NEW YORK -- The restocked Yankees farm system has been the talk of baseball in recent months. Accordingly, the organization is well represented with seven of MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects entering 2017, including Gleyber Torres, who is ranked the No. 3 overall prospect.Clint Frazier, Blake Rutherford, Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo,
NEW YORK -- The restocked Yankees farm system has been the talk of baseball in recent months. Accordingly, the organization is well represented with seven of MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects entering 2017, including Gleyber Torres, who is ranked the No. 3 overall prospect.
Clint Frazier, Blake Rutherford, Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian and Justus Sheffield also appear on the Top 100 list. No other organization had more players make the list; the Braves also had seven players selected.
• MLB Pipeline's 2017 Top 100 Prospects list
:: Complete 2017 Top Prospects coverage ::
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2017 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Torres saw his stock rise on the strength of his excellent performance in the Arizona Fall League, when the shortstop became the league's youngest Most Valuable Player in history at age 19, leading the AFL in batting average (.403), on-base percentage (.513) and OPS (1.158) while finishing second in slugging percentage (.645).
The centerpiece of last July's Albertin Chapman trade with the Cubs, Torres jumped 14 spots after being listed as the game's No. 17 prospect at midseason. Torres hit .270/.354/.421 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 125 games between Myrtle Beach and Tampa -- the Cubs' and Yanks' Class A Advanced affiliates, respectively -- this past year. He projects to open 2017 with Double-A Trenton.
"You have to feel proud to be with these talented players, but you've got to stay humble," Torres said at the Yankees' recent Winter Warm-Up event in New York City. "You've got to keep working hard and got to keep your mindset for the future. You want to focus on the game and the future."
Frazier appears at No. 24, down nine places from midseason. The 22-year-old outfielder was a key piece of the Andrew Miller trade with the Indians, and he is said to have "legendary" bat speed, according to general manager Brian Cashman. Frazier batted .263/.335/.447 with 27 doubles, five triples, 16 homers, 55 RBIs and 13 stolen bases at the Double-A (Akron) and Triple-A (Columbus, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) levels this past year.
"Being around guys like Reggie Jackson, Alexander Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, guys like that, was the amazing part," Frazier said. "The exciting part was I get to continue to further my career with another organization. I'm blessed to be here."
Rutherford pops up at No. 37, jumping 14 places from midseason. The 19-year-old outfielder was selected 18th overall this past June and saw 33 games of professional action after agreeing to a $3.28 million signing bonus, hitting .351/.415/.570 with eight doubles, four triples, three homers and 12 RBIs in the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League.
Judge is ranked No. 45, having dropped 23 places from midseason. The slugger struggled in his first taste of big league duty, batting .179 with 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats, but he posted a .270/.366/.489 slash line with 19 homers and 65 RBIs at Triple-A. Judge turns 25 in April and will compete to serve as the Yanks' Opening Day right fielder this spring.
Mateo is just below Judge at No. 47, down 29 places from midseason. It was a rough year for the speedy infielder, who batted .254/.306/.379 with 16 doubles, nine triples, eight homers, 47 RBIs and 36 stolen bases in 113 games with Tampa. An unspecified violation of team policy cost him an appearance at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, and the 21-year-old moved to second base following Torres' acquisition.
Kaprielian moved into the Top 100 at No. 58. The right-hander was limited to just 18 Minor League innings this past year due to a right flexor strain -- striking out 22 against three walks -- but he returned to touch 97 mph in the Arizona Fall League, helping restore confidence that he is ready to be part of the next wave of impactful prospects.
"I think if we get enough of us pushing each other toward the right path, we're going to be pretty good," Kaprielian said.
Ranked as the No. 79 prospect, Sheffield made the jump to Class A Advanced ball in 2016, going 7-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 19 starts for the Indians' Carolina League affiliate before being traded to the Yankees in July. The left-hander was 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA in five starts for Tampa before making one start at the Double-A level, and he has the makings of an above-average three-pitch mix.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.