Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs held a prospects chat Friday afternoon and covered a lot of Yankees minor leaguers in the process. McDaniel is releasing a huge evaluation of the system on Monday, but yesterday's chat served as a bit of a sneak peak of what to expect. The tone was pretty overwhelmingly positive, which is a great sign of things to come. Looking toward the farm to find hope for the future has been a fairly bleak task the last few seasons, but it sounds like that's all about to change for the better pretty soon.
Here are the Yankee-centric highlights from McDaniel's chat. You can click here to read it in its entirety.
Eleventh sounds pretty great to me after disappointing returns from the farm over the past couple seasons. Yes, it helps that the Yankees just went out and signed every international free agent that wasn't bolted to the floor and those guys are so far away that they are basically still in diapers, but it's still very exciting to think that the farm is on the upswing.
This is pretty much what we've heard about Aaron Judge since the draft. If he can tap into his power potential he'll be a monster. A monster with a friendly ballpark for hitters waiting for him in New York. It's not surprising that he's gotten so much praise after such a strong first professional season.
If Bryan Mitchell can be Chris Tillman we'd all take that, I'm sure. With the Yankees' starting rotation teetering on the edge of disaster as far as injuries go, Mitchell could play a significant role for the team this upcoming season. Hopefully, if needed, he's able to step in and be a breath of fresh air the way that Shane Green was able to do in 2014.
All of those 16-year-olds are definitely exciting, but it's even more exciting to see names that are closer to the majors being the force behind the improvement down on the farm. Jacob Lindgren will likely see the majors at some point during 2015, Luis Severino could get there with another dominant season, and Greg Bird shouldn't be too far behind. That's a lot of potential for impact players from the farm making a difference in the relatively near future.
Did someone say Greg Bird? Now you have all of our attention. Nothing warms the heart on a cold winter's day like the word legit being tied to Greg Bird.
Greg Bird, Greg Bird, Greg Bird. We've been on the Greg Bird bandwagon for two full seasons already at Pinstripe Alley, and it seems like that bandwagon is filling up fast. Hop on board while there is still room. It's still too early to throw around "first baseman of the future" claims, but we're all definitely hoping it comes true.
See, the Yankees do still know how to spend money. They invested a ton of it in kids born disturbingly late in the 90s for my tastes. If even half of them end up turning into anything as they progress towards the majors it'll be money well spent for the Steinbrenners.
McDaniel has a lot more about the Yankees' system coming out on Monday. Good for Brady Lail.
It's nice to know that this should be changing. Imagine the Yankees finally getting younger and doing so by promoting guys from the minors like other teams get to do. That could happen this year if Rob Refsnyder and/or Jose Pirela are given a shot should Stephen Drew not perform to expectations. Regardless, it seems like better times are ahead.
Oh. Oh dear. Bad attitude and real doubts about a future behind the plate? Where have I heard this before. On the plus side, Brian Cashman turned that into Michael Pineda. Whatcha got for us this time, Jack Z? Help us out here, buddy. In all seriousness, it's going to be pretty disappointing if the Yankees get absolutely nothing out of the catching duo of Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez. The questions have always lingered for both of them and all the doubters proved to be correct where Montero was concerned. Maybe Sanchez can get it together and buck that trend, but he's going to need to avoid getting benched for an entire week if he wants to get back in the good graces of the organization.
Has McDaniels' chat made you feel better about the state of the Yankees' system? Have you made your daily sacrifice to OFAC so that the team can make a run at Yoan Moncada yet?