Jan
15

Roundup: YES ratings, Kevin Maas, minor arms

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Who doesn’t love Friday afternoon? We can taste the weekend, and the last few hours at work should just fly by. To keep you occupied for just a little while longer in the ol’ cubicle, some links.

YES remains really popular

For the seventh straight year, YES Network, one of RAB’s online partners, was the most watched regional sports network in the country. According to Multichannel News, the network “notched a 13.9% primetime rise to 82,000 TV households” in the New York area, up from 72,000 in 2008. YES outpaced NESN, its closest national competitor, by approximately 8000 viewers per day and more than doubled SportsNet NY’s viewership. In the New York area, YES’ primetime schedule — mostly Yankee and Nets games — topped even ESPN in the ratings game. That’s money, literally, for the Yanks.

Remembering Kevin Maas

Earlier this week, I looked back at 1990. It was a very bad year for the Yankees as the team finished in last place with no pitching and no hitting. Today, Bruce Markusen, the author of the Card Corner column at Bronx Banter, chimes in with his take on that lost season’s one bright spot, Kevin Maas. The phenom, a picture of balance and focus on his 1991 Leaf baseball card, set the world on fire with his 150 OPS+ and 21 HR in his first 300 plate appearances. As with many after and many before, he would never attain that level of success again and was last scene working at Charles Schwab in 2008.

Rating the Minor League arms

Over at The Hardball Times, Max Marchi rated some young outfield arms, and a few Yankee farmhands made the list. Edwar Gonzalez, a 27-year-old, all-arm no-hit kid who hasn’t played past AA, came in third, and Melky Mesa another all-arm no-hit guy, ranked second.

Categories : Links
  • pat

    Before anybody makes any unwarranted comparisons, Maas wasn’t half the hitter in the minors Montero is.

    • Steve H

      He wasn’t 1/100th the hitter Jesus is. Maas was a lightning in a bottle moment, like Shance Spencer’s 236 OPS+ in 27 games. Obviously the Maas sample size is bigger, but yeah, let’s hope no one ever confuses Maas with Jesus.

      Maas started the minors at 21 years old and hit .280/.320/.494

      Jesus hasn’t taken an at bat as a 20 year old and has hit .325/.379/.509

      • pat

        Exactly. I just know there’s a bunch of Negative Nancys out there that will spew the usual “Maas was the Jesus Montero of his time, he should have been traded for player x before he is teh bUstOrZ.

        • Steve H

          Yeah, but you can beat those people over the head with facts and they still won’t get it. Joba could win 25 games this year and B-Jobbers would still be B-Jobbers.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            The only solution: Obama’s death panels.

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              they’re not old enough to qualify for death panels.

              as a matter of fact, didnt we here at RAB obviate death panels by setting a maximum age?

    • mustang

      Agree. But Maas is a good example of why people should not proclaim young talent to be the next this or that.
      Baseball is not as easy as having AAA numbers transfer over to MLB.

      • pat

        Baseball is not as easy as having AAA numbers transfer over to MLB.

        Certainly not, I just really really like the fact that the Jesus does not strike out all the often. To me that is the biggest indicator of his future success. In a battle of the bats I’d take the Jesus over a guy like Mike Stanton any day. Yeah, Stanton can hit the shit out of the ball but 144 k’s in the lower levels of milb doesn’t bode well.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Strike outs + walks + home runs. On both sides of the ball, those three factors are a good indication of a player’s potential value and future availability.

          • Steve H

            Agreed, just in different orders for pitchers than hitters.

        • mustang

          I didn’t mean it for Montero necessarily just in general I think people make way too much out of minor league numbers and what they might mean in the majors.

          • Salty Buggah

            I don’t think so. Yes, sometimes great numbers don’t translate well to the Majors but almost all of the evaluations of MiLB players are based on numbers.

            Do numbers tell the whole story? Of course not. But they are probably more reliable than scouting alone. If you combine both, which everyone does, you’ve got a successful evaluation system.

            Shelley Duncan is a great example. He had good stats but everyone (well, except the casual fan) knew he had a lot of holes in his swing and that he struggled with breaking balls. In the majors, he had some good games but overall he struggled.

            Just don’t use numbers alone but numbers are probably the most reliable evaluation methods I think.

            • mustang

              “Just don’t use numbers alone”

              That’s the key.

              I think for years it was mostly scouting, but now the pendulum has swung the other way almost to a fault i think.

              • Salty Buggah

                I do think numbers have become more important than scouting (for projecting MLB success for minor leaguers…I’m not talking about drafting high schoolers and stuff, though numbers are pretty important there too) but it’s a good thing. I don’t think anyone is looking at solely numbers (which is probably what you’re thinking but it’s not true). They use the scouting info too but numbers are probably better for predicting MLB success than scouting.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  In a pefect baseball world, scouts would be unecessary. But we’re not at that point yet so unfortunately we still have to rely on subjective analysis.

                • mustang

                  Salt, you been here long enough to know that arguments here (specially those dealing with players going from the minors to the majors) sometimes become a statistical marathon with someone looking up what a left-handed batter hit against right-handed pitching in the 2006 Arizona Fall league in rain shorten games. It just gets a little crazy that’s all.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Find one time.

                  Do it. Go through the forums and find one time that anybody here took a statistic to that point that wasn’t A) Backed up by logic or if not B) soundly disagreed with.

                • mustang

                  Easy there it’s a extreme example to make a point and when I come cross one I will save for you.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Fine.

                • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

                  You kids play nice.

              • mustang

                “But we’re not at that point yet so unfortunately we still have to rely on subjective analysis.”

                And we will never be unless the game starts being played by robots.
                Fortunately we have subjective analysis that makes the game fun.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  That’s a strawman. The playing of the games makes it fun. Anlysis is a way to discover the most efficient way to play the games.

  • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

    I think calling Melky Mesa an “all-arm, no hit guy” is a bit inaccurate. He has intriguing speed/power, as evidenced by his 20 home runs and 18 steals in 133 games at Charleston. He’s old for that level (turning 23 at the end of this month), had a poor time making contact, and his on-base skills appear to be poor but he’s not exactly all-arm, no hit.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Maybe I’m just predisposed to dump on players named Melky who can’t get on base but fool people into liking them based on their outfield arms and enthusiasm. :)

      • mustang

        Finally !!!!!

        Admitting you have a problem is always the first step to recovery.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          I admit it: I have a problem. My balls are really large.

          Sincerely,
          Brian Cashmeezy

          • mustang

            They have creams for that sir.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Remember last year when Melky Mesa and Melky Cabrera both hit 2 homers on the same day? It was like, anytime you meet a payment. Good Times.

    • Steve H

      He’s definitely good enough to be included in trade proposals for the best players in baseball.

    • Salty Buggah

      Mesa sets the table with his speed…

      /Really Really Bad Joke’d
      //Wonders if anyone even gets it

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Haha. Spanish language puns.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Esta loca (loca)
          Dame chocha (chocha)

          • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

            “Tu stultus es” doesn’t work here, does it?

        • Salty Buggah

          Wow someone got it!

  • Greg

    Wasn’t Edwar Gonzalez known as the exact opposite before? A Shelley Duncan like player.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Not at all. In eight MiLB seasons, he’s hit .260/.305/.403 and all at AA or below at that. Shelley’s MiLB OPS is a good .120 points higher than that.

  • mustang

    Oh! no
    Another Melky for RAB to over analyze and undervalue.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Eh. I doubt you’ll ever hear anything about Melky Mesa beyond a few mentions in Mike’s DotF posts. He’s 23, hasn’t yet reached AA and has a career MiLB OBP of .292. He has power and speed in his corner but little else. I don’t consider him a prospect even.

    • mustang

      Your right I don’t it’s called a joke.

      joke. A, noun. 1, antic, joke, prank, trick, caper, put-on. a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        Yeah. I got that the first time. But while we’re at it, could you get me the etymology of that one too? I’m curious to see what the OED has as the first usage.

        • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

          Aha! The mesas have turned!

          • Accent Shallow

            Nicely done.

      • pat

        We don’t make jokes here at RAB, blogging is SRS BSNS

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          /Jejune’d

  • LarryM, FL.

    Benjamin,

    As a subscriber to the Yes Channel (Direct TV) who lives outside the NY area. Do you have access to the viewers totals who don’t reside in NY. As a former NYer the Yes Channel provides all the Yankee info that I need.

  • deadrody

    Mesa is hardly “all arm, no hit”. Though some of his raw numbers were unimpressive (he hit .230), I threw all the guys in the minors into a spreadsheet and put together many of the sabermetric stats. He ranked third in the Yankee system for “runs created”.

    The only think Melky Mesa needs to do is cut down on the strikeouts, as he already was 5th in the Yankee system in walks.