Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees' farm system is the best it has been since the early 90s, and hinted that the team has some hidden young talent with "some pretty exciting upside," according to Steve Serby of the New York Post.
Cashman, who is entering the season with a one-year contract, also said that he believes the team could make the postseason after failing to do so three out of the last four years.
"I think it's possible," he said. "Obviously if we stay healthy, and most of the roster performs up to their projected ceilings, then I think we have a shot."
Cashman said he thinks Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge are capable of hitting 30 home runs, while he sees Chance Adams and James Kaprielian as possible starters who could be "sleepers."
"[Adams] may very well be our best pitching prospect, if he can continue with the stuff he had in Double-A into Triple-A, he's someone that could be knocking on the door," Cashman said. "James Kaprielian was a No. 1 pick in 2015 for us and missed all of 2016 [because of an elbow problem]. He's someone I know is interested in pushing himself into the mix as well, so he is certainly."
Cashman said Clint Frazier, who was traded to the Yankees last year and will be playing in his first big-league spring training, still needs to develop in Triple-A and "dominate" at that level for a period of time. Greg Bird will be returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the entire 2016 season, and Cashman said he hopes Bird can establish himself as the team's first baseman for years to come.
Seven Yankees players were listed among Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects, with Gleyber Torres listed as the fifth-best prospect in baseball. Frazier, Blake Rutherford, Jorge Mateo, Kaprielian, Judge, and Justus Sheffield were also included on the list.