Dec
16

Baseball America’s Top 10 Yankee Prospects

By

Baseball America posted their top ten Yankee prospects today, and predictably Jesus Montero topped the list. Austin Romine and Arodys Vizcaino rounded out the top three. Four of the ten players are backstops.

In the subscriber only scouting report, Montero is said to have improved his defense behind the plate, however he’s still a below average defender. More importantly, they said he “hasn’t delivered completely on his raw power, but he’s close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale.” That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Andrew Brackman, who still managed to crack the top ten, was said to have regained some command in Instructional League. Good news.

Categories : Asides, Minors

205 Comments»

  1. Andrew Brackman, who still managed to crack the top ten, was said to have regained some command in Instructional League. Good news.

    Don’t tell SalBoGrantLanny, he’s gonna have a shitfit.

  2. Accent Shallow says:

    Projected 2013 Lineup:

    [snip]

    Closer Joba Chamberlain

    /punches John Manuel in the face

    • Tank the Frank says:

      I know. Has the world gone mad?

      • Chris G says:

        Joba Chamberlain failed to convince anyone that he’s better suited as a starter than as a reliever

        I don’t think these people are really paying attention to his first 110 innings.

        • Tank the Frank says:

          though scouts who once considered Chamberlain a future No. 1 starter now admit that he’s a different animal out of the bullpen.

          I don’t get this. So he has the potential (admittedly) to be a No. 1 starter… but oh… he’s a “different animal” out of the bullpen. Well what’s better than a No. 1 starter? What this is to me is basically an admission by Manuel that a closer is more important than a top of the rotation starter.

        • Riddering says:

          Was everyone asked? As an unofficial scout, I received no query.

          I demand a revote.

  3. Accent Shallow says:

    While good hitting catchers are a valuable resource, I’d rather see good hitting CFs or SSs, since those guys, if they can’t handle CF/SS, can possibly still provide plus defense at corner spots (or 2B), whereas a catcher who can’t hack it behind the plate likely will be a mediocre to bad 1B.

    • whereas a catcher who can’t hack it behind the plate likely will be a mediocre to bad 1B.

      Not necessarily. It all depends on the quality of the bat.

      For example, Montero, even if he can’t hack it behind the plate, can be an EXCELLENT 1B. And, if 1B is organizationally blocked, he can be an EXCELLENT DH (or possibly LF).

      BTW, I can think of a certain excellent 1B/DH who’s available this very winter who began his career as a catching prospect:

      http://webzoom.freewebs.com/31.....elgado.JPG

      (That’s right: Four comments in, and I’ve already praised both Andrew Brackman AND Carlos Delgado. I’m definitely going to piss a certain someone off today. Book it.)

      • Accent Shallow says:

        I think I wasn’t clear — I was talking about defensive value. Montero does project to have enough of a bat to hit anywhere, but that’ll come with a defensive hit, because he’s not gonna turn into a good 1B/3B. Whereas a hypothetical Montero who plays CF or SS and has the same questions could turn into a plus corner defender.

        • Steve H says:

          But why can’t he become a good defensive 1b?

        • Thomas says:

          I’d love the Yankees to develop those players and I’m sure the Yankees would love it too, but they almost never exist. There are like 5 of those type of players in the game. A SS/CF with a Montero-esque bat is just so rare, because they now have to be athletic in addition to a ridiculously good hitter. Most hitters that have great power just aren’t that athletic/fast enough to man other corner OF and 2B well.

          • Accent Shallow says:

            Mostly, I’m just saying that good hitters who can play CF/SS in the minors are more valuable than good hitters who play C, because the former category can still provide plus defense even if moved off those positions, whereas anyone moved off catcher may not.

            Of course, a bat like Montero’s appears to be able to play anywhere. 80 hitter with 80 power? What is that, early career Frank Thomas? Pujols? Miggy Cabrera? Yikes.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          What about Posada? He might not be horrid behind the dish, but he’s pretty bad. Yet, as a Catcher, I think he has been very valuable to the Yankees… no?

          And if Montero turns into Piazza…. valuable?

  4. Evil Empire says:

    Montero is said to have improved his defense behind the plate, however he’s still a below average defender.

    If Montero is good enough to just be “below average”, as opposed to, say “What Jason Veritek would be like as a catcher when he’s 45 years old”, that is abundantly acceptable. For every passed ball or runner he is not able to gun down, he’ll just mash the fuck out of a ball to redeem himself.

  5. Ed says:

    Montero is said to have improved his defense behind the plate, however he’s still a below average defender.

    Is he simply “below average”, or is that just a nice way of saying “He finally plays catcher better than your grandmother does” ?

    I’d be thrilled with “below average” with his bat.

  6. Jai says:

    Isn’t their catching prospect named Gaby, not Gary, Sanchez?

  7. Doug says:

    Mike, I know you likely have your own top 10 forthcoming, but care to chime in on BAs? Where are you similar? Vastly different?

    • radnom says:

      One difference is I bet Axia did not include Sanchez in his top 10.

      Other than that, they’ve got to be pretty similar no?

      Montero, Romine, Vizcaino, Heathcott, ZMac, ManBan and Bleich are practically locks for top 10. I guess you could bump of Brackman, but I would be good money Mike still has him in his top 10.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I’m putting mine together now, but for the most part they’re similar. I won’t rate Sanchez that high because I want to see him in the states first. I’m not sure how I’m going to sort out the Banuelos, Vizcaino, McAllister mess.

      I’ll probably squeeze Melancon and Nova into the back half of the top 10 somehow.

  8. CB says:

    More importantly, they said he “hasn’t delivered completely on his raw power,

    He looked to start doing so in AA before he got hurt.

    Montero will hit for power. There is a question on how many home runs he’ll hit, I suppose. He reportedly has a relatively level swing plan and hits the ball with more top spin than most home run hitters do.

    Tough to hit a lot of home runs with top spin on the ball. Have to hit screaming liners that get out before they can sink. It has sounded like a number of Montero’s HR so far have been of that variety.

  9. Tank the Frank says:

    Bleich over WDLR? I expected to see De La Rosa somewhere on that list.

  10. pollo says:

    I’m so ‘meh’ with this. We’ve got guys with a ton of upside, but no one past A+ (other than Montero/ZacMac) who’s going to make an impact any time soon.

    I’m guessing we drop in rankings this year due to the youth in our system (and losing AJax).

    Still, the future looks bright. I guess this coming year will be telling for our ranking.

    • DP says:

      Romine will probably start in AA, same for Bleich. I guess it’s unclear what you mean by “any time soon.”

    • TheZack says:

      Having 2-3 guys at the top of the system ready to contribute and with strong futures isn’t exactly shabby, ESPECIALLY when in the past two seasons you’ve: signed three major type A free agents; not signed your #1 pick; made two major trades involving your minor league system; graduated two of your best pitching prospects in a long time to the majors; and WON THE WORLD SERIES.

      Most clubs would be lucky to have a farm system left after all that. That the Yankees have the likes of Jesus, Z-Mac, and Nova heading for AAA and some high talent in A/AA is pretty impressive.

      Not that different from the Sox or any other really good team…

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      I’m so ‘meh’ with this. We’ve got guys with a ton of upside, but no one past A+ (other than Montero/ZacMac) who’s going to make an impact any time soon.

      Maybe this is just my take on it, but I think the Yankees are in a position to be able to have some of their “top guys” a year + away. I mean seriously, barring any major injuries, where would Yankees need a prospect to fill-in? Maybe LF? The infield is set up for the next couple years. CF and RF are under control. C is serviceable with Cervelli as a back-up. They have good SP and RP depth available (although you can never have enough). Having Jesus, Slade, Vizcaino, etc. in the lower levels is OK because they can learn and perfect their stuff in the minors instead of learning on the job (like Joba).

  11. Jai says:

    2013 line-up looks pretty decent, and it doesn’t take into consideration FA moves between now and then. Get excited.

  12. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Andrew Romine? Lol.

  13. ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

    Brackman and Bleich over McAllister and Nova? I disagree.

    • Doug says:

      mcallister’s 5th, ahead of both bleich and brackman

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      Brackman and Bleich over McAllister and Nova? I disagree.

      Fixed that for me.

      • Here’s why:

        Brackman’s upside is still >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Bleich or Nova’s. One bad year does not erase that.

        As for why Bleich is over Nova, I suspect the fact that he’s a lefty and that Nova kinda came out of nowhere combine for that decision.

        • TheZack says:

          Yeah, but it was a really bad year. Really really really bad. And upside is great and all, but at a certain point, a major league ready arm has a lot more value to clubs than a high upside, high chance of failure not that young arm in low A.

          • Steve H says:

            Daniel Bard had a really really really bad year in the minors too, and even he doesn’t have Brackmans upside.

          • And upside is great and all, but at a certain point, a major league ready arm has a lot more value to clubs than a high upside, high chance of failure not that young arm in low A.

            This isn’t a ranking of the “most valuable to the club” Yankee prospects, it’s a ranking of the TOP prospects.

            Nova and Bleich probably do have more value to the club because they’re closer and more refined products, but that doesn’t mean that they should be ranked higher than Brackman. Value, ceiling/floor, projectability, distance to majors, and numerous other factors are all weighed against each other.

            • TheZack says:

              I still don’t really see how Brackman comes out on top of, say, Nova in a system ranking “Value, ceiling/floor, projectability, distance to majors” etc. Nova’s ceiling isn’t THAT low, he’s close to the majors, and he’s quite projectable.

              Brackman, on the other hand, is going on pure ceiling. His floor is much lower because he’s so far away, and its pretty darn impossible to project him right now because he’s such a mess. He’s got a great FB and is really tall. On the other hand, he’s over a year older than Nova, is way behind in his development, can’t stay healthy, and is a mechanical mess.

              So basically what it comes down to is that this list really weights ceiling way more than anything else.

              I think its far better at this point to leave Brackman off lists and be happily surprised if he turns it around.

              • So basically what it comes down to is that this list really weights ceiling way more than anything else.

                If the list really weighed ceiling more than anything else, Brackman would be #2, right behind Montero. Montero’s still the only guy with a ceiling as high as him. Furthermore, guys like DeLeon would have cracked the top 10.

                All things considered, putting Brackman at #10, behind guys like Romine, Heathcott, McAllister, Murphy, and Bleich but in front of guys like Nova, Heredia, and Melancon seems to be a pretty fair blending of upside, projectability, and immediate value. JMHO.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

                He has a refined breaking ball, too (supposedly the curve is good). Stuff-wise he can’t be touched in this system. It’s everything else that’s been an issue.

                Still, he’s had ONE season back and even though it was pretty bad, he did have some high points. He was pitching right after TJ surgery.

                Let’s not rush to judgment on this one.

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

          Those are valid points, of course. I’d say that Brackman is also the most likely of three to never reach the majors.

          Nova was also fairly successful in 2007 and 2008, so I wouldn’t say he came out of nowhere. His potential is also a bit higher then Bleich’s IMO and he is a bit further along while basically the same age.

          • Dwnflfan says:

            Based on reports from his late season performance he improved dramatically late in the season. The reports on him from the instructional league were glowing. Remember, this guy is still fairly inexperienced splitting his time between baseball and basketball and was coming off major surgery.

            I’ve read reports that Yankee front office people think he could possibly contribute as soon as next year if moved to the bullpen full-time. I don’t expect it mind you because apparently they’re going to have him in the rotation to start the year.

    • Bo says:

      Brackman over them is a joke.

      Nova will pitch more games this yr in the majors than Brackman will his career.

      • sleepykarl says:

        Lets go thought the logic here. Guy misses over a year due to TJ surgery and struggles his first year in the minors, therefore he will never be good. Kinda similar to the Joba logic, he struggled in the second half of his first full year in the rotation, therefore he will not be a good starter. Bo has yet to make an informed opinion, therefore he never will. They should get rid of Slade, as he was 1-10 in rookie ball last year. Why spend the next years of trying to develop that?

  14. JobaWockeeZ says:

    I would love the projected 2013 lineup…but Joba’s is gonna be a starter.

    • I find it hard to believe that Gardner’s gonna be holding down a starting job in 2013. I’d be pretty pumped if Heathcott was there by ’13, though.

      And, yeah, Joba won’t be a closer.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      1. Slade (assuming he hits close to his ceiling)
      2. Jeter
      3. Teixeira
      4. Alex
      5. Jesus
      6. Cano
      7. Granderson
      8. Romine
      9. Gardner

      I expect (or hope) that rotation to include Felix, Lee, Cain by then. Plus I love McAllister. I expect McAllister to be holding down the back end of the rotation for us.

      • Thomas says:

        In 2013, Heathcott would be a rookie most likely (if he is in the majors), so I’d highly doubt the Yankees would let him lead off. It probably be Jeter and Granderson at the top of the order (maybe Cano or Gardner depending on there production).

        • YankeeGrunt says:

          He’s got the same toolsy label as Jackson, raw athleticism needing refinement, and assuming Jackson cracks the bigs this year that would put him in his sixth season of pro ball. Heathcott could move faster (and is older than Jackson was at the same point, 19 now), but Jackson had the advantage of a full summer of short season after being drafted, so that could be overly optimistic.

      • mike m says:

        I expect (or hope) that rotation to include Felix, Lee, Cain by then.

        Wow…that seems a little extreme. I’m sure Mike Franscesa would agree with that logic though

        • Tank the Frank says:

          Forgot to put an “or” there. My point is I think the Yankees will grab another top-of-the-line starter by 2013. But only one…

      • sleepykarl says:

        If Gardner is gonna crack that lineup everyday, I would assume that he developed into the solid obp guy he has shown in the minors. If he where to do that, I would think that he would seem like the prototypical leadoff guy that the CWS and KC where looking for.

    • Bo says:

      Joba is going to be a closer. No matter how much everyone wants him to be an ace.

      Nothing wrong with being an elite closer u know

  15. Mike bk says:

    That is a lot of love for Sanchez and Murphy i think. Bleich and Brackman are slightly too high as well, but good news to hear Brackman’s control continued to rebound in instructionals.

    1. Jesus
    2. Romine
    3. Man-Ban
    4. Viz
    5. Slade
    6. Z-Mac
    7. Nova
    8. Jairo
    9. Melancon
    10. Warren

    11-15 no order Bleich, Brackman, Sanchez, D.J. Mitchell, Murphy.

  16. Riddering says:

    “Hasn’t delivered completely on his raw power”

    Excuse me while I sob to myself in pure joy.

  17. mason.flint says:

    “close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale.”

    umm…yeah…wow.

    who’s the best offensive catcher/horrible defensive catcher that actually stuck behind the plate for the longest time?

    piazza? he never made the move to first/dh for any considerable amount of time.

  18. Doug says:

    Another kudo for the Hoffmann pickup as he’s our system best defensive OF. I guess playing devil’s advocate, it’s a negative for our system as of a week ago, though

  19. Interesting to see BA to pick Romine as Posada’s successor and Montero as a 1B/DH/trade bait option. I’m not quite ready to give up on him at catcher.

  20. Doug says:

    Also like the fact that they have Hughes as our 2013 #2. Think we’d all take that.

  21. Accent Shallow says:

    Is anyone else not impressed by BA’s writeup? I’d wager that anyone who follows baseball comes to BA for MiL analysis, not paragraphs about how the Yankees consider anything short of a WS victory failure. I can get that kind of insight anywhere.

  22. Omg!Zombies! says:

    In the subscriber only scouting report, Montero is said to have improved his defense behind the plate, however he’s still a below average defender. More importantly, they said he “hasn’t delivered completely on his raw power, but he’s close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4

  23. pete says:

    honestly i’m at the point where i could care less where Montero plays, an 80/80 bat with solid plate discipline sounds downright pujolsian. My guess: his bat plays him well enough to play catcher, but he won’t be there for long (probs move out by the time he is 25). Not necessarily because of defensive implications, but because his bat is so special that once we’re clear of the old guys who need DH time, he can be a #3 hitting DH for the next 10-15 years, a future that could potentially be jeopardized by his catching. I’d say keep him there for a while though, since it should improve his pitch and pitch-pattern recognition, as well as give us an option to spell our catcher (not as a defensive replacement, but purely for rest) without offensively downgrading all the way to frankie C. just mein opinion though.
    as for the rest of the list, meh. I expected better out of BA, but whatever. An outfield of Granderson-BrettG-Slade could potentially be RIDICULOUS defensively, but i’m still not sold on brett’s bat as an every day player. With joeG at the helm he could be a very useful player for us, but when he’s cold, he’s unbearably cold. big HR totals or not, the ability to turn a mistake into a HR without taking a wild hack is a very very important ability in a hitter.

    • honestly i’m at the point where i could care less where Montero plays, an 80/80 bat with solid plate discipline sounds downright pujolsian.

      “Pujolsian” is an unfair label to put on ANYONE, even TEH JESUS.

      I will accept Miguel Cabreraian, though.

    • Omg!Zombies! says:

      Theres no reason he cant play catcher for a couple years.Then 1B after Tex’s contract expires. Theres absolutely no reason to trade him unless its for lets say someone like Hanley.

    • emac2 says:

      Amen!

      Montero at catcher is a great plus but if the D is poor at best put him at 1st and enjoy all of the extra at bats he gets.

      If we didn’t have a lot of other catcher options in the system that might not be the case but an 80/80 hitter?

      I say get him some bubble wrap.

  24. Evil Empire says:

    Deleted by RAB. Off-topic comments will not be tolerated. Please review the commenting guidelines.

    • Evil Empire says:

      My bad.

    • Ugh. Pass.

      I’m not going to engage him anymore. He’s utterly irrational. He cannot think about things with reason or perspective. It’s like talking to a brick wall. The only way to deal with him is to ignore him, wait for November 2010 when we win another ring, and then, if he hasn’t already died from a massive myocardial infarction, take him out for a beer at an RAB meetup and explain to him, with the full benefit of hindsight, how big of a moron he was being.

      For now, he’s on the Do Not Call list.
      1.) Brazilian Yankee
      2.) Joba and Hughes to the Pen/touchtoneterriost/Adrian-Retire-21
      3.) mryankee

      (Note: I know I should put SalBoGrantLanny on there, but for some reason, I can’t. He always draws me back in. He’s my idiot muse.)

  25. A.D. says:

    I’m going to go ahead and take is as a positive that Arodys and Man-Ban are in the rotation and Joba in the pen, because they’re just that nasty they forced the Yankees to be starters.

  26. A.D. says:

    If that’s the team in 2013…not too shabby. Though Jeter at SS might be agressive

  27. John NY says:

    Montero has three really good mentors in the system:

    Girardi
    Pena
    Posada

    That’s a ton of experience to help this kid develop. Shit, maybe Yogi can get in on the action.

  28. A.D. says:

    Interesting that BA has Banuelos starting over Z-Mac, despite Z-Mac being closer to the majors, and the higher rated prospect.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      Z-Mac projects more as a back-end rotation starter. ManBan has the potential to be a #2, is young and very poised. I’d say it’s a judgment call, but I can see Banuelos being rated higher.

      • Drew says:

        +1.

        This is a prospects list based solely on talent and potential.

        Similar to what someone posted a bit further up with Melancon in his list; This list isn’t what prospect is most ready to contribute at the major league level.

      • A.D. says:

        I’m saying its odd that BA puts Z-Mac higher & Man-Ban as a starter over him in a few years.

  29. YANKS1FAN says:

    Why isnt anyone bringing up Jorge Vazquez. He is ML ready and hit better than Montero in AA last year. So he is 27, so what, he isnt 37. Jorge ‘Chato’ Vazquez will get an invite to ST. He has a shot at making the club out of camp. He could be a DH/bench player who can give a few positions a day off. That is why they had him in Instructs working on catching which was his first position. He might not be great defensively, but is playable at first with 220 pro games, and 135 games at third, and can play the corner OF. He is just a masher, period. AA,AAA,Winter Ball, or the Bigs. He will mash no matter where he is. Over the last couple of years he was Mexico’s Matsui to Japan. He was on Gatorade ads….his nickname was ‘El Destructor’. He is a better hitter than Miranda. Miranda in the ML is projected at .280/18/80. Not bad, but Chato will be .300/30/100. And he has been working on LH pitching and this winter he has only been in 24 games but he is at .280/.379/.840/1.219 with 4hr and 2 doubles in 24ab. He has played 24 games and is 6th in HR in the Mex lg and climbing. The rest of the leaders are at 50+ games. And the last 4 of 5 Hr were against pitchers with ML exp. He will get his chance, if not in NY, somewhere. In Trenton he was selected to EL All-Star team while placing 3rd in the league in avg (.332), 5th in HR (13), 7th in RBI (55) and 1st in SLG (.584) while only playing in 56 out of the leagues 91g at the break!!! That is insane!!!!

    • emac2 says:

      I’m looking forward to watching him hit in the lineup with Montero in AAA but wouldn’t object if he earned a ML spot with a good spring.

    • Drew says:

      I love me some JoVa.

      I think he’s got potential to rush through AA(If the Yanks start him there) and AAA and join the Yanks by July/August.

    • He…hit better than Montero in AA last year. So he is 27…

      Asked and answered. A 27 year old hitting well in AA is nothing to write home about. Everything else you wrote after that is pretty irrelevant.

      Furthermore, he’s a DH who can’t hit lefties. Snore.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      I think it’s time for your siesta. That post was brutal.

    • A.D. says:

      Why isnt anyone bringing up Jorge Vazquez.

      Well on this thread because he’s not a “prospect” in the sense.

      In general because he hasn’t played above AA & hasn’t stayed healthy.

      He will mash no matter where he is.

      That would be excellent

      Not bad, but Chato will be .300/30/100.

      Well the numbers projected off his AA numbers certainly aren’t that, so nice that your bullish, but I’ll wait for more sample to buy in.

    • Bo says:

      a 27 yr old AA player?

      Ugh

      You cant be serious

  30. pat says:

    he’s close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale.”

    And I
    JIZZED
    IN
    MY
    PANTS

  31. DP says:

    What are we looking at for Arodys next year as far as level/inning limit? Charleston/100?

  32. AndrewYF says:

    What current major league players are actually true 80/80 hitters?

    Pujols? Is that it?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Pujols might be a 70 power guy. A-Rod’s probably 70-70, Howard’s 80 power, like 50 hit.

      Bonds might be the last 80/80 guy. BA tosses 80′s around too easily.

      • AndrewYF says:

        Yeah, I agree. Do you think Montero truly has 80 power potential? I’ve heard of several scouts say this even back when he was signed. But if 80 power means 50 HR a year, I don’t see it.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Probably not, he’s probably a 65 realistically, which is 30-35 homers. 80 power is like, 40+ jacks a year without blinking an eye. Dunn has legit 80 power.

          • Yankee1010 says:

            From Matt Eddy’s chat today:

            Doug (NYC)

            BAs recently released top 10 Yankee prospects states that Jesus Montero “hasn?t delivered completely on his raw power, but he?s close to projecting as an 80 hitter with 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale.” Does he truly have 80 power potential? Isn’t 80 power like, 40+ jacks a year without blinking an eye?

            Matt Eddy
            (2:31 PM)

            You can argue the finer points with John Manuel during his Yankees chat, but you’re right in that 80 power (on the 20-to-80 scouting scale) translates literally into 35+ home runs. Montero truly is a special talent, capable of hitting for both average and power while making a lot of contact for a slugger. In that regard, he may resemble Miguel Cabrera, a .311 career hitter with a home run title to his name.

    • Sam says:

      A-Rod and Hanley probably. Adrian Gonzalez? Texeira? Prince Fielder?

  33. Am I the only Kevin? says:

    Even if Montero projects to be so poor defensively that you only feel comfortable playing him behind the plate once or twice a week, that is a win-win with a >125 OPS+ bat, no? You play his bat everyday, but without the wear and tear by making him your primary DH and backup C. Then you get yourself a starting catcher and give him his off days as usual, but aren’t forced into playing a Molina-type player once a week. Sort of how like V. Martinez was treated in his pre-Sox days.

    Having the ability to play behind the plate, even if at the level of a Matt Nokes/V. Martinez/Jim Leyritz, is so valuable that I cringe every time someone suggests moving him position-wise. Most teams in the league, even among the good ones, are forced to start a Molina-esque black hole bat in 20-25% of their games. Instead, you can fill that lineup spot with a league average or better corner OF or corner IF bat, which are much easier and cheaper to acquire.

    • Sam says:

      I like the idea of him as a back-up catcher to keep his bat in the line-up when someone else needs to DH. If he can catch around 40-50 games a season that works out perfectly. Still would probably need to carry an extra catcher though.

    • Evil Empire says:

      I agree that its really important to keep Montero as a catcher if at all possible, and that if he has below average defense, that’s perfectly acceptable considering the quality of his bat.

      I disagree with there being a problem having a Jose Molina-esque player as your backup catcher. He’s above average defensively, and yes, his bat is a blackhole, but that’s why he’s a backup catcher. Most of them are blackholes, but at least Molina is a plus with his glove.

      • Am I the only Kevin? says:

        Problem, schmoblem. I know that backup Cs hit like crap. What I said was having a guy who can catch about 40 games a year and provide a bat that is at average or better for a starting catcher is a big advantage. The reason this is such an advantage is exactly because most teams have a crappy hitting backup catcher.

        The advantage provided by this is big enough, in fact, that in my opinion you give Montero the chance to stick at catcher even if it is likely that his D will only progress to the level where it is acceptable for that many starts.

        • Evil Empire says:

          I’m more hoping that the combination of Montero’s defense (shitty) and bat (awesome) will be enough to warrant him to catch, y’know, like 120+ games a season.

          Its his D is acceptable for 40, why can’t it be acceptable for 120? As long as he mashes the fuck out of the ball than the defensive shortcomings will be more than compensated for.

          • Am I the only Kevin? says:

            Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see hims develop enough to be your everyday C. You are missing a huge point about the 40 vs. 120 game issue, though. If he plays 40 games at C, he only has to replace the O+D total value of your available backup catchers. If 120+, then the value of your available starters.

            The whole question of whether he can “stick” at C is will his (below average) runs saved on defense be so bad that it eats away too much into his (above average) runs produced on offense such that his total value is less than another starting catcher you can get your hands on (e.g., slightly above average D plus a 775 OPS bat). Your typical all-glove-no-bat backup C has a much lower value to beat.

            My point, which you are missing, is that I am saying that IMO you give Montero a chance to develop at C even if it is likely that his defense will stink so badly that his total value will only be better than a typical backup Cs total value. The time lost to Montero developing in the minors longer in this scenario would presumably be balanced out by gains you get in longevity from catching less games.

            • Evil Empire says:

              Well you only need Montero’s longevity to last through his arb-eligible years, unless he merits an extension or whatever.

  34. Section 39 says:

    Why is anyone focused on what Montero is defensively. He is going to be a DH in the ML’s and a nasty one. We have plenty of catching depth and he does not need screw up his knees squatting behind the plate all game. Just hit the crap out of the ball for many years!!

    • Am I the only Kevin? says:

      To paraphrase Cashman, DHs fall out of trees.

    • Yankee1010 says:

      He would be far more valuable as a catcher hitting like he can. Posada has been sorely underrated, even by a lot of Yankee fans, during the last 10-12 years. His offensive production at catcher puts the Yanks far ahead of most of the rest of the league. When you have an opportunity to get premium offensive production from a catcher, you take it.

    • Bo says:

      You dont have 21 yr old kids DH.

      You get max value out of him if hes catching 100 games.

      You let the kid catch til he shows he truly cannot.

  35. UpstateYank says:

    I saw earlier that someone mentioned Bard’s awful first year and it made me compare the first year numbers between him and Brackman. Although Brackman is a year older and coming off of a major surgery their numbers are strikingly similar in suck-titude, with Bards actually being the worse of the two. I guess the moral of the story is don’t count Brackman out yet.

    • Keanu Reeves says:

      Which should be the logic everyone follows with regards to Brackman.

      He stayed healthy last year. That was objective number one. Now, we wait and see how this year plays out.

    • Bo says:

      Bards 2008 season in the minors was off the charts good.

      Brackman has a ways to go before he enters that.

      brackman was also 23 in A ball last yr.

      The only good thing you can say about him was that he was relatively healthy.

      If he puts up 107 K’s in 77 inn like Bard did I’ll gladly eat the words bust.

      • I doubt it. You’ll probably just pretend like you never said all the shit you said.

      • UpstateYank says:

        Yes I realize Bard had a very good 2008 season in the minors but that isn’t the point I was trying to drive home. At age 22 in predominately A-ball ( he was demoted from high A after 13 innings) he had much worse numbers than Brackman put up this year. He had a WHIP to the tune of 2.05 and a K/BB ratio of .6 (not to mention 47 Ks in 75 innings) not to mention other various awful stats. So while none of that is something good to say about Brackman per se, it hits the point that most everyones exceptional hate of the Brackman draft choice is so far unnecessary and you need to give it a little more time until it is dubbed a failure.

  36. [...] Baseball America’s John Manuel named the Yankees’ top ten prospects (props to RAB) and, surprisingly (…), Jesus Montero was named the team’s number one farmhand. Montero [...]

  37. [...] from behind the plate quite yet, and it’s a driving reason why Baseball America’s Top 10 Yankee prospects list features four catchers. In this day and age, developing a defensively solid catcher who can hit [...]

  38. I wonder where Aroldis Chapman would be on BA’s list, should we sign him.

    Given how weak the list is after Montero, he’d have to be either #1 or #2. I’d say #2, since Montero is far more proven.

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