The Yankees have one of the best minor league systems in baseball. It’s strong at the top with Top Prospects like Jasson Dominguez and Spencer Jones, but also incredibly deep. The Yankees Complex League team was among the most talented teams in the entire minor leagues. There will be several Major Leaguers that emerge from that team – some could be impact players.
While the hitting side of the equation is strong, the pitching side is not far behind. They have a number of pitchers that should be ready to contribute in New York next season. Drew Thorpe was excellent with one of the best change-up/slider combinations I saw all year. Will Warren and Chase Hampton have a mid-rotation upside.
The larger question is how many of the 27 prospects on this list will stay with the Yankees long enough to wear pinstripes? I hope many of them will, as the Yankees can remake their Major League team over the next few years with a core of high-end homegrown players.
- Top Prospect: Jasson Dominguez
- Biggest Mover: Drew Thorpe and Henry LeLane
- Biggest Disappointment: Austin Wells
- Emerging Prospect: Brando Mayea
1. Jasson Dominguez (OF)
- Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 20 OF
- Tools Summary: Plus bat and foot speed with a feel to hit. He looked great in his MLB Debut and then blew out his elbow.
I think I’ve heard more comments about Jasson Dominguez than any other prospect in recent memory. There is the side that doesn’t believe he’ll be more than an average Major League outfielder, and on the opposite side, there are people who think he should have started the 2023 season in the Major Leagues. It’s easy to say that I fall into the middle somewhere, but I land far North of those who believe he’ll be an average Major Leaguer.
He has a strong wrist that produces impressive bat speed. Consequently, it’s not a big swing, and he appears to flick his wrist, and balls are hit a long way. He started the season very passive, but when I saw him in mid-May, he attacked pitches. He will chase pitches, particularly breaking and off-speed pitches, but it’s not something that I think will limit him long-term. His body resembles an older player’s and reminds me of Jose Ramirez. I timed him to first, and he’s more of a 65 runner than the 70 to 80-grade runner he was just a couple of years ago.
It’s all there for him to be a star, and while I believe the Yankees need to be careful with his development, they disagreed and promoted him to New York in September, where he raked. Unfortunately, he blew out his elbow and will miss considerable time in 2024. Assuming health, he has star potential.
2. Spencer Jones (OF)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 OF
- Tools Summary: There is speed, power, and the potential for significant swing-and-miss in his game.
Spencer Jones had a terrific 2023 campaign, spending the bulk of the season in High-A, where he slashed .268/.337/450 with 13 home runs and 35 stolen bases. Once the High-A season finished, he went on to Double-A to extend his season another three weeks, slashing .261/.333/406 in 17 games.
There’s more speed than I initially thought, and while the power has yet to really show, it’s in there. What is also there are strikeouts. He’s 6-foot-6, and while that is the same size as Aaron Judge, his swing is considerably longer; therefore, the likelihood of significant swing and miss is higher. Plus, the injury history of “big guys” is not good.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Jones, and he’s a Top 50 prospect in the game for me, but he’s not Aaron Judge. He’ll hit for power and steal bases early in his career, but there will be pressure on his batting average, and let’s face it, the longevity of players his size is not good. Just know your parameters, and don’t over-evaluate him.
3. Everson Pereira (OF)
- Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 OF with upside
- Tools Summary: There is 20+ home run pop with speed early in his career. There continue to be questions about how much contact he will make.
At age 22, the tools of Everson Pereira started to turn into production in 2023. He slashed .300/.373/.548 across 81 games in Double and Triple-A but struck out too much (28.6% K-Rate). I thought he needed more time in Double-A, but the Yankees promoted him to Triple-A. I then thought he needed more time in Triple-A, and they promoted him to New York in late August.
While it was a small sample size, he struggled mightily in his call-up, slashing .151/.233/.194 with nearly a 40% K-Rate. He’s obviously much better than this, but he’s going through an adjustment period.
The ceiling is a number four outfielder with upside if he can learn to make better contact. It should come with 20+ home run pop and 8 to 10 stolen bases, but with pressure on his batting average. This was my assessment in pre-season, mid-season, and before the callup. If you’re an owner and looking for encouraging signs, despite his struggles in the big leagues, he hit the ball hard with a max exit velo of 112 MPH. The talent is there. He needs more time to develop.
4. Drew Thorpe (RHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP with upside
- Tools Summary: One of the breakout pitchers in 2023 who showed swing-and-miss stuff while pounding the strike zone.
Drew Thorpe was drafted out of Cal Poly in the second round in 2022. He’s had an impressive season across High and Double-A for the Yankees, pitching to a 2.52 ERA while striking out 11.8 per nine. His sinker sits 91 to 93 MPH, touching 94. His change-up is his best pitch and is the primary reason for his early success. The slider has improved, and when I saw him in Double-A, he was able to bury it to left-handed batters away.
His ability to throw strikes is the separator for me. I originally put his ceiling as a number four starter. However, I’m moving that up to a number three starter, which might be light. I think he moves quickly, and as long as the change-up and slider keep working, he has a chance to win many games for the Yankees.
5. Roderick Arias (SS)
- Highest Level: Complex ETA: 2026-27 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 SS with risk
- Tools Summary: Toolsy shortstop with a feel to hit. There is impact potential in the bat.
Roderick Arias was the Yankees big International signee in January of 2021, signing for $4 million. He was hurt for part of 2022 and only hit .194 in 31 games in the DSL. The Yankees brought him stateside in 2023, and he played extremely well, slashing .267/.423/.505 with six home runs, and 17 stolen bases.
He shows a nice feel to hit with more power from the left side and excellent bat speed. Once he fills out, over-the-fence power should emerge. Long-term, he has 20+ home run power with speed early in his career. He’s always been compared to Xander Bogaerts, and he’s done nothing to dispel that notion.
6. Jared Serna (SS/2B/3B)
- Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025-26 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B
- Tools Summary: He’s showing an excellent understanding of the strike zone with bat speed and above-average speed.
Jared Serna was a much-talked-about prospect in 2022 but was hurt most of the season, and when he finally got into games, he struggled. 2023 was different, as he made excellent contact (16% K-Rate) while not being overly aggressive. He showed hard contact in Low-A, but the power disappeared after his promotion to High-A. I’m not too worried about that, as there is enough bat speed to project at least average future power.
The Yankees have been playing him all over the infield, but he’ll likely land at second or third. The upside is a full-time regular with speed and power (15-15 player with upside.)
7. Chase Hampton (RHP)
- Highest Level: Double-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP
- Tools Summary: He has a plus fastball-slider combination but is still searching for that third pitch. The delivery is solid, and he’ll likely throw more strikes over time.
Chase Hampton was the Yankees’ 6th-round pick in 2022 after a solid career at Texas Tech. The Yankees held him back at the Complex in 2022 and assigned him to High-A to begin the 2023 season. He’s pitched well, flashing a 92 to 94 MPH fastball (T 95), a solid curveball, and a below-average change-up. He pitches with confidence and has a simple delivery that, over time, he should be able to repeat consistently. The Yankees did well here, with Hampton looking like a mid-rotation starter, maybe more if he can develop a better change-up.
8. Henry Lalane (LHP)
- Highest Level: Complex ETA: 2026-27 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 SP with extreme risk
- Tools Summary: 6-foot-7 lefty who is projectable but is touching 97 and throwing strikes.
Henry Lalane turned heads last summer in Florida. First, 6-foot-7 lefties are rare, and when you combine that with a fastball that will touch 97, it draws attention. He’s still very projectable, and the velocities will likely increase as he puts on weight. He’s flashing a quality slider, but his change-up still needs work. Most importantly, he pounded the strike zone, walking only 1.7 per nine. The ceiling looks sky-high, but he’s still a long way off.
9. Will Warren (RHP)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 45 SP
- Tools Summary: Some of the best spin rates in the minor leagues with a fastball that sits 94 to 95 MPH. He doesn’t always throw strikes, but that arsenal will play at the next level.
Will Warren started the season in Double-A and had no trouble. He pitched to a 2.45 ERA in six starts, striking out nearly 12 per nine and walking 3.7 per nine. The effort got him a late promotion to Triple-A. He’s got some of the best spin rates in all of baseball, with his fastball clocking in at 2606 and his sweeper and curveball both well over 2900 RPM. His fastball has plenty of gitty-up – sitting 94 to 95 and scraping 97. There is some effort in his delivery, which might point to a bullpen role. He doesn’t always throw strikes, and the location can be spotty. However, he’s a statcast Darling, and if you trust data, he should be able to perform in either role effectively at the next level.
10. Clayton Beeter (RHP)
- Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 60 SP or Reliever
- Tools Summary: He struggles to throw strikes with an average fastball. The slider is a plus offering, but he rarely throws his change-up.
Clayton Beeter was the player the Yankees received from the Dodgers in exchange for Joey Gallo at the trade deadline in 2022. Based on how Gallo played with the Yankees, anything they could get was impressive. The arsenal is solid, but the delivery has effort, and he’s never been able to throw consistent strikes.
The fastball sits 94 to 95 and tops out at 97 MPH. It doesn’t have great spin and should produce average whiff rates. The slider is plus and gets a high whiff rate. The change-up has excellent characteristics, but he doesn’t throw it enough and, consequently, has some platoon splits that could be neutralized if he had more confidence in the pitch.
However, it’s about control, and it’s something that’s lacking. He walked 4.6 per nine in Double-A and 5.6 per nine in Triple-A. That will not cut it at the highest level, and that is why I still have the ceiling as a back-of-the-rotation, or more likely, a bullpen arm.