Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 will be the year of the Yankee futures in Trenton and Austin

Projecting the Yankees future is like gauging an earthquake under the ocean: You see a seismic wave, then a period of quiet - and then the white foam tsunami. Well, 2013 is the seismic jolt. We start with a breaker of aging stars: Jeter, Pettitte, Mariano, Ichiro, Kuroda - even Youkilis, CC and A-Rod. Then comes a dead zone - around August, when the wheels fall off this geriatric wagon, and the DL fills with Yankee stars. But by May or June of 2014 - with luck - the Yankees could be signaling the first wave of the next Yankee era, the three Austins.

We enter 2013 with few young bodies ready to go. The key, of course, is Austin Number One: Romine, the catcher. He could solve our long term catching problems in one quick package - or if he fails, leave us desperate for a crushing trade. Maybe one of our lugnut pitchers - Adam Warren, etc., the kind that usually die on the vine - will step forward, a la David Phelps. But unless someone missiles through the system, forget it. The real Yankee news in 2013 will happen in Trenton.

There, the team's two best OF prospects - Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott - will determine the future of the organization. One likely will replace the Grandyman in 2014. If one becomes a star, we're fine. If both tank, we are in deep doo-doo.

Currently, we have no young shortstop ready to replace Derek Jeter. (Only one infielder - Angelo Gumbs - made Baseball America's Yankee Top 10 list, and he plays 2B and might end up in the OF.) In 2013, somebody will become the heir apparent. It might be Austin Number Two: Aune, a high school wunderkind who passed up a chance to become TCU's starting quarterback and signed for $1 million last summer. He signed as a CF. They moved him to SS. He played well in the Gulf Coast League. Aune is probably destined for Charleston in 2014. But if he continues to shine, for better or for worse, he will become Jete's designated heir, with the ensuing media attention that comes with it.

Our catching future depends on Romine and Gary Sanchez, who will probably starting at Double A.  Sanchez has hit at every level - the question is whether we another Jesus Montero situation. We're still trying to figure out whether we completely blew the last one.

At Trenton, we will also watch Austin Number Three: Tyler Austin. If the kid keeps hitting, nobody expects problems with him handling right field. He could be Scranton by August, and who knows what happens when the rosters expand? By next spring, Tyler could be on our short list of corner outfielders. Or, he could be repeating a grade - the Yankee equivalent of death.

Listen: There's always a chance that Dellin Betances will figure it out, or that Cuban old-timer Ronnier Mustellier can hit MLB pitching, or that reliever Mark Montgomery will pull a Joba-like arrival late in the season. But compared to what other teams bring to camp this spring, we have almost nothing. Right now, there is a half-season blip between the collapse of our aging veterans and the hopeful emergence of our best prospects.

It will all be happening in Trenton. And Austin.


Anonymous said...

Stop the whining Yankee fans. This is a good wave!

John M said...

Yankee fans whine professionally. We're good at it. Unlike, say, Red Sox fans, who take it to the point of humorous apoplexy.

'Whining Yankee fans' is like saying 'downtrodden Royals fans.' Redundancy in both cases.

'Hand-wringing Yankee fans', that would be a little more original and worth mentioning.

Dan Burke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Burke said...

What about Cito Culver as a SS prospect?

el duque said...

They say he can't hit. Too early to give up on the guy. But the man who replaces Jeter better bring a bat with him.

Anonymous said...

Javey Vasquez a Red Sox??
a new sport- boo an ex bum!
Yankee fans going to whine that they cannot bark at D. Young all season??? I bet he still ends up on bench.
play Cervelli around at 1b and DH. see what his bat can do.
could David Adams be a spring surprise or Corbin- Bernstein- Joseph???

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Nunez given the job of Yankee SS for an extended period. His fielding might just work out. BTW although it's a small sample size, his UZR/150 at SS last year was -12 while Jeter's was -16.

David in Cal

Anonymous said...

Yanx fans . You may want to boo the possible signing of
An old geezer out of the Frontier League. Some historian nicknamed Melky Rodriguez who grabbed his grad work @ Berkekey but is really on the Yanx payroll to write an butt kissing biography on Hardware Hank.
Melky was a ghostwriter for Serpico in his younger pot driven years and claims to have brewed enough good grass for numerous ex Ref Sox since he had no true team loyalty in the post CBS Yankees.

If anyone here believed any of the previous garbage than please take 50 mg of Valium and take the week off!

Anonymous said...

How many people have thought this? : trade the farm for Giocarlo Stanton. NYC is one city where the name Giocarlo on a jock is not a joke.

Anonymous said...

Morse in pinstripes! A monster. Could provide good protection behind Tx!

Anonymous said...

The shootings begin at dawn along the anacostia!
Raffle Soriano 3 run bomb to hank Sanchez ???
Drew Storen with confidence a better go
Add Karns with Roark to pen.
Fonzzi is back

Anonymous said...

Alexis Ramirez to Yanx ?