Update: Yankees will make no changes to player development staff


Nov. 12th: Hal Steinbrenner told reporters the team will make no changes to the player development staff, so Newman will remain in his current role. They are making changes to their player development system that Hal called “procedural.” So nothing. They’re doing nothing, basically.

Oct. 26th: Via Mark Feinsand: Amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer will remain with the team in that role. He was rumored to be one of executives in danger of being replaced due to the team’s recent farm system failures. Oppenheimer has been the team’s scouting director since the 2005-2006 offseason and he’s been considered for a handful of GM jobs over the years.

Meanwhile, Feinsand says other changes are expected to be made in the baseball operations department. Long-time VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman was rumored to be on the hot seat alongside Oppenheimer, so he might be the one to take the fall for the unproductive farm system. The Yankees have been essentially auditing their player development staff in recent weeks and I’m glad to hear some changes are coming. Too much has gone wrong — top prospects keep stalling out and pretty much every pitching prospect worth a damn gets hurt — to maintain status quo.

Categories : Asides, Front Office
  • kenthadley

    How can Yanks exert their financial clout through the farm system in light of both US and IFA drafting limits? Hire more scouts? They created another rookie league team last year. Just wondering if/how they can get an edge…or have the draft rules eliminated this possibility?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Two rookie league teams help. Sure. I’m not quite sure it gets at a big issue, though. If ravel Santana or Austin Aune flame out in the GCL, at least all that was invested was a comparatively small amount of money.

      I’d like to see more attention paid to recovery from injury and re-injury on all levels. I think a lot of time and progress has been lost to cases in which guys have come back injured or not right from the higher levels of the minors up.

    • Tisha

      as long as the two clueless wonders (Oppenheimer and Newman) have jobs our farm will continue to be over hyped, non-productive and general will suck.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    No issue here. We know they can do better. We don’t know the intricacies of that. We don’t know who truly should be responsible for what. It’s all guesswork on our part.

    I’m sure there will be some “off with his head” (or mine) on here but, really, can you point to any specific reason why it should be this guy other than it’s because would Trump would do on “The Apprentice?”

    There need to be changes and, to paraphrase the 2008 presidential campaign, I’d rather see a scalpel than a hatchet used.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Some fans feel it should be him because at the end of the day this is a results oriented business and the results haven’t been what they expected.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        And, if you think like the fans….

        (One of my favorite Cash quotes, if not my favorite.)

        You fire the person on top if you determine the lack of results was due to something directly part of their job description. Now, that could mean a lack of oversight, but does Joe Post Reader know that? Nope. If something happened under Damon’s watch, but he wasn’t informed of it, etc., is that him? Nope. If I’m regularly meeting with my people, they do something wrong, and I didn’t know because they kept it from me, I’m not going to be held responsible for that if I was holding regular meetings/briefings/etc.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          True but after all these yrs someone has to be held accountable for the lack of development from the system. If the system was booming and the different waves they had became apart of the team he would get a fair amount of praise and rightfully so.

          • RetroRob

            True, and what we maybe seeing is they have determined the issue is on the development side, and Mark Newman is about to be toast.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              True Newman is still in “danger” of getting replaced. I did like what they did last yr by bringing in Patterson. I think in the long run that move will pay off.

          • qwerty

            Cashman should only ever get praise, never criticism.

        • Gonzo

          I kinda disagree with that a little bit. If I’m in charge and meet with my people regularly and wasn’t informed of something I should have been, that is my fault. Part of my duty as a supervisor is to know what’s happening not just know what’s being told to me. Could totally be different in the baseball structure, but in my world, if my job is know, it’s my fault if I don’t know.

          • qwerty

            I have to agree with Gonzo.

            • Caballo Sin Nombre

              Agree. They need to get to the root of the problem, not fire a scapegoat because they couldn’t think of anything else to do. I would buy the “someone needs to be held accountable” argument if scouting/development were a huge organization employing thousands; but it’s not.

              • Gonzo

                We must consider the simple explanation though. Maybe those that were fired weren’t scapegoated but were the ones that were accountable for some of the failures.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  Yes, but “accountable” can’t be used as an empty term here. It can’t just be “it happened on your watch.” That’s, to me, insufficient.

                  Firing and hiring are pretty big undertakings that cost time and money. I’m still digging out of having to find three new staff. Sucks. It’s meant bringing more work home with me because of time spent, other stakeholders breathing down our backs because we’re understaffed, etc.

                  …..and now we’re massively straying from Damon Oppenheimer, but at least if for toc vent about work. Woohoo!

                  • Gonzo

                    Mutiny at work! Do it!

          • Robinson Tilapia

            No, I agree with that. You just gave a bit more detail there. :)

            • Gonzo

              Should be an interesting offseason. I guess we are used to that though.

        • Silvio

          In Voltaire’s “Candide”: “In this country [England], it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others [pour encourager les autres]“

      • OhioYanks

        The results of what, though? The talent brought in? The development? The injuries, luck, and other issues outside the org’s control? If it’s either of the two latter, why the hell should Opp be fired? Those aren’t his jobs. If Pizza Hut’s order processing and cooking times are up to par but their deliveries are always late, they don’t necessarily go in and fire the cooks expecting that to change the results. They change something to do with delivery. That might be firing underperforming people at some level, or it might be overhauling the system.

        And how off were the results from expectations? Way off? Or a bit off? If the latter, the margin of error with prospects is so huge relative to the actual success rate that you might well be looking at normal variation in results and not underperformance.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          The results are pretty much way off. Their claim to fame after 8 yrs of Cashman taking control is a very good reliever and a solid outfielder.

          • OhioYanks

            I don’t think that your expectations are at all realistic.

            For starters, what are you expecting out of the last 3 or 4 drafts? It’s premature to be judging the results there. You don’t actually know what they got from those drafts, so taking about results over 8 years doesn’t make much sense.

            You are purposely ignoring some of the Yankees most successful draft picks over that time period and every single IFA they signed. Austin Jackson, IPK, HUghes have all been very successful picks.

            What have other teams done with the draft in the last 8 years? How many “claims to fame” outside the top 20 picks do those teams have? I’m not looking for one team that has performed great (Cardinals) or one player (Trout), I’m talking about realistic expectations across 30 teams.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Kennedy and Jackson don’t play here anymore and Hughes’ career hasn’t been a success.

              • Mac

                They don’t play here because the Yankees used them in a trade, not because they gave up and cut them. They were both players who were in the big leagues from day 1 with their new teams. Players who spent their entire MiLB development in the Yankees’ system.

                Hughes career has, in fact, been a success relative to where he was drafted. Absolutely. This is where OhIoYanks is saying your expectations are off. Two players in the 12 1st rounders that season taken behind Hughes have more career bWAR:
                Only three total players in the next round of picks (i.e. from #23 in round 1 to #22 in round 2). Hughes was a successful pick by any reasonable standard of measurement.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  I disagree I don’t view him as a successful pick. He’s a player that has had successful seasons but by no means has been an overall success. He’s a player whose career has been very inconsistent.

                  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                    What a surprise, BCoD is disagreeing with facts.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      What fact is that exactly???

  • Dick M

    It’s a great question and gets to the heart of where the org is now and where it needs to go.

    We have more resources so we should still have an edge. We just need to be more productive with those resources. In the past we bought our way to the top, now we have to work our way there.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    The problem isn’t with Oppenheimer, the problem is with development. They are getting talented prospects just not being able to turn talent into production. I’ve heard that the Cardinals have a changeup academy that they send all pitchers to. I think the Yankees need something similar.

    • Dick M

      Amen Brother(ton). For someone like Hughes to not have a 3rd pitch at this stage is pretty weak.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        I wonder if Hughes problem is he not sticking with that pitch long enough. I’m not sure if that is him tinkering with it or the team saying go with another pitch.

        Remember he learn to throw the cutter but then got cutter happy. Then there was the ST where all they talked about was his CU and then it only became a show me pitch.

      • RetroRob

        Oddly, his development through the Yankees system seesm to have robbed him of his best pitch, which was an extremely effective curveball that seemed to have flattened out over the years.

        Hard to say why, but once again this could be leading back to the answering being a development issue in the Yankee system.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          That curveball was a thing of beauty.

    • Scout

      The problem lies in both areas. Some of the draft choices have been head-scratchers, as has often been noted by Axisa and commentators here. Oppenheimer has gambled on some very questionable choices and been burned. This year he played it more conservatively with the three high picks, but this comes after the years of Culver, Bichette, Bleich, and others.

      • Bo Knows

        Bleich was a good choice, no one could have predicted him blowing out his shoulder, and in the drafts with Culver and Bichette most of the guys drafted around them didn’t pane out so it’s not like they were the only team to fail during those years.

        • Dan

          Nick Castellanos says hello.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Whoop dee doo.

            The Yankees overreached, and it hasn’t worked out so far.

            We also, back then, talked about the team possibly going for very easily, and low, signings in the first round. It wasn’t a good strategy, it didn’t pay off, and they haven’t followed it the past two seasons

          • OhioYanks

            That’s one player with 5 MLB hits. Certainly it’s a legitimate example, but it says little about the overall quality of guys available when two different guys were taken a year apart and 20 picks apart in their respective drafts.

        • WHAT

          Bleich was a terrible choice, it was laughed at at the time

          • The Big City of Dreams

            Was it?? It seem to get positive feedback when it was made.

      • JKK

        Agreed. Both Player Selection and Player Development have been very poor for Yankees on the past 18 years given the resources allocated to the Yanks. What is wrong with the team when they think CJ Henry was a first round draft pick? I think the Yankees should go out and rebuild the entire player development team from bottom up and hire away certain key members of the Cardinal Player Development and Selection team to rebuild the Yankees’s Farm System. If need be, rehire certain members that have done a good job in recent years back. Spend big money on Player Selecton and Player Development to produce more home grown talent and less money in signing FA that are over valued by the time of FA.

        • OhioYanks

          Everyone and their mother thoughts CJ Henry was a first round prospect. BA had him as the 20th best prospect in that draft. He didn’t work out, but he was a great athlete who was a legitimate first round prospect coming out of HS.

      • OhioYanks

        Again… did everyone sleep through 2012? Hensley was very much a consensus pick. Are we ignoring every other draft besides 2010-11? He’s taken a ton of consensus type guys like Brackman, Cole, IPK, Joba… People are drawing generalizations from a small part of the picture. We talk about a consensus, but there is no one general consensus. A couple of the top media ratings were like 50 spots apart on Clarkin this year (based on one the Yankees got a steal and the other they took a huge reach). Teams are likely just as far apart. There’s imperfect info on these guys. There are thousands of players teams are scouting across the country. They’re all going to have slightly different info on different players.

        The same years that Opp got burned on Culver and Bichette (who were very different consensus values themselves, by the way… Bichette was practically a 2nd round pick and considered about an early 3rd round value… Culver was taken far earlier and less highly regarded by the consensus) he got some very good prospect value out of players who he paid more money to. Every MLB drafter is going to miss more than they hit. You have to look at the whole picture, not just the misses.

        I would also point out that Cashman has gone on record saying that first rounders and other big money picks are often signed off on throughout the organization. Not just by Opp. For all we know, for example, Opp hated them but Hal himself told Opp to take Bichette and O’Neill because of their ties to the Yankees. Or maybe Opp loved them and he had to convince everyone else. Who knows? No reason to speculate if you have no idea.

      • Wolfgang’s Fault

        There may be a general consensus on a prospect, but a real scout looks at that kid w/skepticism until he does or does not see what all the hype is about. Scouts are paid to see not only what is but what could be there in the future. A kid may be mashing every pitcher he faces & he’ll get drafted, but in fact, he may have poor skills & his success says more about the lack of talent he’s facing then that he’s a sure fire future big leaguer. Conversely, he may read the radar gun & see a kid is only topping out in the mid to high 80’s, but he’s watched the kid pitch & he sees the kid digs deeper under adversity then the bigger armed player who’s getting the buzz, & w/a little growing and some adjustments, the scout sees a future big league pitcher in the overlooked kid whereas the kid w/the big time fastball & the hype may have all sorts of other issues that would prevent him from commanding a 2nd or 3rd pitch & really learning how to pitch successfully in the big leagues. Not saying this applies to Oppenheimer or the Yankee scouting dept., but it does illustrate the challenges inherent in the gig.

  • Mike Myers

    Can someone link a Vince McMahon ‘you’re fired’ pic please…..

  • Dan

    I’m fine with Oppenheimer staying–I feel like the talent is often there at low-A, and they just screw up developing it. I guess Hal and Cash feel the same way.

  • FLYER7

    I think they need to start prospects higher, skip levels when possible, two rungs in the ladder a year. Too tied to # of at bats and # of innings…doesn’t look like Cards are suffering with their 2009 draft class already in MLB or Wacha from the 2012 draft…at the Yankees rate of moving players Jagielo will be 24 or 25 in 2016 or 2017 when he gets to YS

    • Caballo Sin Nombre

      Moving multiple rungs in a year– yes. The other stuff doesn’t provide any advantage, it seems to me.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Forest versus trees, though. What’s good for Michael Wacka may not be what’s good for the next prospect.

      We forget how young some of our prospects were when reaching certain levels. Manny Banuelos and his two lost years of development are still at a spot-on age for AAA. Jagelio was already promoted with 1/3 of a season’s worth of at-bats. I don’t think this description fits the Yankees.

    • qwerty

      The yankees like their prospects well seasoned :) To be fair the yankees didn’t keep Kennedy, Hughes or Joba in the minors very long at all! They shot through the season like a canon, especially Joba and Kennedy, and then were in the majors the next season.

      I don’t know what will happen with Wacha. He pitched 20 innings in 2012 and then nearly 180 innings this year with some more to go. I’m surprised he hasn’t lost any arm strength so far. This year might actually be what eventually ruins him, so I can’t fault the yankees for being more cautious, which is ironic since all their pitching prospects get hurt in the minors, while everyone else’s seemingly are healthy all the way into the majors, LMAO!!!!

    • OhioYanks

      It’s a two way street. The Cardinals are moving very good prospects who are ready for tougher comp. The Yankees do that all the time, too. They regularly have the youngest players at their levels (recently Banuelos, Sanchez, Flores, etc.) and get criticized for moving guys too fast (Hughes and Joba especially). They can’t just move guys up to face guys they aren’t ready to and expect good results. When you move a guy up to a new level and he’s struggling, moving him up yet again is a questionable decision. They did push Mason up this year even though he struggled at Tampa, but taking someone like De Paula and moving him up again when he was embarrassing himself already would have been pretty odd.

      • OhioYanks

        Also, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Cardinals’ org better. Many of their best homegrown players were 25, 26 before they got MLB roles.

        • OhioYanks

          Another thing the Cardinals have done that most commenters on here have sworn a blood oath against is put some of their top young SP prospects in the pen.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      If he isn’t ready until then, that’s fine. Give them every chance to succeed but don’t put them in situations where they’re guaranteed to fail. Watch what the player does, & how they handle it will tell you what level they should be playing at or even if they should be playing at all.

  • CONservative governMENt

    When Culver and Bichette were drafted some pointed out that the Yankees have highly paid scouts that know better than the media like BA, who rely on consensus of reports. And that the Red Sox get positive draft feedback because they provide access to their info.

    The problem is that this hasn’t been borne out in results. Seems like they would have been better off replacing their scouts with a BA subscription and using the savings on their bonus pool.

    • kenthadley

      Good recall on this. We were told that the Yanks know better than BA…guess not on those picks. I wonder where the buck stops with unsatisfactory results. Watching the billionaire Hal in his blue blazer telling the media that he’s unhappy, with all the passion of a wet match, doesn’t give me the impression that there is a clear awareness of the failures in development over the past several years. All of a sudden because BA rates our draft good, now BA knows what they are talking about? Hal has no fire in the belly IMO. Seven years of mediocre results and what we get are organizational meetings. The opportunity was there two years ago to make a big splash in the IFA market before the caps, and it was business as usual. What’s Hal going to do with all the money he’ll save on 189?

      • OhioYanks

        Acquiring and developing players is generally like a six year cycle. That’s not to say you can’t already be dissatisfied with someone earlier than that, but

        And there haven’t been 7 years of unsatisfactory results with Opp by any means. He’s had some big misses, but plenty of hits. We’re talking about a really low success rates even in round 1 for all but the very best few year runs teams have ever gone on.

        You seem to be confusing Hal and fans at several points in your comment.

        • Dick M

          Where are these hits of plenty?

          • The Big City of Dreams

            Only hits I can think of is Drob and Gardner.

          • OhioYanks

            They’re there if you have an idea of what you’re looking for.

            You have to start with realistic expectations. When like 10% of late first rounders actually become good MLB players and maybe 20% become any sort of MLB players and the odds decrease pretty quickly from there, you can’t expect a bunch of stars. MLB contributors and top 100 prospects (who if nothing else have trade value) out of picks are successful picks.
            Guys drafted 3 or 4 years ago who are still in the minors also aren’t necessarily busts, they’re prospects. It’s normal. Some have some trade value and may or may not develop into contributors.

            Then you literally just have to go over to Basebaball-Reference and look. There’s Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, IPK, Joba, McAllister, DRob, Melancon, Betances, Romine, Phelps, Adams, CoJo, Turley, Heathcott, Murphy, Warren, Mitchell, Greene, Claibrone, Austin, Williams, Segedin, Gamel, Whitley, Bird, Montgomery, Cote, Cave, Camarena… not even going to bother with 2012 and 13 picks since they’re fairly new to the system but there are already some NCAA guys who could contribute relative quickly like Goody, Black, O’Brien, Refsnyder, Jagielo…

            IFA’s are also amateurs, and Opp’s title has to do with amateur scouting so without knowing what he actually does I have to assume that guys like Montero, Sanchez, Banuelos, Santana, Flores, etc. were also on Opp’s watch.

    • OhioYanks

      On two picks, sure. If BA made picks they’d get plenty wrong too.

  • Cuso

    “Changes are coming”

    “Changes are expected.”

    I call bullshit. They’ve been saying that since October 1. All the guys with the say-so in scouting/development are going to keep their jobs and they’re going to shitcan some low-level poor bastard that has nothing to do with the rotten state of the farm system just to say they “made changes.”

    If there was going to be a significant change, it would’ve happened already. We can look forward to another year of the same.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Perhaps. I’d also rather judge actual change in results by the results themselves, and not by personnel changes happened. Again, scalpel versus hatchet. Don’t shuffle the deck just to make it look like you shuffled the deck.

      • jjyank

        Yeah, this. Plus, I don’t know what Cuso is trying to say with “They’ve been saying that since October 1.” Okay? They haven’t made a change in less than a month, therefore nothing significant will happen? Come on. The offseason hasn’t even officially started, for crying out loud.

        Let’s see what happens. Seems way too early to call “bullshit” on anything.

    • OhioYanks

      Hold on to our pants, the season hasn’t even ended yet.

  • RetroRob

    Without understanding why certain decisions were made, it’s impossible to figure out who should stay or who should go. For example, were the Bichette and Culver overdrafts DO’s decision, or were they mandated by someone above, or perhaps they resulted from draft-budget restrictions causing the team to push more money down in the draft? Is it a drafting problem or a development problem, or both? Is it the flip side of the 90s when they drafted well and also got damn lucky (five borderline to HOF calibre players), where this time they had underperformers as well as just missed getting Mike Trout by one spot?

    I suppose there is another possibility. They’ve looked at the available talent to replace DO (internally and externally) and don’t think there is a better candidate immediately available. DO also has one year remaining on his contract. So does Cashman. Cashman is not heading anywhere except most likely for a promotion to a Theo Epstein-type role with the Yankees, with Billy Eppler assuming the role of GM. Eppler has advanced rapidly through the organization, eclipsing his original boss Oppenheimer. He’s in his late 30s, and unlike Cashman, comes from a scouting background. He is viewed by many as the proper blend between scouting and statistics. It may very well be that when Eppler is likely raised to GM in the next year or so, it will be up to him to make the decision on Oppenheimer long term.

    • Scout

      Oppenheimer owned the Culver pick, and he was very up-front about it at the time. He claimed another scout said his organization would have picked Culver when its turn came, before the Yankees would have has another crack at the kid.

      • RetroRob

        Yes, he defended the organization’s pick. I do remember that.

      • Electric Nunez ll

        Yeah, I remember that, and that’s one thing I don’t like about DO is he seems to toot his own horn a bit, he also bragged about picking another team’s pocket (his words) in regards to drafting Katoh and the questioning of whether it was an overdraft or not. Although that ain’t looking too shabby at the moment…

        My guess is he’s just a defensive sort and using these rationalizations when draftees don’t seem to pan out, but the, “If we didn’t grab him, someone else would have” excuse is one I don’t care for. One, we have to take their word for that, and two, saying someone else would have made the same crappy decision is hardly a strong defense…

        • OhioYanks

          I don’t think it has much to do with tooting his own horn. I would say he’s answering a question. He is directly asked to justify taking someone that the media viewed as an overdraft, so he lets the reporter(s) asking know that this was not some random name he picked off the board but a guy who other MLB teams were also high on. “Was player x an overdraft? He wasn’t that high on media boards.” “No, that’s where we had him on our board. And, by the way, that’s also about where other MLB teams had him on their boards.” Or “Could you have gotten Culver in round 2 / Katoh in round 3 rather than jumping on him so early?” “No, there was another team that literally let us know they were going to take him after we took him. It would have been impossible.”
          Just panning the guy out of context is odd.

          He makes these comments right after these guys are drafted. Not when they don’t pan out. So… not sure how that second paragraph makes sense.

    • Electric Nunez ll

      I really like your analysis, and hope you’re right about Eppler.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I wonder if the Angels thought, “We got Grichuk, now let’s take a flier on that Trout kid.”?

      • RetroRob

        Hard to say for sure what the Angels would have done if they only had one pick as opposed to two back-to-back. We do know what they said shortly after drafting Trout. They were quite clear that Trout was their top priority and would have taken hi if they only had a single pick. Since they had back-to-back picks, it didn’t matter which order they drafted those two players since they knew they had them.

        The Yankees (and Angels) never should have had an opportunity to draft Trout if not for some incredibly bad weather that prevented a number of teams from actually scouting him during his senior year when his game and skill rapidly improved as can happen with kids in their teens. The Angels and Yankees knew he was developing into a special talent. (I believe there was one other team that was almost as high on Trout as the Yankees and Angels were, but I can’t remember who now.)

        Problem is the Angels knew the Yankees were on him and he’d never surive another full draft round. They were going to take him. I can only imagine the collective pulse of the Yankees as Trout inched closer and closer to them as the first round picks were clicked off by the other teams. They probably knew the Angels were one of the few teams to properly scout him so there had to be concern with those two back-to-back picks, but when they went with Grichuk first, the Yankees might have thought they had a chance. Perhaps the Angels purposely let Trout go to that very last pick just to F with the Yankees.

  • sevrox

    FWIW – Hughes minor league numbers were absolutely filthy – the damage seems to have been done at the ML level. His numbers in the minors rival any wunderkind rookie pitchers currently killin’ it at the ML level…

  • OhioYanks

    Continually repeating that something needs to change because of results without making any attempt to analyze the underlying causes is so odd (the analytical minds who used to write for this site are sorely missed). As fans we can’t know exactly who made what decisions or pinpoint the exact problems. However, we can at least analyze relative performance by quantifying reasonable expectations and actual results. We can look at injuries relative to normal expectations. We can at least mention that they just turned over their P development staff one year ago when saying that their P development has been a problem (and the every P getting injured thing seems completely incorrect anyway). None of this has been done on here, but the same bs logic gets repeated over and over anyway.

    It’s been said many times, but player personnel is asset management. The amount of luck involved in asset manager’s results over the short- or medium-term is huge. There’s some stat out there about how most of the top 5% of fund managers over one 5 year period tend to end up in the bottom 5% the next 5 years. This is due to both luck having helped them and market inefficiencies or just trends they exploited disappearing.

    Obviously it’s hard to evaluate process without looking at the results, but between the volatility and margin of error with amateur acquisitions and their low success rate you can’t just look at MLB players turned out over a few year period. Especially when many of his early picks are just getting into the upper levels and MLB now.

  • bigweiner

    Going to clean house next year if playoffs are missed. Cashman and everyone else with him.

  • TheRealGreg

    SMH. Get ready for a decade at the bottom.

    • jjyank

      Shut up Greg.

  • Dan

    This is insanity. I get that Hal doesn’t want to make knee jerk reactions after growin up with George, but come on! They cannot be satisfied with such a shitty system.

    • Mac

      A year ago the same system had, what, 4 top 100 prospects with another top 100 prospect (their best prospect, in fact) on the DL with an injury that something like 90% of people recover from as good as new. That they had a bad year doesn’t mean the whole system is shitty.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Yea shitty is a strong word. I think fans look at the farm over the past few yrs since Cashman has had control and judge it off that.

        • Mac

          I don’t think that the results have been good, but I also don’t think they’ve been as bad as many people make them out to be once you do a thorough analysis. An analysis that accounts for trades, injuries, and draft position / # of picks.

          I would be interested in actually seeing the analysis (but am not going to do it tonight), but if you lined up the Yankees’ developed guys next to all the other teams in the league over that period I feel like they might be at least middle of the pack. Obviously not having a true stud hurts them a lot, but outside of a high draft choice I think there’s a lot of luck involved there. It’s hard to actually do that analysis because of trades and cuts. Which team gets how much credit for a prospect traded in AA? For a guy like Chris Davis who took several years to break out?

          • The Big City of Dreams

            True they aren’t the worst farm ever some ppl go overboard when they criticize the farm but I understand the level of frustration that many fans have. Even the Yankees have to be concerned to some degree. Outside of producing relievers is there anything else they do well?

            • Mac

              They could be a lot better, but they’ve pretty consistently been in the top half of the league in system rankings and have produced a good number of top 100 prospects.

              I don’t really know how to even go about figuring out whether they do something well. I would say there is so much variability and luck involved that results over a small sample aren’t necessarily going to tell you what skills they have so much as what happened to a few individual players.

              They have invested considerable resources at CF and C, and the results have been pretty encouraging. Melky, Gardner, AJax, Slade, Williams, Santana (pre-injury) in CF and Cervelli, Montero, Romine, Murphy, Sanchez, Torrens (plus guys later moved off the position like Austin, Bird, and O’Brien) at C have all had some degree of success either as touted prospects or as MLB players. 2B is another spot where they’ve had some intriguing prospects (Adams, CoJo, Gumbs, Katoh…) though not much to show for it yet since Robbie. So I would argue they have had a nice position player pipeline where they’ve invested their resources (outside of the left side of the IF where they have swung hard and missed a few times with the likes of Culver, DBJ, Suttle, Angelini, Tamarez…). They’ve had some success with NCAA SPs: IPK, Joba, Phelps, Warren, DJ Mitchell. And a couple of HS guys and IFAs: Hughes, McAllister, Nova, Noesi, Banuelos.

      • Tom

        You are using # of names on a top 100 list as an indicator or to evaluate the strength of a system? That seems rather silly.

        The major problem is these lists are heavily skewed toward age and raw ceiling/tools so I think you need to look beyond how many names are on there (not to mention the obvious need to look at more than 3-4 names in a system to get a sense of how good/bad it is) A #48 prospect in low A ball has significantly different value (in my view) than a guy ranked #49 in AA or AAA.

        Also I would gladly take a team that had two guys in the top 20 over 4 guys in the 50-100 range (especially if they are lower level guys); so the actual rankings matter too.

        Finally, while it’s nice to understand that TJ recovery is high, one of the reasons Banuelos was ranked so high was his age at the level he was at. He wasn’t exactly tearing up AA and AAA pre-injury (though who knows how much of that was his injury). I still have high hopes for him, but 2 years of lost development is a significant hit to his prospect value even if he comes back exactly at pre-surgery levels.

        • Mac

          Great, so I will use the Tom system for ranking prospects that I know nothing about next time I make a comment!!!!!!!!! Come on, dude, top 100 prospect lists are about the only way to take a somewhat objective (objective 3rd party, obviously the lists are very subjective) view of where a farm system is at. BA in particular uses the wisdom of crowds to some extent, which has proven extremely accurate in other applications such as predicting election results. If we talk about players they’ve brought up we’re not looking at the current state of the system and if we talk about our personal opinions we can go back and forth all day without actually making any progress at all.

          The Yankees’ system has good depth, so I don’t think looking beyond 3-4 prospects helps your case. It’s not crazy great depth, but there’s solid depth there. Beyond the 5 guys I mentioned they had a guy Law had 100-110 in Ramirez + a guy a lot of people think is a top 100 talent in De Paula + good rotation depth close to MLB with guys like Ramirez, Warren, Turley, Marshall + a long line of RP prospects. They have a hot riser at one of the most valuable positions who is about MLB ready in Murphy + a former top 100 prospect at C who has dealt with injuries and is MLB ready in Romine. They have several other position players who are about MLB ready who might be more bench or 4A guys than starters, but have a chance to contribute in Zoilo, Adams, and CoJo. They have FOUR! first rounders from the last two years ready to embark on their first full pro seasons. They had so many prospects in the lowest levels that they added a second GCL team.

          You make a lot of tangential points that don’t really address the comments that came before yours, which makes it tough to actually have a conversation.

          The subject we were discussing before you decided to get involved was not whether you would take another hypothetical farms system with a different configuration of top prospects in the top 100 lists over the Yankees (the top 100 lists are just a proxy for the consensus view on the system). It was whether the Yankees’ system is “shitty” and it’s “insanity” not to fire some people involved in running it. You might take other systems over the Yankees, but objectively it has not been a shitty system.

          Banuelos was so highly ranked because he’s a damn good P prospect. One that Keith Law argued emphatically should have been in the Yankees opening day starting rotation several years back. His walks spiked, but he still held his own in 2011. In 2012 he actually had a few dominant starts sandwiched between an early season injury and the season ending injury.

          • Tom

            I was simply pointing out the foolishness of looking at # of top 100 names on a list in a vacuum and pointed out why. It was a direct response to someone using the # of names on a top 100 list to determine the quality of a farm system.

            If that’s a “tangent”, my apologies. Next time I will apparently ask your permission to engage in a discussion that was 2 comments long at the time.

            Also what exactly is “my case”? (you seem to have made some assumptions here as you often do)

            All I was doing was pointing out the pitfalls evaluating a farm system on the top 3 or 4 prospects.

            • Mac

              Again, what is your solution other than using the top 100 lists to get an objective read on their farm system? I never said that’s a perfect way to judge a farm system. I said that it’s the only proxy we have. Are you actually going to respond or just keep repeating the same thing over and over again as if I didn’t understand it the first time? I get it. You have your own valuation system that is different from the consensus. So does just about everyone. That’s why we need some sort of objective reference point to arbiter our discussions. By neither top 100 rankings nor overall media system rankings is the Yankees system “shitty.” Do you actually have some evidence that it is, or are we going to keep arguing tangential points?

              When you directly imply something, people are going to make assumptions. Yes. If you list 5 different (at times contradictory) ways the top 100 rankings might overvalue the Yankees’ system and your point isn’t that their system is weaker than the top 100 rankings would indicate… what the hell is your point? If you have a point, maybe you need to state is clearly so that people don’t have to infer what it is…

              Have fun nitpicking one little detail of what I said rather than actually responding to my points!

              • Tom

                Good grief can you stop reinterpreting people’s comments?

                Evaluating the quality of a farm system based on the mere # of names on a top 100 list (with no regard for actual ranking) is a silly way to measure an overall farm system. Can you not grasp this?

                I never sad that you were making claims that your system was perfect. This is you once again recasting the argument (like you did with forensic below) because that is what you do. If someone dare disagree with you or point out a mistake in one of your posts, you instantly get defensive and emotional(!!!!!!) and then rather than carefully read the comment, you recast it in hyperbole and argue against the new Google MAC conversion. And this is a pattern with you.

                So again, my point:
                It is complete folly to judge the quality of a farm system solely based on the # of names on a top 100 list. Apparently you think this is a good way to evaluate various teams farm systems. We’ll agree to disagree. I’d point out how if you simply listed teams by # of players it might not match up to how those farm systems look overall, but I won’t bother because your sole interest would be in arguing that too.

                And FYI: You had TWO sentences in the comment I responded to…One was about the # of top 100 prospects the Yankees had, and the other was your conclusion from that “data” point. I don’t think nitpick means what you think it means.

                • Mac

                  Do you bother to read my comments? Or just copy and paste your original comments?

                  I have said several times that I understand your point now that you have explained it (though it was not very clear in your first rant). I have still let you know that I disagree because top 100 lists are one of the only proxies we have and the Yankees overall depth is pretty good so this is not likely a case where the top 100 prospects hide an otherwise weak system. You make an argument that prospect value is not linear (the top 20 prospect argument), which is also why most total organizational rankings look mostly at top 100 prospects to judge a system. Just about all teams have talented guys who are long-shots to make it, so what tends to objectively set a system apart are the guys with a relatively high probability of making it.

                  At no point did I advocate top 100 lists as the ideal way to judge an entire farm system. For all your insults directed at me, you are misinterpreting my comment there. I used it as a convenient proxy. Perhaps look up “proxy.”

                  Do you care to actually respond to any of my points?

                  • Tom

                    I responded to your point and you got defensive. If I continue to respond you will just deflect or recast my words.

                    So I will leave it at this – I 100% understand you were using a proxy… and my point is, was and remains it was a BAD proxy. (and I think I have detailed out the reasons why).

                    So rather than you evolve the argument yet again, I’m done.

                    • Mac

                      Every single media outlet that does a farm system ranking seems to disagree with you, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

                      I have asked a bunch of times for a better proxy or any objective measure, and have gotten no response at all.

                      “If I continue to respond you will just deflect or recast my words.”

                      You talk a lot of shit and then starting crying when anyone else says something back to you.

  • Mac

    Making procedural changes is not nothing at all. If you have smart people in place, they are adaptable. You don’t have to fire them all every time things don’t go well.

    They also brought in a new minor league hitting coordinator, which is a pretty huge position on the development staff.

  • forensic

    That’s kind of disappointing.

    • Mac

      Because the only way to improve things is to fire people?

      I know for an outsider firings are at least an observable change, but there’s a lot more to how organizations work. If the Yankees had brought in a whole new set of people without fixing the communication channels and any other issues they identified, the changes may have been less effective than just making the procedural changes.

      They also brought in a new hitting coordinator the season after completely re-structuring their P development staff. While it’s not as effective as scapegoating a figurehead, pitching and hitting make up a whole lot of what goes on during a game. If their analysis found the organizational bottleneck to be in the duties of those positions, in the details of player development, then firing the guy who brings in the talent, for example, would be very odd even if it satiated rabid fans.

      • forensic

        Because the only way to improve things is to fire people?

        Please tell me where in my comment I said that.

        • Mac

          It was tongue-in-cheek, but it is what you implied. If an organization can improve as effectively through procedural changes as personnel changes (which I definitely think it can), then why on earth would it be “kind of disappointing” to make procedural changes rather than personnel changes? It wouldn’t be.

          I think there’s a natural creep of fans view on their team to their front office. Pro athletes have such an extremely rare skill set that when there’s a problem it is almost always a personnel issue. If your team losses a lot, it’s overwhelmingly likely that you need more good players. The same isn’t necessarily true for a front office or other professional company. Certainly can be true. Can be a lot of things, though, especially in a process with as many moving parts as player development.

  • Bob Buttons

    Maybe they’re coming up with a new blame chart for when our next pitching stud fizzles like the ones before him. That’s procedural right?

  • Alibaba

    Someone needs to assess what the Rays, Cardinals, etc do differently. Their picks (not just the top ones) tends to pan out.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    My biggest concern has been development time lost to injury and re-injury so, as long as some sort of deeper look is taken at that, whatever the hell that means, the names don’t matter. I’m not going to call for the firing of people whose job descriptions I don’t even understand. The rest of you can do that.

    Why aren’t we like the Cardinals and Rays and Johnsons next door? It’s not them. It’s you.

    • EricVA

      Agreed. I’d rather they look into the training and medical staff. It seems like any time they have decent prospects, they lose big chunks of time to injury.

    • mustang

      But I don’t want be the Cardinals or the Rays because I really don’t mind the 5 championships and only missing the playoffs twice in 19 years.

      That for the Johnsons next door they are also Yankees fans so we are good. :)

  • mustang

    Steinbrenner said “dozens of changes” were made in the Yankees department of player personnel in response to the lack of development in the club’s farm system, but that Mark Newman, the senior vice president of baseball operations, and scouting director Damon Oppenheimer would remain in their jobs for the upcoming season.

    “It’s been disappointing with players like [pitchers Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos], who we thought would do well and as of yet they haven’t,” Steinbrenner said. “And it’s easy to say get rid of this guy, get rid of that guy, and there are certainly some owners who might do that, but that doesn’t always solve the problem.”

    Instead, Steinbrenner said some “procedures” would have to change. “We’re teaching our scouts to look for different things, things that maybe they hadn’t looked for before, things Cashman thinks are important,” he said.

    Someone check this guy’s birth certificate because I’m not sure George Stienbrenner was his father. It’s a bit more patience then I would have, but I can’t really get too worked up about it.

    • mustang

      I think Hal has fired warning shots and if things don’t change he going to go George Michael Steinbrenner III up in here.

    • Mac

      “I can’t really get too worked up about it.”

      Probably because you took in and understood what he said. That’s a lot more than I can say for Mike and most commenters on here.

  • Dr. Grenaldine

    I’m the only doctor here and I say that this diagnosis is not good.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m enjoying this.

  • CashmanNinja

    The Yankees have an eye for talent, but the problem comes with developing them. And the main culprit of that is the injury bug. There’s simply something wrong with that aspect and hopefully these so called “changes” will address that in particular. Take the injuries away and there would be some MLB ready guys right now. Another real problem I have is that the Yankees seem to be able to find quality guys through out the draft — save for the first round. I think they reach WAY too much with their first rounder. Aside from last year there have been several reaches over the years of guys that would have been available in the 2nd round or later. They bypassed much better TALENTED guys over guys they liked and thought would do better. I respect that they wanted to think outside the box and hope to find a gem that nobody really expected, but you can’t do that when you haven’t developed any legit prospects in a while. So all in all I’m a bit disappointed with Steinbrenner. I think he’s slowly weeding guys out, but my problem is why not just do it all at once and get it over with. Waiting to do that could stunt another guy’s development and that’s the last thing we need.

    • Mac

      I agree that injuries have played a role, but I don’t know about your contention that there is something wrong there. The guys getting injured are suffering the injuries to completely different body parts, at completely different levels, and in completely different ways. I don’t remember the exact levels, but is there really some organizational incompetence that links Adams getting slid into at AA, Romine having a bad back at AA, Santana sliding poorly in short season, Banuelos needing TJS in AAA, Pineda needing shoulder surgery in MLB, etc.? Or is it more likely to just be bad luck? About the only thing it could be is general conditioning that would cause such diverse injuries all over the org, and they did just let their MLB conditioning guy go.

      I would argue that the reaches are by far the exception. Two picks, one of which was barely a first round pick. Maybe Slade was a reach in a sense too given his off-field issues, but not a talent reach. Otherwise they have largely taken consensus guys with Opp. I think that two instances are leading people to misremember their actual draft history before and after:

  • Coolerking101

    No one is to blame for the team’s woeful player development. That’s a relief. I actually thought the Yankees were doing something wrong.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      They’re on the right track…head and shoulders above everyone.