The Yankees Don’t Know How to Draft and Develop

The Yankees Don’t Know How to Draft and Develop

Brian Cashman has not shown a good internal record of developing pitchers.

The Yankees Don’t Know How to Draft and Develop

Trivia question.

Who was the last drafted and signed Yankee pitcher to win 12 or more games in either his rookie or second season (not named Andy Pettitte) before Hughes turned the trick last year?

(This does not count El Duque, Irabu, or Wang, as they had pro experience before signing).

How about Dave Righetti in 1983?

The last time the Yanks had two homegrown pitchers win double digits in the same season?

1998, Pettitte and Ramiro Mendoza.

The last time it happened for two consecutive seasons?

Righetti and Ron Guidry in 1982 and 1983.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox have each turned the trick, twice, in the past six seasons, with different pitchers.

The Yankees organizational inability to develop quality major league pitching is legendary…for the wrong reasons.

Over the past twenty seasons, the Yanks have drafted thirty pitchers within the first three rounds of the amateur draft. Twelve of those pitchers have made the major leagues.

The best pitcher out of that group?

Phil Hughes.

Three other pitchers have had more success; Ian Kennedy, Eric Milton and Mark Prior, but with other organizations.

The number of pitchers still in the organization?

Three…Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Jeff Marquez.

By contrast, in the past fifteen seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays have selected twenty two pitchers in the first three rounds.

Guess how many have made the major leagues?


Guess how many are still in the organization?


Small sample size for sure, but I’m comfortable with the statement the Yankees use the draft as a way of developing trade chips, not as a way to better the organization.

I know I’m in the minority, but I’m not a big believer in the talent level currently in the system, especially pitching.

There isn’t one guy in the entire organization with a ceiling higher than Hughes, or even Ian Kennedy.

The Yankees, I believe, know this to be true.

Otherwise, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia would be pitching in another city. Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances would be in full time major league or Triple-A roles, and would certainly not be in pitch or innings limits.

The fact the Yanks were so willing to move these guys, and why they look at the waiver wire (Brian Gordon) for pitching help is they are not comfortable with what they have in the system.

And we’ll never find out just how good these guys can be, because they’ll either end up pitching for someone else (Kennedy) or getting screwed with so much they end up hurt (Joba). Either, because as they’ve done for the last thirty some years, the Yanks will either stifle their development, or trade them for an overpriced veteran with a name.

I’ve been a Yankee fan for 45 years, and I can honestly say I have never been more frustrated with the current situation and long term success of the team than I’ve been the last two years.

When George bought the team, almost the first thing he did was upgrade Yankee Stadium. Then he started throwing cash at guys like Catfish, Reggie, Goose and Winfield and the team was successful for awhile.

Then, for whatever reason, the well ran dry. Whether it was a drying up of the free agent talent pool, or guys just deciding dealing with George’s drama wasn’t worth it, the team became less successful, and didn’t have the minor league talent to fill in.

The Yankees are no longer the model of success. Having a two hundred million dollar payroll doesn’t always guarantee a World Series ring.

The ability to buy a fill-in is important, I get that.

But is it more important than having a David Price, or Buster Posey, or Cole Hamels in your system?

Not in my book.

If I’m Robbie Cano, I’m looking around the clubhouse and seeing the older, aging guys who in five years will be either gone or have turned into Andruw Jones, and I’m starting to think of where I want to play the rest of my career. Instead of spending off days on road trips at Disneyland or Six Flags, I’m hooking up with a realtor or taking a city tour with a representative with the Chamber of Commerce.

If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m looking around to see if maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.

I was at the forefront of a new Stadium. I have more bling in my jewelry box than the average rapper.

But do I want my legacy to be the Steinbrenner family checkbook, or do I want it to be that of a farm developing, dynasty builder such as those of Pat Gillick and Sandy Alderson?

The Red Sox, Phillies and Braves have perennially drafted well at the bottom of each round.

There is no reason for the Yankees to settle for guys like Cito Culver or Dante Bichette Jr., or draft already injured players like Andrew Brackman.

With all their money, and with all their resources, one would think they’d have the best scouting and development system in baseball, not the worst.

It will all come back to bite them, and sooner rather than later.

By Mike Silva
Wednesday, 3 Aug 2011

Andy Pettitte, Bartolo Colon, Boston Red Sox, Brian Cashman, Catfish Hunter, Dave Righetti, Dave Winfield, Eric Milton, Freddy Garcia, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Marquez, Joba Chamberlain, Mark Prior, New York Yankees, Ramiro Mendoza, Reggie Jackson, Robinson Cano, Tampa Bay Rays


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