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TRACK RECORD: Dominguez had been on major league teams' radar screens since he was 13. 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. The Yankees signed Dominguez in 2019 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. 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 have 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 catcher but decided that center field was the best fit. He has double-plus speed, which he combines with smooth, advanced route-running 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 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 the system. THE FUTURE: Dominguez has yet to play his first official game and has a long way to go. But he has the blend of tools and baseball IQ to move as quickly as any of the current line of young stars from Latin America.
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 starts his repertoire with a 92-95 mph fastball that scouts saw up to 97 mph. The pitch shows boring, cutting 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 aboveaverage and plus grades. Schmidt also changes arm slots on his pitches, alternating between a high threequarter 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 midrotation starter and looks like a wise gamble with the 16th overall pick.
TRACK RECORD: Garcia followed an impressive 2018 season with a strong 2019 campaign in which he rocketed from high Class A to Triple-A. He moved to the bullpen toward the end of his time with Triple-A as a means of managing his innings. SCOUTING REPORT: Garcia entered 2019 with a big-breaking, high-spin curveball as his signature pitch. That pitch continued to be a weapon over the first half, but the Yankees made the decision to add a slider at the midway point of his season. The mid-80s slider gave him a breaking ball that showed hitters a pitch that moved from east to west instead of the rest of his repertoire, which was most effective at the top and bottom of the strike zone. His fastball, which sat in the 92-93 mph range and touched 96-97, showed excellent carry and elicited plenty of swings and misses when elevated. His fourth pitch is a mid-80s changeup. THE FUTURE: There have long been questions about whether Garcia's slight frame will allow him to hold up as a starter over the course of a full season. Scouts are still split on whether his future is as a starter or a reliever, and he has earned comparisons with Octavio Dotel and Francisco Rodriguez.
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 onefor- 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 has 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 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.
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 Rookielevel 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 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. The Yankees believe that, plus his advanced knowledge of the strike zone, 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 as plus speed. THE FUTURE: Peraza is likely to return to Charleston to begin 2020 and should reach high Class A Tampa.
TRACK RECORD: Volpe formed a dynamic duo at Delbarton High with righthander and fellow Yankees draftee Jack Leiter. Volpe signed for $2,740,300 and headed directly to Rookie-level Pulaski. He contracted mononucleosis, however, which sapped his strength and cut his season short. 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. 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 and speed to stay at the position, even if his throwing arm is only average. 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.
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. SCOUTING REPORT: Medina's biggest strength is an elite fastball which averaged 98 mph in 2019 and peaked at 101 mph. 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 on July 31 season, however, and Medina struck out 39 over the next 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.
TRACK RECORD: The Yankees were still in the international penalty box in 2016 but unearthed Contreras and signed 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 backend starter with a ceiling of a No. 3 if absolutely everything goes right.
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.
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.
TRACK RECORD: The Yankees saw two impressive innings from Yajure in a tryout then signed him on the spot for $30,000. He had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and has slowly worked his way back onto the radar. SCOUTING REPORT: Yajure started 2019 slowly at high Class A Tampa but turned it on after a rocky April. Evaluators saw a mostly mid-80s fastball in the early portion of the year but watched as the velocity began to tick up as the months passed. Even while shaking off the rust, Yajure kept his feel for a solid game plan with his four-pitch mix of a low-to-mid-90s fastball, cutter, downer curveball and changeup. As his velocity returned and his secondary pitches regained their sharpness, his feel to pitch remained. His changeup is a potential plus pitch and garners swings and misses from righthanders and lefthanders alike. His curveball projects as average, and his cutter blends nicely with his four-seamer. THE FUTURE: Yajure earned a promotion to Double-A Trenton late in the year and should return to the level in 2020. He has the makings of a back-end starter if he continue making progress like he did during the 2019 season.
TRACK RECORD: Gomez was a $50,000 signee because of a projectable body and a fastball that had already worked its way into the low 90s as a 16-year-old. He moved back and forth between the Dominican Summer League and Rookie-level Gulf Coast League over the first two seasons of his career and finished 2018 ranked No. 14 among the GCL's Top 20 prospects. Gomez made it all the way to low Class A Charleston in 2019 while continuing to show improved stuff. SCOUTING REPORT: His fastball now sits in the low 90s and has touched as high as 97. His curveball, a downer breaker, is near average now and projects as plus, and his changeup could reach average as well. Combine the stuff with an advanced ability to throw strikes, an easy delivery and a frame that could take an extra 20-30 pounds, and it's easy to see why scouts are extremely high on his potential. THE FUTURE: Gomez is likely to return to Charleston in 2020 and has the upside to fly through the system on his way to a spot in the big league rotation.
TRACK RECORD: The Yankees acquired King during the 2017 offseason in a trade that sent Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith to the Marlins. Smith and Cooper each emerged as productive pieces in Miami and King looked to be on the path to doing so as well. He raced from high Class A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2018 on the way to earning the organization's pitcher of the year award. A stress fracture and then a setback during the rehab process kept King out until July 3. Despite that, the righthander made his big league debut on Sept. 27 with two scoreless innings against the Rangers. SCOUTING REPORT: He uses a mix of two-seam, four-seam and cut fastballs to carve hitters up in all quadrants of the strike zone and produce plenty of weak contact. King complements the fastballs with a low-80s slider and a mid-80s changeup that each project as average pitches. All of his pitches play up because excellent command and control of his arsenal. THE FUTURE: After a mostly lost season in 2019, King should compete for a spot at the back end of the rotation in 2020. If he doesn't make the big club, he'll head back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for more seasoning.
TRACK RECORD: Florial's path to accessing his considerable talent has been littered with roadblocks. There was an identification snafu that led to a suspension and a lowered bonus, followed by two seasons lost to broken bones in his right wrist. The injuries have cost him half of the regular season each year, valuable developmental time for a player whose tools need a fair amount of polish. SCOUTING REPORT: The development of Florial's hit tool has been the most impacted by his injuries. He needed to control the strike zone better before the first injury, and all the time rehabbing has cost him chances to make improvements. The need was particularly glaring in 2019, when Florial whiffed at a 32.8 percent rate in the FSL. He's got above-average bat speed and enough leverage in his swing to hit for at least above-average power, but he's unlikely to reach that mark without better plate discipline and cutting down on swings and misses on pitches in the zone. Florial still has plus speed and enough instincts and athleticism to stick in center field, as well as a strong enough throwing arm to negate runners trying to take extra bases. THE FUTURE: Despite another year lost to injury, the Yankees protected Florial on the 40-man roster to avoid certain selection in the Rule 5 Draft this winter. The raw tools are still there, and he'll try once again to access them, likely at Double-A Trenton.
TRACK RECORD: Sikkema started his college career as a high-end piece of Missouri's bullpen and immediately made an impact by tying Tanner Houck's school record for wins by a freshman. He moved into the rotation in the middle of his sophomore season and spent the next year and a half impressing scouts with his combination of aggressiveness and stuff. SCOUTING REPORT: Sikkema starts his pitch mix with a low-90s fastball that he can run up to 95 mph and spot to both sides of the plate. He backs up the fastball with a full complement of secondaries, including a slurve that shows both power and depth. He also throws an average changeup. To mess with hitters' timing, Sikkema alternates between an overhand arm slot and a lower, three-quarters arm slot. His fastball ticks down in velo from the lower slot but gains significantly more armside run. Sikkema's body is maxed out already, so he likely has little projection remaining. THE FUTURE: His ceiling is as a back-end starter or high-pressure reliever, and he's advanced enough to handle a jump directly to high Class A Tampa in his first full season as a pro.
TRACK RECORD: A two-sport star in high school, Smith was good enough on the diamond that scouts didn't get much chance to evaluate him—that's how often he was pitched around. Nonetheless, the Yankees got enough of a look to spend a fourth-round pick on Smith in 2017 and sign him away from an Arkansas commitment for $497,500. After a rough 2018 in the New York-Penn League, Smith broke out in 2019 with low Class A Charleston. He finished as one of just 15 players in the minors with 30 or more doubles, 10 or more home runs and 15 or more stolen bases. SCOUTING REPORT: He doesn't have one standout tool but showed evaluators the potential for at least average hittability and above-average power. His power comes from extreme strength which produced some of the system's highest exit velocities despite an unorthodox swing that allows him to barrel pitches despite stepping in the bucket. He's an average runner with an average arm who fits best in left field. THE FUTURE: After a strong showing in Charleston, he'll move to high Class A Tampa in 2020 and has the ceiling of an offensive-minded corner bat.
TRACK RECORD: After a velocity jump during his senior season in high school led the Yankees to spend a second-round pick and just less than $2.5 million on him, Sauer has moved slowly but surely through the organization. He was impressive in the New York-Penn League in 2018 and started strong in his first test in full-season ball before tearing his ulnar collateral ligament and having Tommy John surgery. SCOUTING REPORT: Before the injury, scouts inside and outside the organization were impressed by the progress Sauer had made year over year. His velocity had jumped to the 92-95 mph range and had touched a tick higher, and he was showing a slider and a changeup that each had the potential to be 55- or 60-grade pitches on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. The shape of his slider appeared to improve as well. THE FUTURE: The surgery will likely cost him most of 2020 as well if he stays on the typical timetable of 12-18 months. Before the injury, he fit in well with the pack of high-upside pitching prospects at Charleston and he had the upside of a rotation piece.
TRACK RECORD: Pereira was the jewel of the Yankees' 2017 international signing class and garnered a $1.5 million bonus as a result. The Yankees were impressed enough by Pereira that they jumped him over both the Dominican Summer League and Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2018 and instead sent him to Rookie-level Pulaski to begin his first official season. His numbers didn't jump off the board, but he played all season as a 17-year-old and was impressive enough to rank No. 7 among the league's Top 20 prospects. SCOUTING REPORT: Pereira showed above-average bat speed and exit velocities in the New York-Penn League in 2019 but had issues with swinging and missing at pitches both in and out of the zone. Any chance at improvement was blunted on July 8, when an attempt at an acrobatic catch against the wall resulted in a sprained ankle that ended his season. THE FUTURE: Scouts were still impressed by Pereira's tools, noting above-average speed and power and the potential to stick in center field. He has flaws to improve, but there's still plenty of ceiling remaining.
TRACK RECORD: Cabello was signed with part of the money the Yankees had reserved to chase Shohei Ohtani when he was a free agent. When Ohtani eliminated the Yankees, the team pivoted and signed Cabello and Raimfer Salinas just before Christmas in 2017. Cabello was impressive enough in his first season as a pro to move to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League after just six games in the DSL. He ranked as the GCL's No. 7 prospect after the season but a dislocated shoulder cost him more development time in the instructional league. Cabello recovered in time to open the second half of 2019 with Rookie-level Pulaski, where he struggled against more advanced pitching. SCOUTING REPORT: Evaluators inside and outside the organization noted that his approach had gone backward and he'd become something of an all-or-nothing hitter. The Yankees spent the season working to improve Cabello's bat path to get it to stay in the zone longer. More concerning, though, was the direction his body seemed to be going. Scouts noted that he looked heavier than his listed weight, and was showing slower, stiffer actions than would be expected of a middle-of-the-diamond player. Part of Cabello's appeal in previous years included plus speed and defense to stick in center field, so he'll have to maintain his body to keep that part of his profile. THE FUTURE: Cabello is likely to return to extended spring to begin 2020 before heading to short-season Staten Island.
TRACK RECORD: Alcantara was the No. 15-ranked player in the 2018 international class and was one of five from that group who wound up with the Yankees. Of that group, Alcantara might have the highest ceiling. He moved quickly from the Dominican Summer League to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in his pro debut and more than held his own as a 17-year-old. SCOUTING REPORT: He caught the eye of managers and scouts around the GCL for his extremely projectable frame and easy actions in center field. He moves well in all directions and has the long strides and range to stick at the position long-term. Those same long levers, plus a sizable leg kick, will need to be controlled as he develops if he is to hit for average. Those long levers also should help him grow into plenty of power, which he already shows to the pull side, as his game matures and he gains strength. THE FUTURE: There's a long way to go, but Alcantara's athleticism and natural gifts give him the potential for a very bright future.
TRACK RECORD: After ranking as the No. 4 player available in the 2018 international class, Gomez signed with the Yankees and immediately cemented himself as one of the best defensive catchers in the system. His first test as a pro was delayed by triceps soreness that limited him to 14 games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League (plus one more in the DSL). SCOUTING REPORT: The scouts who got the chance to see Gomez while he was healthy were impressed. He showed off plus arm strength behind the plate with a chance to reach a true 70-grade arm with further refinement. He also shows strong blocking and receiving abilities and works well with his pitching staffs. The Yankees praise Gomez for his ability to separate offense and defense as well and his fluent English speaking. At the plate he shows a patient, disciplined approach that has a chance to produce both average and power as he matures. He needs to gain strength so he can catch up to high-velocity fastballs. THE FUTURE: Gomez had surgery on his non-throwing arm after the season but should be ready for 2020, which is likely to begin back in extended spring training. Gomez has little experience but one of the more exciting upsides in the system.
TRACK RECORD: Another part of a pack of talented players the Yankees signed during the 2018 international signing period, Vargas was somewhat of a surprise signing. He was expected to ink with the Reds later in the period but agreed with the Yankees for $2.5 million. He made his pro debut mostly in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2019 and ranked No. 9 among the circuit's Top 20 prospects. SCOUTING REPORT: Vargas' standout tool is his speed, which is at least double-plus. He produced home-to-first times of quicker than 4.15 seconds from both sides of the plate. Vargas is a spray-type hitter from both sides of the plate and showed no discernible platoon split in his first exposure to pro ball, although Yankees officials note that his launch angle was typically higher as a lefthanded hitter. At shortstop, Vargas shows tremendous hands and feet that somewhat make up for a fringe-average arm. He's got the upside of a table-setting shortstop who can cause havoc on the basepaths. THE FUTURE: After starting in extended spring training, he should move to Rookie-level Pulaski in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Seigler entered the 2018 draft with one of the most intriguing profiles in the class. He starred in high school as both a switch-hitting catcher and a switch-pitcher who could sling fastballs in the upper 80s with both his right and left arms. The Yankees preferred him at catcher and gave him a bonus of $2,815,900 in the first round. He dealt with hamstring injuries and a concussion in his first taste of pro ball, which was limited to just 24 games. Seigler joined low Class A Charleston on June 10—eschewing either of the Yankees' half-season clubs—and struggled. SCOUTING REPORT: Scouts liked Seigler's plate discipline and approach but couldn't project much impact because of below-average bat speed and a body with limited remaining projection. Behind the plate, Seigler showed athleticism, but his plus arm strength was counteracted by a slow release when trying to nab potential basestealers. THE FUTURE: His season ended after five weeks in Charleston because of a broken left patella. He's likely to return in 2020 to low Class A, where he'll try to make a fresh start.
TRACK RECORD: Duran could have signed earlier than he did but wasn't registered with Major League Baseball, so he had to wait until those issues were cleared up. He eventually inked with the Yankees for $10,000 and immediately raked in the Dominican Summer League. He stalled somewhat in 2018 at Rookie-level Pulaski but broke out in 2019 at short-season Staten Island. He was particularly explosive in July, when he hit .333/.392/.630 with seven doubles and seven homers in 26 games. SCOUTING REPORT: Duran has quick hands, above-average bat speed and power to all fields. That last trait showed up in spades in 2019, when his 13 home runs were distributed fairly neatly to all fields. He's got the hands, feet and arm to play second base and could fill in at shortstop in a pinch as well. THE FUTURE: Duran has the potential to be an offensive-minded middle infielder. He should get his first full-season test in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Buoyed by a set of solid tools across the board, Smith put together an excellent junior season at Louisiana State. He also proved himself with wood bats during a stellar season in the Cape Cod League in 2017, when he hit .382/.478/.513 for Harwich. The Yankees, intrigued by his bat-to-ball skills and hard contact from the left side, used their 2019 second-round pick on Smith and signed him for $978,500. A strong college pedigree allowed Smith to make his pro debut at short-season Staten Island, where he showed the same blend of skills that should give him a relatively high floor. SCOUTING REPORT: His blend of an above-average hit tool and average raw power gives him the profile of the classic professional hitter. He has average foot speed, strong instincts and smooth hands up the middle that will fit nicely at second base. THE FUTURE: He has the potential to be an offensive-minded second-division regular and could skip over low Class A Charleston and begin his first full season in the Florida State League.
TRACK RECORD: When Shohei Ohtani chose the Angels in 2017, the Yankees took the international slot money they'd accumulated and shifted it to Salinas and fellow outfielder Antonio Cabello. Salinas' 2018 season was truncated because of injuries to his knee and ring finger, so 2019 stood for all intents and purposes as his first extended test as a pro. SCOUTING REPORT: Beyond what showed up on the field, Salinas' biggest strides in 2019 came behind the scenes. The Yankees worked with him to find a more consistent swing that kept the bat in the zone for a longer period of time. They also worked with him to sharpen his approach and keep him from chasing as many pitches out of the zone. Scouts outside the organization saw a player with plus bat speed, explosive footspeed and a chance to stick in center field. They also noted that his shorter arms could help him get the barrel to high-velocity fastballs sooner. THE FUTURE: Salinas still has plenty of refinement to go, but his ceiling is still very high.
TRACK RECORD: The Yankees signed Escotto for $350,000 after seeing quick hands in the field and at the plate as well as above-average speed and gap power. In his pro debut, Escotto produced a .981 OPS that ranked eighth in the Dominican Summer League and a team-best eight home runs. SCOUTING REPORT: More than the counting stats, Escotto continued showing off an interesting set of tools. He showed a compact swing that played well against both fastballs and offspeed pitches and produced top-end exit velocities of 106 miles per hour. He also showed solid plate discipline. In the field he has solid hands, strong footwork and arm strength that easily rates as plus. He's a plus runner with first-step quickness that shows up on offense and defense. THE FUTURE: He continued his season in the instructional league at the team's complex in the D.R. and will likely come stateside for the first time in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Nelson was a two-way player at Gulf Coast State JC who led the team in both innings pitched and at-bats in his draft season. The Yankees liked Nelson better on the mound and spent a fourthround pick and $350,000 to acquire him and see if they could unlock more by having him focus solely on pitching. His season was delayed by about a month in 2019 with a sore right shoulder but he still racked up an average of 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings over the rest of the season. SCOUTING REPORT: Nelson combines a low-to-mid-90s fastball with a potentially above-average changeup he added as a pro and a pair of breaking balls fronted by a downer curveball. He added a slider last season and continued to develop the pitch in 2019. THE FUTURE: Nelson struggled after a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will need to see his offspeed pitches gain more polish in order to achieve his ceiling in the back of a rotation. If that doesn't happen, he could find himself in a middle-innings relief role. He'll return to Triple-A in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Green was one of the best prep prospects in Tennessee in the 2018 class, just behind lefthander Ryan Weathers. Green's calling card was big-time power, which he showed off with long home runs at showcases and in games during his high school season. He scuffled somewhat in his first pro season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League but rebounded in 2019 in the Appalachian League. SCOUTING REPORT: Power is still Green's primary calling card, and scouts think he has a chance to produce plus power if he can refine his approach. He made strides in that area with Rookie-level Pulaski, where he cut his strikeout rate by 10 percent from the GCL. Green moves well in the outfield and played all three outfield positions but it is likely he fits in a corner rather than center field. He played some shortstop and third base in high school and should have enough arm to handle right field. THE FUTURE: After a solid season that saw him rank No. 19 in the Appy League's Top 20 prospects, Green will likely head to low Class A Charleston in 2020. He has the upside of a second-division corner outfielder with power.
TRACK RECORD: Stowers was the Mariners' second-round pick in 2018 after showing off a combination of speed and power for three seasons with the Cardinals. He finished his first season as a pro ranked No. 12 among the short-season Northwest League's Top 20 prospects. Stowers was shipped to the Yankees before the 2019 season in the three-way deal that sent righthander Sonny Gray to the Reds and then- Cincinnati prospect Shed Long to the Mariners. He made his Yankees debut with low Class A Charleston and showed scouts a tool package befitting a fourth outfielder. SCOUTING REPORT: Stowers' hit tool and power are both fringe-average and he looks particularly vulnerable on quality offspeed pitches. He struggled mightily in the Arizona Fall League, where he struck out 27 times in 61 at-bats. He needs to improve his reads and routes in center field in order to help his plus speed become better utilized. He has a below-average throwing arm, which would likely limit him to left field if he had to move off of center field. THE FUTURE: High Class A Tampa is the next step for Stowers, who will begin the season as a 23-year-old.
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