Last night, two Yankees minor league affiliates won championship titles: the high-A Tampa Yankees and the short season-A Staten Island Yankees.
The Tampa Yankees rode a five-hitter by Trent Lare to capture the title. This team has been a truly great team for the Yankees minor league system this season. They have a nice mix of some of their top talents down there, and they also got some late-season additions from other teams to help them down the stretch.
The Staten Island Yankees have also been very impressive this season. After starting out slow, they went on a tear just to get into the playoffs and eventually won it all. That team has a few guys who could eventually turn into prospects like Kyle Higashioka, Deangelo Mack, and Neil Medchill. However, this level is usually too low to tell who the real prospects could be.
The Scranton Yankees could make it three teams to win a championship for the Yankees, but they are already down 2-0 in a best-of-five series, with Game Three scheduled for tonight.
When minor league teams win championships it is really cool, but doesn’t always say that much about the depth of a certain team’s system. There are a lot of other variables out there, including guys who are playing below their level and guys who, for some reason or another, just seem to fizzle out.
It is good in one aspect, though, as it gets them used to winning. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, some gave a lot of credit to the New York Yankees success because their minor league system was strong. A lot of people said when they won it really helped to develop a winning attitude and an expectation of success. That could be just rhetoric, but there might be something to it.