Prospect Profile: Caleb Cotham

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Caleb Cotham | RHP

Background
Raised in the Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet, Cotham attended the high school of the same name and lettered in baseball all four years. He helped the Golden Bears to the regionals as a sophomore, the district championship as a junior, and both the district championship and sectional playoffs as a senior. You don’t get recruited by a top tier college program like Vanderbilt without doing some special things in high school, so let’s recap all of Cotham’s accomplishments in bullet point form…

  • Three time All-District selection
  • District MVP as a junior
  • All-Region and All-State selections as a junior
  • 9-AAA Tournament MVP as a senior
  • Named team captain twice

Despite an accomplished prep career, Cotham went undrafted in 2006 and followed through on his commitment to Vandy. He made just three relief appearances as a freshman, walking two and striking out one in 2.2 IP before taking a redshirt. After the season Cotham headed to the New England Collegiate League, where he posted a 4.53 ERA with a 37-15 K/BB ratio in eight starts (37.2 IP) for the Keene Swamp Bats.

Head coach Tim Corban plugged Cotham into the rotation spot left vacant by the departed David Price as a redshirt freshman, and he responded by leading the team with seven wins as the team’s primary Saturday starter. He finished second among starters in ERA (4.50), and second on the team in starts (14), innings (86), strikeouts (90), and batting average against (.265). In his lone start of the postseason, Cotham allowed seven runs in 5.2 IP against Oklahoma in the Regionals, taking the loss as Vandy’s season came to an abrupt end. He heading to the Cape Cod League over the summer, posting a 2.54 ERA with a 51-22 K/BB ratio in eight starts (46 IP) for the Brewster Whitecaps, making the All Star Team.

Filling the same number two starter role as a redshirt sophomore, Cotham again led the team with seven wins while finishing second in starter’s ERA (4.10), innings (79), and strikeouts (84). His .222 opponent’s batting average led the staff, starters or relievers, though he was suddenly very homer prone, surrendering 14 long balls in 2009 after allowing just six the previous year. In his lone postseason start, Cotham threw a four hit complete game shutout against Middle Tennessee in the Regionals, striking out eight and walking none. Vandy was eliminated the next day, so it ended up being Cotham’s final appearance as a Commodore.

Baseball America rated Cotham as the 10th best prospect in Tennessee prior to the 2009 draft, when he was eligible as a redshirt sophomore. The Yankees selected Cotham with their 5th round pick, #165 overall, with the intentional of following his progress on the Cape after he had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his right knee. In two starts and two relief appearances with Brewster, Cotham tossed up a zero ERA with a 15-1 K/BB ratio in 13 IP. He agreed to a well-above slot deal with the Yanks worth $675,000, which was announced on the August 17th signing deadline.

Pro Debut
Cotham was initially assigned to the rookie level Gulf Coast League Yankees after signing just for a tune up, and he struck out five in two innings of work in his only start there. He was then bumped up to Short Season Staten Island, and in two starts Cotham posted a 4.50 ERA and a 8-3 K/BB ratio in six innings. He aggravated the knee injury in mid-September, so the Yanks shut him down for the season as a precaution.

Scouting Report
At his best, Cotham features two strong pitches and two others with potential. His bread and butter is a heavy low-90’s sinker that he can command to both sides of the dish. He’s flashed mid-90’s heat with tremendous sink working out of the bullpen. A sharp slider that has touched the upper-80’s serves as his second pitch. Cotham has also shown some feel for a curveball that’s more 11-to-5 than 12-to-6, as well a changeup, the latter of which will be his primary focus in 2010. He projects best as a power late-inning reliever, though starting isn’t out of the question.

Packing 215 pounds onto his 6′-3″ frame, Cotham has a thick and powerful frame that reminded me of Chad Billingsley at first glance. His delivery is free and easy, that is until he releases the ball. He cuts off his follow through and recoils his entire upper body, and while it puts him a good position to field the ball, it could lead to core or back injuries down the road. It’s an easily correctable flaw, but otherwise the rest of his mechanics are pretty close to textbook.

The biggest issue is his knee injury. It flared up down the stretch of Vandy’s season, so he had surgery after the draft, and yet it flared up again in September. Cotham isn’t a small guy, so unless they take care of this now, it could end up a chronic problem.

You can see Cotham’s scouting video here.

2010 Outlook
Once the knee issue is resolved, the Yankees will take it easy and send Cotham to Low-A Charleston to begin 2010. He’ll work as a starter to get as many innings in as possible.

My Take
I liked the pick at the time and I like Cotham as a prospect, but I’m certainly not in love with him. Sinker-slider college pitchers who throw in the low-90’s are a dime a dozen, though Cotham stands out because he has shown more velocity as well as two other pitches with potential. Knee problems can tend to stick around if not handled properly, though I’m sure the Yanks will be extra cautious as always. Cotham will be an interesting guy to follow, because something could click and he could really take off and become an elite prospect.

Photo Credit: Dave Martin, AP

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The myth of replacing a player's production
An old storyline for a new season
  • Steve H

    Any thoughts on whether correcting his delivery flaw would bump low 90’s into mid 90’s, and consistently?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I have absolutely no idea.

      • Steve H

        Have you seen any video of him? If so, please don’t tell me his delivery looks like Michael Bowden, that’s just ugly.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Nothing is that ugly.

          There’s a link to video in the scouting report.

          • All Praise Be To Mo

            Except Kevin Youkilis

            • Big Juan

              Truer words have never been spoken.

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

            There’s a link to video in the scouting report.

            I watched the video… it looks like there’s two different velocity readings for all the pitches he throws. One for when it leaves his hand and another for when it arrives at the plate.

            Did you know that pitches lose velocity on their way to the plate? That’s mind bottling.

            Sincerely,
            Tim McCarver

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

            At work, FTL.

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

              That sounds like a YOU problem.

              /dick’d

              • Steve H

                Attacking me because you lack self confidence, typical. Could you be more transparent, Arky?

                /Steve B’d

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

                  Being called “Arky” over and over again makes me want to switch back to “Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones”.

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

        DFA’d.

        On the plus side, enjoy this frothy mug of Pinstripe DFA IPA on your way out the door.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          How much is a Limited Edition Pinstripe IPK IPA case selling for online?

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

            We’ve discontinued that line. Those cases are dirt cheap. $7.99 on clearance. Supplies limited.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              I’ve heard that if you hate the taste and complain about it, the bottle will tell you that it thinks it tastes just fine and it’s not as bad as people think.

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

                You should try our Pinstripe Joba Stout.

                If you don’t like it at first, shake it off and try drinking it in a different sequence.

                • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                  I never had a chance to try try it, but I heard that Pinstripe Melky Bitter tasted like huevos.

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

                  It did.

                  Sadly, we were never able to get Pinstripe Ajax off the ground. Tasted too much like bleach. Some of our testers got very sick. It was a bad situation.

                • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                  What about the Pinstripe Granderson Dopplebock? Tell me about it.

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

                  It’s a dark brew but not very heavy. Very versatile and sophisticated. Goes well with all types of food. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

              • Steve H

                It doesn’t get cold enough to succeed. No beer can succeed at 40 degrees.

      • scoopemup

        Has Brett Smith re-surfaced anywhere?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Not as far as I know.

        • Reality Check

          I smoked an L with him yesterday.

          He is chillin.

          • exile

            You see his new bubbler?

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Love the Prospect Profile. Nice write up Mike. Is he in your top 30? If so, whereabouts does he fall?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yes, he was 20-30 range, right about in the middle I believe.

      Disclaimer: I haven’t finalized the order yet, so it might (probably will) change.

      • Steve H

        /PECOTA’d

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

          I laughed.

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    I like the pick, hopefully he can turn into the next Z-Mac.

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

    Great writeup.

    That Charleston rotation of Brackman-Ramirez-Heredia-Cotham-Turley will be exciting to follow.

    • Steve H

      Brackman? Exciting to follow? Only to see how many records he can set for sucktitude.

      /SBGL’d

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

        Not nearly enough superfluous punctuation.

        • Steve H

          If I fail in my attempt at being SBGL, doesn’t that truly mean I’m a success? I can’t, even intentionally, stoop to that level.

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

            When you think like SBGL, the terriosts win.

    • pat

      I doubt Heredia will be back in Charleston.

  • Carl

    i take it in this top 30 you won’t be ranking Carmen Angelinni #5 again

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      We all have our flaws.

      • Carl

        it’s ok. I thought he was the heir to Jeter too. btw, when is your top 30 coming out?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          February 19th. I have about 2/3’s of the player capsules written, and a general order.

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

            If Eric Wordekemper isn’t #30, I’m gonna be pissed.

            • Steve H

              He’ll be traded by then, for Greinke.

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

                If we do lose Wordekemper and Fortenberry in the Grienke deal, I hope their slots in the top 30 go to Phil Bartelski and Arielkis Lapaix.

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

        We all have our flaws.

        Especially Carmen Angelini.

        http://www.sadtrombone.com

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          You heard it here first. Carmen Angelini is going to have an outstanding year, putting him squarely back on the prospect board.

          • A.D.

            Hmmm can you send him to DSL?

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            That would be teh awesome.

  • Moshe Mandel

    If I remember correctly, Lane Meyer and BA both liked the pick at the time. Should be interesting to follow.

    • A.D.

      Yeah, at least Meyer went with a “poor man’s Joba” which will probably get fans too excited, and quickly call him a bust.

      • Bo

        I guess hes a poor mans Joba when comparing him to Joba the starter cos that fastball hits 91.

        He is no poor mans Joba as the relieving Joba

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    With all your connections at YESnetwork.com, any chance you can score a live chat with any Yankee minor leaguer? That would be AWESOME!!

    • Thomas

      Ben had one with Brandon Laird recently. Unfortunately, it was privileged.

      • Steve H

        IETCVM.

  • A.D.

    I know that the SEC is probably the toughest baseball division, that said, how does an ERA in the 4+ stack up, seems high for top college recruit, but for the SEC is that normal?

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

      Asked and answered.

      The SEC is like the AL East of college baseball.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      The SEC had a 5.40 ERA last season, which means Cotham had a 132 ERA+ last year.

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

        Super elite collegiate hitting prospects + aluminum bats = Swisherian pain to pitchers

      • Steve H

        Do they play in the little league park that is YSIII?

        /Mediot’d

  • A.D.

    Realistic possibility that he ends in high A?

  • http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/19/MAD_MAX.jpg gxpanos

    Sounds like he’ll scrap one of this pitches, but if he’s mid-90’s sinker/slider/change, he could be a nice BP piece.

    Nice write-up. PP Day on RAB should be considered a minor holiday in Yankee Universe/Land/City/Ville.

  • mryankee

    The yankees passed on Daniel Bard to select Ian Kennedy in the 2006 Draft.

    • Don W

      The Yankees passed on thousands of players to select Ian Kennedy…including me!

    • A.D.

      That and the Sox & Yanks passed on Coughlan & Joba to pick those 2 players.

    • pat

      Starters> Relievers.

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

        Furthermore:

        Kennedy > Bard.

        Yes, still, even today, this very moment, February 3, 2010, 12:56 EST, Ian Kennedy is still a better prospect than Daniel Bard.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Ah, but what about February 3, 2010, 1:52 PM EST? How about THAT, bitch?

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

            You’re going to pay for that one, RRR.

            I’ll get you.

        • Bo

          No GM would take Kennedy over Bard.

          Not a single one.

          I know you have a fascination with him Eric and want to see him win a Cy young but it aint happening, bud.

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

            No GM would take Kennedy over Bard. Not a single one.

            http://www.yankstalk.com/wp-co.....ashman.jpg

            Sweet lemonade MMMM sweet lemonade
            Sweet lemonade YEAH sweet lemonade

          • Zack

            IPK ceiling >>>>>> Bard ceiling

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      1. Why limit it to Bard? They also passed on Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill and Chris Tillman.

      2. What would you have said after Bard’s first full season in the minors?

      3. $10 says you wouldn’t have brought this up is Bard wasn’t on the Sox.

      • mryankee

        Well I think its a fair point. Bard seems to have much better talent than Kennedy. Both were college pitchers and being an AL east team would Bard’s stuff compared to Kennedy’s at the same age and level have made Bard the better pick?

        • pat

          Not if the Yankees only saw Bard as a reliever.

          • mryankee

            I would prefer a potentially great reliever over a marginal starter. Would you?

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

              No.

              And, again, Daniel Bard is not yet a great reliever.

            • A.D.

              Not really frequently they’re the same thing, a marginal starter can often be turned into a pretty good reliever, few recent examples that come to mind:

              Rivera
              Gagne
              Madson
              Isringhausen
              Ryan Franklin (though it may not continue)

              That said the jury is still very much out on IPK only being marginal and Bard being great

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

          Bard seems to have much better talent than Kennedy.

          I’d disagree with that.

          Bard has a more impressive (albeit excessively straight) fastball, sure, but Bard’s A) a reliever and not a starter, and B) still very walk and homer prone and has yet to demonstrate that he’s anything other than another Kyle Farnsworth.

          Three years from now, I still bet Kennedy will be the much, much better pitcher than Bard.

          • mryankee

            If you intended to put Bard as a starter I would agree with you. If you keep Kennedy a starter in the NL west and Bard a reliever in the AL east maybe hen Kennedy would be better. I am only saying I think the Yankees may have picked Kennedy a little to high.

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

              If you intended to put Bard as a starter I would agree with you.

              Irrelevant. Kennedy servicable the back-end starter >>>> Bard the dominant reliever.

              I am only saying I think the Yankees may have picked Kennedy a little to high.

              You may be right in that regard, but not as right as you think you are. There were starters with higher upside we could have taken over Kennedy (like Anderson/Cahill/Tillman Mike mentioned above, NOT including Bard who always was and still is a drastically inferior prospect to IPK/Tillman/Anderson/Cahill due to his poor control and limited pitch arsenal capping his ceiling as a closer and making his likelihood a middle releiver), but Kennedy was still a solid pick and totally justifiable over Anderson/Cahill/Tillman.

              Kennedy was a BEAST as an amateur and collegian. Looked like Greg Maddux Pt. II. Command and control were stellar.

              He’s had bumps in the road, but he’s still a solid prospect and still much better and more desirable than Bard, who’s a young Farnsworth clone.

      • pat

        Too bad he didn’t sign with the Yanks in 03. He could have spent 3 years being forced to learn how to throw offpseed stuff instead of just dominating college hitters on the strength of his fastball/ slider.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        FACT: The Yankees passed on Stephen Strasburg in all 50 rounds when he was a senior in high school. (So did the Red Sox)(and The Rays)(and everyone else).

    • Zack

      I would have love to see what your comments after their first seasons in minor league ball:
      Bard: 22 starts, 75 IP, 78 BB(!), 47K, 9.4 BB9, 5.6 K9, 2.05 WHIP over A and A+
      IPK: 25 starts, 146.1 IP, 50 BB, 163 K, 3.1 BB9, 10 K9, 0.964 WHIP over A+, AA, and AA.

      OMGz you picked BARD over IPK!!1! Cash is so stupid!

      • mryankee

        Well now wait I made the argument that numbers should have been taken into account when I was comparing Kelly to Mcallister I was told that numbers do not matter only stuff when it comes to pitchers. So which was is it?

        • Zack

          That wasnt my question. If this was the end of the 2007 season, what would you have said about Yankees picking IPK over Bard???

          And a lot of stuff comes into play with pitchers: Injury history, mechanics, body, raw talent, projectable stuff, and control.

          • mryankee

            Kennedy pitched very well for the Yankees in 2007 and I would have agreed with you. Now as we sit here though I think its fair to say the Yankees may have reached a little on Kennedy.

            • A.D.

              Yankees may have reached a little on Kennedy.

              Regardless if IPK is more successful than any of the players that were drafted after him, doesn’t make him a reach, he was considered a first round talent, and was drafted in said round.

            • Zack

              “I think its fair to say the Yankees may have reached a little on Kennedy.”

              But that shit happens for every single draft for most teams, that’s why its not a fair game to play.

              • mryankee

                Well we are only talking about the Yankees. I agree no team is perfect.

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

          I was comparing Kelly to Mcallister I was told that numbers do not matter only stuff when it comes to pitchers.

          That’s not what you were told.

          Understanding things will be easier for you if you stop mentally oversimplifying and condensing the information you take in.

          • A.D.

            That’s not what you were told.

            Just repeating it since I was about to post the same thing.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          You can’t possibly think there’s really a pure either/or choice to be made, there. You can’t be that obtuse.

          • mryankee

            Do you think Kennedy should have been drafted in the first round? Is he a first round talent?

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              This comment couldn’t be any more irrelevant as a response to my comment.

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

                Is that a challenge? YOU’RE ON, BUDDY!!!!

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

              Do you think Kennedy should have been drafted in the first round?

              Bottom of the first round? Yes. Hell yes.

              Is he a first round talent?

              Yes.

              • Tom Zig

                Addendum:

                Not every first round draft pick pans out

              • Bo

                He’s a short starter with limited stuff. he needs to be ultra fine and have excellent command to succeed. He has no plus pitches.

                How is that 1st round talent?

                hes a nice back end starter. You take difference makers in the top rounds.

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

                  Sweet lemonade MMMM sweet lemonade
                  Sweet lemonade YEAH sweet lemonade

  • mryankee

    Whats with all these spare part type prospects? where are the stars?

    • Don W

      Gosh, all the stars got drafted by the Red Sox. If you don’t believe me just ask Keith Law.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Casey Kelly alone makes a team have a top 5 farm.

      • mryankee

        Do not get me started on that guy. I still do not understand how the Red Sox have a better farm system. The Yankees have Montero-Mcallister and Melancon close to the majors. The Sox have Lars Anderson who sucked last year.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Becase Arodys Vizcaino and Austin Jackson say goodbye.

          • mryankee

            Vizcaino had not pitched fgull season ball yet. Austin Jackson for what I have read was noted as a marginal prospect. So one top prospect is traded and they drop the ranking that low?

            • JobaWockeeZ

              When 2 of your top 10 prospects are gone of course you’re going to go down. Especially since the only huge impact prospect the Yanks have as of now is Jesus. So middle of the pack or lower if perfectly fine for me sicne we acquired better players.

              They’ll fix the farm in the next draft. Honestly who cares if the Red Sox have the 2nd best farm in KLaw’s eyes?

              • mryankee

                I think there is more to it than obejective analysis. I think guys like Melancon and Mcallister are being overlooked when they have clearly out perormed some of the sox or other teams prospects.

                • JobaWockeeZ

                  Now I lvoe me some Melancon and ZMac but ZMac is projected to be a back end starter while Melancon is *only* a reliever.

                • mryankee

                  Projected by whom? and how honest are these projections. I mean the guy has been unbelievable at every level I am not saying he is an ace but a back end starter is a little low.

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

                  He’s a back end starter because he doesn’t have an out pitch. He’s got multiple good pitches and a great build and command, so he can mix and match and slog through innings and generate groundballs to limit baserunners, but he doesn’t have a put-away pitch so he can’t really dominate a lineup.

                  Again, it’s a complex combination of many factors. You can’t reduce it to a simple binary calculation, you just can’t.

                • JobaWockeeZ
                • All Praise Be To Mo

                  “He’s a back end starter because he doesn’t have an out pitch. He’s got multiple good pitches and a great build and command, so he can mix and match and slog through innings and generate groundballs to limit baserunners, but he doesn’t have a put-away pitch so he can’t really dominate a lineup.”

                  So you’re saying we’ve got a young Derek Lowe?

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

                  Could be, could be.

        • Tom Zig

          The Sox do have some good prospects. Are they really the #2 farm system in the Majors? No probably not. But they are definitely better than the Yanks.

          • mryankee

            How? where do you get that? they do not have one prospect ready to play in the majors? The only on I hear about is Casey Kelly.

            • Tom Zig

              They have a lot of high upside guys in the low minors. Casey Kelly isn’t ready to play in the majors though.

              I’m not entirely familiar with their farm but i can name a few guys

              Jose Iglesias
              Ryan Westmoreland
              Lars Ullrich Anderson
              Ryan Kalish
              Mike Bowden
              Junichi Tazawa

              • mryankee

                We saw Tazawa last year and maybe he will be good. I do not know about Kelley and the others are all in the low minors.

                • Tom Zig

                  We saw Reddick (OF), Tazawa, and Bowden all make appearances at one point or another.

                • mryankee

                  Yeah and none of them were all that impressive. Melancon was not very good either to be fair.

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

                  I do not know about Kelley (sic) and the others are all in the low minors.

                  Then you’re not in a position to speak intelligently about the Red Sox farm system. For all you know, their #2 ranking was wholly accurate. They may even be underranked in your opinion, because your opinion is rife with ignorance.

                • Bo

                  No movie quote to finish that up???

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

              Judging a farm system is not ONLY judging “prospects ready to play in the majors”.

              Stop boversimplifying.

              • mryankee

                I still believe if the Yankees had a young Lincecum, Pujols and Mauer in their system. The “experts” would find flaws.

                • Tom Zig

                  They probably would. But who cares if they are nitpicking. If the prospects pan out, it makes Cashman look smart.

                • Zack

                  They would; for teh same reason Lincecum wasnt drafted 1st overall and why Pujols wasnt picked until the 16th round.

                  Questions about Lincecum’s size and whether he could hold up for 200+ IP consistantly; and IIRC Pujols wasnt exactly an elite athlete either

                • A.D.

                  I’m sure they would, probably the same flaws they saw in those kids when they were first drafted.

                • Angelo

                  I think Pujols was drafted in the 10th round? Maybe Im wrong, but im sure someone will bother to do the research…

            • Bo

              It snot about ready to play guys. Its about high ceiling prospects. The Yankees have 1. Sox have 10.

              Huge difference. All stars are the key.

        • Big Juan

          Well all that the Yankees have in their system are spare part type prospects.

          /tasteofyourownmedicine’d

          • mryankee

            I did not say that I meant seems like may of the prospects I read about do not get a lot of excitement or hype.

            • Big Juan

              Fair enough. The joke just seemed too easy.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      The stars are mostly already profiled…

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

      Whats with all these spare part type prospects? where are the stars?

      WHY THE FUCK IS MY BURRITO TAKING THIS LONG TO COOK IN THIS MICROWAVE?!?!??!?!??!??!?!

    • Bo

      There is one star in the system. The rest are trade fodder.

      The drafts of 07 thru’09 look very weak right now.

      • Angelo

        Man your not even giving Heathcott, Murphy, Warren, or Stoneburner etc a chance. The 2009 draft just passed. How about we give it some time before making irrational judgements.

  • Accent Shallow

    Always enjoy the prospect profiles, especially since I seem to forget they’re coming.

    Any chance he gets a quick bump to Tampa if he comes out of the gate quickly?

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Since he’s the poor man’s Joba we should already scrap the starter project and make him the eighth inning guy.

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

      7th inning. After all, if he’s a poor man’s Joba, why would we give the Most Important Inning EVAR?

      • JobaWockeeZ

        That is true. The 8th inning is more important than the rest of the game. He can be the 7th inning guy and now games are only 6th innings long! OMG!

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    Nice write up.

  • Rose

    Caleb Cotham could be the next Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz

    Don’t say I didn’t tell you so…

  • Rose

    Here’s a neat question…

    Who is the best prospect to turn into a successful major leaguer after being one of the farthest picked draft picks?

    I guess you have to not only measure how far back somebody was picked…but just how good the player was too…and compare the difference? What do you think?

    • pat

      Piazza.

      • A.D.

        Yeah that would be the best one could think of, non sign ability cases in the 62nd round.

        • Tom Zig

          I didn’t even know it went to the 62nd round

          • Thomas

            Yeah and one of the only reasons he actually got drafted was his father was friend with Dodgers management (Lasorda I believe).

            • Don W

              Keith Hernandez lasted until the 42nd round. Drafted earlier and not as successful as Piazza.
              Fairly certain Keith’s #’s were not roid induced as he had a different drug of choice.
              http://mets.fandome.com/video/.....pit-Story/

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

            It doesn’t anymore.

            Fun Fact: The NBA draft (currently 2 rounds long) used to go like 15 rounds deep.

            Several hours after taking Michael Jordan with the 3rd overall pick, the Chicago Bulls selected Carl Lewis with the 208th pick of the 1984 draft. Yes, that Carl Lewis.

            • Thomas

              Chicago Bulls selected Carl Lewis with the 208th pick of the 1984 draft.

              That is 207 picks later than he should have gone.

              Sincerely,
              Al Davis

              • pat

                Hahahahaha +1

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

                (golf clap)

                AND:

                Fun Fact #2: Lewis was also drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 12th round of the 1984 NFL draft.

  • Frank Marco

    Wow. I’m from Lebanon,TN. I read this blog all the time, but I had no idea a neighbor of mine was drafted by the Yanks! He grew up about 5 miles from my area and went to my rival high school. awesome.

    I wish the kid the best, and hope to see him in the bigs at some point.

  • Guy

    Mike, Love your articles on little known Yankee prospects. Just an FYI… It’s the Keene Swamp Bats. I used to live outside of Keene, NH and went to a few of the Swamp Bats’ games. The NECBL provides a decent level of baseball for a couple of bucks fee.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Thank you kindly, fixed.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Fun Fact, Guy: I was born in Keene.

  • hays

    There goes his elbow, his wrist is falling behind and his delivery doesnt make enough use of his hips

  • pete

    Sergio Mitre/Zach McAllister part 3? Looks like it, though that delivery worries me a tad. That’s a lot of work for an elbow to do.

    Still, he looks like someone who will eventually be able to get MLB hitters out fairly consistently. Maybe it’s only as a backup starter/long reliever on the yanks, but that could turn into a decent salary dump trade to an NL team.

    • Bo

      Why would u compare McAllister to Mitre??

      Why degrade him like that?

      • pete

        I’m comparing their stuff. McAllister has shown better command, though. As far as results go, though, the book hasn’t been written on either of them. Mitre’s had one season and it was immediately following surgery. McAllister hasn’t even reached AAA yet. Both are guys with solid sinkerball stuff without out-pitches who project as back-end/backup starters or long relievers.

  • Bo

    For all the hype surrounding Oppenheimer he certainly hasnt drafted well the past 3 drafts. In terms of high ceiling prospects he has done well at all. And someone needs to be blamed for the Cole thing. And as we all know cashman doesnt take the bullet for any bad decision.

    • Johnny

      We still don’t know that drafting Cole was a bad decision.

      We know NOW that he didn’t sign. But at the time, for all we know, it was the right move.

      Not every event (good or bad) can be pinned on someone. Sometimes thats how the ball bounces.

      That being said. Oppenheimer didn’t exactly have a lot to work with in the amateur draft last year… I for one am thrilled about that… It gave the Yanks Tex, AJ and CC.

      I would trade the entire farm system and every draft pick in 2010 for another world series this year (yes including Montero).

      • Angelo

        Why?

        I guess the ultimate goal is to win a world series, but I’m fanatic of the sport itself. Winning the world series is just icing on the cake. However I would rather still be able to have hope in prospects like Montero. Its fun watching great players develope.

    • pete

      the only way the yanks can sign high ceiling guys in the draft is by taking signability guys and injury risks. One of the inherent risks in signing a signability guy is that he might not sign.

      • pete

        and in ’08 the yanks had as good a chance as anybody to sign him, and there wasn’t much evidence at the time that he WOULDN’T sign, just that he’d be difficult. Letting a talent like him go by would have been insane, though. We’re talking Phil Hughes 2.0