8/17 Editorial : Youth Movement is Here to Stay for Yankees, but let’s not get Carried away

In July, the Yankees did what we all knew should have happened a few years ago. They traded Major League talent for young help. Specifically, Aroldis Chapman, who was acquired for dirt-cheap in the offseason, turned into SS prospect Gleyber Torres. Andrew Miller was signed for 4 years/$36 million before 2015. Many in baseball laughed at that kind of money for a setup man. Yet, the Yankees flipped him and what is now described as a team-friendly contract for their best prospect, Clint Frazier and top 10 young’in Justus Sheffield. Finally, Carlos Beltran was turned into 2015 #4 draft pick Dillon Tate.

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Yankees’ top prospect Clint Frazier

Still need proof of a youth movement? Three of the top 10 Yankees prospects were acquired at the deadline. Two others, Blake Rutherford and James Kapriellian, were 2016 and 2015 first round draft picks, respectively. Two more of the names on the list, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, have recently made their MLB debuts. Judge, Austin, and Sanchez have all put on power displays. Gary has been great behind the plate and is on a home run tear right now. Seeing these young guys, many a Yankee fan want to see Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brett Gardner traded, as well.

Whoever has been saying that, you are dead wrong. You simply cannot win a World Series, the Yankees’ ultimate goal, with a bunch of 20-somethings with no experience. Those 2014 Royals came oh-so-close, but as George Steinbrenner would have said, close does not cut it. Let’s take Ellsbury for example. He was called up in late 2007 and was part of the Red Sox’ World Series run. In 2013, his final year with the club, Ellsbury bookended his Red Sox career by capturing another title. He can teach these kids how to stay calm, and in the moment during the playoffs. Next, look at Gardy. He is all you want from a ballplayer. When is the last time you saw Brett Gardner on a baseball field giving less than 100%? Never. He has won four Heart and Hustle awards with the Bombers and was part of their 2009 Championship. Now, if you will let me look way back, let’s take a peek at that 1996 Championship team that was honored this past weekend.

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Cecil Fielder hit 39 homers and drove in 117 in 1996

Off the top of your head, you can name the biggest stars- the Core Four, Bernie Williams,Wade Boggs, Tino Martinez. How about Mariano Duncan, does his name ring a bell? It sure should- he was the starting second baseman and batted .406 at Yankee Stadium that year. Remember Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden, who won the title a decade earlier with the Mets? How about David Coneand Cecil Fielder? I could go on and on.

The point is, if this 2016 team gets rid of all its veterans, the young stars will have no chance to ascend to stardom like Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, Rivera, and Bernie. While the young guys will be the main attraction, think of the veterans as the glue holding them together.

 

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2 thoughts on “8/17 Editorial : Youth Movement is Here to Stay for Yankees, but let’s not get Carried away

  1. We have a glut of up-and-coming outfielders. At least 2 profile as good-or-better than Ellsbury, Gardner or Hicks. Judge, Frazier, Gamel, Williams, Cave, Ausin, Resnyder and possible others have proven themselves worthy of some MLB game time. Only Resnyder and Austin can play anywhere else. Yankees have to move either Ellsbury or Gardner or trade off the young.

    While the author’s argument about the utility of veterans serves McCann well, he throws the 25 man, depth chart completely out of whack. McCann, Sanchez and Romine, plus Bird, Austin and Romine, gives us 3 catchers and 6 guys who can play 1st base. Only Resnyder (2B, OF) and Austin (OF) can play anything else. Who’s backing up SS and 3B? Resnyder and Austin are only emergency resources at 3rd and only Torreyes and Castro can back up Didi at SS. Something has to give here too.

    Keep Gardy, for all the reasons above. Trade Ellsbury, McCann, Hicks,plus cash for whatever you can get. Throw in Castro, if it gets us a good starting pitcher. He’s not a leader, his fielding is below grade and he doesn’t learn at the plate. Let Torreyes back up Resnyder until Mateo is ready.

    I’m a great fan of mixing veterans into a youth movement, but with so many good players coming up, there’s only room for Gardy. Compensate with good coaches and sprinkle liberally with luminaries on special assignment. Yankees have no shortage of those.

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    • Yes, I agree with most of what you said. However, Castro and Didi seem to have amazing chemistry up the middle, and that is very valuable for the Yankess. Maybe they do trade McCann, because Girardi and Pena are both former catchers, so they have that department covered with their coaching staff. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you continue to read this site!
      – Adam (the author)

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