Down on the Farm
Anyway, there are larger issues at work here, and the biggest one seems to be that the Yankees scouts are finding and signing real talent, but, in many cases that talent isn't being maxed out by the development people in the system. It's really plain as day.
One of the places where it's clearest is pitching. Over the past 9 years the Yankees have drafted, signed or acquired a ton of minor league pitching talent. Lots and lots and lots. Of course, because of the injury matrix that every pitcher goes through, there really are no pitching prospects. But there is pitching talent.
It's fair to say that the Yanks haven't developed a plus starter since Andy Pettitte. Sure, Hughes and Nova have had their moments, and don't get me started on Joba, but that's almost 20 years and that's a really poor record. And both Nova and Hughes arrived in the majors missing parts of what should be their arsenal. Nova didn't have his slider and Hughes had lost his changeup by the time they hit or re-hit the bigs.
How did a pitcher like Nova make it through the Yankee system without an out pitch? And why hasn't anyone there been able to get Phil Hughes to pitch like he did as a 19 year old?
Putting those two aside, the next two Yankee pitching prospect were supposed to be Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, but over the last two years both of them developed problems with their fastball control. Two pitchers could not be more different that Dellin and Manny, but both, all of a sudden, couldn't find the plate, and NO ONE in the Yankee system has been able to fix them. Now Manny is getting TJS...
What's more, throughout the system, the Yanks are not good at teaching changeups, you know like the one Lester has, or the one Shields used to strike out 15 Orioles the other night? We're not teaching them and our pitchers aren't learning them,
Also, during the Nardi Contreras era, they have had a policy of making every kid learn a curveball, even if they came into the organization with a plus slider, like Brett Marshall did. Brett Marshall used to throw 97, but since they made him throw curves instead of sliders, he has had to have TJS and now sits around 91.
And there are other examples throughout the system of pitchers who the system has failed. In short, no Yankee pitcher should arrive in the bigs without and out pitch or a change up. Think about that next time Hughes gives up an 0-2 bomb. That's a failure of development. It's time the Yankees got themselves a new minor league pitching czar and reorganized their pitching priorities. I am not kidding when I say they have a ton of young (21 and under) pitching talent in their minors, and it would be a shame and cost them millions upon millions in major league FA's and minor league assets if they fail once again to develop them,