T-Kep on A-Jax


Tyler Kepner at the Bats blog profiled Austin Jackson, the Yanks’ top prospect coming into the year. He’s got some great quotes from Triple-A Scranton hitting coach Butch Wynegar about how right now they’re just working to iron out Jackson’s swing mechanics and trying to develop a consistent approach at the plate. The comparison they threw out there was Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, not for Jackson’s ultimate ceiling, but for the way he went from a rookie with and a great approach zero homers in 583 plate appearances to a 30+ homeruns hitter two years later. Make sure you check it out, great stuff.

Categories : Asides


  1. ChrisS says:

    Certainly seems like the kid’s got the right attitude.

  2. whozat says:

    I can’t believe he’s comparing Jackson to Kirby Puckett!! Jackson hasn’t done anything at this level! ATROCIOUS! Kirby Puckett is a hall of famer!

    Get me Nate McLouth’s numbers. Nate McLouth is a CENTER FIELDER! Jackson! Who is this kid? He hasn’t done anything! How can you call him the next Kirby Puckett?!?!


    • donttradecano says:


      *dodges diet coke can*

    • UWS says:

      I think we need a temporary moratorium on the Francesa stuff. The guy is getting way more attention than he deserves.

      • anonymous says:

        Ok today we are going to do the Mets. We’ll get to your Yankee stuff later. Nothing really to talk about there. Yes Joba pitched well, the Yankees get another win. But lets talk about the Mets today and Putz. Yes lets talk about Putz and this bullpen.

        • donttradecano says:

          Putz to the rotation, Johan to the 8th, thats how you fix the mets problems. GIVE ME ZACH DUKES LAST 5 STARTS!!!!!!!

      • KW says:

        Agreed, all of the memes pretty much worn out their welcome a long time ago.

        OTOH, an OPS of near .800 and very good defense for a-jax for 10 years? Sign me up right now…

      • Dave M says:

        Give ‘em a loss Dawg………..Oh that’s right, Dog’s gone :-) He doesn’t say that any more.

      • Agreed, although I’ll note that whozat’s comment above is one of the better Francesa mockeries we’ve seen lately.

        I say this without exaggeration: This is the first time I’ve ever made a point to find out when Francesa’s show starts and will make sure to listen to his show. He certainly hasn’t gained me as a regular listener… Much to the contrary, I just want to hear how he reacts to Joba’s start last night. The folly of the situation, from Francesa’s side, if you subscribe to the theory that he goes overboard and says some controversial things because he’s seeking ratings, is that I will never be a regular listener of his show. I tune in today to witness the carnage, but the damage to his reputation, at least among one particular (and in my opinion relatively reasonable and intelligent) segment of the fanbase, is deep and probably irreversible.

        • donttradecano says:

          Im hoping that Alex guy calls back, just for shits and giggles.

        • Mike HC says:

          You ever see “Private Parts,” the Howard Stern movie. The people who love Howard tune in because they want to hear what he will say next. The people who hate Howard also tune in, also because they want to hear what he will say next. The bottom line is that they are listening, not whether they like him or hate him.

          • I’m not so sure that’s true, though. I will, I promise you, NOT tune into Francesa because I want to see what he says next, after today. I can guarantee it. He’s been around forever, and I’ve never felt compelled to listen to him with any regularity before. The fact that he’s taken such an irrational hard-line on this one issue will not make me say “wow, I want to know what else this guy has to say about other issues.” It’s the last nail in the coffin, not a reason I will tune-in in the future.

            Howard and Francesa aren’t in the same game. Howard is popular because of his show’s humor, shock value, etc. Francesa isn’t trying to be some crazy entertainer, he’s trying to be an intelligent sports media voice.

            (I’m also not so sure that theory from Private Parts is entirely accurate, but that’s a different discussion altogether. Just because they said it in a movie doesn’t make it so. I don’t think people who actually dislike Howard listen to his show just to see what he’ll say next. People don’t listen to people they dislike. I think people who listen to Howard like him, on some level, whether or not they know it or admit it.)

        • Joe R says:

          Started at 1pm

  3. A.D. says:

    Youkilis never hit more than 10 HR in a year before settling in as a major league regular, and he was a more polished college player when drafted (and there are more examples), thus I’m not worried about AJAX’s power at this point as he’s still a work in progress. As long as he can hit the off-speed & breaking stuff I’m sure the power will come.

    • donttradecano says:

      id rather have jackson hit for average first than the power later.

    • JP says:

      Yes, but Youkilis has a goatee. And Theo Epstein and Peter Gammons think highly of him. If Jackson had any potential he’d be playing long toss with Clay Bucholz right now.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        If A-Jax was at Pawtucket, Gammons wouldn’t be comparing him to Pucket. He would be calling him a cross between Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. With Cal Ripken’s attitude tossed in.

        And then Gammons would go back to the clubhouse to find out which Red Sox players needed their dry cleaning picked up.

        • JP says:

          And then Gammons would go back to the clubhouse to find out which Red Sox players needed…

          I thought you were going elsewhere with that sentence.

  4. Pete says:

    Ya youk I think is a very good comp because both have shown very good obp and obp-avg differential dispite not showing big power numbers, and both seem like guys who will hit in the .290 range most years bit will be capable of hitting well over .300 and will always have high obps

  5. Doug says:

    to me, it’s more important for ajax to cut down on his K’s than to hit a HR

    • donttradecano says:

      Agreed. The power will come, if he gets the Ks down, than its possible his average could be higher than it is.

      • Doug says:

        well, that i’m not too sure of because his BABIP is an unsustainable .484. i think that if he doesn’t cut down on his strikeouts, his average is going to soon drop to the lower .300s (which is fine number, mind you)

        • donttradecano says:

          yea but less Ks means probably more balls put into play, which means probably more hits. Less outs, more hits=higher average.

          • Doug says:

            but what i’m saying is that more balls into play is actually going to create more outs because he cannot sustain a .484 BABIP (last season he was at .364). and that’s all fine. i don’t care if his average drops. making a little more contact is the most important thing right now.

            • Doug says:

              just for numbers sake, if ajax’s BABIP drops to .375 from here on out, but his Ks remain the same, given 500 ABs, his final BA will be .298

          • whozat says:

            Not necessarily. It would almost certainly mean a regression to the mean on his BABiP. Which would essentially be the same number of hits and outs, just making them differently.

            In fact, he’s probably going to regress to the mean anyhow. So, fewer hits overall will lead to a correction in his average…which is still fine.

    • whozat says:

      I tend to agree. It was really interesting to read the comments from Wynegar about what they’ve got him working to do and why, and really shed light on how they develop these kids, the plan they have, and why it can be damaging to rush someone.

      • Doug says:


        it’s funny, what i actually found most fascinating is that wynegar is our hitting coach down there (i personally did not know that). he was far from a great hitter back in his day.

        • whozat says:

          I’ve heard it said that the best hitters and pitchers often don’t make the best coaches. They have too much natural talent. They might be great for giving pointers, or for talking about how to use video and scouting reports to inform your approach on any given day…but I feel like a guy like Manny Ramirez would be like “I dunno…you just see the little white ball and hit it with the bat, you know? And then homeruns happen, and everybody is happy! Want to get a chicken sandwich?”

        • Dave Duncan might be the best pitching coach in baseball, and he was never a pitcher during his pro career. He spent 11 years as a fairly crappy catcher.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

            It’s a great point.

            Duncan did, though, catch Vida Blue and Catfish Hunter, plus John Blue Moon Odom and Rollie Fingers, and later in his career, Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar. So he worked with great pitchers.

            Then again, Wynegar did get to hit with Donny Baseball (and Wayne Tolleson, but we won’t discuss that part).

            • [INT. YANKEE STADIUM, BATTING CAGE, 1986]

              Wynegar: Hey, Rickey, great game yesterday, 4 for 4 against Joaquin Andujar.
              Tolleson: Yeah, looks like we got Bill Kruger tonight… you guys were teammates a couple of years ago, any advice or pointers?
              Henderson: Rickey don’t got no time to give Butch and Wayne no pointers or take no batting practice right now. Rickey busy doing Rickey stuff. If Coach Sweet ask where Rickey is, tell him Rickey went to go play cards with Rickey’s good buddy Whizzo the Wize.


              BBWAA writer Corky Simpson: That little jerkface, skipping out on BP to go play cards! He has shamed the game. If I get the chance, I’m going to stick it to Rickey Henderson soooo good, I promise you that.

              … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE!!!

              • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                I want to option that screenplay.

                Jamie Foxx as Rickey?

                • Wesley Snipes. Wesley Snipes has an omnibus contract with Hollywood that he gets right of first refusal on all black baseball player roles in all greenlit projects.

                  Rickey Henderson – Wesley Snipes
                  Butch Wynegar – Josh Hartnett
                  Wayne Tolleson – Zachary Quinto
                  Lou Pinella – Jason Alexander
                  Corky Simpson – Barry Bostwick
                  Don Mattingly – Justin Timberlake
                  Mike Pagliarulo – Stanley Tucci
                  Dave Winfield – Michael Clarke Duncan
                  Claudell Washington – Mike Epps
                  Joe Niekro – Brian Cox
                  Joaquin Andujar – Stanley Tucci (again)
                  Tony LaRussa – Matthew Fox
                  Dave Stewart – Taye Diggs (wearing lifts)
                  Jose Canseco – Jose Canseco
                  Charles O. Finley – Jamie Foxx (in whiteface)
                  George Steinbrenner – Larry David

              • rbizzler says:

                The only part that you got wrong there is that Rickey would never have known Tolleson’s or Wynegar’s name. Rickey don’t hang with no scrubs.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        Great point, whozat. What I took from Wynegar’s remarks is that even though A-Jax’s numbers are great in AAA right now, and even though his future looks really bright, he’s not ready for the Majors right now. Which is totally fine. Let him develop, and he can “graduate” when he’s ready.

  6. donttradecano says:

    A-Jax is hitting almost .500 when he puts the ball into play

  7. The comparison they threw out there was Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, not for Jackson’s ultimate ceiling, but for the way he went from a rookie with and a great approach zero homers in 583 plate appearances to a 30+ homeruns hitter two years later.

    What? You mean Austin Jackson is gonna go blind and be forced to retire young?

    Well, that’s just great. DAMNIT!!!!!

  8. sabernar says:

    With all the memes flying around the comments, this site is beginning to be as unreadable as PeteAbe with his moaning, groaning and sarcastic attitude. Please, guys, don’t make this site yet another Yankee blog with unreadable comments. Can’t we be better than that?

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:


      Did I use that right?

    • This post is pretty much for the intelligent fans.


    • whozat says:

      Wait…so you’re saying that the ten posts at the top of this thread made the rest of it (where we talked about AJax’s plate approach and the merits of Famous Players turning into coaches) unable to be read?

      • sabernar says:

        Yes. If I have to sift through 50 useless comments to find the handful worth reading, then, yet, it makes it useless to me.

        • Jake K says:

          Um, it’s a blog. On the Internet tubes. What, exactly, were you expecting?

          • Meh… He has a point. Sometimes the memes get tossed around for the sake of the memes and the sake of everyone acknowledging that they’re in on the jokes, and I’m sure it can get tedious for some people.

            • Jake K says:

              Sure, but there a probably about 1,000 comments made on this blog each day; some are going to be relevant and serious, many won’t. RAB has done a good job in fostering a sense of community among its more dedicated followers, so people inevitably shoot the shit, goof around. This isn’t an academic symposium.

              • Dude, of course. Look, I’ve been around here for a long time, I’m certainly not saying it’s a bad thing there’s a sense of familiarity among the regular commenters. But, at the same time, I think some people go a little overboard with the memes. Some of the memes are funny, and some of the comments utilizing the memes are funny… And some aren’t. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to make jokes or anything, just agreeing with sabernar that sometimes it can be a bit tedious (and probably moreso to non-regular readers/commenters).

          • sabernar says:

            Expecting? Maybe ‘hoping’ is a better word. A blog that has good insight an analysis on the Yankees and baseball (which this blog is), but also a blog that has intelligent people making insightful comments, creating a place for discourse on the subjects at hand. I’m not a stick in the mud, and I would never want to try and kill the fun factor, but it has really really gone overboard here lately. I can get Yankee news and analysis in many places on the internet, but what I really want is a place for Yankee news and analysis with a strong, intelligent community.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

          I quite enjoyed the earlier posts.

          • Bo says:

            Because reading useless, unfunny nonsense about Francessa is good for everything especially the flow of discussion??? Not so much. not to mention the unfunny, carlos mencia like “in the know” quips that populate most of the threads. Takes away from any real baseball discussion which is what the majority come for.

            • Jake K says:

              How do you know what the majority come for?

              • sabernar says:

                Jake, good point. Maybe people come here to write comments that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. If that’s what this site is to become, it would be good to know. Maybe the blog writers should chime in. Is this what they want their blog to become? Do they want to put a lot of time and energy into their posts only to have 75% of the comments posted to be off topic and off putting? If so, then it would be good to know. If so, then I will try and find somewhere else to go for my Yankee news.

                Like I said earlier, I don’t want to be a stick in the mud. If this is what the site is to be in the future, then I’ll just speak up this once and then leave. It’s unfortunate, since the posts are always informative and good reading, but I like a little more useful community on my blogs.

                • While I agreed with you above, I think you’re taking it a little too far now. It’s not like there’s so much extraneous joking around that there’s no intelligent discourse about baseball in the comments. There’s just more comments to sift through.

                • sabernar says:

                  Which was my comment earlier: if I have to sift through comment after comment of useless content, then it’s not worth my time. It might be worth other people’s time, but not mine. It’s OK if this is what the site wants to be – that’s up to the owners of the blog. I’m not trying to convert the blog into something for me me me. I was just bringing up a point that is of concern to me.

                  I know that PeteAbe, as useless as it is, tries to reign in his commenters. Problem is, with him, it’s ‘do as I say not as I do’. The writers of this blog are fantastic. I didn’t mean to make a huge thing over this. If this is how it is going to be in the future, then I’ll leave quietly. No big deal. I have bigger worries in life than River Avenue Blues’ direction.

            • Sal/Bo/Grant/Lanny, this comment, from you, is HILARIOUS.

              The memes get in the way of the real baseball discussion?

              A) You’ve never had any real baseball discussion. All you do is drop negative stinkbombs and then refuse to actually have a point. The only “discussions” you’ve ever had are the ones between the various multiple personalities you possess in that head of yours.
              B) YOU ARE A MEME.

  9. Doug says:

    For what it’s worth (which is probably not much), I happen to agree with sabernar. I’m relatively new to this site (a fellow Yankee fan recommended it to me) and I really enjoy all the Yankee insight. Think it’s terrific and it’s now part of my daily routine.

    But I personally wish that the threads would pertain more to the topic at hand. They do oftentimes get a bit out of control. I come in here to talk baseball but a lot of times, that’s not what you get. Now maybe if I were a long-standing regular instead of a newbie, I’d feel differently as I’d get more of the jokes and references. I don’t know. It’s also tough to get to know you guys (i.e., the regulars) when I don’t know what you’re talking about half the time.

    Maybe a solution could be setting up an open thread to chat about whatever everyone wants, similar to how things are at nite.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant.

    • Mike HC says:

      The site can be for everyone; the people who want serious discussion and the people who want to make jokes and/or inside jokes. Make a serious baseball analysis post and people will reply in your post thread. Respond to other people’s serious posts and start a conversation with those people. If you want to make jokes and mess around with friends/community regulars, reply to those posts. The site is for all and does not have to be for only one type of fan. It is for all Yankee fans in my opinion.

      • Brendo says:

        This site is ruined by all the lame jokes and lack of serious baseball talk that overtakes these threads.

        It used to be a great site for it until it got overrun.

        It’s the new Lohud here.

        • Mike HC says:

          I personally prefer the serious baseball analysis comments, but I don’t feel like the people making “funny” jokes takes away, or overruns the site at all. There are more serious comments posted here daily than there is time in the day to read. A couple of jokers just add some levity and sometimes they do actually make me chuckle a bit. I’m not saying these guys should become comedy writers in the near future, but to claim they are ruining the comment section is really overstating it.

          • I will say, the sarcastic !!!11!1!!! and all-caps post get to me sometimes.

            • Mike HC says:

              As per RAB commenting guideline #7:

              “Any comment written out in all capital letters will be deleted. That’s just unnecessary.”

              I have noticed that this has really not been enforced, especially for some of the regular commenters. One regular commenter in particular comes to mind.

              • More that it’s not enforced when the comment is riddled with sarcasm (which we can obviously detect better from the regulars).

                Ideally, I’d like to see us not mock idiots because our discourse is so strong that an idiot would be too intimidated to even attempt a comment. Alas, I’m too much of a romantic at times.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.