MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breaking down the Yanks' 2016 Top 30 Prospects

Speedy Mateo headlines impressive shortstop, international contingents on list

Breaking down the Yanks' 2016 Top 30 Prospects

These aren't George Steinbrenner's spend-spend-spend and farm-system-be-damned Yankees. New York still had the game's second-highest payroll last year at $223.6 million, but it's also more committed to developing from within than at any time since the Core Four came along in the mid-1990s.

Luis Severino and Greg Bird made major contributions during the Yankees' Wild Card run a year ago, and the club has several more rookies poised to make an impact in the near future. Outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez should get big league at-bats in 2016 and become regulars the following season, while relievers Jacob Lindgren, James Pazos and Bryan Mitchell should help form the bridge in what might be baseball's best bullpen.

Yankees' 2016 Top 30 Prospects list

Top 30 Prospects lists
Division Teams/Release date
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WAS
AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
NL Central CHC, CINMIL, PIT, STL
AL Central CLE, CWS, DET, KC, MIN
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX

New York has been aggressive on the international market, landing several of its top prospects (shortstops Jorge Mateo and Wilkerman Garcia, Sanchez, right-hander Domingo Acevedo) and building depth at shortstop and in the outfield. The Yankees also reinforced their system with a strong 2015 Draft that provided seven of their Top 30 Prospects, including their first four picks (polished right-handers James Kaprielian and Drew Finley, shortstop Kyle Holder, lefty Jeff Degano) and intriguing later finds such as righty Chance Adams (fifth round), third baseman Donny Sands (eighth) and outfielder Trey Amburgey (13th).

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2015 preseason list to the 2016 preseason list.

Jump: Wilkerman Garcia, SS (2015: NR | 2016: 5)
Fall: Domingo German, RHP (2015: 12 | 2016: NR)

Best tools
Players are graded on a 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.

Hit: Rob Refsnyder (55)
Power: Gary Sanchez (60)
Run: Jorge Mateo (80)
Arm: Gary Sanchez (70)
Defense: Kyle Holder (65)
Fastball: Domingo Acevedo (80)
Curveball: Drew Finley (60)
Slider: Jacob Lindgren (65)
Changeup: James Kaprielian (55)
Control: Jordan Montgomery (55)

How they were built
Draft: 21
International: 9

Breakdown by ETA
2016: 10
2017: 6
2018: 8
2019: 6

Breakdown by position
C: 2
1B: 0
2B: 2
3B: 2
SS: 5
OF: 7
RHP: 7
LHP: 5

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.