Nightly Links: Chavez, Martin, Burnett

“If there’s any guys in more shape than me, I’d be surprised. If there are, I’d be happy, because I’m coming ready this year.”

  • Mike Axisa wrote about the upcoming free agent market and how the Yankees can avoid some very high priced contracts if they extend Martin now.
  • Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York collected a few quotes from A.J. Burnett following his trade to Pittsburgh. Burnett appears far from bitter, and astonishingly understanding about the situation. His pitching might not have stood up to take the New York market, but his personality did.
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Diverging perspectives on the Yankee farm

We have already seen a number of analyses of the Yankee farm this offseason (from Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein, among others), and this otherwise quiet Tuesday has blessed us with two more takes on the system.  Baseball America released its annual top 100 prospects list today, and as a bonus Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus released a writeup on the top 5 prospects in the Yankee system.  Both provide interesting (and different) takes on the Yankees’ top prospects, which gives some insight as to the high risk/high reward nature of the current Yankee farm.

4 Yankee prospects cracked the venerable BA list, and the names will not surprise anybody.  Manny Banuelos was the top Yankee prospect according to BA, checking in at #29.  This more or less represents the consensus ranking of Banuelos by other sources, and the lower variability makes sense because Banuelos has already pitched at higher levels.  Dellin Betances, the second Yankee on the list, checks in at #63, though there has been substantial variation in his ranking by other sources (likely because there is some doubt about whether Betances can develop the consistent command and mechanics to stick as a starter).… Click here to read the rest

What could go wrong with top Yankee prospects

Over at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Parks has a great take on his top-5 Yankee prospects. Usually, we tend to evaluate prospects from an optimistic perspective. This is probably a natural way to think, but doesn’t take into account the fact that most prospects fail. Park instead frames his discussion of those prospects by looking at what could go wrong with each one of them.

I would like to add my two cents to this discussion. Here are Park’s top five prospects, with commentary:

  1. Gary Sanchez. Parks offers the best quote ever on Sanchez’s power: “The skies will turn red with the blood of his enemies.” He clearly loves Sanchez as a prospect, and is one of the few experts out there to rate him above Banuelos. I like Sanchez too, but I think that even Parks understates the downside Sanchez can bring to the table. Sanchez does in fact have a hitch in his swing that needs to be corrected.
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