When I go out on the street in my fake mustache (Bobby V. style, so I blend into the native populace) and ask the generic, run-of-the-mill Yankee fan who the greatest Yankee starting pitcher ever is, you know what everyone says? “Whitey Ford,” of course. When I ask who’s #2, however, what’s the most common answer? It’s, “uhhhh, ummmm, rrrrrrr, weeeellll.” I tried to look up uhhhh, ummmm, rrrrrrr, weeeellll on baseballreference.com, thinking maybe it was a Japanese pitcher I’ve never heard of, but no dice (k…ugh, I’m full of bad jokes, today). The fact is that, despite the grandest tradition in all of baseball, the Yankees haven’t had that many bona-fide superstar starting pitchers.
So I said to myself, “Self, who knows, maybe Andy Pettitte is the #2 Yankee pitcher of all time? Let’s look at the stats to see. Andy ranks 4th all-time in Yankee wins, so he’s certainly right in the mix. Heck, maybe he could even make a run at #1?… Click here to read the rest
Over the last twelve seasons, many future Hall of Famers or borderline type players have passed through the Yankee organization. If you asked a casual Yankee fan to a compile a list, names like Jeter, Johnson, Rivera, Clemens, Sheffield, Williams, Mussina, and Pettitte would undoubtedly come up. One name that would probably get less play than it deserves is Jorge Posada. Dan McLaughlin of The Hardball Times did an analysis of catchers and their HOF cases, and Posada graded out fairly well.
McLaughlin used a composite statistic based upon peak performance to compute offensive and defensive value (click the link to see the numbers that go into the stat). Posada is 8th for offensive value, behind the usual suspects and ahead of names like Dickey, Fisk, Munson, and Pudge. He does not fare as well as a receiver, finishing 20th, although he once again surpassed Fisk and was ahead of Mike Piazza as well (What a shock. Piazza is first for offense, last for defense).… Click here to read the rest
Mike Ashmore challenged fans to create a team of all Yankee prospects. What if something horrible happened to the team? I’m not the first blogger to try this, but I think that I can offer a unique take on it.
The Rules: Rookie-eligible players only. I think that this would be much more interesting if we included guys like Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Kei Igawa and Shelley Duncan, because they demonstrate true Yankee depth.
My Strategy: For hitters, we don’t have a lot of MLB-ready replacement players. I’ll take those where I have them, but after that I am going to start looking for defensive players with the best hitting upside. Defense is a skill that for the most part translates through all levels of baseball. My team will have a lot of no-stick gold glovers, but that’s necessary. For pitchers, I’m looking for some combination of stuff and mlb-readiness. I may be betting a bit much on “There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect” (TINSTAAP) theory, but I think that is the best bet.… Click here to read the rest