The New York Yankees concluded the 2021 season knowing they had a problem at the shortstop position. Gleyber Torres was abysmal at the position and Brian Cashman admitted that they needed to address it in the offseason.
The free agent class this past offseason was the greatest free agent class of all time in regards to shorstops. However, Brian Cashman also had in the back of his mind that the Yankees two top prospects were shortstops.
Would he spend big or would he find a stop-gap? In the end, he went with the latter and acquired Isiah Kiner-Falefa much to the dismay of fans. IKF was brought on due to his ability to make contact and play good defense. Well, he hasn’t shown much for Yankees fans to be excited about so far.
The rationale for Cashman was that star prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza were right around the corner. While the organization loves Peraza, it seems clear that they are intent on making Anthony Volpe the next face of the franchise.
Volpe is already being labeled as the next Derek Jeter by many. He’s a New Jersey kid who was drafted in the first round by the Yankees a few years ago. He’s climbed up the prospect rankings and many believe that he can be baseball’s top prospect by the end of the year.
Yankees Unrealistic Expectations
On one hand, I absolutely love the fact that the Yankees believe in their prospects so much. However, on the other hand, I get incredibly frustrated at the amount of unnecessary pressure that gets put on kids to perform at the highest level.
It’s known how passionate Yankees fans are. Us as fans always want to know about the next crop of prospects that could turn into the next “Core Four”. What the front office does a terrible job of is giving fans unreasonable expectations.
It’s perfectly fine to say that a prospect can turn into a star. However, it’s a very risky game to play in passing on trades or star free agents for guys who have yet to see an advanced stage of the minor leagues. You’re telling the fans that unproven prospects are worth more than MLB proven stars.
Now, I am in the camp that believes Jasson Dominguez and Anthony Volpe are going to be great players for New York. I firmly believe that both have a great chance to be All Stars and faces of the franchise for many years to come.
However, it’s important to use the word “chance”. There are no guarantees and prospects not panning out has played out way more than it hasn’t. In the past few years we’ve been told that Chance Adams was going to be an ace, Deivi Garcia was like Pedro Martinez, and Clint Frazier was going to be a perennial all star.
Let the prospects play and lower the expectations
I use those three because all three were requested in big trades and the Yankees said no. Two are no longer with the organization and were let go for nothing while the other (Garcia) has gone from a top prospect to barely hanging on in the Yanks top 30.
Last year, Jasson Dominguez made his professional debut and many were underwhelmed. He had an okay season, but when he was labeled as the next Mickey Mantle, fans were left disappointed with the teenagers first year.
Anthony Volpe has started this year 3-20 in Double-A. It’s an extremely small sample size, but I’m already seeing some Yankees fans online complain. Why? Well, when he’s being touted as the next Derek Jeter, anything short of superstar numbers is a disappointment.
At the end of the day, us as fans and the Yankees organization need to taper back the expectations. Let these guys work their way through the minors and stop overhyping before they reach higher levels. Anthony Volpe hadn’t even seen Double-A before this year and the Yankees have placed all their faith in him.
I believe they are going to be great, but the hype is setting them up to fail. If Dominguez and Volpe come up and produce as solid major league players, it’s not going to be good enough. They have to be stars, and the Yankees are telling you they will be.
That’s not only unfair to the players, it’s unfair to the fans. Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers right now and don’t hit the panic button. Realize there are going to be many ups and downs just like there are with our favorite major leaguers.
Don’t buy into the hype 100%. Instead, buy in some while keeping the possibility of failure in the back of your mind. Doing this saves you and the Yankees from being left in no man’s land if someone doesn’t pan out to be the star the team sold you on.