Former Blue Jay stuffed suit Keith Law, now an ESPN analyist, is ranking the Yankees farm system 10th in baseball. Baseball America had us No. 11. John Sickels, a former assistant to Bill James, also at ESPN, puts us at No. 14. So there you have it. Middle of the pack.
In each case, we have reached this middling status due to players who - because they are still south of Double A - are not currently top prospects, but who have the potential to become them.
Listen: These rankings are flat-out crapola. They mean nothing. They serve as a parlor game, a diversion to get us through the winter doldrums, until pitchers and catchers straggle in. You can rank the Yankees anywhere, because nothing will prove you wrong: The Yankees have nobody on the verge. Nobody. And it's crazy to hear devoted bloggers rant about how the team could rank higher if so-and-so has a breakout year because - well - hey, thank you, Dr. Einstein, for summing it up!
Last year, we anticipated Dellin Betances breaking out. He didn't. The year before, we anticipated Andrew Brackman breaking out. He didn't. Every year, we anticipate someone breaking out. He won't. Occasionally, but not often, someone breaks out. But it's not who we expect to break out. Because, if you think about it, a guy who breaks out cannot be the one you expect to break out.
Oh well, I have never seen a correlation between a high farm system ranking and a world championship, and trust me, I've wasted many hours looking.
Don't get me wrong. It's fun to fantasize over prospects. Consider me a prospect-hugger. But David Phelps never ranked atop anybody's list, not even to break out. And he was only kid who remotely contributed last year. Before him, we had Ivan Nova, and I don't remember him topping any list either. We can sit around and dream about Slade Heathcott patrolling centerfield, and hey - it's fun! Knock yourself out.
We're number 10. Hip-hip, harumph.