New York Yankees' Most Overhyped Prospects Heading into Spring Training

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 31, 2013

New York Yankees' Most Overhyped Prospects Heading into Spring Training

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    Every spring training, MLB teams give their youngest players a look in the hopes that they find a guy who can help their team for the upcoming season.

    While the hope for several players is high, sometimes that hope can be unwarranted, with the prospect having proved nothing at the major-league level.

    For the Yankees, they will have a few players set to be overhyped as spring training begins. Granted, it doesn't mean these players won't succeed, but there are some unreal expectations placed on their shoulders.

    Let's take a closer look at who fits the bill.

Austin Romine: C

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    Despite the fact that he's done next to nothing in the MLB, Yankee fans are ready to crown Romine their next catcher for the 2013 season, or at least the backup.

    New York's catcher situation has become a mess this offseason, thanks to the departure of Russell Martin to Pittsburgh and the Yanks subsequent failure to bring in a reliable option.

    All that's left for the Yanks to fill their catcher spot is Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli, Bobby Wilson and Romine. Not exactly a high-quality group of guys, so it is reasonable that fans want some new blood.

    But Romine's offensive abilities are anything but reliable. The only thing saving Romine is his defense, which again, we haven't seen enough of to really get a good idea just how talented he is behind the plate and how he calls a game.

    It's understandable that Yankee fans want to move into the future already and bring in some youth to the 2013 team, but don't be so quick to make Romine deserving of the starting job.

Mark Montgomery: RP

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    Montgomery has done some impressive things at the minor league level, and that has left many clamoring for him to get a shot in the bigs.

    The Yanks are looking for some bullpen help thanks to the departure of Rafael Soriano, and it looks like that solution will come from within after a quiet offseason.

    David Aardsma will likely make an impact as long as he's healthy, but the Yanks have a big question mark in Joba Chamberlain, who spent 2012 either injured or ineffective in the pinstripes.

    Montgomery could potentially be the answer, and while many see him as such, there is no certainty in that thinking and no proof to make the case with.

    In the minors, Montgomery finished with a 1.54 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 64.1 innings pitched. Nice numbers, but the right-hander has never faced a batter past Double-A. At this point, facing major league hitters could be a rude awakening for him.

    It remains to be seen how Montgomery will fare, but there is a great deal of hype surrounding him nonetheless.

Dante Bichette Jr.: 3B

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    At one point in his young career, people were crowning Bichette Jr. the next Yankee third baseman, but things have cooled off ever since.

    Bichette Jr. started off his minor league career with a bang and looked like the real deal, but his 2012 season left a lot to be desired.

    He hit just .248 with three homers and 46 RBI, while sporting 94 strikeouts in 122 games. Not exactly what we were expecting.

    Still, many may hold onto the hope that last season was just a rough patch for the youngster and continue to remember the numbers of Bichette Jr.'s past. Others have moved David Adams ahead of the pack, which was once led by Bichette Jr.

    The hype might be fading for this youngster, but unreal hope remains that he can still be a productive hitter at the big-league level.

Dellin Betances: SP

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    With the exception of Manny Banuelos, no pitcher in the Yankees' minor league system has been hyped more than Betances. Another year has sprung new hope that Betances can turn things around and make an impact at the big league level, whether now or in the future.

    Betances has struggled with command issues over the past few seasons, which is something that has helped his stock drop quickly.

    Before being sent to the DL last August, Betances was demoted from Triple-A to Double-A as a result of his problems, but a solid showing in the Arizona fall league may heap the same old expectations back onto the young pitcher.

    With a shutout in his last performance of the fall, Betances has created some new excitement that his potential will finally be realized, but in reality, he must continue to improve on his command and stamina issues if he wants to fulfill expectations.

Cito Culver: SS

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    Derek Jeter won't be around forever, so it's only natural that people are already looking for his replacement.

    Culver has been the guy who many have pegged to be that replacement, but he has yet to show any sort of promise during his time in the minors.

    Last season, Culver was dreadful at the plate, hitting .215 with two homers and 40 RBI. What was more disturbing is that Culver struck out 104 times in 122 games played.

    But we've heard that defense is the best part of Culver's game, and while that may be true, 20 errors committed in 119 games in the minors doesn't exactly help his case.

    If he wants to eventually replace Jeter, he must become a more consistent fielder and his trips to the batter's box more productive. As of this moment, the hype might be in Culver's corner, but it isn't really deserved.