Who is Jose Peraza?

Yesterday, George King wrote that the Yankees had expressed interest in Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A second baseman, Jose Peraza. With the future of the Yankees’ infield very much influx, it is not surprising that they are looking for young middle infielders. While Robert Refsnyder has moved quickly through the system and garnered a lot of attention, he continues to struggle defensively at second base. I find it hard to believe that the Yankees are writing off Refsnyder, as King and others have surmised, but there is no question that the future of the Yankees’ infield is a major concern. Didi Gregorious, Gregorio Petit and Stephen Drew have provided the Yankees with very little offense this year, and while there is plenty of time for these guys to turn their seasons around, the  Yankees need to do their due diligence.

Granted, the Braves have shown no interest in parting with one of their top prospects, but we all know how quickly things can change.…

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What’s the Half-Life of a Decaying Beltran? Or: Who’s Next for Right?

This is one of those pessimistic posts I’d be happy to laugh at myself for writing, ideally after Carlos Beltran heats up. Last season, he clearly played through pain, and not for a payday — he was just starting the three-year, $45 million deal that’s very likely his last major contract — but to help the team’s faint playoff hopes. And from interviews, he seems like a good guy who cares about his quality of play. But that quality of play sure has gotten poor.

Granted, 2015 Beltran has only 30 bad plate appearances of a .143/.167/.214 line that leaves him an OPS (.381) barely higher than Alex Rodriguez‘s OBP – but Beltran has been aging ungracefully for longer than April 2015. The 2015 bad start follows a bad 2015 spring, which follows a sub-replacement 2014 (-0.2 WAR), which follows a generally injury-prone 30s. So it’s not early-season gun-jumping to be pessimistic about a guy with that record of decline and brittleness who’s just days away from turning 38.…

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The Farm Report: Opening Week!

For the 2015 season, I will be doing the Farm Report as a weekly post reviewing how the Yankees’ affiliates fared in the previous week. It may take some time to get a good feel for the best way to do this, so please bear with me. Feel free to let me know what is working and what isn’t and I’ll try to adjust it as best I can.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders are off to a 2-2 start to 2015, however, their opening day game gave them a lot to live up to this year. Scranton beat Syracuse 8-3, but the story was Ramon Flores. The young outfielder started the day’s scoring with a homer in the first inning, and finished the day as the third Scranton player to ever hit for the cycle. He ended up going 4-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. As a team, Scranton had 16 hits, assisted by Kyle Roller, who went 3-5, and Robert Refsnyder, who went 2-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored.…

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Quick Hit: Greg Bird, So Hot Right Now. Greg Bird

Greg Bird Eyes

Staring right through your soul. Not into it, through it.

The fun sub-plot of many top prospects performing well in their limited ST opportunities was touched on last week.  A handful of those top prospects, including top top prospects Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, were sent down yesterday as part of the first round of roster cuts, but not included in that handful was Greg Bird.  Bird has been the best and most eye-opening of all the Yankee prospects this spring, and for him the plot is rapidly shifting from “fun ST sneak peek” to “legitimate part of the Yankees’ future plans.”

Here’s what Bird has done in the last couple weeks.  He’s hit .385/.467/.846 in 13 ST plate appearances, the SLG rate best on the team.  He’s made a few nice plays with the glove to go with his stellar offensive production.  He’s drawn rave reviews from high-ranking people inside and outside the Yankee system, including Cash and new hitting coach Jeff Pentland.  …

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Quick Hit: Strong Spring Training Showing For A Lot Of Top Prospects

There hasn’t been much to get all aflutter about in terms of Opening Day roster production so far this spring.  Many of the lineup regulars are off to slow starts with the bat, but for the most part we don’t care about their ST numbers if they’re good or bad.  That’s not necessarily so when it comes to prospects in camp, however, and the Yankees have had the good fortune of seeing many of their top prospects perform very well in the early going*:

And that’s not all of them.  …

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Report: Luis Torrens Could Miss 2015 Season With A Shoulder Injury

I was going to wait until the severity of the injury was confirmed to write this, but after sleeping on it I realized I don’t expect the news to be good today anyway so why bother waiting on it?  If the news was better, the Yankees probably wouldn’t be waiting to make a formal announcement.

The bad news, via Chad Jennings, is that A-ball catching prospect Luis Torrens has suffered another injury to his right shoulder.  The Yankees are in the “still gathering info” stage of dealing with the injury, so there’s a chance it isn’t season-ending, but there were plenty of rumors out there yesterday saying it was.  That Billy Eppler is involved already and was the one talking to Jennings suggests that it’s pretty serious.

Torrens missed a few months this past season after suffering a shoulder strain very early in the Low-A season.  When he returned from the DL he was sent to SS Staten Island, where he hit .270/.327/.405 in 202 PA and continued to impress everybody with his natural hitting skills and how quickly he took to full-time catching.  …

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One Last Moncada Analysis: Why He’s Worth the First Nine-Figure Prospect Signing

A Yoan Moncada signing may be imminent, with Hank Steinbrenner attending Moncada’s notable third private workout with the Yankees just days ago, so I’ll take this last chance to weigh in on whether he’s worth the small fortune he’ll cost. My first thought was: No way is a 19 year-old amateur worth the $80-$100m we hear he may get. My second thought was: Come to think of it, I have no idea what a top draft pick is really worth to a team. Team owners prevent American amateurs from earning their true value by agreeing to sign them only in a “draft” — i.e., a cartel agreement that each player will get an offer from only one employer, not from multiple employers bidding for his services. I’ll leave for another day my tirade about how badly baseball owners violate free-market economics and morality by being tied with OPEC as the top billionaires-for-cartelization club. But the point is that the several million it takes to sign a top draft pick is his cartel-depressed price, not his value to his team.…

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Moncada Updates: Decision By 2/23, The $100 Million Man?

Haven’t talked about Yoan Moncada lately, so let’s catch up on the newest news on that front.

The biggest news came about a day ago, when in a story by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Moncada’s representative said the plan is for Moncada to make his signing decision by Monday, February 23rd.  David Hastings, Moncada’s rep, said they have a more private workouts scheduled for next week, including a handful of “look backs” by teams who have already held a private workout, and that they want to make the decision after those workouts are completed.

This morning, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the expected price tag for Moncada has risen to the $40-50 million range, making it a $100 million investment with the tax.  That’s a huge chunk of change for a 19-year-old player who won’t be playing at the MLB level for a few years, so that should tell you something about how good Moncada is and can be and how well baseball is doing financially when teams can take that kind of financial risk.…

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Judge, Severino Make Baseball Prospectus’ 2015 Top 101 Prospects List

The offseason of accolades and resume building continues for Aaron Judge and Luis Severino.  Yesterday they were once again the only 2 Yankee representatives on a national top prospects list, this one the 2015 edition of the Baseball Prospectus Top 101.  Judge came in 49th on the list with Severino right behind him at 51.

If this series of prospect rankings has taught us anything, it’s that these 2 are the clear top 2 in the Yankee farm system.  No disrespect to the Birds and Sanchezes and Clarkins of the world, but Judge and Severino are clearly on another level as prospects and 2015 is going to be a big year for both of them in terms of setting up a realistic target date for their MLB debuts.  Ideally, I’d like to see them both perform well and stay healthy in split seasons between Double-A and Triple-A.  That would line Severino up to compete for a spot in the 2016 rotation and Judge for a call up sometime in the early part of next season.…

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