The Yankees had enough talent at catcher to become self-sufficient. Instead, they signed Brian McCann to a 5 year deal and blocked a whole conga line of prospects. Since Damon Oppenheimer took over the draft, the Yanks have picked C's most years, while the IFA team has pursued them under two different administrations.
Cervelli is homegrown, and was signed under the corrupt IFA guys. He's a solid back up who will probably be paid to start for some NL team as soon as he becomes a FA. He's not worth the arbitration offer, so it would be wise to trade him now.
John Ryan Murphy is next up. The Yanks drafted him in the second round in 2009, and though he was mostly a 3B when they got him, he has sailed through the system as a C, and with no one questioning that he can play C in the bigs. He will most likely be part of the catching equation starting next year. He was doing well in the bigs this year, then he was sent down and got out of sorts. Lately he's been hitting like a good prospect again.
Austin Romine is also at AAA. He's really getting screwed by the McCann signing. He probably would have been Murphy's back up next year, after Cervelli is gone. He's had an up an down minor league career since he was also a second round pick for the Yanks. This year, he's been hitting well. They might want to try to throw him into a trade somehow, too. Perhaps this offseason. He can be a back-up.
In AA, Gary Sanchez is the next big ticket after Murphy. He's got great power, but is a streaky hitter. He's also got a great arm. He's had some trouble with passed balls, but it has largely coincided with the organizational issue with fastball control. He should do better with major league pitchers who can hit the mitt. People try to throw him into the Montero league of questionable catchers, but he's not that if you look at him objectively. He's also not the hitting machine Montero was in the minors.
They've also got Francisco Arcia, who has looked like a player at timea, and Tyson Blaser who is an older guy at 27 or so.
In High A, they're sort of going with organizational guys Trent Garrison and Wes Wilson. With catchers even org guys can end up as major league back ups because some teams don't care if their catcher can hit as long as everything isn't going to the back stop.
Charleston had Luis Torrens to start the season. He may be the best of the bunch. He's another guy with an advanced hit tool, whom they got as a 3B and are making into a C. He's taken to it better than anyone since Murphy. However, he got injured and after his injury assignment he was returned to SI, not Charleston. I think he'd be back at Charleston, but he is killing it in SI and they've just about become a .500 team since he joined. Oh, and he has the walk gene.
In his place in Charleston, they have Jackson Valera, who was a vaunted IFA at one time, and Kale Sumner, who was a versatile college senior pick last year, and walks a bunch.
Down at SI they have Luis Torrens. But they also have Isaias Tejeda. Tejeda was an exciting guy a few years ago, then he forgot how to hit. This year he remembered and is hitting .330. He's really due a promotion since this is his third season with SI, but we'll see what happens. He's a good, athletic defensive C. Colin Slaybaugh is also there and he's that senior we drafted in June who can play C and CF. Interesting guy.
On GCL1 they have a rehabbing Higgy, who's back from Tommy John and still cannot hit. They also have another 24 year old named Roybell Herrera. They also have a 20 year old named Alvaro Noriega who isn't hitting much and a 19 year old named Brian Reyes who had an encouraging first season in the DSL but hasn't done much since. Our lack of a draft pool and dearth of prep picks this year is showing up here.
The GCL 2 has Kevin Alexander, a 23 year old who is OPSing over .900 and needs a bigger challenge. They also have Jesus Aparicio whom they though could hit but hasn't yet. He'll turn 19 in a few weeks. They also have Rainiera Coa, who's 21 and has been unimpressive.
There was a guy who was promoted from the DSL to one of the GCL teams, but I can't think of his name and he doesn't seem to be active. They also have that Australian kid somewhere who makes rare appearances.
They didn't have the pool money for a high upside prep C in the draft this year, but they did get one in IFA., his name is Miguel Flames and he has a big hit tool. His raw power is a hair below where Sanchez's was and he too is a conversion, but they say he has good hands. So we'll see.
In all, we have 3 worth writing home about right now in Murphy, Sanchez and Torrens. We have some future back ups lead by Romine. And we have a possible surprise in Tejeda, who needs another challenge, finally. Flames will probably be in the DSL next year, unless he's made enough progress to come over through instructs and camp.
McCann is blocking the top guys for the next few years, but he'll be a bad DH in the not too distant, and Cervelli will be a FA if he's not traded, so there's room for one more next year. In the meantime, the Yanks should keep their first rounder and the one they get for Robertson if it goes that way, juice up the draft budget again and find another C. We're solid but don't have any projectable stars between Sanchez and Torrens or below. Maybe Flames, but he hasn't played yet.