The Yankees' slow start has many New York fans --fans who expect winning and are used to seeing their Bronx Bombers in contention --feeling a bit pessimistic.
But the product on the field at Yankees Stadium is not all the team has to offer. Its future will come from the minorsand currently the Yanks' farm system is teeming with prospects showing they may have what it takes to play on the biggest stage in sports.
Check out the five following reasons for hope, as we take a brief look at how the Yankees of the future are tearing things up today:
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Jorge Mateo, Tampa Yankees (Single-A)
Mateo has been compared to a young Jose Reyes. The Dominican shred on the basepaths last season to the tune of a ridiculous 82 stolen basesand currently has 12 through 32 games in high-A ball. Through Sunday afternoon he boasted a .346 batting average with 13 extra base hits (four of them homers and five triples).
Aaron Judge, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A)
Judge is a little older than Mateo, at 24, but he's also more advanced playing at the Triple-A level. The big, broodingoutfielder is 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds and has slugged for seven homers this season attempting to live up tohis $1.8 million signing bonus (he was drafted in the first round in 2013). He is batting a decent.265 but has yet to burst through.
Gary Sanchez,Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A)
The farm system's best catcher, Sanchez was actually called up to the Yankees but lasted just one game before being optioned back to Triple-A. He had his first major-league hit while up with the Yanks, but with the team desperate for bullpen help he will have to wait a bit toget his second.
“It’s not easy. He understood," Joe Girardi said of the decision to send Sanchez down."We have to get our pitching straightened out and make sure we’re covered.”
James Kaprielian, Tampa Yankees (Single-A)
The only pitcher on the list currently resides on the 7-day disabled list -- but Yankeeofficials say the elbow injury he is nursing is not a big deal.Kaprielian pitched for the 2014 United States National Team, and has a 1.50 ERA and 1-2 record in three starts so far in Single-A. He is 22-years-old and is expected to make a quick ascent up the minor-league latter.
Dustin Fowler, Trenton Thunder (Double-A)
Fowler gave up a scholarship tp play at Georgia Southern to take a $278,000 signing bonus in the 18th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Since then he's played his way up to Double-A, where he's batting at a .264 clip. His best tool, arguably, is his outfield work and the left-handed 21-year-old will likely continue to improve in Trenton for much of the season.