Who’s the biggest tool on the Yanks?


Baseball America has just released its ever-popular Best Tools list, and while the entire lists are for subscribers only, we’ve got the Yankees and where they fall:

  • As expected, A-Rod pops up the most: He’s been voted the AL’s best hitter and second best power hitter. He’s also got the third best infield arm, according to the folks who participated in the pool.
  • Bobby Abreu earned himself the second best strike zone judgment award, sitting just behind Kevin Youkilis.
  • Derek Jeter is the AL’s third best hit-and-run artist and the third-best defensive short stop. Make of that what you will.
  • Robinson Cano is the league’s third best defensive second baseman.
  • Jose Molina was voted the third best defensive catcher, falling one spot behind current Yankee Ivan Rodriguez.
  • Joba Chamberlain has the AL’s third best fastball, behind the Mariners’ Brandon Morrow and the Tigers’ Joel Zumaya.
  • Mike Mussina’s control is third-best in the junior circuit.
  • Andy Pettitte still has the league’s best pick-off move.
  • And finally, Mariano Rivera is the league’s best reliever. Bet you never saw that one coming.

The Yankees clearly have the tools, according to those who play and watch the games. Too bad they don’t yet have the wins to go along with it.

Categories : Polls


  1. Dave says:

    Best article title ever

  2. ChrisS says:

    Abreu’s strikezone judgment has been taking a nose dive over the last few seasons as he weakly grounds out on pitches he used to take for balls. Subjective analysis not withstanding.

    • steve (different one) says:

      agreed. i’d give Giambi the nod over Abreu anyway.

      Giambi has historically great strike zone judgment.

      i’d also have to put Gardner on the list for speed.

      Matsui for best porn collection.

      Ponson can probably drink anyone in the league under the table.

      these are important.

    • Old Ranger says:

      Conversely, he may be trying to make things happen. By taking a walk, he leaves it to someone to knock him (or another person on with him) in, we all know how that has worked out this year! Not trying to alibi for his hitting, he may try to knock in the run himself, instead of leaving it up to the next guy. Just a supposition, that’s all…no fact. 27/09?

  3. dan says:

    Since when is Giambi’s mustache not a tool? Intimidation, baby.

  4. Adam says:

    contrary to popular opinion, austin jackson has well over 100 tools, most of which are unknown to scouts.

  5. Rafi says:

    Can someone who has a subscription please tell me the top 5 defensive shortstops? Thanks

  6. Rich I. says:

    Who exactly votes on this list?

  7. pat says:

    if cano got to air it out more i think he would definately be in contention for best infield arm

  8. Yank Crank 20 says:

    Which hitter has more power than A-Rod?? I can only see David Ortiz or Josh Hamilton finishing close to him in the AL.

  9. E-ROC says:

    Where did Carlos Quentin rank in the list of power hitters?

  10. Andy In Windy & Rainy Daytona says:

    Jason Varitek won for “#1 Rank”.

  11. Mark B says:

    “The Yankees clearly have the tools, according to those who play and watch the games”

    Makes you wonder if Girardi is not a bigger reason for the Yanks’ lackluster play! A certain someone who shall not be named has his team in first place in the NL West……

    • Chip says:

      If the Yankees played in the NL West, they’d have already clinched

      • steve (different one) says:

        Makes you wonder if Girardi is not a bigger reason for the Yanks’ lackluster play! A certain someone who shall not be named has his team in first place in the NL West……


        take Posada, Matsui, and Wang off of any Torre team the last 2-3 years and let me know how that works out.

        • Mark B says:

          Even with the talent he has been given, Girardi barely dserves a passing grade for the sloppy play and questionable pitching moves he has made.

          Once he has the talent next year, I will expect him to be managing a first place team based on your comments.

          If the Yanks start out slow next year – like they always seem to do as of late – I guarantee the talk will be when the Yanks will replace him with Willie come May / June.

          • Old Ranger says:

            When he starts the season with much younger athletes, the slow start should not be a source of concern. Age exacerbates the problem, sometimes it takes longer for them to get in Playing shape. Cold weather, you say…well, everyone has to put up with the cold, it’s not fun, but it is your job. 27/09?

          • steve (different one) says:

            also, Joe Torre managed in a division where the Tampa Bay Rays never finished above .500.

            this is a brand new reality Girardi has been handed.

            Torre hasn’t managed in a division this good since about 1997.

            • Mark B says:

              I guess we need a $400 million payroll and Girardi can then take the proper credit for winning then.

              Puh-lease…..the fact Girardi has done nothing to develop the young kids coming up, nor has the healthy veterans executing the fundamentals is reason enough alone for one to question the quality of his leadership as skipper of MLB’s best franchise.

              If this team tanks in September when the schedule gets tough again when we have Hughes, Pavano and MAtsui back, I hope I am not the only one calling for his head.

              • Chip says:

                Tell me how he didn’t develop Veras, Edwar, Robertson and to a point even Giese by using the bullpen incredibly well. He even got Farns to play well! His showing confidence in Gardner is even starting to bera a bit of fruit now.

                And yes we need a $400 million payroll if we have $300 of it on the DL. Bobby and Moose are the only big money guys I can think of who didn’t get hurt this season.

              • Old Ranger says:

                The Mgr. job is to put the best players on the field. With all the old timers he has (injuries also) there isn’t much he can do to change the way they play…they’re all set in the way they play. After all, it has always worked (when they were all-stars). As far as the younger guys, I defer to Chip. Next year (I hate that phrase) we will have a better balance on the team…one that Joe G. can put his stamp on. 27/09?

    • nmc says:

      If the Yankees played in the NL west they’d be 120-0

    • Doug says:

      Being first in the NL West is like being the smartest kid on the short bus.

  12. Tim says:

    Clearly Kevin Youkilis is the biggest tool in all of baseball.

  13. AlexWest says:

    Mark B.

    Monkeys with baseball bats could probably win the NL West, to be leading that division is no great accomplishment considering that just about every team in that division stinks.

    • Mark B says:

      Very true, but I still think LA would end up beating us in a home and home series. Outside of Oakland and Seattle, there isn’t a team out there that we can beat consistently.

      I also think Girardi has not done anything to show me why he was the right guy to replace Torre…..that said, I am still giving him to the end of the year to see if he can keep this team motivated and focused to stay in the playoff hunt – as remote a possibility as that might be.

      • Old Ranger says:

        We (as fans) are not the ones he needs to impress. Besides, he hasn’t done anything real dumb, like hitting A-Rod 8th. He hasn’t done as well as I (we) were expecting, but he hasn’t done bad. 27/09?

        • Mark B says:

          Old Ranger, I always have liked your posted comments and agree with you almost all of the time, but I respectfully disagree with you here.

          Girardi has a team a $200 million payroll, 3, possibly 4, players of which are future HOFs. This team should be in first or second now and would be if Joe Torre was the manager given how poorly the Red Sox have played and how young and inexperienced the Rays are (not to mention decimated with injuries as well right now).

          I know the Yankees have been decimated with injuries, though I have seen little development in the younger players, not to mention the veteran back-ups that we were hopefully counting on. Moreover he has done nothing to instill a spark or motivate this team, many games have one too many mental mistakes, players are making mistakes they should only be making in rookie ball. Am I wrong here?

          Outside of Johnny Damon and Mariano, give me a single player that seems to have thrived and has gotten better while under his watch. Compare that to the list of dissappointments, which there are many.

          Maybe the problem lies with his lietenants (long, eiland, meachem), though I think that outside of the injuries (a problem that cannnot be the sole reason why we have played bad), most of the problem lies with him for the poor play this year.

          I hope we do well, though I will be much happier when he is canned and back working the Saturday pre-game on Fox.

          • Pinko says:

            For your sake, I can only hope that the Yankees make it to the 4th game of the World Series so that Girardi can bring in a guy who hasn’t pitched in a month rather than Mariano in a tie game and let someone like Mark DeRosa hit a game-winning home run to tie the series. That’s the kind of brilliant managing we all remember with nostalgia, I’m sure/

            • Mark B says:

              Nice pipe dream, though I would take Bobby Cox any day to deliver me a must-win with an inferior group of players!

              • steve (different one) says:

                This team should be in first or second now and would be if Joe Torre was the manager given how poorly the Red Sox have played and how young and inexperienced the Rays are (not to mention decimated with injuries as well right now).

                and we know this how?

                • Mark B says:

                  Watching him year-in and year-out for the past 17 years, not to mention the past two years when the team got on a hot streak and started to play up to their potential to finish the season.

                  I understand if you agree with em on taht point alone, though you cannot disagree with me on Girardi’s managerial success as the Yankee skipper this year. Don’t tell me its all injuries…

                • steve (different one) says:

                  Watching him year-in and year-out for the past 17 years, not to mention the past two years when the team got on a hot streak and started to play up to their potential to finish the season.

                  right, and what would those hot streaks look like if you took away Posada, Matsui, and Wang?

                  probably exactly like this season.

                  Girardi hasn’t been perfect. not even close.

                  but i really don’t see how ANY manager could be worth an extra 7 wins as you claim they would be if Torre were here.

                  the best PLAYERS are barely worth 7 additional wins over 3/4 of a season

                  you are making outrageous claims without any way to back them up.

                • Mark B says:

                  Steve (different one) – take a look at job Tony LaRussa has with St. Louis this year without Carp, Mulder, Wainwright and bullpen that has given him 30+ blown saves – they are 2 out fothe wild card and play in a division with the two best teams in the NL.

                  You want outrageous, that’s outrageous and worth an extra 7-10 wins.

                • Chip says:

                  Tony LaRussa has also been doing it in the national league and the Cards are also 7.5 back in the division which is about the same boat we’re in (NL wild card isn’t nearly as competitive).

                  I still point to the bullpen and argue he’s done an OUTSTANDING job of playing the right guys at the right time and being careful not to overuse guys when he can help it. Veras, Edwar and Robertson would either be back in AAA by now or have three times as many innings pitched under Torre

          • Haggs says:

            Thrived on Girardi’s watch?

            Mussina and the entire bullpen.

            If you could combine what Girardi and Eiland have done with the pitching staff with what Torre did with the regular lineup and the media, then you’d really have something.

            • Mark B says:

              So he gets the credit for the pitching staff and the blame for having a lifeless lineup?

              • Haggs says:

                I think he shoulders some of the blame, yes.

                The hitting coach is still Long, so it’s tough to blame him.

                Most of the blame falls on the hitters, and some can be blamed on injuries no doubt, but Girardi gets some blame too.

                He was an excellent defensive catcher, and he and Eiland have done a really nice job with the pitching staff.

                But Torre was an excellent hitter in his day, and I just think he had a very calming influence on the veteran hitters (except for the recent postseasons), and knew exactly when guys needed a day off and when they didn’t. It was just easier for Torre to relate to what they were going through. They could also miss having Mattingly around.

                Maybe I’m making too big a deal of it, but Girardi’s constant tinkering with the lineup is maddening to me, and I find it counter-productive.

                • Mark B says:

                  Very good points on the differences between Joey G and Torre, Haggs… were your points above on the bullpen. I think I was a bit quick to judge and not give Girardi & Eiland some overdue credit see how well Moose, Edwar, Giese, Veras, Mo, Robertson, Farnie (for when he was here) and even Ponson. Outside of Moose, they all quietly have put together some very nice stats this year.

                  I think all of this banter points to a greater frustration of how none of us can pin the blame of this season’s disappointment on one single issue or person. It would be nice if it were that easy.

                  I really hope to see the team as a whole, most importantly Joba and Hughes, finish the season well -whether they make the playoffs or not. That would give me reason to look forward to next year. Seeing Joba shut down for the season (hoping it doesn’t happen) and Hughes struggle will only add to my misery!

                • Chip says:

                  I agree with all of that

                • Doug says:

                  Let’s never hear about how “well” Torre is doing with the Dodgers. If a .516 winning percentage ties you for the division lead, congratulations, you’re in the NL West. You suck the least.

                • Old Ranger says:

                  Mark B. @3:40…
                  Nice of you to come around to the way a lot of us feel. Everyone is frustrated with this team, why wouldn’t you be also. It would be nice if the guys were more open to a bit of coaching, but (as stated above) they are all-stars and it has all ways worked before…so a guy can’t put down a bunt, this is inexcusable for MLB player.
                  Let’s face it, The team is underachieving, with the exception of a very few…Moose, Molina come to mind along with the BP pitchers (most of the time).
                  Nothing wrong with venting your frustration…just like the rest of us. 27/09?

                • murphy says:

                  if torre was still skipper of los jankees, edwar ramirez’ arm would have fallen off already, veras would have no confidence in himself, and farnsworth would have had no trade value. wed have gotten a scrub in return instead of pudge due to the fact noone wants to trade for a setup man w/o an elbow.

  14. Efrem Goldman says:

    Waswatching had a posting on this earlier this morning. They didn’t like the idea that so few Yanks pitchers made the list

    • Jamal G. says:

      Tool=Steve Lombardi

      • Yankee1010 says:

        Agreed. Easily the biggest toolshed in the blogosphere.

        • JohnnyC says:

          It’s no excuse that Lombardi has been out of work for a couple of months. He’s been gradually going over the edge for a while with his irrational hatred for Cashman, Hughes, Jeter, etc. Shame because WW used to be one of the best Yankees blogs. He even works for SNY now (and still manages to be upset that YES doesn’t include him in their blogger roundtable????).

          • Babe's Ghost says:

            I swore off WW a couple of months ago. Kind of like quitting smoking, it was tough for the first week, but now I’m sooo glad I quit.

  15. Rob NY says:

    Tim says:
    August 19th, 2008 at 1:22 pm
    Clearly Kevin Youkilis is the biggest tool in all of baseball.


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