The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Minor League Ball: Sickels: New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects for 2012

1) Jesus Montero, C-DH, Grade A: What he did in the majors last year was not a fluke. It was at the high end of expectation, yes, and I wouldn’t expect him to hit like that over 500 plate appearances at age 22. He may need some adjustment time, but his bat is truly outstanding and he wasn’t just getting lucky. His glove isn’t very good and while he’s not a complete player in terms of contributing speed or defense, his hitting is so strong he still gets a Grade A from me.

2) Gary Sanchez, C, Grade B+: Excellent power production in full-season ball at age 18; that is rare. His glove needs work and he needs to take his career more seriously, but he has time to outgrow emotional immaturity.

3) Manny Banuelos, LHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. He got a B last year and I can’t bump his grade up a notch given the command difficulties he had in Double-A. He’s still a fine prospect, however, projecting as a number three starter if all goes well.

4) Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. He’s got plenty of stuff but command wobbles prevent the B+ at this time. Ceiling is a tad higher than Banuelos, but I’m less confident that he’ll reach it. Depending on what happens with his command, he could develop into anything from a number two starter to a disappointing mop-up man.

5) Mason Williams, OF, Grade B: We need to see him higher than the New York-Penn League, but he showed progress with both the bat and the glove. Main question is how much power he’ll develop. Grade may be a bit aggressive.

Overall, there were a few glitches last year but the farm system is in good shape. They have a mixture of tools upside and players with polish. The pitching at the lower levels could use a boost and it will be interesting to see what their draft strategy is under the new CBA.

Williams looks very interesting to me.  CAIRO loves him, considering how it generally treats prospects.

80% 600 550 76 160 26 6 16 65 27 10 47 98 4 6 .291 .354 .449 .353 84 23
65% 550 504 65 141 22 5 13 56 23 11 40 95 5 4 .279 .335 .418 .332 68 12
Baseline 500 458 56 122 18 3 10 47 18 11 33 91 6 3 .267 .317 .387 .310 53 2
35% 450 412 47 105 14 2 8 39 15 12 27 86 6 2 .255 .298 .356 .289 40 -5
20% 400 367 39 89 11 1 6 32 11 12 22 80 7 1 .243 .280 .324 .267 29 -12

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position

Here’s another article about Williams that might be worth reading.

Is he possibly Nick Swisher’s replacement in RF in 2013?  That seems like wishful thinking but if he can get to AA, who knows?

--Posted at 9:49 am by SG / 19 Comments | - (0)


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Banuelos is a number 3 starter “if all goes well”?  Color me disappointed.

[1] Nothing disappointing about creating a reliable, cheap, multi-WAR player for the rotation. If one of Hughes, Joba or Kennedy had become that for the Yankees everybody might not be bitching about “Yankees can’t develop a pitching prospect”.

Banuelos is a number 3 starter “if all goes well”?

Nova projected as a #4/5 starter if all went well.  Same with Ian Kennedy.  It’s a guessing game really.  Based on what Banuelos did in 2011, that is where Sickels thinks he is now.  If he has a better year in 2012 I’m sure his upside will be re-assessed.

everybody might not be bitching about

You’re new here, aren’t you ?

Tim Dierkes of MLBTR i predicting that Edwin Jackson is going to sign a 4 year 44 million contract. That seems like a no brainer move for the Yankees. What do you think?

Seems like they don’t want to sign any more contracts that run past 2013, so if it’ll take four years to land Jackson I imagine they will pass.

Maybe it’s all a big deke move. Cashman is trying to Farverey us into thinking he’s not going to do anything this off season.

Completely off-topic: Larry Fitzgerald is really good at football.

[3]  Oh, I appreciate the speculative nature of evaluating prospects.  But the “if all goes well” qualifier seemed to imply that Manny’s best-case scenario was to wind up as a no. 3 starter.  I would like to think there’s enough talent there, coupled with youth, to say his potential ceiling is HoFer.  If I thought Manny’s realistic ceiling was as a number 3, then I’d trade him and Betances in a heartbeat for Matt Garza, given the odds of any prospect’s actually reaching his ceiling.  Garza’s a no. 2 in my mind. 

I guess I’m also nursing the impression that the real difference-makers are the no. 1s and no. 2s.  The elite teams aren’t trying to get a no. 1, a no. 2, and no. 3, etc. down the line; they’re trying to get as many 1s and 2s as possible.  (Of course, only TWN has succeeded in constructing an entire staff of aces.)  I tend to think that the no. 3-5s are valuable mainly in getting to the playoffs, but that the 1s and 2s are the real difference-makers in October.  So putting Banuelos in the potential “3” category makes him seem like a valuable part of a future Yankees roster, but not someone I’d feel great about seeing start in a playoff game.

[8] That one-handed catch in OT was ridiculous.

I tend to think that the no. 3-5s are valuable mainly in getting to the playoffs, but that the 1s and 2s are the real difference-makers in October.

Ask the 2011 Phillies about that.

I think you should just make it to that crapshoot and hope a centaur steps up to carry you.

I tend to think that the no. 3-5s are valuable mainly in getting to the playoffs, but that the 1s and 2s are the real difference-makers in October.

You mean like the 2011 Phillies?

EDIT 1: should have refreshed I guess.

EDIT 2: my son says he’s going to wear #11 next football season in honor of that catch.

[9] I think in terms of probability “ceiling” means for you something around the 99th percentile, while for Sickels it is likely closer to the 80th percentile.

Do those CAIRO figures predict what Mason Williams would hit if he played in the major leagues in 2012? It seems amazing that someone who has never played above A- ball could be expected to hit .267 if he played in the majors, and even has a 20% chance of a very acceptible weighted OBA of .353.

Putting aside the whole prediction vs projection thing, yes, those CAIRO figures would be for Williams playing in MLB in 2012.

Remember, Matt Weiters was the third best player in the American League the year before he made his major-league debut.  rolleyes

It seems amazing that someone who has never played above A- ball could be expected to hit .267 if he played in the majors

I don’t think .267 is all that amazing if it comes with a .317 OBP and a .387 SLG for an OF, even a CF.  It’s basically saying he’s replacement level right now.

But yeah, for a kid who hasn’t gotten past A ball that’s actually a good projection.  I wouldn’t bet 10 cents on it being very useful but it does make him someone I’ll be following more closely in 2012.  What’s encouraging is that the scouting reports think he’s got the tools to be a very good player.

[8] Just checked out some random compilation on youtube - am I wrong or does his QB throw extraordinarily ugly spirals?

[14] CAIRO has a pro-Weiters bias.  It is known.

CAIRO has a pro-Weiters bias.  It is known.

For the hell of it I projected Wieters as a Yankee in CAIRO and it created anti-matter.

[18] So you’re saying you solved the energy crisis, and THIS is what you’re doing with your knowledge?

I tend to think that the no. 3-5s are valuable mainly in getting to the playoffs, but that the 1s and 2s are the real difference-makers in October.

Or look at Andy Pettitte in the 2009 playoffs.  Having a solid #3 (2-3 WAR pitcher) is damn useful in the playoffs.  Especially if you have the offense and bullpen to shorten the game to 6 innings, and beat up up the #4 pitcher masquerading as a #3 for your oppenent.  Plus of course, getting that #3 pitcher for the regular season is easier said than done.  If Manny becomes a #3 as early as 2013 for the Yankees, and never gets above that (maybe a few seasons resembling a #2), that’s still worth keeping around.

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