The 2009 Draft, Some Potential First Round Targets

In my last post, I looked back at some of the significant players taken in recent Yankee drafts.  I am going to look at some potential first-rounders here, but first let’s see some recent first-round picks, and how they fared.

2004:  Phil Hughes (#23).  A polished high school pitcher who became everything they could have hoped for in a high school pitching prospect.

2005:  CJ Henry (#17).  Was a 5-tool high school athlete with a basketball scholarship, but unlike fellow draftee Austin Jackson, was unable to turn those tools into skills.

2006:  Ian Kennedy (#21).  A possible top 10 pick before a subpar junior season dropped him down the board, Kennedy was a fairly safe pick, a college righty with success at a big program (USC) and no injury concerns.

2007:  Andrew Brackman (#30).  A top-5 talent and a 6’10” forward at NC State  who slid down the board due to an elbow injury and Scott Boras. … Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 5/28

Scranton falls to Syracuse, 5-4

  • Casey Fossum started, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 4 1/3 innings, while striking out 3.
  • Edwar Ramirez continued his major league struggles, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.
  • Jonathan Alabaladejo allowed 1 hit and struck out 1 in 2 scoreless, while the man he was trade for, Tyler Clippard, shut the Yankees down over 1 1/3 innings.
  • Reegie Corona and Austin Jackson were each 1 for 5.  Jackson’s .356 average on the season is more than triple Corona’s .118 average.  Ouch.
  • Todd Linden was 2 for 4 with a double.
  • Shelley Duncan was 2 for 4 with a walk.
  • Juan Miranda was 1 for 5.
  • John Rodriguez was  1 for 3 with 2 walks.
  • Eric Duncan and Chris Stewart were each 2 for 5.

Trenton beaten by New Britain, 7-2

  • Ryan Pope was roughed up, giving up 6 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 1.
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Posada’s Back!

Scourge divx

Jorge Posada will be activated tomorrow, further lengthening an already formidable lineup.  He also provides some versatility options for Joe G. at a temporarily thin DH position.  The Yankees could go with this lineup tomorrow:

Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Posada C
Cano 2B
Matsui DH
Swisher RF
Gardner CF

or, since opposing starter, Cliff Lee is a lefty, we could very see the lefty Matsui sit for Jorge at DH and the hot Cervelli, a righty, getting the nod behind the plater:

Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Posada DH
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Prizzi’s Honor full movie
Cervelli C
Gardner CF

A soon-to-return Nady and Melky will add many more options.  What do you guys think are the ideal lineups vs. righties & lefties?… Click here to read the rest

Jeter Bouncing Back From 2008

The perception coming into the season regarding Derek Jeter was that he was in the decline phase of his career, and that we could not expect him to return to his 2007 numbers. On many occasions, I pointed out that the tales of Jeter’s decline were a mirage created by his great 2006. The brilliance of that season made it look like 2007 and then 2008 represented a downward trend. In reality, 2007 was right in line with Derek’s numbers from 2002-2005, and 2008 was marred by a hand injury that led to one putrid month. There was no downward trend for Derek, just one difficult season. It seems that Derek has left that season behind, as he is having a strong year to date in 2009.

Conan the Destroyer Jeter is at .297/.372/.464, and has 10 stolen bases in 11 tries. According to RLYW, Jeter is the 3rd best AL SS at both offense and defense thus far:

Jeter being the third most valuable SS in the AL through this point in the season is good for business, but not as good for business as it would be if he were first.

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1st Quarter Grades – Outfielders

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We’re a little bit past the quarter pole in the season and it’s a good time to look at how guys are measuring up to the pre-season expectations.  Let’s start with the outfielders:

  1. Brett Gardner:  Going into the season, we pretty much agreed that BG needed a .330ish OBP in order to be effective.   He’s outperforming that goal with a .339 OBP, a .416 slugging and 9 steals.  He’s been pretty much what we expected and seems to be improving.  Add better than expected range (sick +20.9 UZR/150) and much better arm to that and you get a B+.
  2. Melky: Leading the team in batting average (.323), getting clutch hits like crazy, showing greatly improved range (+19.2 UZR/150), and generally outperforming all projections (ZiPS projected a .725 OPS and he’s currently OPSing a tidy .849.  Most impressive has been his consistency, which earns him a clear A+.
  3. Johnny Damon: OPS+ of 139 (his highest mark ever for a full season is 118). 
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Yankees Interested In DeRosa?

From Buster Olney:

Imagine Mark DeRosa as a big hunk of tuna, bait on a hook. One of the looming shadows circling below is that of the New York Yankees, who are weighing options and haven’t decided whether to take a shot at the versatile veteran.

Really? DeRosa is a solid player who had a good year last season, but he is almost certain to cost more than he is worth. He has a career 97 OPS+, and his real value comes in his versatility, which really does not fill a need on this roster. Unless something is seriously wrong with Xavier Nady, I cannot see a fit for DeRosa in the Yankees crowded outfield. He obviously will not get significant playing time on the infield, leaving him as a bench bat who is going to require a starter’s return. Cleveland wants MLB ready pitching for him, and the Yankees are not going to be willing to give up Phil Hughes or even Alfredo Aceves in a deal for a bench guy.… Click here to read the rest

Minors Recap, 5/27

Scranton defeats Syracuse, 4-1 (7 innings, game 1)

  • George Kontos put together another solid start, giving up a run on 6 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6.  With the Yankees’ bullpen woes, I would like to see how he does as a reliever, but it appears that the Yanks view him as a starter in the future.
  • Mark Melancon gave up a hit in 1 shutout inning of relief.  With Jose Veras’s struggles, it would not surprise me if Mark returned to the majors soon.
  • Reegie Corona was 1 for 4.
  • Austin Jackson, in left tonight, was 2 for 4 with a triple to raise his average to .362.  It’s hard to complain about the high average, but I would like to see a few homers from him.
  • Todd Linden, playing center, was 1 for 3 with a walk.  Call him up to replace Berroa, seriously.
  • Speaking of home runs, Shelley Duncan was 1 for 4 with his 16th homer.
  • Click here to read the rest

    A bit more on "Vote For Manny"

    If you think my “Vote For Manny” is actually about wanting to embrace the pro-steroids stance, please read on.

    If you think my “Vote For Manny” is actually about preventing the most worthy of players, such as Raul Ibanez, from getting selected to the All Star Game, please read on.

    If you understood that the “Vote For Manny” is one part satire, one part sarcasm, one part fun, one part grandiose hopes the rules of the game will somehow change to make sense…. feel free to read on even though you already get it.

    So what is “Vote For Manny” and why did I create it?

    The issues surrounding Manny, the All Star Game, PEDs represents the “perfect storm” for MLB. Now, I am not a Bud Selig basher, but there are things he’s done that I am critical of, just as I am complimentary of other things he’s credited with. Having Manny, by far the highest profile player to test positive under the current testing rules, coming off his 50 game suspension a week prior to the ASG is unquestionably brutal timing for MLB.… Click here to read the rest