Reality Check History Lesson
Who was the lowest regarded prospect of the following:
A. Phil Hughes
B. Joba Chamberlain
C. Sam Marsonek
D. Domingo Jean
E. Ian Kennedy
F. Brandon Claussen
G. Johan Santana
H. Ted Lilly
I. Ryan Bradley
J. Jake Westbrook
K. Tyler Clippard
L. Ed Yarnall
If you guessed "G," you were correct. Santana was left unprotected in the Rule V draft by the Houston Astros, and then was selected by the Minnesota Twins. The Astros didn't think highly enough of Santana's future to place him on their 40 man roster, and lost him for nothing. Two (and deserving of at least one more) Cy Young awards later, Santana has proven the scouts and pundits wrong.
So where are Yarnall, Bradley and Jean these days? Clippard is now so low on the Yankees radar that they'd happily throw him in on almost any deal at this point. Claussen is now in the Nationals system after frustrating Reds fans and not pitching in 2007. Westbrook has had one good year (2004) and been a mediocre pitcher in every other. Theodore Roosevelt Lilly has had the most success of any of the "highly regarded" prospects traded by the Yankees, and has put together a pretty decent career as an above average major league pitcher (although 2007 is the only year since he left the Yankees he has posted an ERA under 4.00). I believe Sam Marsonek picked up my dry cleaning last week.
What's the point here? Yankees fans tend to overvalue their own prospects and young players, thinking every single one of them is going to be the next Whitey Ford or Roger Clemens. Kennedy, Hughes and Chamberlain are good prospects and appear to be able to compete on the major league level and hopefully all three will have good careers ahead of them. There are, however, no guarantees.
Remember that when the thought of sacrificing one of three prospects to obtain the best pitcher in baseball in the prime years of his career becomes a possibility.
Or maybe you're still hoarding that Hensley Meulens rookie card, convinced he could still be the next Mickey Mantle.
Labels: bam bam meulens, ian kennedy, joba chamberlain, johan santana, phil phranchise, prospects, trade rumors, yankee history
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:01 PM