best. He struggles to repeat his delivery at times, and will get strikeout-happy and try to overthrow. The Yankees also would like to see him pitch inside more effectively to both righthanders and lefthanders. The Future: Abreu was limited to just 73 innings, making 2018 a bit of a lost year. He still has huge upside and will likely return to high Class A Tampa.
Track Record: The Yankees were in the international penalty phase in 2016, meaning they could not sign any player for more than $300,000. Even so, their scouts found Contreras and signed him for $250,000. He trained with Basilio Vizcaino, otherwise known as Cachaza, who trained current Yankees Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar. The Yankees liked Contreras for his smooth arm action and relatively easy delivery, which at the time produced 88-91 fastballs. Scouting Report: After a first pro season split between the Dominican Summer League and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Contreras moved to the short-season New York-Penn League halfway through 2018. With Staten Island, he showed the makings of a solid three-pitch mix headed by a fastball in the 91-94 mph range with hints of 96. The pitch featured running life to both sides of the plate. His best secondary pitch was a 78-81 mph downer curveball that was inconsistent but had the potential to be above-average once he gained the feel necessary to spin it more consistently. His third pitch is a mid-80s changeup with average sinking action when he keeps it down in the zone. There’s still projectability left in his body, which scouts believe could be the difference between a back-end starter or a mid-rotation piece. The Future: Contreras so thoroughly dominated at Staten Island that he moved up to low Class A Charleston toward the end of the season. He’ll likely return there in 2019.
A smaller, 5-foot-11, 180-pound shortstop out of New Jersey, Volpe doesn’t overwhelm with tools or physicality, but he plays an extremely sound game both offensively and defensively. At the plate, Volpe has well below-average power from the right side, but he has a short swing with quick hands and is capable of spraying line drives to all fields. A solid-average runner during the summer showcase circuit, scouts have clocked better run times from Volpe this spring, to the point where he’s now considered an above-average runner. Volpe’s defensive ability is what sets him apart, however, as he has some of the most consistent and reliable hands in the class. He doesn’t have a huge arm or elite range, but Volpe’s instincts and overall feel for playing defense are extremely polished. He seems to make every play that comes to him—making the position look much easier than it actually is. Volpe has efficient footwork and gets around the ball well to put himself in solid positions to throw across the diamond, and he has no issues throwing from multiple angles, on the run or while turning a double play at second base. Because he is undersized and lacks a standout tool—though some scouts believe he’ll eventually be a plus hitter—Volpe could be tough to sign out of a Vanderbilt commitment. But he was arguably the highest-performing position player at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational this spring, which came in front of plenty of scouting directions and could push him into Day 1 consideration. In addition to his skills on the field, Volpe is a natural, vocal leader, and he commands his teammates well from the shortstop position. He always plays with a frenetic, high energy that endears him to scouts as well.
Track Record: Loaisiga is one of the better gems unearthed by the Yankees’ pro scouting staff. The Giants released Loaisiga after shoulder injuries sidelined him for two seasons. The Yankees liked what they saw in a tryout camp, but soon after they signed him he needed Tommy John surgery. The Yankees were rewarded with a pitcher with electric stuff. He made his big league debut in 2018 but also missed a month with a sore shoulder.Scouting Report: Loaisiga missed enough time with injuries throughout his career that he needed to be added to the 40-man roster after the 2017 season even though he had barely pitched in full-season ball. But he jumped from Class A to the major leagues in just two months thanks to three pitches that grade as above-average or better. He throws a plus fastball that sits 95-96 mph and touches 98, though it is straight enough that it doesn’t miss a lot of bats. His fastball sets up a hard changeup that grades as plus. His mid-80s curveball is more of an above-average offering, but on his best days, it is a plus pitch that gets swings and misses. Nothing in Loaisiga’s delivery precludes him from throwing strikes.The Future: Loaisiga could be a mid-rotation starter if he can stay healthy, but that’s a big concern.
Track Record: Seigler earned high marks on the amateur circuit for his unique blend of skills. Not only is he an accomplished switch-hitter, but he made waves on the mound as a switch-pitcher also. The Yankees aren’t going to put him on the mound, but he’s still an intriguing prospect as a catcher and he drew the starting nod at the position during the 18U World Cup. He also showed strong makeup in pro ball, going so far as to request a Spanish-speaking roommate so he could work on learning the language. Scouting Report: Seigler brings a smooth, compact swing from both sides of the plate that should help make him at least an average hitter as he develops. He’s not likely to produce big-time home run power, but he has shown the ability to drive the ball out of the park from the right side. Realistically, he’s going to be more of a gap-to-gap hitter with plenty of doubles. Behind the plate, Seigler is at least a plus defender and could become even better as he matures. He’s got a near-elite arm that has produced pop times of better than 1.9 seconds both as an amateur and a pro. He shows trust in his arm by aggressively back-picking runners at first base. The Future: Seigler’s first test in pro ball was abbreviated by injuries to his hamstrings and a late-season concussion, but he returned in time to see action at instructional league. He could start 2019 in low Class A.
Track Record: The Yankees signed Gomez out of Venezuela for $50,000 in 2016 on the strength of a lanky, projectable frame and a fastball that touched 92 mph. He put together a nondescript first pro campaign in the Dominican Summer League before moving stateside in 2018 and pitching primarily with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He struck out 10 hitters per nine innings there. Scouting Report: Gomez has grown into more velocity as his body has matured. His fastball now sits in the low 90s and touches as high as 96 mph. It fastball plays up thanks to excellent extension out of his high three-quarters delivery. He backs up his heater with a 75-78 mph curveball with late snap out of the zone and a mid-80s changeup with moderate fade. Each has a chance to be at least average with more repetition and mechanical consistency. Gomez flashes a clean delivery and consistent arm action, portending average control even though his walk rate was a touch high in his debut. The Future: Gomez has the upside of a No. 3 or 4 starter but has a long way to go. He’ll head to Rookie-level Pulaski in 2019 to continue working toward that ceiling.
Track Record: The Yankees picked up King in a seemingly minor trade that sent the Marlins Caleb Smith and Garrett Cooper. He ended up as the Yankees’ most productive minor league pitcher in 2018, advancing from high Class A Tampa to Triple-A with little resistance along the way. Scouting Report: Many pitchers in the Yankees’ system have a higher upside than King, but he is one of the safest bets to have a big league career, even if it’s most likely as a back-of-the-rotation starter. While none of King’s pitches is truly a knockout, his plus command amplifies his entire arsenal. He throws a pair of fastballs--a two-seamer and a cutter, the latter of which was added in Triple-A. The cutter is thrown in the high 80s, while the two-seamer averaged 92 mph. His two-seamer is his money pitch, and it has above-average action. He’s particularly adept at starting the two-seamer at the hip of lefthanded hitters and bringing it back over the inside corner for a strike. He backs up his fastballs with a changeup that is near plus and an average slider, though his command helps each pitch play up. The Future: King will probably head back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin 2019 as he prepares for an in-season callup.
Track Record: Sauer dedicated himself to a workout plan between his junior and senior years of high school and experienced a jump in velocity as a result, peaking at 97 mph. In turn, his draft stock improved and the Yankees popped him with their second-round pick and signed him just under $2.5 million, nearly double the recommended slot. He spent his first season as a pro in limited action at the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before moving to short-season Staten Island. Scouting Report: Sauer shows the potential for three average or better pitches out of a physical, durable frame. He starts his arsenal with a low-90s fastball at 90-94 mph with natural cutting life and occasional sink generated by a three-quarters arm slot. He backs up the fastball with a curveball in the mid-80s and a changeup in the 83-88 mph range that flash average. His curveball is inconsistent with both its power and depth, but it is ahead of his changeup at this point. His changeup comes in firm at times but shows sinking action at its best. To unlock his potential, Sauer needs to better his fringe-average control by improving the consistency of his delivery and direction toward home plate. The Future: Sauer is likely to move up to low Class A Charleston in 2019, his first test of full-season ball. He has the potential to be a back-end starter if his offspeed pitches and control continue to develop.
Track Record: After two successful seasons at South Carolina, Schmidt’s draft year was cut short by Tommy John surgery. Even so, the Yankees liked what they’d seen and selected Schmidt with the 16th overall pick and signed him to a below-slot bonus of $2,184,300. He made his pro debut in 2018 at the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before making two starts with short-season Staten Island. Scouting Report: Schmidt pitched sparsely this season, but when he got on the mound he showed a plus fastball in the mid-90s that touched 97 mph. He paired the pitch with a plus slider as well as a seldom-thrown changeup. As with most undersized righthanders, there are questions about whether Schmidt’s stature and his high-effort delivery will lead to a relief role long-term. That’s a long way away, however, and his future will become clearer once he makes his full-season debut. The Future: After a cautious first taste of pro ball, Schmidt should have the reins taken off in 2019.
Track Record: Nelson was a two-way player in college, but scouts were more intrigued by what he could do on the mound. His first two seasons as a pro were fair before a breakout 2018. His 144 strikeouts across three levels ranked second in the system behind only Michael King. His command was lacking, however, as he walked nearly five batters per nine innings. Scouting Report: Nelson works with a power arsenal fronted by fastball that averaged 95 mph, touched as high as 98 and showed solid carry through the zone. He holds his velocity throughout his starts. Nelson buttresses the fastball with a sharp-biting, downer curveball in the 78-80 mph range as well as an 87-90 mph changeup that lags behind his other offerings. His command issues are particularly vexing to evaluators, who see a simple, clean delivery. He shows a mild tendency toward nibbling which, if alleviated, could help him cut down his walks. The Future: Nelson could find himself as back-end starter if he irons out his command and sharpens his changeup. If not, his fastball and curveball may be enough for him to carve out a bullpen role.
In a year in which it’s hard to find pitchers scouts like, Sikkema is one pitcher scouts truly love. They love his feisty mound presence, his feel for pitching and his craftiness. And they also love his long, illustrious track record. The son of a baseball coach, Sikkema was Missouri’s moment-of-truth reliever as a freshman, when he tied Tanner Houck’s school freshman record with eight wins. Midway through his sophomore season, Sikkema moved from being the Tigers’ closer to taking over as the Friday night starter and excelled immediately. As a junior, he’s been consistently dominant as the club’s Saturday starter, going 6-3, 1.22 with an .180 opponent average as of early May. Sikkema is a thick-bodied pitcher without much, or any, projection left. He uses both an over-the-top arm slot as well as a three-quarter slot, switching back and forth to mess with hitters. He can reach up to 93-95 mph with his fastball when he raises his arm slot in short stints, but he generally sits 89-92 mph as a starter with plenty of arm-side run from the lower slot. He mixes four pitches, none of which is a plus offering, but all four are average or better. He throws an above-average slurve from his lower arm slot that has some power and depth and a more traditional, average curveball from over the top. He willingly mixes in an average changeup as well. All of his offerings play up because Sikkema fills the zone with strikes to both sides of the plate. If a team wants to move Sikkema back to the bullpen, he could move quickly. But he has likely worked his way high enough in the draft to get sent out as a starter, where a team would count on his feel and bulldog mentality to make up for any deficiencies in his pure stuff.
Track Record: The Yankees signed Medina out of the Dominican Republic for $280,000 as a 16-year-old, when he was already showcasing a fastball that touched triple-digits. He skipped over the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and made his stateside debut in Rookie-level Pulaski in 2017 and returned there in 2018. He’s already shown some of the best pure stuff in the system, but has coupled it with some of the worst control. Scouting Report: Medina’s calling card is still his top-shelf fastball, which continues to eclipse 100 mph. At his best, Medina threw the pitch with excellent angle and sinking action. He doesn’t throw nearly enough strikes with his fastball, however, walking hitters en masse and giving up hits when he leaves it over the fat part of the plate. Medina backs up the fastball with a plus, downer curveball and a changeup that is still in its early stages but shows plus future potential. Medina’s delivery leaves a lot to be desired. He’s stiff out front and loses his release point, which has led to well below-average command and control. There are also questions surrounding his mental toughness. The Future: Medina will pitch all of season at 20 years old, so he has got time to iron out his delivery and harness his tremendous arsenal. If he can’t hack it as a starter, he still has a chance to be a dynamic reliever.
Track Record: After Shohei Ohtani signed with the Angels, the Yankees, who had accumulated extra bonus-pool money in the hopes of signing the Japanese two-way star, shifted some of that money to Salinas. The outfielder possessed one of the best all-around skill sets available in the 2017 international class, and ranked No. 10 among that year’s July 2 prospects. Scouting Report: Salinas shows excellent balance at the plate, with an all-fields approach and fringe-average power now that has the potential to develop further as he matures. He didn’t get to show off those tools in 2018 because of a swollen knee and a ligament injury to his ring finger that limited him to just 11 games, though he did make his stateside debut as a 17-year-old. When healthy, he shows double-plus speed, a strong throwing arm and the ability to glide to balls in center field. The Future: After a lost 2018 season, Salinas will likely return to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2019.
Track Record: Things looked rosy for Estrada after a breakout year at Double-A Trenton in 2017 followed by a strong stint in the Arizona Fall League. That progress came to a tragic halt when he was shot in the right hip during an attempted robbery in his native Venezuela during the offseason. The first surgery to remove the bullet in Venezuela was botched, and the bullet remained in his body the entire season until finally being removed in the U.S. in November. Scouting Report: Before his injuries, Estrada showed a potential average bat with a glove and arm that each projected as plus. His bat was geared for gap-to-gap line drives with a flat path that produced a lot of contact, although it limited his already-scant power potential. Estrada showed quick hands, a strong arm and steady instincts in the field. He’s an above-average runner but needs to sharpen his baserunning. The Future: Even with a full six-week stint in the Arizona Fall League, 2018 was a lost season. He’ll try to regain his health and prospect shine back at Triple-A in 2019.
Track Record: Whitlock was a draft-eligible sophomore at Alabama-Birmingham and got off to a hot start in his second season with the Blazers before a bout of food poisoning and a back strain scuttled the second half of the year. Still, his stuff and an impressive turn in the Cape Cod League convinced the Yankees to take a flyer on him in the 18th round and sign him for $247,500, almost double the recommended slot amount. Scouting Report: Whitlock is a true sinker-slider pitcher. He starts his repertoire with a low-90s two-seamer that peaked at 95 mph in 2018. The pitch plays up thanks to nearly seven feet of his extension in his delivery, a figure well above-average. The action on the pitch also helped him coax a 1.71 groundout-to-airout ratio, the second-best in the organization behind only Nick Green. Whitlock couples his sinker with a slurvy, potentially average slider that shows occasional plus depth in the 79-82 mph range. He’s been able to land it for strikes and use to get swings and misses as well. His changeup, thrown in the same velocity band as his breaking ball, is his clear third pitch. He’s shown feel for it but needs to develop it further. His delivery is a little bit rigid, which gives evaluators some pause when projecting his potential role. The Future: Whitlock has the ceiling of an innings-eating back-end starter, with a solid fallback option of a setup reliever. He’ll return to Double-A Trenton in 2019.
Smith doesn’t have any “wow” tools that many of the other 2019 college shortstops possess, but unlike most of them, Smith’s consistency and reliability when healthy has given him a fairly high floor. He handled himself well as a freshman in 2017, hitting .281/.407/.409 with more walks (39) than strikeouts (33) in 72 games, but the following year a stress reaction in his back limited him to just six games. This spring, Smith has been a consistent defender at shortstop, and through his first 48 games, he led Louisiana State in batting average (.348), on-base percentage (.444) and stolen bases (15) and was second on the team in slugging percentage (.525). Smith’s tools are close to average across the board, with his best tool being either a solid-average hit tool or his defensive ability at shortstop. At just 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, Smith surprisingly has average raw power, although he isn’t likely to grow into much more power in the future. And while he has terrific defensive instincts and solid hands, some scouts believe he’ll eventually have to move to second base simply because a player with twitchier defensive tools will push him off shortstop in any given organization. Smtih’s size, lack of standout tools and medical history limit his upside in the draft, but SEC shortstops who hit—and hit lefthanded—tend to be drafted high, regardless of their tools. Smith’s track record in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .382/.478/.513 in 22 games in 2017, also adds to his profile. Smith is a high-floor player who should fit somewhere early on Day 2, at the latest.
Track Record: Stowers was one of the top hitters for the storied Louisville program in his final two college seasons. He compiled a .929 OPS in his sophomore year with the Cardinals followed by an even better 1.036 as a junior. The Mariners grabbed Stowers with a second-round pick in 2018, and he began his pro career at short-season Everett. He ranked second in the Northwest League with 37 walks and fourth with 20 stolen bases. Scouting Report: The biggest question Stowers faces is whether he can stay in center field, because he needs to improve his reads and jumps. His thicker frame, which draws comparisons with former big leaguer Marlon Byrd, is not a prototypical center fielder's body, but his plus speed is enough for the position if he makes the rest of the necessary improvements. Otherwise, a below-average arm would limit him to left field. Stowers' bat will likely carry him. He has a plus hit tool, and his sharp batting eye is expected to help him at higher levels when pitchers are around the zone more. With average power, Stowers projects to be able to hit 15-20 home runs per year. The Future: Stowers will get his first taste of full-season ball after spring training with a likely assignment to low Class A West Virginia in 2019.
Track Record: Rodriguez ranked as the No. 1 pitching prospect in the 2018 international class and earned that rep by sporting a 0.39 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 69 innings in Cuba’s national 15-and-under league. The Yankees signed Rodriguez for $600,000 in August after securing extra bonus-pool money in trades with the White Sox and Cardinals. Scouting Report: After throwing in the high 80s as a 14-year-old, Rodriguez experienced spurts in both size and velocity. He now throws his heater in the low-to-mid 90s with peaks at 97 mph. He couples the pitch with a curveball in the mid-70s that he can both sweep across the strike zone or throw with more depth. He also has feel for a changeup, which the Yankees feel could be plus with repetition. Rodriguez throws from multiple angles now, but the Yankees are trying to help him find consistent mechanics. The Future: Rodriguez stayed in the Dominican Republic for the instructional league, but the Yankees have been aggressive with their talented teenagers of late. A career-opening assignment to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2019 isn’t out of the question.
Track Record: Alcantara ranked No. 15 among the 2018 July 2 class, one spot behind fellow Yankees prospect Antonio Gomez. The Yankees signed five from that group, including Alcantara for a bonus of $1 million. Scouting Report: There are some questions about Alcantara’s hit tool because of his long levers, and will require adjustments as he matures. Still, evaluators have seen him perform well in games, allowing them to believe that he can improve. He already shows pull-side power, but gets in trouble when he tries to sell out to get to it too often. He’s a graceful runner with the long strides suggested by someone of his frame, which will help him stick in center field. He’s got an above-average arm as well, and has been known to diligently use batting practice as a time to refine his reads and jumps. His arm should play well enough if he gets too big for center field, and some evaluators have compared him to big league outfield Dexter Fowler. The Future: If he shows well in extended spring training, Alcantara could come stateside as a 17-year-old, which the Yankees have shown the willingness to do in recent years. He also could stay back in the Dominican Summer League as well.
Track Record: Gomez ranked No. 14 among the 2018 July 2 class, and signed with the Yankees on the strength of phenomenal defense and burgeoning offensive abilities shown at international showcases. Scouting Report: Gomez’s strongest tool is his throwing arm, which ranks as a 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. That arm was on display at at February 2018 showcase, when he threw out four runners, including one from his knees, with a pop times as low as 1.83 seconds. He’s got quick feet as well, but could stand to improve his receiving. Offensively, Gomez’s bat-to-ball skills improved as he matured, and his power slowly grew. That trend could continue as he learns to incorporate his lower half into his swing more often. The Future: The Yankees have been aggressive with their most talented international prospects recently, and Gomez could join one of the team’s two clubs in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League come June.