Of all the many Yankees highlights from yesterday's 14-1 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals, the best ones, in my opinion, were the ones involving the rookies: OF Slade Heathcott and LHP Jacob Lindgren.
Heathcott, who first appeared in a Major League game last week in Washington, DC, went 2-5 yesterday with two RBIs, hitting his first big league home run. Lindgren made his debut yesterday, pitching two scoreless innings, giving up two walks but also striking out two.
Lindgren's appearance was extra special. His debut came just one year after being drafted by the team. Deion Sanders is the only other Yankee to have made his debut that early. Upon being told this during his postgame meeting with the media, Lindgren joked, "Maybe I should try to play football."
Those in the know about the Yankees farm system believe Heathcott and Lindgren are just the beginning, the beginning of a whole slew of debuts for prospects touted not only by the Yankees, but by experts throughout baseball. We all know the names, the biggest of which are Rob Refsnyder, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird. By the end of the 2016 season, the Yankees should be adding some of these names to their roster, while removing dead contracts, including those of Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran.
There was a time, in the not too distant past, that prospects in the Yankees farm system didn't stand much of a chance of making it to the big club. Those days appear to be over. There is a bright future ahead for the Baby Bombers.