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

Monday, January 22, 2018

MLB: Yanks’ Solak thriving in march through Minors

NEW YORK—As he ascends to the higher levels of the Minor Leagues, Nick Solak has merited praise as a “winning-type player who can hit and has real attributes that are clutch,” as Yankees director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer recently said.

MLB Pipeline has agreed, announcing on Monday that they rate Solak as the No. 5 second-base prospect in all of baseball. The 23-year-old Solak played well at two levels of the Yankees’ system last year, and though he is pegged to begin 2018 in the Double-A Eastern League, a big league promotion may not be far off.

You wonder what the Yankees will do with Solak if Miguel Andujar ends up establishing himself at 3B and Gleyber Torres does the same at 2B.  Would they trade Didi (HalCap™!) to save a bit of money and throw Torres at short?

I guess that’s a good example of a first world problem so let’s hope it comes to fruition.

--Posted at 9:27 am by SG / 84 Comments | - (0)


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BA released their top 100 today.

Yankees have 6
Torres - 6
Florial - 38
Sheffield - 41
Andujar - 59
Abreu - 77
Adams - 81

Braves have eight, Brewers, Padres, Rays also have six.  Interestingly, Jorge Mateo, Jorge Guzman and Dustin Fowler are on the list.  So in theory, the Yankees could have had nine.

Gleyber got robbed.

for other lists, has been rolling out their top 10 by postion with top 100 and top 30 per team to come out in the coming weeks.

Sheffield is the #3 LHP
Solak is the #5 2B

I imagine that Torres, Andujar and Florial will make appearances at SS, 3B and OF as they are released later this week.

Torres is the #1 SS in BA’s list, Andujar is the #4 3B and Florial is the #9 OF.  So yes, good chance they will be listed.

[3] Gleyber was likely robbed by the injury.

[6] Yeah, although I think Acuna, Jimenez and Vlad Jr. all had big enough seasons that they might have passed a healthy Torres anyway.

Vlad Jr is going to be a nightmare of an opponent. Will HalCap still be in place for his FA pursuit in 2026?

You know what is a nightmare ? Checking for 4 days and still seeing the most recent Yankee rumor involve Nunez.

Also a nightmare: Nunez tears it up in April and the yanks trade Andujar.

If he hadn’t been hurt, he might well be off the list completely.  He probably would have gotten a big league callup and might have played enough to lose rookie eligibility.

How often does the 5th best second base prospect in all of baseball become a good major league player? Is there a way to go back and see who the 5th best was in 2005? 2010?

[12] I’m not sure how long the pipeline site has existed, but you can change the url to point to a different year.

It doesn’t look like it goes back past 2015.

11 If he played enough to lose his eligibility that probably means he played pretty damn good.

I doubt they’d trade Didi.  I could see them letting him walk rather than resigning him, though.

[13] Looks like the list goes back to 2011.

For perspective, the 2011 list:

Billy Hamilton
Oscar Tejada
Cesar Hernandez
Delino DeShields
Charlie Culberson
Scooter Gennett
Reese Havens
Jonathn Schoop
Eric Farris
Ryan Adams

For further perspective:
Rob Refsnyder was number six in 2015 and number seven in 2014.

[15] If that’s the case, wouldn’t they be better off getting something for him?

What do the Yankees do with Didi if they sign Machado next year?

[15] I don’t understand why anyone thinks the Yankees don’t want Didi.  His peak years are between now and 2021, and we are getting excellent defsnse combined with good, dare I say clutch, offense from him.  Why on earth would we want to rid ourselves of this known quantity?

[19] There are a lot of indicators he was lucky last year, he still doesn’t have much plate discipline and he’s not really an excellent defender according to the numbers.

And clutch isn’t a skill.

[18]  Didi’s good, but not good enough that you worry about it.

If they can sign Machado, and Machado want to play SS, Didi gets moved.  Either to another position, or in the absolute best case scenario, where Torres and Andujar are both great in 2017, you trade him.

Did’s social media game has to count for something.

[21] Say just Torres pans out and it’s Machado and Torres and Machado wants SS.  Didi as a third basemen?

It’s kind of crazy that two of the top six prospects were traded by the Cubs.

Plus, it is also kind of crazy that three of the top nine prospects are the sons of former Major League players (too bad that the Yankees drafted the shitty son of Dante Bichette).

[24]  MLB teams do emphasize “pedigree” and you can see why—playing catch with a major league dad has got to be great for your game when you’re a kid.  I mean, it didn’t work out with Dante Jr., but if someone (not me) did a study I bet you’d find a lot of kids of former players in the majors, even former MiL players.

Some are even managers

I think being the son of a former Major Leaguer helps you get into the Majors, but it’s still surprising to see them all ranked so high.

Obviously, some of the greatest players of all-time were the sons of former Major Leaguers, but it seems like guys like Bonds and Griffey tend to be the exceptions and not the rule.

Most sons of former big leaguers seem to be more of the Bret Boone/Aaron Boone variety. Good players, but were not stud prospects coming up.

Just did some quick research.

There are 44 sons of Major Leaguers playing pro ball this year that made it to the Majors at one point or another in their career. That shows you that it DOES have an impact.

Of those 44, though, only three were ever top 20 prospects:

Cody Bellinger
Joc Pederson
Andy LaRoche

And only four more were ever top 30 prospects:

Kyle Drabek
Casey Kelly
Jayson Werth
Dee Gordon

(And it’s probably a stretch to call Drabek a pro ball player still)

I see Drabek is trying to turn himself into an infielder in his 30s. Good for him.

Without looking anything up:
(son was a Yankee)
Tom Tresh
Robinson Cano
Nick Swisher
Roy Smalley Jr.
Ike Davis
Steve Trout
Mike Hegan

(Dad was a Yankee)
The LaRoche Bros
Jason Werth
Barry Bonds
Ken Griffey Jr.
Lance McCullers
Shawn Tolleson
Dale Berra

I always figured Dale Berra played on the Yankees because his dad was a Yankee.

[23]  Sure.  Or you trade him.

But, it can’t hurt having 3 SS in the infield.

MLBTR “10:45pm: The Cubs are “having active talks” with Darvish, according to a report from the Associated Press. That said, it’s also clear from the report that there is no agreement in place.

Speculation surrounding the connection between Darvish and the Cubs already increased earlier tonight, as it emerged that the club has a deal in place with catcher Chris Gimenez — who once forged a strong bond with Darvish when the two played with the Rangers.”

Maybe Arrieta might end up being willing to take a shitty contract.

[23] Torres would profile much better at 3b than Didi. Didi plays 2b.

[36] - Why lower Torres value by playing him at 3b? I’m more on board with [33] and suggest trading him.

Because the question was: [21] Say just Torres pans out and it’s Machado and Torres and Machado wants SS.  Didi as a third basemen?

And Torres profiles better at 3b than Didi. It was not too long ago scouts thought he would move off SS to 3b as he grows and adds size to his frame.

Also, isn’t 3b/2b relatively similar on the scale of positional value? Just looking at players value from 2017, most 2b/3b are around +1.5-2 runs on the positional adjustment.

From NY Post “Gleyber Torres is among a handful of young players already at the team’s complex in Tampa, ready to begin his attempt to win a starting infield job in The Bronx this season as he comes back from Tommy John surgery last year on his non-throwing elbow.

“He’s been begging to play baseball for three months now,” Reese said Monday. “He’s ready to go, but we want to give him a little bit at a time. He’s in good shape and we’re excited about him.”’

And Torres profiles better at 3b than Didi.

What I heard about Torres is that he struggles with the long throws where as one of Didi’s strengths is arm strength. 

Didi has the most value as a SS (well everyone does) but if Torres plays well this year and they sign Machado then it would seem trading Didi to a team that needs a SS is the best way to capitalize on his value.

Did anyone see who is replacing the current Yankee manager on his old job on ESPN?  Hint: Its the same guy who replaced him as Yankees’ third baseman.

So A-Rod is going to be the new Yankee manager in 2028?

[22] This should be factored in to his 2018 projections.

[41] The ability to watch ESPN games just went up.

[40] Agreed, depending on the circumstances at that point in time. Just took the original question as where do you play who if no one is traded.

Wow, the ESPN games might actually be fun to watch now. I bet A-Rod and Mendoza will have excellent chemistry (mostly because A-Rod has excellent chemistry with most people).

If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be super excited to hear a former Yankee on ESPN and it was going to be A-Rod, I’d have been puzzled at your choice of player. But now it seems to make perfect sense! Looking forward to it.

What’s the over/under on how many weeks before A-Rod is suspended for making a move on his co-host ?

He has that in him.

Too bad Jessica Mendoza is sticking around. gave Andujar the nod for #3 3B prospect

NJ.Com “Law ranked shortstop Gleyber Torres the No. 5 best prospect in baseball while he had lefty Justus Sheffield at No. 16. That was in addition to three others making the back half of his list, released Monday: third baseman Miguel Andujar (54), righty Freicer Perez (73) and righty Albert Abreu (99).”

No Florial? No Chance?  Freicer Perez?

[51] Law often has a relatively unique take on prospects.

Florial missing and Sheffield that high are almost equally surprising.

anyone ever test whose takes on prospects tend to be more predictive?

Should the Yankees trade for yellich? I’d give up a bunch of prospects for him and the of course trade gardner because that’s what we always say.

53 My question and good question.  With all the stats someone must’ve compiled some numbers.

Post-hoc analysis of prospects is relatively untapped in an otherwise saturated market. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one has published something like that.

I would love to see how organizational rankings look with the benefit of hindsight.

[41] Shouldn’t the answer be Mike Lamb?

[52] I remember Law tweeting about Sheffield during the AFL. He was in love.

Totally missed this yesterday, but gave Vlad Jr. an 80 hit tool. The first 80 hit they’ve ever given out.

For reference they gave Torres a 70 (and fellow Toronto prospect Bo Bichette a 70 as well).

[58] True, he was definitely talking up Sheffield as a potential front line starter.

Holy crap, according to BR, the Yankees were 11+ wins better than the Red Sox last year?

And about 10 on fangraphs?

[53] I’m pretty sure the answer is nobody.

Not nobody.  But… almost nobody.

Somebody did this a couple years ago:

We all already know this, but the Hall of Fame ballot is moronic. You can’t have 9 guys over 50%. It’s just idiotic. The ballot is clearly too small for the various competing agendas out there.

Congratulations to former coveted Yankee target Vlad Guerrero for making the HoF. Also congrats to Mets antagonist and Yankees WS victim Chipper Jones on his historic day.

My solution to this is to have my own hall and hold my own elections - yeah, that’s what I’ll call them - without consulting the writers. Bam! Instant calm.

I can tell you all right now, that I would visit the Hall Of Pedro. I think this has the chance to right a lot of wrongs, and also get Jim Rice the non-recognition he deserves.

As long as Roy White is properly recognized.

Hoffman is a joke.

The whole thing is a joke.

“You’re not worthy in Year 9, but Year 10, suddenly you’ll be worthy!”

So dumb.

To me that makes sense. Chipper Jones and Griffey get it year 1. Jim Rice gets in his last year. Some don’t like that but I have no problem with it.

Pin, if merited nonrecognition is your thing, my hall has the power to make you a happy man.

sd2528, Brian… shall we say pistols at dawn?

[leaves it set on a tee and slides off to watch]

[70] Nothing is a joke as long as Vlad is in. Greatest hitter of all time.

Hoffman getting in makes me think Mo might get in unanimously

I don’t agree with the idea of making people wait just for the heck of it, but that said, I also don’t have a big problem with the notion of reserving first year elections for just the best of the best. Fine, do that, but beyond that, it’s super-douchey to say, “Year 8? Eh, not yet. Year 9, okay, suddenly you’re almost worthy - Year 10 we’ll determine that you’re worthy.”

It’s just a bunch of assholes being, well, you know, a bunch of assholes.

[74] - I don’t get Vlad getting in over Manny. Didn’t they both use the same trainer that got banned from MLB clubhouses for steroids?

I don’t get Vlad getting in over Edgar.

I mean, Vlad should probably in the HOF. But Edgar was a better hitter. Straight up.

And when I say “I don’t get”, I do get it. The Narrative.

Vlad had a canon arm and could hit pitches that bounced! Edgar was a dirty DH.

Edgar will get in next year, removing the “He was only a DH” hurdle for Ortiz.

People do seem to have forgotten that Ortiz also failed a steroid test

[80] Being affable counts, plus ESPN’s campaign to proclaim him teh greatest clutch hitter of all time (until Jeter had a better “clutch year”, then you never heard about that “close & late” stat on TV again).

[78] I was trying to explain to my wife last night that Vlad hit a bounced pitch, she was not comprehending.

[81] [78] See Vlad hit the bounced ball at

I don’t get Vlad getting in over Manny. Didn’t they both use the same trainer that got banned from MLB clubhouses for steroids?

A lack of logical consistency is a big part of the Hall’s ground rules, it appears.

See also “Jeff Bagwell, you have to wait,  because we’re suspicious of you. Jim Thome, though, clearly YOU’RE clean for no real reason.”

The other stuff that shocks me is how quickly they decide certain players are not worthy. Really it took you just one election to decide that Kenny Lofton, Jorge Posada and Johan Santana were not Hall of Famers?

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