Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yankees Farm Is Sending Reinforcements
To The Big Club At A Record-Busting Pace

By Barry Millman

When 22-year-old Greg Bird banged out a pair of  two-run bombs in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, he became the answer to a team trivia question by becoming just the third player to notch a multi-homer performance within five games of his major league debut in pinstripes.  

However, it was six days earlier when he took the field for his inauspicious 0-for-5 debut in Cleveland that he really made his mark on the Yankee record books by becoming the team's 15th farmhand to make it to the show this season  -- the most in MLB and surpassing the team's 1905 and 1914 clubs to make the 2015 Yankees the launching pad for the second-most major league debuts in team history.  Only the 1912 club which recorded 17 major league debuts had more. 

Contributions from the ten rookie pitchers, three rookie outfielders and two rookie infielders delivered into the fray to date by the team's retooled farm system have varied from the minor to the major, and represent the tip of a spear that could prove to be a potent weapon for the stretch run.

With a furious divisional battle testing the limits of all the big club's regulars and a farm system that's played no small part in a campaign whose success has been surprising to many, the coming expansion of rosters to their full 40-man potential in eleven days will almost certainly shatter the record  -- and along with it, quite possibly, the long-held image of a farm system too green and a big club too old to go the distance.

2015 Yankees Major League Debuts To Date

April 11   Matt Tracy, 26   LHP   
24th round, 2011 amateur draft.

April 15   Branden Pinder, 26   RHP   
16th round, 2011 amateur draft.

May 20    Slade Heathcott, 24   Outfielder   
1st round, 2009 amateur draft.

May 25   Jacob Lindgren, 22   LHP   
2nd round, 2014 amateur draft.

May 30   Ramon Flores, 23    Outfielder   
Amateur free agent signed 2008.

June 12   Mason Williams, 23   Outfielder   
4th round, 2010 amateur draft. 

June 21   Danny Burawa, 26   RHP   
12th round, 2010 amateur draft.

June 21   Jose De Paula, 27   LHP   
Free agent signed 2014.   

June 22   Diego Moreno, 27   RHP   
Acquired as part of  A.J. Burnett trade 2012.

June 23   Nick Rumbelow, 23   RHP   
7th round, 2013 amateur draft.

July 11   Rob Refsnyder, 24   Second Baseman   
5th round, 2012 amateur draft.

July 29   Caleb Cotham, 27   RHP   
5th round, 2009 amateur draft.

July 30   Nick Goody, 24   RHP   
6th round, 2012 amateur draft.

August 5   Luis Severino, 21   RHP   
Amateur free agent signed 2011.

August 13   Greg Bird, 22   First Baseman    
5th round, 2011 amateur draft.   

You can email Barry Millman at and follow him on Twitter at @nyyankeefanfore.