Baseball America it out with its list of the Top 100 prospects in the minor leagues right now, and the publications joins several other groups in singing the praises of the top-tier talent available in the New York Yankees' farm system at the moment.
Baseball America lists highly-touted Yankee catching prospect Jesus Montero as its No. 3 overall prospect, behind only outfielders Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals) and Mike Trout (Anaheim Angels). SB Nation's Minor League Ball agrees with assessment of Montero, ranking him as the top catching prospect in the game for 2011.
In general, there is some disagreement over Montero's defensive ability behind the plate. There is little disagreement, though, that the 21-year-old has the potential to be a dominant major-league hitter.
There are five other Yankees on Baseball America's list of the top 100 -- and all are either pitchers or catchers.
Catcher Gary Sanchez, who is just 19, is listed at No. 30. There are some who think Sanchez could eventually push Montero to another position, such as designated hitter.
Manny Banuelos, a left-handed starting pitcher, is ranked No. 41. He is a diminutive 5-foot-10, 155-pounder, but he reportedly reaches about 94-95 mph with his fastball. The Yankees are hoping Banuelos will reach their rotation by 2012.
Dellin Betances is a flame-throwing 23-year-old right-handed starting pitcher who is ranked No. 43. In a recent profile the New York Post referred to the 6-foot-8, 270-pound Betances as the Yankees 'next big thing.' Betances is another player the Yankees are targeting for the 2012 rotation.
Andrew Brackman, a 25-year-old right-hander, is ranked No. 78. The Yankees have waited a long time for the 6-foot-10, 240-pound Brackman, who they selected in the first round of the 2007 draft. Brackman underwent Tommy John surgery and has been working on his mechanics ever since. He showed signs of doing so last season, pitching to a 3.01 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) at AA Trenton. If he continues to progress this season Brackman could find himself in the Bronx, possibly in the bullpen.
Austin Romine, the third of the Yankees highly-regarded catching prospects, is ranked No. 98 by Baseball America. Romine, 22, is another catcher who looks ticketed for a big-league career. With Montero ahead of him and Sanchez coming behind him the question for Romine is whether that career will be in New York or elsewhere.