Monday, August 11, 2014

The Cry For Homegrown Talent May Be Ill Advised: 1996

I am probably one of the worst for this but the thought of having a mostly homegrown team may not be the best thing for the Yankees. I got to thinking about how much homegrown talent the Yankees actually had when they won the World Series in 1996 and the results were shocking. The Yankees had a total of six regulars on that team that came from the farm system, six. Let's take a closer look at that 1996 Yankees roster.

The Yankees infield wasn't exactly homegrown with Joe Girardi (Cubs and Rockies), Tino Martinez (Mariners) filling the huge shoes of Don Mattingly at first base, Mariano Duncan (many NL teams) manned second base, and Wade Boggs (Red Sox) was at the hot corner. Jim Leyrtiz did split time catching and Derek Jeter manned shortstop from Opening Day until present day for the only homegrown talent on the team.

From the infield to the outfield we saw much of the same story. Darryl Strawberry (Mets) and Tim Raines (Expos) played a lot of left field after home grown talent Gerald Williams was traded to Milwaukee midway through the season. Paul O'Neill (Reds) was the rock of the outfield after coming over from Cincinnati. The Yankees had Bernie Williams manning center field for the only Yankees homegrown talent in the outfield.

The designated hitter spot belonged to Ruben Sierra (Rangers) before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Cecil Fielder.

The Yankees rotation in 1996 was far from homegrown with Kenny Rogers (Rangers), Jimmy Key (Blue Jays), Dwight Gooden (Mets) and David Cone (Royals) joining the homegrown Andy Pettitte on the mound.

The Yankees bullpen, again, was far from homegrown with John Wetteland (Montreal) closing out games, Jeff Nelson (Mariners) pitching in middle relief, and had Jim Mecir (Mariners) and Steve Howe (Dodgers) making major appearances. The only homegrown Yankees in the bullpen that season were Bob Wickman and the great Mariano Rivera.

So as you can see the cry for the homegrown talent may be fun for us fans but it won't necessarily win us a World Series this year or any time in the future. The Yankees will still need free agency, they will still need international signings, and they will still need to make trades.


  1. How many players were free agent signing and how many were brought in from trades from our "home grown talent"? I think that is as important and the talent that stays and plays in the organization. If you use young talent to aquire other good talent, then there is very little difference.

  2. Pettitte was drafted, Jeter was drafted, Posada was drafted, Rivera was an IFA. I don't think any of the other players were big enough contributors to matter much

    1. I would hope no one would actually believe, we could make it to the Gold Ring, with only home grown talent!
      But making trades to get a guy for a year or two of real production for a really talented player is dumb.
      Right now we have a few coming stars, down on the Farm, well, maybe stars. Until they are really tested and make the adjustments to the majors, we really don't know how good they will be. We have the charts to tell us how good they CAN be but, will they?
      Have very good power bat will play, right? Not when the Yankees decide to get a player.
      In the past WS years we had players that filled a hole for a few years without hurting the team when they were about done being an asset to the team. We would sign a guy for two three years and let them go, now it is five or more year contracts and they are hurting the team by holding up a kid that could out play the vet.
      Someone has to use their head for more than a hat rack, one can't sign a 35 year old player to a 4 or 5 year contract and expect to get full value.

  3. It seems like the Yankees almost HAVE to go the extra year or two to sign these players, or maybe they are just bidding against themselves. Like Carlos Beltran, it was us or Kansas City so we went the third year like we shouldn't have and here we are.

    1. Sometimes I do think we bid against ourselves, as with our 3rd baseman the 2nd time around and Beltran (as you pointed out). I also teams make it hard for the Yankees on trading players. They will demand the sky for a player and when we back off, they will trade him to another team for less talent in return. I have seen this trend going on for many years, and there is nothing to be done about it.
      Jealousy is a bitter pill that has been a cross the Yankees have had to deal with for many, many years.

  4. We definitely bid against ourselves with A Rod, no doubt about it.


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