John Sickels is reviewing his preseason top 20 prospects lists, and got to the Yankees this morning. The results, as might have been expected, were not pretty:
The Yankees started the season with one excellent prospect in Montero, a solid guy in Jackson, and a bunch of B-/C+ types who may or may not develop into something. Injury attrition has torn through the pitchers. Brackman has yet to live up to New York propaganda hype, and there is a distinct lack of impact talent beyond Montero. On the other hand, Robertson has been strong, I haven’t given up on Coke, and Aceves is certainly capable of contributing in a major league bullpen going forward. Melancon, McAllister, and Teixeira are all potential contributors for 2010 or trade fodder.
Injuries or ineffectiveness from Brackman, Betances, Garcia, and Kontos have weakened the Yankees pitching depth, and make this list look fairly weak. A reasonable argument can be made that most of the Yankees current top prospects are position players, a stark change from just a year ago. One other thing to note is that many players not on Sickels’ original list have taken a step forward this season. Here are his honorable mentions from the preseason list:
David Adams, 2B; Manuel Banuelos, LHP; Jeremy Bleich, LHP: Frank Cervelli, C; Kelvin De Leon, OF; Mike Dunn, LHP; Brett Gardner, OF; Alan Horne, RHP: Corban Joseph, 2B; Brett Marshall, RHP; D.J. Mitchell, RHP; David Phelps, RHP; Ryan Pope, RHP; Matt Richardson, RHP; Damon Sublett, 2B; Pat Venditte, RHP-LHP; Kevin Whelan, RHP.
There are a number of players on that list who have greatly improved their stock in 2009, with each of the first 7 names on that list having solid years and moving into most top 20s. This is the nature of prospects, that many will fall by the wayside and depth is needed to survive the attrition. It seems that the Yankees are well equipped to deal with the vagaries of player development.
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