Do we overvalue Yankee prospects?

Manny, Papi tested positive for PEDs in 2003
Matt Garza opens mouth, asks for suspension

This guest post comes from Moshe Mandel of The Yankee Universe.

We live in a town where the most popular sports talk radio host in the area knows Jesus Montero as “that catchuh in AA that everyone likes so much.” The fact that people who do not know anything about the farm system are the ones informing the masses leads many local fans to view prospects in a dismissive light. You will hear trade proposals from fans that empty a farm system because they really do not know much about the minor leaguers, and the hosts whom they trust are not about to inform them. Those of us who are internet-savvy and read sites such as BP, BA, and RAB tend to believe that our education in these matters grants us a greater understanding of the value of prospects, and we are disdainful of most of these trade proposals. However, there is a downside to our “education.”

Those of us who know all about the prospects quickly become attached to each one’s chances to prosper. We read DotF every night, and dream of the day in 2013 when the rotation is King Felix (of course), Joba, Hughes, McCallister, and Brackman, where Austin Jackson is patrolling center and Jesus Montero is hitting bombs into the bullpen. We tend to overvalue them, glossing over or rationalizing their flaws as youth and inexperience rather than actual limitations of talent.

When John Sickels or BA constructs a list of Yankee prospects, there are invariably claims of bias against the author, as we cannot fathom how player X was given a C+ grade. Suddenly, we are loathe to give up an Austin Jackson or an Austin Romine to improve the club, and would be livid at Cashman if he gave up legitimate prospects for almost anyone but Roy Halladay. While it is easy to say that a middle ground exists where a fan can properly evaluate prospects that belong to his favorite club, it is in practice very difficult for a fan to identify that ground and stick to it.

While I am sure that most of you are thinking “not me, I know how to value the Yankee prospects,” think about how you might have reacted if the Yankees had traded Jackson, Zach McAllister, Romine/Cervelli, and Dellin Betances/Arodys Vizcaino for Cliff Lee, a package similar to the one the Phillies gave up (Mike thought Cervelli and Vizcaino would be enough, Jim Callis thought it made sense with Romine and Betances included). I know that I certainly would have been conflicted about that sort of deal, despite the fact that it probably would have been the right move for the Yankees to make.

This does not mean that we should stop following prospects, or be satisfied when the GM gives them up in a clearly poor deal. Rather, it is important as fans for us to note that most prospects do not pan out. We see all of these guys as future contributors to big league clubs, but reality is usually not so kind to baseball players. A cursory glance at John Sickel’s top 20 Yankee prospects list from 2006 shows two players currently helping the Yankees (Hughes, Gardner), and one who may help someday (Jackson). Otherwise, there seems to be plenty of filler, injured players, and guys who were traded and flopped with their new clubs.

Baseball requires such physical precision that minor injuries can entirely derail a player’s career, and scouting in baseball is particularly difficult as a player’s skills often do not translate to higher levels of competition. It is the job of the GM to identify a position of organizational strength and deal from it to supplement the major league club, while retaining the guys that can actually help you down the line. Brian Cashman is fairly good at this, as the only legitimate major leaguers on the 2006 list are still in the organization. Remember that when he trades your personal favorite for a starter or reliever prior to the trading deadline.

What do you think? Does knowing a lot about prospects lead to overvaluation of those assets by the educated fan? Does it cloud our judgment of what might be a fair trade?

Manny, Papi tested positive for PEDs in 2003
Matt Garza opens mouth, asks for suspension
  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    Wow, I picked a bad time to submit a guest post!! Papi!!Manny!!! Steroids!!!

    • ARX

      Variety is always good.

    • Mike HC

      Nah, that post was good. Steroids and trade rumors are the same old, same old. My take on trade rumors is to just tell me if a trade happens. Everybody is talking to everybody right now. There can probably be a legit “rumor” attached to just about any team with any player.

      And Papi on steroids? Shocking. That is not really news at all. I have thought about, and re thought about that about a hundred times already.

      To your post, I think your analysis was spot on. There is no black and white answer. You gotta keep the guys that will become good, and trade the ones that stall out. And wish the person making those decisions good luck.

  • A.D.

    I think sometimes it can, but if one can check the prospect love, it just makes trades a more informed decision on what one gave up.

    Sure a lot of prospects don’t pan out, but a lot of trades don’t lead to a team winning the WS, or even making the playoffs.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Right, but often trades are panned or thrown out as “giving up too much” by fans based on a potential that may never come. We way existing performance versus potential, but consider that potential a bit too assured. I just find it interesting that both Callis and Law said they would strongly consider giving up two of Hughes, Montero, and Joba in a Halladay deal, but most of us here are uneasy with giving up one of those guys.

      • Ed

        A large part of the hesitation on giving up one/more of Hughes/Joba/Montero is that two of those three are on the major league team. The Yankees are talking trades specifically because they’re short on pitching, so trading away major league pitching doesn’t help the team that much. Replacing Joba with Halladay improves the team a little, but still leaves Mitre in the #5 spot. Sticking a Washburn type into the #5 spot helps the team more than the Halladay trade does.

      • YankFan

        Are they also considering the future of the team? I think they talk about winning this year, future be damned.

        Right now in the post-steroid era, these prospects are better than high-priced vets.

  • YankeeGrunt

    We certainly overvalue prospects to a certain extent, all fans do and New York has the scrutiny to make it that much more acute. But Joba, Hughes and Montero are three of the best prospects this team has had in a couple decades.

    To get into some of the next rank of prospects, trading a good but not great prospect in Austin Jackson and a solid 3-4 starter prospect in McAllister should be reasonably understood as “the price to pay” for elite arms and bats. There’s an understandable concern about trading high-ceiling guys in A-ball (Vizcaino and Banuelos in particular but Romine too) because they’re probably nowhere near the height of their trade value. Ditto injury concerns like Betances and Brackman (if someone is interested), which violate the whole buy low/sell high bit. And recognizing that in not wanting to trade such guys isn’t necessarily to overvalue them, its to be realistic about the likelihood that you’re getting the best return on your investment.

    • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

      +1. Nice analysis.

    • Johnny

      More bad analysis.

      How do you know those guys are nowhere near the height of their trade value??? Maybe this IS the height!

      You’re assuming b/c a guy has a “high-ceiling” their going to get there or even approach it… They may not even get off the ground. The Viz may get off the ground and only to come crashing down like those old films of rocket/missle tests.

      There is NO way of knowing if a prospects HIGHEST trade value is or isn’t the current moment. That is an unarguable FACT ;-)

  • Dela G

    Every team’s fans overvalue their own prospects, that typically how it goes.

  • Reggie C.

    In the past couple months, but not recently, when the Rockies were expected to shop Huston Street I proposed Cash trade Z-Mac + 1 of Robertson/Melancon to get Street.

    Yeah. The reaction was nearly always universal: “Z-Mac is too good!”

    Imo. That was a severe overvaluation of McAllister’s value.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      I admit, I was one of those guys. Looking back, I was alost certainly dead wrong. You don’t get a guy of that caliber without giving up decent prospects. Guys who have huge question marks like Betances have little trade value.

      • Rich James

        i think every team overvalues their prospects…same with us fans…i mean i’m still waiting for Eric Duncan to hit 20 HRs in the bigs! lol

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Or possibly an overevaluation of Street’s value.

      That’s the other side of the coin in all of these proposals: you could argue that people who are against trading Prospect X for Veteran Y are overvaluing Prospect X, but it could be simply that they aren’t enamored with the upgrade that Veteran Y really presents and are being risk averse relative to the marginal upgrade.

      Like, for example, your McAllister for Street deal. I’ve been on the fence on that proposed deal (to wit: http://riveraveblues.com/2009/05/yanks-considering-trade-for-derosa-12338/#comment-403355), but push come to shove, I would probably do it. But I wouldn’t trade Z-Mac for Jarrod Washburn (even though I generally like starters more than relievers).

      The calculus that has changed is not how much or how little I expect of Zach McAllister, it’s how much of an improvement I think Street will be over our other BP options or how little of an improvement I think Washburn would be over our options, and how much we may need McAllister – even though he’s not likely to be as good as either of those two vets – down the road 4-6 years from now.

      Similarly, my aversion to a Joba/Hughes + Montero deal for Halladay is not because I think any of those players will be as good as Halladay, it’s because I think those players will be more valuable to our team 4-6 years from now by filling multiple roles for us, and because I don’t think Halladay is a need, just a want.

      It’s less about overvaluing prospects and more about balancing our present with our future and prioritizing our needs over our wants.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        But wouldn’t you say that your equation includes a tacit assumption that those prospects will pan out, at least somewhat? I mean, I could not fathom giving up two of that top 3, yet KLAW and Callis, two outsiders, both said that they would strongly consider it. Stuff like that makes me reconsider what I believe about these players.

        • V

          Dunno.

          I think guys like Law and Callis evaluate trades in a vacuum.

          Is Halladay worth Montero+Jackson+(insert two non-Hughes/Joba prospects)? Probably, in the fantasy world, where you don’t have to then sign a center fielder and big bat (catcher or not) in a few years.

          That $$$$ can go somewhere else, to improve the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 teams, that will NOT see any of the benefit to having less than 1.5 seasons of Halladay.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            That.

            I recognize the potential that the prospects may not pan out. I also recognize the potential that the players we bring in may not help that much, or may get injured, or may cost more money thus forcing us to alter our long-term economic plan, or may decline rapidly since they’re older, etc. etc. etc.

            There’s a ton of moving parts involved on both sides of the equation, not just on the prospect side.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Yeah, but Street was never truly available, that we know of.

            • Pete c.

              Regardless of the moving parts isn’t one of the reasons teams stockpile prospects is to trade them at a later date for established players? Especially the yankees who lately have been drafting what seem to be largely pitchers. In the old days the team would trade a prospect at the drop of a hat, I remember Al Leiter, and as Mike talked about Doug Drabek. Now it almost seems they’ve gone to the other extreme. From what I’ve read Philly didn’t give much up to get Cliff Lee. I can’t help but wonder if the Yankee prospects were so good Barring cashman not thinking Lee’s the pitcher they need or Cleveland not wanting to trade him to a team in the A.L. maybe the true reason is our prospects aren’t as good as we think. It’s all a crap shoot anyway , Cashman seemed to know what he was doing in the non trade for Santana. And right now he looks like he did all the right things with Sabathia and Burnett, so barring the disagreement we have over Nick Swisher I believe he’s made some savvy trades. And I believe a starter like everyone else, is something they need as well as an outfielder. So he should trade some of those prospects that he’s been stockpiling, and get the two pieces IMO the team needs.

          • Randy A.

            Yeah…like King Felix in 2011

          • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

            I’m not so sure about this. Klaw looked at the Lee trade on a broad, organizational plane. I think he considered all factors, but I could be wrong. Callis I’m not sure about.

        • Mike HC

          Joba and Hughes have kind of already panned out. Hughes as an elite reliever and Joba as a very solid, improving starter. It is reasonable to assume that they will not get any worse from here. Montero is a guy I would be willing to trade because I think it is easier to find big hitters in free agency then top line starting pitching. That and trading him wouldn’t take anything away from our current team. I don’ t think the Jays would do a deal that did not include Hughes or Joba though.

          • YankeeGrunt

            Yes bats are easier to find than arms, but big bats, Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols type bats, which Montero may have the potential to be, are not easy to find. Those sort of bats are just as rare as Halladay or Lincecum-caliber arms.

            • andrew

              which Montero may have the potential to be
              This is the whole point. Montero MAY have the POTENTIAL (I know this is just semantics), but we are saying right there that we don’t even know if Montero has that potential. And if he does have that potential, which I believe he does, it’s still just potential that may never be reached. So yea, those sort of bats are just as rare as Halladay, but Montero may only have a 20% chance of being that bat.

      • Reggie C.

        Utilizing your well-stated calculus, I think its indefensible not to have pulled the trigger on my imagined McAllister for Huston Street trade.

        I wont go into the domino effect of what that trade could’ve accomplished as its all intellectual and simply no longer grounded in actual possibility.

      • YankFan

        Another thing to consider is makeup. Remember Whitson or Weaver just to name 2. NY is not an easy place to play in & you have media who want to make stories & will kill you first chance they get. Cash is on record as saying that adds to his value for Wang & Cano – they’re here & can handle it. Who knows about some of these other players that are being considerd right now.

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

          Weaver has been bad everywhere except for two months in St Louis. It wasn’t just the NY media being mean that made him that way.

        • The Scout

          You also don’t know whether prospects within the organization will be able to handle the NY pressure. So it cuts both ways.

    • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

      I agree, but every fan does this. I live in Dallas and Ranger fans are the same. You’ll hear things like “We should get Halladay down here. A package of Borbon, Holland and Chris Davis”

    • Bo

      You mean you threw up deals and never saw the minor leaguer play???

      Just like everyone else. Thats the thing. No one knows how the Yankees value their guys. What if they think McAllister is a frontline starter? Is it worth Street?

  • V

    I think there are two main ‘attributes’ to any prospect, whether a slugger like Montero, or a speedy slap-hitter like Gardner:

    1) Ceiling.
    2) Floor.

    Players in A-ball might have Albert Pujols and vintage Pedro Martinez ceilings, but their floors are also ‘guy who can’t get out of A-ball’.

    Players that climb the rungs of the promotion ladder to the majors, like Gardner, may not have the highest of ceilings (Brett Butler, Juan Pierre with walks), but their floor, by necessity, climbs higher (I don’t see Gardner regressing into a guy who can’t get out of A ball, for example).

    So, when evaluating players, I think fans tend to look ONLY at the ceiling, and ignore the floor, which can cause overvaluing (Brackman, Betances, Sanchez, Eric Duncan, etc.) OR undervaluing (Melky, Gardner, etc.).

    When making a trade, it depends what your trade partner is looking for. The Blue Jays want multiple high ceiling/high floor guys for Halladay, and those are hard to deal away.

    • V

      I left that last thought hanging a bit.

      The Indians accepted a deal with a couple high ceiling guys, but who have lower floors. Knapp, for example, has a higher ceiling than Drabek, but also a lower floor.

      • Reggie C.

        Great post V.

        Where does the factor of game performance come in? Look at the duo of Zach McAllister and Ivan Nova, both of which are good prospects by any account, but not High-Ceiling pitchers.

        These 2 guys have posted impressive statistical years in ’09, and in Z-Mac’s case the success has gone on for almost 2 seasons now.

        I think Yankee fans also utilize these game performances more so than projection of stuff (ceiling) in valuing these pitchers. Hence the negative reaction to trading Z-Mac for an excellent reliever.

        • V

          Well, I think game performances are WHY those two guys are even prospects. They don’t have ‘stuff’ or ‘tools’.

          If Z-Mac were putting up a 4.25 ERA throughout his career so far (no flashes of dominance, nothing, just ho hum outings), not one person would have ever talked about him.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      This is an excellent point. That’s why you will see Yankee fans put a guy like Betances in a trade as a primary piece, when all he is is an additional lottery ticket thrown on top of the real package. Most teams are not going to trade stars for a package made up largely of lottery tickets.

      • V

        Agreed.

        Fans see ceiling, GMs see floor (you don’t want to be the guy that deals Halladay for four guys who never see the majors).

        Also, you end up with ‘fans’ like Bo (I’ve never actually seen the ass cheer the Yankees) who think a guy’s a ‘bust’ if he’s not an instant hall of famer.

        For example, Nick Johnson is not a superstar. He’s not an All-Star. He’s not a future HOF-er, but he’s been worth $56.7M over the course of his career while earning $17.5M. That has value, and is a SUCCESSFUL prospect.

        • Dwnflfan

          V brings up what many forget…the $.

          Say you trade Joba & Montero for Halladay. Your Payroll just went up $15.75 million next year and $6 million or so this year. For what Halladay will cost you you could go out a get a Harden\Lackey\Webb next year but now you can’t.

          So the question is:

          Do you want Joba, Montero & Harden\Lackey\Webb
          OR
          Halladay?

          Easy answer for me. I wouldn’t give up Joba, Hughes or Montero for anyone outside of one of the Uptons brothers, Linecum, Cain, King Felix or Pujols. You’d have to get a superstar in his prime. Not a soon to be 34 year old pitcher.

          • John Duci

            Hanley?

            • Dwnflfan

              Yes on Hanley as well.

  • Balls Deep

    Brackman is a bust, sucks to admit it. You just don’t know where some of these arms will lead to; Halladay’s arm is well documented and tested. Do not want to see “Beckett, Halladay, Lester” but rather “Sabathia, Halladay, Burnett”

    • Bo

      Uh oh. Calling Brackman a bust will bring on the homer dogs here. The ones who think every Yankee picked by Oppenheimer is a future all star. The ones who actually pray to Jesus Montero.

      • V

        You really are a total, complete, waste of human flesh.

        • Nady Nation

          Pretty uncalled for.

          • V

            Yes, Bo’s presence in RAB is totally, completely, uncalled for.

            • Nady Nation

              You personally attacking him just because you don’t agree with his opinions on baseball really brings a lot to the table, though.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Wait, Bo comes into the conversation with “Calling Brackman a bust will bring on the homer dogs here. The ones who think every Yankee picked by Oppenheimer is a future all star. The ones who actually pray to Jesus Montero.”

                and V’s the one you call out for attacking? Bo initiated the name calling and attacking. He’s the one who dislikes people who disagree with his opinions.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Calling someone a homer is a little different than calling someone “a total, complete, waste of human flesh.”

                  Yeah, they’re both personal attacks. But come on, there’s clearly a difference.

                • Nady Nation

                  OK, but you don’t think there’s a difference between “homer dogs” and “total, complete waste of flesh”. I should’ve clarified I guess – I’m not defending Bo’s commentary, nor do I ever agree with his opinions (usually just scroll over his comments), I just thought calling him a waste of life was out of line, and doesn’t really accomplish anything.

                • ARX

                  Ok…putting aside the fact that the original post and the response to it are in completely different leagues of ‘attacking’, if this is whats expected of this ‘Bo’ character, why respond? If you claim to be an intelligent. mature poster, why waste even a millisecond on people like that?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Agreed with both of you, V’s comment was more hyperbolic and was uncalled for.

                  But Bo’s comment was also uncalled for, and it initiated everything in response to it.

                  I see numerous people recently coming to Bo’s defense pretending like he never says anything against anyone, just makes innocuous comments and gets piled on for past offenses. That’s just not true. Go back and look at Bo’s comments just today, including this one (http://riveraveblues.com/2009/07/manny-papi-tested-positive-for-peds-in-2003-15230/#comment-503131) from the immediately preceeding thread.

                  The reason Bo gets piled on isn’t because he has a differing opinion, it’s because his comments almost invariably are about how everybody else on the board is dumb and he’s one of the few smart ones. That we’re all stupid homers and he’s the only sensible one. It’s clear in all his posts. We all see it. He’s not as demonstratively nasty as some of the responses to his comments are, but he’s clearly insulting others in his comments.

                • Nady Nation

                  This is all true, and I did not intend to come off as defending Bo (as stated above). It was more about V’s harsh response than anything.

                • V

                  Thank you.

                  He adds no value to RAB. None. And he’s always around. Whether as Bo, Grant, etc.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “I see numerous people recently coming to Bo’s defense pretending like he never says anything against anyone, just makes innocuous comments and gets piled on for past offenses. That’s just not true. Go back and look at Bo’s comments just today, including this one (http://riveraveblues.com/2009/…..ent-503131) from the immediately preceeding thread.”

                  I think I’m one of the people you’re referring to who has defended Bo at times, recently. And you know what? If you go back to the link you just provided, you’ll see that I’m also the one who is right there giving Bo shit about his personal attack on people. There’s a difference between responding to someone’s asshole-ish comments when they make them and making completely unprovoked, and disproportional, personal attacks on that person at other times.

                  We all need to take a deep breath and respond to the words on the page, not to our personal opinions about the person who wrote those words. And, frankly, I’m not so sure it’s ever really appropriate, in a baseball conversation like we have at RAB, to call someone “a total, complete, waste of human flesh.” That’s fucking ridiculous.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  And… I can’t believe I’m defending Bo again… But he called people homers… Which is kinda relevant in a baseball discussion, and especially relevant in a discussion underneath a post titled “Do we overvalue Yankee prospects?” I mean, it’s not like he came in and called everyone a retard or something else meant to be insulting, for no reason, or something like that.

                  It’s certainly more relevant and appropriate than calling someone “a total, complete, waste of human flesh.”

                  People need to chill the fuck out with the personal attacks, whether the person on the receiving end makes reasonable, intelligent comments or not.

                • V

                  Your opinion is heard. I stand by mine.

                • V

                  “And… I can’t believe I’m defending Bo again… But he called people homers…”

                  It’d be different if it were coming from someone who hasn’t exhibited a child-like ability to spew bullshit every day for the past four months without fail.

                  But it didn’t. It came from Bo. And, like all the crap that Bo spews on a daily basis, it was idiotic.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Thanks for letting me know. You’re still wrong.

                • Mike HC

                  I don’t think people should personally attack each other, but lets not pretend we are at a young republicans meeting here. This is a baseball blog. Sports arguments can get heated. It happens, move on. We don’t need to harp on it like we are the last frontier of all things reasonable and moral here.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  You:
                  “It’d be different if it were coming from someone who hasn’t exhibited a child-like ability to spew bullshit every day for the past four months without fail.
                  But it didn’t. It came from Bo. And, like all the crap that Bo spews on a daily basis, it was idiotic.”

                  Me, Again:
                  “There’s a difference between responding to someone’s asshole-ish comments when they make them and making completely unprovoked, and disproportional, personal attacks on that person at other times. We all need to take a deep breath and respond to the words on the page, not to our personal opinions about the person who wrote those words.”

                • V

                  I heard you, and I disagree.

                  Someone who’s proven that he’s a lower life form should be treated as such. See: Bo, Joba-To-The-Pen, etc.

                  I don’t get why you want to give the d00d a clean slate every day. He’s proven he isn’t here to have a discussion.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Because you don’t get to decide who is worthy of joining the discussion here and who isn’t.

                • ARX

                  So again, why bother? If he’s not here for a discussion, than a) he’s not going to be swayed by facts b) isnt smart enough to listen to reason c) doesnt give a fuck what others think/say about him d) all of the above. So why does a supposedly intelligent ‘higher life form’ stoop to (or beneath) his level? Do the rules of common sense/maturity (not to mention guidelines against personal attacks) not apply because someone is on your personal shitlist? Meh nevermind, I guess these ‘heated baseball arguments’ require responding to every dipshit troll you come across instead of just scrolling past the known idiots.

                • Mike HC

                  ARX, you just railed against personally attacking other posters and then called Bo a “known idiot.”

                  Just move on

                • V

                  “Because you don’t get to decide who is worthy of joining the discussion here and who isn’t.”

                  Huh? How is this a response to my post?

                  HE IS NOT HERE TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION.

                  If he wanted to join the discussion, you know, actually listen to other’s opinions, react, etc., that’d be one thing. But he’s not.

                  But, go on there, keep giving him second chances, third chances, fourth chances, fifth chances, sixth chances, seventh chances, ……

                • V

                  “ARX, you just railed against personally attacking other posters and then called Bo a “known idiot.””

                  Actually, it seems like he wasted a lot of time and effort telling me I was wasting my time and effort.

                  As if I have anything better to do.

                  Oh yeah, this damn pension plan redesign forecast I’m supposed to work on today. Crap.

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I said: “Because you don’t get to decide who is worthy of joining the discussion here and who isn’t.”

                  You said: “Huh? How is this a response to my post?”

                  Because your reaction to him is to seek to eliminate him from the discussion. If you were simply reacting to what he said and responding, however negatively, to what he said, that would be fine. But your reaction is to bully him and insult him no matter what he actually said in the post you’re responding to. Your reaction is an attempt to silence him and eliminate him from the discussion. Thus, you’re taking it upon yourself to decide who gets to join the discussion and who doesn’t.

                  That’s how it’s a response to your post.

                  React negatively to what he says. Lord knows I do. But you don’t have to hurl personal insults at him that are personal in nature and that are irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

                  PS: http://riveraveblues.com/2009/07/do-we-overvalue-yankee-prospects-15226/#comment-503268

                • V

                  :yawn:

                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Oh, hold on, it totally changes things when you put it that way. ;-)

                  :makes wanking motion in the air while reading your comment:

              • V

                I didn’t attack him because I disagree with his opinions.

                I attacked him because his ‘opinion’ is that you are wrong. About everything. And he doesn’t need to provide one iota of intellectual backup for his ‘opinion’ that you are wrong, about everything.

                D00d’s a waste of human flesh.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Yet you are still violating our guidelines. AGAIN. I can’t count how many times I’ve asked you to stop personally attacking people. STOP. Now.

                • V

                  This would make once.

                  I’ll stop.

                • V

                  Still have no idea why you guys let Grant/Bo/Sal/Lanny keep coming around, though.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski
                • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  pwned.

                • V

                  Point to you. In my defense, I never saw them, as they were at the end of threads.

                  Whatever. This place is already 90% noise. Just let Grant/Bo/Sal/Axl/Lanny keep bringing down the level of discourse.

        • ARX

          And a waste of time to reply to, and yet people still do it, with gusto….and vitriol.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      No to all of that.

    • http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/413671602_daded72a81_m.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      We had this conversation recently. Let’s not have the same conversation again.

      http://riveraveblues.com/2009/07/b-is-for-brackman-b-is-for-bust-15061

      • KG Sturnz0r – Camilo Gerardo

        LSS, 6’10 limited action starter post-opp can’t be considered a bust until >=3 years

        • Balls Deep

          3 years? are you kidding me… they had Brackman in the 2010 or 2011 rotation; he can’t throw a strike; if he wasn’t such a ‘bonus baby’… he might be gone. Was a risk/steal at the 30th pick if and only if he panned out; hasn’t come close yet… they’ll give him 1 more year… then he’s sitting at the bar with Brien Taylor.

  • Ed

    I think the biggest problem causing Yankee fans to overvalue prospects is the lack of overall depth in the organization (especially regarding position players). The farm system wasn’t any good until recently and doesn’t really have many stars in it. The major league team has had a ton of injuries over the past several years, so there’s a constant need to dig into what depth is there.

    Montero is the only guy in the farm I’d consider labeling untouchable. But it’s harder to let A-Jax go when you know that Shelly Duncan is the next best outfielder you’ve got in the high minors. The Tabata trade was easy to take because A-Jax was still there.

    Z-Mac was easier to deal with trading at the start of the season. But now that we’re about 5 steps down the starting pitching depth chart, it’s harder to say he should be traded.

    • Mikebk

      i think if this team is going to be dealing prospects it should be doing deals sort of like the rays and twins did the a couple years ago where they swapped from strengths to fill needs. granted those players were in the majors but still very young. i think most of us would agree that we are relatively deep in pitching prospects so if there were deals out to swap those for some more legit hitting prospects it should be looked in to.

  • Bo

    Over valued? No way. Kennedy, Duncan, Johnson, Navarro, Horne, Clippard, Wright, etc etc are all legit stars. Yes every Yankee fan thinks every prospect is destined for stardom.

    • V

      Batshit insane.

    • Stryker

      you couldn’t be any more wrong Bo. your views of the conventional RAB poster or Yankees fan are so disproportionate.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Homer

        • Tampa Yankee

          /Bo’d

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Cut the act. Look, your’re not a Yankee fan, it’s obvious. You’re looking for ways to troll and to find something wrong about the Yanks since they are awfully good. It’s the best team they have in years. But you trolling is fucking annoying and against the guidelines. Be respectful to the Yankee fans of the site or simply stop trolling. Be negative all you want cause you still will but don’t proclaim us as morons and you the King of Kings.

  • mike

    It really all depends on when we review the move – its very easy to look back to last year at the trading deadline when the Yanks got Nady/Marte as a coup, but would anyone do it again now??? what about 2 years from now when Marte is a stud again? or 5 years when Tabata is in the bigs? etc.

    I almost feel bad for Theo and Cash, who have a super hyped fan base (and thus super-hyped prospects)and yet are forced to part with them for even marginal pro talent because of their need to win every year, and then defend the move both at present and for years thereafter!

  • Bo

    The real problem is that fans read BA like its gospel and think thats how prospects should be valued. When we have no idea what teams or especially the Yankee think of their own system and players. When in 2004-05 you had people, BA and scouts trashing Cano and the Yankees valued him a dif level. And you probably had many a fan in 2005 saying trade him for whoever because BA didnt rate him high or cant miss.

    The key to any front office is assembling talent. Right after that is evaluating said talent. So you don’t get rid of future stars. It’s thge trade the right guy philosophy and why the Yankees have built this powerhouse.

    For example. Trade Gerald Williams and Roberto Kelly. Keep Bernie.

  • toad

    Yes. We do overvalue prospects when it comes to trades. It’s almost unavoidable. The psychological/economic idea that explains it is called “regret theory.” There is a motivation to avoid taking actions that, even if you think they are a good bet, will cause you great regrets if you are wrong. Trade a top prospect for a short-term gain and see him star for other teams for years and you will have huge regrets, so you don’t like to do that.

    That said, I commented below that the Yankees may sensibly value good prospects more highly than other teams because draft rules make it harder for them to replace traded prospects.

    • dudes

      ironically, that theory you speak of is called “prospect theory”

      i believe kahneman wrote the seminal piece in the 80s…

      • toad

        Not quite, but prospect theory is very close. It says we fear loss more than we value equivalent gains. I think Kahneman and Tversky are responsible for both ideas, and the ideas are clearly related.

  • A.D.

    I think it’s harder for Yanks fan more so recently since the farm has gone from barren to actually having some prospects

  • Mike HC

    I like to look at trades by pretending the trade was already made at the beginning on the season. For example … Lets say the Yanks had CC, AJ, Halladay, Joba and Pettitte as our starters and the Blue Jays had Hughes dominating in the pen after being so-so as a starter, Montero mashing in AA and some other mid level prospects plugging away in the minors. Would you be willing to trade Halladay and get Hughes, Montero, McAllister, and whoever else in a trade from Toronto. How could the Yanks possibly trade such a sure thing Ace when we are right in the thick of it just to put us in a better position for the future?

    I don’t want to trade Hughes and Montero plus others for Halladay. But looking at it from the other perspective, if the Yanks already had Halladay, I most certainly would not trade him away right now for Hughes, Montero and others. I think that is the crux of the problem Moshe brought up.

    • KG Sturnz0r – Camilo Gerardo

      That’s wierd, I would trade for Hughes, Montero, plus in a second. In a vacuum, of course… Yanks will never be sellers, so it is kind of illogical to use said theoretical turning of tables

  • Joba or Hughes-To-the-pen

    Of course Yankee prospects are over valued.People still think Joba is gonna be like Lincecum or Verlander.

    • V

      Joba was better than Verlander last night.

      • Fat Francesa

        No, Last night doesn’t count. Only his bad starts

      • Mikebk

        that’s simply not true. joba has done that once in his career while verlander has done it multiple times. was joba great last night, yes, but to say he was better than Verlander is inaccurate.

        • V

          Huh?

          Verlander gave up 3 runs in 7 innings last night.

          Joba gave up nothin’ in 8 innings.

          Joba was better than Verlander last night.

    • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

      There’s a real possibility that that occurs, and that’s why I think it.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      He’s been pretty damn close. You cited two of the best starters in baseball, and Joba, who has half as many career starts as Lincecum, is in range.

      Even if this is all Joba ever is as a starter (career as a starter, a 3.27 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 8.7 K/9), he would still be a very, very good starter, and certainly more valuable as a starter than as a reliever.

  • bottom line

    Do Yankee fans over-value prospects? Yeah, I remember back in 95 how everyone was saying Mariano Rivera would be better than the greatest reliever of all time. Back then, I also remember Yankee fans claiming Derek Jeter would one day pass Joe-D, Mantle and Ruth for more lifetime hits. Yeah, and remember the phenomenal buzz when Phil Coke came up. Yeah, people thought he would be our best lefty since Mike Stanton.

    No, the simple fact is most yankee fans vastly UNDER-VALUE prospects. I think knowledgeable fans can distingusih between a Phil Hughes and Z-Mac, between a Montero and Chase Weems. But many are still willing to trade Hughs or Joba, along with others for a Roy Halladay. Here is a 23 yr.old guy pitching nearly as well as a 32 year old guy widely seen as tops in the game, but who makes roughly $15 million more. And we’re supposed to give them the developing talent — plus others — for the 32 yr.old. This,if anything shows how years of UNDER-VALUING prospects by Yankees management (pre–Cash, of course) has led to persistent devaluation today. Other teams have conditioned Yankee fans to think they have torade their best young talent (and more of it than anyone else would have to give up) to secure that one veteran they think they need. Cashman has done a great job in deflating the expectations of rival GMs. He has not yet fully educated the Yankee fan base on the real value of its best prospects.

  • Tank Foster

    I think we definitely tend to over-value prospects.

    I think the most reasonable thing that can be said of any prospect is that he has (or doesn’t have) the tools to succeed at “X” level.

    Success in any field is a product of talent and motivation. To be a superstar, which I loosely define as a player who has a long, consistent history (multiple years, say more than 10 years, apart from injury) of high level performance (say, one of the 10-20 best players in baseball year in year out), you need both talent and lots of motivation and a good work ethic.

    I think it is easier to judge talent than it is to judge how motivated someone is, and to predict whether that person will continue to work hard and make the sacrifices needed to be a star player.

    Many teams do “scout” psychological variables, but I think this is tough to do accurately, or at least as accurately as one can judge raw talent.

    I am a professional and am good at my profession. But I could be much better at it than I am. To be extraordinary at what I do, rather than just “industry standard,” however, would require a huge investment of time. With a family, I no longer wish to make this committment. So, I handle what I can, and send the rest to better and smarter people.

    In sports, I think it’s no different. A certain level of talent and motivation can get you to the majors; what you do with it once you get there is an entirely different story.

  • Randy A.

    The reason prospects are over valued now is because of the evolution and popularity of major league baseball. 10 years ago would anyone care to watch the first few rounds of the MLB draft on television? Few would, but baseball is becoming more and more popular every year.

    The NFL draft is so popular because fans feel like it is somewhat of a journey to follow the players that they saw get drafted. It adds a sense of attachment to these players and that is why they are over valued in baseball.

    Seriously, would you really care to find every box score for every Yankees farm team 10 years ago?

    I love the idea of all of these prospects coming up and hoping that they can excel at the major league level but the odds are against that. But until they are tested at the major league level, or fall off the face of the earth while in the minors, I will follow them and over value them because I am a fan. It’s as simple as that.

  • Jake H

    I do think Yankee fans do it but so do every fan of each team. I also don’t think you can call a guy a bust after 1 or 2 seasons. Not all great players come up at 21 or 23. Look at the laptop stealer. He is 25 this year and 24 last year. People are still calling him a prospect and how good he is.

  • Tony

    The Yankees didn’t turn the franchise around until they started keeping their prospects around despite the average fan/media’s pushes to deal everyone for a veteran. Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Bernie, and Rivera were all prospects too. Not only that, but at least three of those prospects went through a time when they were seen as busts.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Yes, they were all prospects. The Yankees actually almost traded Mo, and Cashman has said that he was on at least one list of players that another team could pick from in a trade. Sterling Hitchcock was a prospect, but they traded him because they had Pettitte. The key to building with prospects is not keeping them all, but knowing which to keep and which to trade for current assets.

      • Tony

        And if you trade everyone, as some would be a-ok with doing, you don’t get that chance either. And there’s definitely a dartboard element to player development. These 4 and 5 for 1 deals for 9 months of play aren’t how you build for longterm success.

  • Diane

    Whats interesting about todays David Ortiz admission is that the NY Times broke the article saying Michael Kay was a big factor in bringing this information to light.

    • Jack

      What does that have to do with the value of prospects?

    • JMK

      You’re probably new here. Just to let you know, most here at RAB would be thrilled to hear information like that. Just comment on the right thread. There’s a thread for that right below this one. I’m not trying to sound like a dick at all, just letting you know your efforts will have more impact in the right thread.

  • Tank Foster

    My stupid soliloquy dodged your whole question, I guess; you asked “Do we overvalue Yankee prospects?”

    I think the detailed information which is now available to enthusiastic, “superfans” does lead to over-valuing of prospective major leaguers. I don’t think we as Yankee fans are any more guilty of this than fans of other teams, though.

    I don’t think league owners and talent scouts, overall, over-value talent, either. The market for talent is efficient; some players are over valued and some under valued, but in general it’s probably pretty fairly judged.

  • James

    Yes, we overvalue our prospects, but it is probably mostly due to the fact that the yankees really never had prospects. Since the age of the internet, where we can follow how a prospect does at every at bat, and how a prospect does every pitch… These guys are some of the Yankees’ firsts.

    Hughes, marked the turnaround, King Phil, the Yankees first real building piece to a lower payroll, and a flourishing Farm System. Next… Joba Chamberlain, an animal in the minors who came up into the Yankees bullpen and provided the team with attitude and still does as a starter.

    The downside, Ian Kennedy… Alan Horne… and others… Could a Kennedy, Horne and other various prospects package have landed the yankees Johan Santana? or maybe it could’ve landed a top offensive prospect in a 2 for 1 swap…

    However, Phil Hughes and Joba seem to be worth the Hype Recently, Hughes is in the bullpen getting his confidence boost… which is boosting through the roof, and Joba has been close to untouchable after the All Star Break since he has realized he doesn’t have to strike everyone out, he now realizes those starts will come when he K’s 10 or 12 or maybe more, and he doesn’t have to push the envelope to do it every night.

    Yes, we overvalue our prospects, but what if Montero is… what Pablo Sandoval is to the Giants, and what if Austin Jackson is… what Hunter Pence is to the Astros.
    How about if Joba and Hughes both win Cy Young Awards… Maybe they do it more than once?
    Do You than ask the same question? Do We Overvalue Yankee Prospects? or do we…
    Just believe in the Yankees Personnel, Development System and the players they choose to put in it…?

    • JMK

      Poor grammar aside, good post.

  • Jason

    “King Felix”? who is that referring to, anybody know?

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Felix Hernandez, ace of the Mariners.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        Or, as he’s better known here, King Felix, Free Agent After the 2011 season …

      • Jason

        Ok so mark that down as double dumb ass, since I so unconsciously skipped over the “Hughes” part, do we really think that the Mariners will give him up in a trade or won’t re-sign him when the time comes

        • Salty Buggah

          He’ll take CC money, maybe more since he’s only going to be 25 but is already a CY young contender at 23.So, I doubt the M’s can afford him unless they use Wii money.

    • Jason

      Ok so I now realize, and feel like a dumb ass in the process, who that is referring to, but what i dont understand is the Felix part, is it because Phil can be pronounced kind of like Felix? Sorry here in Texas, where I am surrounded by Cowboy and Ranger idiots, there is not a lot of dialog with “true Yankee Fans”

  • Mikebk

    Does anyone want to say i am overvaluing if i say no to this deal?

    “2:19pm: SI’s Jon Heyman says that in their initial conversation, the Mariners requested Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes for Washburn.”

    • suppository

      That’s a joke.

    • Salty Buggah

      yea no thanks. I probably wont even give up Z-mac for him.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Wait…seriously? They seriously did? That has to be a joke. There is no way Seattle’s GM said that w/a straight face.

      • Mikebk

        it is was heyman literally reported, no joke.

  • suppository

    Boston is losing! Great.

    • V

      LOL! I got into a huge argument on mlbtraderumors yesterday on how I’d rate Kershaw > Joba > Lester in terms of total value.

      Don’t I look like a fuggin’ genius after 1 start from each, lol.

      • Mikebk

        kershaw is clearly 1
        joba is probably 2
        lester could compete with joba because of being lefty, but being 2 years younger gives joba the edge back.

        • James

          Right now, those are the rankings… Lester has been ineffective,OVERRATED in my opinion… liek all red sox prospects. Don’t be surprised to see Joba #1 eventually, but Kershaw is a Beast.

          • Mikebk

            i cant stand boston as much as anyone in here but tough to call a 25 year old with a 36-15 record and 3.8 career era ineffective or overrated.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            How exactly has Lester been ineffective? He’s sitting at a 123 ERA+ right now with a K/9 over 10 and a K/BB of just under 4.

  • Rick

    Aren’t all yank prospects studs???

  • Stryker

    every team’s fanbase overvalues their own prospects. there are a few factors in play here.

    we, as yankees fans, are in an interesting situation. this is an organization that has lacked or given up draft picks and young talent (the word talent is used quite loosely here) in favor of the proven veteran bat or pitcher in order to win. we’ve CLEARLY seen how successful or unsuccessful this has been in recent years. now, with brian cashman practically ordering he take control of the direction of this team after quite a stretch of unsuccessful playoff runs this team has made smarter decisions regarding free agents and thusly put more of an importance on draft picks and developing talent. the yankees haven’t had a lick of talent in the farm system for over a decade. now that they do, it’s easy to fall in love with what’s there regardless of whether or not others assess the players’ value the same. for example, austin jackson. the majority of yankees fans who follow the minor leagues are in love with the guy. he won’t be the next dimaggio or mantle. hell, he won’t even be as good with the stick as bernie williams. the guy will probably pan out to be an average hitter with some good defense. but since he’s in the upper levels of the system and has shown improvement at each level of the minor leagues, people poorly judge him as the second coming.

    secondly, the scope of baseball has changed. gone are the days of bulky men past their prime doing everything they can to hit shots to the moon and poorly constructed rosters with zero defense. the game has gotten younger and more athletic. teams make defense and pitching a priority. obviously getting younger as a team goes hand in hand with scouting, making shrewd trades and most importantly – developing talent on the IFA market and from the amateur draft. more and more people start paying attention to draft picks and prospects because there’s a decent chance some of these guys will end up taking starting positions on a major league team.

  • pete

    hey…shut up.

  • toad

    Another reason the vaue of prospects has increased, not unreasonably, is that their relative price has gone down. As FA contracts have gotten more and more expensive the value of young, non-FA eligible, players has gone up.

  • gio

    Our over-valuing of Yanks prospects stems from the lack of depth in the system, I think. Sure, people would be upset if we traded AJax/Z-Mac/Romine/Dellin for Lee because AJax is our best OF prospect, ZMac might be the closest starter to the majors (the Phils kept their version in Drabek), and Romine, unlike Montero, projects to stay at catcher and anchor that position for the Yanks in the future. The OF the Phillies gave up wasn’t their top OF prospect. If we were to trade AJax, we’d have very little left at the CF position, and we’d be giving up maybe the most talked-about prospect we’ve had in a long time. Losing ZMac wouldn’t be a big deal, since we’d be getting Lee. Losing Romine would also be a big deal since maany expect him to take over for Posada in ’11. In short, I think that deal would hurt the Yanks in the future much more than it did the Phils.

  • Brian

    I believe that knowing so much about prospects, at least compared to most fans knowledge even ten years ago leads us to over value prospects to some extent. However, this isn’t a terrible thing. It feels better as a fan when you see home grown players succeeding in the majors as opposed to players that are big ticket signings (with a few exceptions). This goes back to the A-Rod conversion of why he has never been fully accepted by our fan base.