The Yankees' farm system used to be considered a relative nonentity or simply a breeding ground for trade bait to be used to obtain crotchety old dudes, but ever since our dear Cash Man made the ol' farm his obsession of choice
it's been chock-full of youngsters that have actually been useful to the team!
Each year after the draft some sort of "expert folks" put together a list of the top 100 prospects throughout the league based on their minor league performance (if they have any experience yet) and scouting reports, and while there is no such comprehensive list for 2008 just yet (the draft - and henceforth the list - is still several months off), some reports on individual teams' own top youngsters
have been put together by Baseball America
. For those of y'all that follow the goings-on in farm-ville this list is probably neither news nor surprising, but let's examine it anyway. While we're perusing, recall that only folks with either fewer than 50 IP or 130 at-bats are considered "prospects", which is why Joba can be on here but Hughsie cannot.
2. Austin Jackson
3. Jose Tabata
5. Allan Horne
6. Jesus Montero
7. Jeff Marquez
8. Brett Gardner
9. Ross Ohlendorf
10. Andrew Brackman
This list looks very impressive, and while we obviously can't count on all
prospects to actually succeed in the big time, we've already seen that Joba and I-Ken have seriously got the goods, and Tabata has been touted as a winner for quite some time. It's too bad there apparently isn't a lefty worthy
of being on that list, because it seems to me that everyone is always scrambling to find a halfway decent lefty. As for that surplus of RHP's
, I have a feeling that even though the Cash Man is attached to his farm, the fact that there are righties aplenty will prove to be a big boon to the team when they're looking to make a trade and need to throw in an extra arm or two.
I like this list and all, but I am really
looking forward to the nice big list where all
the prospects are ranked against each other - that provides much more insight into who will be valued as trade bait, which teams have a stockpile of good youngsters, etc. By that time Joba or I-Ken might not be eligible to be on considered prospects anymore, but if they are I would think that they would both be in the top 10; I'm not so sure where the others will fall but I would be surprised if most of them were not ranked in the top 100 of the league. I'll be waiting...