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Friday, February 15, 2013

LET THE YANKEES KIDS PLAY!

(In photo: Mark Montgomery, Austin Romine, David Adams)
It took a while, but there are finally signs on life, baseball life that is. Once the Yankees season ended my mind checked out. The best way I can describe it is this, once baseball season is over I am like a bear and I hibernate until February rolls around again. Some people don’t get as excited until Opening Day, but just seeing the pitchers and catchers on the field gets my blood pumping. This year, I am a little more excited because I think we are going to see some fresh new faces.

The off season wasn’t filled with big name signings. Instead, it has been filled with a lot of question marks. It has been frustrating to see some key players leave like Russell Martin and Raul Ibanez. It is also strange to see a freshly shaven Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes. I think this is just the start though, in addition to the big names, I think we will be seeing some fresh new faces from down on the farm.

I think this is the year that we start to see just how important our farm is. I look at this as a trial run because next year, with a smaller budget the Yankees are really going to rely on talent they already have in house. I have always believed that the Yankees need to give the kids in the minors more of a chance rather than just using them as trade bait. I made a case for it last year in a piece called THE YANKEE FARM IS THE FUTURE. We will never know if we are doing a good job developing our own talent if we just groom them enough to ship them off for someone else. A lot of people believe that if our kids were that good we would have called them up. Well, whether you believe that or not….you are going to start seeing them.

Some fans are discouraged already. I get that, no one likes to get disappointed. But this year I think we are going to see some new faces that could be a secret weapon for the Yankees.

Mark Montgomery: At some point this year, I would bet money that the Yankees call him up from AAA. He has pitched 92.2 innings, with a 1.65 ERA and 30 saves. He also has a 14.6 strikeout rate per nine innings. This doesn’t happen by accident, and he could be a huge help to an already impressive bullpen. He is going to be even more important to the Yankees if Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma leave at the end of the season.

David Adams: The Yankees have confidence in Kevin Youkilis, but in the event that something happens to him and he is sidelined for a while, I think he deserves a chance. Adams is an intriguing option because he can play both second and third base, so if someone needs a day off or the Yankees want to give someone else besides Eduardo Nunez a chance, he would be a likely choice. He has a decent glove in the field and his bat has pop. Last year he hit 306/.385/.450 with 23 doubles. I like the idea that he could help with the runners in scoring position struggles the Yankees have. He is one to watch.

Austin Romine: There has been a lot of buzz about Romine over the last year. I think he could be a great catcher for the Yankees, but it may not be smart to rush him into the job. By the end of the year I wouldn’t be surprised if he does take over some of the catching duties. He has been injury prone, but he is determined to win the job and focused despite becoming a father last week. Congrats to him and his wife! You can read that HERE. He spent a lot of time during the offseason working out and getting conditioned. He even reported to camp 13 pounds lighter, so it is a good start. He wants the job and I think his defense is going to give the Yankees defensive skills that haven’t been seen in a while. If he can stay healthy I think he will pleasantly surprise a lot of fans this year.

The Yankees have invited a lot of the kids from the minors this year, so we will get a good look at them. You can study up on them in a post we wrote HERE. This is the first look, and we can finally see them all in action and determine if they are really that good. The kids are finally getting their chance. It’s taken a long time and it may be overdue but the time has finally come. I am excited for our kids on the farm. I want to see who the next great Yankee will be. Who is your favorite prospect and do you think we will get to see them this year? Comment and let us know!




--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ



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