Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Cry For Homegrown Talent May Be Ill Advised: 1996

I am probably one of the wors tYankees fans there ever was for even thinking this let alone saying 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 and see if this current youth movement and push for youth can learn a thing or two from the team that Gene "Stick" Michael brought to us 20 seasons ago.

The Yankees infield wasn't exactly homegrown with catcher Joe Girardi (Cubs and Rockies), Tino Martinez (Mariners) filling the huge shoes of Don Mattingly at first base, Mariano Duncan (many NL teams) manning second base while Wade Boggs (Red Sox) manned the hot corner. Jim Leyrtiz did split time catching and Derek Jeter was named the Opening Day shortstop despite George Steinbrenner's best efforts to acquire someone else for the position.

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. Well said Daniel....
    "Use the kids and fill in with vets, by way of FA or trades!" That is what the Yankees did back in the day! Right now (2017) we will have holes to fill and trades to be made. If we have a kid that is playing as well (or better) than what is out there to be the kid!
    We are set at Catcher, no need for anyone at 3rd Headley will be replaced by one of the Kids...when the time comes. 2nd base could use an up grade, and we have many kids for the job right now. 1st base is set with Bird, Tyler Wade and Refsy. SS is set with Didi and a plethora of kids in the wings. As for the outfield, we are over stocked unless we trade one or two (Brett/Ells) of the vets.
    Pitching is set in the BP, Dellin, Lindgren(?), Rumbelow, Shreve, Coshow and other guys very capable.
    Starting Pitching is were we can use the help. We will have Severino, Tanaka, Pineda, Eovaldi and Kaprielian(?)...Tank and Pineda could be traded?

    Bottom line is, IF we have the chance to sign a game changer at almost any position...DO IT. But don't sign someone to replace one of our own kids just because we want him, do so because WE NEED HIM!

    1. If half the Yankees farm system hits their potential the league better watch out, especially with the pitching. You named a lot of the names but there are still so many more. Domingo Acevedo being one, although he is back on the DL with a lower back injury.

    2. Domingo "Ace" Acevedo my big sleeper from what, a year ago or less/more?
      And another one is "The Beef" Coshow. Both throw in the 98/100 mp. range "Beef" is my choice for the BP.

  2. Out of 24 players I see our own as being (a big maybe) 11 players or ten if we have only one of our kids as a back up to McCain. Who knows what the kids are going to show...hopefully, their Talents will rule the day.

  3. Dan, no one is expecting the 25 man roster to be homegrown. We are hoping that the influx of talent to the farm can give us several solid players. 6 rookies is 3 million in salary. Use the other 186 to fill it out.

    Like we've said, pettitte became the Ace of the rotation after that first year.

    1. Hey don't steal my thunder. I like writing stuff like this to rattle both sides of the cages. It's fun.


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