Beyond The Top 20 DSL Prospects

We had over 40 players considered for our Top 20 DSL Yankee Prospects rankings. For those who barely missed the "Top 20", they have not been forgotten. As we take a look at the near misses we'll analyze how close they came, where they might rank next season and why they missed the list altogether. Now, let's look "Beyond the Top 20."

OF, Antonio Arias: Not only possessing the talent to be in the Top 20 but pretty high up in the rankings too, this Venezuelan native [in the photo above] is all about the long-term projection. Standing 6-foot-3 and wiry strong, he brings above average speed, plus raw defensive abilities, and the kind of frame that could really fill out in the coming years. He is a premium athlete who just needs to fine-tune his on the field skills but make no mistake, he could be one of the better prospects in the farm system by the time he reaches A-ball.

LHP, Anderson Diaz: This Dominican southpaw is deep 'REM' sleeper for the Yankees. An older signing [he turned 21 in December] he has a nice combination of size and stuff already, standing 6-foot-2, averaging 89-92 mph with his fastball, and showing an above average curveball with potential to turn it into a plus pitch. He has made just one professional appearance thus far and he has a long way to go to catch up to players his own age, but don't be surprised if he sneaks up on folks in the coming years.

RHP, Juan Escorcia: Another under the radar International signing this year, this Colombian native posted okay numbers in his brief debut season in 2014. He posted a solid 3.68 ERA despite actually walking more batters [15] than he struck out [14]. Hidden behind the numbers though is some real ability, including a fastball that began averaging 88 mph to sitting close to 91-92 mph by season's end and good spin with a quickly advancing breaking ball. He reportedly is a high makeup guy too with a solid delivery and he appears to ready to emerge as one of the better International pitching prospects for the Yankees sometime soon.

SS, Ricardo Ferreira: Another under the radar signing, all this Dominican native did was hit a .269 with more walks [22] than strikeouts [20] and swipe 15 bases in his debut season, all while learning how to switch hit. He has quickly received a lot of Junior Valera-like comparisons due his plus speed and need for more power, but he is already a better defensive shortstop version of Valera so he brings a bit more long-term value as a result. Anybody with two plus tools like he possesses needs to be on the radar, even with the lack of power.

1B, Kevin Gonzalez: Sleeper alert! Already considered one of the better prospect bargains in the farm system, it may not be long before this Venezuelan native is considered one of the better prospects overall in the farm system. Signed for under $10,000, this left-handed batter can flat-out hit. Sure he hit a robust .329 for DSL Yankees2 this past year in his debut season, but it's his stellar plate discipline, extremely good hands, and ability to use the whole field that should allow him to continue being one of the better hitters going forward. Should the 17-year old begin to reshape some of his baby fat into useful muscle mass and upgrade his rather average power potential he could turn into a bigger and stronger version of Ramon Flores -- he has that kind of hitting ability.

C, Jason Lopez: Buried amongst the numerous seven-figure International free agent signings last summer is this potential gem from Venezuela. Like most of the new signings he has yet to play an official minor league game but he already has been lumped into the Seitz-Navas-Vergel group [see below] as an advanced catch-and-throw guy, one who shows a mature offensive approach. The power is merely solid though so there probably isn't star potential long-term but there could be just enough of everything else to potentially be an everyday big league player someday.

C, Eduardo Navas: This Venezuelan native is one of many solid catching prospects the Yankees have at the lowest minor league levels that could force his way into long-term top catching prospect discussions in the coming years. The switch-hitter has quickly received some Francisco Cervelli comparisons for his already solid overall game on both sides of the ball, including advanced pitch recognition and willingness to use the whole field when he hits, and his above average catch and throw skills. He doesn't have big power and that limits his ceilings somewhat, but the rest of his game could allow him to develop into an eventual big league prospect.

RHP, Daniel Ramos: Big-time sleeper alert! This Dominican native is a prime example of how the Yankees have been able to prudently allocate their resources in the International market, spending big on bats that are more proven and finding inexpensive gems among the somewhat older and more developed arms on the pitching side. And Ramos could wind up falling into the Domingo Acevedo-Simon De La Rosa category as a sky-high ceiling pitcher who signed for very little money. He will range anywhere from 90-95 mph with his fastball right now with a quick arm action and loose delivery that conjures up images of Luis Severino, and he shows an advanced breaking ball. He's had a minor shoulder injury in the early going that bears watching but there's almost a limitless long-term ceiling that can't be ignored either.

C, Jerry Seitz: Anyone concerned with the Yankees being restricted from signing top dollar International free agents over the next two years as a result of blowing by their allotted International cap money in 2014 should look no further than this Venezuelan native as proof positive that the Yankees can find some hidden inexpensive gems. Already an advanced catch-and-throw backstop, Seitz's bat has come along quicker than anticipated, hitting .333 in his debut season with intriguing power. The whole game on both sides of the ball is solid and he virtually has no weaknesses in his game. Like Navas the ceiling isn't enormous but the floor is better than most.

OF, Dario Unda: This Venezuelan native chipped in with a solid professional debut season in 2014, hitting .307 in the Dominican Summer League and showing some good gap power. He shows good patience at the plate and a real knack for putting the ball in play. A left-handed batter, he gets some Ramon Flores-like comps already due to a similar size and frame, his advanced feel for hitting, and the fact that he's more of a corner outfielder defensively. And like Flores the tools are more average than anything so the ceiling isn't nearly as vast as it is with some others, especially in the power department, so he will have to continue to hit his way up through the minor leagues like Flores has.

OF, Pedro Urena: Power is not a problem in this Dominican native's game. Standing 6-foot-3 and continuing to fill out his already strong frame, he has clubbed 13 home runs in his first 440 professional at-bats. He has above average long-term power potential and he can run a little bit for a burgeoning slugger too, enough to potentially man a corner outfield position. Different than Unda, however, there is a bit more swing and miss to his game right now so he will need to refine his offensive approach going forward. If he can become a better and more consistent hitter he could begin to move up the prospect rankings given his power potential.

C, David Vergel: Catcher Alvaro Noriega seems poised to break out sometime soon at the Gulf Coast League level as one of the better two-way catching prospects in the organization and Vergel, a Venezuelan native who will turn 18 years old later this month, is a younger version of Noriega with a similar overall skill set. Don't let his .179 average in his debut season in the Dominican Summer League last season fool you, he has some real long-term hitting ability and he's already a plus catch-and-throw backstop.


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