From Chad Jennings:
This is the way it goes when a team develops from within. Some fans don’t have the patience for player development, and that’s fine. They don’t want to sit through Beckham hitting .071 with no RBIs through his first eight major league games, I get that. They don’t want to deal with Beckham hitting .267 through his first month, fair enough. But without patience, those fans don’t get to enjoy Beckham hitting .330 with a .526 slugging percentage in his second big league month. They don’t get to enjoy Rick Porcello going 5-0 in May if they aren’t willing to watch him go 1-3 in April. They don’t get Colby Rasmus hitting .333 in June unless they deal with him hitting .212 in May. They don’t get four straight wins from Tommy Hanson without sticking with him after seven runs through six innings in his major league debut.
Patience with Joba Chamberlain is starting to pay off. He made an immediate impact in the Yankees bullpen, and now he’s showing that front-end starter stuff that made him a premier prospect in the first place. Brett Gardner struck out way too much when he got to the big leagues last season, and when he broke camp this April he wasn’t getting on base nearly enough for his speed to matter, but his injury last month was a significant blow to the New York outfield. Phil Hughes was spotty at best out of the rotation, but he’s become a key member of the bullpen.
Jennings is exactly right, and the Yankees have two examples of the imprtance of being patient with young players playing up the middle for them every day. Robinson Cano had one hit in his first 20 at-bats, and there were rumblings that the kid was not ready for prime time. He went on to have a very good season and has established himself as one of the premier second basemen in baseball. As we discussed yesterday, Melky Cabrera has had a rough time growing up on the major league level, but he is showing signs of taking another step forward in his development, and has turned into a solid major league player.
The Yankees could have dealt both players in the offseason, and many fans would have been perfectly fine with that. Yet Brian Cashman showed patience, and it has paid off. The Yankees as an organization seem more dedicated to developing prospects and living through their growing pains, and we have begun to see them reap the fruits of that strategy this season. Hopefully the Yankees maintain this method of team building and create a team that can be a perennial contender made up of homegrown parts.