BA Newsletter: Subscribe Today!
Use the options to filter your search.
BA Grade: 65. Risk: Extreme Tool Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 70. Run: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60. Track Record: Dominguez had been on major league teams’ radar screens since he was 13 years old. He was training with Ivan Noboa in the Dominican Republic, as part of a group that also featured future Brewers prospect Larry Ernesto. He homered to center field on the first pitch he saw that day, and ran the 60-yard dash in somewhere between 6.3 and 6.4 seconds. He continued to impress over the next few years in showcases and simulated games while facing pitchers more advanced than are usually seen in that setting, and continued to come out on top with what appeared to be relative ease, including a home run from the left side against a 95 mph fastball. The Yankees signed Dominguez for $5.1 million, which tied Dominican shortstop Robert Puason, signed by the Athletics, for tops in the class and ranks as the largest international bonus the Yankees have ever handed an amateur. He got his feet wet in the Yankees’ Dominican instructional league. Scouting Report: Yankees international scouting director Donny Rowland said Dominguez has “possibly the best combination of tools, athleticism and performance that (he’s) run across.” His body is built similarly to Yoan Moncada. Dominguez is shorter than Moncada, but both players are filled with a combination of tightly packed muscle that produces strength and quick-burst athleticism. Dominguez is an advanced hitter from both sides of the plate with plate discipline, a low chase rate for someone his age and a swing path that allows his barrel to stay in the zone for a very long time. His sense of timing against all types of pitches mitigates the pre-pitch movement in his swing, and strong hands, wrists and forearms give him the potential for plenty of power from both sides of the plate. He has already shown exit velocities up to 108 mph from both sides of the plate in batting practice and has shown little problem turning around high-level velocity. The Yankees scouted Dominguez as a shortstop and a catcher but decided that center field was the best place to deploy his natural gifts without exacting a heavy toll on his body. He has double-plus speed, which he combines with smooth, advanced route-running and quick-burst speed to help him track down balls in the far reaches of the outfield. His arm strength is plus or a tick better and is magnified by incredible accuracy. Internally, the Yankees describe Dominguez as a player who might be constructed with by taking the best tools from other players throughout their system and molding them into a single player. His power, speed and athleticism rank among the best in the organization, which gives him the highest ceiling in a system filled with young, high-upside prospects. The Future: There’s a long way to go for Dominguez, who has yet to play his first official game as a professional, but he has the blend of tools and baseball IQ to move as quickly as any of the current line of Latin American prospects who’ve turned into young stars in the big leagues.
BA Grade: 60. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 60. Control: 50. Track Record: The Yankees selected Schmidt in the first round in 2017 knowing he’d need Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2017 recovering, then pitched just 23 innings in 2018 between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and short-season Staten Island. He skipped low Class A Charleston and then sped to Double-A Trenton, albeit with about six weeks on the injured list. Scouting Report: Schmidt opened his season with a bang when he went pitch-for-pitch with 2018 No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize in a game that he finished with nine strikeouts over five hitless innings. Schmidt starts his repertoire with a 92-95 mph fastball that scouts saw up to 97 mph. The pitch shows boring, running action in on the hands of lefties. He backs it up with a potentially plus or better changeup with enough velocity and bottom that it can be mistaken for a split-fingered fastball. His curveball—which can behave like a slider—also earns above-average and plus grades. Schmidt also changes arm slots on his pitches, alternating between a high three-quarter and three-quarters, to give hitters different looks. The Future: After a season that saw his pre-surgery stuff return in full, Schmidt has ceiling of a mid-rotation starter and looks like a wise gamble with the 16th overall pick. He may return to Double-A Trenton to start the year but has a chance to finish it in New York.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Medium Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 55. Track Record: Garcia followed up an impressive 2018 season with a strong 2019 campaign in which he rocketed from high Class A to Triple-A and averaged at least 10 strikeouts per nine innings at each stop. He moved to the bullpen toward the end of his time with Triple-A as a means of managing his innings, which eclipsed 100 for the first time in his career.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Very High Tool Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 50. Track Record: Gil was signed by the Twins in 2014 on the strength of a loose, live arm and a frame that projected to develop into that of a classic power pitcher. He was dealt to the Yankees in the winter of 2017 in a one-for-one deal for outfielder Jake Cave. Scouting Report: Gil’s calling card is his fastball, which sizzles into hitters in the upper 90s and touched as high as 101 mph in 2019. The pitch ranks as at least a 70 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale on velocity and movement, which is electric boring life in on the hands of lefthanders and extreme carry through the zone when he works to his gloveside. He backs up the fastball with a sweeping curveball in the low 80s and a changeup that averaged 91 mph. Scouts were uniformly impressed at the ease with which he produced that kind of velocity. Both offspeed pitches need considerable work in terms of command and consistency but each projects as a 50-to-55 grade pitch. The Future: Gil’s season ended a little early after he reported tightness in his right biceps after a side session but he might have been ready to go again were the Florida State League’s last few games not canceled due to threat of hurricane. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and will return to high Class A Tampa. If both of his offspeed pitches take steps forward he has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter. If only one does, he fits as a dynamic weapon toward the back of a bullpen.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Very High Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 40. Run: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60. Track Record: Peraza was part of an international class that also included righthander Roansy Contreras and the since-traded Jose Devers, and he has quickly proved to be one of the system’s fastest risers. He made it to Rookie-level Pulaski as an 18-year-old, then moved to low Class A Charleston after just 15 games in short-season Staten Island as a 19-year-old. The Yankees laud Peraza for his all-around blend of tools and a solid makeup that allows him quickly turn them into skills. Scouting Report: Evaluators both inside and outside the organization have been impressed with Peraza’s tool set, which has shown up at each of his stops despite his accelerated development path. His polished baseball skills give him a high floor, and his high-end athleticism suggests a path to a very high ceiling. His simple swing and sneaky strength have helped him show above-average or better raw power, though he hasn’t shown much of it in games. He’s also shown a smooth, simple swing that gives his barrel a direct path to the ball. That, plus his advanced knowledge of the strike zone, which the Yankees believe will help him better select pitches on which he can do damage as he moves up the ladder. He shows smooth actions in the field and a strong arm that should keep him at shortstop. He also clocks in between 4.1 and 4.2 seconds to first base, which grades to plus speed. The Future: Peraza is likely to return to Charleston to begin 2020 and should reach high Class A Tampa by the second half of the season.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Extreme Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 45. Run: 55. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50. Track Record: Volpe formed a dynamic duo at Delbarton HS with righthander and fellow Yankees draftee Jack Leiter. Leiter opted to head to Vanderbilt for three years, while Volpe signed for $2,740,300 and was jumped over the complex leagues and headed directly to Rookie-level Pulaski. He contracted mononucleosis during the season, however, which sapped his strength and cut his season short. Despite the abrupt ending, Volpe still showed scouts enough to rank No. 7 among the Appalachian League’s Top 20 prospects. Scouting Report: Volpe doesn’t have one standout tool, but the sum of his parts makes him an attractive player. He utilizes a short, quick swing to shoot line drives to all fields that manifest themselves as doubles and triples. The Yankees also like his ability and hand-eye coordination, which they believe will result in plenty of contact and a low strikeout rate. He’s a gifted defender with smooth hands and feet that should allow him to stick up the middle. He’s also got enough range to stay at the position, even if his throwing arm is only average. He’s a plus runner, which will help him on the bases and in the field. The Future: After an offseason to recover from the mono, Volpe is a strong candidate to head to low Class A Charleston to begin 2020.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Extreme Tool Grades: Fastball: 80. Curveball: 70. Changeup: 55. Control: 40. Track Record: The Yankees signed Medina for $280,000 on the strength of a live arm that was already producing fastballs that touched triple-digits. He skipped straight to Rookie-level Pulaski for his pro debut in 2017, then proceeded to spend the better part of three seasons showing a strange combination of near-elite stuff with nearly nonexistent control or command. He could throw his stuff by hitters but would let even the smallest mistake snowball into a big inning. Scouting Report: Medina’s biggest strength is an elite fastball which averaged 98 mph in 2019 and peaked at 101 mph. Beyond the pure velocity, Medina threw the fastball with enough life to induce a 32 percent swing-and-miss rate when the pitch was in the strike zone. For reference, the average is 15 percent. He backed up the fastball with a low-80s curveball—which sometimes broke like a true hammer and other times like a two-plane slider—that was swung at and missed 44 percent of the time. His third pitch is a high-80s changeup that flashes plus as well. A bit of inconsistency in his delivery—sometimes he landed a bit early and his arm slot wandered—plus a tendency to let mistakes compound led to a walk rate of just more than 6 hitters per nine innings. Something clicked late in the season, however, beginning with a start on July 31. From that point, Medina struck out 39 in 28 innings while allowing just five earned runs. The Future: Medina will return to high Class A Tampa to see if he can continue building on his strong finish to 2019 and begin to scratch his sky-high potential.
BA Grade: 50. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 60. Control: 50. Track Record: The Yankees were still in the international penalty box in 2016, but unearthed Contreras and sign him for $250,000. He experienced a bit of a breakout in 2018, when he ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the New York-Penn League after a strong performance in a typically college-heavy league before moving to low Class A Charleston and holding his own for seven starts. He is a product of the same Dominican program that produced Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez. Scouting Report: Contreras was easily the most consistent piece of Charleston’s extremely talented rotation and has as high an upside as anyone not named Luis Medina. He starts his arsenal with a low-90s fastball that can get to the mid-90s fairly consistently. The pitch is relatively straight but is thrown with considerable extension and downhill plane that somewhat mitigate the lack of movement. His best secondary offering is power changeup with sinking action thrown in the 85-89 mph range and sold well because it’s thrown with the same conviction as his fastball. His curveball, a slurvy offering in the low 80s, is thrown with more consistent spin than the breaking balls of his rotation-mates in Charleston. Scouts noted more consistent hand position on the curveball led to a more consistent, higher quality offering. Contreras also impressed evaluators with his feel to pitch as situations dictated. The Future: Contreras will move to high Class A Tampa in 2020. Scouts who like him see a solid back-end starter with a ceiling of a No. 3 if absolutely everything goes right.
BA Grade: 50. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Slide: 40. Changeup: 60. Control: 50. Track Record: Vizcaino was signed out of the Dominican Republic as a 19-year-old, then posted three underwhelming seasons—two of which were spent mostly at Rookie-level Pulaski— before a greatly improved changeup allowed him to jump into the Yankees’ pack of intriguing pitching prospects. Scouting Report: Vizcaino opened the year as one of the most nondescript members of a talented pitching staff at low Class A Charleston. Once scouts got a look, however, they saw a fastball that had jumped into the mid-90s and was touching as high as 98 mph. More than that, his changeup was a true weapon that was getting swings and misses by the bushel. The pitch, thrown in the low 90s, was effective not for its separation from his fastball, but because it showed sharp dive that mimicked a split-fingered fastball and was effective against hitters from both sides of the plate. The next step will be to sharpen his slider, which is thrown in the low 80s with a spin rate that averaged around 2,500 revolutions per minute and varied from potentially solid-average to below-average. The Future: After a month-long stint in the Florida State League, Vizcaino will return there in 2020 to continue working on sharpening his breaking ball. Improvement in that area will greatly improve his chances of staying in the rotation.
BA Grade: 50. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 40. Track Record: Abreu was dealt from the Astros to the Yankees after the 2016 season as part of the package for catcher Brian McCann. He has teased evaluators with his blend of premium stuff that has been mitigated by injuries (an appendectomy and elbow inflammation in 2018) and inconsistency. He was added to the 40-man roster after the 2018 season, then put together a solid year at Double-A Trenton save for three weeks with right biceps inflammation. Scouting Report: Abreu has an extra-large frame and a high-octane fastball that can reach the upper 90s with ease. He backs the pitch with a changeup and curveball, the former of which is his best offspeed weapon. The changeup, thrown in the 85-88 mph range shows excellent fading action away from lefties and is an effective option against same-side hitters as well. His curveball, a downer pitch in the mid-80s, flashes plus but not often enough to confidently project it will get there consistently. He doesn’t get on top of the pitch often enough, which reduces the consistency of its break. Abreu’s command is hampered by a short-stride delivery and inconsistency at foot strike that keeps his arm from producing his highest quality pitches. The Future: After returning from the injured list on Aug. 13, Abreu made three starts of three or fewer innings before moving to the bullpen for the remainder of the season, including Trenton’s run to the Eastern League championship. There’s always been considerable reliever risk with Abreu, who is likely to return to the rotation in 2020 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up