New York Yankees Hitting Prospects: New Blood in Pinstripes on the Horizon


It’s “STAT-Scan: The Bronx” as we set our sights on those who may wear pinstripes in the Big Apple sometime in the future.  As with the big club, injuries have had an impact in the minor-leaguers as well.  As a result, some of the higher-rated guys may not show up on our 2012 scan.

In our S2S STAT-Scans, each player is assigned a “Plate Skills Index,” which is based on the ability to “win plate appearances” (described in detail here), a “Production Index,” based on the ability to produce offense (described in detail here), and a “Composite Index,” which is a combination of the two.  Additional detail on “the three numbers,” with some examples, can be found here.

Tyler Austin

is one of the upcoming pinstripers. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It is important to remember that age, level and position also factor into the analysis.  And note that this is a statistical analysis of the actual results, so scouting reports don’t factor into the numbers.

High Alert

Corban Joseph, 2b …  2013 Age: 24; 2012 Level: AA, AAA

Plate Skills: 144  Production: 119  Composite: 163

Joseph is not the most heralded, but he put up the stats that set off the most alarm bells at scanner central.  High walk rate, low strikeout rate, 29 doubles and 15 home runs will do that.  And, he’s on the cusp of the majors after spending the bulk of 2012 at AAA.

Tyler Austin,  OF (S2S Top 115 #81) …  2013 Age: 21; 2012 Level: Low-A, High-A, AA (2 games)

Plate Skills: 112  Production: 127  Composite: 139

Austin went firmly up the ladder in 2012, ending up in AA Trenton at season’s end.  Along the way he banged out 35 doubles, 6 triples and 17 longballs.  He looks like a solid all-around hitter.

Mason Williams (S2S Top 115 #51) … 2013 Age: 21; 2012 Level: Low-A, High-A

Plate Skills: 94  Production: 105  Composite: 99

Williams’ stats must be taken in light of his position (CF every game) and youth.  And his very low strikeout rate, which bodes well for future development.

Austin Romine, C …  2013 Age: 24; 2012 Level: AAA, High-A, Rookie (rehab)

Plate Skills: 128  Production: 104  Composite: 132

Injuries limited Romine to 31 games, but, even though his star has faded (he was a former Baseball America Top 100 guy), he showed solid promise in that action.  He had 4 dingers and 14 walks in those 31 games, which the scanner likes a lot.

On the Radar

Saxon Butler, 1b …  2013 Age: 23; 2012 Level:  Short Season-A, Low-A

Plate Skills: 101  Production: 127  Composite: 128

Butler was a 2012 draftee who was a bit old for his levels, but his 13 home runs in 61 games helped him to a .533 SLG, which got our attention, at least.

Distant Early Warning

Gregory Bird, 1b  …  2013 Age: 20; 2012 Level: Rookie, Short Season-A

Plate Skills: 127  Production: 98  Composite: 125

A big left-handed hitter, Bird showed a promising blend of power and patience in putting up a .944 OPS at age 19.

On the Whole

The Yankees don’t appear to have a can’t-miss monster prospect, but there is good depth, and Joseph could be an interesting sleeper guy.  Needless to say, some new blood will be needed as the Jeter/Rivera era fades out.