Commentary

Jesus Montero's time is now

Caution with top prospects is costing the Yankees at the plate and on the mound

Updated: June 23, 2011, 12:01 PM ET
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus
MonteroCliff Welch/Icon SMI When will the Yankees turn to Jesus Montero?

It's easy to miss the forest for the trees when it comes to the New York Yankees 2011 season. They've been riddled with injuries to important members of the roster and dealt with serious downturns in performances (and media circuses) from aging stars such as Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, while still posting the third-best record in baseball.

Despite their success in the standings, multiple missed opportunities around younger players are clearly costing the Yankees.

For much of the first part of the century, the Yankees didn't have the prospects to help the team due to some downright embarrassing drafts, but that's not the case anymore. A combination of good picks and excellent work in the international market has transformed the system into one of baseball's best and one that general manager Brian Cashman is happy to show public pride in while insisting that the Yankees want to keep their top prospects rather than using them as trading chips come July.

For the first time in a long time, the Yankees actually have the kind of prospects they've been hoping for, but they don't seem to know what they are doing with them.