Catching on

Dodgers complicating Yanks' arbitration decision
The celebrity of King George

As we all know, the injury to Jorge Posada was one of the major factors in the Yanks’ sub-par 2008 showing. None of the various replacements could close to Posada’s offensive production, and partially as a result, the Yanks scored nearly 200 fewer runs this year than they did last. To that end, Cliff Corcoran over at the Banter analyzed the Yankee catching prospects for 2009. The organization is stocked at the position and seem to realize that Posada won’t be around forever.

Dodgers complicating Yanks' arbitration decision
The celebrity of King George
  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    Anybody on here have a chance to watch this guy?

    Francisco Cervelli 23 AA .315/.432/.384 27%

    This guy seems to old right?

    P.J. Pilittere 27 AA .277/.317/.349 18%

    I do not watch a lot of minor league baseball these days. Are any guys really on the radar for taking Jorge’s (or whoever is catching at the MLB level) job in the next three years?

    • Mike A.

      Pilittere’s nothing special.

      Cervelli could be a backup, but he can’t hit. Those AA numbers came in a whopping 21 games.

    • MP

      Yeah I saw a AA game this year. Watched Cervelli. He’s not bad considering his age, and he’s got nice patience at the plate. Great fielder, decent hitter. Probably a top 5 or top 10 backup someday.

      And Pilittere’s nothing.

      Look for Montero/Romine to really steal the show (especially Montero – the guy can flat out hit).

    • FL Yank

      Lord almighty you’re using stats and charts.


  • A.D.

    Looks like at least in the minor Cervelli has a decent eye at the plate, putting up a decent OBP

  • Matt M

    and cashman thought teams used to pester him for hughes all the time…wait and if these guys develop we might be holding all of the cards like texas is now.

  • Bruno

    Mike, you think Cervelli could evolve into Yadier Molina? I’m not saying his D is THAT good (maybe it is, I don’t know) but could he even be that servicable with the bat?

    • Mike A.

      Maybe a poor man’s version.

      • Bruno

        I guess I could live with that, if his D is Molina-like. Harder stud to “find” C or SS?

      • Bruno

        Sorry for the double post, but this just dawned on me….while many prospects don’t live upto expectations, many also seem to exceed them. Cano and Wang come to mind quite quickly. They weren’t “predicted” to be this good were they? Or how about Pujols….

        • Mike A.

          No, neither was. Cano was looked at as a .280 BA, mostly-singles hitter. Wang was a back-end guy, he had too many injury issues early in his career. Plus he didn’t learn the sinker until ST of ’05.

          Pujols … I have no idea. I don’t follow other team’s prospects nearly as much as I do the Yanks, but I find it extremely hard to believe anyone thought he would be as good – or even half as good – as he is.

          • Bruno

            Exactly. My point being, Cervelli might end up being a very capable everyday C.

            • whozat

              maybe. But just as it’s foolhardy conclude that ALL highly-touted prospects will disappoint because of the Brien Taylors of the world, it’s just as bad to conclude that all unheralded prospects have a chance to be capable MLB players.

              • Bruno

                I’m not counting on it by any stretch. Just saying it culd happen. I’ve been saying we need YOUNG everyday C this offseason, even if he’s all bat. Platoon him with Molina, circa Girardi/Posada. IPK & Britton for Salty?!?

        • 27 this year

          Pujols, I believe, was drafted somewhere the twenty something round. He really turned into something though. Cano and Wang were not much either. Cano was supposed to be a throw in in a deal with the D-backs I think.

  • Lancer

    Today happens to be the B-Day of our best prospect at the catching position. Jesus Montero turned 19 today.

    It’s amazing how good he already is at such a young age. If he can continue to develop –and perhaps improve defensively– we may be wishing him more happy birthdays in the future.

  • greg

    Joe Po never ceases to amaze me, he’s quite a writer. Check out his piece on Steinbrenner:

  • ortforshort

    The Yankees need another backup catcher for this year and next. Posada is 37 years old, coming off major right shoulder surgery. The Yankees need a Plan B. Molina showed that, altho’ he is a good player, he can’t handle a heavy load. Are we going to have to dig up Chad Moeller again? Cervelli may or may not be an answer, but he needs at least one more year in the minors, probably two. Romine and Montero were promising, but are at least two years away, probably more. Plus, if Romine looks like the real thing, Montero should be groomed for another position because his big value is his hitting. Catching shortens careers, especially for big guys – they get heavy legged. Anyway, I vote for keeping I-Rod around this year and possibly next as insurance in the likely event that Posada’a shoulder won’t be able to handle 130 games this year or next.

  • Peter Lacock

    For starters, Posada should be fine, is on schedule and predicted to be ready for spring training. I expect him to be the everyday catcher for 2 years and a large chunk of the last year of his contract while others are prepared. There’s is no reason to think he won’t be other than paranoia and anxiety. He is a C after all, it’s not like he’s a pitcher. Molina’s return to part time makes him better and stronger as well.
    I saw Trenton play about a dozen times in the last 2 years in my hometown (saw Joba get bombed once). Peter Pilittere caught most of them and played well, much better than Joe Muich. He had a hit in every game I think but I know he had a few multi-hit games. I remember a line drive HR to LF and he also hits the other way including one he smoked in the RCF gap for a 2B. He looked tough and gritty, he has a good arm and he moved well. By virtue of the #1 ranked Trenton pitching staff and all the evaluations I have seen, he’s a pretty good caddy. He’s not a great hitter (not many C’s are) but his BA is pretty good, not many HR’s but a few 2B’s and he is Mr. Clutch. He was an Eastern League All-Star and Mike Ashmore picked him as team MVP this year. As it stands right now (might be a rule 5 pick) he should be next in line if something were to happen to Posada or Molina and I’m not worried about it. He’s not the C of the future but as a 2 or 3 you could do worse.
    Every year, every team, at every level, has guys that overachieve and underachieve. Right this minute if I had to pick some 2009 Yankee overachievers, I’m starting with Pilittere.

  • ortforshort

    I didn’t know that having a backup plan to mitigate an obvious risk is now being called paranoid. I’m not sure where you get the idea that you don’t need a good arm to be a catcher. As far as Pilittere is concerned, I think most people would take even Moeller over him. The Yankees did last year. I’m not sure what the big deal about signing I-Rod is anyway. It will cost his salary and not getting a draft pick if he were to be offered arbitration, I think.

  • erik

    imagine this
    c1 romine
    c2 cervelli
    dh montero
    if they live up to their potential and you can always switch montero to first depending on who we get and laird