TYA Fall 2012 Top-30 Prospect List

Its been a bad year in the Yankee farm system. The organization saw more massive car wrecks than breakouts, traded away top talent without getting much in return, and were hamstrung at the draft by new rules. The Yankee system had mostly been on an upward trajectory since 2005, but 2012 ended that streak.

Still, there is good news. The Yankee system still contains 3-4 top-100 prospects, several near-MLB pieces, and plenty of ceiling at the low levels. It’s probably about average as far as systems go, which says something about the talent of the Yankee scouting staff.

I ranked the top-30 prospects using my prospect rating system. Click here for a full explanation of what everything means. Immediately below that is my top-30 prospect rating system, and below the fold are some short thoughts on selected players.

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The Yankee Analysts Prospect Rating System

This post is mostly borrowed from one I did two and a half years ago, about a new prospect rating system. It explains my top-30 prospects, which will be posted later today. The graphics are updated from two years ago.

This is my second shot at a prospect rating system derived from Hockey’s Future’s rating system. I like the system because instead of just giving a prospect an overall rating (Sickels’ grading or Kevin Goldstein’s stars), it attempts to answer the two big questions about minor league players: how good can they be,  and what are their chances of getting there? It does so by assigning two grades to the prospect. You can see an explanation of the system at the link above.

I’ve designed a system similar, but in my opinion better defined, to the HF systems. I assign two grades to each player – a “Talent Rating” from 1 to 10 and a “Risk Rating” from A to F.… Click here to read the rest

Reclaimed fastball leads to C.C. resurgence

His last two starts, then, have been exactly what Yankee loyalists everywhere have been waiting for. Against two basically league average offenses, Sabathia has totaled 16 innings of two run ball over those two outings, striking out 21 opposing hitters to just three walks, nine hits, and no home runs allowed in that span. That last bit is probably the most encouraging aspect of the big man’s performance, as a propensity for allowing too many long balls has been uncharacteristically plaguing him all season long. He’s also gone eight innings with double digit strikeouts in both starts, and consistency is always a comforting thing in baseball.

So has there been a major change in Sabathia’s approach over those last two starts? According to the Pitch F/X data at Texas Leaguers, most definitely. Because the first thing that immediately leaps out at you when you compare these last two starts to the previous four starts since returning from his second trip to the DL is that C.C.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Facing Choice Between Swisher and Granderson

(The following was originally published at The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

Is there enough room for both Granderson and Swisher in the 2013 Yankees' outfield?

Is this September the swan song of Nick Swisher’s Yankee career? An impending free agent, Swisher is reportedly seeking a lucrative five-year deal, so, with the Yankees still intent on dipping below the luxury tax threshold in 2014, the chances of him returning to the Bronx seem slim. Swisher has loved wearing the pinstripes, and the fans have elevated him to cult hero status, but when push comes to shove, money talks, which is why most people believe the switch hitter will walk.

Is a parting between the Yankees and Swisher really inevitable? Entering the season, the right fielder’s consistent production was almost a luxury for the vaunted Yankee offense. However, this year, some cracks have begun to emerge, one of which has been the significant regression of Curtis Granderson.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees win handily, magic number down to six

The top of the third started meekly enough. The Yankees trailed at that point, 1-0, as Sabathia had allowed a single, a slow ground out and another single in the bottom of the second. Chris Stewart started it off with a weak ground out. Despite a lineup full of left-hand batters, Girardi decided not to make changes despite the left-handed Duensing. That allowed Chris Dickerson to bat and he singled to center. Ichiro Suzuki did the same thing to make it first and second with one out. Duensing then walked Derek Jeter to load the bases. Robinson Cano, who appears to be back in the groove again after three hits last night, hit a line drive over the head of Ben Revere in right to score Dickerson and Suzuki. Jeter stopped at third. Nick Swisher singled to score Jeter and send Cano to third. Curtis Granderson then hit a hot smash by the first baseman, Chris Parmelee, that rolled all the way to the corner.… Click here to read the rest

CC Dominates Twins, Yanks Win 90th Game Of The Year

How’s this for a stat? Courtesy of Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk: “Counting the playoffs the Twins are now 23-67 against the Yankees under Ron Gardenhire, including 15-32 at home.”

So when people make jokes about the Yankees owning the Twins, they’re pretty much spot on.

That theme continued today behind strong pitching from CC Sabathia and a nice performance by the offense. Sabathia pitched eight innings, gave up two runs on six hits, one walk and he struck out 10. Poor Joe Mauer accounted for three of those strikeouts and finished the day 0-4.

Sabathia threw 118 pitches which was his highest pitch total since June 7th. He has 21 strikeouts in his last two games and he only had 20 in previous four starts combined.

The offense exploded for six runs in the third inning and none of those runs came on a home run – here was a single, a double, a triple and a wild pitch involved.… Click here to read the rest

Game 155: Oh, It’s a Day Game?

So sorry for the lack of Game Thread. These damn day games sneak up on ya!

Big thanks to the Lohud Yankees Blog for the lineups!

YANKEES (89-65)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Eric Chavez 3B
Raul Ibanez DH
Chris Stewart C
Chris Dickerson LF

LHP CC Sabathia (13-6, 3.47)
Sabathia vs. Twins

TWINS (65-90)
Denard Span CF
Ben Revere RF
Joe Mauer DH
Ryan Doumit C
Chris Parmelee 1B
Matt Carson LF
Jamey Carroll 3B
Alexi Casilla 2B
Pedro Florimon SS

RHP Samuel Deduno (6-5, 4.54)
Deduno has never faced any of the Yankees

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Some Stretch Run Concerns

September hasn't been nearly as kind to Hiroki as August was. Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

I’ve already thrown a Grade-A AB4AR jinx on the Yankees’ playoff hopes once this season, and I’ve learned my lesson.  I’ve been taking very careful steps to not mention the “P” word like its a foregone conclusion again as we come down the homestretch of the 2012 regular season, even as the Yankees have turned things around, and I’m certainly not going to do that here.  What I am going to do is touch on some things that the Yankees should be monitoring as they make their final sprint to the regular season finish line.

Hiroki Kuroda‘s Gas Tank

A little over a month ago, I commented on the possibility of Kuroda getting overworked down the stretch after the incredible job he did putting the team on his back doe over the summer.  Kuroda finished the month of August strong, but September has been a different story. … Click here to read the rest