Yankees 2014 international signing class starts coming into view

(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images) /
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The Yankees signed 10 of the top 30 international prospects back in 2014. Now the results are starting to show, for better or worse.

The Yankees made an unprecedented move in 2014 when they signed over 30 international prospects. That included ten of the top 30, five of the top nine, and the top two overall. That got even Baseball America’s attention:

"Other teams have broken their bonus pools, and other teams have spent big money on international amateur talent before the bonus pool era, but no team has ever done what the Yankees did last year."

The reason? Predictions and projections are difficult as most of these players were just 16 when signed. The regular player draft is hard enough, and those guys are 18-24.

But that’s what made the New York Yankees strategy so promising. Since there is a lot of throwing darts at the dart board luck to the process, better to get as many darts as possible.

I doubt it has worked as well as the Yankees would have liked, at least so far. That is not to say there are not some successful players beginning to ascend through the system. But any hope for a breakout superstar, ala Mike Trout or Jose Altuve, is years away and a bit unlikely.

That doesn’t mean there are not real stars and everyday regulars in the group. Most are nineteen now and should be just making their way through the lower levels of the system. Plus, there is still time for under performing players to develop.

A History Lesson

For instance, the Yankees once had a prospect named Derek Jeter. When he was nineteen, he committed 56 errors in 128 games at then Class-A Greensboro. He seemed to work out okay.

And when it feels that these players have been in the system a long time, think of Yo Soy Gary. He was drafted in 2009, at 16 years of age, and did not make his debut until 2016. And also remember that he was not a top 100 prospect when that year started.

So this is a progress report, not a final judgment. Well, not for most of them anyway.

I can’t cover all the players signed that year and so will focus on the highs and lows, especially for the then-ranked players. But one player I will not cover is Estevan Florial. First, I have written plenty about this exceptionally talented player. And, second, his delayed signing only technically includes him on this list.

With that in mind, let’s start at the bottom and get the bad news out of the way first.