Prospect Discipline Watch

Many prospect followers have recognized the importance of plate discipline in the future success of a minor league prospect.  Batting average and home runs are sexier stats to get excited about, but k:bb ratio is often an important marker of a prospect’s approach at the plate.  In this post, I will take a look at the plate discipline of the Yankees’ top hitting prospects, to see whether there are potential red flags or bright spots in their current performance.  As with any analysis this early in the season, small sample size caveats do apply.

Jesus Montero: By most accounts, Montero is having a strong season in his return to Scranton.  His gaudy .362 average has impressed many (though he was hitting in the .400’s fairly recently).  We haven’t gotten too worried about his lack of home runs (only 1 on the season) because of his track record of power production.  Similarly, it may be too early to worry too much about Montero’s 13:0 k:bb ratio (in 16 games), but it is definitely something I will keep an eye on.  … Click here to read the rest

Game Thread-#24 Burnett vs Drabek

Yankee fans will their first look at the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay trade Mr Kyle Drabek, son of the ‘one who got away‘ for Yankee fans of a certain age. After being dealt, Kyle was ranked #1 in the Blue Jays system by Baseball America this past off season. He followed his impressive stint in the minors with a fine spring (2.81 ERA) and broke camp with the club. He’s off to a good start this year (2-0 3.30 ERA) for a Blue Jay club that is ranked #5 thus far in the American League in team ERA and Runs Scored. Here’s a quick scouting report of Drabek from BA:

Drabek has the stuff to pitch at the front of a rotation. His curveball is his best pitch, a power offering with 12-to-6 action and low-80s velocity. It comes out of his hand at the same height as his fastball, giving it good depth and deception that produces a lot of swings and misses.… Click here to read the rest

The National Baseball Hall of Fame AND Museum

It’s wonderful that the Hall of Fame documents the history of baseball, all of this history, even the worst parts of this history. This is the part of the mission of the Hall that we don’t talk much about. We talk about how Pete Rose should (or should not, depending on your lean) be in the Hall of Fame, but Rose IS represented in the museum.  So is Manny Ramirez.  So is Barry Bonds. Their memorabilia is prominently featured in exhibits in the museum, even if their plaques aren’t (and won’t) be hanging in the Gallery.  I was able to point my boys to Rose’s jersey in an exhibit and explain to them who he was, what he did on the field and the things he did off the field which has kept him from the other side of this great building.

As I walked through the Hall, I thought about whether this is the best way to remember players who had Hall of Fame quality careers but whose involvement with performance-enhancing drugs will likely prevent them from being inducted into the Hall.… Click here to read the rest

Microcap: Yanks drop a winnable one against Jays

This one’s gonna be bullet-point style, as I missed most last night’s 5-3 Yankee loss and have a variety of personal obligations to tend to:

Ricky Romero was his usual studly self, holding the Yankees to two runs over six innings, though he wasn’t very economical about it, needing 109 pitches to get through those six frames. According to the postgame, the Yankees blew a huge opportunity in the fifth, loading the bases with no outs, but Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez — the two guys you’d most want up in that situation — couldn’t get the job done.
– I caught Alex’s last two at-bats, and he looks totally uncomfortable at the plate. I’m not going to get on him for a mini-slump considering how great he’s been, but it’s crazy how quickly a player can go from locked in to lost.
Freddy Garcia was OK, but not great, giving up three runs over five, including a (surprise, surprise) home run to Jose Bautista.… Click here to read the rest

Derek Jeter, All Star

Jeter leads roster of Yanks’ All-Star hopefuls

Derek Jeter, a mainstay at the All-Star Game, is looking to appear in his sixth straight Midsummer Classic and his 12th overall, and the Yankees captain is hoping to have company from his teammates.

BA-.258 (Ranking among top 10 AL SS-#5)

OBP-.323 (Rank-#5)

SLG-.281 (Rank-#8)

wOBA-.274 (Rank-#7)

ISO-.022 (Rank #10)

WAR-0.1 (Rank-#6)

FLD-0.5 (Rank-#4)

WPA- -0.55 (Rank-#9)

source-Fangraphs

Bryan Hoch is a good reporter, but this recent article was a a bit tough to take. Especially the title.

Click here to read the rest

Pictures from the Hall, part 3

And then there is the Mike Schmidt/Steve Carlton/Phillies display:

From that Phillies display, to the left of that gorgeous Schmidt jersey, The Hit King, Pete Rose! Who says he’s not IN the Hall of Fame?!? {Note, too, that the jersey was zippered in 1981.}

One of my favorite players, even though he burned my team way too many times, but I loved him anyways (Yes, I had a George Brett model glove):

Next is another 3B anchor, this one a bit older but worth a look:

And the jersey of a young Reginald Martinez Jackson:

[CLICK ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE TO FULL SIZE]Click here to read the rest

Game Thread and Series Preview | Yankees vs. Blue Jays II: It's Lima Bautista Time

Note: Please use this post as your game thread for tonight.

The Yankees (14-8, 1st in the AL East) meet the Blue Jays (12-13, 3rd in ALE) for the second time in two weeks as Toronto comes to the Stadium for a three-game set this weekend. As regular readers know, Toronto emerged as one of my least-favorite teams to face last year, and true to form, the Extra-Base Hits are currently boasting a top-five offense in the American League (and really, it’s probably more like top-three, as I don’t know what the heck Cleveland and Kansas City are doing in that top five) — although much of that is being propped up by a hitting-out-of-his-mind Jose Bautista — though the starting pitching hasn’t been quite as excellent as it was last year thus far.

The teams split their two-game set last week in Toronto, though the Yankees probably should’ve won both. Much to my delight, the Yankees finally broke through against arch-nemesis Brett Cecil in the second game, which resulted in Cecil being demoted to AAA Las Vegas!… Click here to read the rest

More Bartolo Colon Analysis

TYA has done its share of statistical analysis of Bartolo Colon so far, but I wanted to take a look at what some other sources around the blogosphere are saying about Colon’s surprising start to the season.  Paul Swydan at Fangraphs took a good look at Colon so far and seemed to come away impressed overall, but with some reservations.

Among the positives, Swydan notes Colon’s strong fastball velocity, which is roughly at the level of where it was when he was at his peak.  His average fastball velocity for 2011 has been around 91 mph, and this figure is skewed somewhat because it lumps in Colon’s 4-seam fastball with his 2-seamer.  I would imagine that the average 4-seam velocity is probably around 93, based on Colon topping out around 96 in the late innings of his last start.  Another velocity-related observation shows that Colon’s secondary offerings are a little slower while his fastball velocity has remained the same, giving him more separation between the pitches.  … Click here to read the rest

After "Losing the Off Season", Yanks Are Winning the WAR in April

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

Over the winter, much was made about how Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox won the offseason, while Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees were left out in the cold. Well, after only one month, the tables have been turned. At least in April, it’s Cashman who is now winning the WAR.

WAR Comparison of Yankees’ and Red Sox’ Off Season Additions

*Salary represents average guaranteed dollars owed to each player.
Source: baseball-reference.com, fangraphs.com and Cot’s Contracts

Theo Epstein was credited with winning the off season...

Despite spending half as much money as the Red Sox, the Yankees have enjoyed nearly three more wins above replacement from their offseason acquisitions. A good portion of that value has been contributed by Russell Martin, who has turned out to be one of the best steals of the offseason. In fact, according to fangraphs, only Jeff Francoeur and Lance Berkman have had higher WARs among position players who changed teams over the winter.… Click here to read the rest