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

Monday, February 5, 2018 The futures of Yankees’ top prospects | Beat reporters talk

Yankees beat reporters Brendan Kuty and Randy Miller discuss the futures of the organization’s top prospects.
They used Baseball America’s top 10 ranking as reference. No. 7, RHP Jorge Guzman, was omitted since the Yankees have since traded him to Miami.

--Posted at 11:24 am by SG / 128 Comments | - (0)


Page 1 of 2 pages:  1 2 >

I think the take away from this is “trade Gardner”.

Gleyber Torres: Public defender, Baltimore Maryland.

Estevan Florial: Editor, National Lampoon Magazine.

Justus Sheffield: Nixon White House Aide.

Chance Adams: Gynecologist, Beverly HIlls, California.

Miguel Andujar: Killed in Vietnam by his own troops.

Albert Abreu: Sensitivity trainer, Encounter Groups of Cleveland, Inc.

Luis Medina: Whereabouts unknown.

Domingo Acevado: Tour guide, Universal Studios, Hollywood, California.

Senator and Mrs. Clint Frazier: Washington, D.C.


So, Luis Medina is the one who ends up playing Ralph Houk?

Toddfather to the Mutts.

Frazier at 8.5 million a year is just a great bargain. I wish the Yankees would’ve signed him

The fact that I’d prefer to go with Gleyber and Andujar at 2nd & 3rd doesn’t mean that I’m not sorry to see Todd F. really go. I didn’t want him, but by the end I really liked him.

Hmmm.  Not signing T Frazier does suggest something else is in the works.  Like the Yankees working frantically to dump some part of Ellbury’s salary so they can sign Darvish.

Man, Frazier for $8.5 million per on a two-year deal is so relatively cheap. The HalCap is such a piece of shit.

[7] This is what we said when Headley got traded. I don’t think they have a bunch of moves lined up, they just want the cash.

Toddfather would have been good Birdsurance too in case of another injury.

[8] is this Halcap or do they just not want him for two years? If Frazier signs for a bargain price so might others, who also might take a one year deal.

If its Andujar/Gleyber plus another starting pitcher, sign me up.

A key reason why I would’ve signed him was they only had to pay him 500k if they traded him.  That would’ve given the Yankees a lot of flexibility

is this Halcap or do they just not want him for two years?

Oh, true, I said “HalCap,” but I really didn’t mean it specifically about this year. That’s my bad. What do you call it when they clearly plan to be cheap fucks for the foreseeable future? It’s not HalCap, per se, because that’s just about this year. So whatever you call that, that’s what I am pissed about.

Because Frazier for $17 million over two, which would keep them well under the HalCap for this year, lock in an awesome lineup this year AND give them a ton of flexibility next season is just so perfect and they’re not doing it because they’d prefer not to pay Frazier $8.5 million next year for a non-guaranteed role (despite him being COMPLETELY tradeable at that price next season). And that’s annoying.

Without an NTC that would’ve been a good deal for Cash. Does he have something else lined up? Is he saving up for a big deadline splash?

You know what’s annoying?  Talking about how the Yankees have to save money.  That’s not directed at anyone here, but the last time I wet to the Stadium it cost me blood money.  I could have had top-line sushi for all that I squandered to see the Yankees get crushed.

Now granted, a Nathan’s dog at the ballpark is a fine thing.  But I could have had unlimited uni and sake for the total I spent. 

I mean unlimited until I threw up.  That would be limiting.

Does he have something else lined up? Is he saving up for a big deadline splash?

I think, for now, he’s hoping that some crazy good deal comes out of waiting out the top free agents.

If nothing comes, then yeah, I think he’ll try to make do with what they have and then made a deadline deal if needed.

That’s the new Major League Baseball. It used to be, “Shit, I better improve my team to match Team X, Y and Z.” Now (outside of the Astros), it is “Eh, let’s see if we can get by with what we have.”

Frazier on the Mets? That thumbs down guy is going to have to give him a thumbs up now.

Eating a Nathan’s at The Stadium* is kind of like singing Christmas Carols to power Santa’s sleigh. It brings Jolly Old Saint Ruth back to put Home Runs in the right field bleachers.

This was a pretty cheap move. Not quite as annoying as letting Russell Martin go a few years back and then not having a real catcher for 2 years…but about that level. Especially if bird gets hurt. Cheapskates.

Unless of course they sign a bigger FA; then forget everything I just said.

Not quite as annoying as letting Russell Martin go a few years back and then not having a real catcher for 2 years…but about that level.

Few things rise to quite that level of cheap fuckery.

[17] He did, NY Post has an article: He gave it a thumbs up.

On the Yankees moves (or lack thereof), there’s probably something to Cashman simply following the plan from last year; rely on youth stepping up, plug in veteran talent where it makes sense (and don’t overpay in doing so), and filling in the voids via trades midseason.

No one realistically expected the turnaround to come as quick as it did last year, but I don’t see why changing up the plan by spending stupidly would be a good idea.

Edit: That said, the Mets got a deal I think, and I wouldn’t have hated that contract had the Yankees offered it.

I don’t see why changing up the plan by spending stupidly would be a good idea.

Absolutely agreed. This, though, would not be spending stupidly.

EDITED TO ADD: Like your edit said. wink

In Cash We Trust.

fangraphs top 100 list dropped yesterday btw. Yankees have 5. Torres a surprising 12 overall and Andujar a perhaps more surprising 14 overall. Sheffield, Abreu and Florial round out the list.

As they note, though, it’s really more about lumping people into tiers. The 70 FV tier (just Ohtei), the 65 FV tier (#2-6 on the list) and the 60 FV tier (#7-23).

So they’re still very high on Torres.

On Effectively Wild the other day they discussed a study that showed top 20 prospects are pretty likely to valuable.  80-100 accumulated less WAR than players who were never on a prospect list.  I may be mangling that slightly, point is, top 20=good, the Yankees won’t win more games based on Torres’ ranking at 1 or 6 or 17.

UJD - how often do #1s totally not make it? I saw an article about #1 draft picks but I assume if there is a listing of #1 prospects for each season we can see the busts…

Why are we assuming Todd Frazier would have been okay signing a 2 year deal with the Yankees if it was for a non-guaranteed role? Frazier can start somewhere.

[21] Is Wright still playing baseball? I wonder about a move to the AL where he can DH.  Would his bat improve without the wear & tear on his body that comes from playing the infield?

[28] This is true. Perhaps they talked to Todd but did say that Andujar is getting a chance to win the job in ST. So, Todd wanted the guaranteed job as being a backup 1B/3B kills any chance of him getting another contract after this one.

[29, 30]
This was really what I wanted to say: anyone worth getting for 3rd or 2nd would have to start there, I’d think. And I don’t want them to start, I’d want them to be insurance. Which is why I’d rather take the risk with the rookies - which really isn’t much of a risk, because in the event they really, really tank - so badly that you can’t wait for a correction - that’s when you go out and get someone.
It’s not like you either get someone now or you’re screwed.

I mean, how bad would ALL four potential options at 2B&3B; (Torreyes, Wade, Andujar, and Torres) have to tank for it to completely sink their offense? And if they were all THAT BAD, how long would Cashman wait to pull the trigger on a trade for a vet?

[32] Picture this: 2B Austin Romine.

[27]  Dunno, you would think someone’s looked at it but if so I don’t think that was mentioned.

It MIGHT be slow if the lead story on MLBTR 5 days before pitchers and catchers report is “Mariners righty David Phelps has hired Jet Sports Management to represent him, according to Jerry Crasnick of”

[27] I believe only 3 #1s haven’t made the ML. The most recent being Mark Appel (2012), who at 26 has yet to crack an ML roster and is “taking a break from baseball.”

Edit: totally missed you were talking about prospects. What does making it mean?

Pre-season pick as #1 prospect who never made the majors at all or had no WAR at all.

Once upon a time the Mets psssed up on Reggie Jackson to draft someone else #1 and Reggie went #2. The met guy never made the majors.

[37] - What do you consider Profar?  I mean yeah, he’s played in MLB but had a 0 WAR.

I should have reloaded before I posted…

[39] That would qualify as “bust”, IMO.

[39/40] Profar is still only 25, and still under control by the Rangers, is he a bust still?

Do they need to accrue WAR in their rookie year? Is he still a bust if he breaks out this year?

The Texas Rangers announced Wednesday they have traded Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to the Yankees for future considerations.

[41] - I think he was demoted back down to the minors.  It’s possible he could still make some sort of impact but I don’t think he is currently on their MLB roster.

[42] Why?

Apparently he’s going to Spring Training. 

Jake Gibbs
John Elway
Drew Henson
Brandon Weeden

as QBs who were in the Yankee organization.  Did I miss any?

[45] They drafted Pat White.

[44] He would do appearances at Rangers ST and it’s a dream of his to play for the NYY so they worked out a trade so he can make his ST appearances with the Yankees instead.

Yeah, but can he play third? He has the arm for it.

In two seasons in the Rockies Organization playing for the Tri-Cities Dust Devils and Asheville Tourists, the only position he played was second base. 

Wilson did put up a .229/.354/.356 in 86 games in 2010 and 2011.  John Elway(.318/.432/.464 at Oneonta in 1982) was a better prospect.  They both chose the correct sport.

So you’re saying Wilson at 2B, Gleyber to 3B, Andujar in AAA?

[42] Guess everyone’s got to have a summer hobby?

How are Wilson’s pig roasting skills ?

The bar for #1 draft picks is simply making the majors, for the purposes of this discussion.  As noted there are only 3 #1 overall draftees who never made the majors.  One was the Yankees’ own Brien Taylor.

For prospects, you may as well set the bar the same—#1 ranked prospects.  That makes it easier in a way, except there are now so many prospect rankings and they update at different times.  Maybe you could limit it by looking at preseason #1s who’d never touched the majors at all.  Or some other way.  There’s a way to break this down, but let the Fangraphs people figure it out, they’ve got fuck-all to do right now.

[53] I feel like the bar for #1 overall prospects should be a bit higher than #1 overall picks.

Maybe like at least one 2 WAR season while under team control? or a minimum aggregate WAR over the 6-7 years of team control. Maybe 5?

I mean, #1 overall prospect is basically can’t miss likely all-star quality. We should expect more than just making the ML.

I just noticed that G Stanton has Nosferatu ears.

He’ll suck the blood out of the competition?

[54]  I want to be clear at the outset that I don’t want to argue this to the death, as we’re just discussing offseason hypotheticals, and besides you can’t unfriend/unfollow me on social media platforms I don’t belong to anyway, so.

It’s pretty difficult to untangle this stuff.

On the one hand, teams spend real money on first round draft picks.  They expect that money to have a tangible return, especially with a top ten or maybe top 15 pick. 

(I think we’ll just leave abut two decades of Yankees first rounders out of this discussion as outlier data.)

Then there are the “expensive” international signings who are kind of similar to top draft picks—Gary Sanchez and Yoan Moncada are examples.

On the other hand, real prospects can come from “nowhere”—let’s say that’s fifth round and below, independent league signings, college/HS kids who sign as undrafted free agents, and cheap international signings of 16 year olds.  Depending on circumstances and development—whether physical maturity, good coaching, innate drive, what have you.

Any of these might end up a #1 prospect on some list, and we know there are prospect writers who admittedly prefer a high-A guy with tools to a AAA guy with a low ceiling.  Which is more valuable?  Who knows?

TL;DR I don’t think we should expect any more out of the prospect rankers who are—not flawed—but come with their own biases, some acknowledged, some not.  Therefore we should mostly, in my opinion, expect the bar for #1 draft choices to be higher. 

Hope I made a coherent case.  Maybe not.

[53] Oh man, Brien Taylor.  Sad…

[55] He will creep up to the plate slowly, no sound.

[57] A very slow and eerie HR trot.

Which he repeats with gruesome frequency under cover of night in the big city for centuries?

Best contract ever.

[58,59] He will not be doing any locker room pressers after the game either, those bright camera lights in his face would cause him to hiss and skulk away while he holds one hand up near his forehead.

[59] The Selig protocol will be invoked and all NYY games will be scheduled as day games.

Yankees sign Shane Robinson. Why?  A better question why would he sign with the Yankees who are 5 deep in the outfield?

First player to hit a home run wearing a heavy shroud.

...and unexplained vanishings of higher-ups in the MLB hierarchy.

[61] Sportswriters comment on paleness, suspect performance enhancing virgin blood.  Turns out Babe Ruth used the same stuff, so the story blows over.

[62] They are acquiring pieces to bundle along with Smells.

Smells plus:
Robinson, Wilson, Hale, Espinosa, Leblanc and Frazier
Plus enough cash to cover all but $8m of Smells.

Somebody takes that, right ?

Frees up that 8 to add to their pocket change and milk money for Darvish.

65 Maybe its pseudo depth for when they trade Gardy or Clint.

Also, before anybody points out that trades don’t work the eay I described in [65], keep in mind that just because I don’t know what I’m talking about doesn’t automatically mean it can’t happen.

[65] - Look at free agency this year and how little teams are interested in handing out contracts.  Do you really think teams are going to take on 3 years of Ellsbury?

He’s not getting moved.

Maybe Stanton-ula can just…you know….

OMG Abreu with appendix surgery.  IT’S ALL HAPPENING AGAIN.

Seriously, I have never met someone who had appendix surgery as an adult.  I believe my mother had hers out as a child, but I can’t even think of anyone in my generation (a sadly aging one) who had appendix surgery as a kid.  What is with these baseball players and their appendices?

Anyone seen Hank lately ?

[70] At least it isn’t season-ending (knocking on wood).

How cheap would Logan Morrison have to be to make sense as the DH/1B?  Ditto Lucas Duda?

(I truly hope they get more money than the Yankees would be willing to offer.)

Have I mentioned how much I hate the idea of using the DH to “rest” and “rotate” players?

Duda would be the 4th best hitter on the team, the other three being plus defenders (well, Stanton and Judge are plus defenders.  Sanchez is debatable, but he’s a catcher, so I’d still call him a plus defender, even if he’s slightly below average—again, debatable.)  LoMo is even better.  Both are able to fit under the HalCap. 

Using those 3 as the primary DHs will eliminate much of their value.  Even with the current plan, there will still be lots of ABs at DH given to Gardner/Ellsbury/someone worse than Ellsbury.  The Yankees have a real hole in their lineup.

Stanton and Judge are plus defenders, but Gardner is better defensively than both of them and Hicks is better than all of them. So they will always have a good defensive outfield (and Ellsbury is good, too, whenever he plays).  It’s not like DHing Judge or Stanton will ever hurt their outfield defense.

Is it sub-optimal that they have so many good outfielders that when Sanchez DHes, they inherently have to bench one of their four best players? Sure, I agree with that, but otherwise, I don’t see DH being a hole in the lineup at all.

Now, hoping rookies work out right away at both third AND second, that’s a lot closer to a “hole” in the lineup than anything else.

Playing Gardner in the OF and DHing Stanton doesn’t hurt the OF defense of the team (in fact, it helps it.)  It does hurt the value of their two most valuable players.  DH Stanton is far less valuable than OF Stanton.  Same with Judge.  DHing them to keep their bat in the lineup is fine, but having that be the plan going into the season so that Gardner can play seems like bad roster construction.  Especially considering the 3 players with a bat worthy of DHing will probably only need less than half of the DH ABs available.

There’s a real possibility that DHing half of their games will ease the wear and tear on Judge/Stanton, thus making them hit even better than normal.

But yes, while I don’t think it’s hurting his value, per se, I do agree that not playing good defenders in the field doesn’t optimize each individual player’s value, but it’s a good problem to have when you have four outfielders who are all good defenders.

I’m fine with that. That still leaves half the season to deal with. Who’s going to DH? Smells?

Ah. Misunderstood. That may be true, but I doubt it would increase the value of their bats enough to offset the positional value loss of having them not play the field.

Your goal is for NYA to win or to maximize the players’ next contracts?

Which team is better - the one with A, B, C and D, who are all great outfielders and great hitters, cycling through the DH spot, or the one with A, B and C, who are great outfielders and great hitters, and D, who is a great hitter and lousy outfielder, who is therefore stuck at DH?

I think
LF Stanton
RF Judge
DH Duda/LoMo

Is better than the current plan and fits the budget. (Well, Duda does anyway.)

I think
LF Stanton
RF Judge
DH Duda/LoMo

Is better than the current plan and fits the budget. (Well, Duda does anyway.)

Rosenthal is reporting JD Martinez is “fed up” with the Townies and their 5/125 offer.

That will be quite the narrative when he is the WS MVP of their next title.

[81] I like that idea if they tarde Hicks, who should bring some value in return. LoMo instead of Hicks in the lineup would be sweet.

I see a slight problem wth the rotating DH in that there is a DH penalty—players tend to hit worse as a DH.  I think that’s probably mitigated when you are a regular DH and prepare for that role every day although I’m not sure.  Anyway, you rest Judge/Stanton and maybe get better performance when they do play the field, but take a bit of a hit offensively.

I don’t see how that’s a hit, because it’s not as if they have the option of getting rid of the DH spot. That hit is a sunk cost - for every AL team. Isn’t it?

[74] Duda past 4 years: 124 OPS+, LoMo: 111. LoMo’s 135 last year was his first over 111 since 2011. And Duda has declined the past 2 years and will be 32. They project, by Steamer, for 117 and 108, respectively. Are they likely to outhit Gardner/Didi/HIcks? Yes, but not by that much. I think you’re overselling how good they are as hitters.

And beyond that, how is DH a hole? If you’re primary DH’s are Sanchez, Stanton and Judge, and if DHs just had their worst year ever, seems like we have a pretty good chance to have one of the league’s best DH slots. The occasional Gardner as DH isn’t likely to bring that too far down, and again, the worse DHs are across the league the better a mediocre hitter looks there and the more valuable he is. I see no reason to assume Ells is going to get significant time at DH.

Beyond that, carrying one of these guys as a DH only (because they really can’t field) means taking up one of the available bench spots. Do you really want to use a roster spot on someone who is going to be a good hitter but make the OF logjam worse and limit your bench? The Yankees will have 3 bench spots: 1 BUC, 1 Toe and 1 other. So unless you have a plan for moving Hicks or Ells I just don’t see how much a DH only player is going to help.

So yeah, you could trade Hicks and play Gardner in center and sign one of these guys. But Hicks just had a 122 OPS+ on top of his great defense. And I buy something like that again for this year. So what’s the gain?

They would also be the backup 1B—another “hole” on this team.  Who is currently the backup 1B?  Austin? Toe?

Just because other teams have crappy DHs doesn’t mean getting the most potent offense possible shouldn’t be the goal.

DHing Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez more than necessary seems like a bad idea to me.  It also reduces their value (in terms of their WAR) if they take more DH ABs than necessary. 

P.S.  I’d file this debate under “first world baseball problems”.  What are Mariners fans debating on message boards right now?

It’s an interesting question that probably has an answer.  How much is Gardner’s defense costing the Yankees?  What value do they give up by putting a good fielding and elite hitting COFer in at DH?  Take a full season of Judge and/or Stanton at DH vs LF.  What is the difference?  Is that difference more than Gardner’s defense is likely to be worth (not what it was worth last year, what it is likely to be worth)?

I do think having “Bird insurance” makes sense given his health history.  I dont understand the idea that Gardner is some kind of liability…at all.

(90) The positional adjustment for a corner OF position is -7.5 runs over a full season.  For a DH, it would be -17.5 runs.  1 WAR is about 10 runs, so moving an average fielding COF to full time DH would be losing about 1 WAR of value.

Judge and Stanton are not average fielders.  They are above average. 

According to UZR, Judge last year was +6.9 UZR/150 games.  That would mean DHing Judge full time instead of putting him in the outfield would cost the Yankees about 1.7 WAR.

Stanton was just about as effective on defense as Judge.  His UZR/150 was 7.1 runs above average.  (With wild swings from year to year, so it’s possible he’s not actually quite as good as the numbers indicate.)  Moving him to the DH role full time would also cost the Yankees 1.7 WAR.

As I’ve said before, this price to put Gardner’s glove in the field really mitigates his value.  Trading Gardner’s glove (or less appealingly, Hicks’) for another big bat to put at DH makes a lot of sense to me.

P.S.  I’m not a numbers expert, so if I made an error in math or logic somewhere, it’s not because I’m trying to mislead, it’s because I’m a dumbass.

Gardner’s was at +8.0 UZR/150 last year so it’s not like he’s light years ahead of Stanton or Judge either.  Plus he’s going to be 34 next year, so I would expect any change in performance to be negative.

Consummate pro Jeter dies at age 9
By David Grening


“It also reduces their value (in terms of their WAR) if they take more DH ABs than necessary.”

Who cares? Unless it reduces the productivity of the team on the field as a whole. If a good offensive & defensive outfielder DHs and the outfield defense is just as good, you’ve lost NOTHING. Compare lineups, not how much WAR you’re allotting to one given player.

All maximizing THEIR WAR would do would be making their next contracts more expensive.

[92]  But you can’t just subtract Judge’s defensive performance when he DHs, you have to account for the defense of whoever plays the field in his place.

[87]  The point is that you’d like the DH to be a guy with a monster bat who really can’t play the field at all.  The archetype is Edgar Martinez, of course.  A big bat who can play the field is doubleplusgood.  Which is why Sanchez, who is okay but not the greatest at catcher, is so freaking valuable.  As a DH, much less so.

(95) It does reduce the team’s wins overall.  As shown in (92) and (93).

You seem agitated.

(96) True.  You would add in Gardner’s defense.  That would mean the Yankees would be “only” about a win worse with Judge DHing full time and Gardner in the field full time.  Assuming when Judge doesn’t DH, an average DH is in the lineup.

If you are stuck with all 3 it doesn’t matter but the idea is you are wasting value. Value that you can hopefully gain in a trade and/or not paying for a plus defender that is put into DH and paying for skills that more fit your needs.

98 - Adding Gardners defense double counts gardners defense. It’s about wasting value, the reason they waste a good defensive player by playing him at DH.even if it doesn’t cost the team it is still wasted.

Page 1 of 2 pages:  1 2 >

NYDN: Yankees believe Brandon Drury has Didi Gregorius-like potential
(42 Comments - 2/23/2018 1:16:28 am) Souza to ARI, Drury to NYY in 3-team deal
(39 Comments - 2/22/2018 8:24:44 am)

NY Post: Yankees don’t sound excited about these new MLB rules
(22 Comments - 2/20/2018 9:09:32 pm)

USA Today As Manny Machado begins final camp with Orioles, lucrative future - with Yankees? - awaits
(52 Comments - 2/20/2018 12:11:21 pm)

NY Post: Aaron Boone loves the World Series talk from confident Yankees
(63 Comments - 2/17/2018 6:37:53 pm)

Rosenthal: Sources say starting pitchers Jake Odorizzi, Collin McHugh could be dealt
(49 Comments - 2/13/2018 3:06:23 pm) The futures of Yankees’ top prospects | Beat reporters talk
(128 Comments - 2/11/2018 12:18:14 pm) Gamble, known for big hair, lefty power, dies
(109 Comments - 2/5/2018 12:25:19 pm)

NYDN: Yu Darvish still waiting to see if Yankees, Dodgers can clear enough salary: report
(54 Comments - 2/2/2018 8:25:16 pm) 1998 Yankees top list of 25 greatest teams
(63 Comments - 1/31/2018 6:41:24 pm)