Much has been written about the Yankees signing ten of the top thirty international free agents this season. But how much talent have the Yankees landed, really? I'm not going to pretend to know more about the specific players that the Yankees signed than what I've read on MLB.com and Baseball America. I did, however, go back and look at Baseball America's top international free agent list five years ago, and checked in on the status of the top-25 players. The result:
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2 really great signings (Sano and Profar), 6 players with varying prospect potential (including Gary Sanchez, probably the bet of the group), and 17 busts. If the Yankee haul follows the same pattern, they'll emerge five years from now with roughly half that--a top-10 prospect, two or so top-100 prospects, and a fringey player or two.
Not bad, huh? Obviously, we're looking at a sample of one year, but a quick glance at 2008 and 2010 show similar bust rates.