The modern New York Yankees have been remarkably unsuccessful at bringing quality minor-league talent to the bigs and fostering growth between Double-A and Triple-A/Triple-A and the majors. Strong Double-A (and below) performance has yet to create a consistent talent pool for the big-league Yankees, and Brian Cashman's team often opts out of dipping into their prospect puddle (perhaps out of fear of failing their kids yet again).
Still ... still ... the 2023 Somerset Patriots are leading the way in a remarkably impressive charge for the Yankees' minor-league system, and it certainly seems like the brains behind building that talent deserve a crack at selling their wares to the big-league team.
One Cubs fan's very helpful visual representation of each franchise's minor-league run differential, which dropped on Saturday, was supposed to help argue for the supremacy of Chicago's up-and-comers.
It certainly did its job. The Cubbies rank an impressive second ... behind the Yankees, a team with a more maligned farm system (especially according to FanGraphs, which ranked them 25th, just ahead of Atlanta and Miami).
When @GoCubs49 broke things down further, it became clear that the Patriots and their ridiculous run differential (+177 when the chart was made after a 22-3 Friday night bludgeoning, +181 through the weekend) were doing yeoman's work in propping up the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and Single-A Tampa Tarpons, though both of those teams were also in plus territory.
Man, in any other farm, the High-A Hudson Valley Renegades would be getting some serious accolades! Here? Enjoy second place.
Yankees minor-league system looks healthy, and Jasson Dominguez and Somerset Patriots are dominating
Pretty solid organization-wide rebuttal to Ben Ruta. Now, the Yankees just have to fix whatever gets in the way of this minor-league surge pushing big-league ready talent onto the MLB roster.
Of course, some of this powerful play is because of the talent that's landed on Somerset's roster throughout the year. Jasson Dominguez's summer hot streak has been ridiculous (.294/.368/.402 in July, .380/.438/.608 in August). Everson Pereira starred in Somerset first before moving up to Triple-A and staying scorching. Drew Thorpe and Chase Hampton have been elite run-preventers since being promoted.
But it's not all pedigree. Somewhere along the line, someone woke up lefty-swinging 12th-rounder Ben Rice out of Dartmouth. The system deserves some credit for that. Oklahoma's Tyler Hardman has 26 homers. UDFA Aaron Palensky has 20. Elijah Dunham has found his swing, posting an .879 OPS since being demoted with a .670 mark at Scranton. In many ways, the level of competition at Double-A is actually fiercer than the Triple-A level. Double-A is packed with hot prospects on the verge. Triple-A can be full of major leaguers on the way down.
The Yankees haven't figured out the last step towards translating their minor-league production into big-league wins yet, but the fact that their minor-league clubs are not just winning, but eviscerating opponents, portends well for the years to come.
The one downside? Their MLB run differential is -27, and that's the only one that really counts.