New York hasn’t been this excited about a youth movement since David Wright and Jose Reyes became everyday players a few years ago.
The difference, of course, is that New York Mets fans are generally okay with stumbling to the 83-79 season that might occur during the rebuilding process. It’s quite a different story in the Bronx. Yet still, the New York Yankees are turning to a trio of top prospects to help lead the team into unfamiliar territory. This will be one of the first times since Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy were in little league that the Yankees need to spend September battling to make the playoffs as opposed to just preparing for them.
It started with Hughes, who almost immediately lived up his hype as one of the games best young pitchers by tossing seven no hit inning in his second career start. He left that game in the eight with a hamstring injury that forced him to go on the Disabled List. Since returning from his stint on DL, Hughes has mixed effective outings with a few shellackings, very typical for a rookie.
Chamberlain’s immediate success has lead to a cult-like following from Yankee fans. The hard throwing right hander started this season Class A ball and has been dominate through rapid climb to the majors. He has yet to give up a run in ten innings with team, striking out 17. If the Yankees end up sneaking into the playoffs, he might be the most important of the three, similar to the way the Angels used Francisco Rodriguez during their World Series run in 2002.
Without question, Kennedy, who makes his Major League debut on Saturday, has the biggest shoes to fill. He’ll start in place of 247 game winner Mike Mussina, who was dropped from the rotation following three consecutive horrible starts. Kennedy is another guy that began the season in Class A and has worked his way in the big league rotation.
The time is now for these three young phenoms, but they better know that there is no room for error.
As they hear every time Eminem’s Lose Yourself is blared over the loudspeakers at Yankee Stadium, “success is the only option.”