It's a cool concept and one that I was going to do at one point before forgetting to do it. Well BWTP jogged my memory and here we go. Here's my list of five of my favorite non-Yankees.
For the record I suppose I should clarify that prospects and not-yet major leaguers count. Obviously.
Also, this ranking isn't in any real order. Oh yeah, I've also omitted any former Yankees who I really liked on this list. Otherwise it'd just be the Hiroki Kurodas and Francisco Cervellis of the world with a "ex-Yankee I really liked" caption and it'd be really boring. Those will be included in the honorable mentions below.
01. Shinnosuke Ogasawara (Chunichi Dragons)
|Not Mine, But I Wish It Was|
I never said this list was limited to players in America did I ;)? Shinnosuke Ogasawara was the Chunichi Dragons' first round pick in last year's NPB Player Draft. A Japanese contact of mine who knows more about the farm systems in Japan tells me that Ogasawara is more of a good command guy who has a good grasp of the strike zone. His main weapon is his fastball that can reportedly be thrown up to 152 kilometers an hour but Ogasawara also has a change up and slider that are also capable of getting outs. He's still adjusting to pro ball (he was drafted out of high school last year) but he should be a really good workhorse for Chunichi before long.
02. Jose De Leon (Los Angeles Dodgers)
I wrote a lot of odes to De Leon last year, and for good reason. He strikes out so many batters that he might as well be Jose K Leon. In some ways he benefits from a lot of really good "on paper" results but just watching him throw the ball is fun.
03. Walker Buehler (Los Angeles Dodgers)
The Dodgers prospect I wrote an ode to this year. Walker Buehler's potential after he comes back from Tommy John has me very excited. Especially in an organization like the Dodgers which has emphasized how important it is to study arm injuries.
04. Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)
What can I say? Harper was the poster boy for baseball when I was first starting to get into the hobby and baseball in general in 2011. Owning his first Bowman Chrome autograph is still a pipe dream of mine one day.
05. Amed Rosario (New York Mets)
In 2014 I saw some really promising Mets over in Brooklyn. Most people had their eyes on the 10th overall draft pick Michael Conforto and pitching sensation Marcos Molina but the player I was rooting for was Amed Rosario. Since then Rosario's become the Mets' top shortstop prospect. He can hit, he can run, and there's still time for him to add some more power (he's currently 20 years old). Defense wise he has what it takes to stay at shortstop long term thanks to his range and steady arm. Make no mistake, Amed Rosario is a guy Mets fans should keep an eye on.
I said I'd just talk about five of my favorite non-Yankees org players but here's one more.
06. Ryosuke Nomura (Chunichi Dragons)
|Not Mine, But I Wish It Was|
Ryosuke Nomura is another Japanese prospect I'm interested in. He's also a Chunichi Dragons player and was the Dragons' first round pick back in 2014. His ceiling seems to teeter back and forth between a really good starter and a shut-down closer but his good command allows talent evaluators to think he'll be a factor at the biggest stage (in Japan) either way. His fastball has reached 149 kilometers per hour in the past and he is also armed with a curveball, slider, forkball and a cutter. It'll be interesting to see how he plays into Chunichi's future going forward.
*Hiroki Kuroda (Hiroshima Carp)
*Kenta Maeda (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Francisco Cervelli (Pittsburgh Pirates)
*Zachary McAllister (Cleveland Indians)
*Phil Hughes (Minnesota Twins)
*Starling Heredia (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Willie Calhoun (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Misja Harcksen (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Chase De Jong (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Julio Urias (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Yadier Alvarez (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Cody Bellinger (Los Angeles Dodgers)
*Rinku Singh (Pittsburgh Pirates)
*Max Kepler (Minnesota Twins)
*Marten Gasparini (Kansas City Royals)
*Hisashi Iwakuma (Seattle Mariners)
*Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers)
*Junichi Tazawa (Boston Red Sox)
*Koji Uehara (Boston Red Sox)
*Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox)
And those were some of my favorites. I wanted to bring light to some of my favorite European baseball players but maybe those will be a post for another time (#HONKBALL).
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).