The Development Dilemma Posed By Jesus Montero

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus ran an interesting post this week regarding the promotion of prospects. I strongly encourage that you click through and read it, as it provides some interesting data on how many innings or at-bats teams give to prospects before calling them up, and begins to examine whether prospect advancement strategies impact prospect performance. For the purposes of my post, I want to highlight one graph that I found to be very interesting:

As you can see, catchers take the longest to become ready for Major League action. A lot of this likely has to do with the fact that a catcher has to learn more skills than any other player, needing to learn how to use the bat, field a complicated position, and run a pitching staff by calling games. As such, you end up with catchers who can hit but are held back to learn the nuances of their position, or players who are natural backstops but take years to develop enough proficiency with the stick to survive in the majors.… Click here to read the rest

Imagining Trades, Part Two

Yesterday, I posted a piece musing on whether or not Mark Buehrle and/or Chris Carpenter would be come available during the season and whether or not the Yankees should be interested in trading for either one. For the purpose of this post, let’s assume they both are available and the Yankees are interested in trading for both (but would, obviously, only trade for one).

With help from Larry, I ran over to BTBS and looked up the trade value calculator, which is really fun to play with. I used Cot’s to get each player’s salary data, and used CAIRO projections and the WAR spreadsheet to calculate the pertinent WAR data.

The trade calculator asks us to put in salary and WAR data, and we’ll start with Carpenter. In 2011, Carpenter is scheduled to make $15M. He also has an option for 2012 that would pay him $15M as well. For the first iteration of Carpenter’s trade value, I assumed the option would not be picked up, so it’s a one year deal.… Click here to read the rest

2011 Yankees Position Preview: First Base

Mark Teixeira was everything the Yankees hoped for in 2009. He led the AL in home runs and RBI, with 39 and 122 respectively, while batting .292/.383/.565, on his way to a 5.4 fWAR season. Despite this excellent performance, it was obvious even in his first season in pinstripes that Teixeira has flaws in his game.

No flaw is more well known that Teixeira’s notorious slow starts. He came to the Yankees with a reputation for starting cold, and proceeded to earn it, posting a measly .330 wOBA in April of that season. He bounced back phenomenally in May, with an other-wordly .471 wOBA that month, but for many fans the damage was done. The image of Tex flailing hopelessly at curveballs in the dirt was burnt into our minds.

Things got worse in 2010. Teixeira had a good season for an ordinary player, but a disappointing one by his lofty standards. In the process, he revealed a number of different flaws in his game.… Click here to read the rest

TYA Trivia Open Thread For 2-24-11

On every weeknight throughout the year, one of the TYA writers will post a trivia question as the nightly open thread. The blog administrators will keep track of the winners, and the commenter with the most correct answers will win a prize that has yet to be decided upon. The answers will be posted in the following evening’s open thread.

Yesterday’s question: 24 players have hit at least one HR for both the New York Yankees and Montreal Expos. How many can you name? For extra credit, only one of those players hit a HR against the Yankees while a member of the Expos. Who is he (hint: he is celebrating a birthday today)?

Answers (Winner was Alex Mermelstein):
Andy Fox
Andy Stankiewicz
Barry Foote
Bernie Allen
Bobby Brown
Bobby Ramos
Curtis Pride
Dave Silvestri
Felipe Alou
Gary Roenicke
Graig Nettles
Hensley Meulens
Jim Lyttle
John Vander Wal
Juan Rivera
Mike Aldrete
Nick Johnson
Rick Cerone
Roberto Kelly
Ron Hassey
Ron Woods
Roy Johnson
Spike Owen
Tim Raines
Rondell White (Extra Credit)
Todd Zeile

Today’s question: Which team had the most hitters with 5 or more WAR in a single season?Click here to read the rest

It’s Not Personal Sonny, It’s Strictly Business

To wit:

I can’t possibly see the conflict being between Young and team president and co-owner Nolan Ryan, due to the fact that Ryan is an old-school baseball guy. And old-school baseball people want players who show up ready to play the game the right way every day. Young does those things at a very high level.

The signing of free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre is a direct slap to the face of Young, who was the everyday third baseman on a team that reached the World Series last year. And it is not the first time the Rangers have asked Young to switch positions. Young began his career with the Rangers as a second baseman and moved to shortstop when the Rangers traded Alex Rodriquez to the Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano.

Then the Rangers had a hotshot rookie shortstop, Elvis Andrus, they wanted to bring up, so they asked Young to move to third base, which he did for the good of the team.Click here to read the rest

Should Gardner Bunt More? (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bunt)

Yesterday, Marc Carig passed along this little tidbit from Joe Girardi, which inspired an interesting discussion about bunting:

Girardi also believes Brett Gardner should make bunting more a part of his game…

While some derided this as a ridiculous attempt by the manager to tell his high-OBP player to make more outs, I interpreted it as Joe suggesting that Gardner needs to incorporate bunting for hits into his arsenal. Gardner is not a great bunter, and he does not attempt to bunt for hits quite as frequently as his speed would suggest he should. He finished last season with 7 bunt hits (T-15th in MLB), and had a success rate of 36.8%. Of the 23 batters with 7 or more bunt hits, 14 of them were better at it than Gardner, with 6 over 50%. And as anyone who watches the Yankees regularly can tell you, whether he is bunting for a hit or to sacrifice, he is not as good at it as you would expect him to be, given his skill set.… Click here to read the rest

Prospect Profile: Tommy Kahnle, RHP

Photo- Robert Pimpsner

Tommy Kahnle hails from the Troy New York area and was drafted by the Yankees in the 5th round out of Lynn University (FL) in the 2010 draft.  The division II school won the 2009 championship with Kahnle as their closer and he was awarded MVP honors for the series. He popped up on radars that summer in the Cape Cod league where his plus fastball turned a lot of heads. In 2010, Lynn tried him out as a starting pitcher with slightly worse results. Projected as one of the top division II pitching prospects, the Yankees signed him for 150,000 dollars in July.

Khanle made a brief appearance in Staten Island this summer, pitching in 16 innings for the Yankees. Those 16 innings were impressive though as he dominated the younger competition. He struck out 25 batters while only walking 5 and posting an ERA of 0.56 with a 1.58 FIP.


Khanle’s best pitch is his plus fastball.… Click here to read the rest