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
- 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.