We all know the Yankees farm system isn't really that great. There are some interesting players, but no one that's a "can't miss" or clearly a future All-Star in the making. Gary Sanchez is the only Yankee prospect who made the top 100 prospects according to both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Mason Williams at least made MLB's list as well. Still, they seemingly don't have a top 50 prospect in the system.
So far the consensus seems to be that the Yankee farm system is among the worst in baseball, it's just a matter of how bad. Jason Parks of BP has previously described the system as "Gary Sanchez and a list of interchangeable prospects with reliever profiles or bench futures." In a recent chat, Parks even made it known that he believed the Yankees had one of the worst systems in baseball.
Maybe this is true, but at least they have potentially useful players in relievers and bench players; some systems don't even have those.
Keith Law of ESPN disagrees, kind of. He doesn't think they're one of the worst, but he does place them among the bottom third in the league, ranking them 20th overall. Top of the bottom third, though!
It seemed like everyone who mattered in this system got hurt in 2013, and of those who didn't most had disappointing years. The good news is every one of the injured prospects should be healthy to start 2014 (except Slade Heathcott, for whom "healthy" is an abstract concept), but it also means the Mason Williamses and Tyler Austins of the system will run out of excuses if they don't hit.
A strong day one draft class in 2013 -- when they had three of the top 33 picks -- helped boost the system.
That isn't so bad. If a lot of things go right for the Yankees in 2014; if Mason and Slade and Austin are all healthy and productive, if Sanchez improves, if the 2013 draft class impresses in their first full year of pro ball, maybe the system won't be so bad. Still, that's asking for a lot to break in the right direction.
Thankfully, the Yankees aren't even the worst in the AL East as both the Blue Jays and the prospect guru Rays sit behind them, so at least New York is beating their direct opponents in something. With the Rays now winning more and getting lower draft picks it's becoming clearer that they aren't as good at developing players as people wanted you to believe. They just have to trade David Price if they want to move back up to the top.
I know we all want a super prospect like Wil Myers or Jose Fernandez, but all we really need are useful players who can help fill in at the major league level. If we're patient, maybe we'll have the next Brett Gardner or David Robertson soon and those kinds of players are important too. The important thing is that they're going in the right direction. Hang in there.