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 above.

I would like to reiterate: I received a lot of questions about what the rating system represents on twitter yesterday. They are entirely qualitative – that is, they represent my opinion about the prospects. I tried to be consistent – for example, all young pitchers without a full season of pitching were rated High risk of injury, and the distance ratings roughly correspond with minor league level – but some of my own bias did turn up.… Click here to read the rest

The Limits of Psychobabble

Isn’t this a bit of an obvious paradox though? Jeter has five rings, so he can’t be complacent, but winning makes you complacent? It seems just as likely to me that you’d get more complacent after winning multiple rings than you would after winning just one ring, so why would the fact that Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, and Posada have five rings necessarily exempt them from ever being complacent? (For the record, obviously I don’t think Hank put a lot of thought into this, I’m just using it to highlight how hard it is for these things to stand up once you actually have to game it out.)

But to take this discussion away from Hank specifically and towards some of the routine armchair psychology you see fairly often in sports commentary, consider this:

However, I do think that the 2010 Yankees were a little complacent, especially evidenced by Joe Giradi lah-de-dahing the last few months into a Wild Card, when they should have won the division.Click here to read the rest

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 think about invoking the no-trade provision with the White Sox hoping to contend for a World Series title, let alone a division crown.

But if the White Sox falter early and look to trade away veteran salaries, with Buehrle in the final year of a four-year, $56 million deal, the southpaw would judge the situation on a case-by-case situation.

Click here to read the rest

A look at the 2011 Boston Red Sox

Jon Lester (Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

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 4, after beating the Yankees in the season opener — but hung tough in the most treacherous division in baseball for much of the season. After a torrid June, Boston got within 1/2 a game of first place on July 3, but a subsequent four-game losing streak put the team in too deep a hole to climb out of, and the closest they would get to first was 4.5 back after beating Tampa Bay on Friday, August 27.… Click here to read the rest

Curry-Montero could break camp with team

Photo courtesy of LoHud

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 to how the Giants promoted Posey from the Minor Leagues last May, made him the starter and smiled as he helped guide them to a championship.

Girardi wasn’t predicting that Montero will supplant Martin and usher the Yankees to a World Series title, as Posey did in San Francisco. That would be a bold prediction, especially since Montero is not nearly as adept defensively as Posey.

Click here to read the rest

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 Lazzeri, Mickey Mantle, Cliff Mapes, Jake Powell, Aaron Robinson, Jack Saltzgaver, and Chuck Dressen.

Today’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)?Click here to read the rest