SPANISH HARLEM – August 1st, 2016 will forever be known as the day the Yankees finally waved the white flag and became full-fledged sellers at the MLB Trade Deadline. As hard as it was to see in my lifetime, it was even more remarkable to hear scouts and analysts say it was the first time ever that the Yankees became sellers. In hindsight I should have known better with George “Lose You’re Fired” Steinbrenner running the ship. He never believed in getting rid of good players unless it was for a great player. I admired his determination but it also got the Yankees in trouble when some of those players didn’t pan out.
As of today, the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Vincente Campos (MiLB) and Carlos Beltran for a grand total of 12 minor league players and 2 Major League players. That’s a boat load of players for 4 Yankees that were deemed expendable.
That leads me to my main topic; the Yankees farm system. It started when I realized the Yankees went from a competitive team, to a below-average team. Now let’s be honest, lately the Yankees haven’t done a good job of developing their best prospects into Major League players. Some may ask, “What about Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner?” But most Bombers fans will tell you they weren’t marque prospects before they were brought up. Sure, they did a great job in the early 90’s, with players like Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte but they were fortunate that George was going through a suspension in baseball at the time because he definitely didn’t have the patience to see young players fail but Gene Michael did and those players became the nucleus of the most recent Yankees dynasty Yankee fans are all fond of today. With Gene Michael at the helm, they did a great job of allowing the younger players to succeed while adding players that would help lead that group to the World Series.
At the risk of getting all nostalgic, I believe what Brian Cashman has done can very well mimic those Yankees teams of the 90’s – if the acquired players develop into what many expect them to be. The Yanks now have 7 players ranked in the Top 100 of Baseball America, which I don’t remember ever happening. Trust me I love looking at those lists just to see if any Yankees were included and more often than not I would find 1 player from the Yankees. Then after, I would search to see which team had the most players on the list because it was fun to read which players scouts thought would become the superstars of tomorrow.
That Top 100 list got me super excited… you have Jorge Mateo (19*), Clint Frazier (21*), Gleyber Torres (27*), Gary Sanchez (36*), Aaron Judge (42*), Justus Sheffield (69*) and James Kaprelian (99*). That’s 5 players in the top 50 and 7 in the top 100, alone! Oh how times have changed…
Granted, all the players mentioned won’t make it to The Bigs or succeed as Yankees, but this allows them to have a higher chance of developing the superstar they so desperately crave.
I know the Yankees won’t be as good for some time but that won’t stop me from being excited (like I was with Mark Teixeira messing with Hansel Robles) when these players are finally given a chance to succeed in pinstripes, instead of on other teams.
That’s it. Offer your thoughts below and please follow us on Twitter @MeetTheMatts & @BuddyDiaz19 and like Facebook page, Meet The Matts. And definitely come back tomorrow for Hubit Chakockoff. Thank you.
*Ranking in Baseball America as of July 11, 2016