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A look back at the aspects of the farm system that were disappointing without being disastrous in 2012. Part two of three.
After writing about some of the better things that happened down on the farm this season, it's time to tackle the things that won't be quite as fondly remembered. Not the flat out disastrous stuff, that will come later. Again, this list is far from all-inclusive. Feel free to throw in your own thoughts on the subject.
Dante Bichette Jr. - People expected better from DBJ after he tore up the Gulf Coast league in 2011, probably because it seemed as though the Yankees may have reached for him in the draft. His .342/.446/.505 line in Rookie ball was impressive, but he failed to follow that up with similar results this season in Charleston. In 122 games this year, DBJ only managed to put together a .242/.322/.331 line that was elevated by a late season push. For someone who managed to hit for almost no power (three HR) and showed very limited speed on the base paths (three SB), those numbers certainly don't live up to the hype that surrounded him after his 2011 season. Bichette will probably repeat Low A to begin next season, and there's definitely time for him to turn it around, but everyone may need to temper their expectations until he proves he can replicate his results at a higher level.
Cito Culver - There is a faction of people who still believe that Cito Culver can be the shortstop of the future for the New York Yankees. It's true that we've been incredibly spoiled by the way that Derek Jeter has been able to hit for his entire career, but it's easy to have doubts about whether the Culver will ever be able to step into those shoes considering his best wRC+ of 101 came in Rookie ball. His .215/.321/.283 line in Low A this season was only good enough for a 73 wRC+. If anything saves Culver's future with this team, it might be his glove. He's another draft pick that will be scrutinized if he fails to pan out the way everyone wants him to. If he's not in Charleston to start next season, it will be to make space for someone else, not because he deserved the promotion.
Jose Campos - After coming over from Seattle in the Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero trade, Campos rocketed himself to the upper tier (Fangraphs lists him at number two) of Yankee prospect lists. He started the season on fire for Low A Charleston before an injury ended his season after only five games. His success up until that point is reason to be optimistic about him going forward, but missing practically an entire season with arm trouble is concerning enough to be skeptical until he's able to return to the mound.
Mason Williams' Season-Ending Injury - It's a secret to no one that the Yankees need their outfield prospects to find a way to the majors much sooner than later. Williams climbed into the top five of prospects in the system before the 2012 season and scouts seem to think he has a real chance at sticking in centerfield as a major leaguer. Mason hit .304/.359/.489 with eight homers in 69 games for Low A Charleston before being promoted to Tampa. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to finish the season after dislocating his shoulder diving for a ball in the outfield, which required surgery. Everything suggests that Williams will be ready by Spring Training, but the chance that he may have been able to start the season in AA Trenton like fellow outfielder Tyler Austin is expected to do seems like a long shot now. It's disappointing, but will hopefully he can hit well enough to begin 2013 to minimize the impact of missing that time.
Depth at Catcher - A position that seemed like it was loaded looks less promising these days. Montero belongs to some other team now, Romine's minor back issue turned into a year-long thing, Gary Sanchez is a few years away. Romine is certainly the closest to the majors, but plenty of questions exist about whether or not he will ever be able to hit well enough to be an everyday catcher in the major leagues. The next best bet is Sanchez, and that seems to be where all of the hopes for a homegrown catcher of the future lie. Sanchez's strong suit is hitting, which we've seen the Yankees downplay in favor of being more defensive-minded. It will be interesting to see how they treat him going forward, knowing that his bat will be a bigger asset than his glove. Outside of Sanchez, the depth just doesn't look that promising. Good news for Russell Martin...
What disappointed you most this season?
Dante Bichette Jr. (59 votes)
Cito Culver (11 votes)
Jose Campos (28 votes)
Mason Williams' Injury (14 votes)
Lack of Depth at Catcher (23 votes)
135 total votes