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

Friday, January 26, 2018 [Gleyber] Torres, Tatis Jr. lead Top 10 SS Prospects list

Last year’s shortstop list started the same way this one does, with the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres atop it. The Braves’ Dansby Swanson and Amed Rosario of the Mets graduated off, but Torres joins six other holdovers from 2017.

The Top 10
1. Gleyber Torres, Yankees More »
2. Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres More »
3. Bo Bichette, Blue Jays More »
4. Brendan Rodgers, Rockies More »
5. Royce Lewis, Twins More »
6. Willy Adames, Rays More »
7. J.P. Crawford, Phillies More »
8. Franklin Barreto, A’s More »
9. Jorge Mateo, A’s More »
10. Nick Gordon, Twins More »


--Posted at 11:55 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)


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Two thoughts occur to me looking at that list: I can’t wait to watch Gleyber play this season. And wow, that list is stacked! Considering how many great middle shortstops and middle infielders there are already, its wild to see another crop rapidly approaching. I do think Tatis ends up playing 3B (Luis Urias is likely the Pads future SS) Gleyber plays 2B, and wouldn’t be surprised if Mateo lands in CF long-term.

Looks like the Yankees got the wrong Bichette.

I would keep him at SS (if not now, then move him there soon) and consider moving Didi if they were overwhelmed.  His lack of walks concerns me longer-term, and he’s about to get more expensive.

Watching Tatis’s father hit 2 grand slams in one inning was really really cool.

If we believe in Montgomery, in his having really any appreciable upside beyond what we saw last year, then I hope they make no more moves.

I’m not even hoping for more upside from Montgomery.  If he’s a reasonably healthy 2.5 WAR pitcher I’ll take it.

If Monty is a reasonably healthy 2.5 WAR pitcher, he’s a shoe-in for the HOP.

Now you’re just being plain silly.

If you’re guaranteed, that, sure. If you’re not, then upside is necessary to compensate for downside. You don’t want to be relying upon what you consider a ceiling.

Now you’re just being plain silly.

No, just drubk-blogging away a Friday night.

I can’t wait until 2048 when we are all marveling as the third generation of the Tatis dynasty is coming up through the minors.  Fernando Tatis Junior Jr. will certainly be something special.

[6] - If reasonably healthy I think you could expect 25-50 more innings out of him post rookie season which at last year’s performance level would put him as a 3-4 win pitcher. I think you are right and can’t realistically expect more than that from him.

There are a few Yankees (like Hicks, and maybe even Judge) that almost have to regress.

I would bet good money on Judge regressing.  He has a higher chance of being a 3 win player going forward than an 8 win player.

[12] Of course, you can say that about literally anyone in baseball other than Mike Trout.

I was just highlighting that people tend to overlook the overwhelming likelihood that Judge will never match last season. Judge had an out of nowhere season at age 25. Expecting another MVP (or maybe even all-star) performance isn’t really justified to me.

Yeah, they were saying the same about Trout in the winter of 2013.

We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

Is there any data around previous players who put up 8 WAR in their rookie year and then just die off to being a 2 WAR player the rest of their career ?

Found some.

Billy Grabarkewitz put up 6.5 in his rookie year for the LAD in ‘70. Played 5 more years riding the bench for a bunch of teams, never put up more than 0.8 WAR and got very few PA. 46% of his career PA came in his one good season.

Donie Bush was a 6.5 WAR rookie in 1909 for DET. Played 16 seasons, posted a few seasons in the 5’s and a few in the 3’s.

Both were light-hitting middle infielders - not exactly Judge’s profile.

A more direct comp would be Chicago’s 6’5” RF Jason Heyward, who posted 6.4 WAR as a rookie for ATL. Still active, in 8 seasons has three in the 6’s and a 5.8, with a few 2’s and 3’s (and one 1.6 season).

And include Trout, of course - still such a small number of cases as to be statistically meaningless, I imagine.

I’m hardly dead certain that last year was his norm; I’m not convinced, though, we have any idea whether he’s more likely to retain or improve upon this level than to become a 3 WAR player.

I’d be a lot more worried if he didn’t put up late August and September.

[18] He was also very good overall in the post season, despite being ice-cold in the Cleveland series (or shut down).

FWIW, zips has him at 4.7 WAR. Steamer says 3.9.  I have him at 4.1265895 WAR.


Of course everyone knows that pie are round.

My expectations of a guy who just hit 52 homers with great defense in right-field are relatively high.

Considering the elevated strikeout rate league-wide Judge’s strikeout rate is very comparable to Jim Thome who has a speech scheduled in Cooperstown this summer. I think its for a frankfurter convention or something.

[24] Sausage rally?

(24) with Jack Morris in the HOF, yeah frankfurter convention indeed.

I’d be a lot more worried if he didn’t put up late August and September.

Absolutely. His strong finish really helped ease any worries about him (plus it put to rest any moronic “The Home Run Derby somehow hurt him…just because” theories).

That said, I suspect we’ll see a bit of the same “Great in the regular season, not so much in the playoffs” results from him, as he just seems lost against the top fastball pitchers in baseball, and that’s often who you face in the playoffs. He eats the mediocre alive, which is more than enough for a great season overall, and I’ll be more than happy with something like that, but I think that they’ll need to see some other guys step up in the playoffs.

Probably in the minority in this one, but I’d still like to see the Yankees sign someone like Duda as Bird-surance and DH ABs.

Sterling HR call prediction:  Stanton hits it to Scranton.

That said, I suspect we’ll see a bit of the same “Great in the regular season, not so much in the playoffs” from him

He had two good series (well 1 good series and one good play in game) and one bad series. I think it’s a little premature to write him off in the playoffs.

It will be “Stanton delivers !”

Or should be.

[29] Axisa suggested the wonderful “Stanton drops the mike”

[28]  Thing is, there are no DH ABs available.  Assuming you don’t want Sanchez catching more than 110 Gs, he needs 30-40 Gs at DH.  Then when facing a RHP, one of Gardner, Judge, or Stanton needs to DH to get all three bats in the lineup.

I’d have both Judge and Stanton take some reps at 1B in ST.  Hell, Ellsbury too.

Judge in the playoffs/vs. top fastball pitchers: after just one season, I don’t think continuing adjustments are out of the question, do you, Brian?

[33] Sanchez, Judge, and Stanton will no doubt take probably half the DH ABs. Gardner’s OPS+ last year was 104. The last 3 years it was 100. His isn’t a bat that needs to be in the lineup if he isn’t in the field. Ellsbury is a 4th OF for a reason. If he’s getting ABs, it’s because something bad happened.

Then there is the very real possibility Bird misses significant time. Who is the backup for him? Austin?

RAB podcast remarkably not-shambolic this week, as they have Keith Law on and let him do most of the talking for the first ~40 mins.

When’s the RLYW podcast? Part 1: Defensive metrics explained (1 of 99)

[32] I think people give Sterling a little too much credit.  My guess:

“Stanton is outstandin’!”

“Scranton” seems likely.
Or “plants one - in the seats”

Why “delivers?”

Stand and deliver, I think?

“Jaaaawwn, This Stanton home run brought to you by Gian-CARLO Rossi. Carlo Rossi wine: for when you want to get drunk like a college freshman looking for a sophisticated binge drink.”

Judge in the playoffs/vs. top fastball pitchers: after just one season, I don’t think continuing adjustments are out of the question, do you, Brian?

He couldn’t hit the top fastball pitchers all season and then he couldn’t hit them in the playoffs. I don’t think there’s any real adjustment to make there.

The Indians had a bunch of top fastball guys while the Astros only had one (and their one fastball guy owned Judge).

Judge DID do a great job adjusting to the Astros throwing him constant breaking balls away, but then they adjusted and began throwing him nothing but curves and he couldn’t adjust to that.

I think Judge can adjust to teams trying to pitch him a certain way, but I don’t think he’s likely to adjust past a clear vulnerability to great fastballs. LOTS of hitters have that problem, it’s just that Judge is so good that it stands out more.

Maybe Judge will be this generations Arod. Pointed to when the Yankees don’t score as if it is all on him. No one hit the Astro pitching in games 6 and 7.

Very probable. That’s why I hope someone else is able to step up.

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