Fox sports workhorse Ken Rosenthal has a nice piece up about Joe Girardi’s bullpen management skills, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Tucked away in the middle of the post is this gem:
Critics, pointing to the stalled developments of pitchers such as Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez, say the Yankees overrate their prospects, something to which practically every organization could plead guilty.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys who will play in the big leagues and pitch in the big leagues,” says one rival scout who is assigned to the Yankees’ system. “But I haven’t seen an impact player.”
You know what, Rosenthal’s scout friend is right. I do think there is a little wordplay going on here, though. How many true impact players, guys that could come up and make an immediate dent in the bigs, are sitting in the minors right now? Two, three, maybe four? What every team has is potential impact players. Every single team, even the Mets and ChiSox with their barren farm systems.
Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata and Jesus Montero clearly have the talent to be impact Major Leaguers, as do pitchers like Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon. These guys are all a year or so away from the big leagues though (especially considering Brian Cashman’s latest words about Melancon), so you can’t consider them impact players yet. It’s a fine line.
Most prospects don’t work out, we all know that, and that’s exactly why it’s important to have depth. You want to know the best way to judge and compare farm systems? Look at the #10, #20 and #30 prospects, not just the top 10. Depth is paramount, and right now the Yanks have a nice amount of it.