MLB Futures, Part I: American League Wild Card: New York Yankees

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 5, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees reacts after he hit an infield single in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Right around this time, Baseball America is finishing up their lists of each MLB organization's top 10 prospects.

This is the same time that I start speculating. I speculate over each team’s future and who has the best shot of building a dynasty.

Really, this doesn’t mean anything. Prospects are prospects, which means nothing in their development is certain. Nonetheless, it's fun to speculate, and I think these outlooks can create a lot of debate.

So, I’m putting together a nice new 10-part series about which teams have the best future outlooks. I picked 10, five AL five NL, because with the new changes coming, there will be 10 playoff spots. However, their order does constitute a formula of strongest outlook to weakest outlook.

It should also be known that I created these with a three or four-year look into the future, meaning I only picked prospects that I thought would be ready in that time.

Without further ado, I give the first part of the series: the New York Yankees 



C: Austin Romine
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Ramiro Pena
3B: Eduardo Nunez
LF: Curtis Granderson
CF: Brett Gardner
RF: Slade Heathcott
DH: Alex Rodriguez



1. C.C. Sabathia
2. Michael Pineda
3. Manny Banuelos
4. Ivan Nova
5. Dellin Betances

Closer: David Robertson



The lowest spot was a toss-up between the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I'm not sure of Yu Darvish's future, so let’s discount Texas. I’m unsure of LA's financial ability to retain core players (like Dan Haren), so there goes the Angels.

That only leaves New York.

Their strength lies in the pitching. Retroactive to Jan. 23, I would have gone with LA. Then, New York had to go and acquire Michael Pineda. Combine with ace C.C. Sabathia, mix in prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Detances, blend with Ivan Nova and bake for two seasons—you've got one hell of a rotation.

Offensively, there are some holes. Eduardo Nunez is an able replacement for Derek Jeter, but Ramiro Pena is a less than suitable infielder. However, he would just be seen as a place holder until Dante Bichette would be ready to take over at third.

Many will point to the age of this group, and it is hard to overlook. We've seen signs of decline from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, two core players.

Still, New York has the makings of a great young core. Robinson Cano is a legit middle-of-the-order bat, Brett Gardner has the makings of a phenomenal leadoff man and Curtis Granderson was a beast in 2011. Austine Romine is no Jesus Montero, but he has an able bat and strong instincts as the catcher of the future.

All in all, New York has the makings of a well-balanced club. Their rotation has phenomenal upside, and despite aging superstars, their lineup has some young studs in the making.

And, in the end, they’re the freaking Yankees. That means financial flexibility, moreso than any other club in Major League Baseball. Despite their flaws, there will never be a problem big enough that New York can’t fix with money.

Thanks for reading part one of this series. If I peaked your interest, make sure to check back in throughout the next couple of weeks. I will be posting a couple of these each week until I've ran through all 10.