Friday, May 20, 2016


It's nearly a consensus of all Yankees fans that right now the team in the Bronx is not ideal. We have over the hill veterans, some way, way over the hill. Those guys have contracts finally coming to an end over the next few years. We have some pitchers with sky high talent that just haven't been able to succeed consistently over a whole season. One thing we do have though is a little bit of young talent on the squad and some more on the way. What could be in 2018, could be very fun.

Note: All prospect ranks are from 2016 Prospect Watch. Over the past two off-season's, GM Brian Cashman has made a little bit of a splash in the trade market helping the Yankees get younger. The acquisitions of Didi Gregorius, Nathan Eovaldi and Starlin Castro in particular has made the team younger. All three have had their ups and downs so far but all three also have the skill set to have long successful careers that are just starting to reach their primes.

(In Photo: Jorge Mateo)
Coming up the ranks the Yankees have top prospect Jorge Mateo, who recently transitioned to second base for some work. He is speed demon who is tearing it up in Single-A as we speak. The monster of a human being, Aaron Judge is down in Scranton learning how to be a complete hitter while still mashing home runs and figuring out how to strikeout less. Gary Sanchez just made a brief cameo in the Bronx and is seen as the catcher of the future for the organization. Those are our top three. OF prospect Dustin Fowler, currently assigned to Double-A Trenton, has the potential to be a 20-20 guy and is still just 21 years-old and is ranked as the number six prospect.

(Photo Credit: Staten Island Advance)
As for top arms, the Yankees have hard throwing Domingo Acevedo. Over 33.1 innings so far in 2016, Acevedo has struck out 37 and walked just five while holding opponents to a .223 batting average against. He sits in the high 90's and has topped out at 103. He's a developmental instructors dream. Note: He didn't start playing baseball until he was 16. He is still just 22 years old.

James Kaprielian dazzled to start the year before being place on the minor league DL. The first round pick in 2015 was one of the most polished pitchers in the draft and could be a long term fit for the middle of the rotation for years to come. His injury has likely limited his chances of getting a shot in 2016 though.

LHP Ian Clarkin has had an up and down start to his career after being drafted out of high in the first round in 2013. Clarkin has battled injuries but is looked at as an advanced pitcher for just 21 years-old. He has the ability to be another middle of the rotation guy if he can continue to develop while staying healthy. We interviewed Clarkin here at BYB a while back. Read EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: IAN CLARKIN. Great kid.

So based on what we have and what could be, the Yankees in 2018 could be a young and talented ball club. This is all speculation but here are some candidates to look at as we head into 2018.

SP: Masahiro Tanaka, Nathan Eovaldi (free agent in 2018, would need to be resigned), James Kaprelian, Domingo Acevedo, Ty Hensley, Ian Clarkin.

RP, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller (if not traded beforehand), Aroldis Chapman (if resigned), Chasen Shreve plus any number of failed starters turned relievers.

C: Gary Sanchez, Brian McCann, Austin Romine, Luis Torrens (number 12 Yankees prospect.)

1B: Greg Bird, Brian McCann

2B: Starlin Castro, Jorge Mateo, Tyler Wade

SS: Didi Gregorius, Jorge Mateo, Tyler Wade. Wilkerman Garcia could be moving up the chart to pushing these guys.

3B: Chase Headley (probably not though), Starlin Castro (perhaps), Miguel Andujar (number 15 prospect who already has five home runs and 23 RBI over 32 games in A ball this season)

LF: Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Dustin Fowler, Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel

CF: Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Fowler, Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel, Mason Williams

RF: Aaron Judge (please let's hope its Aaron Judge) or any of the above mentioned.

There will definitely be moves made with free agent signings and trades affecting this list. Plus prospect's values rising and falling, but there is some hope coming from below.

For all the belly aching we are doing now with the older team that is underachieving, let's keep in mind that over the past two seasons, Brian Cashman has not gone out and made big splashes by trading away his top talent. The Yankees were in need of an on-the-go rebuild and while some of the results aren't great as of now, the future is bright.

Let's keep a positive outlook on the future and think about what could be in 2018.

 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia


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