Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes that the Yankees are on the verge of making some changes in their scouting and development department. It's been said for years that New York is not good at drafting and developing their own prospects since no impact players have come out of the system in awhile. In a year highlighted by injuries, the Yankees' failures have never come out so prominently.
Hal Steinbrenner called a meeting toward the end of the season in order to figure out the cause to these failures. They have already eliminated one scouting role, deciding not to bring Ron Brand back, who has been with the organization for 20 years. Who knows if that is related, but it's obvious that things are changing. If the Yankees are going to start chopping off heads, they're going to start with Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman, who is in charge of developing, and Director of Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer, who is in charge of drafting.
Between the two, I would probably let Newman go before Oppenheimer. It seems that scouts and evaluators constantly commend them on great drafting, especially this year, but there have been too many instances where promising talent has floundered in the minors. In the end, maybe it's time for something new. The Yankees have always been big in scouting international talent, but with the new spending restrictions they're going to have to become more clever. Maybe a new focus and new personnel can finally produce a healthy system.
Despite their shortcomings when it comes to prospects, change for the sake of change is not the answer. The Yankees have averaged the lowest first round pick (26th) in the draft out of any other team over the last 10 years. It's difficult to draft and develop high level talent when you're always picking last.