Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blast from the past: Baseball America's top 10 Yankee prospects from 2006

I saw this on an forum yesterday, and it got me a-thinkin'...

Here is Baseball America's snapshot of the Yankees' best prospects of 2006. The red marks are mine. Seven out of 10 players have had productive MLB careers (I'm nixing Tabata, a disappointment, otherwise, you could argue 8 of 10.) To this day, some scouts claim the oft-injured Chris Garcia had the best stuff of anybody; he pitched for Washington in 2012 and is still going at Triple A; (don't count him out.) Only Cox - who once looked like a RH-bullpen monster - went poof.

Basically, eight years ago, the Yankees had one hell of farm system, even if we didn't reap all the benefits. But even the losses weren't total losses. We flipped Tabata to the Pirates, traded Kennedy and Austin Jackson for Granderson; we gave away Tyler Clippard, and dealt Melancon - who's been been up and down - for Fat Elvis, Lance Berkman - a disaster in pinstripes, then a star in St. Louis. Go figure.

I want to believe the Yankees are fixing their system. The last few years have been dry. Maybe by next August, a wave of youth will be visible, enough to lift this team in 2016. But next spring, if you're thinking of impact players, we will have only 2B Rob Refsnyder and the usual smattering of pitchers. The reality is that Baltimore, Boston, Tampa and Toronto will bring up much more.

Here is BA's equivalent list for the start of 2014.  The scratchings are mine, representing what I consider to be their trajectory, based on this season.

Heathcott has been hurt - but he's always hurt. Williams has been a huge disappointment. Katoh is too young to dismiss, but he hasn't hit well. Most updated top 10 lists look different, with Severino at the top.

I don't see seven guys having solid MLB careers on this list. Maybe next year.

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