By Scott Barzilla

The Yankees are a unique situation unto themselves. Yet, even they have their own limits. They are said to be in savings mode following the season for a variety of reasons. The most important reason is that they are rapidly getting older and cannot continue to chase bad money after bad. Secondarily, even they have their limits. They have been in luxury tax territory since the luxury tax came into being. They want to escape that territory by 2014 and they can if they allow some contracts to expire.

Allowing contracts to expire sounds great, but you have to have someone there to take the place of the expiring contract. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano are homegrown talents. Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte were homegrown talents. Brett Gardner is the only other regular to be homegrown and he hasn’t been healthy again. Some important relievers and an occasional starter is homegrown as well. The Yankees need more out of their farm system.

   

Age

Lev

How

BP

BA

MLB

POS

C Gary Sanchez

19

A+

I

2

4

1

2

1B Luke Murton

26

AA

D

NR

NR

NR

NR

2B Angeo Gumbs

19

A+

D

8

NR

8

NR

3B Dante Bichette

19

A

D

7

6

9

NR

SS Austin Aune

19

R

D

NR

NR

18

NR

OF Mason Williams

21

A+

D

4

5

2

8

OF Tyler Austin

21

AA

D

NR

NR

3

NR

OF Slade Heatchcott

21

A

D

13

10

5

NR

P Manny Banuelos

21

AAA

I

1

2

4

5

Gary Sanchez– Catcher

The Yankees dealt Jesus Montero to the Mariners to get some more pitching. Unfortunately, that pitching got hurt, but such is life. Sanchez made letting Montero go a little more palatable. Both are offensive minded catchers, but Sanchez has two or three seasons to develop defensively. Russell Martin likely will not be back, but having Sanchez allows the Yankees to look for stopgaps instead of bringing in a long term solution.

Luke Murton– First base

Mark Teixeira had a bounce back season with the glove and is still producing with the bat. We could conservatively give him at least two or three more prime seasons before the Yankees will need to worry about a replacement. Murton is one of those players that we would call “organizational depth.” He certainly will not be replacing Teixeira.

Angeo Gumbs– Second Base

Robinson Cano is at the height of his game. He represents the one homegrown talent that will likely finish the decade as a regular. That being said, the Yankees still need to develop talent because you never know what may happen. They are finally catching onto the fact that organizational depth can help you avoid spending big bucks when disaster hits. Gumbs is a better prospect than Murton, but he isn’t a big time prospect. He might stick eventually as a utility guy.

Dante Bichette Jr.– Third Base

Yes, his father was that Dante Bichette. If his son can develop even some of the power potential his dad had then the Yankees will be thrilled. Alex Rodriguez is obviously on the downside of a great career. He can barely stay healthy these days, so having a long-term solution behind is a great idea. Having been drafted in 2011, Bichette likely needs at least two or three more seasons on the farm until he is ready. That seems perfect given Rodriguez’s contract situation.

Austin Aune– Shortstop

Aune was taken in this year’s draft so he doesn’t register yet on most scout’s radars. He was taken in the second round so the Yankees thought highly enough of him. He might be shifting positions in the pro game, but it is a good idea for the Yankees to look at short for possible long-term replacements. Jeter seems ageless, but he is showing sure signs of age and likely will only play for another year or two.

Mason Williams– Outfield

Williams has been in the system for a couple of seasons and is already showing himself to be the most talented offensive player they have. Despite missing part of the season with injuries, he hit more than ten homers and stole more than 20 bases. At 21, he should develop into a 20+ home run a season type power hitter. That makes him look like a young Curtis Granderson that might be able to replace the old Curtis Granderson someday.

Tyler Austin– Outfield

Austin had a huge 2011 campaign to get on the radar screen, but traditional scouts thought it was dependent on the league he played in. His 2012 campaign should demonstrate that he could be the real deal. He combined to hit .322 with a .400 OBP in 2012. Moreover, he had 17 home runs and 23 stolen bases. He looks like he is destined for right field and considering that Nick Swisher is an impending free agent, the Yankees certainly hope he can make a move by late 2012.

Slade Heathcott– Outfield

Heathcott is a nice prospect, but a perfect example of the perils of drafting low. As the 29th pick in the first round in 2009, he definitely is not as advanced as many of his fellow first rounders. He also got hurt, so his season was limited in terms of injuries, but he did hit well enough to continue as one of the hot prospects.

Manny Banuelos– Pitcher

A bone bruise ended his season in May. Still, the Yankees rotation is in a state of flux after Michael Pineda went down with a season ending surgery to begin the year. Hiroki Kuroda has been solid, but he only signed a one year contract. Andy Pettitte also may or may return. That leaves CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Philip Hughes as the only established arms to return. That opens the door for Banuelos.

 

 

 

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at hardballchat.com. He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

More Posts - Twitter

Filed under: MLB, Prospects

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)