Joba the Great

Meet the new guys: Dan McCutchen and Ross Ohlendorf
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In a subscriber-only piece in Baseball America, the BA prospect experts engage in a little Joba-Buchholz debate. The piece ends with John Manual’s take: “Chamberlain’s superior fastball makes him the better bet to be a long-term ace. In fact, it makes him the best pitching prospect to come around since I’ve been at BA, surpassing Josh Beckett and Mark Prior.” That is some high praise.

Meet the new guys: Dan McCutchen and Ross Ohlendorf
Vandy's Alvarez out at least 6 weeks
  • MD

    it would be best if we cooled the hype so we let this guy become what he can become……he appears to be a “young Clemens”….check out the Rocket’s first two years……they all need time……..

  • Rob

    Give us more! I won’t tell!

  • steve (different one)


    • Ben K.

      Golf claps for you, Steve. Nice use of the 1 key as well. I laughed.

      • jon

        I would have preferred if he spelled it “HIER”, but agreed, very well done.

  • Mike R.

    John Manuel is the only guy that really steps up for the Yanks’ prospects over there. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he is the guy that covers them.

  • Number 27

    Awesome. Do you guys think you’ll have a prospect watch on the upper left this year like you did for Phil and Joba? If so, who do you think it would be?

    • Joseph P.

      We definitely will. As to who, it’s still up in the air. The topic has been tossed around, though.

      • steve (different one)


        • NYFan50

          Seconded. Unless you want someone further away.

          • Joseph P.

            I think that’s the idea. Someone who would arrive in ’09.

            • steve (different one)

              if that’s the criteria, i’d vote Action Jackson.

    • Rob

      1. Montero

      2. A-Jax

      3. Pavano

      • Bo

        Heredia and Betances

  • Juggy Gales

    It certainly is high praise to be compared to Beckett and Prior, but let’s not forget that Beckett didn’t put together a great season until his 7th year in the league and Prior’s career may already be done at age 27. We have something really special with the Big Three, but I hope the Yanks keep their expectations in check (and fans too) and let these pitchers develop at the correct pace.

  • My Pet Goat

    It’s these small pleasures like this that make a February afternoon a little more enjoyable.

    By the way, that picture of McCain in the ad you’ve got here… what’s that from the early 70’s? They’re already trying to obscure that fact that compared to Obama he looks like the Crypt Keeper. Still, even in his youthful, heroic pictures he’s salt-and-peeper, heavy on the salt. Sorry bout the tangent, just an observation. The ad is in the middle of a Yankee blog after all.

  • Eric Schultz

    Manuel does love Joba, if I’m not mistaken I think he ranked him as the #1 prospect in the minors, ahead of Bruce, Longoria and Rasmus as well as Buchholz.

  • Bo

    It makes a ton of sense to make the best pitching prospect and a guy who has 4 above average pitches a closer.

    Yeah. A ton of sense.

    I wonder if Florida and Boston win titles if Becketts an 8th inning guy.

    • Motown Yankee Fan

      That is probably the best pithy explanation for why he shouldn’t be in the bullpen. Thanks. I’m going to use that often.

    • Mike A.

      Ah, but does Boston win it with Papelbon-bon back there?

      • Chip

        Papelbon isn’t in the same league as Joba, he was a mediocre prospect with two great pitches

        • steve (different one)

          “2 great pitches” and “mediocre prospect” seem to be at odds with one another.

          he was a good prospect. however, i believe it was his shoulder that really forced him to the bullpen. in ST last year when he was prepping as a starter, he was rapidly losing velocity after 2-3 innings.

          because of that, he really doesn’t share ANYTHING in common with Joba, yet lazy writers will continue to force the analogy down our throats.

          Joba has the chance to be an elite starter. because of his shoulder, Papelbon did not really have that chance. also, like you mentioned, his lack of a 3rd pitch may have also limited his upside as a starter (but i wouldn’t go so far as to call him a “mediocre” prospect).

          taking a starter with shoulder issues and not much of a 3rd pitch and making him a closer is defensibe.

          taking a starter with 2 Plus-Plus pitches and 2 above average pitches, and making him a closer is absolutely retarded.

  • Malcard89

    Some of the quotes in this story make me worry that this might be over-hyping Joba and placing unrealistic expectations. A better prospect than Mark Prior?! Hopefully Mike can back me up on this when back in 2001, that guy was already considered a lock for the Hall of Fame with the stuff that he had, and the Twins were ridiculed nonstop for choosing Mauer as the 1st overall pick. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and Prior succumbed to injuries while Mauer is now one of the best catchers in the game, but to say any player comes close to Prior’s former prospect status REALLY makes me wonder if its just hype.

    I agree with MD’s first comment, those sorts of expectations are extremely high, some patience will definitely be needed until/if he becomes an ace.

    • Mike A.

      Back then, Prior was considered the perfect pitcher: flawless mechanics, pinpoint command, great stuff. Two years out of school he was an 18-game winner in the bigs. It’s not his fault Dusty rode him like crazy.

      Are Manuel’s comments over the top? Yes, but it takes a super talented pitcher for people to even start thinking like that.

  • My Pet Goat

    Yeah, Prior–like Joba–was a college pitcher and he instantly became an ace (not saying Joba will instantly be an ace). It was Dusty’s insane workloads (hello Bailey and Cueto!) that probably cost him about 100 career wins and long term who knows? Beckett was a high school arm, add in those blister problems and his development time line doesn’t seem quite as dramatic. What am I saying here? We all understand the echo chamber the Yankees operate in and that leads to hype, but just like at his numbers across all levels last year. Four plus-pitch pitcher that touches triple digits… its okay to be excited about this kid.

  • Chip

    Take Dusty out of it and Prior has at least one Cy Young by now

  • JCP

    In the limited exposure both had to the minors as starters, the numbers look pretty similar