Yankees top 20 prospects in 2017

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It took a while to get there, but the Yankees have among the best farm systems in baseball in 2017. Here's a glimpse at the their top prospects this season.
Note: ETAs are according to MLB Pipeline.

1. Gleyber Torres, SS

Status: Out for 2017 season; will undergo Tommy
(Credit: Getty Images / Justin K. Aller)

Status: Out for 2017 season; will undergo Tommy John surgery
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Signed: July 2, 2013 by Chicago Cubs
Born: Dec. 13, 1996 in Caracas, Venezuela
Height: 6-1
Weight: 175 lbs.
ETA: 2018
Torres moved one step closer to the majors on May 21 as the Yankees promoted him from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but that all came crashing down after he suffered an elbow injury on a play at the plate on June 17. It was later revealed that Torres would miss the remained of the season and undergo Tommy John surgery. He's expected to return for spring training in 2018. Torres, the big return for the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade at the 2016 deadline with the Chicago Cubs, slashed .273/.367/.496 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 32 games with the Thunder before getting promoted. The youngster impressed as a 19-year-old in the Arizona Fall League with a .403 average to become the youngest MVP and batting champion in the league's history. He continued to dazzle during the spring with his exceptional fielding ability and a .448/.469/.931 slash line in 19 games in major-league camp.

2. Blake Rutherford, OF

Team: Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A) Bats/Throws: Left/Right Drafted: No.
(Credit: AP/ Lenny Ignelzi)

Team: Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A)
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Drafted: No. 18 overall in 2016 by Yankees
Born: May 2, 1997 in Simi Valley, California
Height: 6-3
Weight: 195 lbs.
ETA: 2020
Coming out of Chaminade College Preparatory School in West Hills, California, Rutherford was the top-rated prep position player in the 2016 draft yet managed to fall to the 18th pick. He slashed .351/.415/.570 in 33 games last summer before a hamstring injury cut his season short. With a lengthier offseason, Rutherford dedicated time to nutrition and strength training and put on 13 pounds from his draft weight, according to Baseball America. Rutherford has plus grades in both average and power and enough speed now to play centerfield, but if his added strength leads to added power, he could transition to an athletic corner outfielder.

3. Clint Frazier, OF

Team: Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (Triple-A) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Drafted:
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Team: Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (Triple-A)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Drafted: No. 5 overall in 2013 by Indians
Born: Sept. 6, 1994 in Decatur, Georgia
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190 lbs.
ETA: 2017
In his short time in the Yankees' organization, Frazier already has been involved in a bit of controversy. First, he put off cutting his long red locks in keeping with the team's hair policy. Then, he was accused of asking if the Yankees would unretire Mickey Mantle's No. 7, a rumor general manager Brian Cashman quickly squashed. Both situations were blown out of proportion. Frazier, who the Yankees acquired in a four-player package from the Indians for Andrew Miller at the 2016 trade deadline, is projected to have 30-homer power and has the ability to play every spot in the outfield.

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4. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B

Team: Trenton Thunder (Double-A) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Signed: Jan.
(Credit: Getty Images/ Justin K. Aller)

Team: Trenton Thunder (Double-A)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Signed: Jan. 28, 2012 by Yankees
Born: June 23, 1995 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Height: 6-0
Weight: 190 lbs.
ETA: 2018
He can fly around the bases with the best of them, as evidenced by his 11 triples and 82 stolen bases in 2015. But Mateo offers more than just speed. Despite batting just .136 in 22 at-bats during spring training, the Yankees think a couple of minor adjustments to his swing for a hitter with quick hands could help him add consistency and pop. Hitting coach Alan Cockrell converted Mateo's leg kick to a smaller step and widened his stance slightly, which Cockrell said puts him in a better position to make contact. Mateo isn't without his flaws, though. He was suspended for two weeks for violating an unspecified team policy last season that kept him out of the MLB All-Star Futures Game. There's been speculation the Yankees could trade Mateo, but if he stays with the club, he'll likely need to make a position change with Gleyber Torres ahead of him. The Yankees have already started him on that track, giving him time at both second base and centerfield during his minor-league career. After starting the year with High-A Tampa, Mateo finally was promoted to Double-A Trenton on June 27.

5. Justus Sheffield, LHP

Team: Trenton Thunder (Double-A) Bats/Throws: Left/Left Drafted: No.
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Team: Trenton Thunder (Double-A)
Bats/Throws: Left/Left
Drafted: No. 31 overall in 2014 by Indians
Born: May 13, 1996 in Tullahoma, Tennessee
Height: 5-11
Weight: 200 lbs.
ETA: 2018
The Yankees acquired Sheffield from the Indians as another big piece in the Andrew Miller deal at the 2016 trade deadline. He's been touted by many, including general manager Brian Cashman, as a guy with three above-average pitches: fastball, slider and changeup. Despite being undersized, he stays on top of his pitches. Sheffield initially signed with Vanderbilt, where his older brother Jordan played, but he instead decided to enter the 2014 draft. The one blemish on Sheffield's record is an offseason arrest in his hometown in 2015 for which he pleaded guilty to underage drinking and aggravated criminal trespassing. It was something the Yankees considered when trading for him, but Cashman told the Daily News before spring training that his reputation otherwise has been "nothing but exemplary."

6. Chance Adams, RHP

Team: Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (Triple-A) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Drafted:
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Team: Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (Triple-A)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Drafted: No. 153 overall in 2015 by Yankees
Born: Aug. 10, 1994 in Scottsdale, Arizona
Height: 6-1
Weight: 210 lbs.
ETA: 2017
After six starts with Double-A Trenton to start his 2017 campaign, Adams was promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on May 12. The converted reliever went 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week after getting off to a 2-0 start with a 0.79 ERA in 11 2/3 innings with Trenton this season. The move to the rotation after getting limited experience as a starter in college seems to be working for Adams. He led the entire minors in winning percentage (.929) and opponents' average (.169) and finished second in WHIP (0.90), splitting time between Tampa and Trenton last season. The righthander has a four-pitch arsenal, with plus grades on his fastball and slider, and has been heralded for his command.

7. Dustin Fowler, OF

Team: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A) Bats/Throws: Left/Left Drafted: No.
(Credit: AP / John Raoux)

Team: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A)
Bats/Throws: Left/Left
Drafted: No. 554 overall in 2013 by Yankees
Born: Dec. 29, 1994 in Cadwell, Georgia
Height: 6-0
Weight: 195 lbs.
ETA: 2017
With Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier and Blake Rutherford garnering much attention among the Yankees' outfield prospects ahead of the 2017 season, Fowler has (somewhat quietly) emerged as a top-10 talent. He slashed .281/.311/.458 with 12 home runs, 88 RBIs, 67 runs and 25 stolen bases with Trenton last season. The energetic outfielder has dramatically improved on defense since working closely with outfield instructor Reggie Willits and has the potential to be a five-tool player. The biggest strike against Fowler is his lack of patience at the plate.

8. James Kaprielian, RHP

Status: Disabled list Bats/Throws: Right/Right Drafted: No. 16
(Credit: AP)

Status: Disabled list
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Drafted: No. 16 overall in 2015 by Yankees
Born: March 2, 1994
Height: 6-4
Weight: 200 lbs.
ETA: 2019
"If he's healthy." That's now become a regular caveat for Kaprielian, who underwent Tommy John surgery after the Yankees placed him on the minor-league disabled list with right elbow pain on April 6. The Yankees "handled him with kid gloves" during the spring, general manager Brian Cashman said, but this is the second time he's dealt with an elbow issue. After getting out to a strong start with Tampa in 2016 -- he went 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.611 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in three starts -- Kaprielian was shut down for the rest of the season after feeling something in his elbow. But when he's healthy he has frontline stuff. All four of his pitches have plus grades, and his fastball has jumped to the 93-96 mph range after working at 88-92 mph in his time at UCLA.

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9. Albert Abreu, RHP

Team: Tampa Yankees (High-A) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Signed: Aug.
(Credit: Yankees / Mark LoMoglio)

Team: Tampa Yankees (High-A)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Signed: Aug. 5, 2013 by Astros
Born: Sept. 26, 1995 in Guayubin, Dominican Republic
Height: 6-2 Weight: 175 lbs.
ETA: 2019
The Yankees acquired Abreu from the Astros in November as part of the deal for Brian McCann. After making three strong appearances with Low-A Charleston (1-0, 1.84 ERA, 0.818 WHIP, 22 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings) to begin 2017, Abreu moved up to High-A Tampa. The righthander has increased the speed on his fastball to the 93-97 mph range, and according to MiLB.com, he reached 100 mph in his final start with Charleston before getting promoted. Abreu also throws a curveball, slider and changeup, but it's unclear which of his secondary pitches is best yet. Control is the biggest question mark for Abreu, who has averaged 4.3 walks per nine innings in his minor-league career.

10. Miguel Andujar, 3B

Team: Yankees Bats/Throws: Right/Right Signed: July 2, 2011
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Team: Yankees
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Signed: July 2, 2011 by Yankees
Born: March 2, 1995
Height: 6-0
Weight: 215 lbs.
ETA: 2018
The Yankees promoted Andujar to the big-league club on Wednesday, June 28, just over a week after he had been promoted from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. With Trenton, he slashed .312/.342/.494 with seven home runs, 52 RBIs and 30 runs in 67 games. Chase Headley is signed through 2018, but Andujar looks like the Yankees' third baseman of the future. Andujar has a cannon at the hot corner, with a 70 grade (out of 80) on his arm. And while he's been praised for his defense, the youngster has drawn comparisons to Jose Bautista with his quick hands at the plate. Splitting time between Tampa and Trenton last season, Andujar slashed .273/.332/.410 with 12 home runs, 83 RBIs and 62 runs in 130 games.

11. Tyler Wade, SS/2B

Team: Yankees Bats/Throws: Left/Right Drafted: No. 134 overall
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Team: Yankees
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Drafted: No. 134 overall in 2013 by Yankees
Born: Nov. 23, 1994 in Murrieta, California
Height: 6-1
Weight: 185 lbs.
ETA: 2017
With Didi Gregorius out, Wade fought to make the big-league roster heading into the 2017 season. He had an impressive spring, hitting .357 in 25 games, but ultimately the Yankees reassigned him to Scranton/Wilkes Barre and went with Ronald Torreyes and Pete Kozma as their options at short. But after Starlin Castro hit the disabled list, the Yankees recalled Wade on Tuesday, June 27. With Gregorius and Castro expected to man the middle infield for the foreseeable future, the Yankees experimented with Wade in the outfield in the Arizona Fall League last season, setting him up to be a super-utility man. Wade leaves something to be desired at the plate, but he's a skilled defender who has the speed to be a threat on the basepaths.

12. Domingo Acevedo, RHP

Team: Trenton Thunder (Double-A) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Signed: Oct.
(Credit: Yankees / Mark LoMoglio)

Team: Trenton Thunder (Double-A)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Signed: Oct. 17, 2012 by Yankees
Born: March 6, 1994
Height: 6-7
Weight: 190 lbs.
ETA: 2018
Despite posting an inflated 4.57 ERA in seven starts to start the year with High-A Tampa, Acevedo earned a promotion to Double-A Trenton with a 52:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After impressing with Trenton, Acevedo was promoted to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, but was quickly demoted after posting a 4.38 ERA in two starts. With his size and dominant fastball, Acevedo is like a righthanded Aroldis Chapman. He's touched 103 mph on the gun, and while the Yankees' have predominantly used him as a starter in the minors, there's speculation that he'll eventually be moved to the bullpen, where he could become a top-flight closer. Acevedo's arsenal also includes an above-average changeup, and he's working to develop his slider.

13. Tyler Austin, 1B/OF

Team: Yankees Bats/Throws: Left/Right Drafted: No. 415 overall
(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Team: Yankees
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Drafted: No. 415 overall in 2010 by Yankees
Born: Sept. 6, 1991
Height: 6-2
Weight: 220 lbs.
ETA: 2017
Austin had a shot to make the big-league team out of spring training, but he suffered a fractured foot in February that landed him on the 60-day disabled list. He was assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 5 after his DL stint, but quickly found himself in the majors after the Yankees designated Chris Carter for assignment on June 24. Though Austin avoided the DL in 2016, he has missed chunks of time with various injuries every year from 2012 to 2015. Austin, among the Yankees' top hitting prospects, homered in his major-league debut last August and hit five long balls in 31 games with the Yankees in 2016.

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14. Chad Green, RHP

Team: Yankees Bats/Throws: Left/Right Drafted: No. 336 overall
(Credit: AP / John Bazemore)

Team: Yankees
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Drafted: No. 336 overall in 2013 by Tigers
Born: May 24, 1991
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210 lbs.
ETA: 2017
The Yankees acquired Green from the Tigers along with Luis Cessa in a deal for Justin Wilson in December 2015. Green went 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA, 1.401 WHIP and 52 strikeouts in 12 appearances with the Yankees last season. He was involved in the competition for the Yankees' No. 5 starter role but lost out to Jordan Montgomery. Green's fastball sits between 93-95 mph and he features an above-average slider and cutter. The righthander started the year in the rotation for Scranton/Wilkes Barre, but has mostly been used out of the bullpen since getting promoted in late May.

15. Estevan Florial, OF

Team: Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A) Bats/Throws: Left/Right Signed: March
(Credit: Charleston RiverDogs / Zach Bland)

Team: Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A)
Bats/Throws: Left/Right
Signed: March 19, 2015 by Yankees
Born: Nov. 11, 1997 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Height: 6-1
Weight: 185 lbs.
ETA: 2020
Florial emerged as one of the top players during the 2014-15 international signing period, but after some controversy surrounding his identity, the Yankees landed him for a fraction of the cost. The youngster has above average power and plus speed, arm strength and fielding grades. Florial has the ability to hit to all fields, but he has a tendency to strikeout, something the 19-year-old should improve upon as he gets more plate appearances.

16. Wilkerman Garcia, SS

Team: Staten Island Yankees (Low-A) Bats/Throws: Switch/Right Signed:
(Credit: AP / Tom Priddy)

Team: Staten Island Yankees (Low-A)
Bats/Throws: Switch/Right
Signed: July 2, 2014 by Yankees
Born: April 1, 1998 in Maracay, Venezuela
Height: 6-0
Weight: 176 lbs.
ETA: 2020
Garcia also was signed as part of the 2014-15 international class. The Yankees have said Garcia needs to get bigger. There have been questions about whether he'll stay at shortstop because of concerns with his speed and arm strength, both of which have above average grades. Garcia struggled offensively in rookie ball last season, slashing .198/.255/.284 with one home run, 13 RBIs and 21 runs in 54 games, but the Yankees expect the switch-hitter to turn things around.

17. Nolan Martinez, RHP

Team: Pulaski Yankees (Rookie) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Drafted: No.
(Credit: AP / Mike Janes)

Team: Pulaski Yankees (Rookie)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Drafted: No. 98 overall in 2016 by Yankees
Born: June 30, 1998 in Culver City, California
Height: 6-2
Weight: 165 lbs.
ETA: 2020
Initially committed to San Diego State, Martinez signed with the Yankees last June after they drafted him in the third round. Martinez had limited experience as a pitcher entering his senior year of high school but emerged as a top prospect after going 8-2 with a 0.49 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings. At 18, Martinez has a lot of room to grow. His fastball averages between 89-92 mph and tops out at 95.

18. Dermis Garcia, 3B

Team: Pulaski Yankees (Rookie) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Signed: July
(Credit: AP / Tom Priddy)

Team: Pulaski Yankees (Rookie)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Signed: July 2, 2014
Born: Jan. 7, 1998 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Height: 6-3
Weight: 200 lbs.
ETA: 2020
Garcia is yet another Yankees signee from the 2014-15 international class. He's touted for his power, and while he didn't homer in his 2015 debut with the Gulf Coast Yankees, Garcia finished second in the Appalachian League with 13 long balls last season. Garcia also led the Appalachian League with 79 strikeouts as he searches for consistency at the plate.

19. Dillon Tate, RHP

Team: Tampa Yankees (High-A) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Drafted: No.
(Credit: AP / Ron Jenkins)

Team: Tampa Yankees (High-A)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Drafted: No. 4 overall in 2015 by Rangers
Born: May 1, 1994 in Harbor City, California
Height: 6-2
Weight: 165 lbs.
ETA: 2019
Tate, who the Yankees acquired from the Rangers as the big piece in the Carlos Beltran deal at last year's deadline, didn't get an invite to big-league spring training this season after struggling with his mechanics. The righthander was unimpressive as a middle reliever last season with Charleston and then in Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, but the Yankees hope he he can regain his plus fastball and above-average slider that made him the top pitcher off the board in the 2015 draft.

20. Ian Clarkin, LHP

Team: Tampa Yankees (High-A) Bats/Throws: Left/Left Drafted: No.
(Credit: Mark LoMoglio)

Team: Tampa Yankees (High-A)
Bats/Throws: Left/Left
Drafted: No. 33 overall in 2013 by Yankees
Born: Feb. 14, 1995 in San Diego, California
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215 lbs.
ETA: 2018
Clarkin has battled several injuries since signing with the Yankees in 2013. He suffered an ankle injury that delayed the start of his pro career with the Gulf Coast Yankees that summer, then dealt with an elbow injury in 2015. Last season he underwent surgery after suffering a torn meniscus in his knee. Clarkin's fastball averages between 90-93 mph and tops out at 95. He has above average grades on both his curveball and changeup, and if he's able to stay on the field, he could develop into a mid-tier starter.

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