This story was excerpted from Bryan Hoch’s Yankees Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.
There’s a new face at the top of the Yankees’ prospect rankings, as Spencer Jones continues to make his mark with High-A Hudson Valley.
The Yankees’ first-round selection in the 2022 MLB Draft, Jones received a brief introduction to pro ball late last summer, then hit the ground running with the Renegades this year.
Through 92 South Atlantic League games, Jones has batted .264/.333/.449 with 26 doubles, four triples, 12 homers, 52 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He’s also struck out 125 times in 379 at-bats, a figure the Yanks will look to reduce.
The 6-foot-6 outfielder has netted comparisons to Aaron Judge for his size, though Jones swings the bat from the left side of the plate. Jones represented the Yankees at this summer’s All-Star Futures Game in Seattle.
“The goal isn’t to be a great Minor League player, it’s to be a great Major League player,” Jones recently told NJ Advance Media. “I want to be remembered as my own player. I don’t want to be in somebody else’s shadow.”
Here’s a look at the Yankees’ top prospects:
1. Spencer Jones, OF (MLB No. 78)
2. Jasson Domínguez, OF (MLB No. 79)
3. Everson Pereira, OF (MLB No. 80)
4. Chase Hampton, RHP
5. Drew Thorpe, RHP
Complete Top 30 list »
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Chase Hampton, RHP (Preseason: 26 | Midseason: 4) — A Texas Tech product, Hampton went from the sixth round of the 2022 Draft to the Yankees’ best pitching prospect in less than a year. His fastball, curveball and slider all play as plus pitches at their best, as does a cutter that he has added since turning pro.
Fall: Luis Gil, RHP (Preseason: 16 | Midseason: Not ranked) — Gil has missed the 2023 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Though he has been throwing live batting practice at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla., Gil is not expected to return until 2024.
New to the list
Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:
6: George Lombard Jr., SS (1st-round Draft pick)
15. Kyle Carr, LHP (3rd-round Draft pick)
19. Roc Riggio, 2B (4th-round Draft pick)
Impact callup — Randy Vásquez, RHP (No. 14)
Injuries have created an opportunity for Vásquez to receive an extended opportunity in the Yankees’ rotation down the stretch. He has become one of New York’s best pitching prospects since signing for $10,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2018, showing the ability to miss bats with a power, high-spin curveball in the low 80s, a 93-95 mph four-seam fastball that touches 100 and a mid-80s slider.
As Vásquez said after his most recent outing on Friday: “I’m still developing, so I feel like every start is an opportunity for me to learn and feel more comfortable at this level.”
Players are graded on a traditional 20-80 scouting scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 55 — Jared Serna (Brando Mayea, Ben Rice, Riggio)
Power: 55 — Domínguez (Tyler Hardman, Jones, Lombard Jr., Mayea, Pereira, Agustin Ramirez, Austin Wells)
Run: 70 — Mayea
Arm: 70 — Roderick Arias
Defense: 55 — Lombard Jr. (Arias, Rice)
Fastball: 60 — Hampton (Clayton Beeter, Richard Fitts, Yoendrys Gómez, Justin Lange, Danny Watson)
Curveball: 60 — Vásquez
Slider: 65 — Beeter
Changeup: 65 — Thorpe (Edgar Barclay)
Control: 55 — Fitts (Brendan Beck, Brock Selvidge, Thorpe)