Jesus Montero, a catcher, is considered the top position-player prospect...

Jesus Montero, a catcher, is considered the top position-player prospect in the Yankees' minor-league system. (Feb. 19, 2010) Credit: AP

TOP FIVE POSITION PLAYERS

JESUS MONTERO, 20, C, signed as non-drafted free agent, 2006. Last year: Tampa (A); Trenton (AA). This year:Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA). Projected MLB date: 2011 if not sooner.

Ability with bat could get Montero, Baseball America's fourth- rated prospect in the majors, to the Bronx sooner than expected, though he will have to prove it at Triple-A first.

AUSTIN ROMINE, 21, C, drafted 2007, second round.
Last year:Tampa (A). This year: Trenton (AA). Projected MLB date: 2012.

Not the threat at the plate Montero is, but not that far behind, and considered better defensively. An exceptional athlete.

SLADE HEATHCOTT, 19, OF, drafted 2009, first round (29th overall).
Last year: GCL Yankees (R). This year: Charleston (A). Projected MLB date: 2013.

Baseball America tabbed Heathcott as one of a handful of five-tool players in last year's draft. But some knee and shoulder injuries, as well as off-the-field concerns, kept many teams away. Yankees felt they got a steal.

GARY SANCHEZ, 17, C, signed as a non-drafted free agent, 2009.
Last year: -- This year: GCL Yankees (R). Projected MLB date: 2014 or 2015.

Has good bat speed, can hit for power and possesses a plus arm. Yankees signed Sanchez out of the Dominican Republic for $3 million, the fourth-largest bonus in franchise history.

J.R. MURPHY, 18, C, drafted 2009, second round.
Last year: GCL Yankees (R). This year: Charleston (A). Projected MLB date: 2014.

Murphy's athleticism has some speculating that he might switch positions before getting to the big leagues.

TOP FIVE PITCHERS

ZACH McALLISTER, 22, RHP, drafted 2006, third round.
Last year: Trenton (AA). This year: Scranton (AAA). Projected MLB date: 2011.

Went 7-5 with a 2.23 ERA in Trenton. Not a power pitcher but has excellent command.

MANNY BANUELOS, 19, LHP, signed as non-drafted free agent, 2008.
Last year: Charleston (A); Tampa (A). This year: Tampa (A). Projected MLB date:2012.

Top-ranked lefty in the Yankees' system. Pitched well enough in low-A Charleston - 9-5, 2.67 ERA - to earn a late-season promotion to high-A Tampa. 

JEREMY BLEICH, 22, LHP, drafted in Compensation Round A (44th overall) of 2008 draft.
Last year: Tampa (A); Trenton (AA). This year: Trenton (AA).Projected MLB date:2012.

Struggled after his promotion to Double-A last summer. Fastball can reach mid-90s, but he needs work on secondary pitches.

ANDREW BRACKMAN, 24, RHP, drafted 2007, first round (30th overall).
Last year: Charleston (A). This year: Tampa (A). Projected MLB date: 2011 or 2012.

The 6-10, 232-pound Brackman was all over the place in his first full season of minor-league ball, going 2-12 with a 5.91 ERA, 76 walks and 26 wild pitches. Still a project, but manager Joe Girardi thought Brackman looked much more in command this spring than last.

BRYAN MITCHELL, 18, RHP, drafted 2009, 16th round.
Last year: Instructional League. This year: Charleston (A). Projected MLB date: 2013.

Signed late after after telling teams he was attending North Carolina. Fastball reaches 94 mph, curve was the best the Yankees found in the 2009 draft. Could be on a fast track if he pitches well this season.

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