After auditing their unproductive player development system, the Yankees implemented some procedural changes earlier this offseason but did not make any significant personnel changes to their minor league staff. Long-time VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman was one of those expected to come under fire if changes were made. Anthony McCarron spoke to Newman and got some details about those procedural changes. Here’s the skinny:
- A new building has been added to the minor league complex in Tampa. It houses meeting rooms and a cafeteria, which I assume will help players with nutrition. A dormitory for prospects is currently being discussed and may be added as well.
- The four diamonds at the minor league complex are all being refurbished. “These fields have been here since Johnny Bench was an 18-year-old,” said Newman, referring back to when the Reds owned the complex.
- The Yankees have added a statistical analyst to work exclusively with the player development staff. Newman called that person a “PhD in advanced math and statistics” and said they have “some bright dudes here … (the system) is going to go back up, odds are.”
- Among the other staff additions are former Cubs manager Mike Quade, who will serve as an outfield/base-running coordinator, something Newman says they haven’t had “in a while.” Ex-minor league coach Jody Reed has rejoined the organization and will handle individual development plans for prospects.
- And finally, after fielding two teams in the Rookie Gulf Coast League last summer, the Yankees will again field two teams in the league in 2014. Nothing but good can come from that.