The Times-Tribune’s annual countdown of the top 10 Yankees prospects is back. Here’s what happens: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders beat writer Conor Foley ranks 15 prospects, Donnie Collins ranks 15 prospects, and then they’re averaged together. The list takes into account ETA for the big leagues. You’re going to find some guys who might not have ceilings as high as others, but who instead could be in a position to help the Yankees sooner.
Power, power and more power. Chris Gittens puts on a batting practice show that rivals the Judges and Stantons and Gallos or the world, and he’s shown it in games, too, during the alternate site period. As with any power hitter of his caliber, there’s some strikeout potential, but this month he’s shown that he also has the ability to control the zone. He seems ticketed for Triple-A this year, where he’ll also get to hit big league balls for the first time in his career.
Position: First baseman
Acquired: Yankees’ 12th-round draft pick in 2014 out of Grayson County College in Denison, Texas.
SWB ETA: 2021
What about last year?
Didn’t get an invite to the Yankees’ alternate site at PNC Field, though he did appear in 12 spring training games, batting .125 (6 for 24) with a home run, four walks and 17 strikeouts. Had the best season of his career in 2019, when he won the Double-A Eastern League’s most valuable player award. In 115 games, batted .281 with a .893 OPS. He launched 23 home runs, 16 doubles, one triple, drove in 77 runs, walked 71 times and struck out 139 times.
Check out this BP round from Chris Gittens. Two of the easiest looking swings you’ll see result in two oppo homers, then he loads up and sends one *high* off the ads in left. pic.twitter.com/pdjjWKgqwN
— Conor Foley (@RailRidersTT) April 9, 2021
#Yankees’ Chris Gittens just put on a show in his final round of BP that had his teammates screaming. Exit velos of these last three homers:
118 mph (bomb) pic.twitter.com/2SYHGOb3fo
— Conor Foley (@RailRidersTT) April 13, 2021
— Conor Foley (@RailRidersTT) April 19, 2021
Chris Gittens just put a ball on the walkway. The wows you hear are coming from his teammates in the dugout. Crazy power.
Rob Brantly dinged one off the foul pole to go back to back. pic.twitter.com/ScJrjL8ftQ
— Conor Foley (@RailRidersTT) April 24, 2021
Tell me something good
Here are parts of some scouting reports from national outlets:
- Fangraphs: “… Based on the data I have, he led all minor leaguers in 2019 average exit velo at a whopping 96 mph. …”
Photo: New York Yankees
Conor Foley goes beyond the box score with in-depth coverage of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. He has worked at The Times-Tribune since graduating from University of Scranton in 2011, and he has covered the RailRiders since 2017. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9125; or @railridersTT