About EJ Fagan

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.

The Big Question for the Offseason

I think that people get too locked into the little details when thinking about the offseason. “Cashman should trade Alex Rodriguez and then move Derek Jeter to third base and then let Nick Swisher go and and then move Gardner to center field and then sign a right-handed power reliever and then find a new hitting coach and then fill out the bench…” This kind of thinking is far too tactical for Brian Cashman right now. He needs to answer the big strategic questions first. As far as I can tell, there’s three big strategic paths that he could follow: Continue reading The Big Question for the Offseason

Celebrating A Great 2012 Season – Yankees Lose ALCS

The New York Yankees will not advance to the 2012 World Series. While this sucks, I think we should celebrate what the Yankees did this season. The 2012 New York Yankees overcame a ton of adversity just to get as far as they did. According to Jeff Zimmerman over at Fangraphs, the New York Yankees lost the most player-days to the disabled list in the American League in 2012. Michael Pineda, Brett Gardner, Mariano Rivera and Pedro Feliciano all missed essentially the entire season. Austin Romine’s spring training back injury sidelined him for most of the year, forcing the Yankees Continue reading Celebrating A Great 2012 Season – Yankees Lose ALCS

Does Winning All the Time Get Old?

An article in the Wall Street Journal last week caught my attention. Brian Costa writes about the contrast between crowds in Baltimore and New York, For Orioles fans—and for the people here who had long since stopped identifying themselves as such—this was a reawakening. They hadn’t seen playoff baseball in 15 years, hadn’t even seen a winning season. But now Baltimore has something that New York has lost, at least where Yankees fans are concerned. It’s sheer giddiness at simply making the playoffs. It’s the delight that comes with every postseason moment—the good ones, sure, but also the rest. Cities Continue reading Does Winning All the Time Get Old?

Press Release: Yankee Front Office Takes the Blame for Loss to the Tigers

Just got this in our email box: NEW YORK – The New York Yankees announced today the firing of office manager John DiMaggio, citing a key logistical failure that resulted in their 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Team officials stated that Mr. DiMaggio had been tasked with distributing a key memorandum, titled, “Win One for the Captain!” to active members of the team’s roster. Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman commented on the unfortunate situation, “Mr. DiMaggio sent the memo off to be translated into Japanese, but unfortunately forgot to distribute it to the rest of the team. Continue reading Press Release: Yankee Front Office Takes the Blame for Loss to the Tigers

A New Phase in Alex Rodriguez's Career

When Joe Torre moved Alex Rodriguez down to the 8th spot in the order in Game 4 of the 2006 ALDS, it was a terribly stupid move. Arod was struggling, like the rest of the team at the time, but was one of the best hitters in the American League that year. A combination of ant-Arod zeitgeist and Joe  Torre’s ongoing problems with him caused the move. But last night was different. Alex Rodriguez is no longer one of the best hitters in the league. At 37 years old, Rodriguez is doing exactly what we should expect him to be Continue reading A New Phase in Alex Rodriguez's Career

Sabermetrics Doesn't Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP

Mike Trout is the most valuable player in the American League. Miguel Cabrera is not. This is as clear as it could possibly be, and is not a matter of opinion, but rather a objective, verifiable, mathematical fact. Another who argues otherwise either is a) defining ‘most valuable player’ in an illogical, arbitrary way b) has not seen the math or c) is stupid. Let’s start with the pure arithmetic: Without even considering position, Mike Trout was the best hitter in the American League. His .324/.397/.561 was good for 170 OPS+, .421 wOBP and 174 wRC+, all tops in the league. His 57.2 batting Continue reading Sabermetrics Doesn't Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP

In Defense of the 1-Game Wild Card Playoff

From conversations with my fellow TYA bloggers, I get the sense that a lot of people do not like the looming 1-game Wild Card playoff system. For the first time, the Wild Card teams will not immediately advance to the division series, and will instead play each other in a winner-take-all single game. I like the new rules quite a bit. My friends and I are already getting ready for October 5th – playoff Friday. A couple of us have already taken the day off of work. We’re excited for two intense games between four really good teams. Its a Continue reading In Defense of the 1-Game Wild Card Playoff

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 Continue reading TYA Fall 2012 Top-30 Prospect List

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? Continue reading The Yankee Analysts Prospect Rating System