Yankees sign John Van Benschoten

Open Thread: The Lord takes the mound
Chan Ho Park and the very crowded bullpen

Via Baseball America, the Yankees have signed former Pirates’ first rounder John Van Benschoten to a minor league contract. JVB led Division I with 31 homers as an outfielder in 2001, so when Pirates drafted him 8th overall that year (three spots after the Rangers took Mark Teixeira), they naturally stuck him on the mound. Makes sense, right? Sure, he closed for Kent State, but back then the Pirates were the only team that liked him better on the mound.

JVB went on to be named the team’s top prospect in 2003 and 2004, and thrice appeared on BA’s Top 100 Prospects list. He managed to make it to the big leagues in 2004, and has posted a 9.20 ERA in 90 IP spread out among several stints in Pittsburgh. Among pitchers with at least 75 career innings, that is the worst ERA in the history. I’m not kidding. He’s also had surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in both arms.

Who knows, maybe they’re putting a bat back in his hands?

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Open Thread: The Lord takes the mound
Chan Ho Park and the very crowded bullpen
  • Joe D

    So much for a budget. Should have signed Damon.

  • J.R.

    How old is this guy? And any idea where he will play (division or position)?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

      How old is this guy?

      http://www.google.com/

      And any idea where he will play (division or position)?

      Sounds like AAA fodder, probably as a reliever.

  • rbizzler

    Oooh, an Ankiel-esque reclamation project. Sounds like fun, although it seems more likely that he will be fodder for the SWB ‘pen.

    I am blanking on the 5th starter in AAA as we know Z-mac, Nova, Hirsch and Kei are all slotted in. Who am I missing?

    • J.R.

      Aceves, I listened to an interview Chad Jennings gave today and he speculated that the Park signing could send Aceves to AAA to be the #6 starter.

      • J.R.
        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Yeah, that’s a possibility. I wonder if Park would push Hughes to the Scranton rotation instead, though. Between the two of them, while Hughes was more dominant in the 8th last year, Hughes also has more pressing developmental issues that could be worked on in Scranton. Aceves doesn’t really benefit from Scranton the way Hughes would.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      Oooh, an Ankiel-esque reclamation project. Sounds like fun…

      Is Brooks Kieschnick still around?

      I am blanking on the 5th starter in AAA as we know Z-mac, Nova, Hirsch and Kei are all slotted in. Who am I missing?

      Romulo? Oh, and it’s Hirsh, btw. No C.

      • Jack

        The (non-)Chinaman?

      • rbizzler

        Yeah, i just remembered that they are still going to keep the remaining fat Sanchez stretched out.

        Being that I have been transplanted in Wisconsin, I have been brushing up on my Brewers trivia. Thanks for reminding me of the versatile Kieschnick.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Being that I have been transplanted in Wisconsin, I have been brushing up on my Brewers trivia.

          Good luck with that. Also, try not to die from a massive fried-cheese-curd-induced myocardial infarction.

          More Brewers trivia: There was a Milwaukee Brewers franchise in the old Western League that was one of the AL’s eight charter franchises in 1901. This team is still currently in existence, now in it’s third home city. Can you name the currently active franchise that was once the Milwaukee Brewers?

          NO CHEATING!!!!!!

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

            Washington?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              Nope.

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

                I looked it up, but won’t spoil the fun.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

              Damn, I was wrong.

            • rbizzler

              I believe that (w/o using the google) one incarnation of the Senators became the Rangers and the other went to Minny to become the Twinkies.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                Correct.

                The above team that used to play in Milwaukee was/is none of the now three MLB franchises that at one point or another played home games in Washington D.C..

          • rbizzler

            I have been coming to WI for eight years and I moved here 4 months ago but I have yet to eat a fried cheese curd. There are not as many morbidly obese people here in Madison as there are in the rest of Sconnie.

            My guess is the Mariners, but I think it is the other way around with Chairman Bud bringing the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee after they lost the Braves.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              The Mariners were created “whole cloth” in 1977; your time frame is way off.

              This team played in Milwaukee from 1894-1901 and then packed up stakes and moved elsewhere. Eliminate all expansion teams from your pool of selection.

          • Big Juan

            The Orioles?

            (I have an alternate guess as well)

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              BINGO.

              The Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis and became the Browns. The Browns used to pummel on the Cardinals in the way the Yankees pummel on the Mets.

              When the Cards flipped the script and started raiding Browns players and built a better ballpark, crushing the Browns at the gate, they moved eastward in 1954 and became the second Baltimore Orioles franchise (the first being us, of course).

              Big Juan gets the cigar.

              • Big Juan

                Boo-ya.

                Is there a Pinstripe Craft Brew I can enjoy with my cigar?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  (hands Big Juan a tasty, refreshing Pinstripe Brackman Altbeir™)

                • Big Juan

                  Tastes like victory.

              • Hughesus Christo

                And of course, the were replacing the old Baltimore Orioles after that team moved and became THE NEW YORK YANKEES

            • rbizzler

              I like that guess.

          • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Atlanta Braves?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              Nope. Atlanta Braves were the Milwaukee Braves, not the Milwaukee Brewers.

              The Braves name goes from Boston through Milwaukee right to Atlanta.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Hughes?

  • Salty Buggah

    They signed him to make Igawa feel better

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      In all seriousness, I think the Yankees sign guys like JVB every year because they make a concerted effort to have winning teams at all levels of the minors. We want our prospects to experience winning as farmhands; we want them in the minor league playoffs.

      We want crappy big leaguers in Scranton who can dominate AAA lifers so that our prospects can have an easier go at it in the W/L standings.

      Just my hunch.

      (It would also explain why we kept Shelley Duncan and the Kei-man himself around long past their normal usefulness expiration dates.)

      • J.R.

        I’d say they kept Igawa around because he ate a ton of innings that no other guys in the system were ready for. I actually remember a story where they made Igawa pitch on short rest in the minors because the Yankees had taken so many arms that both the pen and the rotation was barren.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          That too. It’s always nice to have some cannon fodder that you don’t mind irreparably breaking in the event of an emergency.

          /mixedmetaphor’d

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

    /championship’d

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

    Who knows, maybe they’re putting a bat back in his hands?

    JVB, minor league career:
    8 seasons, 164 plate appearances, .221/.302/.300

    Or not.

    • Andy

      I’m thinking that line makes better reading than anything else I’ve seen here.

    • JGS

      OBP higher than SLG. Impressive

      • Jack

        Johnson-esque.

        • JGS

          nah, it’s not that good a thing. It only happened to Johnson because his power was gone. His career SLG is 45 points higher than his (awesome) OBP.

          more Luis Castillo-esque

          • Jack

            Yeah, his 2009 was the only one I could think of off the top of my head. I forgot about Castillo.

            • JGS

              Luis Castillo, career (7412 PA)–.282/.369/.354

              • JGS

                Luis Castillo, career (7412 7172 PA)–.282/.369/.354

  • pat

    Granted I only looked at the first three rounds, but outside of Mauer, Haren and maybe JJ Hardy, the 2001 draft looks pretty epically bad.

    • pat

      Ok, Howard was taken in the 5th and Youk in the 8th. Those are the only notable guys in the first 10 rounds. Wow.

      • JGS

        Geovany Soto and Dan Uggla were taken in the 11th, Jason Bartlett in the 13th (Albaladejo too)

        • JGS

          and Zach Duke in the 20th

          • JGS

            Nick Blackburn, 29th…there are some good ones in here

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        David Wright, Pick #38, Dan Haren, pick #72. Dan Uggla and Jason Bartlett were also chosen in 2001.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

          Freakin’ refresh.

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

      Tex, David Wright, Ryan Howard, Youk, Uggla…

      • pat

        Damn, I must have missed Wright and Uggla.

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

          There’s more too. Bartlett, Chris Young (the hitter), Kinsler, Blackburn…

          • JGS

            Kinsler didn’t sign

    • bexarama

      Tex, Wright, Prior had his days of glory, Kotchman…

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      You forgot David Wright. Also:

      Prior was the balls pre-injury.
      Gavin Floyd is a quality AL starting pitchah. Jeremy Guthrie’s not that bad either.
      Gabe Gross, Casey Kotchman, Jeff Mathis, Kelly Shoppach, Scott Hairston: all solidly above average backups.

      —————-

      Granted I only looked at the first three rounds…

      Fourth round: Ricky Nolasco
      Fifth round: Ryan Howard, CJ Wilson, Ryan Raburn, Skip Schumaker
      Sixth round: Edwin Jackson. (and Butch Wynegar’s kid, Adam)

      Oh, and:
      Seventh round: http://www2.pictures.zimbio.co.....4fq6il.jpg (safe)

      Your mind: BLOWN.

      • JGS

        school cable won’t let me see the picture, but I’m guessing it’s a picture of Sergio Mitre

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Bingo.

          Greatest sinkerball prospect, possibly EVAH.

          • JGS

            Chad Gaudin went that year too–34th round

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

    I’m kind of bummed it wasn’t Matt “Fucking” Bush. East County, indeed.

    • Jack

      /throws freshman

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        DON’T YOU KNOW WHO THE F$%# I AM?!?!??!??!

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Ditto.

  • Cletus the Fetus

    Shit, which is worse his 9+ ERA or .221/.302/.300 in only 164 PAs? Give him a shot in the OF! Whats the worst that could happen? He rediscovers that 2001 form and hits another 31 homers in the minors, or he sucks at life and goes all Cody Ransom with the bat.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

    Even with pat’s research fail, the 2001 draft is still pretty crappy for pitchers. Hard to argue with a group of Howard, Tex, Wright, Mauer for hitters, though. Best pick of the 2000 draft? Michael Vick, pick #887 of the 30th round. The team? The Colorado Rockies.

    • JGS

      2001, 35th round, pick #1056–Cincinnati selects LHP Nick Markakis

      who is this guy?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        37th round, the A’s took Andre Ethier out of Chandler Gilbert Community College. He didn’t sign.

        They took him again two years later, this time out of Arizona State, in the second round.

        Persistence FTW.

        • JGS

          it’s not persistence, this this is a different guy also named Nick Markakis

        • bexarama

          Didn’t the As trade him for a year and a half of Mr. Board Game Manufacturer?

          • bexarama

            That sounds WAAYYYY more dismissive than how I wanted to convey that sentiment.

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

        Yeah, the Orioles were the only team that liked Markakis better as a hitter.

        • JGS

          wait, it’s the same guy? how come he isn’t highlighted on the b-ref draft page?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      If Mike Vick had ended up playing pro baseball in Denver instead of pro football in Atlanta, I bet PitbullGate never happens and Vick is the gainfully employed, fan favorite, doppelganger Carl Crawford of the midwest.

      • Jack

        Question: How much of a prospect was Vick? Did he actually project to be a good ballplayer, or was this one of those “He’s a great athlete, why not?” type of picks?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Sounds like the latter.

          Even Michael Vick was shocked when the Colorado Rockies selected him in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball draft.

          The Virginia Tech quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist hasn’t played baseball competitively since he was in the eighth grade.

          ”I didn’t believe them when they told me,” said Vick, who was informed in the school’s weight room Tuesday that he’d been drafted by Colorado with the 887th overall pick. ”I didn’t think anyone would be interested in me for baseball.”

          The Rockies decided to take a chance on the quarterback who led the Hokies football team to an appearance in the national title game as a redshirt freshman last season and finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy. His athletic ability convinced them.

          ”The way he ran around the field we figure he could track down some balls in the outfield at Coors Field,” Rockies scouting director Bill Schmidt said. ”It really wasn’t a big risk taking him at that point.”

          http://www.usatoday.com/sports.....aftfs5.htm

          • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Taken the round after Vick?

            Hungry Hungry Humberto.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

              I figured it would have been Fred McGriff, the Crime Dog.

              /really reaching here

              • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                or Mo Vaughn, the Hit Dog.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Or Rex Hudler, “Wonder Dog”.

                  http://www.baseball-reference......re01.shtml

                • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Or “Big Dog” Glenn Robinson. Of course Glenn never would have been in a dog fight, being in a fight requires some attempt at defense.

    • JGS

      Zach Duke (20th) and Nick Blackburn (29th) are pretty solid

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        Rajai Davis was a 38th round pick (and sign) of the Pirates.

    • Jack

      Fun fact: The Yankees own the rights to Pat White.

    • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      1995-18th round

      Montreal
      Draft#:507
      Tom Brady
      Position:C
      Drafted From:Serra HS (San Mateo, Calif)

      • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Just a few picks after Brady.

        Draft#:518
        Lawyer Milloy
        Position:OF
        Drafted From:University of Washington

        • JGS

          #52 overall, 1981 draft

          New York Yankees select: John Elway, OF (Stanford)

          • Jack

            http://www.baseball-reference......way-001joh

            42 games, .318/.432/.464, 13/16 SBs

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              Elway’s teammate on that Oneonta team:

              BBTN’s own Orestes Destrade.

              • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                As well as Jim Deshaises, who IIRC got a (bogus) Hall of Fame vote.

                And Dan Pasqua, I always remember using him on the 1986 Yankees in strat-o-matic. He was a beast.

  • Hangoverologist

    I was thinking about this a couple of days ago: Why is Noah Lowry still out there? Some team should be able to nab him and get him back into shape. Personally, I believe that the Yanks should pick him up on minor league deal and let him work himself back into shape. If he sucks, we can absorb the contract and release him.

    • Hangoverologist

      FAIL. I thought this was the open thread.

  • http://phabfour.blogspot.com/ Double-J

    Fun fact: the head of the engineering dept. at my Uni was also named Van Benschoten, which is the only reason why I knew of this guy before this post. :P

  • Rose

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub.....059735.jpg (SAFE)

    Secretary of State, Vice President, President, Outfielder, Relief Pitcher…

    Interesting…