Which Yankees Prospects will Wear Pinstripes in April?
The Starting Pitchers
The Yankees started camp looking to fill two spots. And the hope was that one of their five candidates—Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell and Luis Severino—would emerge as a dominant starter. All five have had some experience, and success, at the big league level. Yankees hoped that at least one of them would be ready to take the next step and become a consistent 2 or 3. If all things remained equal, then Mitchell and Severino would be at the top of the list.
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The first round of starts was positively promising as no team scored a run against any of them. But that all changed in the second round as ERA’s ballooned. There is still plenty of time for one or more of these players to take command of the competition, but right now it still looks like Mitchell and Sevvy are at the top of the depth chart.
Jose Quintana! The Yankees have seen enough to know that, if they want to break camp with a consistent top of the order pitcher, they will have to find that player outside of the organization. Time to trade prospects. Obviously, the Yankees are not going to trade any blue-chippers, and they won’t have to. The Chicago White Sox seem desperate to sell and willing to take some chances. If the headliner of the deal is Jorge Mateo, then bring on Monte Hall.
Adam Warren also seems destined for the Bronx, although he might not like the innings he will pitch. Unless Warren can distance himself from the others, he is going to be a key figure in the bullpen; sorry, Adam.
But whether Severino and Mitchell? One is likely to be included in the Quintana deal, and the other will wear pinstripes in April. My hope is that Mitchell is traded. He has been better than Severino as a starter for the Yankees, but Severino’s upside is so much higher. Even if he ultimately fails as a starter, he still looks like an overpowering closer.
Not Ready Yet
Luis Cessa and Chad Green both will serve as protection, and we will see them both pitch for the Yankees this year. Organizational depth is key to season-long success, and those two will do a great job providing it.
Aaron Judge Batting Fourth Makes Yankees a Most Intimidating Team
But Judge can be special in a way few can. Yankees need to surround him with their other great hitters to force pitchers to throw him meatier pitches.
There is still a lot of Yankees camp to go. Some futures are clear—Bird and Judge—while others still need to be decided (starting pitching). What is clear is that the Yankees look to be a lot better offensively this year with even more exciting position players poised to make an impact down the road. If the 2017 Yankees can at least match their pitching from 2016, an eminently achievable goal, then there is real hope this team can have a winning season and maybe make the playoffs. And hope is what spring training is all about.
If the 2017 Yankees can at least match their pitching from 2016, an eminently achievable goal, then there is genuine hope this team can have a winning season and maybe make the playoffs. And hope is what spring training is all about.