Bonus Yankees Prospects: Nos. 21-25
21. Ty Hensley, rhp. It pained me to leave him off the Top 20, because the 2012 first-rounder has some of the best stuff in the system with a 92-95 mph fastball and a 12-to-6 curveball — when healthy. But Hensley’s postdraft physical revealed shoulder abnormalities and he missed all of last year following hip surgery, so I decided to wait and see how his stuff will hold up over a (hopefully) full season in 2014.
22. Jake Cave, of. Some clubs liked him more as a pitcher when they saw him in high school, but the Yankees gave him $800,000 as a sixth-round pick in 2011 to become a full-time outfielder. Cave fractured his right kneecap in his first pro game and missed all of 2012 when it didn’t heal properly. He returned in 2013, showing a polished bat with present doubles power and the promise of some future home-run pop, and his instincts may allow him to stay in center field.
23. Nik Turley, lhp. The 1,502nd and third-to-last player selected in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, he gave up a Brigham Young scholarship to sign for $125,000. A four-pitch lefty who was mentored by Andy Pettitte, Turley misses bats with average stuff but needs to throw more strikes.
24. Peter O’Brien, c/3b. The Yankees loves his raw power and arm strength, and he did hit 22 homers between two Class A stops in his first full pro season. They think O’Brien has a chance to make it as a catcher with a fallback as a third baseman, while other teams question his athleticism and defensive ability and think he’ll have to be a first baseman or DH.
25. Robert Refsnyder, 2b. The MVP of the 2012 College World Series after leading Arizona to the national title, Refsnyder converted from right field to second base in his first full pro season. He’s a line-drive hitter who’s making strides at his new position.
My favorite deep sleeper: Tyler Wade, ss. A fourth-round pick in 2013, he got overshadowed by the Yankees’ three first-rounders (Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Ian Clarkin) and sweet-swinging second-rounder Gosuke Katoh. But Wade is starting to make a name for himself with his solid all-around ability.