During the Steinbrenner era, the Yankees were not a team known for their patient attitude regarding their prospects. They viewed these players as trading chips that could be used to acquire one of the games many stars; players that were already experiencing success at the major league level and were considered amongst the elite. Yankees minor league players learned not to wait for the call to the majors, but rather for the call informing them that they had been traded. After all, their chances of making the roster on one of the other MLB teams was much higher than the chance of making the Yankees' roster. They knew they were trade bait, nothing more.
Nowadays, it's still the Steinbrenner era in the Bronx, but its Hank and Hal, not the late George, who are calling all the shots. So far, they've been preaching patience, a word the most Yankees fans probably didn't even have in their vocabulary until recently. It's not a very popular plan, but in the end, the fans may wind up being quite thankful for this new philosophy. After all, it was already used once before in the Bronx, albeit most likely by accident.
In the early to mid-90s, a new Yankee dynasty was beginning that would change the face of baseball in the future. The Yankees had a slew of talented minor league prospects that were all close to being major-league ready, and they all broke into the majors somewhere around 1995-1996. The most prominent of these players were Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and of course, the now-beloved captain, Derek Jeter. Together, these players led the Yankees to four World Series championships between 1996 and 2000, plus one more in 2009, sans Williams.
Presently, the Yankees have a new slew of talented young players already in the majors. Such players include Brett Gardner, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Robinson Cano. Gardner brings his speed and plate discipline to the team, as well as one of the best sets of outfield defensive skills in the game. Chamberlain broke onto the scene as a dominant reliever in 2007, but the Yankees might have derailed a brilliant young player by mixing up his role over the past few years, going back-and-forth from starter to reliever (he is currently a reliever). Hughes has become a valuable member of an otherwise less-than-satisfactory starting rotation in New York, making his first All-Star appearance in 2010 in his first full year as a starter.
Then there's the man most Yankee fans affectionately refer to as "Robbie." Robinson Cano has grown into one of the absolute best players in the game over the past few seasons. With one of the most beautiful swings in the game today, he inspires fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, as he can hit for both average and power. He is also arguably the best defensive second baseman in the game, as he won his first Gold Glove last season. He is probably at least in the top three in any discussion involving the best players in the game today, and is the best player on a Yankees team that includes such superstars as Jeter, Rivera, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and CC Sabathia. He has established himself into a perennial MVP candidate, and might be the man that leads a talented group of young players still down at the Yankees' farm to multiple world championships during what could wind up being a new Yankee dynasty in the 2010s.
Many Yankees fans don't even want to hear the word "trade" in the same sentence as "prospects" anymore, and who could blame them. They don't want to miss out on another player like Robbie Cano.
So here are those young players who have the chance to be the new jewels on the Bronx. These are the Yankees current top 10 prospects.