I’ve always thought that it’s difficult to evaluate the farm system of a team that gets more media attention and, naturally, the Yankees in particular. After all, prospects generally aren’t all that well-known and exposure could certainly improve their stock. I think that happened with players like Branden Claussen and Dioner Navarro (amongst many others), who were never as good as many Yankee fans (myself included) thought they would be.
However, so many people follow baseball and the minor leagues that it seems like this trend has stopped. Yet I find myself a little baffled by Keith Law’s latest organizational rankings. He has the Yankees 25th, which is a pretty steep fall; but they did make some trades and they graduated a lot of talent (Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, mainly) and haven’t had great drafts the past 2 seasons – so I can live with that evaluation.
The thing is, Keith also put out a list of top 10 prospects from each team. I noticed that Arodys Vizcaino, the prospect the Yankees recently traded for Javier Vazquez, was 2nd now in the Braves organization. That’s fine; by all accounts Vizcaino has a lot of upside. But then I realized something: the Braves are ranked 5th as an organization.
Now, maybe Law simply values Vizcaino more than others do, but I read pretty much every Yankee prospect list there is. Vizcaino was sometimes as high as 2nd on the Yankee list, but generally in the 3-5 range, along with Austine Romine, Manny Banuelos, and Zach McAllister.
So what changed? Again, does Law simply value Vizcaino that much more than everyone else (after all – he has him ranked 43rd in his top 100)? I am not a scout, so I defer to those who are, and I have to say Keith Law is, without question, the best baseball guy at ESPN and the only reason I subscribe to Insider is because of him.
One thing I am pretty confident in, however, is that Yankee prospects are likely no long over-valued due to media exposure like they once were. So did the Yankees make a mistake in getting rid of Vizcaino? How good is this guy? Clearly, the Yankees getting Vazquez was a good move, but perhaps they should have tried to build a package around a different player? Or does Law just value Vizcaino too much?