Monday, August 28, 2006

A Great Problem to Have

It's an off day, so I figure that I will write about the Yankee minor league pitching situation.

The Yankees have one hell of a pitching pipeline. They focused almost all of their drafting efforts this season toward college pitchers. As a result, they actually might have too many starting pitchers at many levels of their minor league system.

AAA - Columbus (one of these may end up on the big league roster)

1. Phil Hughes
2. Jeff Karstens
3. Tyler Clippard
4. Steve White
5. Darrel Rasner
Extra: Kris Wilson

Notes: The Yankees have no space for Matt DeSalvo (who is pitching poorly at AA, so no worries there), Sean Henn (who will stay in the bullpen), bad veterans (*cough* Small), or any minor league free agents. That is one hell of a rotation. T.J. Beam, J.B. Cox, Jeff Kennard, Justin Pope, Charlie Manning, and Scott Patterson could all be in the stacked bullpen)

AA - Trenton (Where the Yankees don't have a ton of pitching... at least compared to the others)

1. Matt DeSalvo
2. Jason Jones (A college player who had a very solid 2006, could be a fringe MLB prospect next year)
3. Brett Smith (Barely a prospect, but had a decent year at Tampa.)
4. Chase Wright (Darkhorse to become a real solid prospect. Lefty)
5. Jeff Marquez (They might keep him at Tampa for a month)

Notes: Only Marquez is really a solid prospect here, although all four others (maybe with the exception of Smith) could see their stock rise dramatically with good performances next year.

A+ - Tampa (Holy Crap!)

1. Ian Kennedy (Who could move up quickly)
2. Joba Chamberlain (Still waiting to sign)
3. Christian Garcia (Underrated Pick, finally found his control in 2006 following injury)
4. Angel Reyes (Could wind up in Charleston... if Charleston wasn't loaded. Major, major stuff on this kid)
5. Tim Norton (Also could wind up in Charleston)

Notes - What a group of prospects. Some serious potential on this list. Both Kennedy and Chamberlain are capable of making it to AA very quickly. Mark Melancon, Dave Robertson, and Erik Abreu will also be in the powerful Tampa bullpen)

A - Charleston (Real solid set of pitchers)

1. Dellin Betances (Who made the Gulf Coast League look silly with a 1.16 ERA and 27 Ks in 23 innings)
2. Zach McAllister (Had an awesome start to his pro career. Been described as very polished.
3. Francisco Castillo (Stellar 19 year old from the D.R)
4. Rolando Japa (All the stuff in the world, still trying to put it together)
5. George Kontos (Underrated, could put a lot together)

A lot of lower-quality guys are going to find their jobs taken next year. With the exception of Kris Wilson and maybe Brett Smith, there is not a single non-prospect listed here.

That much depth is unheard of in baseball.