New York Yankees top prospect Jorge Mateo was suspended after reportedly mouthing off to the higher ups after not receiving a promotion he was never deserving of.
By Christian Kouroupakis
This week, Jorge Mateo – the top prospect in the New York Yankees organization – displayed a genuine sample of pure self-indulgence after he revealed his objection regarding a non-promotion from Single-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton.
Details of the infraction were inadequate but George King of the NY Post cited an unidentified source with knowledge of the situation. General manager Brian Cashman did not comment.
Baseball America’s 26-best prospect was slapped with a two-week suspension and will be excluded from this year’s “Futures Game” this Sunday in San Diego.
Mateo, who is considered to be the future of the organization thanks to his “Road-Runner” like speed along with his big bat, did something that is a huge red flag for any organization. To suggest that a team with such high hopes for you to cut a player in order make room for your slumping bat is simply idiotic.
SEE ALSO: White Sox Inquire About Gary Sanchez
It’s even more comical when you take a look at the numbers and you discover that the 21-year old wasn’t even close to deserving that spot.
Overall, the middle infielder is hitting .266 with five homers, 34 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 76 while playing two positions for Tampa. Since he’s still ranked as New York’s top prospect, many figured his promotion would occur at around the All-Star break.
Mateo, however, fell into a devastating June slump that conclusively kept the higher-ups from giving the promotion a green light.
Last month, he slashed a total of .194/.235/.226 with an anemic OPS of .461 including a strikeout percentage near 20%. Over his last 10 games for Tampa, Mateo is hitting just .211 with 11 strikeouts and zero stolen bases.
Defensively, he has made 14 errors, a mark nearly at the halfway point from last year, while playing his customary shortstop position.
Despite the potential and upside of this kid, those numbers have revealed to his coaches that he has not mastered High-A yet. Before even considering being called up to the next level you must be amongst the topmost performers and simply dominate the level in which you are in.
It’s kind of hard to blame him, though, as after easily exploding in Charleston (.268 BA, 71 stolen bases) and Tampa (.321 BA) while showcasing his skill with the big squad during Spring Training (.845 OPS in 10 games) it’s hard for a 21-year old to not feel the hype surrounding him. Especially when you showcased this type of skill:
Nevertheless, the lesson learned after the suspension is, the New York Yankee organization has no time for player selfishness. It’s always about the jersey being worn, not the player in it. If this suspension could help Mateo understand that then it’s a great job by the team.
Speaking of the Yankees, it is in their best interest to continue the development of Mateo in High-A Tampa until it is cut and clear that he deserves a roster spot in Trenton. Obviously, there is room to grow here but the key is to wait until that growth has hit it’s peak at that certain level before you give an undeserving kid a roster spot.
Eventually, Mateo could be blazing through the basepaths at Yankee Stadium. In fact, they expect him too. But above all, the mindset of their young project must be in the right place.
There is no room for what Mateo demonstrated this week and all he has to do now is take it and learn. This attitude is downright toxic in a locker room and he must learn that the team’s interests are the same as his and that’s to put him in an ideal situation to succeed to further his development as a future superstar.
Hopefully, this is the end of this garbage drama as the Yankees would like to see his speed (26 steals — second in the Florida State League) in the Bronx as soon as possible.