Yankees Top Prospect #46 – Chris Gittens

Chris Gittens was drafted by the New York Yankees with the 362nd overall pick in the 12th round of the 2014 First-Year-Player Draft.  He promptly signed for a bonus of $125,000 and went to the Yankees complex in Tampa to begin his professional career.

Chris made appearances in 11 games in 2014 for the Gulf Coast League Yankees with 10 hits in 35 at bats, good for a batting average of .286.  Of those 10 hits, 4 were doubles and he drove in 5 runs while scoring 6 runs.  He walked 7 times during the season and struck out 10 times.

Gittens returned to the Gulf Coast League for the 2015 season and in 41 games he hit .363 with 45 hits in 124 at bats.  He hit 9 doubles, 1 triple and 8 homeruns while driving in 29 runs and scoring 25.  He walked 17 times with the GCL Yankees and stole 2 bases.  His success earned him a brief 5-game cameo with the Tampa Yankees at the end of the season.  In 14 at bats in the Florida State League he had 2 hits and 1 RBI, walking once.

He mashed lefties in the Gulf Coast League Yankees, touching them for a .432 batting average while also hitting .333 against righties.

At 6-foot 4-inches tall Chris has a big physical frame, one that produces natural plus raw power from the right side of the plate.  He has the ability to use the whole field and hit for average.  He is a masher, having the ability to send the ball out of the park with little effort.  His conditioning has been a question for him, he is listed at 250 pounds and at one point was as high as 300 pounds.

Gittens is limited to first base, though in high school he was also a pitcher.  If he continues to work on his conditioning, he could find himself developing into an above-average first baseman with big power.

He will turn 22 in February and should find himself with the Charleston RiverDogs or Staten Island Yankees in 2016.  Due to his advanced age he needs to be challenged.