Could Zambrano be a real target?

Yesterday, we heard the Yankees linked–though it was obviously a fabricated link–to someone they’ve been linked to before: Carlos Zambrano. Two Chicago writers penned scenarios that would send Big Z to the Yankees.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago thinks the Cubs could get Joba Chamberlain or Brett Gardner for Zambrano, but that’s an absolute joke. There’s no way the Yankees would do that, and the MLBTR article says that, too. The only way Zambrano comes to the Yankees is going to be if the Cubs are doing a straight salary dump. He’s scheduled to make $17.875M this year, is guaranteed $18M in 2012, with a vesting option for 2013 worth $19.25M “1) he is first or second in 2011 Cy Young vote or if he finishes in top 4 in 2012 Cy Young vote and 2) he is healthy at end of 2012” (Cot’s).

That’s…ugly. But, since we’re trying to be fair, let’s look at the numbers.

Zambrano’s strikeouts are down to 6.02 (8.12 in 2010, 7.63 career), but so are the walks at 2.80 (4.04 career).… Click here to read the rest

Maybe baseball needs to grow up

I’m pretty clear about my antipathy for the “unwritten rules” surrounding beanball wars (so is Craig, for that matter), and this is a good illustration of why I simply can’t get behind the barbarism involved in this part of the culture of baseball. The other day, another pitcher on the same team hit Harper with a pitch. I can’t find anything definitive on it, but the implication of most reports is that it was intentional, and frankly that’s what I’m inclined to believe. Prospects with Harper’s talent and hype get targeted pretty frequently in the minor leagues, so it shouldn’t be shocking that people might be going after the #1 prospect in baseball.

But there’s something very strange about our conception of “maturity” here. After all, how mature is it to throw a 90+ MPH fastball into someone’s ribs because they insulted you? If I violently assaulted someone to the point of breaking their ribs simply because they insulted me, I’d be going to jail, likely for an extended period of time.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees got the guy they wanted

And that pretty much matches up with all of his scouting reports. Even though he’s been a shortstop in high school, the kid profiles as a corner defender due to lack of range, though his arm grades well. Offensively, everyone agrees that he’s got good raw power, but they also agree that his contact skills aren’t great, and that his swing will need quite a bit of work for him to succeed as a professional. On some level that makes him a risky pick, but on the other hand his work ethic and makeup have been universally praised, and that’s a pretty good sign when the pick has a lot of work to do.

Ultimately I think most of the disappointment about the pick stems more from the players they didn’t pick than from Bichette. Outfielder Josh Bell and pitchers Dillon Howard  and Daniel Norris, all in Baseball America’s top 31 prospects, were all available when the Yankees picked. I personally was hoping for Bell, the 5th best hitter in the draft according to Baseball America’s rankings, so there was a bit of shock and awe when Bichette’s name was announced.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees vs. Red Sox III: What happens when the two best teams in the American League stop being polite, and start getting real?

(photo c/o Getty Images)

The Yankees and Red Sox kick off tonight’s three-game set at Yankee Stadium with two of the best records in the American League and the Yankees in first place, one game up on Boston. The Yankees are a rather woeful 1-5 against their archrivals thus far this season, although for anyone overly concerned about this performance one simply needs to recall the Bombers’ panic-inducing 0-8 start against the Sox in 2009 that ultimately turned into a 9-9 finish.

Not that the two teams’ early season games aren’t important — they most certainly are — but historically the Red Sox have made something of a habit of beating up on the Yankees in the first half of a given season before the Yankees turn the tables and return the favor from July onward. That being said, it would be nice to see the Yankees make something of a statement this week against the Sox — who have thoroughly outplayed the Bombers in their head-to-head matchups this season — especially after the Sox administered the first-ever three-game sweep of the Yankees in New Yankee Stadium last month amidst New York’s ugliest stretch of the season.… Click here to read the rest

A Quick Look at Dante Bichette, Jr.

At twelve years old, Bichette, Jr was making headlines in the 2005 Little League World Series, and he has not slowed down since.  Interestingly, Bichette could easily have chosen another sport for his future, but it is not football or basketball like you might typically expect.  Instead, it was tennis that seemed to be Bichette’s calling.  At fourteen he was ranked in the top 100 for 18 and under in the United States Tennis Association. Still, his first love was baseball and he chose to pursue it instead.

Bichette comes out of Orangewood Christian High School in Florida, where he has played shortstop and third.  He has been named All-Central Florida Player of the Year twice now and had ten homers and 40 RBIs this season.  He hits for average, but has more power than his father.  Bichette’s got great bat speed, but his mechanics will need to be adjusted.  He appears to have learned some of his father’s hitting techniques. … Click here to read the rest

2011 Round 1S Pick: Dante Bichette Jr.

With the 51st pick in the 2011 draft, the Yankees surprised many by selecting outfielder Dante Bichette Jr from Orangewood Christian High School in Orlando.  Bichette Jr has great major league bloodlines, as is the son of Dante Bichette, who played 14 seasons in the major leagues and posted a career .299/.336/.499 line, including a ridiculous .340.364/.620 season in 1995.  Bichette Jr, well built at 6’1″ 215, put up great numbers this season (albeit against high school competition), batting .640 with 10 homers and 15 steals, though you would expect a high draft pick to dominate high school competition.  He also starred in the Little League World Series in 2005, and was once a nationally-ranked tennis player.  Bichette is committed to play college baseball at Georgia, though I imagine that he will be signable.

Although Bichette plays infield in high school, a move to an outfield corner is expected due to his lack of exceptional range.  He should be athletic enough to handle an outfield postition, with a solid throwing arm.… Click here to read the rest

2011 Draft Live Chat: Day 1

We’ve got some great coverage planned here at TYA for this year’s amateur draft. We’ll have live chats going while teams are picking, and will quickly provide information and analysis about the Yankee draft picks. Starting at 7 pm, join us here for a live chat. We’ll have a 30-40 new potential Yankees to talk about this time on Wednesday.

Click here to read the rest

The 2011 MLB Rule 4 Draft

(7:04 P.M.) The Pirates are officially on the clock.

(7:16) First two picks in and we’ve already got a surprise. Gerrit Cole did indeed go first overall to Pittsburgh, and Seattle then surprised everyone by taking Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen 2nd overall.

(7:19) Arizona takes Trevor Bauer of UCLA 3rd overall.

(7:25) The Orioles take Oklahoma high school pitcher Dylan Bundy.

(7:27) Was it me or was Gerrit Cole’s explanation of why he didn’t go with the Yankees before a bit lame?  He said it wasn’t his time and then rambled a bit.  It seemed like even he didn’t know why he didn’t at least listen to an offer.  (Tamar)

(7:32) The first position player is off the board, as the Royals have selected high school outfielder Bubba Starling. This could be the first difficult sign of the draft too, as Starling could be headed to the University of Nebraska to play football. (Brien)

(7:37) Anthony Rendon, who many projected to go second, is now off the board as the Washington Nationals take the Rice third baseman.  … Click here to read the rest

Draft Prediction

The first round of the MLB rule 4 draft begins tonight at 7. Sometime around 10:30 or 11, the Yankees should be on the clock with the 51st selection in the draft, awarded to them when Javier Vazquez did not accept arbitration as a type B free agent. The past few weeks I’ve previewed outfielders, corner infielder, middle infielders, catchers and pitchers who may be available in the supplemental round. Here’s who I think the Yankees will take tonight.

Tyler Goeddel, St. Francis HS, Mountain View California

Bats/Throws: R/R

6’4”, 175 lbs

I first wrote about Goeddel while previewing outfielders that could be available in the supplemental round. He was mentioned again when the rumor came across from Frankie Piliere that the Yankees were interested in him. Here’s why I think he’s the selection. The Rays and Red Sox both have multiple picks and the early word is they’re going to be big spenders. Traditional prospects requiring a lot of money to sign are high school seniors who demand large bonuses to keep them away from college.… Click here to read the rest