BALLSTON SPA, NY – So, I’m sitting here Sunday night watching the New York Yankees salvage a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, at least do some degree, and I was having a trouble coming up with a topic for this week’s column.
Then Yankees utility man Rob Refsnyder came up to bat.
It hit me. Why not write about the New York Yankees’ “dreadful” farm system?
So, here we are. This week’s Ebs’ One Big Thing is all about the Yankees’ farm system.
There are a couple of aspects of my life that have really helped increase my knowledge of Minor League Baseball the last couple years.
First, there’s my job as a sportswriter at a couple of newspapers in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. During the summer I cover the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Houston Astros’ Single-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. Each summer I see some of baseball’s rising stars. I’ve covered the ValleyCats while guys like pitcher Vincent Velasquez and utility man Preston Tucker were in the Astros’ minor league system.
I was also at the MLB First-Year Player Draft last month because one of the high school pitchers I covered was taken No. 3 overall by the Atlanta Braves. Remember the name Ian Anderson.
Then there’s fantasy baseball. In order to stay ahead of the curve in fantasy baseball, you need to know the MiLB
pipeline inside and out.
That said, I’ve gotten a bit of a deeper understanding of what the Yankees have in the farm system and some of the guys that are on the current roster that didn’t come via trade or free agency.
First off, we’ll start with the folks in the majors. You have your household names like Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances and Ivan Nova. However, there are some other key members of the Yankees’ 25-man roster that have came straight from the system. Guys like Rob Refsnyder, Austin Romine and Nick Goody aren’t well-known players but they all have their own roles on this team.
It’s funny, the Yankees have always been known as the team that with a bad farm system, but did you know that the Yankees’ farm system ranks ahead of the New York Mets by both SB Nation and Baseball Prospectus? Interesting.
Guys like Jorge Mateo, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez lead a batch of promising positional players, while last year’s 16th overall pick James Kaprielian and fireballer Domingo Acevedo are a couple of impressive young arms. Oh, and there’s still that guy named Luis Severino. Remember him? That guy that finished the 2015 season with a 2.89 ERA as a rookie? Sure, he’s had some bumps and bruises this season and had to be sent back down to Triple-A, but that doesn’t mean he won’t pan out.
Even with Sunday’s win over Boston, thinks aren’t extremely bright for the Yankees this season. Can they secure a wild card spot? Maybe.
However, the future does look bright for the Bronx Bombers. With a future lineup looking a bit like Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, Gardner in left, Mateo at shortstop, Judge in right, Brian McCann at designated hitter, Greg Bird at first base, Didi Gregorius at second base, Starlin Castro at third base and Gary Sanchez at catcher, the Yankees are set up nicely. And that doesn’t even include a pitching staff led by Masahiro Tanaka, Severino and Michael Pineda, with a good chance of two-thirds of No Runs DMC still around at season’s end.