The Mike Ashmore Challenge

Mike Ashmore challenged fans to create a team of all Yankee prospects. What if something horrible happened to the team? I’m not the first blogger to try this, but I think that I can offer a unique take on it.

The Rules: Rookie-eligible players only. I think that this would be much more interesting if we included guys like Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Kei Igawa and Shelley Duncan, because they demonstrate true Yankee depth.

My Strategy: For hitters, we don’t have a lot of MLB-ready replacement players. I’ll take those where I have them, but after that I am going to start looking for defensive players with the best hitting upside. Defense is a skill that for the most part translates through all levels of baseball. My team will have a lot of no-stick gold glovers, but that’s necessary. For pitchers, I’m looking for some combination of stuff and mlb-readiness. I may be betting a bit much on “There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect” (TINSTAAP) theory, but I think that is the best bet.

Full list after the jump.


  • CF: Brett Gardner – Most important member of the lineup
  • LF: Austin Jackson – Hope for a breakout
  • DH: Chris Malec – On-base machine
  • 1b: Juan Miranda
  • 3b: Marcos Vechionacci – A bit of a gamble, but could be relatively solid at the plate and with the glove.
  • 2b: Kevin Russo
  • RF: Seth Fortenberry – Wild card bat + great defense
  • C: P.J. Piliterre – Very good on defense
  • SS: Ramiro Pena – Can’t hit a lick, but might be the best defensive shortstop in the minors.


  • BN: Francisco Cervelli
  • BN: Bradley Suttle
  • BN: Colin Curtis
  • BN: Justin Snyder

Starting Rotation

  • SP1: Alfredo Aceves
  • SP2: Phil Coke
  • SP3: Dan Giese
  • SP4: Dellin Betances – Take the gamble on heat
  • SP5: Alan Horne – Duct tape his shoulder back together if necessary


  • Closer: Marc Melancon
  • RP2: David Robertson
  • RP3: Christian Garcia
  • RP4: Jon Albaladejo
  • RP5: George Kontos
  • RP6: Anthony Claggett
  • RP7: Wilkins De La Rosa

Could this team beat the worst team in the majors? I think that they would have a fighting chance every once in awhile, considering how good the bullpen is. They’d certainly be the worst team in major league history though.

I don’t think that this exercise is a good demonstration of depth. Take a look at the following pitching staff:

Starting: Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, Kei Igawa, Jason Johnson

Bullpen: Marc Melancon, David Robertson, Phil Coke, Dan Giese, Jon Albaladejo, Wilkins De La Rosa

That’s no playoff staff, but it isn’t half bad either. I think that that staff could theoretically (if a few things break their way) be a below-average (but not rock bottom) major league staff. With a strong defense behind it, they could win games.

About EJ Fagan

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.

3 thoughts on “The Mike Ashmore Challenge

  1. No Montero? I thought his power was ML ready. No Ramirez in RF? he has the most power in AAA. Yes to Betances and no to Brackman?

    I think this demostrates how fragille is the system now in terms of impact bats for the next 2 yars at least, and alltought we have depth in the starting pitching side, the high upside guys are still miles away. The pen is ther strenght now.

    Good to read from you again EJ

    • I can see leaving out Montero, being that there are questions about his defense. If you want to build a defensive club, he might need to DH, but he is so far away that it is hard to question leaving him out.