The home grown Yankees, or Why the Yankee culture has to change

Ken Singleton weighs in -- Part I
2014 Payroll Breakdown: Part Two

Imagen Yankez have all hom grown pleyerz.* Seriously, it’s a neat little exercise to go back and see what current major league players went through the Yankees system. Thankfully, Scranton RailRiders beat writer Donnie Collins has saved us some time and put together such a list himself. If nothing else, it’s a nice little thought experiment.

*You’ll have to follow @Seinfeld2000 to get the joke.

Without further pontification, here’s Collins’s list, complete with commentary and other goodies.

Starting Pitching

Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Ian Kennedy
Ivan Nova
Jose Quintana

Disabled List: Manny Banuelos, Jeff Karstens, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno

The best (current) pitcher on this list might not even technically qualify, depending on how you define homegrown talent. Quintana originally signed with the Mets as an international free agent in 2006, but they released him while he served a drug suspension in 2007. The Yankees signed him before the 2008 season, but then let him walk after the 2011 season. He was pitching successfully in the majors the next year.

Even if you count Quintana as a homegrown talent, it’s not as though it’s some developmental win. He’s arguably the best (current) pitcher on this list — certainly is in terms of results for the last two years — and the Yankees got nothing from or for him.

None of these pitchers rates in the top 30 in ERA among qualified starters for the last three years. The highest is Ian Kennedy at No. 46. On the flip side, Phil Hughes ranks No. 103, out of 112, in ERA during the last three years.

The disabled list doesn’t really mitigate this situation at all. Karstens is a fringy guy, obviously better off in the NL than in the AL. Phelps has been useful, but more on the level of Nova than above the level of Quintana. We still await the arrival of Banuelos; it seems the guys is constantly facing setbacks in his development.

Relief Pitching

Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
Tyler Clippard
Mark Melancon
Mike Dunn
Phil Coke
Randy Choate
Adam Warren

You could probably go a few different ways with this list, since the Yankees have developed a goodly number of relievers. If you count Quintana, you could also count Jose Veras, who is having a fine season. There’s also Joba Chamberlain — whomighthaveremainedastarterunderdifferentcircumstancesbutthat’sbeyondthepoint — who has been good in the past but is having a really poor season that makes his overall numbers look that much worse.

Here the Yankees do have some clout. Rivera, Robertson, and Clippard all rank in the top 30 among relievers in ERA for the last three seasons. Melancon ranks in the top half and is on the rise. Dunn, Coke, and Choate form a decent cadre of lefties. Warren has shown that he’s a pretty good long man, at the least.

Yet again we find a blunder, though. While Coke and Dunn were both traded in large-scale transactions, Clippard got shipped out of town for Jonathan Albaladejo, which I’m sure Brian Cashman ranks as one of his worst trades. That’s not to mention how much Ramon Ramirez could have helped in the past.


1B: David Adams
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Jimmy Paredes
SS: Eduardo Nunez
1B: Shelley Duncan

Disabled List: Derek Jeter, Corban Joseph, Ramiro Pena

Is there need for much commentary on the infield? Robinson Cano has been a phenomenal developmental success, especially at the major league level. He went from a guy whom the Rangers and Diamondbacks snubbed as a trade chip in 2004 to a veritable star by 2010.

And then we have the rest of the list.

After a hot 180 PA to start his career, Paredes has predictably stunk. Nunez has potential, and you can see it in nearly every swing he takes. It’s pretty, and it produces some of the hardest hit frozen ropes you’ll see. To date, it has failed to produce results worthy of an MLB starter. Adams still has potential, but he hasn’t done himself any favors in the bigs. I will refrain from commenting on Duncan.

Jeter obviously represents a developmental success, though that development occurred two decades ago, while Cashman was a mere peon in the organization and his staff wasn’t even with the team. Joseph could be decent, but lacks an arm to play 3B and so probably has no future with the organization. Pena was having a good year in part-time duty before getting hurt, but it’s not as though he’s going to be some surprise star.


Brett Gardner
Austin Jackson
Alfonso Soriano
Jose Tabata

Disabled List: Zoilo Almonte, Melky Cabrera

This isn’t the worst group in the world, though there isn’t much power to speak of. Jackson is no superstar, but he did produce a solid rookie year and a standout season in 2012. Outside of that he’s been a little below average, which is fine for a center fielder with his kind of range. He and Gardner would prevent plenty of fly balls from dropping in.

The curious case here is Tabata, who earned Manny Ramirez comps while in the minors — and that’s a direct lesson to not comp minor leaguers to superstars. He’s been adequately above average for the Pirates in three of his four seasons to date, but like his Yankee-developed brethren he doesn’t hit for any power. Soriano is the only source of power here, and once again he’s not a true developmental success, since the Yankees signed him as a free agent after he played in Japan for a bit.


Dioner Navarro
Austin Romine

Suspended and/or Injured: Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero

Again, a section that defies comment. The Yankees have had a pipeline of catchers, and none has really worked out. It does make me wonder what might have become, had Cervelli put his damn hand behind his back instead of leaving it prone and having a foul ball break it.


The roster above does not provide much inspiration. Collins wondered how it compared to the product actually on the field, and I think it’s pretty clear that the 2013 Yankees are a bit better than this crew.

Teams are built in many different ways, though, and an all-homegrown team ignores the Yankees greatest competitive advantage: money. So it makes sense, in a way, that they haven’t developed an elite corps of big league players. With money to burn on high-tier players, it’s not necessary.

Then again, a necessary cousin to spending on high-tier players is trading prospects for established talent. The Yankees have done this, and really haven’t surrendered all that much in the way of helpful big leaguers. But their track record suggests that teams aren’t getting a whole lot in return. I’m not sure if this turns teams away from dealing with the Yankees, but it certainly can’t help.

The landscape is changing as well. Players are opting for security over top dollar, signing extensions with their current teams that leave them off free agency lists at ages when it might make sense to sign them to long-term contracts. When they do hit free agency it could be in their early- to mid-30s, a time when long-term contracts become far, far riskier.

In the past, this kind of development had worked. In the future, it will not. Therefore, people railing against Cashman and the front office in the comments — an inevitability in nearly any post but a 100 percent certainty on this one — miss the point. How the Yankees have performed in the past in terms of player development does not necessarily reflect how they will perform in the future. In the past they didn’t need to emphasize development because of their other advantages. Now that players and teams have changed their behaviors, the Yankees will have to adapt in kind.

Which is to say that they have to do better if they want to avoid a long period of losing teams. The old methods just don’t work as well.

Ken Singleton weighs in -- Part I
2014 Payroll Breakdown: Part Two
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  • Greg

    It’s entirely necessary to point out that if the Yankees had been intending to roll with all hom grown pleyerz for all these years, the team would be dramatically better than depicted above.

    • I’m One

      There’s no way of knowing that with any degree of certainty. I do, however, find it highly unlikely that any team would be comprised of 100% home grown players. so it is likely that the team would look different from what we see above if they intended to stick with primarily home gronw players.

      • Greg

        It’s kind of the point of the exercise to pretend you’ll never make a trade and never sign a free agent other than those you’ve drafted or signed. Of course it would never happen.

        And sure, we don’t KNOW that for certain, in as much as you can never know anything for certain. In this universe, the Yankees would have picked earlier in the draft in every season and surrendered no draft picks instead of many, while budgeting for the draft and international signings with the knowledge that they could never sign free agents. Considering that, to entertain the possibility that the Yankees wouldn’t have developed better players really strains the imagination.

        • Mac

          Exactly. Doing this with no context is pointless.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Never liked free agency from a fan’s pov but obviously supported the players’ f/a rights to get all they could. The Yankees made a choice a long time ago to stock the roster w/the best F/A’s & acquired players they could get while remaining financially profitable & using the farm system to deal & fill in where necessary & cost effective. I wonder how many players with major league ability came through the Yankee farm system over the past 40 years who were poorly handled and really had no chance at being properly developed by a system designed to discourage most of them & use the rest of them as trade chips?

      The only time the organization developed sustained high level talent in-house successfully was when the club had tanked in the late ’80’s early ’90’s and George was suspended long enough to permit Gene Michael to commit to the player development that rebuilt the club by the mid-’90’s. With MLB teams finding it cost effective to lock up virtually all their young big league talent to multi-year deals, the Yankees will either commit to insuring they’re a winning club built mostly from within, or deal with Yankee fans regularly watching post-season & probably regular season games from home.

  • Ogre

    Wow that team would be awful on another level… I wonder what the payroll would be though: there would probably be no worries on the “189 DOOMplan!!!!1!!”

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    One glaring error: Joba is a starting pitcher.

  • KeithK

    The Yankees don’t need an entire team of homegrown players. But they do need a core of home grown talent. Even before the current financial environment had teams locking up their players you didn’t find elite, long term players on the market very often. What you got were guys like Texiera, who were at their peak when you signed them but were likely to slide downhill over the course of the contract. Baseball is a young man’s game.

  • Bats

    This analysis shocked me, because of how good it is. Then when I saw who didn’t write it (Mike Axisa), lol….i wasn’t surprised.

    I am gonna sum up my feelings about this in the shortest way possible. The Yankees need a plethora of prospects in the organization. As much as the Yankees are rich in cash, the organization is poor in prospects. The Yankees need to setup a system where players who reached their prime can be traded for 2-3 prospects. Heck, other teams do that to us why can’t the Yankees do that themselves. Those prospects in turn can be traded for young veteran talent that has yet reached 1st time free agency. If the Yankees can implement a system like this, the discussion will no longer be a Championship, but a Dynasty.

    • I’m One

      Easy to state, hard to implement. I do believe changes are necessary, but I think you over-simplify it.

      • Mikhel

        Dodgers did it in ONE offseason. Their GM has said it in interviews, as soon as the Magic Johnson group took the reins he could do a lot more than when McCourt was in charge.

        The Dodgers hired more scouts than those they had (and they had a lot of good talent in their scouting department) and organized them in such a way they began to be as good as they were in the 1980s and 1990s.

        He even said that once you sign a young talent in the international market (Puig, after watching him in México City) then every agent would quickly approach you with offers, which in turn made it easier to sift through raw talent non-available to other teams (like the Yankees). That’s how they got ahold of Urías, a young kid who played for México in international tournaments but his future was yet to be decided. Same with Edgar Arredondo, who ended up signing for the Texas Rangers, a young power pitcher (16 years old)…

        It is baffling to see the Yankees with SO MUCH MONEY and so little talent in the minor leagues because they refused or didn’t know how to exploit the market’s inefficiencies regarding international prospects.

  • Frank

    But, but…DO drafts so well!

  • trr

    Mr. Pawlikowski, you just said it all.

  • alen

    most of the moaning is from fans with no clue who think the yankees should be in the post season every year.

    there is nothing wrong with buying players like we do. nothing wrong with farming them either. pluses and risks with both models. anyone saying the yankees should go to a mostly farm system has no clue.

    this is just a bad season where everyone who matters is on the DL. and the previous owner was senile in his old age and signed an aging player to a 10 year contract

    • Frank

      Just a bad season where everyone who matters is on the DL. Oh, they’re also aging and declining.

      Oh, and the Yankees have no upper level talent in the minors to speak of. Oh, and the last impact position player the Yankees produced was Brett Gardner…who debuted in 2008 (!). Oh, and the Yankees have produced zero above average pitchers unless his name is David Robertson. Oh, and they refuse to hand out multi-year contracts to above average players, and instead take on Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells, and Alfonso Soriano (althoug Soriano is forgivable considering the needs of the team).

      But yeah, it’s just injuries. Plus the Yankees never draft at the top of the first round! They don’t have as many picks because of the free agents they sign! Excuses, excuses, excuses, bullshit, bullshit, yada yada yada! Did I do that right?

      If you don’t think the Yankees need to improve their farm system and player development, especially given the state of the team, then YOU have no clue.

      • alen

        true, but the farm system has its own risks. what’s the ratio of prospects to MLB stars? 100 to 1? this year there were 25 or 30 guys called up from Triple-A to MLB level. how many players on all 30 teams? 2500 or so? that’s 1% and some of those guys will fail as well.

        i’m also a mets fan and the people on their boards are the opposite this year. they want to trade the whole team for prospects. yet when guys like zac wheeler get promoted and don’t pitch as good as CC or Kuroda they scream that they suck.

        we have a team that has been in the playoffs every other year on average. you can’t get any better than that.
        nothing wrong with building a farm system like the pirates have, but it won’t guarantee you a post season spot every year either. look at the giants this year, their entire pitching staff is like CC Sabathia. it going to take years to rebuild it.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Explain to me how you would improve player development, since you’ve seemed to have precisely pinpointed this as the problem, and anyone who disagrees doesn’t have a clue.

        • alen

          you don’t. you buy up guys with decent numbers and let our coaches make them better. this is NYC, we have the money.
          buy up guys in the 25-35 age group and keep them till 35-39 depending on the person.

          • Wolfgang’s Fault

            Wrong! Best way to rebuild a club is w/superior pitching and a great catcher, & you build outward from there. If you have none of the above, you take whatever pieces you can get, & bide your time until you can develop/acquire same, and in the meantime, endeavor to create, at the very least, a farm system that routinely supplies the big league team w/players who are at the very least fundamentally sound & who don’t beat (as in defeat) themselves.

            That means players who know how to play their positions, infielders who at the very least make all the routine plays, outfielders who don’t run into each other or over infielders in pursuit of fly balls & know where & how to hit the cutoff man, & hitters who routinely work counts, can execute a sacrifice bunt, & are capable of hitting behind runners if they can’t hit for high average or power. Of course, it helps to have a superior group of scouts capable of evaluating talent, & in house baseball people who know how to develop talent. Throwing money at established players is costly & no guarantee the player performs at a level commensurate with the dough you just committed to him/them.

        • mike

          or we can rely on the current Yankee braintrust, which has demonstrated an inability to develop quality young players – nevermind impact guys

        • Guns

          Awesome – yet typically snarky as usual – post mr tilapia. It’s the Yankees FO job to improve player development, as they get paid millions of dollars to do so, not anyone on this message board. Identifying it as a problem isn’t making some kind of controversial, earth shattering declaration. It’s a problem. Otherwise, what the hell are we talking about?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            You’re right. Anyone can point a finger in a general direction and say “yah bastahds need to get bettah at playah develpmunt.” That’s precisely the issue. I’d like to see one of these fools one day follow it up with a coherent damn argument that isn’t reliant solely on their own personal criteria and doesn’t ignore information that isn’t convenient to them.

  • tmoney

    What this is not taking into consideration is the draft pics that the Yankees have lost out on by signing free agents. Im sure if we were to go back to the drafts it would add a ton of talent.

    • your mom

      Then again, maybe it wouldn’t.

    • fat jeter

      on the money, tmoney. Personally, I feel the Yankees, wheter knowlingly or not, neglected the draft in the early 2000’s at the expense of signing free agents, putting “big names” on the marquee, getting asses in the seats, and owning the back page. the fact that they draft late has little bearing on a less than productive farm system. they never really considered it as an adequate source to find talent due to the time and difficulty associated with it.

      • fat jeter
      • Mac

        They never considered it as good a source as free agency and trades, and were almost definitely right given the rules at the time and their financial resources. (Signing a proven veteran FA entering his prime during the PED era was infinitely more likely to help your team than a late first rounder.) The rules have changed. Not completely, but they’ve definitely changed. Harder to find talent in FA and productive careers seem to be shorter with less PED use.

  • dan2

    The big question is not whether they will change their philosophy, but rather do they have the personnel in the front office to do it. This ship of fools could not make the playoffs in any fantasy league in the country with their personnel moves of the past few years.
    They need to get rid of the geoup grope where every suit gets a vote. The baseball operations should take care of personnel with no interference/input from the business operations. Sorry Randy. There is nothing to do about Hal and Hank but their fingeprints are all over every bad move of the recent past.
    There is also a cancer in the organization. Too many yankees tied to PEDS. That has to stop.

  • Frank

    Should Banuelos be on that list? He didn’t pitch in the bigs did he? Only spring training.

    • your mom

      Good question, but if he had been healthy all last year I’m sure he’d be contributing some way this season.

      • Mandy Stankiewicz

        And should Dellin Betances be on it?

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Neat history lesson but your misconstruing the argument…No one is saying the team needs to be 100 percent homegrown, the Yankees just need to do a better job than pitiful at development.

    • ChrisS

      Pretty much. It’s not an either/or. Rany Jazayerli wrote this in March for Grantland:

      When you’re able to feast on the free-agent market every winter, it’s not that hard to build a perennial winner. What made the Yankees a dynasty is that they developed five Hall of Fame or near–Hall of Fame talents of their own in a short time. Williams debuted in 1991, and in 1995 the Yankees had perhaps the greatest rookie quartet by a single team in major league history: The Core Four (Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, and Posada) all debuted that year.2

      Take a franchise capable of fielding payrolls two or three times the league average, mix in the greatest rookie crop ever, and 17 playoff berths and five world championships in 18 seasons seems like a foregone conclusion.

      He goes on to say that while revenue grew for other teams (who started locking up their younger talent) the Yankees payroll stagnated more or less. They weren’t outspending teams, talent has started disappearing from the open market, and the Yankees draft picks – more or less all flawed athletes – have been bust.

      No monetary advantage and no developmental advantage =/= championship teams based on the Yankees “model”.

      • alen

        there is risk in that as well. Justin Verlander is having a pretty bad year, right after signing a long extension. Pedroia signed as well and his numbers might drop as well. both their teams will be locked into long term and expensive contracts.

        so you might have a lack off talent for a few years as lots of teams lock up talent, but in a few years the talent pool will probably go up again.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I don’t think either the Sox or Tigera are that worried about either guy right now.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            ….or the Tigers for that matter….

    • Frank

      I think what he’s saying is that the Yankees didn’t need to focus on development because of the money they were spending mitigated the need to have home grown stars come up through the system.

      I think that’s hogwash. I may be wrong, but I recall Brian Cashman and Co. talking up the importance of the farm system and how they were going to build it up for many years. And we’ve seen that demonstrated in much higher farm system rankings than in previous years. The problem is what we haven’t seen, which is having this shift in focus materialize itself at the big league level.

      • ChrisS

        I think it’s bullshit, too. Being able to sign AJ Burnett on the open market doesn’t mean you neglect the developmental pipeline.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I think we always knew positions players were behind pitchers in the system, and that there’s been several missteps with both in the past few years that’s impacted the output. That doesn’t mean the franchise isn’t aware of the need itself, or that whatever needed to be corrected isn’t in the process of happening already. Position player talent is already better than it was, say, 3-4 years ago.

        • Dick M

          Is Robinson Tilapia Hal Steinbrenner?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I always pegged Pat D more as the Hal type.

        • ChrisS

          But that’s not what Joe is saying here:
          In the past they didn’t need to emphasize development because of their other advantages.
          It’s a bullshit statement.

          • OldYanksFan

            16 PS appearances in 17 years begs to differ.

    • Manny’s BanWagon


      And it’s not like flipping a switch.

      Cashman has bee talking about emphasizing player development for years with less than satisfactory results.

  • Robert

    George would have never allowed this to happen.

    The Philosphy seems to be go out and collect 35 Yr old name players to attract ratings.

    Expect to see 37Yr olds Michael Young and Carlos Beltron free agents signed to 1 yr deals next year.

    • ChrisS

      Id sign Beltran to the be the RF and occasional DH to a one year deal in a heartbeat. It’ll be better than the $100 mill they’ll throw at Choo.

    • Craig

      That’s total BS…this is EXACTLY the type of stuff George did all the time, only worse.

      Don’t rewrite history.

      The farm system is much better than it used to be. People need to understand that it is not a quick fix in the MLB draft like it is in the NBA or in the NFL where every team gets a chance to win.

      The Yankees will be fine. Their system is much stronger than people realize.

      • mike

        according to who? there is no one in the system as good as Jackie Bradley Jr., who would be the 4th outfielder on any real ML roster.

        also, which pitcher will be projected to have an impact before the next Presidential election?

        the system is a joke, and the cupboard is bare…hence the Wells/Soriano/Ichiro/Overbay fiasco of a roster, and the begging of Pettitte to pitch and the overpayment of CC… and these moves are orchestrated by the person who knows the system best, giving even more insight into the system’s failings

      • The Big City of Dreams

        The Yankees will be fine. Their system is much stronger than people realize.


        Ppl have been saying that for yrs.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      A bunch of words strung together.

    • Mikhel

      “George would have never allowed this to happen.”

      Then you didn’t live through the 1980s watching this team, George was AWFUL during those years, sure, the team won 90+ games a few times but they weren’t developing a lot of talent, and whatever they got in the minors they traded it for aging “stars”. It wasn’t until MLB banned Steinbrenner for life that the Yankees shifted their focus.

    • Mac

      Uhhhh….. George is arguably responsible for the drought of talent on this list. He held control in Tampa for many of the years when productive MLB players today would have been acquired and developed. He traded away many talented young players in the late 80s, and it was in his absence that the Yankees farm system bloomed in the early 90s. His farm system record in any semi-modern era is just beyond terrible.

      If you’re not old enough to remember George being alive, you shouldn’t make comments about him.

  • Bee

    Compare that to the Red Sox, who also typically pick late in the draft. I may have missed some, but:

    SP: Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, Anibal Sanchez, Clay Bucholz, Felix Dubront

    Closer: Jonathan Papelbon

    Infielders: Anthony Rizzo, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Boegarts, Jed Lowrie, Jose Iglesias, Freddie Sanchez, Wil Middlebrooks, Kevin Youkilis

    Outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, David Murphy, Daniel Nava, Josh Reddick, Jackie Bradley Jr.

    C: Ryan Lavarnway

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Theo was very close to emulating the dynasty Yankees. He got the hard part right with developing Pedroia, Lester, Ellsbury, Youkilis and Buchholz but he fucked up the easy part by signing the wrong free agents in Lackey and Crawford.

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      But Cashman >>>>>>>>>> Theo, right?

    • Dick M

      That’s a very telling list when compared with ours. And the Red Sox resources aren’t that much different than ours. They don’t pick early in round one either.

      How anyone can look at who we’ve developed over the last 15 years and consider that anything but an abject failure is beyond me.

      • Manny’s BanWagon

        How anyone can look at who we’ve developed over the last 15 years and consider that anything but an abject failure is beyond me.
        You’ll get plenty of people around here that would fight you till their last breath disputing that statement.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          When someone throws out “abject failure” as the starting point, sure, I’ll gladly take the under on it. Where else is there to go?

          • Manny’s BanWagon

            “Abject failure” is over the top but the overall sentiment that the Yankees player development over the last 15 years is far less than satisfactory is right on the mark IMO.

          • Tom

            What is your opinion of the Yankees development system?

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      And yet, the Sux haven’t made the play-offs since 2009.

      • The Real Greg

        But they’ve won 2 World Series to our 1 in the new millennium,

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Yes, but only two of the players mentioned were home grown: Youk, and Pedroia.

          Manny, Ortiz, Pedro, Schilling, Damon, Varitek and the rest were FAs or trades.

    • JohnnyC

      Since 2005, Boston has had 41 Top 120 draft picks (St. Louis has had 40). Only San Diego and Toronto have had more. In comparison, the Yankees have had 23 Top 120 draft picks…dead last among ML teams in this period. This explains a lot, not all but a lot.

  • Michael Welborn

    Joaquim Arias, the current utility infielder for SF, was originally a Yankee minor leaguer but was traded to Texas in the A-Rod deal.

  • Nathan

    The Yankees seem to be ignoring their own competitive advantage.

    • mike

      and they have intelligent fans trying to manipulate the roster to get under $189 like its of any benefit to us…..

  • Nick

    So if you did the same analysis back in 1990, you’d want to shoot yourself in the face over all the talent the Yankees let get away. Fred McGriff, Jose Rijo, Doug Drabek, Willie McGhee, etc. Back in 1990, you could at least dream of a rebuilding effort bearing fruit because there was evidence of the ability to find talent.

    Today…not so much.

  • Frank

    Also missing from the list: Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, Zach McAllister, who’s had himself a couple decent seasons with Cleveland.

  • Eddard

    I’ve been saying this for years. The only everyday above average SP the Yanks have developed since 2000 is Andy Pettitte, almost 20 years ago. The only everyday above average position players the Yanks have developed since 2000 is Robinson Cano, a decade ago.

    If you want to count Austin Jackson, fine, but he’s not a Yankee. They have not won a WS with Granderson so that trade was a bust. Cashman has gotta go and they need to start fresh at the top.

    • Craig

      This is so ridiculous and just shows the low baseball IQ of fans.

      The Yankees have Pineda, Banuelos, DePaula, Campos, Ramirez, Nuno, Turley, Phelps and a slew of other guys drafted in the last couple of years. Will they all turn out to be stars…no. Will they all turn out to be good MLB pitchers…no. Will some of them…the odds are they will. At no time in the last 15 years has the system had this many players with *potential*.

      The same goes for the position players.

      Every team’s farm system is a bit of a crap-shoot. Guys get hurt or fail to develop all the time. The Yankees have far more possibilities today than at any time in the last 15 years. For all of the people who think it is easy, or possible or likely, that any team can just crank-up their farm system and churn out “sure things” you just don’t get baseball and you end up saying stupid things like, “I’ve been saying this for years…Cashman has gotta go and they need to start fresh at the top.”

      Go play video games. They get you to the end game quicker.

      • mike

        Before you criticize folks…please keep in mind two of those players weren’t developed by the Yanks ( they were from a trade) and they both sh*t the bed since they got into the Yankee system…..

        • Craig

          If you are referring to Campos and Pineda I think you are being overly critical. They got hurt…that’s what happens to pitching prospects (often, on every team).

          Campos has improved and looks like he’ll be healthy and might take big step forward next year.

          Pineda is almost back from a serious injury and was throwing well.

          Trading for young players matters, too. The Yankees acquired 2 good ones and they have yet to make an impact. I think Pineda will next year and that Campos has a chance to be very good, too. You can disagree with me, but it doesn’t make you any more right than I am…just differing opinions.

          In years past, the Yankees didn’t have nearly this many possibilities of players working out.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Forget churning out sure things they aren’t even churning out average things.

    • Ed

      The only everyday above average SP the Yanks have developed since 2000 is Andy Pettitte, almost 20 years ago.

      My head hurts from reading that.

  • No Eddard

    The only everyday above average SP the Yanks have developed since 2000 is Andy Pettitte, almost 20 years ago.

    Why not just say the only SP the Yanks have developed in the last 20 years was Andy Pettitte?

    • mike

      because then Cashman doesn’t look as bad

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Because, just going for the lowest-hanging of fruit, Chien-Ming Wang is standing right over there, while the entire Yankee rotation this season has practically been home-grown guys.

      This is, of course, when people start with the “but this guy and that guy aren’t good enough for me” nonsense.

      • dick m

        Preston Claiborne says hello.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Time to start the #J.R.MurphyisthenextBusterPosey pipe dream train

  • mick taylor

    did you see where johnny damon said that if arod was on steroids in 2009, the yankee championship is diminished. well, since the 2 most important hitters on the 2004 and 2007 red sox championship teams were on steroids, manny ramirez and david ortiz, i guess those red sox championships are tainted too. that means the curse of bambino lives

  • Samuel

    The idea is not to have home grown players at every position, but to mix home grown guys with other players acquired via trade and smaller type free agents.

    The Rays Don’t have home grown guys all over the place either, but they have made great trades over the last 5-7 years, outing together a very good, deep team.

    No team produces entire squads of home grown talent who become all stars.

    Keep producing solid younger talent, trade veterans for more young kids when the vets become too costly, and let more younger kids mold into the starting lineup and rotation. And you need to give the kids an opportunity to produce.

    But, when you do have a young player who excels, pay them handsomely to stay…like Yanks did with Jeter and Cano.

    Only pay a big money free agent when that player will only put you over the top. Not to just “fill a hole.” That rarely works.

  • mike

    The bigger issue is even with the competitive advantages of unlimited international FA budget, the Yanks have done a horrible job with young players….and even then, their international FA signings (like Mariano and Soriano) blow away their domestic development.

    The entire minor league scouting staff should be fired, their player development folks should be fired, and their draft board should be inverted because there is a demonstrated inability to perform competently.

    if a few years or risky picks/ injuries happen, thats the nature of the game…when a process sucks for almost a generation with the unlimited funds the Yanks have, its an institutional flaw and it needs to be blown up

    • Scott

      Agreed. And maybe each minor leaguer is required to take a “how to play in the majors in New York” course.

  • Phil

    What would one of these teams look like for the Rays? Pretty scary I would imagine.

    • Craig

      Sure…if any team had the #1 pick for 10 straight years they would produce some good players.

    • vicki

      mariners too. they’d have arod, papi, adam jones, shin-soo choo, dark lord, ichi, asdrubal cabrera; felix, fister.

  • Reality Check

    Good article, I was actually trying to think through this last week–but, since we’re always going to compare teams to the Yanks of the late ’90s, how many of those pitchers were home grown? Home grown starting pitchers on the ’96 team: 1-Andy Pettite. Jimmy Key, Doc Gooden, Kenny Rogers, David Cone. Only two everyday starters were home grown. 97 is not much different. 98 you go to three regulars.

    Basically, even the championship years, we had 1 homegrown starter, the closer and 2-3 regulars, tops. So what do we have today? 1 starter, the closer and 2 regulars.

  • The Real Greg

    Everything in this article and nearly all the responses are right in my thinking.

    It’s not a matter of the Yankees doing this now, they should have been doing this 3-4 years ago.

    That is why Cashman needs to go. He can’t seem to perform well in this new reality of baseball, where money advantage means less than it used to.

    • Mac

      The players that they brought in 3-4 years ago are still in the minors. You have to wait to see the product of what they were doing 3-4 years ago.

      Four years ago they brought in guys like Slade, Murphy, Warren, and Bryan Mitchell. Even longer ago than that guys like Banuelos, Betances, Romine, Adams, CoJo, and Marshall were brought in. 3 years ago Austin, Mason, Gumbs, Segedin, Culver, Kahnle, Encinas, Roller, Gamel, Barawa, Whitley, Claiborne, and Nuding were brought in. In the last three years many more guys have been added.

      The returns on those guys could turn out to be amazing, terrible, or anywhere between.

  • Danny

    First time comment, but it has to be said.

    The premise of the entire Collins article is Theo complaining about how he was forced to bring in outside players after 2009, that he wished he could have gone with home grown Red Sox like he did that year when they lost in the ALDS. Just to make this clear, this means Theo would not have played that season with:

    Kevin Youkilis
    Jason Bay
    J.D. Drew
    David Ortiz
    Mike Lowell
    Josh Beckett
    Victor Martinez
    Brad Penney
    Daisuke Matsuzaka

    and others. Well over 20 bWAR worth of value.

    The lessons to be learned from this thought experiment are clear: Big contracts come with big risks. The relative value of the Yankees’ monetary advantage is diminishing. Player development has to improve if the club is to succeed.

    But drawing any other big conclusions is totally unfounded based on the premise and evidence.

    • The Real Greg

      Youkilis is a homegrown Red Sox.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    My favorite part of this article? Welcome back, Joe.

  • fat jeter

    “The last couple years, there were too many philosophies and at times they contradicted. We have had success despite that, but not the ultimate success. We have the most money, no secret about that. If we combine that with the best decision-making process on a consistent basis, God help the rest of baseball.” — Brian Cashman, 2005

    Still waiting, Brian, still waiting.

    • Mac

      They’ve only missed the playoffs once since then.

      • fat jeter

        correct, but as the quote explicitly states “we’ve had success […] but not the ultimate success”. meaning they made the playoffs in the 2000’s but never won the big one. Since that quote they obviously won 2009 when they simply committed 300 mill to 3 players, but have not been able to sustain that level of success. to be sure that is so much easier said than done and kind of silly to bring up, but i’m not using this quote to make a point greater than the more things change the more things stay the same.

        • fat jeter

          and to further clarify i’m looking more that the different philosophies and decision making process as opposed to the results

        • Mac

          Yeah, he can say that but doesn’t make it at all likely that a team will pull so far away from the pack. Especially the way things have unfolded around them with revenue growth for small market teams and the end of the steroid era (and corresponding end to guys left and right having prime seasons in their late 30s). They haven’t had the ultimate success lately, but have been close (and have probably won about as many regular season games as any team, which is a more appropriate sample really despite the playoffs culture of the US). This season they’ve been hit with a fairly perfect storm between the aforementioned developments, the $189 million incentive, and a swarm of injuries.

          Overall, my only real points regarding the farm system are 1. that since around that time (2005) the Yankees have actually had decent success developing players relative to other teams and their draft positions and 2. that while some guys on the farm are having down years that doesn’t doom their careers. It seems like 75% of commenters on here don’t realize those things. Which is frustrating.

  • Mac

    There’s really no point to doing this with no context around it. Imagine that I tell you a particular portfolio manager got a 5% return. Is that good or bad? Who knows? We need to have some sort of timeframe and a benchmark to compare it to. If it’s over 5 years when the relevant market had an annual return of 15%… it’s horrendous. If it’s for 6 months when the relevant benchmark is -10%… it’s great.

    In this case, we have no idea if this was a good, mediocre, or bad result for the circumstances. We have no reference of how other teams around the league have done or how their resources (draft picks) compare. We’re lumping together several different regimes and not considering the returns in terms of the resources that the Yankees had at their disposal. You need to actually establish what the expected returns should be. (It’s fun to say the buck stops with Cashman, but we know for basically a fact that he does not operate autonomously and never really has. We can also compare Opp’s results to previous regimes and I believe the results will be very good.)

    You’re hating on IPK for his recent struggles, but no one picked 9 picks before him has 2 career bWAR. He has 9. It was 45 picks after him before someone beat his bWAR to date. The only one who came close was Joba. That was a great pick. While he’s struggled this season, he was 20th in MLB in fWAR his first three seasons as a starter. 15th in fWAR among SPs under 30 in his 3+ seasons as a SP. (With Hughes at 48 and Nova at 53, the Yankees are well above average seeing as there are 30 MLB teams.)

    I don’t think that anyone doubts the Yankees farm system stunk in the early 2000s. And a lot of what you are measuring here is that stinkiness. You’re lumping together two decades of player development. There are only 83 qualifying players this season under 30 who are at least replacement level (under 3 per team). Only 65 are at least 1 win above replacement level. Two of the top 37 and 3 of the 89 qualifiers were Yankee developed guys. Not many other teams are developing quality young players, either. Cut out early 1st rounders the Yankees have never had a shot at, and you’re at a significantly smaller group.

    • OldYanksFan

      Thank you for a couple of intelligent posts. 75% of the people here should be relegated to washing your shorts.

  • Scott

    I would love to know how the talent system would look if run by “Stick” and Bob Watson.

  • Rhubarb

    Don Cooper taught Quintana the cutter. He might not have been as successful had he not crossed paths with Cooper. It’s open to debate but I would say he was a product of both systems.