Position players will report to Spring Training tomorrow and, one week from yesterday, the Yankees will play their first Grapefruit League game. Can’t come soon enough. Here are some links to check out on the final weekend without Yankees baseball until (hopefully) November.
Judge takes over Captain’s Camp
Now that Derek Jeter has jumped shipped to the Marlins, the Yankees turned to Aaron Judge to lead Captain’s Camp, reports Brendan Kuty. Judge took Jeter’s place at the annual steak dinner in which the prospects get to ask questions and pick the brain of a big leaguer. The second year player has taken on a role as a veteran leader. Neat.
“It’s great looking back on it,” said Judge to Kuty. “The whole thing is, those are my teammates, my future teammates. Got to talk with them, get to know them, and ask about what their experience in the minor leagues has been and tell them about what I went through. It was a fun evening … I’m going to kind of keep it to them. But any way I can give back to future teammates, I’m going to do it.”
Judge one has one year (and two months) of big league experience, but he carries himself like a ten-year veteran, and obviously the Yankees believe he is someone their young players should emulate. And hey, being the reigning Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up sure helps too. Judge has the credentials and the personality. Maybe one day Captain’s Camp will be named after him?
Yankees rank fourth in BP’s farm system rankings
A few days ago the crew at Baseball Prospectus released their annual organizational rankings. The Yankees placed fourth behind the Padres, Phillies, and Braves. Both Baseball America and Keith Law had New York’s system second behind the Braves, for what it’s worth. Anyway, here is the blurb from Baseball Prospectus:
The Yankees drop a bit as they switched to deadline buyers this year—as if slipping on an old pair of comfortable slippers you lost under the bed for a while. They also traded for Giancarlo Stanton, but that barely moved the needle on system flush with young Latin talent. Gleyber Torres is one of the best prospects in baseball and it was only a UCL tear on his non-throwing arm that kept him from graduating (or perhaps being the best prospect in baseball. They only put five names on the Top 101 this year, but Miguel Andujar just missed, and the balance of their top ten would have landed in the next 50 names. There’s substantially more risk in the Luis Medinas and Matt Sauers of the world though.
I was pretty shocked to see the Yankees second on the Baseball America and Keith Law lists. A chunk of their depth is tied up in risky lower level arms, and I figured that’d knock them down a peg, like it seems to have done with the Baseball Prospectus list. Either way, the Yankees traded and graduated a bunch of prospects last year, yet they still have a top tier farm system. That is pretty darn cool.
Several Yankees among top 100 just misses
Both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus posted a collection of “just missed” players for their annual top 100 prospect lists. The Yankees landed six players on Baseball America’s top 100 and five players on Baseball Prospectus’ top 101. Here are the others who received consideration:
- Baseball America: RHP Domingo Acevedo, SS Thairo Estrada, RHP Luis Medina, OF Everson Pereira, RHP Matt Sauer, RHP Dillon Tate
- Baseball Prospectus: Acevedo and 3B Miguel Andujar
In the Baseball Prospectus write-up, it notes the gang who put together the top 101 were split on Andujar. Some wanted him on the main list and some wanted him on the outside. Ultimately, those who wanted him outside won out. So it goes. That the Yankees had six players on Baseball America’s top 100 and six others considered for the list is pretty damn amazing.