FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Posted by el duque at 6:46 AM
This week, Yankee bloggers jubilantly reported that we have three prospects in MLB's "Top 100." They are Jorge Mateo (30th) Aaron Judge (31st) and Gary Sanchez (59th). Cause for celebration, right? (Yes, it is. I'm not putting us down.) Trouble is, if you add the other scores, we're in second place in the AL East.
Here's the breakdown in our Division, with the number of prospects on MLB's Top 100.
Boston 4 prospects (ranked 7th, 17th, 25th, 39th)
Yankees 3 (30th, 31st, 59th)
Tampa 3 (14th, 43rd, 81st)
Toronto 1 (42nd)
Baltimore 1 (85th)
Other AL teams with more than three: Minnesota (6), Houston (5), Texas (5). Don't get me wrong: Three prospects isn't bad. It's just middle of the pack, that's all.
The difference-maker here is a name we mention way too often, Yoan Moncada, the 7th best prospect in baseball. (Alas, why go there again?) But one point, constantly made by Yankee enabler websites, is that this list underestimates our youth movement, because it does not include Greg Bird and Luis Severino. Both accumulated too much MLB playing time last year to still be considered "prospects."
Trouble is, if you compare our youth wave with Boston's - Betts, Bradely, Swihart, Bogartes, et al - we're still running behind. Every team has a Greg Bird and a Luis Severino. The Yankees only look exceptional when they compare this year's roster to those of previous years, when the farm system was sucking air.
There is hope. Three kids on the list, plus Bird and Severino. But right now, if you're looking for the next Core Four, a better place to look would be in Boston. And that should be cause for alarm.