Refsnyder Ranks 13th In Baseball America’s Top 20 International League Prospects List

Refsnyder SWB

Courtesy of Andrew Krech/NY Daily News

Fresh off the heels of his 13th place ranking in yesterday’s Double-A Eastern League list, Rob Refsnyder became a 2-time member of Baseball America’s league-by-league top 20 rankings today when he was named to the list for the Triple-A International League.  Coincidentally, he came in at number 13 on this list as well, joining Aaron Judge as the only Yankee prospects to appear on multiple lists.

Refsnyder hit .300/.389/.456 with 28 XBH and 47 R scored in 77 games for the SWB RailRiders (333 PA).  That, paired with his results from Double-A, gave Refsnyder a .318/.387/.497 slash line for the full season.  That’s very impressive when you remember that he didn’t hit for that kind of average or nearly that kind of power in 117 games at the High-A level last year.  He may be a work in progress defensively at second base, but Refsnyder has proven beyond a doubt that he can handle the stick at any level of the Minors and that’s why he’ll be knocking on the Major League door come next spring.…

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Open Thread: Royals vs. O’s Game 4

Greetings, everyone!

I thought that if you were watching Game 4 of the 2014 ALCS, you’d want a place to discuss the events and well, here we are. It’s your open/game thread for the day.

This has been some series for the Royals. They have that 2007 Rockies thing happening which could be a good thing with regards to LCS but a bad thing if there’s a long layoff between the LCS and WS. They have a chance of sweeping the O’s out of town with a win this afternoon/evening and after 29 years, the fans in KC are pumped up.

I’ll admit I’ve been watching the games with an eye on the TV and my better eye on my computer so I am only paying half attention BUT I will watch today’s game intently because it could be a clincher.

And if you’ve been away from your computers, well, you’ve missed the whole hullabaloo surrounding Jeremy Guthrie’s t-shirt last night.…

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10/15/01: A playoff game with dad

[A note: Tonight marks the 13th anniversary of what turned out to be a fun night for me and since I'm in the mood to reminisce and write about the happy memories of my father, I thought I'd share this story with all of you.

It was originally published on my Aerys Sports Yankees' blog back in 2011 for Father's Day and I've gone in and edited it a tad. Hope you enjoy it. ~Stacey]

***

My dad, Gus Gotsulias, is the reason I like sports so much and why I root for the New York Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants.

He took me to my first Yankees and Rangers games. He bought me my first pair of Knicks tickets but, at the time, I was 19 and wanted to go with my best friend. She ended up watching Madonna the entire time – she was sitting courtside right below us – and the Knicks beat the Heat by 35 points (Yes, it was a very long time ago.) And it always seemed that whenever my dad could get us Giants tickets, they were for November or December and he didn’t want me to freeze which, while considerate of him, still annoyed me as a kid, so I didn’t get to attend my first Giants game until 2009 when I was well into my 30’s.…

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WAR is Wrong: Top Relievers Are Worth Double their WAR – So D-Rob Easily Merits $12-15m

Relievers are weird creatures the standard wins-above-replacement (WAR) stat doesn’t evaluate well. I’ll give the punch line first: relievers pitching high-leverage innings are worth at least double what WAR claims. I’ll get back to David Robertson, but let’s start with Greg Holland, a nice example of a consistently true-elite reliever – but you could substitute prime-years Mariano Rivera, who averaged only 3.0 WAR/yr as a closer. In 2013 and 2014, Holland logged low-1s ERAs and converted 95% of about 50 save opportunities (2-3 blown saves (BS) a year) – yet BBREF and Fangraphs call him only a 2-3 WAR player.

Wouldn’t a replacement-level pitcher giving up over a run every two innings – call him “Kawn Shelley” – blow at least 20% of save chances, or easily 10 out of 50 rather than Holland’s 2-3 out of 50 or Robertson’s 5 out of 44? Not all blown saves are fatal – lost leads may be recoverable – but about 60% of blown saves become losses.…

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Sanchez And Refsnyder Named To Baseball America’s Top 20 Eastern League Prospects List

Baseball America’s year-end run through the top 20 prospects in every minor league is almost over.  Today it was the Double-A Eastern League’s top 20 and the Yankees had 2 of their big names show up on the list.  Catcher Gary Sanchez came in at number 11 and second baseman Rob Refsnyder was lucky 13.

Sanchez hit .270/.338/.406 in 477 plate appearances over a full season at the Double-A level.  He continued to show great promise with the bat and improvements in his defensive game, but not at a level as high was what his original ceiling made him out to be.  Refsnyder was arguably the best position player in the Yankee system this year, and in his short stint in Trenton he hit .342/.385/.548.  Sanchez is no longer the top Yankee prospect on my board, but he and Refsnyder are both top 5 easily.  Refsnyder should be in competition for the starting second base job next spring and Sanchez could be in serious consideration for a roster spot in 2016.…

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To Qualify Or Not To Qualify: David Robertson

D-Rob vs DET

The look of a man who knows he’s getting paid this offseason. Courtesy of Getty Images

The League Championship Series are in the early stages, so we’re weeks away from the realistic deadline.  But with each passing game, that deadline for submitting qualifying offers draws closer.  I briefly touched on the increase of the QO price to $15.3 million last week and my plan was always to discuss the 2 top Yankee QO candidates in greater detail.  We’ll start that plan today with a look at the qualifying offer case for David Robertson.

Case For:

  • Consistent Elite Performance- One of the best relievers in MLB since 2011.  19th in IP (258.0), 5th in Strikeouts (354), 8th in K rate (34.0%), 3rd in Holds (97), 9th in FIP (2.40), 4th in fWAR (7.6).
  • Strong 2014 Season- One of the best closers in MLB this past season.  Finished T-8th in Saves (39), 10th in K rate (37.1%), T-13th in reliever fWAR (1.7).
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Sizing Up the Market: Shortstop

This off-season will represent the first time since 1995 that the Yankees will be looking for a full-time solution at shortstop. That may even be selling the transition for Derek Jeter to whomever a bit short, too, as Tony Fernandez was signed to be the team’s everyday shortstop in December of 1994, and he was pretty freaking good – at that time, he was still a strong defender with a league-average bat, which most teams would kill for at shortstop nowadays. Of course, that goes to show just how long it has been since the Yankees were faced with this sort of dilemma. To add a bit more context, in 1995 (the last of pre-Jeterian days):

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Rumor: Yanks Considering Omar Minaya For Front Office Position

This came out late-ish last night, and it may not be welcome news to some who are seeing it for the first time this morning.  Former Mets GM Omar Minaya’s name started floating around yesterday as one the Yankees were considering for a possible front office position.  Erik Boland reported that it was “strong consideration for a high-ranking position,” but Andy Martino later tempered that by tweeting that the role would be something in scouting or an advisory position and not a major one.  With Mark Newman leaving as Senior VP of Baseball Ops and Minaya currently holding that spot in San Diego, there is a potential lateral opening.

Just the name “Omar Minaya” is enough to make some Mets fans’ skin crawl, and his tenure as GM there was not a good one.  But he does have a very good track record of building strong farm systems wherever he’s been.  With the Yankees putting improving their farm system as a primary goal going forward, Minaya could be useful as someone to help guide the efforts.  …

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Fan versus the machine – 2014 hopes against the odds

Being a fan of a team and writing about that same team is a very difficult trick to pull off. The most difficult part is being objective and writing in a factual way without getting carried away by emotions. If you don’t fight the emotions, you end up writing screeds against the general manager or manager and players who don’t perform the way you expect or turn the other way and be exceeding in the praise. One way to really illustrate the problem is to look at the fan’s hopes during the season and cold, hard odds of making the wild card or winning the division as it is calculated every day by places like Fangraphs.com. It wasn’t until the end of the 2014 season when the hopes fell in line with reality.

What I did to illustrate the point was to list the day by day Fangraphs odds for the Yankees to either win a wild card spot or win the division from Game 1 of the season to Game 162.…

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