Prospects are players who haven’t proven anything yet.
It’s an idea that drives me crazy when used in a certain context — as in, trade all the young guys because they haven’t proven anything yet — but it’s also a idea that has to be kept in mind when thinking about short-term production and long-term development.
The Yankees have upper-level pitching depth. If you don’t know that by now, welcome to the blog. It must be your first day. That upper-level pitching depth is an incredible tool, but it’s not a proven tool. The Yankees system might very well have been able to fill the Phil Hughes’ rotation void, but no one knows that for certain.
That’s why Bartolo Colon has been such a remarkable find.
“You think about, if we had to go further down in our system with some younger kids, it’s difficult,” Joe Girardi said. “He has really picked us up.”
Maybe one of the young guys could have filled those shoes. Maybe D.J. Mitchell or David Phelps is ready for the big time. Maybe Hector Noesi would have shined if given the chance. Maybe the Yankees already had the pieces in place to fill in for the extended absence of an 18-game winner. Colon lets the Yankees remove any doubt.
If it doesn’t last, then they’ll begin the process of sorting through the high-end potential, but for now they have the answer right in front of them. And for now, that’s all they need.
“I appreciate the Yankees giving me the opportunity,” Colon said. “I’m very happy that I’m back in baseball.”
Associated Press photo