When Manny Banuelos was promoted to Triple-A in 2011, fans expected him to breeze through and find himself with the Yankees ball club within the next year or so. Instead, Banuelos went 2-4 with a 4.32 ERA and missed the last 18 months with Tommy John Surgery.
In spite of Banuelos’s poor performance, he might be the only Yankees top prospect to have a legitimate shot to make the ball club in 2014.
“Banuelos has got that big arm,” a front office source said to ESPN New York. “If it’s still there and the lightning still strikes then you’re going see people say, ‘F— it, bring him with us [on Opening Day].’”
The Yankees farm system hasn’t seen much success in terms of bringing in players. The Yankees brought up Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner from the Yankees farm system within the last 20 years. Not counting Ivan Nova and David Robertson (who are pitchers and not considered every day players), Gardner is the only Yankees player to come up from the farm system in the last decade.
“It’s not as good as we need it to be in terms of results,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said when asked if it was fair to characterize his farm system as a bust. “There are a number of reasons behind that. At the end of the day, we’ve had some misses, without a doubt. We’ve had some guys who didn’t make their projections, who failed to cross the finish line. So basically it’s fair to criticize where we’re currently sitting.”