Top Prospects, Top Tools

Slade Heathcott is as toolsy as they come

Over the next few weeks we'll be dissecting the top ten prospects in many different tools' categories in a series of articles called "Tool Time". Before we do, here is a look at the top pitching, offensive and defensive tools as we crown players with titles such as "Best Curveball", "Best Outfield Arm", "Best Power", and many more.

Offensive Honors:

Best Hitter For Average - Mason Williams - Ramon Flores is certainly in the mix here and so is Tyler Austin, but Williams can beat out a few more infield hits.
Honorable Mention - Corban Joseph
Coming Soon - Greg Bird

Best Hitter For Power - Gary Sanchez - His 18 home runs last season is just scratching the surface of his power.
Honorable Mention - Tyler Austin
Coming Soon - Peter O'Brien

Best Fastball Hitter - Gary Sanchez - The Yankees have some great fastball hitters - Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Angelo Gumbs, etc - but Sanchez is still the best.
Honorable Mention - Melky Mesa
Coming Soon - Greg Bird

Best Breaking Ball Hitter - Corban Joseph - Both Ramon Flores and Rob Refsnyder are great breaking ball hitters, but Joseph can adjust mid-swing.
Honorable Mention - David Adams
Coming Soon - Greg Bird

Best Plate Discipline - Ramon Flores - Hitters like David Adams, Austin Romine, and J.R. Murphy all have great plate discipline, but Flores rarely swings out of the zone.
Honorable Mention - Corban Joseph
Coming Soon - Greg Bird

Best Left-Handed Swing – Ramon Flores - With a Robinson Cano-like swing, it doesn't get any prettier. Corban Joseph comes close.
Honorable Mention - Mason Williams
Coming Soon - Greg Bird

Best Right-Handed Swing - David Adams – His swing should be the video all young batters are required to watch.
Honorable Mention - J.R. Murphy
Coming Soon - Luis Torrens

Best Base Runner - Mason Williams - When it comes to just success rate and running smart, Tyler Austin is right up there but Williams is still better.
Honorable Mention - Abraham Almonte
Coming Soon - Claudio Custodio

Best Raw Speed - Slade Heathcott - He could possibly beat Brett Gardner in a race.
Honorable Mention - Mason Williams
Coming Soon - Jorge Mateo

Best Athlete - Mason Williams - Slade Heathcott is right up here with Williams neck-and-neck.
Honorable Mention - Angelo Gumbs
Coming Soon - Austin Aune

Best Untapped Talent - Slade Heathcott - As good as he was in the second half last season and in the Arizona Fall League, he's just getting started.
Honorable Mention - J.R. Murphy
Coming Soon - Jake Cave

Pitching Honors:

Deepest Repertoire - Manny Banuelos - Yes he's out for 2013 but nobody has a better 1-2-3 punch stuff-wise.
Honorable Mention - Nik Turley
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Best Fastball For Starting Pitcher - Bryan Mitchell - The command can be spotty at times but at 94-98 mph nobody throws a better heavy fastball.
Honorable Mention - Jose Ramirez
Coming Soon - Rafael DePaula

Best Fastball For Relief Pitcher - Tommy Kahnle - Danny Burawa and Manny Barreda are up there too, but Kahnle's is a shade better.
Honorable Mention - Branden Pinder
Coming Soon - Zach Arneson

Best Curveball - Dellin Betances - He has fallen on very hard times lately but it has nothing to do with his incredible curveball.
Honorable Mention - Bryan Mitchell
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Best Slider - Mark Montgomery - As plus a pitch as it is, it got even better in 2012.
Honorable Mention Jose Ramirez
Coming Soon - Rafael DePaula

Best Changeup - Jose Ramirez – Dellin Betances and Brett Marshall could slide in at the top spot too, but Ramirez's is a bit more effective because of the better overall fastball.
Honorable Mention - Nik Turley
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Best Control - Brett Marshall - If he throws his slider in 2013 like he did down the stretch last year few have better control.
Honorable Mention - Jose Ramirez
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Best Mechanics - Nik Turley - Even at his rather tall height he has become very consistent mechanically.
Honorable Mention - Matt Tracy
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Best Raw Arm - Dellin Betances - The numbers as a starter last year were awful but he still has an amazing arm.
Honorable Mention - Bryan Mitchell
Coming Soon - Simon De La Rosa

Best Overall Potential - Bryan Mitchell - Lost behind the pedestrian numbers is true 'ace' long-term potential. Banuelos fits in here too.
Honorable Mention - Jose Campos
Coming Soon - Rafael DePaula

Most Polished Pitcher - Brett Marshall - There are pitchers with higher ceilings but Marshall's floor is one of the highest.
Honorable Mention - Nik Turley
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Defensive Honors:

Best Defensive Pitcher - Brett Marshall - Gets himself in great fielding position when he finishes his pitches.
Honorable Mention - Matt Tracy
Coming Soon - Daniel Camarena

Best Defensive Outfielder - Mason Williams - The Yankees have some great defensive outfielders right now, including Melky Mesa and Abraham Almonte, but Williams is a tad more reliable.
Honorable Mention - Slade Heathcott
Coming Soon - Jake Cave

Best Defensive Infielder - Cito Culver - Hitting is taking some time but the on-field presence is palpable.
Honorable Mention - Anderson Feliz
Coming Soon - Abiatal Avelino

Best Defensive Catcher - J.R. Murphy - He went from suspect defensively in his first season to the most reliable backstop recently.
Honorable Mention - Austin Romine
Coming Soon - Luis Torrens

Best Outfield Instincts - Mason Williams - Slade Heathcott has great instincts too but he doesn't take quite the same number of chances as Williams.
Honorable Mention - Tyler Austin
Coming Soon - Jake Cave

Best Outfield Range - Mason Williams - Plus speed equals plus range.
Honorable Mention - Slade Heatchott
Coming Soon - Jake Cave

Best Outfield Arm - Melky Mesa - Hopefully Mesa gets a chance to show off the arm for the big league club in 2012.
Honorable Mention - Slade Heathcott
Coming Soon - Ravel Santana

Best Infield Arm - Cito Culver - His great arm has some pundits already calling for the switch to the mound.
Honorable Mention - Anderson Feliz
Coming Soon - Miguel Andujar

Best Infield Range - Cito Culver - He's not blazing fast but he still has impeccable range.
Honorable Mention - Angelo Gumbs
Coming Soon - Claudio Custodio

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