(Courtesy of somebody)
This almost slipped through the cracks last week, but with AB4AR Prospect Week right around the corner I figured I had to swing back and address it. VP of player ops Mark Newman spoke to the media last week on a wide range of prospect-related topics. Most of it was updates on players' health and confirming whether or not guys would be ready to start the season, standard stuff. The one interesting bit of news was related to the plan for 2013 1st rounders Eric Jagielo and Aaron Judge this season. According to Newman, the Yankees could start both of them at High-A Tampa this year, and if not, there's a very good chance both at least start in Low-A Charleston.
This would represent a major promotion for both players and would be a bit of a buck to the typical Yankee development trend. Jagielo played for SS Staten Island last year and finished the season very strong while Judge didn't get into any game action thanks to a hamstring injury. They're both older college players, so in theory there's not much to be gained by sending them back to a SS league. High-A ball would be the best and most accurate way to judge where they stand as players and what their true strengths and weaknesses are, but the Yanks aren't typically this aggressive.
If both do end up being assigned to Tampa, I think it's a great move and a sign that some changes are finally starting to come to the Yankee MiL development system. College hitters with above-average or better hitting tools are the exact type of players who should be pushed faster up the ladder, and it'd be nice to get an idea of how good these 3 1st round picks really were sooner rather than later. If they want to take it slow with a lefty prep pitcher like Ian Clarkin, that's fine. But as long as they're healthy, I see no reason not to get aggressive with Jagielo and Judge and I hope the Yanks take the plunge and send them to High-A ball.