As the New York Yankees continue to trail within the AL East, one aspect that many fans aren’t looking into is the proficient farm system the Bronx Bombers contain. Yes, winning every game possible is important for the 27-time World Series Champions, but on paper, the future of the Yankees is looking as strong as ever. Within the MLB top 100 propescts for the 2016-17 season, the Yankees currently contain nine of those top one hundred slots. Here is a peek at three important prospects for the team, and what they could potentially evolve as in terms of the Yankees franchise:
Gleyber Torres (SS, Ranked the #2 Prospect)
In an acquisition for a handful of players, including Torres, the Yankees let go of closing pitcher Arolids Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, who went on to win the World Series last season. In the offseason, Chapman came back to the Bronx, as the Yankees winded up coming away with one of the top prospects the league has to offer.
Torres began the regular season in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder. In 32 total games, Torres went on to bat .273, with 5 home runs, and had an on-base percentage of .367. Making his way up to the Triple-A, Torres suffered an awkward slide into second base, which was later diagnosed as a torn ulnar collateral ligament, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery.
With Didi Gregorious currently holding his own as the everyday shortstop for now, it’s important to note that reports did leak that the Yankees planned to move Torres to third base, relieving the underwhelming Chase Headley. While the Yankees standby when it comes to Torres, don’t be surprised if he makes his way back into the majors next season.
Clint Frazier (OF, Ranked the #17 Prospect)
Debuting for the Yankees last Saturday, Clint Frazier made the most of his opportunity, going 2-4, including a solo homer in the seventh inning in a loss against the Houston Astros. The 22-year old started in right field for the potential upcoming superstar Aaron Judge, but considering the historic year Judge is having, it’s safe to say that the Yankees have no intention of making Frazier the everyday right fielder anytime soon.
Frazier went on to become the fourth-youngest in franchise history to secure a home run on his debut, and is also the youngest individual to do so since 1969. While Yankees fans seem to have high expectations for Frazier, the front office will likely take their time when it comes to developing the young outfielder.
With Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge all surpassing expectations this season, one roster that could eventually open up is the one that currently belongs to Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury is also no stranger when it comes to the injury bug, and if injuries continue to loom around him, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Yankees went on to rush the development of Frazier.
Dustin Fowler (Ranked the #97 Prospect)
Slamming his right knee against the fence in a loss versus the Chicago White Sox, Dustin Fowler has gone on record regarding his devastating injury:
“This is a journey I’ve gone through my whole life,’’ Fowler said from his hospital bed. “Now I’ve got to work that much harder to get there. Maybe it will be a little more special this go-round.’’
Since being promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Fowler has yet to contain his first at-bat in the MLB. Originally scheduled to lead off the second inning against the White Sox, Fowler is now continuing to rehab from his injury, which was diagnosed as a ruptured tendon.
The Yankees farm system is stacked in a lot of senses, but if their outfielders continue to make large strides towards success, their going to have an issue that no one expected: too much depth. With no initial plan to trade away one of their outfielders before the MLB Trade Deadline, I would predict that the Yankees will wait it out for the rest of the year and await to see if their prospects can continue to develop at the steady pace the franchise hopes for.
All three of the aforementioned prospects have the potential to make it big, but will they?
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