Barren Farm?: Maybe Not

Well, over the past year, we have heard nothing but negativity being tossed around in regards to the Yankee Farm System. However, there have always been arguments t make the case that it is not as weak as originally perceived. That argument has now started to build as team scouts from possible trade suitors come to watch the Yankee prospects. The difference is, this time, they are coming away impressed. According to scouts, the Yankees still have a lot to look forward to in their Farm System.

The top four levels of the Yankee Farm System have had their ballgames overrun by scouts over the past few weeks. In fact, one scout, Brian Lambe of the Diamondbacks has almost made a second home out of all these destinations. For weeks, Lambe had been scouting the likes of Brad Halsey, Robinson Cano and Dioner Navarro in Columbus. These three are the obvious top choices in any deal for the most likely target, Randy Johnson. However, Lambe has been doing a lot of moving around. He has been to Battle Creek, Tampa and Trenton as well. Now, who is Brian Lambe looking at besides these already named three? Let's take a look at that question right now.

Javier Ortiz, RHP - Ortiz is a strong starting pitcher that has been slipping under the radar all year long. He is only 24 years old and has recently earned a promotion to AAA Columbus. He was an Eastern League All-Star and he could be a "body" in a big trade.

Chien Ming-Wang, RHP - Here is a guy that is thought to still have that huge amount of potential. The Yankee signed him for bug money a couple years ago. However, he has been good but not great. But, the scouts can still see his good stuff. He also earned a promotion to Columbus recently.

Bronson Sardinha, 3B/OF - Sardinha could be the most underrated prospect in the Yankee Farm System. He batted well over .300 with the Tampa Yankees and he is now batting over .300 in AA Trenton. His defense is a bit shaky at third base though. However, he has been a prime target for Brian Lambe as he continues to watch the Trenton Thunder.

Melky Cabrera, OF - This young man is quickly taking on a top prospect status and scouts can't help but rave about him. But, at this point he is not a very high level ins the system and is not et 20 years of age. However, it is hard to believe that a team could resist his talent in any trade. He has explosive hands and is just learning to hit for power. He plays and excellent centerfield with a good arm. A very refined young hitter.

Eric Duncan, 3B - It did not seem that Duncan had mastered low A ball yet but the Yankees promoted him anyway to high A Tampa. He has experienced success there though. No one is worried about Duncan's slump in low A because of the impact talent he has. He has great power and has the potential to hit for a high average as well.

Jose Valdez, RHP - Valdez is a young pitcher that scouts think has loads of great potential. There is a good reason why the Texas Rangers were looking at him in the A-Rod trade. He throws very hard with a deep repertoire. Has had some struggles this year but is still an impressive young man.

Brandon Harmsen, RHP - Here is the dark horse of the entire farm system. Harmsen was drafted in the same year as Brad Halsey and is pitching fantastic baseball in Battle Creek this season. he is easily the ace of the staff and leads the club in wins. At one point, he won nine decisions in a row. It is just very unclear whether the Diamondbacks or anyone else would be so interested in a player at such a low level.

So, these are the guys that Brian Lambe and other scouts have been looking at the most over the past month and leading up toward the trading deadline. "They (the Yankees) do have prospects, and they have fairly good prospects," Lambe told the New York Times. "But do they have, for example, a David Wright or someone along those lines, a can't-miss prospect? No, because they haven't had a lot of first-round picks. But I'm not going to say I don't like their guys. I do like their guys." That is some pretty nice praise from a very good Major League Baseball scout. Is the Yankee Farm System barren? Apparently not.

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