(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.
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.
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
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