Both at Baseball Prospectus and BTF, Cano was given about a 10% chance to turn into Hall of Fame baseball player. This is because what he did last year was remarkable, stepping into baseball's largest stage and taking the spotlight off a position that has caused the Yanks so much grief. Cano is another player that I obviously underrated too much as a prospect, not taking his 100 RBI+ season into enough consideration. But, really, is Cano's ceiling much above his performance in 2005? Do we really see a player that even has the possibility to be better than [Rickie] Weeks? Not for me, at least, as I believe Cano will teeter-totter among being an average second baseman for as long as the Yanks let him.
And from your's truly:
sue, trenton nj: Looking forward to seeing you on Baseball Tonight. Would you discuss your feelings on retirement. After all these years is is difficutlt to just stop playing baseball. Will this position require you to away from home a lot, and if so how does your family feel about that?
Tino Martinez: (1:01 PM ET ) I knew last year, it was going to be my last year playing baseball. I knew I was going to retire. I had a part time role with the Yankees. I knew that I was going to retire from baseball. And, no, this new position will only be 45 appearances on Baseball Tonight. It's only about 7 days of work a month. It allows me to be with my family and still be involved with baseball.
Four Oaks North Carolina: how do you think johnny damon will do with the yankees
Tino Martinez: (1:08 PM ET ) I think he will do just fine, because he's played in that type of atmostphere and pressure in Boston. He has to win the Yankees fans over. If the team starts winning, it will make his transition easier.
Jeff (Cleveland): What is it like to be a Yankee? Do you really feel pressure on every day, every play?
Tino Martinez: (1:11 PM ET) Yes, that's the great part of being a Yankee. There is pressure every day, every play to do your best. It makes you do your best and not let any game or at bat slip away. With other teams, things can be hidden, but no in New York.
Aaron Rockenstein (Indenpendence, Kentucky): Which team did you enjoy the most playing for in Major League Career?
Tino Martinez: (1:30 PM ET ) The Yankees, because we won 4 world series there. But to play in that stadium every day in front of those fans was the most exciting time in my career.
bryan (levittown-ny): Which world series title was the most memorable for you? Tino Martinez: (1:31 PM ET ) All of them, because they got better and better the more you won. When you win one or two, you don't know if you'll get back there again. It only gets better the more you win.
Jeff (Cleveland): Was their a former player who you have met who had that 'Wow, I'm talking to ____' factor for you?
Tino Martinez: (1:36 PM ET ) Probably the first time I met Yogi Berra or Joe DiMaggio at the Old Timer game at Yankee Stadium.
Jeff, Chicago: what's it like playing for George Steinbrenner???
Tino Martinez: (1:41 PM ET ) I enjoyed it because he wants to win so badly. Each year he spends any amount of money to improve the team. When you have an owner like that, it makes the team attitude a lot better.
Mike A. (Chico, CA): Conrats Tino on the great career, who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced in your career? Thanks for the memories.
Tino Martinez: (1:16 PM ET ) Well, I faced a lot of them. I faced Clemens when he was with the Red Sox when I was just called up. The last couple of years, Roy Halladay had the best stuff. If he can stay healthy, he'll have a great career.
"Be patient, the Yankees are saying. If Cox is going to be the next Street, he is not there yet. As for calling Cox the man to replace Rivera, perhaps the most indispensable Yankee of the past 10 years, hold on.
"I'd hate to put that on a guy," Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' amateur scouting director, said. "That would be horrible. You can't predict that. We didn't even know Mariano Rivera was going to be a closer until he got to the big leagues.
"That definitely isn't something you consider. You can consider what kind of stuff they have and their makeup and hope guys can fit a role. But you can't predict if a guy is going to be a closer. That's too tough."
For now, Mark Newman, the senior vice president for baseball operations, said the Yankees see the right-handed Cox as more of a setup man than a closer. Newman compared Cox to Jeff Nelson because of his sweeping slider and his deceptive delivery from a low-three-quarters angle.
"But it's very early to limit players to certain roles," Newman said. "We'll kind of let them emerge."
"It's [Cox shutting down opposing batters] almost a definite," Street said at the Athletics' camp in Phoenix. "The only reason I was the closer at Texas was because I got there before him. He's got electric stuff, great control and, most importantly, he has ultimate confidence in himself."
"[Joey] Devine and [Craig] Hansen got to the big leagues last year, and J. Brent had more success in college than those guys ever had," Oppenheimer said. "You'd watch him against good teams and he would just shut the door on them, with a demeanor that he was going to be able to do it."
Gardner's stats fit comfortably in between Podsednik's and Pierre's; I'll take it, a leadoff hitter that's better than Podsednik but not as good as Pierre is one of the better leadoff men in the league. Of course, it's too early to tell if that's what he'll develop into.
Outlook: Gardner is one of 3 centerfielders with premium athletic ability the Yankees added to the organization in 2005, joining Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata. Of the 3, Gardner is the closest to a sure thing given his college track record. Gardner will likely be the second Yankee 2005 draftee to reach the majors, behind JB Cox, however with Johnny Damon signed to a new 4 year deal, the Yanks can afford to be patient with Gardner. He'll skip Low-A Charleston and head to High-A Tampa to begin 2005, with the possibility of seeing Double-A Trenton if he gets off to a hot start. If he moves quickly as expected, he'll begin his Yankee career as a fourth outfielder, possibly by the second half of 2007.
"He reminds me of Roger Clemens; that fastball is late," Giambi said after being one of four Yankees to face the 6-foot-5, 220-pound, 19-year-old right-hander. "I don't care what the radar gun says. He's got good stuff."
Hughes, the No. 1 pick two years ago, was startled to hear what Giambi had to say.
"That's quite a compliment," Hughes said. "[Clemens] has far more quality big-league years on him, but it's nice to say those things."
Hughes opened a lot of eyes yesterday. He shattered Jorge Posada's bat and snapped off several big breaking curveballs.
Looking at his career stats, nothing really jumps out at you regarding what may be the cause of the inconsistency. His GB/FB ratio and percentage of inherited runners scoring fluctuates like the rest of the stats. I thought maybe he was having trouble getting ahead of hitters, but he's thrown first pitch strikes to roughly 49% of the batters he's faced over his career (which is surprisingly good, the great Mariano has dealt first pitch strikes to roughly 51% of the hitters he's faced in his career), so that discounts that theory. I gave up looking at stats that were solely a function of Farnsworth's pitching, and decided to look beyond the traditional stats and see what kind of situations he was used in. In doing so, I came to a conclusion: Kyle Farnsworth is a glorified long reliever.
Let me explain. Using David Pinto's Day by Day Pitching Database, I sorted Farnsworth's career into two categories, games he's pitched 1 inning or less, and those were he's thrown more than 1 inning. I neglected to include his rookie year of 1999, because he was primarily a starter that year. The results were startling:
|1 IP or less||297||243.0||226||11.07||5.11||2.17||4.89||.310||1.50|
|more than 1 IP||53||82.2||59||9.80||2.72||3.60||2.83||.240||1.02|
It's a tale of 2 pitchers; one who seemingly throws gas on the fire, and another who has Hall of Fame worthy numbers. While the long relief Farnsworth doesn't strike out as many batters, he gives up less hits, less walks and less runs - a trade anyone would make. Fifty-three games and 82.2 IP is a sufficient sample size to say this is more than just a fluke.
Why was he more effective in longer roles? Who knows. Maybe he was throwing great that day and his manager decided to leave him longer than he usually would. Maybe he came into less pressure situations and was able to relax. Maybe he wasn't throwing well for 2 weeks beforehand, and he had a chip on his shoulder when his manager used him in middle relief instead of in set-up situations. It leaves you in quite the quandary, but I'm leaning toward believing he was brought in for multiple innings with less on the line, allowing him to chill out a bit.
Now I'm not suggesting Joe Torre should use Farnsworth for multi-inning appearances with nothing on the line, the man is going to be paid very well for the next 3 years to deal with the pressure and slam the door. I'm trying to dig deeper into the enigma that is Kyle Farnsworth, but his stats are over the place with almost no trend lasting longer than 2 years, making it almost impossible to figure out what's going on. He's developed a reliance on the book "Mind Gym" in the last year, so we can all hope that'll cure his inconsistency and allow him to be as effective in 2006 as he was in 2005.
"He throws hard and he throws strikes. That's why for me he's a Mark Prior Lite."
--Charleston manager Bill Mosiello
"He had the kind of year you would expect a 20-year-old kid to have at Double-A. When he is going good, he is real good at laying off the changeup and breaking ball, and he gets good cuts."
--Trenton manager Bill Masse
Andrew (Boston, MA): Hi Jim, I know you are not as high on Phillip Hughes as a few of your other BA colleagues (as per the Handbook). BP is also very high on Hughes. What is it that's holding you back? Injury history? If he puts together a full healthy season, does he become a Top 10 prospect next year? Thanks a lot.
Jim Callis: I ranked Hughes as the 44th-best prospect in baseball even though he has gotten hurt at each of his three minor league stops and has pitched just 18 innings above low Class A. John Manuel, who did our Yankees list, had him at No. 39, and I think BP had him around the same. I don't see how I'm holding back. He has the ceiling to be a Top 10 guys next year, but I think the 21-35 range is more realistic.
The numbers aren't very impressive, but otherwise there would be nothing to look at. As far as I know there isn't a resource to find minor league stats like catcher's ERA, etc., otherwise I would have made a more appropriate comparison.
Outlook: Pilittere is at least 2 years away from the majors, possibly more if his bat is slow to develop, making his potential Bronx ETA somewhere around 2009. The Yankees crop of catching prospects is pretty weak, with only Omir Santos and the Rojas-es (Tommy and Irwill, no relation) ahead of him on the depth chart amongst prospects. Unless he shows a marked improvement with his bat, Pilittere will never be anything more than a defense first backup catcher in the John Flaherty/Paul Bako mold. After an encore at short season Staten Island that saw him improve his OPS almost 200 points (up to .701 in 2005 from .516 in 2004), the Yankees will likely challenge Pilittere and send him to Low-A Charleston in 2006. If he makes it to the majors, it'll be his uncanny ability to handle pitchers that will get him there.
"I did win 17 games, but I know I didn't have the kind of year I expected," says Johnson. "I have heard a lot of comparisons to Roger Clemens' first year as a Yankee; he was 34, I started the year at 41. But my season had nothing whatsoever to do with age. It was entirely mechanics, and they got better in the second half (8-2, 3.31, compared to 9-6, 4.16 in the first half). I have worked hard to get things right, and I will have a better season.
"What I realize is that with the Yankees, there are two seasons, and you'd better excel in both of them. I did not in the playoffs, and I regret it. I just didn't pitch well, but I will again.
"This game can humble you at any time. Do you think it's fun giving up four home runs to the White Sox? Do you think it's fun giving up six runs in an inning to the Devil Rays?"
Johnson insists he "enjoys" the pressures of expecting to win as a Yankee, "because that's what I'm in the game to do." He says he never anticipated "the pressure that exists when the Yankees play the Red Sox," but says that his Sept. 11, 1-0 win over Tim Wakefield was one of his two most enjoyable starts all season, along with his 2-0 win against Seattle wunderkind Felix Hernandez.
If anything, Johnson this spring looks refreshed. Understand, he is a man who loves the game. He knows its history, he enjoys sitting and talking about situations and mechanics and other players. "I will have a better year," he says. "I'm certain of that."
"Carl Pavano has already been called the key to the Yankees' season by people who are extremely knowledgeable. But I offer this: If Chien-Ming Wang is healthy, he can be one of the 10 best pitchers in the American League, not to mention being the best on the Yankees' staff and the key to a 100-105 win season and a longer October run."
The numbers stack up reasonably well, and just like Wang at that point of his career, Karstens isn't viewed as a primary link in the organizational chain.Outlook: Karstens seems destined to start 2006 at Triple-A Columbus after winning 12 games and posting a remarkable K/BB ratio of 3.5 (147/42) at Double-A. He's got the look and stuff of a solid back-of-rotation starter, where his impeccable command would be a welcome addition. With the Yankees crowded rotation, he could fit in as a Tanyon Sturtze type swingman, where his bullpen experience would be a plus. If he continues to improve and has a good year at Triple-A, it's possible he could earn a big league call-up come September. If not, he should see some major league action during the 2007 campaign.
Mike A. (Chico, CA): Hey Jim, thanks for taking our questions. What do the Yanks have in Jose Tabata? I was comparing his GCL numbers to those of Carlos Beltran, Andruw Jones, Bernie Williams, Lastings Milledge, Javier Herrera, and Jeremy Hermida when they were down in the Rookie ball ranks, and Tabata blew them all out of the water despite being a year younger. Is it officially OK to start getting excited? Thanks again
Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET ) Tabata is a very intriguing talent, but calm down there. I wouldn't project anything based on Gulf Coast League stats, because they're essentially meaningless. Check out Sergio Nunez' and Tony Blanco's numbers sometime. Tabata is a great athlete, but he has a long way to go.
Kip (Boston): What can you tell us about Darrell Rasner? Is he really an improvement over Jason Anderson?
Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) Rasner has a chance to pitch in the back of a rotation or in middle relief. I agree with the Yankees--I'd rather have him than Anderson. But he's not really a difference-maker.
ND Boston, MA: If you had to pick between Jon Lester or Phillip Hughes, who would you choose?
Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Lester. He's lefthanded, healthier and a lot closer to the majors right now.
cashman, ny: Hi Jerry, is Chien Ming Wang the real deal, or will he be just another sub-par pitcher on the Yankees roster. I couldn't help but notice him consistently hitting triple digits on the radar gun last October.
Jerry Crasnick: (12:13 PM ET ) Cashman, A lot of people really like Wang -- and so does Brian (Cashman), which is why the Yankees refused to deal him. He's had some rotator cuff issues that will bear watching, but the Yanks would love him to seize a starting spot in spring training.
|RotoChamp Wins||ZiPS Wins|
Hopefully I didn't turn too many of you off from the blog with all the geek talk, but hopefully I nailed the prediction and we're headed for a 98 wins season, which should be good enough to take the division. Again.
|Troy Tulowitzki||7th overall (COL)||.266||.343||.457||.800||2.00|
|Cliff Pennington||21st overall (OAK)||.276||.364||.359||.723||1.21|
|Joseph Muro||255th overall (TB)||12.06||12.64||10.34||2.49|
|Derek DeCarlo||256th overall (MIL)||9.60||5.70||3.52||1.46|