Yankees: Keith Law And His Top 100 Prospects – What’s It Worth?
The Yankees have loaded themselves up with prospects. But, what is the prospect of these prospects, first even making the team shortly, and second, making a significant contribution to the team when they get to Yankee Stadium? And, who’s the fairest of them all?
The Yankees have prospects. Every team has prospects. But, by definition, the word carries with an aura of mystery of the unknown. Some will make it and go on to have fruitful and lucrative careers in the big leagues, whether with the Yankees or another team. And some will drop by the wayside for a variety of reasons that include injuries, lack of enthusiasm and work ethic, or by just simply “reaching their Harvard” a hair or two below the major league level.
In recent days and weeks, we’ve seen writers like Keith Law, whose biography includes time as a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com and ESPN Scouts, Inc. He was formerly a writer for Baseball Prospectus and worked in the front office for the Toronto Blue Jays. He is a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, publish a list of the Top 100 Prospects in major league baseball as we sit here today.
And as Yankees fans, we reveled in the fact that he selected the Pinstripes and team with the second best farm system in MLB (the Atlanta Braves are first). And I don’t know about you, but he seems to make a pretty good case for all of his choices. But the one thing that Keith Law doesn’t attempt to measure because he can’t measure it yet are the intangibles attached to each player.
It’s The Intangibles That Count The Most
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The intangibles. The things that can’t be measured like a 95 MPH fastball on the gun, bat speed, or home to first running speed. But how about things like a player’s work ethic. Is the player last one dragging himself into the clubhouse, or is he already out there fielding ground balls, or working on his changeup in the bullpen.
Is he married, single, or indifferent? Did he graduate from college, or did he just attend college? Does he enjoy “talking baseball” with teammates, coaches, and writers? The little things that later can tell you so much.
And it would be interesting if twenty years from now, we pulled out Keith Law’s list and went through them one by one to see who measured up, and who faded away leaving a trace barely on the baseball landscape.
Still, we can’t help ourselves. And it’s just too enticing not to do some armchair quarterbacking with the Yankees pool of talent as subjects. In recent weeks, Yanks Go Yard has profiled a good portion of these players. A short list of those profiles include:
Justus Sheffield, Pitcher
Jordan Montgomery, Pitcher
Jorge Guzman, Pitcher
Albert Abreu, Pitcher
Chance Adams, Pitcher
James Kaprielian, Pitcher
You’ll notice that each of these players are pitchers, the most difficult of all baseball talent to gauge. But like Keith Law or Top 30 Yankees Prospects published by MLB, a law of physics applies which states that a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
Each of these players is in a constant state of motion, and they will remain that way throughout their career in baseball. They’ll have good days and bad years. They’ll learn from the mistakes they make, or they won’t. They’ll move up the farm system ladder, or they’ll get stuck somewhere spinning their wheels while others move past them.
As Yankees Fans, We Only Get A Snapshot Of A Player
So, anything we attempt to measure now can only be seen as a snapshot, and not anything of lasting value.
How many times, for instance, have we read or heard stories about a pitcher, who “loses” his fastball. Where is it? Where’d it go? Is it under his bed, in the dishwasher, or is it in his head? No one knows, but these things do happen.
Essentially then, all we can do is follow players like the pitchers listed above throughout the 2017 season, with an eye towards marking their development and progress. It’s an ongoing process. We’ll do it here at Yanks Go Yard keeping you, posted on a weekly basis. And Keith Law undoubtedly will update his Top 100 as well.
Next: Yankees Fans Need To Be Patient With Gary Sanchez
Having said that, I know you are just dying to know. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? I’m going with Justus Sheffield. Something just feels right about him. Mainly, though, I just like his presence on the mound, his maturity, and his apparent willingness to learn. We’ll see, and that’s the fun of it all.