You've heard from former Yankees prospect Ben Ruta, who recently challenged the organization's silly-sounding training methods meant to deemphasize baseball instincts. Now, for the rebuttal!
Lance Brozdowski, currently an analyst with the Marquee Sports Network and formerly an expert with the innovative baseball think tank Driveline, took umbrage with Ruta's statements regarding the goofiness of the Yankees' minor-league training.
"Analytics" has become a cautionary buzzword that means "failure" if you reside in New York and "championships" if you live in Houston. Bottom line? Those applying and interpreting the data they receive have to be top-notch and willing to pivot (and admit they're wrong) if need be. It's unclear if the Yankees employ such people.
But Ruta's position that the implementation of Dillon Lawson's training methods created mass minor-league failure across the board isn't true. Brozdowski pointed out a number of metrics where the team's offensive prospects are distancing themselves from the competition.
Yankees organization using analytics to teach minor-leaguers might be good, actually
Counter to the counter? We still haven't seen sustained success from any of these "unlocked" prospects/fringe talents at the big-league level since 2019, when the juiced balls were eliminated from competition. You want to prove you've got a leg up on other teams in terms of nurturing young offensive players? Get a class of three or four succeeding in the majors. Until then, it'll still feel like there's a schism.
Ruta's claims that the Yankees junked the sport of baseball and started playing Exit Velocity Ball in spring training, shirking base running and moving runners over in favor of ripping hotshots, opened everyone's eyes on Wednesday because ... well, because of the failure that's unfolding in the Bronx this summer. Everybody wants to find a bogeyman. Everybody wants to nail the root cause. Bonus points if that bogeyman is something you already desperately wanted to hate.
Truthfully? What Ruta's describing sounds insane, but what Brozdowski produced indicates better times could be ahead -- if only New York could find someone adept at balancing hunches AND playing the numbers to get this larger plan executed. They don't seem to have that person in the dugout or the GM's offices at the moment.