Baseball America's high praise for Yankees' pitching prospects could be elite trade fuel

The Yankees' system has a very clear strength.
May 12, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil (81) throws a pitch
May 12, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil (81) throws a pitch / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The FanGraphs' farm system ranking generator seems to be in for a rude awakening when the time comes to reassess the Yankees this winter.

FanGraphs, as frequently cited by rivals, was the low man on New York's prospect stockpile last offseason, ranking the team's farm 24th in baseball (and the Red Sox second). These dueling facts have served as ammunition for hungry Bostonian trolls for a full season, who spent a long, long, long time ignoring the simple fact that these rankings were outdated and tied to the preseason. Whether FanGraphs has changed their tune subtly or loudly on the Yankees has yet to be determined, but there's no way they don't move up after breakout seasons from Drew Thorpe and Chase Hampton -- players who, it's safe to say, shouldn't be seventh and 33rd in the system according to anyone anymore.

If MLB Pipeline is your preferred prognosticator, they moved the Yankees back to 21st in their mid-August re-ranks after Anthony Volpe graduated, with Boston holding firm at a middle-of-the-pack 16th. Baseball America? They're big believers in the Yankees' development program -- on one side of the ball, at least.

BA cited this week that minor-league Statcast data places the Yankees near the top of the charts in many different facets of pitching success. The farm's "stuff" grades out tremendously well; Yankees pitchers manage to get whiffs both in and out of the zone, while significantly limiting all damage, both theoretical and actual. That makes them the third-best pitching system in the game, per the empirical data. It also makes them exactly what the San Diego Padres are looking for.

Yankees pitching prospects have nearly the best "stuff" in minor-league baseball

And the Minnesota Twins. And the St. Louis Cardinals. More generally, this assessment makes the Yankees' minor-league pitchers a fantastic group rebuttal to anyone who says they don't have the horses below the surface to get a blockbuster deal or two done this offseason. If you're looking for raw arm talent and polish, look no further than the Yankees.

New York's tremendously skilled depth allows them to both dangle a large number of Double-A arms in any given trade and part with established MLB talent like Clarke Schmidt, Randy Vásquez and (gulp) Michael King. Consider it the evolutionary version of shopping Ken Waldichuk, JP Sears, Hayden Wesneski and Luis Medina. Every fan was furious to part with what looked like the team's entire stockpile of Triple-A depth. Then, boom, Vásquez and Jhony Brito hold things down while Will Warren emerges. For all of Cashman's faults, he got that one right -- and he probably will again this winter, thanks to the team's ridiculously good pitching development staff.

As long as he doesn't trade a haul of treasure for Dylan Carlson. In that case, article retracted.