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New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects: Gary Sanchez Ranked No. 1 By MLB Prospect Watch

Rookie pitcher David Phelps is showing that young players can come through the farm system and help the New York Yankees. Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE
Rookie pitcher David Phelps is showing that young players can come through the farm system and help the New York Yankees. Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

A power-hitting catcher was the New York Yankees' top minor-league prospect a season ago. As we hit the end of the 2012 season, a power-hitting catcher is once again atop the list of Yankees' prospects.

Only, Jesus Montero is now a member of the Seattle Mariners -- having been traded last winter for pitcher Michael Pineda. The new top prospect is Gary Sanchez, a 19-year-old who played this season at Class A Tampa, according to MLB Prospect Watch, which updated its 2012 rankings this month.

Sanchez is ranked No. 3 overall among catching prospects, and No. 41 overall.

The top 5 Yankees' prospects, per Prospect Watch, are:

  1. Sanchez
  2. Mason Williams (OF)
  3. Tyler Austin (OF)
  4. Manny Banuelos (LHP)
  5. Slade Heathcott (OF)

Banuelos had an injury-plagued season, pitching in only six games, and went from the 13th-ranked prospect overall to the 98th spot. Right-handed pitcher Dellin Betances had a miserable season, going 6-9 with a 6.44 ERA at two levels. Betances dropped fromt he organization's No. 2 overall prospect to No. 17, and dropped out of the top 100 from No. 41, where he began the season. Williams, the organization's second-ranked prospect, is No. 26 overall.