Throughout the history of the New York Yankees organization, the team has been known for Hall of Fame caliber players and championships. But another truism has always been — even in the best of times — the presence of a prospect deemed to be the "next in line" to carry on the torch of the Yankees' lineage of greatness.
Of course, every franchise has ballyhooed prospects. Baseball is always saturated with optimism in youth with a wide cache of talent and an exceptionally low success rate. But for the Yankees, from Bobby Murcer (a bust only in the eyes of those who labeled him the next Mantle) and Deron Johnson (a bust in anyone's eyes) to Brien Taylor and Kevin Maas, there is extra pressure that accompanies the great expectation upon those who rise through the system to eventually wear the pinstripes.
Now that former Yankee golden child — and heir-apparent to their most prestigious position, center field — Austin Jackson will dawn the ol' English D next season, the question becomes who will emerge as the consensus pick as the next homegrown Yankee star. As usual, Baseball America has answered that question by listing New York Double-A farmhand Jesus Montero as the No. 5 overall prospect in baseball.
Montero is a catcher in name only. Listed at 6-4 and 225 pounds, he's solid behind the plate, but his size combined with his slugging ability — spliced with the likelihood that Jorge Posada has a few good seasons left in him — have created the prospect of a probable position change or a move to full-time DH duties in Montero's future. But at the plate, Jesus has left no doubts about his capabilities.