One More Plug – Yankees Annual 2009

[image title=”Yankeesannual” size=”full” id=”1207″ align=”right” alt=”Really, its great” ]In attempt to make one last pre-season push for Yankees Annual 2009, Maple Street Press has put my article online for free. While you should still buy Yankees Annual 2009, you can read my entire article here.

It is a great honor to have my article selected to represent the magazine, and it means that I can now share the entire article with you.

Why should you still buy the magazine even after reading my article? My favorite part is the player scouting reports. Want to know how often C.C.Sabathia throws down and away to left handed batters? Or how Mark Teixeira bats on cureveballs from right-handed pitchers? The Annual contains full hit zone, spray, and scouting report charts for every Yankee player. This is unique data that you’ll rarely see online. It also contains great articles by Peter Abraham on Chien-Ming Wang, the story of Brian Cashman by The Record’s Pete Caldera, and an honest analysis of the problems that plagued the 2008 Yankees by the Star-Ledger’s Dan Graziano.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Defense Should Be Fine

One of the various reasons given when people pick the Yankees to finish out of the money in 2009 is that their defense is bad. Like the claim that the Yankees bullpen is weak, this claim has no factual or statistical support. ESPN posted two articles on defense today, with the first touching on the importance of defense and how the lack of it has hurt the Yankees for the last 8 seasons:

There are a variety of reasons the Yankees have not won a World Series since 2000, but it’s clear that the demise of their defense has been a major factor. As a team, they didn’t crack the top 20 in defensive efficiency (percentage of batted balls in play converted into outs) from 2001 to 2005, and a look at their rosters from this era can’t help but leave you with the feeling that the front office was ignoring defense…..

It’s not uncommon to see a one-dimensional team of sluggers — like the early 2000s Yankees — mash its way to the postseason.

Click here to read the rest

Prospect Profile: Ramiro Pena

I’m testing out a new format for prospect profiles. What do you think?

Ramiro Pena

Age: 23
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 165 lbs
Position: Shortstop
Bats: Switch

2008 Team: Trenton Thunder
Current Team: Major League Camp

The Good: Any discussion about Ramiro Pena begins with his superb defense. Pena’s reputation, with some quantative backing, is of a gold glove caliber defensive shortstop. He has excellent range and a strong arm. Pena has played every game in his minor league career at shortstop, but has enough natural ability that he could probably slot in at 2nd and 3rd as a fill-in. Pena has some speed, although it hasn’t translated much to stealing bases.

The Bad: Ramiro Pena hit .266/.330/.357 at Trenton this season (his third prolonged stop at Double-A), and it was the best hitting season of his professional career. That should tell you something about how bad of a hitter he is. Does he have survival skills wtih the bat? Probably not.… Click here to read the rest

Fielding Bible Reports on Jeter’s D

Interesting post from RAB, here, regarding the hallowed Fielding Bible and it’s comments on Derek Jeter’s defensive play. FB declares that DJ had the least defensive misplays in all of baseball last year (for shortstops), though his range was near the bottom (despite UZR’s insistence he was nearly average last season). It’s a great read.… Click here to read the rest

ESPN Baseball Today Predicts Yanks to finish 3rd in AL East

I was listening to Friday’s ESPN Baseball Today’s podcast and was less than shocked to discover they had predicted the Yankees to finish third in the A.L. East. Now, I have no problem with anyone picking the Yankees behind Tampa or Boston. They are both tremendous clubs, and I think it’s pretty much a toss up between which of the three mega-powers will emerge from the division. I did have a problem, however, with the ignorant reasoning that went along with their prediction.  There are two specific issues I want to address.

#1: The Yankees were predicted to win 87 or 88 games. What!!!??? This is just sheer lazy thought. All Karabell and Pascarelli had to do was look at the records last year to find that the Yanks won 89 games with 2 decent starters but now, with 5 starters ranging from solid to studly, the Pinstripers will somehow win LESS!? They offer zero explanation for why they will win less games despite substantial upgrades at catcher, first base and each rotation spot. … Click here to read the rest