The other night, I was watching the San Francisco Giants game on MLB Network. George Kontos was on the mound. And all of the sudden, Justin Christian entered the game. Sitting on the bench was Joaquin Arias, who will always have the distinction as the guy who the Rangers picked over Robinson Cano in the Alex Rodriguez trade. A lot of minor league players have come and gone since I started covering minor league baseball in 2006. Many of them are current members of the New York Yankees, but, perhaps because the Yankees are a perennial contender, more of them that have defied the odds and made it to the major leagues have done so with other clubs.
For all the other casual and less casual minor league baseball and prospect fans out there, I decided to make a baseball team out of the former Yankee farmhands that made the major leagues since 2006, and are either still sticking around the majors or are sitting as potential replacement players close by. I had to stretch a little bit at a few positions, but for the most part every player here had his own interesting and unique story coming up through the minors.
Here is the team that got away:
2b Jimmy Paredes, Houston Astros (AAA)
CF Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers
RF Melky Cabrera, San Francisco Giants
1b Shelley Duncan, Cleveland Indians
DH Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners
3b Cody Ransom, San Francisco Giants
LF Justin Christian, San Francisco Giants
SS Alberto Gonzalez, Texas Rangers
C Omir Santos, Detroit Tigers
BN Jose Tabata, Pittsburgh Pirates
BN Wil Nieves, Colorado Rockies
BN Joaqin Arias, San Francisco Giants
BN Dioner Navarro, Cincinnati Reds (AAA)
BN Juan Miranda, Vaqueros Laguna (Mexican League)
SP1 Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks
SP2 Jeff Karstens, Pittsburgh Pirates
SP3 Ross Ohlendorf, San Diego Padres
SP4 Hector Noesi, Seattle Mariners
SP5 Zach McAllister, Cleveland Indians
RP1 Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals
RP2 Phil Coke, Detroit Tigers
RP3 George Kontos, San Francisco Giants
RP4 Alfredo Aceves, Boston Red Sox
RP5 Mark Melancon, Boston Red Sox
RP6 Daniel McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
Would this be the worst team in the league? Probably. The bullpen is quite good, and if Ian Kennedy is playing well the starting rotation wouldn’t be the worst in the world. The lineup, on the other hand, is mostly below replacement level, although a Jesus Montero performance could change that.
I’m probably not the only person to get invested in a lot of these guys. I always root for the former Yankee farm hand to succeed, even when they are playing the Yankees. Seeing Justin Christian steal a base is pretty satisfying. Somewhere inside me, I hope that every one of these guys eventually returns to a New York Yankees uniform.
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