Thoughts: The Nady and Marte Trade August 8, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Damaso Marte, Dan McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Trade Deadline 2008, Trades, Transactions, Xavier Nady.
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As we know, RF Xavier Nady and LHP Damaso Marte were traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Jose Tabata, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Daniel McCutchen, and RHP Jeff Karstens. Tabata hit an extremely disappointing .248/.320/.310, and, coupled with maturity and makeup issues, had his stock fall precipitously this year. Tabata hasn’t developed power as usual and couldn’t even hit for contact. Ohlendorf posted a 36/19 K/BB rate along with a 1.72 WHIP and a 6.53 ERA in 40 MLB innings. Worse than all of this is the 7 homers allowed. In short, he had severe command issues and needs to refine his sinker. McCutchen posted solid peripherals and numbers accross the board: 110/29 K/BB rate along with a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.14 ERA in 123.1 innings between AA and AAA. He is probably ready for a MLB call-up, but wasn’t given a chance by the Yankees. While he’s a bit old (25), he had such talent to be a back-of-the-rotation or solid bullpen pitcher. Since he has posted good numbers and is almost MLB-ready, his loss stings a bit, but he’s not by any means untouchable or unreplaceable. Karstens, after repeated failures last year in the big leagues, is basically a AAAA player at this point, even if he took a perfect game until the 8th inning against Arizona.
Nady has broken out this year, hitting .330/.383/.535 in 327 ABs, with 13 HRs and 57 RBI and a 55/29 K/BB ratio for Pittsburgh. He crushes lefties historically and plays good defense in right. Marte is one of the better left-handed relievers in baseball, death on lefties. He posted 47/16 K/BB rate, a 1.16 WHIP, 18 HLD, and 5 SV in 46.2 innings (47 games) for the Bucs (he was named the closer shortly before the trade). Over the last three years, Marte has held lefties to a .206/.309/.288 line, allowing only 3 homers in 243 AB. He is the lefty needed to neutralize dangerous AL lefties like Josh Hamilton, David Ortiz, Justin Morneau, Grady Sizemore, and others.
This trade is a clear winner for the Yankees. Nady fills the desparate need of a productive, power-hitting corner OF to get Melky Cabrera out of the starting line-up while adding punch against lefties (and, this year, against righties). Marte fills the lefty need from a previously all-righty bullpen, and makes Billy Traber even more useless. Tabata used to be highly regarded before the aforementioned problems, and many (including me) have soured on him. I don’t see how his power develops through all this–he has 3 homers thus far. What’s more, it would be a success if he would be as good as Xavier Nady even before this season, and I’m honestly not sure he will be. Ohlendorf was sinking fast in the organization depth chart with an abysmal season (I will concede that he didn’t have a clear role, and that never helps). Great trade for the Yanks.
What About C.C? June 11, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in C.C. Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Johan Santana, Jose Tabata, Robinson Cano.
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In a post on his blog today, Peter Abraham thought about the possibility of an acquisition of C.C. Sabathia for the Yankees. The logic is that the Cleveland Indians would rather trade him for prospects rather than get 2009 draft picks, which makes sense to me because the class is said to be even weaker than this year’s class. However, what caused a bit of a stir was this:
This would be my untouchable list: Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon
Other than that, have at ‘em.
That includes Jose Tabata, Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Dellin Betances, Jose Veras, etc.
They’ll want at least one pitcher. Kennedy, Tabata and Betances. Would that get it done?
Tabata, Betances and Cano. Would you do that? Or do you stay away entirely?
I agree with most of this list. However, there are some things I don’t agree with. First–how is Dellin Betances not untouchable? The dude has a mid-90s fastball with a sick knuckle-curve and a developing, if not plus, changeup. Yes, he has major control issues, but he is 20 years old in Class A, and has the potential to be an ace. If you put Brackman as an untouchable, why not put Betances?
Second, why would you trade Robinson Cano? Cano is a “rhythm and feel” hitter who starts slowly before completely raking to finish the year. Cano has the potential to be a central hitter in the Yankee lineup, particularly in future years, who can hit .300 and hit 25 HR. Last year he struggled before finishing strong to hit .302 with 19 HR and 97 RBI. The year before he started slowly (not as bad, admittedly), and finished third in the batting title race (.342). More than all that, who would you replace him with? Bernie Castro is not a legitimate Major League player, and no one in the lower minors is close to ready. As of now, there is no prospect who can capably replace him in the system in the future, either. Remember, the everyday player is always more valuable than the player who pitches only every five days.
Contrary to others, though, I have no problems trading Tabata. Yes, he is getting hot, but he is pretty fat and nonchalant. The pissy attitude he carries doesn’t help at all, either, and he’s fallen from grace among the Yankees and us Yankee fans. By no means have I given up on him, but I don’t think he’s indispensable as far as prospects are concerned.
Either way, I wouldn’t give up anything for Sabathia. I would rather trade for him than Johan Santana, as Sabathia is in his prime while Santana’s stuff is declining. Sabathia looks flat-out dominating when you take out his early-season struggles, while Santana has allowed 12 HR in the NL. Instead, I’d rather sign Sabathia in the offseason. At the right contract I wouldn’t have an issue giving up a first rounder for him, considering we could get other(s) with the contracts coming of the book after the year. I’d be concerned about his weight in the future and I’d include a related clause in his next contract, but otherwise I think the Yankees could definitely use him as he’d make a huge impact in the AL East.
Tomorrow I’ll detail who I may like Sabathia.
Some Questions I Answered January 25, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Abraham Almonte, Andrew Brackman, Austin Jackson, Edwar Ramirez, Frankie Cervelli, Jairo Heredia, Jeff Marquez, Joba Chamberlain, Jose Tabata, Kevin Whelan, Phil Hughes, Prylis Cuello, Scott Patterson.
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A fellow blogger asked me several questions regarding the Yankees and the system. These are interesting questions, and either point can be argued. Here are the questions and answers.
Who is your breakout candidate of the year for the Yankee farm system?
Kevin Whelan–I think he’ll get his control together.
If one player is going to disappoint this year in the Yankee farm system, who would you pick?
Jeff Marquez. I don’t think he’s that good, and AAA hitters may finally catch up to him.
Who is your sleeper?
Jairo Heredia–I think his stuff translates into serious results at a young age.
Which Milb-affiliate will be most interesting this year?
AAA Tacoma (Rays)–at various points throughout the season, most (or all) of Evan Longoria, Wade Davis, Jacob McGee, Reid Brignac, David Price, and Desmond Jennings will pass through there.
You’re Brian Cashman in the 2007 draft. Do you select Andrew Brackman? If not, who do you select and why?
I would select Brackman. Pitching depth in the system is incredibly deep, as by the time all of the veteran’s contracts expire, there will be enough spaces for the younger players/prospects, many of whom are turning out nicely. The way things are turning out, there are more prospects than spots, so there is no need for a player who will develop quickly, someone Brackman is not.
Prylis Cuello or Abraham Almonte?
Both are extremely raw and projectable, but I’ll lean towards Almonte, since their isn’t much OF depth in the system.
Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes?
Joba–I may be one of the few who think that injury concerns aren’t a particular problem with Joba–he’s dropped
significant amounts of weight, and he has very good mechanics (for what I hear). Joba’s two (going on three?) plus pitches are better than Hughes’s two. Joba is superior in stuff, strikeouts, and hittability, and, from what we saw last year in the majors, the control is a crapshoot between the two. That said, both will be very good/excellent pitchers for a long time.
Austin Jackson or Jose Tabata?
AJax–he’s a surer bet once his tools translated into success last year. If Tabata develops good power this year, though, I might lean towards Tabata.
Scott Patterson or Edwar Ramirez?
Edwar–he’s the younger of the two Indy leaguers, and his changeup is a plus plus pitch. He can add a little frame to get some juice on his FB, and I think he can add another pitch (curve?). Patterson is in his prime as we speak, and won’t be around for long.
Francisco Cervelli, great catcher or greatest catcher ever?
“Merely” great. I think Cervelli has plus defense, and although he hasn’t shown much power, he has improving contact skills and solid on-base skills. If he adds some power (12-15 HR power)–well, you never know.
On a different note, the mailbag will be up by Sunday–thanks for the responses so far, and keep them coming! Everyone’s questions will be answered.
BA Yankees Top 10 Prospects January 12, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alan Horne, Andrew Brackman, Austin Jackson, Baseball America Top 10 Prospects, Brett Gardner, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Top 30 Prospects.
This is the Baseball America Yankees Top 10 Prospects list that came out on Monday:
1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp
The list, in general, is only OK. The first five, I must say, are identical to our list. Montero at #6 is a bit high, but nothing really to complain about. Seven through nine, are a problem. John Manuel, managing the Yankees’ prospect list, says in the chat that he puts Marquez this high because Marquez is a pretty sure bet to be a #4/#5 in the Majors, particularly because of his sinker. I don’t buy it. Marquez has a great changeup and sinker, but he doesn’t get enough strikeouts (~5.5) to justify his inconsistent groundball rate, either. Gardner is a fourth outfielder/fringe starter, but Manuel reasons his spot because Gardner is very close to being major-league ready. Ohlendorf, another surprise at #9, maxes out as a solid 7th inning reliever, but Manuel says that Ohlendorf’s pitches each went up a grade since his move to the bullpen. These three reasonings are petty and radical, in my view.
Brackman at #10 is fine (we had him at #11).
However, I have one big problem with the list. There is no Dellin Betances to be found in the Top 10. Granted, while his #3 ranking last year could have been a hype machine result, it was widely known that many of Betances’s mechanical issues (as well as his stuff) was greatly improved after his drafting and being sent to Extended Spring Training. However, in the chat, Manuel states that after talking to people in the know, and watching him pitch, that there are still some concerns about mechanics and his rawness. But isn’t he a better prospect than the #7-10 players???
BA also presents the best tools list:
Best Hitter for Average Jose Tabata
Best Power Hitter Jesus Montero
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Brett Gardner
Fastest Baserunner Brett Gardner
Best Athlete Austin Jackson
Best Fastball Joba Chamberlain
Best Curveball Joba Chamberlain
Best Slider Joba Chamberlain
Best Changeup Edwar Ramirez
Best Control Ian Kennedy
Best Defensive Catcher Francisco Cervelli
Best Defensive Infielder Alberto Gonzalez
Best Infield Arm Marcos Vechionacci
Best Defensive Outfielder Austin Jackson
Best Outfield Arm Seth Fortenberry
I think this is a pretty good list. It differs drastically from the 2007 tools list. As can be seen (and expected), Joba dominates the pitching ranks. Austin Jackson’s improvement is also greatly improved.
The tools list makes up for the faltering of the rankings, making this a solid job by BA. I can’t wait until the book comes out to see what BA has to say on the Top 30 prospects (and who they are, of course).
Winter Meetings Recap: Yankees Abandon Santana, Haren Talks December 7, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Hideki Matsui, Johan Santana, Jose Molina, Jose Tabata, Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Rule 5 Draft, Tyler Clippard, Winter Meetings 07.
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The Yankees’ self-imposed deadline came and went late Monday night, when the world woke up Tuesday morning, there was no Johan in pinstripes. Why? Well, according to the New York Daily News, the Twins backed off the Ian Kennedy demand late Monday night, and would have accepted a Phil Hughes-Melky Cabrera-Jeff Marquez-Mitch Hilligoss package, but Brian Cashman pulled the offer back. Per the News, Cashman convinced Hank Steinbrenner and the Yankees’ FO that, despite not wanting to deal Hughes in the first place, it was fiscally irresponsible to have two $25 million players, and the Yankees were simply not going to limit their fiscal flexibility and inflate their payroll while paying $40+ million in luxury taxes.
Good job, Brian. Santana is coming off a career-worst year of his recent years of dominance (that is, 2000 and 2001 notwithstanding). He gave up 33HRs, his walk rate rose, as did his wild pitches, and he also struggled against the AL East. Moreover, he has a great slider that he was hesitant to throw. This for a $25 million dollar pricetag and giving up the future ace, Phil Hughes, and Melky Cabrera, whom some compare to a Bernie Williams-lite. Though Cabrera is expendable, with Jose Tabata, Austin Jackson, and Brett Gardner almost at the bigs, and the current glute of outfielders, he still has value for 2008. Hughes, on the other hand, is not expendable. He is young gives the Yankees the ace of the future. His stuff is great, and he has great control, and is roughly seven years Santana’s junior. This was the right choice.
MATSUI BEING SHOPPED?Per Peter Abraham, the Yankees and Giants were in preliminary negotiations regarding a trade of Hideki Matsui. The Yankees, per Kevin Davidoff on the Nov. 8th edition of Newsday, prefer to trade Matsui over Johnny Damon for understandable reasons. Matsui has previously said that he would wave his no-trade clause, though it may be a little embarrassing for him to leave New York as a slight disappointment. Abraham sees the Yankees getting Noah Lowry in return, but I am not impressed with his 87:87 K-BB ratio in 156 IP. I would rather have Jon Sanchez, but I would definitely be impressed if we acquire Tim Lincecum or Henry Sosa. If getting Lincecum involves surrendering, say Tabata/Alan Horne, I would do it and run away, laughing.
MOLINA RE-SIGNED, PHILLIPS DFA’D, ELECTS FREE AGENCYAgain per PeteAbe, Jose Molina’s 2yr/$4M deal was announced on Tuesday, and to make room on the 40-man, Andy Phillips was DFA’d. Not a bad decision–first base is a clogged-up position, and Phillips hasn’t shown the power that he did in the minors. He was replacement-level, batting .292, with 2 HRs and 25 RBIs. He cleared wavers, but after getting DFA’d twice in the same season, he opted to become a free agent instead of accepting an outright to AAA Scranton/W-B.
CLIPPARD DEALT In a deal announced Wednesday, Tyler Clippard was dealt to the Washington Nationals for 25-year-old right-handed reliever Johnathan Albaladejo. Albadejo went 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 14 games and 14 1/3 innings with the Nats this past season in the majors. He has only recently found success since being converted to the bullpen. Clippard struggled in New York, both in the minors and majors, going 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA in 27 IP and 6 games and starts. This is a good trade for both sides, as we can see Nats GM likes to add pieces at their lowest value who have high ceilings (though Clippard isn’t high ceiling). The Nats should be contenders in 2009, with Ryan Zimmerman, Lastings Milledge, Jesus Flores, Chris Marrero, and Ross Detweiler potentially established by then. For the Yankees, this gives another bullpen option who can actually throw strikes. Nice job.
GARDNER LOST IN RULE 5Mike Gardner, a 26-year-old swingman in AA Trenton, was picked by the San Diego Padres with the 18th pick of the Rule 5 draft. Gardner posted a 2.88 GO/AO ratio, and could help the Padres in the bullpen. The Yankees could not select anyone in the MLB portion, as they had a full 40-man, but they selected 27-year-old Bo Hall, a righty reliever from the Milwaukee Brewers, in the AAA portion. In his first season above HiA, he went 5-2 with a 3.46 ERA and struck out 56 in 54.1 IP, while allowing 41 H but 36 BB.
DAN HAREN TRADE TALKS WITH YANKEES DEADHank Steinbrenner publicly griped about the price for Dan Haren. A’s GM Billy Beane asked for Phil Hughes and Alan Horne, as Melky Cabrera had no value to him. The Yankees continued on shopping.
HAWKINS INTERESTS YANKEESPer the Daily News, the Yankees are interested in RH-reliever LaTroy Hawkins for a 1yr-3.25M contract. Bad idea. Hawkins has been bad since his 2003 season with the Cubs, but somehow makes clubs believe he’s good and worth trading for. His K rate is low and declining, but still induces ground balls. He isn’t effective and often chokes in the clutch. Why waste money when there are better internal options?
MARTE, GRABOW INTEREST YANKEESLefties Damaso Marte and John Grabow of the Pittsburgh Pirates interest the Yankees. Jose Tabata is the start of talks for those, but the rumor says that the deal could expand to include Ian Snell and/or Jason Bay. That would be a good deal for the Yankees, as they would like have to give up one of Matsui or Damon, one of the Big 3, and then Tabata/Horne in that scenario. They get youth and power production in left, a young and effective starter, as well as a solid lefty specialist.
MAJOR FREE AGENT SIGNINGS AND TRADES OF THE WINTER MEETINGS Below I will list the major signings and trades of the meetings, along with a brief comment next to them.
1. Detroit Tigers acquire 3B Miguel Cabrera and LHP Dontrelle Willis for LHP Andrew Miller, OF Cameron Maybin, C Mike Rabole, and three prospects–This deal empties the Tigers’ farm system, but makes them a powerhouse in the MLB to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees. This leapfrogs them to among the best MLB teams. However Willis or C Ivan Rodriguez will likely have to be flipped to another team due to salary concerns.
2. LA Dodgers Sign CF Andruw Jones to a 2yr/$36.2M contract–Good signing. The Dodgers get Jones for a short-term, re-establishing his value during his peak years as well as not having to commit the big bucks over big years for him.
3. KC Royals Sign OF Jose Guillen to a 3yr/$36M contract–OK deal. Guillen will miss the first 15 games due to an HGH suspension, but he offers a solid, middle-of-the-order power bat with a decent glove and an arm that was once stronger. The Royals will see the beginning of his decline at the latest by the last year of his contract. Considering this, his only average defense, and his bad clubhouse reputation, he is somewhat overpaid. This does show, along with the Gil Meche signing last year, that the Royals are willing to spend to compete.
4. Toronto Blue Jays Agree to 1yr, $3-$4M contract with C Paul LoDuca–LoDuca is a below-average receiver and a below-average bat. Wasted money.
Top 30 Prospects: #3 Jose Tabata November 23, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Jose Tabata, Top 30 Prospects.
Weight: 160 lbs
Drafted: International Signing, 2005, out of Venezuela
Tools: Tabata is a 2-tool player (for now). He has an amazing ability to get base hits everywhere, has plus plus plate discipline, and has a plus glove in the outfield. His power is developing, and the lack of it thus far is explicable as far as a debilitating hamate bone injury.
Performance: Tabata played through said injury all season, until he finally couldn’t in August and his season ended after 103 games. He did, however, hit 5 HRs in the unfriendly-to-hitter’s league that is the FSL. Tabata does have gap power as is, but, again it was largely sapped due to this injury. For as much as he could, however, he mashed the FSL, hitting .307 with 5 HRs and 54 RBI in 411 ABs in 103 G. He walked 33 times and struck out only 70 times, owning a .371 OBP and .392 SLG.
Outlook: Tabata’s wrist injury that has lasted roughly 2 seasons is finally healed–or it’s supposed to be, at least. He should finally develop some power, but there are legitimate concerns considering the importance of the wrists for power production. He probably will never hit 40HRs yearly, but he should develop into a legitimate slugger always in contention for batting titles and showing a nice glove in the outfield. Tabata figures next year to start in AA, and could earn himself a September callup if he excels and impresses.
Ceiling: A, Health: B-, Comparison: Manny Ramirez lite
Yankees Eliminated, Torre’s Future in Doubt October 14, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Austin Jackson, Brett Gardner, Chien-Ming Wang, Eric Duncan, Humberto Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, J. Brent Cox, Joba Chamberlain, Joe Torre, Johan Santana, Jose Tabata, Postseason, Ross Ohlendorf.
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Due to the lack of updating, again, I haven’t mentioned a key event–the Yankees were eliminated. Now, this team had a couple of questions with them–Chien-Ming Wang (after the first game and based on his only other performance against Cleveland), the potential need to overuse Joba with a badly-timed slump by the Viz and the constant ineffectiveness of Farnsworth, and the revitalization of the offense after facing two Cy Young candidates. I felt that if the Yankees would have found a way to win this series, they were going all the way. Of course, they didn’t, and they are now stuck looking forward to Spring Training.
This loss doesn’t hurt as much as others, a point on which I agree on with the folks at the Bronx Block. Yes, what could have been is intriguing, but in a way, I was looking forward to see the likes of Marcos V. (can’t spell his last name), Eric Duncan, Juan Miranda, Ross Ohlendorf, and Alan Horne get their appropriate roles assigned, as well as seing Humberto Sanchez and J. Brent Cox come back from elbow surgery and win bullpen spots. There’s also David Robertson seemingly coming out of nowhere. Then there’s Jose Tabata, AJax, and Brett Gardner getting to big league camp and going off to their appropriate levels (that is, Tabata-AA, AJax–AA, Gardner–AAA/MLB). And, most obviously, I look forward to Mike Mussina being gone, Chien-Ming Wang packaged with Jeff Marquez or someone else for Johan Santan (just dreaming…), and Phil Hughes, Joba, and IPK winning rotation spots. Yankee fans, whether this loss is disheartening or not, there is a very bright future ahead of us.
Joe Torre’s future is also in doubt. If he leaves, I am ambivalent, because as nice a guy he is with great people skills, he’s 67 and won’t manage forever. That said, I am not thrilled with the Phil Garners or, until yesterday, Dusty Bakers of the world. Tony LaRussa, as a scout told the Daily News the other day, is not a long-term solution with horrible people skills. Don Mattingly probably needs another year or two as bench coach to be ready to manage, and Joe Girardi’s problems with Florida ownership scare me. The best bet is Torre for two years.
Sorry, bloggers… August 20, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Chien-Ming Wang, Detroit Tigers, Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata, Steven White.
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…but weekends aren’t my thing…I will try to rectify myself, but darn it is hard.
As you know, the Yankees won a HUGE series against the Detroit Tigers, 3-1, from Thursday to Sunday. It was a good series overall, with good offensive and pitching performances, except Chien-Ming Wang.
Also, Jose Tabata is out for the year with the long-rumored hamate bone injury, and he had surgery to remove it. Hopefully he can leave Tampa next year and race through the Yankees’ system.
Steven White should replace Jeff Karstens as the long man/spot starter, as EJ Fagan at MVN Pending Pinstripes pointed out, and he is a lefty. Karstens’s 2006 season was a fluke, but White has had a solid minor league career.
Yankees’ Organization Depth August 14, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Austin Jackson, Carmen Angelini, Eduardo Nunez, Frankie Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jose Tabata, Mitch Hilligoss.
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The Yankees should really try to upgrade their offensive organizational depth, because many of their overpaid veterans…er, stars…(Hideki Matsui, Bobby Abreu, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada) won’t be around forever, and there aren’t enough good prospects to replace them.
Hideki Matsui’s Probable Replacement: Austin Jackson
Matsui may get a one-year deal when his 4/yr, $52 million deal to hold the seat for Jackson. Now, Austin Jackson may/may not be a fluke with his FSL performance, as he has hit only .186 this month, but until next year I would not fully consider him a top-flight prospect until I see more of him next year. He has drawn comparisons to a Marquise Grissom–pretty good.
Bobby Abreu’s Probable Replacement: Jose Tabata
Abreu probably gets a one-year, $8 million deal after the season to hold the seat for one of these two toolsy outfilder. Jose Tabata needs to develop power, but he likely has a hamate bone injury to explain his current DL stint. However, he is an RBI and average machine, and he probably will develop power, as he is 18 and still filling out his body.
Derek Jeter’s Probable Replacement: Eduardo Nunez, Mitch Hilligoss, or Carmen Angelini
Now, Jeter’s contract runs into 2010, so there’s no rush to fill in for him yet. However, his range and speed is declining, though his bat is very constant. He could be a DH for the last two years, or he could be moved to CF (though Melky Cabrera is seemingly entrenched there). Eduardo Nunez was an undrafted FA in 2005, signed by the Yankees. In Staten Island (short-season A), he excelled, hitting .313 with 3 HR’s, but his his average has dipped ever since. His numbers scream lack of home run power, as he has just 10 home runs over three seasons, but even worse, just one this year.
Mitch Hilligoss also has no power–4 so far this season–and is already 22, so he has likely filled out his body. I don’t know about his fielding, since I only read free scouting reports and I don’t read subscriber material, but I’m sure I have read elsewhere sometime that it was pretty good.
Carmen Angelini is the best bet to take Jeter’s place. He is the Yankee’s 10th-round draft choice, out of Louisiana High School. He has good speed and power, and has played third base out of deference for SS Josh Prince (now with the University of Texas). His line:
AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.433 150 58 65 14 8 6 52 38
Great numbers, really, in high school. However, signability is an issue because he has a commitment to Rice.
Jason Giambi’s Probable Replacement: Jesus Montero
Giambi is gone as soon as he has the option available. Jesus Montero is a catcher, 17 or 18 years old and was signed out of Venezuela. Is a hefty 6’3″, 225lbs (bad-body type), and may outgrow the catcher position. Projects to have tons of power (40-50 HR type), and has plenty of time to develop. However, he will probably grow out the catcher position and play first base or DH. This is his first year in the minors, after his international signing, and has gotten hot since slumping after an ankle sprain to begin his GCL Yankees career. He also shares another thing with Giambi–allegedly, Montero failed a drug test, which caused the Yankees to lower his signing bonus.
Jorge Posada’s Probable Replacement: Augustine Romine/Francisco Cervelli
Posada is 36, but he started catching at 25, so he has 2-3 years left in him. Augustine Romine, the Yankee’s 2nd round pick this year, has an average to good bat, an excellent arm (80 out of 80 on scouting scale), and great defensive skills. He was very unknown until the Yankees drafted him at pick #80.
Twenty-year-old Francisco Cervelli used to be a switch-hitting shortstop, but the Yankees converted him to a right-handed-hitting shortstop. He runs very well for a catcher (but wasn’t considered fast as a shortstop) and is very patient at the plate, taking many walks. He is very agile as a catcher and has a great arm. He broke out offensively in short-season Staten Island last season after two sub-par seasons in 2004 and 2005. The Yankees started him at Tampa (Hi A) this season, and has been slumping since June, but still takes his walks. His slugging is low (.387) as he only has 2 HR’s, but has 24 doubles and 2 triples. His ETA is 2009.
This put in perspective, I am not sold on all these options. As I said, I’m not 100% sold on Austin Jackson, although he is pretty darn good. Angelini is the best shortstop option, but there may be someone better next year. Regardless, I’m able to give both a chance, and they’ll probably succeed. However, I’m not sure about the catcher situtation, because, although big bat/big defense catchers are rare to come by, there’s not a lot of substance there. However, having a league-average catcher is OK. Having a league-average Yankee lineup is not.
Information from the Baseball Cube, MVN–Pending Pinstripes, and Minor League Baseball were used in this post.
Top Yankees’ Hitting Prospects July 26, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, Eric Duncan, Jesus Montero, Jose Tabata, Juan Miranda, Justin Snyder, Mitch Hilligoss, Tim Battle.
I am just listing the Yankees’ hitting prospects, without scouting reports. (Name, position, level)
1. Jose Tabata, OF, A+
2. Jesus Montero, C, GCL
3. Juan Miranda, 1B, AA
4. Mitch Hilligoss, 3B, A
5. Eduardo Nunez, SS, A
6. Brett Gardner, CF, AAA
7. Justin Snyder, 2B, Short-season A
8.. Gerardo Rodriguez, C/1B, RK
9. Tim Battle, OF, A+
10. Josue Calzado, RF, A
11. Marcos Vechionnaci, SS/3B, A+
12. Francisco Cervelli, C, A+
13. Eric Duncan, 1B, AAA
14. Bronson Sardhina, OF, AAA