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, all the time

It's not that I didn't understand the thought process behind trading Melky. Some people looked at the organization as a whole and saw Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata rising through the system, then looked at Melky and said, "He's only put up average numbers for a center fielder, he won't have a position on the team in a couple of years."

I've talked about this topic way too much, so instead of writing the same diatribe over and over and over again, every month or so I'll take a look at how each of the Yankee outfield prospects are faring at their respective levels, how Melky is progressing in the bigs, and you guys can make up your own mind if the Yanks should've dealt him, "While his value was at it's highest."

Check after the jump for the stats, and keep in mind, we aren't comparing like things. A 19 year-old at AA isn't the same as a 23 year-old in the bigs. We're also looking at an extremely small sample-size. The only thing I'm trying to do here is keep an eye on the outfield of the future. The notion that Gardner, Jackson and Tabata will all make it to the big leagues and should supplant Melky is highly unlikely, as far as I'm concerned, but it's definitely worth keeping an eye on everyone involved.

* Tabata was suspended for going AWOL in Trenton after striking out in the 7th inning of a game.

My take: AA is a lot to ask of Tabata as a 19 year-old, I hope the leap isn't too much for him. He's a much better player than he's shown in the early going.

Jackson's numbers aren't bad, but he's going to have to start driving the ball like he was last year.

Gardner might just be ready, I don't know how they'd do it (maybe moving Damon or Matsui to 1st and DH'ing the other), but the Yanks sure could use a guy with his tools in the lineup at the big league level, especially with A-Rod and Posada's power bats on the shelf.

Melky has been amazing in the early going, but as Paul O'Neill said during today's game, we don't want to see him trying for HRs. He'd be much more valuable to this team as a guy hitting .300 with 15-20 HRs than as a guy hitting .250-.270 with 20+. I love the kid, but I think he's playing a little over his head right now.