Yankees final farm report: The summer is ending but not the harvest

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
5 of 18
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

(30) SS Danienger Perez: 20/Staten Island


Danny has had an up and down season and he’s hard to get a read on. But he’s shown flashes of consistency–hitting .326 with Pulaski with a home run–and can play his position. His ceiling is as an utility infielder but he probably needs to do more next year to maintain any kind of ranking.

(29) RP Nestor Cortes: 22/Scranton Wilkes/Barre


With Nestor we come to the first prospect guaranteed to contribute this year. His slow and measured rise is another example of the almost dichotic thinking the Yankees have on pitchers.

Baseball is about making adjustments and the Yankees are leading a new movement in pitching. Organizations have for years made throwing hard their main focus. Pitchers at all levels are asked to throw as hard as they can, as often as possible.

Hitters responded in kind and now routinely hunt fastballs. Many players take extreme uppercuts with a home run or bust, three true outcomes, approach. The Yankees, and a few other teams, have adjusted. Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild have asked their pitchers to throw more off-speed stuff in order to neutralize hitters, with some success.

But they have been slow to embrace their own controlling pitchers. Chance Adams started the season as the Yankees best minor league pitcher and has maintained that status to date. Yet he has watched as a parade of lesser prospects premiered in pinstripes. Why? Partially because the Yankees are afraid his mostly off-speed arsenal will get destroyed.

Exploring Cortes

Cortes is in the same situation. Every year since 2014, Nestor has posted a sub-2.30 ERA. Last year was his best, moving across four levels, ending with a collective 1.53 ERA in 106 innings pitched. And, like Adams, he has gotten better as he has faced better competition.

In 31.1 IP at Triple-A, Nestor has given up only 21 hits but struck out 37. And since he has walked only seven men, his ERA is 1.44 and his WHIP is 0.89. But he, too, watched as even other Double-A pitchers were called up before him.

The Yankees are scared of soft throwers, although they want their pitchers to throw softer stuff.

Do you know how Hollywood casts a role for an unattractive woman? They find a beautiful woman and make her less attractive; think Ugly Betty. The Yankees are doing the same thing. They want pitchers to excel at throwing breaking stuff, but refuse to believe in those with the most natural talents to do so.

But by September first, it will be a moot point. Cortes is sure to be called up and given a chance to perform for Joe and Larry. I just hope Chance is, too. The only reason he is not higher on this list is that he is a reliever.