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The Non-Top 100 Prospects All-Star Team

No prospects? So what?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people around the Yankee blogosphere are gnashing their teeth that the Yankees have only one prospect among Baseball Prospectus's Top 100.

In principle, I agree with this. It's hard to find trade partners or internal replacements or the next big thing without highly touted, widely regarded prospects. But in the specific, to getting shunned by BP in 2014, I say "meh."

For fun, here's the best team I can put together out of 2013 players who were never once mentioned in the Baseball America Top 100, who have archives going back to 1990.

Starting Lineup

1. Brett Gardner, CF (NYY)
2. Josh Donaldson, 3B (OAK)
3. Matt Carpenter, DH (STL)
4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (ARI)
5. Robinson Cano, 2B (SEA)
6. Yadier Molina, C (STL) (if I told you no Molina was ever a top 100 prospect, would you believe me?)
7. Shane Victorino, RF (BOS)
8. Ben Zobrist, LF (TB)
9. Ian Desmond, SS (WAS)


C Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)
IF Alexei Ramirez (CHA)
IF Mark Trumbo (ARI)
OF Matt Holliday (STL)
OF Jose Bautista (TOR)

Starting Rotation

1. James Shields (KC)
2. Doug Fister (WAS)
3. Mat Latos (CIN)
4. Jose Quintana (CHA)
5. Patrick Corbin (ARI)


David Robertson (NYY)
Mark Melancon (PIT)
Joe Nathan (DET)
Drew Smyly (DET)
C.J. Wilson (TEX)

Sure, a bunch of these guys will be challenged to repeat their success in 2014. But if that was the Yankees' rotation, it would be ranked among the top three in baseball; by fWAR, those are #12, 13, 14, 25 and 27 in MLB, with #30 in the pen for long relief. That lineup might not slug with the American League All-Stars, and I'm starting Gardner in CF when by WAR I should probably slide Victorino to CF and start Bautista or Holliday, but that's not the point.

Scouting is really hard. A team like the Yankees only needs an occasional break to be scary good.

Would I rather have the best farm system in baseball? Sure. But not at the cost of losing seasons. Because I remember Brien Taylor. I remember Ruben Rivera ranked above Derek Jeter, and arguing over whether Phil Hughes or Homer Bailey was more deserving of the #1 ranking than Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Drew Henson in the top 10 (while the criminally underrated Nick Johnson was #13).