Welcome To IIATMS Prospect Week 2016

We barely snuck it in before pitchers and catchers had to officially report, but that almost works out perfectly as another outlet to bridge the gap between then and the end of football season.  Welcome back to IIATMS Prospect Week, folks, the one week out of the year where we put a dedicated focus on the Yankee farm system and rank our top 30 organizational prospects.  As time allows, we’ll try to sneak in a few more prospect-centric posts around the top 30, but that’s the main focus and we’ll be rolling that out over the course of the next 5 days in a similar fashion to last year.

Later today we’ll start Prospect Week 2016 by looking back at 2015, more specifically the 2015 IIATMS Top 30, to review all the players who disappeared from last year’s rankings, either by graduating to the Majors, getting traded to another team, or not performing well enough to retain their spot.  There was a high amount of turnover from last year to this, so that post will be a long one.  … Click here to read the rest

Saturday Morning Links: 2/6/16

Two days.  We’re just two days away from the prospect ranking list that will put all other prospect rankings to shame.  I hope you’re ready. Now onto the links.

– On Tuesday, Chris Carelli of Yankees Unscripted hashed through the different paths the Yankees can take to address first base next season now that they know Greg Bird will miss all of this one.

– On Wednesday, Tanya Bondurant of Pinstripe Alley had the most brilliant idea I’ve ever read- the Yankees should sign Juan Uribe.

– El duque of It Is High… declared this a make-or-break season for Jacoby Ellsbury.  And I completely agree with him.

– On Thursday, Chad Jennings reviewed last year’s ST invite list to highlight the high turnover from then to now.

– Ben Diamond of BP Bronx recapped Cash’s recent trade history and compared WAR values to show how that history has been good.

– On Friday, Mike Axisa looked back at Doc Gooden’s 1996 no-hitter.Click here to read the rest

Yankees Announce List Of Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees

We’re less than 2 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa and that’s close enough for the Yankees to announce their list of non-roster Spring Training invitees.  They did so earlier today, officially inviting 25 non-roster players to big league camp.  The group was highlighted by top organizational prospects Aaron Judge, James Kaprielian, and Jorge Mateo, as well as notable prospects Dustin Fowler and Brady Lail and previous MiL signings such as Pete Kozma, Anthony Swarzak, and Vinnie Pestano.  Along with the players on the 40-man roster, the Yankees will have 65 players in Major League spring camp.

Here’s the full list of non-roster invites:

Catchers: Carlos Corporan, Francisco Diaz, Kyle Higashioka, Eddy Rodriguez, Sebastian Valle, Santiago Nessy

Infielders: Jonathan Diaz, Pete Kozma, Jorge Mateo, Deibinson Romero, Donovan Solano, Tyler Wade

Outfielders: Dustin Fowler, Aaron Judge, Cesar Puello

Pitchers: Richard Bleier, Tyler Cloyd, Domingo German, Chad Green, James Kaprielian, Brady Lail, Diego Moreno, Vinnie Pestano, Anthony Swarzak, Tyler Webb… Click here to read the rest

Prospect Musings A Few Days Away From IIATMS Prospect Week

Dustin Fowler 2015

Courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com

It’s been a busy week preparing for Prospect Week 2016.  There’s wild stuff going on behind the scenes that you guys don’t even know about.  I’m talking serious spreadsheet action.  The festivities kick off on Monday and there will be some more details on the whole schedule for the week coming later, but to get the prospect juices flowing I thought I’d touch on some of the trends I’ve noticed as we’ve worked on the list and some of the individual players I’m higher on and lower on than most.  It’s like a free look into the Brad Vietrogoski IIATMS Top 30 war room.

– The first thing that stands out to me after putting together this year’s list is how much upper-level talent the Yankees have right now.  It feels like they’ve got more legit future potential MLB guys in Triple-A and Double-A than they’ve had in a long time, and that’s without Eric Jagielo, Rookie Davis, and Jake Cave, who all would have been top 20 guys in our rankings.  … Click here to read the rest

Throwback Thursday: My favorite home run(s) of 2015

In case you didn’t know, the Big League Stew blog over at Yahoo Sports is running a series called, “Homer History.” In it, writers from Yahoo and other websites, are re-telling stories about memorable home runs from their perspectives. It’s a fun series and frankly, I’m annoyed I didn’t think of it first.

So since I wasn’t asked to contribute to the series on Yahoo, [Oh I’m kidding, why would I be asked?] I thought I would totally bite off their idea, and write my own post about a memorable Yankees home run from the 2015 season. Or this case, four memorable home runs that just so happened to be hit on the same day.

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“Some people say that life starts at 40. I’ll sign up for that right now.” ~ Alex Rodriguez July 25, 2015

It seemed like an ordinary summer Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Baseball was being played as the Yankees were facing the Twins at Target Field.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Why Not Try A-Rod At First Base Again?

I don’t want to make this a longer post than it needs to be, because I do already know the situation and know it’s not going to change.  But since the news of the Greg Bird labrum tear came out and we started going over the various backup plans that the Yankees have at their disposal, I can’t help but think this is the perfect opportunity to revisit the idea of Alex Rodriguez at first base.

You’ll remember this was something the Yankees experimented with last year.  A-Rod worked out at first and got a little action in Spring Training, and Joe didn’t hesitate to give it the old college try, starting Alex at first in the 5th game of the season against the Red Sox.  He didn’t look very good in that game or his other brief appearance at first in late May and the idea was scrapped, along with the idea of playing A-Rod at any position other than DH for the rest of the season.… Click here to read the rest

Torreyes Reacquisition Provides A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

Ronald Torreyes 2015

Good defensive position. Courtesy of Getty Images

The minor trade that brought Ronald Torreyes to the Yankees a few weeks ago didn’t make many waves, and the follow-up DFA’ing of Torreyes to clear a roster spot for Lane Adams made even fewer.  But in the wake of yesterday’s crushing news on Greg Bird’s season-ending labrum tear, the Yankees reacquired Torreyes from the Angels and sent Adams packing, shedding some light on their plan to cover for the loss of Bird as Mark Teixeira‘s primary backup at first base.

The primary part of that plan sounds like it’s going to be Dustin Ackley.  Cash was quick to tell reporters that the team would not seek to replace Bird through the MLB free agent or trade markets and that Ackley would be assuming primary backup first base duties.  Ackley has some recent experience there and he was picked up and retained primarily because of his positional flexibility, so the move makes sense for a team that has already established itself as one not looking to spend money on free agents.  … Click here to read the rest

Tuesday Morning Links: 2/2/16

Busy day yesterday around IIATMS.  You probably have some catching up to do on that stuff, so I’ll ease you into today with a linkaround.  You’re welcome.

– Last Thursday, Nick Ashbourne of BP Bronx dissected the scenarios in which Didi Gregorius can hit left-handed pitching.

– On Friday, David Schoenfield of ESPN’s SweetSpot looked at NL players who would make great DHs if MLB ever decided to wake up and expand the DH rule.

– Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley broke down how shifting the strike zone up would negatively impact CC Sabathia.

– On Saturday, Chad Jennings pointed out Sabathia’s still very active role as a clubhouse leader despite his personal struggles and injury problems.

– Chris Carelli of Yankees Unscripted discussed the bullpen situation and the importance of getting something out of the middle relief corps ahead of the big three.

– On Sunday, friend of the blog and IIATMS alum Matt Imbrogno looked at Ivan Nova’s strengths and how they could be maximized as a reliever.Click here to read the rest

Service Time: A Greg Bird Story

A scant few hours ago, we learned that the man they (read: we) call #GREGBIRD would miss the entirety of the 2016 season due to shoulder surgery. Some have already begun looking for silver linings, generally revolving around the likelihood of Bird spending the majority of 2016 in Triple-A due to the presence of Messrs Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltran – but that is little more than scraping the bottom of the barrel for a silver lining. Shoulder surgeries tend to sap power (at least for a year or so), and Bird’s offensive game largely revolves around depositing the ball deep within the right field bleachers. And, of course, this ignores the full season of lost development for a 23-year old.

Oh, and it gets worse.

Due to Major League Baseball’s service time rules, Bird is all but guaranteed to garner a full year of service time in 2016. He is currently on the team’s active roster, which would put him on the Major League disabled list.… Click here to read the rest