Thursday, February 9, 2012

Four in Keith Law's top 100

Mason Williams ranked #34 on Law's list. Image thanks to

23. Banuelos
34. Mason Williams
55. Gary Sanchez
83. Dellin Betances

Notably, Jesus Montero was #9 and Gerrit Cole was #10.

As far as the Yankees organizational top 10, Keith Law had the Yankees ranked as follows.

1. Banuelos
2. Mason Williams
3. Gary Sanchez
4. Dellin Betances
5. Tyler Austin
6. Jose Campos
7.  Dante Bichette Jr.
8. Austin Romine
9. JR Murphy
10. Slade Heathcott

There are a couple of surprises with his rankings. First of all, Mason Williams ahead of both Gary Sanchez and Dellin Betances. He believes the only component of Mason Williams' game that is missing is strength, and that this will come with time. I can understand that view, but I think throwing him right to #34 was excessive. If he slumps this year he'll be out of the top 100, and then his ranking this year looks pretty bad. I'll say this, I think it is a bold move and I give him credit for that. This is easily the highest Mason Williams will be ranked by anyone.

The next surprise was Dellin Betances all the way down at #83. Law basically makes the argument that Betances is a reliever long term. Seems to be the consensus amongst a lot of scouts, and at 23 you have to start asking the question of whether or not he'll ever get the control he needs to be a starter. This year, however, he won't be restricted to 5 innings per start, so hopefully he'll be able to get in more of a groove. I do think that scouts underestimate his ability to find his delivery in the middle of a game after he's lost it. In fact, I've read several accounts that have had him finding his delivery mid-inning, or even mid at bat. I still have faith that Betances could find himself in the rotation, but Law is right about one thing. He needs to find his control and he needs to do it soon, or he'll be sent to the bullpen.

The third surprise was that Tyler Austin came in at #5. There hasn't been anyone who has ranked him that high yet. He's a solid hitter but he has more question marks than some of the people deeper on this list. For example, even Bichette Jr. is closer to having a position. JR Murphy has the hit tool to go along with the ability to play many positions, not to mention the fact that he has already developed some power. Another bold ranking, which I again don't necessarily agree with but give him a lot of credit for sticking his neck out on this one. That is more than most scouts are willing to do.

Finally, it was surprising not to see Ravel Santana in the top 10. I will assume that this is because of the gruesome ankle injury he suffered last year. If Law had done his homework, however, he'd have realized that by all accounts Santana's ankle is almost fully healed, and he's already running around on it with the same cannon that was strapped to his arm last season.

Anyway, kudos to Keith Law for keeping it real and going with his own gut on these rankings instead of the general perception of the scouting community. To quote Daniel Tosh, "for that, we thank you."

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