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

Author Archives: EJ Fagan

Are We Systemically Overrrating Yankee Pitching Prospects, Underrating Yankee Hitting Prospects?

The Yankees have a lot of strong prospects in their minor league system since about 2005, when they began to turn around one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Some of these top prospects include: Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, Christian Garcia, Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, Eric Duncan, Melky Cabrera,  Brett Gardner, Alan Horne, Jesus Montero, Jeff Marquez, David Robertson, Zach McAllister, Hector Noesi, Eduardo Nunez, plus the current crop.

I list out those names for a couple of reasons. The first is a little bit of nostalgia. I loved following these players as they climbed the minor league ladder. But the second is more important: it seems like Yankeee pitchers have on the whole disappointed a lot more, while quite a few Yankee hitters have significantly exceeded expectations.

I tackled this idea last season, putting the blame on the Yankee coaching and front office staff for generally sucking at evaluating pitchers.…

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The Right and Wrong Ways to Think About Prospect Hugging

I’m a prospect guy. I’ve always been most passionate about baseball when I’m reading about or watching some guy in High-A who might make the major leagues some day. Last week, I advocated trading four young Yankee players, including top outfield prospects Mason Williams or Slade Heathcott, in a package for Padres star Chase Headley

Reacting to my post, several readers dug in their heels against the idea of trading prospects in general. Their reaction is probably best summarized by OldYankeeFan’s comment:

I would NOT give up any prime meat for a 2 year rental.
You never know who is going to make it large.
We dangled Mo, Cano and others in the past. Fortunately, they weren’t taken. AJax was!

Remember. THE DYNASTY WAS BUILD ON THE BACKS OF FIVE HOMEGROWN PLAYERS!!!
That will NEVER happen again if we keep trading our better/best prospect for ONE shiney object.

I share some of this instinct, but I think it is misguided.…

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What Would You Trade for Chase Headley?

The Padres are considering trading Chase Headley, and there isn’t a team more desperate to add a position player right now than the New York Yankees. While it would be nice to pull off a Swisher-like trade for Headley, sending Dellin Betances, and an autographed Derek Jeter game-used bat to San Diego in return for last year’s 5th place NL MVP pick, it is unlikely. So, I have a simple question: What is your best offer?

Headley has been worth an average of 4.0 bWAR over the past 3 seasons, capped by an impressive 6 WAR performance last year. He’s entering his age 29 season with two years of team control left on his contract. Headley plays a very good third base, and has hitting talent that was masked by his home ballpark for most of his career, before an impressive breakout last season. He is a career .302/.372/.464 hitter away from PETCO, including .300/.395/.541 in 2012.

For all intents and purposes, Headley is fairly comparable to Ryan Zimmerman or Evan Longoria.…

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Three days in Florida

Tampa

I had the privilege of spending three days in Florida watching baseball this weekend. I saw three games in three different ballparks: Nationals at Braves at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Tigers at Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, and Yankees at Red Sox at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

The Players

You could hear an audible gasp in Tampa when the Yankees subbed out their regulars for minor league players, and that was after five innings of watching Kevin Youkilis, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, and the rest play baseball. You could sense an even greater frustration in Fort Myers, where Brett Gardner, Jayson Nix, and Eduardo Nunez were the most famous players in the ballgame. But for me? I came to see the scrubs. Here are some observations on a few that I got to watch this weekend:

Tyler Austin - I’d never seen him in person before, but one glance could tell you all you need to know about why scouts peg him as a 1st baseman and/or possible tweener.…

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The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013

A week ago, the 2013 Yankees were walking on a tight rope. Their roster, while a significant downgrade from the 2012 squad, looked strong enough to contend for a wild card spot in the American League. The team’s rapidly aging core was still effective last year, and should a few things go right should have...

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Why The Yankees Should Not Extend Robinson Cano

The Yankees seem to be quietly negotiating with Robinson Cano for a long term contract extension. This is a mistake. I’m not against a Cano extension per se, but I am against a Cano extension, which let’s say will cost something like 8 years / $200 million, before the end of the 2013 season.

I don’t...

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Pinstripe Bible's New Project: Ranking the Top-100 Yankees of All Time

This one is pretty ambitious. The Pinstripe Bible is going to try and rank the top-100 Yankees of all time, and they want input from Yankee fans:

We will be commencing the project with #100 sometime soon. If you want to submit your list of the top 100 Yankees and help make your imprint...

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Changing the Hall of Fame Voting Process

We’ll get the latest Hall of Fame results from the BBWAA this week. We’re all preparing to be disappointed. How disappointed? We’re not sure yet, but the range could be anywhere from mild shock that your borderline PED user HOF candidate like Rafael Palmeiro gets snubbed to, as Jon Heyman speculated in a...

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Derek Jeter's Player Option and $189 Million

Update: William did this issue a much better service on his own blog earlier this month. Definitely take a look. It appears that some of my assumptions are wrong, particularly about how a Jeter opt-out would affect the 2014 cap hit. It looks like the better scenario is to take my same logic,...

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