Sickels’ Top 20 Yankee Prospects

Report: Marlon Byrd lands in Chicago
Open Thread: River Ave. Blues top ten of 2009

Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels posted his list of the top 20 Yankee prospects, led of course of Jesus Montero. Austin Romine, Manny Banuelos, Zach McAllister, and Slade Heathcott round out the top five, and frankly you could list those guys in any order and I wouldn’t argue it too much. Very interchangable.

I’m sorry to see Sickels has seemingly closed the book on Andrew Brackman‘s career as a starter after just 19 pro starts, but to each his own. Also, folks it’s Hoffmann, H-O-F-F-M-A-N-N. Two n’s. Spelling a guy’s name right is just a common courtesy.

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Report: Marlon Byrd lands in Chicago
Open Thread: River Ave. Blues top ten of 2009
  • Bo

    Sickels is right about Brackman.

    • Tampa Yankee

      TBD

      • Jim

        Weren’t you just two days ago name calling someone who felt Joba should be in the bullpen, yet after one bad year from a raw, tall, coming off TJ surgery kid you are willing to at least agree it’s TBD? Shouldn’t you have the same argument with Brackman as you did with Joba?

        • Tampa Yankee

          I think Brackman should be given every chance to succeed as a starter. My TBD meant that neither Bo or Sickels should write him off as a starter until he’s proven he can’t make it as one. One up-and-down year removed from TJ doesn’t make the case either way, that’s all.

          • Jim

            OK gotcha. I agree with you personally, I just was curious your thought process.

          • mustang

            Totally agree.

    • Accent Shallow

      To start a discussion: how many more chances do the Yankees give Brackman to start? Half of 2010? All of 2010? More? He’s 24 as of early December, I can’t imagine the Yankees want him to spend his age 25-27 seasons in the minors.

      • Brian

        Brackman was lights out at the end of the year. He’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, and should be given every opportunity to develop. Also, it’s possible that the Yanks will exaggerate when it comes to his stuff so they can dangle him as trade bait. That’s what we always seem to do.

        • Doug

          “Brackman was lights out at the end of the year.”

          in the pen.

          i’m all for giving him a chance to become a viable starter, but this should be made clear.

          • Ed

            It should also be made clear that he started the year off fine, then just fell off a cliff.

            It sounded to me like an arm strength / conditioning issue. The guy never even pitched a full season in college. His college workload was 43, 28, 78 IP. He then missed all of ’08. His 106.2 IP in ’09 was about equal to his ’06-’08 workload combined.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

              Yup. To my recollection, he started well and ended well. The middle is where it got really dicey. He was also recovering from TJ surgery.

              Let’s give him a tiny bit of time before we make our evaluations.

              • Jim

                He also was a two sport athlete. This is something that should not be overlooked, as it will delay his development somewhat.

      • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif Do Not Feed The Trolls!

        B-Brackers

      • Tampa Yankee

        Since last year was his 1st full season post TJ, I think he gets all of next year at minimum.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I’d give him all of next year and then re-evaluate it after that. If it looks like he made progress as a starter, then give him another year. If it looks like he’s just spinning his wheels, then you think about shifting him to the pen full time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Interesting Bo. How many times did you see him pitch last year? What did you think of his mechanics? What about his off-speed pitches? I’m all ears, waiting with anticipation, for your expert response.

      • pete

        I <3 TC

    • Chris

      The problem with Sickles ‘analysis’ is he writes off Brackman as a starter but says he could develop as a reliever. I don’t think there is any evidence to support that. Perhaps you could look at his body of work and say that he’s lost it and won’t be good anymore, but I don’t think anything suggests he can be an effective reliever but not an effective starter.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        A problem with Sickels’ analysis is that he’s basing his prospect write ups on nothing. He hasn’t seen most of these guys play, and he’s going on the stats alone. It’s really half-hearted way of evaluating young kids, and it leads to inconsistent and downright silly statements sometimes.

        • Steve H

          It’s really half-hearted way of evaluating young kids, and it leads to inconsistent and downright silly statements sometimes.

          Also known as Bo’ing it.

        • Charlie

          i’m not trying to be a dick, but when you guys do your prospect rankings have you seen any of these guys play?

          • 28 next year

            well, I think they look at scouting reports and base it on tools and projection rather than current production. Minor league stats don’t show the entire picture.

            • Accent Shallow

              Minor league stats don’t show the entire picture.

              Exactly. Do yourself a favor, look at Joba’s 2007 MiL stats, and Kennedy’s 2007 MiL stats. Based on that, can you pick out which kid you’d rather have in the pen for the stretch run? Which one could potentially be a #1?

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            I don’t in person, but Mike does his research. We talk to guys who have and try to get a variety of opinions on the players we talk about. Some of it is stats-based anlysis; some isn’t.

            • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

              I would think, for the most part, Mike concentrates on just Yankee prospects too. (could be a wrong assumption)

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                Ding ding ding.

      • SM

        The statement ‘he’s a horrible starter’ is crazy. He pitched a total of 19 games. For his the first 50 innings he was pretty effective for someone coming off major surgery with nearly a K per inning, giving up 3 HRs total, this would lead to a low 3 FIP despite high BBs, and he had a mied 3’s era.
        So he pitched poorly in his next 10 starts. It would be nice for Sickles to show why those 10 starts are more important or more representative of his true talent level.
        Brackman, despite being ‘old’, is very inexperienced but just he has shown flashes of crappyness, he has shown some good stuff too. Everyone who is righting him off, what is that based on?

  • Tampa Yankee

    “This is a Mike Piazza/Manny Ramirez type bat.”

    I need a new pair of pants.

    /pat’d
    /JMK’d

    • DRU

      I CANT WAIT TO SEE MONTERO!! I already have a trip planned for Scranton with my friends. We’re going to see their 1st series against the Iron Pigs ( couple friends are Phils fans ). My lord I need to see this BEAST hit. He’s raked at every level as a teenager. Hopefully I can see him as battery mates with McAllister when we make the trip.

      Scouts have said Montero is the best pure hitting prospect in the minors. The only thing is his size, not that you cant catch at 6’5″ and 230+, ( Weiters ), but I can see Montero starting his career as a catcher and then moving over to 1st. When Tex’s contract is up, Montero will be 26. GIGGGIDY!!!! By that time Austin Romine will be ready to be the Yanks full time catcher with the “vet” Cervelli backing him up.

      Future’s VERY bright mates!

      • whozat

        I saw him taking BP at ST 2009. Man, he looks good at the plate.

    • Salty Buggah

      Add in /Salty’d

  • Accent Shallow

    Is Gary Sanchez at 7 an indictment of the system’s depth, or is he that good? (Someone, I think Andy in Sunny Daytona, has been preaching the latter).

    Anyway, I’m not thrilled with the Yankees stockpiling catchers instead of SS or CF, but so it goes. System needs outfielders badly.

    • Tampa Yankee

      I’m not thrilled with the Yankees stockpiling catchers instead of SS or CF, but so it goes. System needs outfielders badly.

      I liked Mike’s take on Murphy:
      The kid can flat out hit, which is obviously the most important part of the equation, but I also like that he should have no difficulty becoming an asset in a corner outfield spot should the whole catching thing not work out. Versatility is always a plus. The Yanks have the deepest collection of backstop prospects in baseball, and Murphy just might be best pure hitter of the crop not named Jesus.

      If Jesus and Austin block that path to the MLB, it sounds like he could move to the OF which is a nice bonus of selecting him. (cavet: I know that there are a lot of “if’s” in there and many things could change)

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I only got to see him bat boy last summer, but let me tell you, HE WAS AWESOME. Seriously though, I honestly believe he is as advertised.

    • Salty Buggah

      I don’t think the Yanks draft catchers for the sake of drafting catchers. I think they just grab who they think is the best player remaining on the board.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      To answer the first question, yeah, it’s a bit of both. He (according to most who’ve seen his workouts) has great tools. That said, you never really want to see a guy under the age of 18 without top-level competition experience as one of your top prospects. They may have all the talent in the world but a lot can happen from ages 17-22. Before our big trades this off-season, we were probably middle of the pack in the farm (12-18ish), but not we’re probably in the low-mid 20s. Losing Viz, Dunn, Ajax, IPK really knocks the depth.

      Now, as to your second point, you could argue that catcher is the most difficult position to acquire a bat as a strength. Having a lot of depth at catcher allows the Yankees the flexibility to trade them for a more established player or another position of need. There aren’t often prospect-for-prospect trades, but if you wanted, you could certainly acquire a top young player for one of the catchers. Good-hitting catchers will have more value than good-hitting SSs or CFs.

      As to our system, we have a few outfielders with talent, but none anywhere close to contributing for at least three years. Nunez probably won’t be able to stick at SS, but if he could, he may be a guy that could contribute. He’s not too far away. But you’re right, we need depth at SS, CF. Pretty much at every position that isn’t C or arguably 2B.

      • Accent Shallow

        The reason I’d rather see SS and CF stockpiled instead of C: if, say, the Yankees had a highly touted prospect with questions about his defense, rather than his bat, if he’s an SS/CF, he can likely be a plus defender at 3B/2B (if he’s a shortstop), or LF/RF (if he’s a CF). However, a catcher with questions about his defense is ticketed for first base, where he loses a ton of value.

        (Of course, the scouts like Montero’s bat enough that it apparently doesn’t matter where he plays. I like it.)

        • Ed

          I’m sure the Yankees would love a good mix of C, SS, and CF prospects. But when you consistently draft late in the draft and give away picks from signing free agents, you take what you can get.

      • J

        Do prospect for prospect trades occur? I was talking to a friend about that, and I couldn’t recall any, but I figured that they must.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Sure, they’re just very rare. Jim Callis put it best: prospects are like children, and everyone loves their own more than other people do.

          • J

            That makes sense. It still seems that a team that might lack in catchers would look at the Yankees depth and like one of the 4, excluding Montero.

          • J

            Do you remember any prospect trades of significance?

            • Doug

              see below

            • Ed

              Mike Lowell for Ed Yarnell

              Wily Mo Pena for Drew Henson

        • Doug

          after getting him ni the package for halladay, jays dealt michael taylor to the a’s for brett wallace

          • J

            Good call. Course, I feel stupid, but good call none the less, lol.

            • Doug

              no biggie, b/c can’t think of any others right now

    • YankeeGrunt

      I don’t know that it is necessarily an indictment of anything, perhaps the fact that we have a limited number of position prospects but certainly a reflection of his contract. The Yankees have a ton of upside guys, both IFAs and overslot draftees, and they can afford to roll the dice like that because even if only a small percentage progress the total outlay is only a fraction of the team’s revenue. Yeah they might all miss, but if in two years one or two of Murphy, Mesa, De Leon, Sosa, Heathcott or Yeicok Calderon click you’re in good shape. A small market team who ponies up a couple million for Gary Sanchez and watches him pull a Jackson Melian has taken a serious financial hit; the Yankees less so, especially when those contracts don’t impact the luxury tax (spending $2 mil more on the big league roster incurs an additional million or so in luxury tax). Yes the Yanks have some prospects with more modest ceilings and less of a bust factor, your David Adams and Kevin Russo types, but boom or bust is more or less the rule for our system, and with the rules set up as they are it seems a sound strategy.

      • ColoYank

        Wow. Jackson Melian – there’s a blast from the past. He came through a couple of years before Wily Mo Pena (whose name I always pronounced “Wiley”). I have to keep reminding myself how far away from helping the Yanks these kids are, and how astronomical the odds are against them ever seeing the inside of YSIII.

        • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Cousin Wily Mo Pena should be the starting LF for Scranton this year. That is if I had any say in the matter.

        • Accent Shallow

          (whose name I always pronounced “Wiley”)

          Same. He’s more interesting that way.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Heathcott’s “makeup concerns” more so about his parents and not him? Meaning he came up in a broken home or something like that?

    • WordTurdle

      Yeah. He’s parents have some drug problems and Slade took some hits because of that fact. Doesn’t seem fair to me. The kid did well in spite of his parents. That would be a plus in my book.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Thx

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

    You have to earn that extra “N” with me, Axisa.

  • gio

    Interesting: Arodys Vizcaino rated #5 prospect in Braves org. Where would we have been on our list?

    • Doug

      he was #3 according to baseball america

    • Accent Shallow

      Well, Sickels rated him as a grade B for the Braves, so that’d put him at 2 or 3 on this list.

  • Steve H

    Here’s a question on Z-mac. Sickels calls him a “Strike-throwing-ground-ball-generating-inning-gobbler with advanced pitching feel.” Then he calls him a 5th starter. There are a ton of those guys who are much better than 5th starters. I don’t know how well his stuff translates to the Wangs and Lowes of the world, or even a 2009 Pineiro, but a strike-throwing-ground-ball-generating-inning-gobbler with advanced pitching feel is not a #5.

    • Charlie

      the thing is he said “In New York”. In this case it is probably a true statement. Can you see the yankees having Z-Mac as a 3rd or 4th starter?

      • DRU

        Steve, its always purely about “stuff” when the guys rank the kids. He’s going to start out at AAA this year, if he continues to pitch well ( AA pitcher of the year in 09 ), he’ll be next in line. Maybe its a pipe dream, but in 2 years we could be looking at a rotation of..

        CC
        AJ
        Joba
        Phil
        McAllister

        Now I know much will change from now to then ( Webb, Lee, Beckett ), but its always good to have options. Just go ask the Mets.

    • Steve H

      I thought he was calling him trade bait in NY, but yeah, if that’s what he means, in New York that makes more sense. Of course I’d rather see him grade based on their level as a prospect regardless of the big league club. Like if Montero was in Minny with Mauer at C and Morneau at 1st, he woudln’t have downgrade him because he was blocked, and he’s essentially saying Z-Mac is blocked.

    • Accent Shallow

      All those things are great, but if he’s barely breaking 90 with average secondary pitches, then yes, he’s a fifth starter. Maybe he adds a few ticks and improves his secondary pitches and becomes more than that.

      Or maybe Sickels is just down on him.

      • Steve H

        If he throws 90 and gets a ton of ground balls, he’s not a 5th starter. If he throws 90 and gives up a ton of HR’s then he is.

        • DRU

          Agreed Steve, he doesnt have a BIG fastball, but his control is TOP NOTCH. I think he can be a solid #3 with his arsenal. Ill take those kind of pitchers every day! The Kevin Sloweys and Blackburns of the world, over the Danial Cabreras any day.

        • pokey skokey

          I agree. Most people don’t understand how #5 starters perform in MLB. What’s their average ERA? Somewhere near 6, I think. At least in the high 5’s.

        • http://deleted RollingWave

          no, that’s what we call Kei Igawa

  • Charlie

    how did ivan nova not make his top 20? i thought he was top 10 considering how close he is and how great he did last year

    • 28 next year

      that is a good point, I think Sickels missed him because that is impossible to not include Nova.

      • Doug

        he’s in his “OTHERS” category so didn’t miss him. just doesn’t like him as much as some others.

    • YankeeGrunt

      And am I missing Betances? I understand leaving him off the top 20 because of injury concerns, but he at least deserves an honorable mention.

      • http://deleted RollingWave

        yes, Sickles said that guys like Betances and Heredia are basically interchangable with the other C-C+ guys though.

  • DRU

    Really like DeLeon, followed him in the DWL 2 years ago, he’s got 5 major tools. Hopefully he works hard and has a solid year in 2010.

    SLEEPER on that list = Brandon Laird, 3B

    That boy can RAKE with the best of em. He is a pure power hitting 3B, Ive been watching him since the Yanks drafted him. He’s still a little raw, but his power is legit. Could develop in a Troy Glaus like 3B,,,,,or he could be selling used cars in 5 years. Same could be said for Brackman and Dellin Betances. Aint it fun to track the youngins??? Thank god our farm has talent, unlike that other NY team..YIKES

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      No defense for Laird. Not many are very high on him.

      • DRU

        Yeah I know, he’s a LONG SHOT at this point, but his power is legit. Now if he can just work on that pesky glove of his. I guess that’s why he’s a sleeper, if he had a glove, he’d be higher on everyone’s list

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      I think we should resign CJ Henry, and then trade him, Brackman, and Betances to the Knicks for cash considerations.

      • Steve H

        And then Isiah Thomas can go back to the Knicks and give them $80 million extensions, after which they immediately gain 50 lbs. each.

      • Sleepykarl

        He’s playin basketball at Kansas with his brother.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Scout.com did some interviews/reports on some new prospects like Sean Black, Evan DeLuca, Brett Gerritse, Chris Cabrera, Neil Medchill, Slade Heathcott and more.

    Some tidbits (since I don’t have a scout.com subscription)
    ===
    A few Gulf Coast League games and two Instructional League camps weren’t enough for first round pick Slade Heathcott to get his fill of professional baseball, so the centerfielder has made arrangements to keep it going on his own.

    He’s gonna be a stud, I hope =)
    ===
    Regarding K-Brack:
    It might comes as a surprise to some that Andrew Brackman, he of the 2-12 record and 5.91 ERA in his first year, didn’t want the season to end. But a closer look at the way he finished his debut season and how he carried that into the Instructional League reveals why.

    I still have hope that Brackman will be on fire next year. I wish I could get Instruct. League updates somehow though

  • emac2

    Going into the season the only goal for Brackman was to stay healthy all year and he did that.

    It appears he even had his mechanics worked out by the end of the season.

    I see no reason at all to even question keeping him as a starter and expecting him to be fine. I have to question why so many people who claim to be yankee fans argue at such length to turn dollars into pennies.

    • ColoYank

      +1. It’ll be an interesting year for Brackman and De Leon.

  • putt

    All this prospect talk, Brackman in particular, has me wondering who RAB will officially track this year on the homepage? Da Jesus? ManBan? Melvin C.?

    • MattG

      There is only one choice. Mo’s only son, Jesus.

      • putt

        I agree…and I was thinking of some sort of cheesy title like “Countdown to Judgement Day” or something like that would be classic. Although to do a countdown, I guess you’d need to know the exact day that he arrives in the Bronx to judge the pitchers of the American League, but oh well.

      • AndrewYF

        I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be Jose Ramirez or Manny Banuelos this year.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I haven’t decided yet. I usually don’t worry about that until right before the season starts.

      • Reggie C.

        My 2 cents … track Brackman one more time. He’s going to remain THE conversation starter/ flash-point for all DoTF nights in which he pitches. Nobody’s as interesting as Brackman considering the expectations and dollars heaped on him.

      • putt

        Well I guess my concern over this at this point of the year is hard evidence that 2 full weeks off for winter break is a bit too much time for me…

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      You don’t track Melvin, Melvin tracks you.

      • putt

        Lesson learned.

      • ColoYank

        I feel his eyes upon us as we speak.

  • pete

    I miss the (admittedly limited) days when the yankees top 5 prospects were Joba/Phil/IPK/AJax/Jesus. Still, Jesus is with the bat what Joba was with his arm, so i can deal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Still, Jesus is with the bat what Joba Cy Young was with his arm.

      Fixed.

      • Salty Buggah

        Still, Jesus is with the bat what Tiger Woods is with his “club”

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  • ColoYank

    Mike, is there any way of telling if Melvin comes stateside this year?

    • Mr. Max

      Yea, and where would you start him? His numbers are sick, but in a nothing league.

      • ColoYank

        Interestingly, Melvin was used strictly in relief last year. And 2010 will be his age-21 year.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        You start him in the majors. Joba goes to the pen with Hughes (where they belong!!!!) and Melvin usurps Sabathia for the number one spot in the rotation. There. Two birds killed in one stone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Nobody knows what Melvin will do next year. He could give up baseball entirely to concentrate on the Global Economic Crisis, or to bring peace to the Middle East, he may finish Beethoven’s “10th Symphony” or finally finish his mother’s work on cold fusion.

      It’s really up to him.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        I once saw Melvin swim through land. Beats walking on water.

      • Steve H

        He could give up baseball entirely for a dayto concentrate on the Global Economic Crisis which he would immediately solve.

  • J.R.

    Mike, if you had the option would you rather take Buster Posey or Jesus Montero?

    • Salty Buggah

      I think he has said Posey before. Better D, MLB-ready, and a similar bat

      • Doug

        don’t think his bat is as good, but your 1st two reasons and the fact that he’ll definitely be a catcher, mean it’s probably posey

        • Salty Buggah

          Maybe but he has .959 OPS in his minor league career. I’d say he has better polish than Jesus but Jesus might have more potential.

          • Doug

            but montero OPSed .909 in AA as a 19-year old.

            and i’ve heard him called the best bat in the minors by more than one source.

            • Salty Buggah

              I agree Jesus is the best. But I’m just saying Posey isn’t that far behind. If Jesus gets more patience (and he will by age), he’ll surpass Posey’s numbers

              • Doug

                agreed.

                one thing that montero does do better than posey is not strike out (at least so far in his career). and this is probably the most impressive thing about him. he’s 19, OPSing .909 in AA and not striking out.

                • Salty Buggah

                  Yea, he has insane power potential. Posey, while having a higher OBP, does not have Jesus’s power. So, with a bit of polish and experience, Jesus will be even more beastly.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  I really, really, really hope he sticks at catcher.

          • Salty Buggah

            Seriously check their stats out:

            Posey: http://www.baseball-reference......sey-001bus

            Jesus: http://www.baseball-reference......nter001jes

            Posey has some awesome numbers, better than Jesus. The main difference is age, as Jesus is 2 and half years younger and that of course, is a really important difference.

            • Doug

              yup, as i referenced above

            • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

              I am so happy that the Rays went the cheap route and didn’t draft Posey. They look like idiots now, though.

              • Salty Buggah

                Yea, agreed. Tim Beckham, despite his potential, is no Buster Posey.

  • AndrewYF

    Okay, so the question stands:

    Is the ‘weak’ Yankee farm system due more to mismanagement or trades?

    Mismanagement: how much of a mistake was it to pick Geritt Cole over, say, Casey Kelly? Overrated as he may be, he’s still a blue-chip prospect, while Cole is now out of the Yankees’ reach altogether. Although it wasn’t a total loss – the Yankees have Heathcott instead. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him rank higher than Kelly by 2011.

    Trades: How much better would the Yankees’ farm be if they hadn’t traded for Nady/Marte, or Granderson and Vazquez? They’d still have Tabata, Jackson, Dunn, and Arodys. Going by Sickels’ scale, that’s a B+, B, C+ and who knows on Jackson (a lot of people don’t like Jackson at all).

    • Doug

      cole gave no indication whatsoever that he was contemplating college. have no real problem with the pick.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Casey Kelly is already the top-ranked prospect in the history of sports. He is Babe Ruth incarnate.

      • steve s

        He’ll be lucky if he turns out to be his dad, Pat Kelly incarnate.

        • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

          All the hearts in New England are broken now.

          Excellent work, steve s.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Our farm system is still like an overall C, C+ is it not?

    • Salty Buggah

      Is the ‘weak’ Yankee farm system due more to mismanagement or trades?

      It’s because the Yankees are so freakin awesome. They consistently pick in the late 20’s, early 30’s because they win so much. Also, signing FA’s and subsequently losing picks has a bit to do with that.

      Trades have also reduced some of the talent level. Mismanagement perhaps plays a part but I think it’s minor at best. I think they’ve done a good job, all things considered.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Are you trying to tell me it’s not al Cashman’s fault?

        • Salty Buggah

          yep. As surprising as that may sound to some (coughLOMBARDIcough), it’s not.

      • Salty Buggah

        And since Cash has gotten full control, those weren’t horrible FA signings and trades so it was worth the loss in prospects.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          …But in a way, the bad farm system IS all Cashman’s fault.

          Food for thought.

          • Salty Buggah

            I guess. But a bad farm is worth the moves he has made at the big-league level.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              Our farm doesn’t seem that bad.

      • YankeeGrunt

        I don’t know that it is weak. We would have lost AJack to graduation in a year or two, IPK was a wildcard, and Dunn has major control issues. What it really comes down to is Vizcaino. It hurts, absolutely, but he’s not the only promising young arm in short season.

    • Evil Empire

      Overall I’m really pleased with the Yankees’ farm system, especially from the lens of the amount of impact its had on the 2009 major league team and the impact it will have on the 2010 team.

      When you put into consideration that the Yankees had enough talent in the farm that they could turn it into guys like Granderson and Vazquez while directly fueling the team with guys like Cano or Chamberlain, most of the very strong bullpen, and Montero on the way, it certainly serves the Yankees’ purposes. They get as much out of it as the system allows them to considering they always are at the bottom of the pick order and they consistently give up high picks from FA signings.

      The only problem I have is they need to offer arb to their Type As more often.

      Also, the Swisher trade alone complete makes up for the Nady/Marte trade (which wasn’t a bad deal as the time). Heh, I still get a kick out of that.

      • AndrewYF

        Hell, just the fact alone that they have Jesus Montero is good enough for me.

        Role players are worth a lot less to the Yankees, currently, than other teams. You almost need to be an immediate superstar to crack the Yankees’ roster. Zach McAllister, who would be a prime candidate for a major league rotation spot on several (albeit crappy) teams, will have a hard time ever sticking with the Yankees’ major league club. Look at Austin Jackson, destined to spend most of the year with the Yankees in AAA, likely making Detroit’s Opening Day roster. Mark Melancon would have been in a major league bullpen all year in most other organizations. Look at Ian Kennedy, destined to be the Yankees’ 7th starter, he is likely going to make the Opening Day major league rotation in Arizona.

        I guess my point is that I would take Jesus Montero over all the guys the Yankees traded away over the past two years combined, and then some. Superstar prospects are that much more valuable to the Yankees than guys who will produce at most slightly above-average production.

        • YankeeGrunt

          Groundball pitchers in homerun-happy parks are not a dime a dozen. This is the Yanks, so it may take an injury or another strong season in Scranton for him to get a shot (where another less competitive club might have been content to give him a chance at the #5 slot as early as this year), but Pettitte and Wang came up with little more fanfare and stuck around because they ate innings and gave a great lineup a chance to win every trip to the mound, even if neither was especially dominant.

  • http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090810&content_id=6355462&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy JobaWockeeZ

    Why do scouts always say it’s likely Jesus is getting kicked out of catcher? I mean give the guy a year or two before saying it…

    • Doug

      b/c he’s a big, lumbering, non-athletic kid, and the things he’s poor (shifting behind tyhe plate, blocking balls, transfering the ball from glove to hand when throwing out baserunners) at are most improved upon by an athlete

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      because most people that saw him play saw a guy who hit like a major leaguer but cought like a average high varsity catcher

  • Bonos

    I was deliberating where to answer and finally decided this didn’t apply. Does anybody see the problem? Nobody trades prospects for prospects but we’re cheering because the Yankees have Catchers knee deeper. How are the Yankees going to get fair value for their catchers when they won’t be able to show them at the Majors level? Montero and Romine come up and then it’s curtains. The same applies for pitchers. Right now Hughes is the only tradeable pitcher that you could maybe get fair value. Even so he won’t get a fair chance to show his stuff because he’s number six and will wind up in the BP again. What do they do with McAllister after next year? Trade him as a prospect where he will lose value? Because logically there will be no room for him in the starting rotation. I both like and hate the Vazquez trade. Because in two years if Vizcaino doesn’t get hurt he was a giveaway for a one year sure thing. If Vazquez gets hurt, it was just a giveaway. The Yankees are back into the sure thing mode. I don’t like it.

    • YankeeGrunt

      An 18 year old tearing it up even in short season is impressive. But realistically, just about anyone who hasn’t cracked full-season ball, who has twenty-two appearances in minor league ball to his credit, is a lottery ticket and little more. That is especially true of a young arm with injury concerns. Vizcaino’s upside is absurd, but the Yanks have half a dozen lottery tickets with similar upside, one of whom is four months younger than Vizcaino and put up comparable stats in full-season.

    • Steve H

      People do trade prospects for prospects, especially as part of bigger deals. See the recent Toronto-Oakland trade.

      And Vazquez, if he is here for 1 year, will bring 2 top picks.

      • pokey skokey

        Only if the Yankees offer him arbitration. Looking at their arbitration offers for the past two years, that is far from a guarantee. If Vazquez stinks is up, no arbitration and no draft picks.

        • J

          I thought Cash has implied that is going to happen

  • Mo

    I would trade any and all of the prospects on that list not named Jesus Montero. Sickels describes a bunch of replacement level players and career minor leaguers to me. Sorry prospect lovers.

    • YankeeGrunt

      That’s just silly. Other than Montero sure there are no untouchables on there, sure, but developing a system with near and far-term help, with positional and pitching prospects at every level, is a long-term endeavor. We are uniquely suited to shell out overslot and IFA money to bring in high ceiling guys with bust factors because we don’t need to hit on even a good number of them. Guys like Jose Ramirez and Heathcott are not “replacement level players” or “career minor leaguers,” they are guys with the talent to become elite prospects but question marks that could just as easily see them out of baseball in a few years. Guys like Duncan, Curtis, maybe Russo, these are your AAAA types, and over the last two years we’ve had a lot less of those.

  • Gleb

    “Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his younger brother Brandon Laird, a prospect in the Yankees farm system, were arrested following a brawl at the Celtics-Suns NBA game in Phoenix, Arizona, according to the Associated Press. Gerald lives in Arizona during the offseason while Brandon played in the Arizona Fall League this past year. ”

    nice…lol

  • Mo

    I love the trades for Granderson and Swisher, younger players with ML experience. Other league wide examples were Edwin Jackson, Nate McLouth, Nyjer Morgan, Jeff Francouer. I don’t understand why trades have to be for pending free agency reasons (prospects for one veteran i.e. Halladay) or headache trades Bradley for Silva, only. There should be more trades of prospects for young players, young players for young players (Jackson- Scherzer), and even prospects for prospects.

    • whozat

      Why? Why should teams want to give up young, cost-controlled players?

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    Boy, remember when the knock on our system was that it was all RHP, zero bats (other than Tabata/Ajax)? And a total lack of catching?

    4 catchers in the top 10 prospects is absolutely ricockulous. Time to start a new cycle of stockpiling arms, though.

    • YankeeGrunt

      We still have a ton of arms in A and rookie ball. Ramirez, ManBan, Noesi, Heredia, the half a dozen guys we nabbed in last year’s draft. Nothing wrong with targeting pitching, but if we have any particular lapse in the system it’s probably SS and the corner IF positions. With Jeter eventually moving off of short nabbing a bunch of IFAs and maybe an overslot or two might not be a bad idea, see who progresses. Clearly corner IF is not a huge need because of Teix and A-Rod, but it is something at which we’re relatively thin.

      • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

        Hey, I wasn’t saying we don’t have any arms, just that it isn’t anything like the strength it was when we had Hughes/Joba/IPK/Horne/TClip/etc.

        Fair enough on infielders, although I actually like a farm system that is chock full of pitchers and catchers for us. I think dedicating a huge portion of our minor league program to replacing Posada is brilliant. At any given time there are only a handful of catchers who can hit, so it’s often a thing that can’t be bought at any price. Most positions are relatively easy to fill with money, since we often know years ahead of time when there won’t be a superstar filling that spot.

        Short is obviously a concern, but as much as I love to see successful prospects from our system at any position, it’s hard to care about our 1B/3B depth, considering.