Spring 2011 Top 30 Prospects With New Ratings

Yesterday, I announced a new prospect rating system that I wanted to use to rank Yankee prospects. There are significant changes from my list half a year ago, mostly because the rating system forced me to more logically think out the rankings, but also because some offseason news changed my opinions slightly. To refresh: the numerical rating is called the Talent Rating, and it stands for a player’s reasonable ceiling. The letter rating is called the Risk Rating, and it stands for how likely they are to become MLB regulars at that Talent Rating. Full details are at the link Continue reading Spring 2011 Top 30 Prospects With New Ratings

The Limits of Psychobabble

Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Hank Steinbrenner’s attacks on Derek Jeter and revenue sharing Monday was his accusation that the 2010 Yankees lost because they were too complacent. Regular readers of this site will know that I’m decidedly not a fan of narrative heavy psychological explanations for things that happen on a baseball field, so I’d be a little remiss if I didn’t point out how silly this is (though I guess I could stop that argument at “Hank said it,” couldn’t I?).

First of all, Hank’s own walk back does a nice job of illustrating how arbitrary this stuff ultimately becomes.

He added: “Sometimes, teams get a little complacent. They celebrate for too long. You see that a lot in sports nowadays. It certainly isn’t Derek. Derek has five rings. You don’t win five rings by being complacent. So it was definitely not Derek I was talking about.”

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Continue reading The Limits of Psychobabble

Spring Training injuries mounting

The biggest news from the Spring so far has been Adam Wainwright‘s pending ligament replacement surgery, but the number of injuries around the camps is climbing:

And for the catcher segment of the injury report:

Continue reading Spring Training injuries mounting

Imagining Trades

Yesterday, MLBTR reported that Mark Buehrle would accept a trade for to the right team. From MLB.com: A significant elbow injury suffered by Cardinals ace-hurler Adam Wainwright figures to eventually churn the rumor mill toward a Mark Buehrle-to-St. Louis scenario. Before those rumors start to fly, the White Sox are not looking to move any hurler from one of the American League’s best starting rotations, once a healthy Jake Peavy returns. Buehrle’s full no-trade veto power as a 10-year veteran, with at least five years playing for the White Sox, also comes into play. There’s no need for Buehrle to Continue reading Imagining Trades

Yanks Have Six of Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects

Baseball America released their rankings of the top 100 prospects in baseball, and the Yankees were very well represented indeed, with six players making the cut. Jesus Montero (3rd), Gary Sanchez (30), Manny Banuelos (41), Dellin Betances (43), Andrew Brackman (78), and Austin Romine (98) represent the top of the Yankees widely respected farm system, and Baseball America thinks that each of them belongs amongst the best prospects in the game. That’s really something considering the Yankees haven’t picked at the top of the first round in over a decade.

In terms of past rankings, Montero was 4th last year, but the three players in front of him all graduated, so he’s actually been leaped by newcomers Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Austin Romine was also on the list last year, falling from the 86th ranking he received then. Brackman and Betances have both made appearances on the list before, though neither was ranked last year. Banuelos and Sanchez are making their first appearance on the list, and I continue to be pretty impressed with how highly the baseball world thinks of Sanchez.

Some other random observations about the list:

  • The Royals system really is stacked. They’ve got three prospects in the top 10, five in the top 20, and nine total in the top 100.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the Orioles should have more than two prospects on the list. Granted Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz have graduated in the past two years, but after 13 years of losing you’d think they’d have more upside in the farm system.
  • Bryce Harper is number one on the list, despite not having played a professional game. I’m somewhat inclined to complain about that, but at the same time, I don’t think anyone would put him out of the top 5, so it’s a pretty defensible ranking. That just shows you how much tremendous upside everyone thinks this kid has.
  • If you count Aroyds Vizcaino, who’s ranked at 93rd, seven players on the list were initially drafted or signed by the Yankees.
  • In addition to the ridiculous number of high draft picks they have this year, the Rays have seven players on this list, including three in the top 25. They’re not going away anytime soon.

You can see the whole list here. Continue reading Yanks Have Six of Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects

Yankees Sign Cuban Shortstop Yadil Mujica

The Yankees have signed 26 year-old Cuban defector Yadil Mujica, according to Baseball America. There is not a lot of information out there on the infielder, but according to Baseball-Reference he was “emerging as one of the top young infielders in Cuba before defecting.”  His final season in Cuba saw Mujica hit .358/.432/.440, in a league that is hitter friendly.  He hits lefty but throws righty and has been described as a speedy contact hitter with good range and a strong arm from short.  There is not a ton of information out there on the guy, so we will have to wait and see whether he is a legitimate major league prospect or not.  The Times-Tribune Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees blog had this report and youtube video of Mujica.

There also appear to be some mixed information about the status of left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco.  Baseball America claims that Sisco has been released by the Yankees, but according to the Trentonian, this is not the case. Continue reading Yankees Sign Cuban Shortstop Yadil Mujica

A look at the 2011 Boston Red Sox

Today we arrive at the American League preview that many of you are probably the most eager for: the 2011 Boston Red Sox. Despite a series of injuries so vast many considered the team dead in the water when the news finally broke in August that Kevin Youkilis would miss the rest of the season, the 2010 Red Sox still put up a rather valiant fight. Though they ultimately finished 3rd in the AL East, their 89-73 record was the fifth-best in the American League. The team only spent one day in first place — and that was Sunday, April Continue reading A look at the 2011 Boston Red Sox

Curry-Montero could break camp with team

In his latest ‘You Do Know Jack’ blog piece, former NY Times and current lead YES reporter Jack Curry indicates the Yanks are leaning toward making uber-prospect Jesus Montero their backup catcher to start the season. He writes: As Manager Joe Girardi discussed Montero’s future on Wednesday, he offered indications that Montero will be Russell Martin’s backup. Girardi wants to study Montero’s catching abilities across full Spring Training games to see if Montero maintains defensive consistency, but he sounded enthused, not reluctant, about having Montero in the big leagues. “Look at what they did with Buster Posey,” said Girardi, referring Continue reading Curry-Montero could break camp with team

TYA Trivia Open Thread For 2-23-11

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:  15 Yankees have worn #7 in the majors. Name as many as you can. The correct answers, courtesy of commenter Alexander Mermelstein: Bobby Brown, Bob Cerv, Ben Chapman, Roy Cullenbine, Leo Durocher, Oscar Grimes, Tommy Henrich, Billy Johnson, Tony Continue reading TYA Trivia Open Thread For 2-23-11