Where They Would Have Ranked

Melky Mesa is becoming a better hitter

Known for keeping our Top 50 rankings just to players still in the minor leagues, we now offer up where players with big league service time, but still technically rookies, would have ranked.

1. Mason Williams
2. Gary Sanchez
3. Tyler Austin
4. Manny Banuelos
5. Slade Heathcott
6. Rafael DePaula
7. Jose Campos
8. Bryan Mitchell
9. Ty Hensley
10. Ramon Flores
11. Nik Turley
12. Mark Montgomery

RHP, Dellin Betances - The numbers for the 6-foot-9 right-hander in 2012 [6-9, 6.44 ERA, 99 walks in 131.1 innings] were beyond brutal for the once highly-thought of prospect. He simply hasn't been able to repeat his delivery consistent enough to throw enough strikes deep into games. However, stuff-wise there still isn't a better equipped pitcher in the farm system, boasting the best fastball-curveball-changeup combination around. A closer look inside the dreadful numbers reveals that he just might be better suited for the bullpen though after sporting a 7.43 ERA in the fourth inning of his games this year and a whopping 15.65 ERA in the fifth inning of games, proving he could be a very effective late-inning reliever if he knew he was just pitching one inning at a time. Time is running out for him but it's still too early to jump ship on him entirely.

13. Angelo Gumbs
14. Corban Joseph
15. David Adams
16. Greg Bird
17. J.R. Murphy
18. Dante Bichette Jr.

OF, Melky Mesa - Long lauded for his plus tools -- boasting plus power, plus speed, plus defense, and plus-plus arm strength -- folks haven't really recognized the fact that he has become a somewhat decent hitter over the years. He hit a career-high .264 this past season [his highest since hitting .260 during his Florida State League Hitter of the Year season in 2010] between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton, and he also struck out fewer times than games played for the first time ever in his career. Another great sign for the player who was extremely vulnerable against right-handed breaking balls was his ability to hit over .300 against them in Trenton this past season. Far from a long-term big league given, he's showing he could surprise some folks if given the chance.

19. Ravel Santana
20. Jose Ramirez

RHP, Adam Warren - The adage goes you never get a second chance to make a good first impression and in that sense it could be difficult for fans to forget Warren's big league debut in 2012 that saw him surrender eight hits and six earned runs in two plus innings against the Chicago White Sox. However, he responded with a solid 3.52 ERA after being sent back down to Triple-A and his 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings in the final month of the season was his highest ratio ever in two years at the Triple-A level, suggesting he made the necessary adjustment. His breaking pitches still remain average at best and he projects more as a middle [and perhaps more accurately] to back-end starting pitcher for the Yankees, but he still has some real big league value.

21. Matt Tracy
22. Cito Culver
23. Brett Marshall

C, Austin Romine - Defensively, Romine is an above average backstop in nearly every phase of the game. However, he has had a rough go of it health-wise over the past two seasons and that's why his stock has fallen, especially considering his back issues, never a good thing for any player but especially a catcher, plagued him all season. He still shows a big league approach at the plate and there's some hidden power in his swing, but he just needs to stay healthy for a significant length of time before the team can be sold on him being an internal answer and mainstay at the catcher's spot.

24. Branden Pinder
25. Nick Goody
26. Corey Black
27. Evan Rutckyj
28. Giovanny Gallegos
29. Gabe Encinas
30. Peter O'Brien
31. Daniel Camarena
32. Jake Cave
33. Rony Bautista
34. Miguel Andujar
35. Austin Aune
36. Jordan Cote
37. Tommy Kahnle
38. Angel Rincon
39. Chase Whitley
40. Chaz Hebert
41. Anderson Feliz
42. Zach Nuding
43. Zoilo Almonte
44. Abraham Almonte
45. Claudio Custodio
46. Luis Niebla
47. Caleb Frare
48. Francisco Rondon
49. Ben Gamel
50. Rob Refsnyder

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