Nightly Links: Recap, Stoneburner, PANIC!

Tonight, the Yankees won 6-2 to the Orioles for their first win of the year.

Ivan the Stopper
This spring, no one was worse than Ivan Nova, who had an 8.06 ERA through 22.1 innings. After less than quality starts from CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, and a strong but short outing from Phil Hughes, the team called upon the 25 year old right handed pitcher to stop their losing streak and win their first game of the year. In the first inning, Nova looked like a different pitcher. According to both the stadium radar gun and Gameday, Nova was sitting 94 and topping out at 96. In the second inning, Nova started mixing in his breaking pitches, and quickly learned that his changeup was not on tonight when Matt Wieters hit the perfect meatball for a homerun. Aside from Wieters, Nova sat 94, and later 93, with his fastball and was drawing plenty of swings and misses on his slider.… Click here to read the rest

Yankee Top Ten Relief Prospects (Part 2)

As I’ve said before, the Yankees have been the best organization at developing relief pitchers over the last decade. With all these top prospect lists heading our way, I rarely see much loving handed out to the relief pitchers, so I figured we could focus on an impressive group of guys that could become the team’s future. Who knows, one of these guys might be the next Mariano Rivera. While guys like Dellin Betances might ultimately become relievers, this list is for players that currently project out of the bullpen. While closeness to the majors was a factor, upside was primary, which pushed LOOGYs and many older AAA relievers off this list. Without further ado, the top 5 relief prospects.

Tommy Kahnle (J.S. Carras/The Record)

5. RHP- Thomas Kahnle (22)
The fifth round pick in the 2010 draft had a spectacular 16 innings in his debut season, sporting a 14.1 K/9, 1.7 H/9, and 2.8 BB/9 in low A. He maintained decent numbers with strikeouts and hits, 12.4 K/9, and a more realistic 7.7 H/9, but struggled with his command, 5.4 BB/9.… Click here to read the rest

2011 Yankee Second And Third-Tier Prospects Much Better Than 4 Years Ago

Former Yankee prospect Jose Tabata

4 years ago, the Yankee farm system was enjoying its first revival in half a decade. After years of terrible drafts and an overall barren system, the Yankees managed to very quickly add to the top of their farm system and become one of the best organizations in baseball, at least temporarily. I decided to go back and look at my January 2007 top prospect list and compare what we saw then to what we saw today.

The Top Tier – Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances.

The 2007 system was built upon a very strong top tier. Phil Hughes was the top pitching prospect in the game, and Joba was throwing 100 mph fastballs, while Ian Kennedy was actually pitching better than both of them. Jose Tabata was garnering (ill-conceived, as I pointed out at the time) Manny Ramirez comparisons, and Montero and Betances represented exciting young high-ceiling prospects.… Click here to read the rest

Imagining Trades, Part Two

Yesterday, I posted a piece musing on whether or not Mark Buehrle and/or Chris Carpenter would be come available during the season and whether or not the Yankees should be interested in trading for either one. For the purpose of this post, let’s assume they both are available and the Yankees are interested in trading for both (but would, obviously, only trade for one).

With help from Larry, I ran over to BTBS and looked up the trade value calculator, which is really fun to play with. I used Cot’s to get each player’s salary data, and used CAIRO projections and the WAR spreadsheet to calculate the pertinent WAR data.

The trade calculator asks us to put in salary and WAR data, and we’ll start with Carpenter. In 2011, Carpenter is scheduled to make $15M. He also has an option for 2012 that would pay him $15M as well. For the first iteration of Carpenter’s trade value, I assumed the option would not be picked up, so it’s a one year deal.… Click here to read the rest

Spring 2011 Top 30 Prospects With New Ratings

Yesterday, I announced a new prospect rating system that I wanted to use to rank Yankee prospects. There are significant changes from my list half a year ago, mostly because the rating system forced me to more logically think out the rankings, but also because some offseason news changed my opinions slightly.

To refresh: the numerical rating is called the Talent Rating, and it stands for a player’s reasonable ceiling. The letter rating is called the Risk Rating, and it stands for how likely they are to become MLB regulars at that Talent Rating. Full details are at the link above.

I would like to reiterate: I received a lot of questions about what the rating system represents on twitter yesterday. They are entirely qualitative – that is, they represent my opinion about the prospects. I tried to be consistent – for example, all young pitchers without a full season of pitching were rated High risk of injury, and the distance ratings roughly correspond with minor league level – but some of my own bias did turn up.… Click here to read the rest

Projecting the 2011 Minor League Rotations

With the off season winding down, I figure that it is about time to see where everybody is going to wind up. The Yankees manage to emerge from a slow post-2011 off season while hanging on to all of their top pitching prospects. I have prepared this graphic in order to attempt to project where they will all end up.

[image title=”2011 Yankee rotations” size=”full” id=”24896″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]

Brian Cashman wasn’t kidding when he said that our upper minor league rotations are full. The Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees and Double-A Trenton Thunder will have, by some measures, 10 prospects to fill 10 rotation spots. Craig Heyer and Shaeffer Hall are certainly the runts of the group, but they are a big improvement on the years when these kinds of guys took those spots. There is some downside to that of course – players won’t really be able to move up to a higher level in the middle of the season without an injury clearing the way.… Click here to read the rest

Looking at Graham Stoneburner

Graham Stoneburner, Right-handeed Starting Pitcher
Ranked Sixth Best Yankee Prospect

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009 21 Staten Island NYPL A- 0.00 1 0 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 2 1.000 9.0 0.0 0.0 18.0
2010 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-A 2.41 26 26 142.0 107 46 38 6 34 137 0.993 6.8 0.4 2.2 8.7 4.03
2010 22 Charleston SALL A 2.08 7 7 39.0 27 11 9 2 10 44 0.949 6.2 0.5 2.3 10.2 4.40
2010 22 Tampa FLOR A+ 2.53 19 19 103.0 80 35 29 4 24 93 1.010 7.0 0.3 2.1 8.1 3.88
2 Seasons 2.39 27 26 143.0 108 46 38 6 34 139 0.993 6.8 0.4 2.1 8.7 4.09
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2010.

Graham Stoneburner is a much better prospect than people realize. He throws a 93-96 mph 2-seam fastball with strong sinking action.… Click here to read the rest

Fall 2010 Top 30 Yankee Prospects Ranking

Its been a really good season for the Yankees down in the minors. Below is my top-30 Yankee prospects. Though I should say this: there are a lot more guys in the system. I strongly considered expanding the list to 40 or 50 players, which the Yankees could easily justify. I decided to hold back for a number of reasons. As always, I tend to value certainty over uncertainty and performance over raw talent. The level listed after their names is where I project them for next season. The list:

1. C Jesus Montero, AAA/MLB – Really, he should be on the Yankees next year. His second half was as good as it gets. We’ll see.
2. LHP Manuel Banuelos, AA – He went from a polished young lefty to a flame-throwing potential ace.
3. C Austin Romine, AAA – More worried about the lack of defensive growth than his poor hitting season.
4. RHP Hector Noesi AAA – Better than people think.

Click here to read the rest

Five More Things I Learned In Three Months

Continuing with Monday’s post, I am reviewing things that surprised me while away for three months. The first five items on Monday dealt with players more established in the system. Now, its time for the fresh out of the box surprises.

6. Adam Warren is the real deal.

I’ve been witness to enough Staten Island flash in the pans to be pretty skeptical when someone like Adam Warren comes along and flashes a 1.43 ERA in 56 innings. Weird things happen in a short season, especially when the league is made up mostly of new draftees who are learning how to hit with wooden bats. But Warren did have a pretty impressive season (7.9 K/9, 1.6 BB/9) after being picked in the 3rd round, so he hit all of our radars.

When I left, Warren was enjoying a pretty good season down in High-A Tampa. Before moving up, he pitched 81 innings with an ERA of 2.22, a K/9 of 7.4, and a BB/9 of 1.9.… Click here to read the rest