Nov
28

What Went Wrong: Farm System

By

(Danny Wild/MiLB.com)

Two years ago, the Yankees enjoyed a brilliant season by the farm system in which almost everything went right and nothing went wrong. Jesus Montero took a step forward to become a star prospect, Manny Banuelos dazzled, Gary Sanchez debuted, the college arm trio of Adam Warren, David Phelps, and D.J. Mitchell excelled, and even the enigmatic Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman had strong seasons. As a result, the team’s farm system ranked fifth and ninth in baseball by Baseball America and Keith Law, respectively.

Last season was more of a normal year in the minors, with the usual number of breakouts and breakdowns, injuries and surprises. After the season, the team’s system was ranked tenth and 13th by Law and Baseball America, respectively. Those rankings were released after the Yankees traded Montero as well, who was easily their best prospect. They had a high-end of a middle of the road system, if that makes sense. This year though, things down on the farm were definitely far from normal. An awful lot more went wrong than right.

Injuries
When Baseball America published their list of the team’s top ten prospects earlier this month, five (!) of the top eight prospects were players who missed significant time with injury this year. Top prospect Mason Williams dislocated his shoulder diving for a ball and had season-ending surgery in early-August. Number two prospect Slade Heathcott didn’t appear in his first game until mid-June because he was recovering from his second left shoulder surgery in as many years. Number seven prospect Angelo Gumbs tore his left elbow ligament on a swing and was done in late-June.

(Brian Bissell/Future Star Photos)

The two most significant minor league injuries came on the pitching side. Preseason top prospect Manny Banuelos missed a few starts in April with a sore back, then landed on the DL with a bone bruise in his elbow in mid-May. That kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the year, and early last month he finally went under the knife and had Tommy John surgery. He’s expected to miss all of 2013. Preseason number two pitching prospect Jose Campos, part of the Montero trade, came down with elbow inflammation and didn’t pitch after late-April. Last we heard, the club was “hopeful” he’ll be ready in time for Spring Training. The duo combined for eleven starts this year, six by Banuelos in Triple-A and five by Campos in Low-A.

Lesser prospects like Austin Romine (back), Zoilo Almonte (hamstring), Abe Almonte (hamstring), Corban Joseph (shoulder), David Adams (neck), Zach Arneson (shoulder), Jeremy Bleich (shoulder), Dan Camarena (shoulder), Dan Burawa (ribs), Greg Bird (back), Jordan Cote (shoulder), and Matt Tracy (hamstring) all missed time with injury this year. The team’s two Rule 5 Draft picks — righty Brad Meyers (shoulder) and lefty Cesar Cabral (elbow) — missed the entire season with injury. Meyers has already been returned to the Nationals while Cabral will get another look in Spring Training. The injury problem got so bad that first round pick Ty Hensley was found to have an “abnormality” in his pitching shoulder prior to signing. It’s not even a real injury, something in his shoulder just isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. It hasn’t stopped him from pitching yet though, so fingers crossed.

Underperformance
If you were one of the lucky Yankees farmhands who didn’t get hurt this summer, there’s a pretty good chance you didn’t play up to expectations. Betances, my preseason number three prospect, pitched to a 6.44 ERA with nearly as many walks (99) as strikeouts (124) in 131.1 innings. He pitched so poorly that he had to be demoted from Triple-A to Double-A. Preseason number seven prospect Dante Bichette Jr., last year’s first rounder, followed up his Rookie Level Gulf Coast League MVP effort by hitting .248/.322/.331 with three (!) homers in 522 plate appearances for Low-A Charleston. Those are just the big names.

(Brian Bissell/Future Star Photos)

Warren made his big league debut with a disastrous start against the White Sox, but otherwise spent most of the year in Triple-A and pitched almost exactly as he had a year ago. Repeating a level and not improving is underperformance in my book, especially for a guy who spent four years at a major college program. Ravel Santana returned from his brutal ankle injury to hit just .216/.304/.289 with 68 strikeouts in 247 plate appearances for Short Season Staten Island. Former first rounder Cito Culver (.215/.321/.283) continued to look like the overdraft he was labeled way back on draft day.

Of the top ten players on my Preseason Top 30 Prospects List, only Sanchez managed to avoid the injury bug and live up to expectations. The other nine either got hurt or underperformed. Add in the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that limited the team’s ability to import high-end talent, and the Yankees’ farm system took a massive hit this year. With the 2014 payroll plan looming, the lack of progress from the team’s top prospects may be crippling in a few years.

* * *

Of course, it wasn’t all bad down on the farm this year. Tyler Austin hit a combined .322/.400/.559 across four levels and emerged as one of the game’s best pure hitting prospects. Williams was excellent before hurting his shoulder and Heathcott starred after returning from his injury, plus Sanchez and Ramon Flores continued to progress as well. Mark Montgomery appears to be the team’s next great homegrown reliever, Cuban veteran Ronnie Mustelier came out of nowhere to hit his way into the big league conversation, and lower-ceiling arms like Chase Whitley and Brett Marshall are now on the cusp of the big leagues.

Barring trades and all that usual offseason stuff, the Yankees still boast four surefire top 100 prospects in Williams, Heathcott, Sanchez, and Austin. We can quibble about the exact order but it doesn’t really matter, they are four of the 100 best — really the 75-80 best — prospective big leaguers in the game. There are a ton of question marks after that though, and the club lacks impact talent at the upper levels of the farm system. When the various organizational rankings come out in the spring, the Yankees will probably rank somewhere in the 15-20 range among all farm systems, buoyed by the four top 100 guys. There isn’t much impact beyond those four though.

Categories : Minors

83 Comments»

  1. MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

    “Fire Cashman for raping the farm” in 5…..4…..3….

  2. LK says:

    The injury to Banuelos and Betances’ disaster season, combined with the similar fates of Pineda and Nova at the MLB level, make me think that the Yankees will be unable to stick to the 2014 payroll plan without a significant reduction in the quality of the team. I think the plan itself was reasonable, but circumstances have changed, and I fear that the plan hasn’t changed enough to compensate.

    • Jake says:

      Yup.

      If this team is sitting out free agency, sitting out the market for international stars like Darvish, Chapman and Cespedes, and continues to draft ok, but struggle to develop players, it is going to mean some lean years ahead. Just because the Yankees have been good for a long time doesn’t mean they always will be. Look what happened to the Phillies last year.

      • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

        Phillies were good for like 2 years, not exactly “a long time”…

        • Preston says:

          And while most people thought they’d be good in 2012, everybody saw the decline coming.

          • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

            not entirely true … people (here at least – Axisa at the forefront) were well aware that the Phillies were a very fundamentally flawed team with a few shiny toys on the forefront.

            That said, everyone sees the decline coming here too, to some extent. You cant keep hoping A-Rod comes back and Jeter/Mo/Pettite continue drinking from the fountain of youth. Lightening from a bottle cant keep getting you there, which is what makes this farm system season so disappointing

            • Cris Pengiucci says:

              If the Yankees stick to the $189MM budget for 2 years, they reap the most benefits. They can hit the FA market hard after that. Yes, that may mean they struggle for th3 ’14 & ’15 seasons (I think they’ll do quite well in ’13), but should be able to build a very strong team after that using their financial strength (and perhaps some solid pieces that are now in the lower minors/recoving from injuries). This won’t be the mid ’60s to mid ’70s all over again. 2 years of struggles (if that’s what it turns out to be) is nothing.

        • Jake says:

          The Phillies won their division 5 years in a row, winning more than 90 games the last four of those years. In 2010 they won 97 games. In 2011 they won 102. Last year they won 81.

          The point is how quickly a team can fall off if it’s not always trying to get better. The Yankees right now aren’t getting better, because that’s not their priority. Their priority is being as good as they can while cutting payroll.

          • YanksFanInBeantown says:

            Well, as long as Teixeira, Cano and Sabathia aren’t on the shelf for 2+ months, they have a major league caliber bullpen, and Granderson and A-Rod don’t fall off a cliff. I think they’ll be better than the Phillies were last year.

          • LK says:

            That last paragraph is about as well as this situation can be summed up. I am very interested to see the reaction from the fans (as far as attendance) and ownership if this goes south.

  3. Dan says:

    With the way that Mustellier performed and the power he showed last year, could he be the RH side of the RF platoon with either Ichiro or Dickerson for next season? I haven’t seen him play, so I don’t know just how bad his defense is, but I would assume the Yankees could always bring in someone for defense at the end of the game. It seems like with the lack of RH power that the Yankees have, with A-Rod losing a lot of his power, it might be useful to have someone like Mustellier up with the team.

    • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

      Jorge Vazquez circa 2012

    • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

      Also, Shelly Duncan called, said to go fck yourself

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        That’s not quite accurate. Mustelier signed out of Cuba when he was 25 and he’s supposed to be a decent pure hitter. He’s not a good comp at all to Duncan, who was in AAA for several years, or Mr. Two True Outcomes.

        • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

          In the way that all three are/were “AAA Heart Throbs” that may or may not ever save the Bronx, yes. the comparison is dead pan.

          • YanksFanInBeantown says:

            Still, though, unlike with Duncan and Vazquez, Mustelier might not suck. He’s in AAA right now because he signed at such a late age, not because he sucks like Duncan and Vazquez. And Frankie Piliere said he was intriguing, which is more than you can say for AAAA players.

    • Tags says:

      @ Dan

      I saw him multiple games in Trenton, the guy just hits. He looks small but you shouldn’t let that bother you the guy has hit at every level, time to see if he can do it inthe majors.

      • Dan says:

        Thanks, yeah it seems like with the 2014 budget plan it might be a good time to see what he can do. When looking at his stats and seeing how he was doing on the DOTF threads it seemed like he was able to hit at every level.

  4. Mikey says:

    Dan

    I really like this suggestion as we could trade Granderson and move Gardner to CF, sign Hamilton for 4 yrs in RF and platoon Dickerson & Mustellier in LF.

  5. Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

    “With the 2014 payroll plan looming, the lack of progress from the team’s top prospects may be crippling in a few years.”

    Totally agree with this statement from Mike. If this crop flames out, it doesn’t seem like the Yankees are going to be willing and able to spend their way out of it.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      I disagree. Not spending on the franchise after gaining the financial rewards due to the new CBA probably won’t maximize returns for ownership in the long run. I suspect they’ll spend come the ’15 offseason, as ARod will be nearing the end of his contract, as will Tex, Jeter should be retired, and the team will have needs on the field. To maintain the value and revenue this organization provides, they’ll need to reinvest and I think they’ll due just that. Perhaps they won’t sign the “next ARod” to a 10 year deal, but they’ll need to have someone to be the face of the organization going forward, or someone to support Cano in that position.

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

        Take a look at the free agent market over the next 2-3 years. All of the best young players are being bought out of their early free agent years after signing long term contracts and as a result aren’t becoming free agents.

        The ways for the Yankees to use their financial might have dwindled and will continue to do so. There’s not going to be a viable substitute to developing your own players.

        • Cris Pengiucci says:

          A lot can happen in 2-3 years; trades, new drafts, injuries and comebacks, etc. I believe what the Yankees learn during their time of reducing payroll will benefit them in the long run.

  6. viridiana says:

    Nothing wrong with the farm. Problem lies with unwillingness of organization to promote from within. Mustelier and Adams could have helped las5t year. Romine, if given chance, would help in 2013. Four players in top 70-80 prospects is well above average –especially for team picking as low as Yanks. My guess is the farm will look alot stronger next year, with pitching emerging at lower levels and position players nearing MLB.

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

      Nah, why would the Yankees give low-cost guys like Adams and Mustelier, who have performed pretty well in AA/AAA, a shot in the Show when they can scrounge for 36-40 year old league average or worse guys for those roles?

      Give Adams a shot at the utility role next year? Nah, lets scout the weak free agent market for a washed up guy. See what Mustelier can do in a platoon outfield role? No way, lets grab a declining player on a one-year deal. Romine as a back-up in the bigs? Of course not, they have the almighty Chris Stewart! Wouldn’t want to chance losing his incredible offensive production if Romine can’t hit.

      All sarcasm aside, I agree with your post. Most people do not.

      • jjyank says:

        Romine was injured last year, or they probably would not have bothered with the Stewart trade. Adams can’t play SS, and has very limited experience at third. Mustelier is old for the competition and is a relative wild card.

        • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

          butbutbut…. Ronnie Mustelier!!!!!

        • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

          I know Romine was injured last year, thus necessitating the Stewart acquistion (although I still think they could have just kept Cervelli in that role), but I still don’t see the harm in giving him serious consideration for the backup role in 2013.

          Valid point on Adams, I know he hasn’t played short but I thought he had played more 3B than he actually has not that I look at his numbers again.

          Yes, Mustelier is a wild card, but I don’t consider 28 all that old. Yeah, he’d be old for a rookie, but so what? You aren’t ever going to find out about guys like that unless you give them a chance. Considering the Yankees are now budget-oriented for the near future why not role the dice? Unless of course they swing some sort of trade for a quality RF they aren’t getting anything good, nothing close to a good as Swisher, as a replacement. If Mustelier sucks in the bigs then be done with him. Low-risk decent-reward potential.

          • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

            Wow, spelling fails. *now that I look at his numbers *roll the dice

          • YanksFanInBeantown says:

            28 is old as hell, Mustelier is a unique case, however.

          • jjyank says:

            Mustelier is the only example you provided that even sort-of-kind-of points to a reluctance to “let the kids play”. And it might just as much be that as it could be the Yankees don’t think his performance will translate to the majors well.

            Complaining about the team searching for superior options to a 28 year old with zero MLB experience is a silly idea, in my opinion.

            • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

              Exactly. This guy is maybe a bench player in the majors if not a AAAA player.

              To suggest it’s some kind of injustice not to promote him is pretty absurd.

              • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                And you are basing that statement on what?

                He didn’t even spend the entire year in AAA last year. He has hit well at every level that he’s played at. I think it’s a tad premature to label him a AAAA/bench player after less than a full single season in AAA. Perhaps you will end up being correct, perhaps not. I’m not claiming the guy is a star, but he certainly has potential to produce, and given the options that are currently out there along with the Yankees desire to limit payroll, I don’t see a Ichiro/Mustelier platoon as unreasonable.

                • Preston says:

                  Age vs. level matters when considering minor league stats. Context is always important.

                  • Preston says:

                    The team has a lot more info about these players than we do. If they don’t promote him it’s not because they hate having cost controlled contributors on the roster.

                  • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                    Understood, but at the same time you have to realize he’s only been in the system for 2 years. It’s not like he’s a Duncan/Vasquez that has been in the minors forever and is now older than his competition. He signed late and rose to the top of the farm quickly. I’m not claiming it’s ridiculous that the Yankees didn’t promote him last year, but that he should be considered for a platoon spot in Spring Training if the Yankees don’t swing a deal for another RF.

                    The original comment I responded to was commenting that the Yankees tend to be more timid than other teams in promoting guys like this and I think it’s a valid point.

            • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

              If you can point to a better, realistic, full-time, free-agent OF option they can get on a one year deal, I’m all ears. I’m just not seeing it, outside of a trade.

              I’m not advocating to make Mustelier a starter Day 1 of the season, but I don’t see anything terrible about platooning him with Ichiro if that’s what it comes to.

              Personally I think they should re-sign Swisher but we all know that’s not going to happen.

              • jjyank says:

                You said this: “See what Mustelier can do in a platoon outfield role? No way, lets grab a declining player on a one-year deal.”

                This is what I am taking an issue with. If the Yankees believe that they can grab a guy with a MLB track record who might be better than the unproven guy in AAA who is ~5-6 years older than most of his competition, I sure as hell hope they search far and wide. Mustelier is a last resort option for me.

                • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                  I was being very sarcastic in that reponse although I think we just simply disagree here.

                  I just don’t see anything out there on the free agent market (besides Swisher) that I’d prefer over a cheap Ichiro/Mustelier platoon. I also notice that you did not include any names in your response.

                  Hopefully Cashman surprises us all with some sort of deal and this entire conversation becomes moot.

                  • jjyank says:

                    I don’t have to supply a list of names in order to justify the concept of searching for superior options. Like I said, I wouldn’t hate Mustelier being promoted or anything, but it would be only after exhausting all other avenues. There’s probably a reason he barely gets any prospect hype outside of the RAB comment sections.

                    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                      Perhaps there is a reason, perhaps it’s a result of the “he’s too old to break into the MLB” mindset. I don’t claim to know. I do think it’s important to differentiate between Mustelier and the Shelley Duncan/Jorge Vasquez types who sat in the minors forever though. He did start late but he has risen quickly in the two years he’s been in the organization and performed at every level he’s been promoted to.

                      And there certainly is nothing wrong with searching for superior options, I just don’t think they exist outside of the trade market. I wasn’t trying to call you out for not listing names, moreso remarking how there seems to be little to nothing of value in the 1-year-deal free agent outfielder market.

                    • jjyank says:

                      Like I said, I am not opposed to Mustelier on the roster if another option is not found. I just find it a little ridiculous that some people consider it some form of injustice that he has not been called up yet.

          • Captain says:

            well Romine basically lost an entire year of development last season, other than that little fact, he should totally be in consideration.

  7. Preston says:

    Wow, a lot of doom and gloom in this post. The Banuelos injury is the only one that really hurts. I think everyone expected that he would have a MLB impact in 2012, instead he will lose all of 2013 to injury and then work out the kinks in AAA and maybe make an impact by late season. That’s a tough pill to swallow. The Campos injury is disheartening, but he’s young and far away and he has plenty of time and talent to bounce back. The Romine thing stinks, but was kind of expected. 20 somethings yo’s shouldn’t have chronic back issues, if they do, it’s probably serious and you’ll probably never be able to stand the rigors of being a full time C, I hope he proves me wrong. As for the under performers I think that nobody expected Betances to be this bad, but it was kind of a make or break year for him. I’m not that concerned by Bichette’s poor season, it was an agressive promotion, he struggled, I still think he can bounce back. If he struggles again at Charleston in 2013 then I’ll worry.
    I really think we’re underselling how positive some of the things were that happened on the farm this season. Gary Sanchez lowered his K rate at A ball and then maintained that in his promotion to A+, that’s a good sign, as is his improved scouting reports on D. Tyler Austin came from out of nowhere to be a legit top 50 prospect. Mason WIlliams was great and I don’t think his injury will effect him going forward. Slade Heathcott was healthy and really freaking good.
    2012 wasn’t great on the farm, but I like what we have, and I think it will take a big step forward in 2013. Hensley, Depaula and Campos are hopefully going to have big years and turn into legit high end pitching prospects.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Agreed. Some other break-out candidates for 2013 include Cote, Bird, Camarena, Aune, and I would say Andujar as well. Gumbs could take another big step forward into a legit top prospect. Wonder if any of the top IFAs they signed will debut stateside?

  8. YankeeGrunt says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. The injury to Banuelos was disappointing, as was Campos. Betances took a giant leap backward, and Bichette struggled, as did Santana. But Heathcott put it together when he was on the field and in the AFL. Austin destroyed A Ball pitching. Gumbs broke out. Williams hit very well. Sanchez improved. Murphy’s defense improved. They added a high-end arm in Hensley via the draft and DePaula wowed at instructs. Joseph and Adams both had excellent hitting seasons and Marshall may have moved projections of his ceiling upward. You’re starting to see a lot of offensive talent get within striking distance of the majors, and there are more pitching prospects in short-season than there are innings to give them. The system took a hit at the top but it is the deepest I remember, and IMO a top 10 org.

    • Jake says:

      The problem is that most of the talent is so far away from the majors. Guys in short season ball or A ball are way less valuable than guys in AA and AAA, which is where the big problems were (Banuelos, Betances, Romine). Those were the guys expected to contribute and they won’t be any time soon.

      • greg says:

        adams almonte and romine will all be in aaa. adams and almonte really hit last year and they are just a phone call away next year

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Austin is already in AA, as are or will be Slade, Turley, Flores, Montgomery, and Murphy. Austin and Slade are 1/2 their BA top 4 prospects. The other two, Sanchez and Williams, could well join them in AA this season. AAA has Marshall, Romine, Adams, CoJo, Warren, Betances, Whitley, Mesa, and Almonte.

        They have a lot of intriguing prospects in short-season, but that is by no means where the meat of their system is. The pessimists continue to act like 2012 didn’t happen and Austin, Williams, and Sanchez are still in Charleston or something.

      • YankeeGrunt says:

        Sure, but even when the farm was considered pretty good it was mostly a prospect desert from Tampa up. In the five or six years I’ve been following closely I can’t remember having more than a couple legit MLB prospects per team from High A up to AAA. This year the best of the positional prospects will be at Trenton and Tampa, so they’re a year or two away.

        • Preston says:

          That’s the nature of prospects. Most teams have players in A ball who can project to be big leaguers. Most of them get weeded out. If and when they get to AA or AAA they have ceased to be untapped potential and their flaws and shortcomings have been shown on the field and they now project as platoon, bench, bullpen guys or just organizational depth rather than future starters. Few teams boast a lot of top end prospects above high A. And usually the teams that do are bad and got such a strong system by drafting high and dumping big league talent to supplement their farm.

  9. Ted Nelson says:

    Not to say that injuries to Banuelos, Campos, and Romine plus Betances’ blow-up didn’t stink, but having three guys break into the top 50 on a lot of prospect lists just offsets that to me. Spoiled Yankees fans who remember nothing but the dynasty years of the last almost two decades are constantly afraid of any negative or risk, but there was a lot that went right this season for the Yankees’ farm system.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      The readership here seems to break down into the optimists and the pessimists (as do a lot of the posts). While we don’t seem to have that next “can’t miss” star sitting at AAA and may have to deal with a season or 2 of struggling to make or even missing the playoffs, there’s a lot to like with this team, from the MLB club down to the low minors (and front office).

      • MannyGeee - The race to $189 starts here! says:

        ” While we don’t seem to have that next “can’t miss” star sitting at AAA …”

        The Ronnie Mustelier Fan Club from above takes offense.

        • YanksFanInBeantown says:

          No one thinks that Mustelier is a potential star. He is a potentially useful piece, however, and it’s disingenuous to claim that he isn’t.

          • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

            ^This. I haven’t seen a single person claim he’s a future star. But he has the potential to contribute.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        They might miss the playoffs every season. I don’t see that as a new thing.

        • Cris Pengiucci says:

          Obviously some people do. It’s a right of every Yankee fan to have the team make the playoffs every year. And they need to string together 3 or 4 WS victories in a row every once in a while as well.

          • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

            Pretty much every year since the mid to late 90s, the Yankees have had a legitimate chance to contend for a world series and with the issues surrounding the team over the next 2-4 years, some people think that won’t be the case.

            This generation of Yankee fans is obviously spoiled but that comes from the top of the organization who has long promoted the idea that it’s world series or bust.

            I also don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing for Yankee fans to expect excellence moving forward

    • jjyank says:

      I think there is a legit argument to be made that the farm went “as expected”. Maybe slightly trending to going wrong, but I don’t think anyone can reasonably expect every prospect to take a step forward.

      Left out of this discussion is David Phelps too, who took a step forward in my mind. I know he’s not a prospect anymore because of his graduation to the bigs, but a prospect becoming a solid contributor to the big league club is another tick mark in the “what went right” area as well.

  10. Comnsnse says:

    Cashman was basically an intern and a GM with no clout until after the 05 season when he was finally given full operating control.

    Having gotten control his mistake was sticking with the same characters in the Tampa cabal who had been around for too long.

    Namely Mark Newman,Damon Oppenheimer and crew, and while the Yankees perenially draft near the bottom,have essentially produced nada at the major league level other than a few decent,not above average pitchers. Robertson being the most consistent of the group.

    There is no position player ready for prime time in the organization,nor any pitching help less than two years away.

    Overall a D for Cashman and friends,and when combined with Cashman’s bad trades,Swisher being the only good one.

    His job and others should be on the line!

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Cashman was basically an intern and a GM with no clout until after the 05 season when he was finally given full operating control.

      Having gotten control his mistake was sticking with the same characters in the Tampa cabal who had been around for too long.

      Namely Mark Newman,Damon Oppenheimer and crew…

      Newman’s been around forever, but Cashman fired Lin Garrett as scouting director and hired Oppenheimer in 2005.

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Not a Bobby Abreu, Randy Johnson, Shawn Chacon, Eric Hinske, Jerry Hairston Jr., Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Ian Kennedy or Austin Jackson fan, I see.

  11. Gonzo says:

    Looking at Austin’s season makes me want Oscar Tavares even more. At 8 months younger he OPS’s pretty much the same thing Austin did. Except Tavares did it all in AA while Austin did 2/3′s of it in Low A and another 1/3 in Hi A ball. While supposedly playing better D.

  12. RetroRob says:

    Well that’s a sobering read.

    And can’t disagree with any of it.

  13. All Praise Be To Mo says:

    Should have taken Castellanos instead of Culver, big time overdraft which everyone said at the time.

    • Preston says:

      I’m still upset about them taking Lou Witte in the 12th round of the 1999 draft, big reach, they should have taken Pujols.

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