May
03

Checking in on Austin Jackson

By

Photo Credit: Duane Burleson, AP

Twelve months ago, outfielder Austin Jackson was the lone impact position player prospect the Yankees had above A-ball. Jesus Montero and Austin Romine had about 200 plate appearances combined above the Low-A level, and Eduardo Nunez was coming off a three year stretch in which he hit .243-.286-.329. Now, Jackson is starring for the Detroit Tigers following the offseason trade for Curtis Granderson. Granderson was off to a .314 wOBA start in 91 plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with Grade II groin strain over the weekend while the player they gave up was busy wOBA’ing .411 in 119 plate appearances for Tigers, so we’ve already seen plenty of second guessing about the trade. It’s only natural, but one month is hardly any kind of sample from which to draw conclusions from.

Jackson, still just 23-years-old despite being around for what feels like forever, is second in the American League with a .367 batting average which you no doubt already know is fueled by the mother of all BABIP’s: .527. For comparison’s sake, Robbie Cano‘s league leading .387 batting average is backed by a .365 BABIP, which is high for him considering his .322 career BABIP, but it’s not completely insane at this time of year. Ichiro had a .399 BABIP the year he broke the all-time single season hit record with 262. That gives you can idea of how absurd Jackson’s luck has been. Outside of Little League, there’s just no way a player can sustain having more than 50% of the balls he hits between the lines drop in for a hit. There’s just no way.

Using Derek Carty’s expected BABIP calculator (xBABIP), we find that Jackson would be expected to have a .350 BABIP based on the kind of balls he’s put in play (line drives, ground balls, etc). So we’re talking a 177 point difference here, which translates into 19 13 (!!!) extra hits that the former Yanks’ farmhand has already picked up this season that he normally wouldn’t have been expected to. Assuming those 19 13 extra hits were all singles, he would be hitting just .190-.258-.318 (.257 wOBA) .248-.311-.367 (.305 wOBA) if lady luck weren’t on his side. Jackson’s minor league BABIP is .366 in close to 2,500 plate appearances, so that’s essentially his baseline. The .350 xBABIP is reasonable considering that he’s now in the big boy’s league.

All those extra hits are one piece of the puzzle, there’s also all those strikeouts as well. Jackson leads the league with 34 strikeouts, or 31.2% of his at-bats. Just eight players struck out in at least three out of every ten at-bats last season, and they were all three true outcome sluggers (Mark Reynolds, Jack Cust, Carlos Pena, Russell Branyan, etc), not gap-to-gap hitters like A-Jax. As you would expect, the root of those strikeouts stems from Jackson’s plate discipline, which has never been his strong suit.

So far this season, he’s offered at 27.4% of pitches out of the strike zone, a touch more than the league average of 26.9%. Jackson isn’t just swinging at more pitches out of the zone than the rest of the league, he’s also making contact on fewer, just 60.3% (64.6% lg avg). that’s no doubt due to a 9.7% swinging strike rate (8.3% lg avg), which is pretty high. Swinging and missing at pitches out of the strike zone is a deadly combination. The strikeouts also impact BABIP, since fewer balls are in play. Jackson was always able to swing and miss with the best of them, but his immense production has masked this deficiency so far.

At the moment, pitchers are throwing Jackson a fastball 67.5% of the time, which is partly due to the league making the rookie prove he can hit the cheese before adjusting. Just nine batters has seen a higher percentage of fastballs this year, and they’re all basically no-power slap hitters (David Eckstein, Juan Pierre, Scott Podsednik, Luis Castillo, and of course Brett Gardner). As the season progresses and the league gets two or three or more looks at Jackson, he’ll start getting fed more and more offspeed stuff, which was always his weakness in the bush leagues.

The Tigers are getting a tremendous amount of production out of their new centerfielder so far this season, which is great for both the team and Jackson. I hope Detroit uses the hot start to jump in and sign him to an eight year deal and sets him up for life, I really do. However, it’s still far too early to accept this as Jackson’s true talent level, and it’s definitely way too early to start second guessing the deal. We’ve been preaching patience since the first day of RAB’s existence, and there’s no reason we would change that approach now.

Categories : Analysis
  • monkeypants

    For comparison’s sake, Robbie Cano’s league leading .387 batting average is backed by a .365 BABIP…

    This is probably a dumb question, and maybe I am just math-challenged, but how can a player’s BABIP be *lower* than his BA? Does BABIP take into account sac hits whereas BA does not?

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

      Homeruns don’t count in BABIP. It’s technically not a ball in play since the fielders don’t have an opportunity to make a play on it (theoretically).

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

      Different denominators.

      BA is hits/At Bats, BABIP is hits/balls put in play. So BABIP doesn’t account for strike outs and BA does.

      Well, it makes sense in my head, at least.

      • monkeypants

        OK (to both ya’s)—that makes sense.

        • Kevin M.

          Sac flies would also affect BABIP and not batting average, right?

    • Tre

      The thing all those numbers you guys are talking about can’t measure is heart….I personally know Austin and That Fact Can’t be measured…

  • dkidd

    i want this trade to be a win-win-win

    granderson has success (and wins titles) in nyc
    ajax has success in detroit
    ipk has success in arizona

  • steve s

    So basically Ajax’s BABIP results so far are right up their in predicting future performance with Kevin Maas’s and Shane Spencer’s HR peformance early in their careers.

  • http://deleted Richard Deegan

    You mean “…our own beloved GG Brett Gardner”

  • A.D.

    AJAX BABIP is nuts, the next closest is Freese which is almost 100 points higher, despite being unsustainable in its own right, and only Jose Hernandez and Manny Ramirez have maintained 400+ BABIP for a full season in the past decade.

  • Yankeescribe

    Jackson’s debut has been exciting so far. No one expects him to hit .360 all year but small sample sizes work both ways. He’s not going to break the single-season strikeout record anymore than Cano will hit 80 homeruns this season. His strikeout rate will likely come down as he adapts to major league pitching. The reason he’s seeing so many fastballs is likely because he’s batting leadoff.

    If he finishes the season with a line of .295/.340/.400 that would still be impressive.

    I like Granderson but I still believe the Yankees gave up too much to get him. He’s an above-average CF’er but it’s likely that he has peaked offensively. AJax would have been sufficient to start CF this season and much-much cheaper. Ian Kennedy could have prevented Cashman from grabbing Javy.

    • Guest

      I doubt that Jackson’s strikeout rate will actually come down that much. The major reason why he reamined a very good prospect instead of rising to elite-prospect level is he had issues with strikeouts in the minors. It’s a problem he’s had for years, that he is still facing currently even while ridiculously hot, and is one that is likely to increase as he starts getting more breaking balls and fewer fastballs.

      I do not begrudge Austin a great career. I hope he has it. But his K-rate right now even while facing 67.5% fastballs leads me to believe that he will strikeout too much given his relative lack of power to reach anywhere near the heights people expect him to. I hope I am wrong about AJax and I hope Granderson mashes as a Yank, making everyone happy.

      • YankeeScribe

        Even if his strikeout rate stays the same all season, which is unlikely because he’s still developing offensively, I expect his down-to-earth numbers to be pretty close to what I posted above. Which everyone here would be happy with if he started with the Yankees this season.

        • Guest

          True, his overall numbers will likely be very good (maybe slightly better or slightly worse than your prediction). But based on Mike’s (very good) analysis above, this will largely be the product of having one of the luckiest months in recent memory.

          A-Jax is getting historically, jaw-droppingly lucky with balls in play. Now, assuming he suffers a correction, he might still put up very good overall numbers based on the fact that he had a full month of amazing production.

          But in terms of comparing A-Jax to C-Grand, this last month is just not a good indicator of their respective talent levels. From this point on through the end of 2013, I would be very surprised if C-Grand doesn’t bring considerably more value to the table than A-Jax.

          • andrew

            From this point on through the end of 2013, I would be very surprised if C-Grand doesn’t bring considerably more value to the table than A-Jax.

            By 2013, AJax’s production at his price, may very well be more valuable than Granderson’s production at $10-13 million.

          • YankeeScribe

            It’s really not fair to compare both players offensively.

            AJax is much younger and still developing. He hasn’t gotten enough major league atbats under his belt for us to decide whether he’s the next Jacoby Ellsbury or the next Ichiro. The thing he has in common with both players is speed which helps create a lot of cheap/lucky singles out of weakly hit balls.

            C-grand has a few seasons for us to analyze and he arguably has peaked offensively.

            Atleast on paper, it still seems like the Yanks will get more offensive production out of C-Grand over the next 3 years than the Tigers will get out of AJax. But not enough to justify the trade.

            • The Ancient Mariner

              Granderson is cooler anyways.

            • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

              If you think it’s possible for Jackson to turn into Ichiro, then yes it’s not enough to justify the trade.

              If you think it’s possible for Jackson to turn into Ichiro, you’re wrong. It’s not.

              • YankeeScribe

                Before this season, AJax was being compared to Mike Cameron. No one expected him to put up the type of offensive production that he’s put up so far.

                • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

                  Did you read the post at all? You do understand it’s impossible to sustain his BABIP right? I think all involved would be thrilled if AJax produced like Cameron.

    • paulb

      It’s a little frustrating watching the likes of Randy Winn Marcus Thames & Nick Johnson not only play but start for the Yanks. Damon .326, Ajax .367 or even Matsui .260 4hr would look an awful lot better. I don’t think we win with the offense we’re putting out there right know.

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

        You mean the offense that’s scored 5.67 runs per game this year (despite the struggles of NJ, Tex, Grandy, and A-Rod) isn’t as good as the offense that scored 5.65 runs per game last year?

  • Yankeescribe

    Austin Jackson reflects on advice from Yanks 2B Robinson Cano

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....inson-Cano

  • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

    Using Derek Carty’s expected BABIP calculator (xBABIP), we find that Jackson would be expected to have a .350 BABIP based on the kind of balls he’s put in play (line drives, ground balls, etc). So we’re talking a 177 point difference here, which translates into 19 (!!!) extra hits that the former Yanks’ farmhand has already picked up this season that he normally wouldn’t have been expected to. Assuming those 19 extra hits were all singles, he would be hitting just .190-.258-.318 (.257 wOBA) if lady luck weren’t on his side.

    Wow, thanks for that. That’s crazy. I figured Austin Jackson would be one of those players that could have a BABIP well over .300 based on his minor league stats, but I haven’t seen too many Tigers games so I don’t know what kind of hits he’s getting, if they’re genuinely well-struck hits (which would indicate he could keep a BABIP well over .300, though clearly a .500+ BABIP is unsustainable) or if they’re bloopers and stuff. I want Austin Jackson to do well, but I know he’s not going to be this good. Hopefully it all comes crashing down when the Yankees play the Tigers. ;)

    And yeah, the whining about him the past few days has gotten excessive. But hey, Matsui has cooled down, so the whining about *him* isn’t happening so much any more. That’s exciting.

    • CS Yankee

      Seems like the first few months quite a few of the complaints were;
      1) Pettitte should of retired.
      2) Giving up Melky is a mistake.
      3) Gardner should only be the 4th OF.
      4) Javy can’t pitch in NY.
      5) CHoP is a bad signing.

      I don’t recall much mentioned of Ajax, IPK, etc. that are now being posted on?

      Yet, except for Javy not producing in 5 starts & a DL for CHoP, these other complaints are now unmentioned (and therefore unaccountable for). Over the season, at least 4 of these will likely play out to the good, but I find that the Ajax & IPK trade critics (coming out of the woods now) to be pretty sad. Where were they all winter long?

      • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

        People were saying Pettitte should have retired/should go to the pen in the middle of Hughes pitching his near no-hitter against Oakland. It was bizarre. (If you don’t believe me, there was at least one person that said that in the game thread here.)

        I don’t remember too many people saying CHoP was a bad signing. Those that thought it was bad seemed to be pretty vocal about it, though.

        The people that whine in cycles about Damon and Matsui, depending on who is hotter at the moment, are totally annoying. Matsui got off to a torrid start to the season while Damon wasn’t doing much. Now, Damon’s going on a tear, while Matsui has seriously cooled down.

        • The Ancient Mariner

          …As to Damon and Matsui, does anyone NOT miss either of them? Not that I don’t think the replacements are better, just I miss Upper-Decki Hideki along with Damon’s stutter and hot wife. Can we still miss these two players and agree with the offseason moves?

          • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

            Of course. I miss them too. I whined mightily about Andy Pettitte leaving for about three years. Heck, you can even think they’re better than their replacements, as long as you’re providing decent arguments (hint: saying Matsui was a “true warrior,” saying Nick Johnson is “useless,” and/or anything having to do with clutch is not a decent argument). I just think it’s lame to whine about Matsui when Matsui’s doing well and Damon’s not, only to whine about Damon when Damon’s doing well and Matsui’s not.

            • The Ancient Mariner

              Nick Johnson isn’t “useless” he’s just the unluckiest man alive…and has a face way too fat for his body, though I suppose that’s just another facet of his awful luck, if only Nick Johnson could have Austin Jackson’s BABIP, think of the numbers! Though I do hate how he doesn’t swing at pitches right down the pipe, has a little bit of a lazy approach to the plate…kinda like Abreu did, where he’d just look at pitches he could have smoked. But I hated losing him in the Javy trade all those years back, so I’m stoked to have him back.

        • CS Yankee

          Disclaimer: Am a big fan of Godzilla, but he not in my top 40 all-time Yankee greats. I thought that I would have heard some contract discussions to keep him, but maybe the knee concerns must of trump that thought. He is a professional and the way he apoligize for getting hurt was unbelieable…Damon would of had his agent create the image that he did it to save the world. I even recall his dad saying that when he signed with the Yankees that it was the greatest thing since the Babe Ruth coming over. The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.

          I’m fine with both Damon & Matsui moving on and know that even if they have a great year, it doesn’t change that the Yankees made excellent choices going into 2010.

          • YankeeScribe

            With AJax’s salary, the Yanks could’ve afforded give him a shot at starting CF and spend the money to keep Damon or Matsui…

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              Just because that sentence is true does not mean it was a good strategy.

              • YankeeScribe

                Just because a duck flys doesn’t mean it’s a bird

      • The Ancient Mariner

        As to number two why is trading Melky for a guy who had a career 3.43 K/BB giving up on him? If they were to trade Jesus Montero for Tim Lincecum is that giving up on him? Or are they just using him to acquire a piece that they feel helps their organization. I mean, Javy’s sucked pretty hard this year and probably needs to work something out in Scranton…but trading Melky and Arodys for Javy are hardly giving up on either of them.

        • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

          I don’t think anyone said anything about giving up on Melky or Arodys. At least, I can’t remember anyone that did, though someone probably said it somewhere because people are insane. As you said, when you can trade a spare part outfielder plus a prospect with upside who is still probably years away from the majors for a quite good major league pitcher, you do it.

          • The Ancient Mariner

            +1

            I recall during the deadline last year there was talk that the BJs wanted Joba and Romine for Halladay, all my friends didn’t want to “give up” on Joba…I really don’t consider trading him for a top three pitcher in baseball (IN HIS PRIME) giving up on him, if anything it’s selling high. “Giving up” on Melky would be trading him for like a Reed Johnson or something.

    • YankeeScribe

      That quote is laughable. Jackson probably isn’t as good as the numbers he’s put up so far but it’s unlikely that he’s going to be .200BA bad once he cools off.

      Last year, people on this blog were projecting AJax to be a .280/.340/.400 hitter. Now everybody wants to call Jackson a fluke because Cashman clearly gave up too much to get Granderon…

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

        How did he give up too much? He traded a AAA OF that had a .759 OPS last year, a back-end SP that was basically run out of town by the fans, and an easily replacably lefty reliever.

        • YankeeScribe

          That’s kind of funny considering how Cashman followed this trade with a trade for Vasquez who was run out of town by the fans…

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            Your reply doesn’t answer Mike’s question.

            • YankeeScribe

              We gave up 2 good pitchers and 1 decent outfielder for a guy who can’t hit left-handed pitching. Without the homerun power, C-grand isn’t much better than AJax who is a lot cheaper over the next few years.

              • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                Ian Kennedy: Good pitcher, but likely didn’t have a role on the Yankees.

                Phil Coke: At best, he would’ve been the second lefty option.

                Austin Jackson: Good, not great prospect, will probably be a good regular, nothing more.

                Curtis Granderson: All-Star quality player, who’s skill will likely never be reached by his only comparable in the trade.

                • YankeeScribe

                  On what grounds can you base the claim that AJax would “never” be able to match or surpass Curtis’ career .271BA/.343OBP?

                  On defense they’re about equal with AJax possibly having a slight edge because he’s got younger legs…

                  • Clayton

                    I like how you left off slugging percentage…

                    As in Granderson has a career slugging percentage of 0.480 in MLB, while Jackson was only able to beat that in 67 games in A+ and was at 0.410 in his minor league career.

                    • CS Yankee

                      This

                      Gardner & Ajax are about the same player. Granderson gives the power that neither those have…or ever will have.

                    • YankeeScribe

                      So you’re saying if AJax is never going to match or surpass Granderson if he doesn’t become a power hitter?? That’s a pretty nonsensical prediction.

      • Guest

        I dont think Mike was trying to say that he is a .190 hitter. He was just trying to point out that he should be hitting .190 right now based on his expected BABIP. I believe he was only trying to show how lucky he has been to this point. In other words, A-Jax isn’t a .190 hitter, but he should have been a .190 hitter in April of 2010.

        And yes, you play the games on the field and not on the computer. Consequently, Ajax was a .360 hitter in April of 2010. But things like expected BABIP lets us know the odds of a player replicating that kind of performance. Based on the available metrics we have before us, the odds that AJax will cool off drastically are very, very high.

      • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

        It’s not really laughable. It’s stats.

        I can still see him performing at a .280/.340/.400 level. that hasn’t changed, and I’m not calling him a fluke. He’s gonna be a good player. Just not as good as he looks now.

      • CS Yankee

        Jackson is still very young and I could easily see him batting .200 for a period of time. The numbers you list could very well be on although I wouldn’t guess anything upside of that.

        The Granderson trade was great in everyway. Proven All Star with power, speed and glove. I also believe that if Ajax had any power that the trade might of not have happened. He isn’t expected to have power numbers greater than Gardner; which to me means that Gardner is the better, more proven asset. Thus, big reason why we have Grandy.

        • YankeeScribe

          I understand why the trade was made. On paper, Grandy is projected to bring more offensive production than AJax in the short-term. I just think that for what we gave up to get Grandy, a guy who is useless vs lefties, it was too much. Plus, keeping AJax and IPK would have been much more cost effective than adding Grandy and Javy’s salaries…

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            I think we could argue that Granderson gives more production in the long term, too, as it’s highly unlikely that Jackson ever develops the power to match Granderson.

            • YankeeScribe

              AJax is projected to be a run scorer. C-Grand is a run producer. Comparing the two offensively is almost like comparing A-Rod to Jeter. On defense, they’re about equal but AJax is said to have a better arm

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                AJax is projected to be a run scorer. C-Grand is a run producer.

                Fail.

              • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

                Comparing the two offensively is almost like comparing A-Rod to Jeter.

                Except… you can compare A-Rod to Jeter. Apart from contact skills, which A-Rod still does very well, A-Rod is better offensively than Derek Jeter.

                • YankeeScribe

                  I agree. It was a bad example since A-Rod is a good all-around hitter. My point is that unless he develops more power, he’s going to be a table-setter like Jeter, not a guy that you want in the middle of the lineup. Granderson is a guy who could bat 5th or 6th on most teams because of his power. He led off for Detroit but ideally, you want your leadoff hitter to be a guy who gets on-base more often than he did last season.

      • pat

        Would people be up on Ajax’s jock if he were hitting .280/.340/.400? Not a chance.

  • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

    Also, though an even smaller sample sizez warning applies here, Ajax is hitting .154/.214/.154 against lefties with a 36% K rate and no extra base hits (4-26 with 2 walks and 10 strikeouts)

    Cano’s BABIP is high, but he pulled off a .359 BABIP over 508 PAs in 2006

    • forensicnucchem

      Sadly, it could be argued that Jackson’s line is better than Granderson’s line of 5-31 (.161/.188/.226, 1 BB, 11 K) with one extra base hit (IIRC, a ‘lucky’ groundball triple barely fair down the first base line).

  • Rose

    A .527 BABIP + striking out 31.2% of your at bats = no where to go but down…and sooner rather than later.

    Is the 31.2% definitely “at-bats”? Or is it “plate appearances”?

    This was actually brought up in the off-topic thread by someone.

    http://riveraveblues.com/off-t.....ent-860584

    Fangraphs seems to use K’s per at-bat while B-REF seems to use K’s per plate appearance. I personally thought B-REF’s way of doing it seems more accurate.

    • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

      31.2% of at bats (34/109)
      28.6% of plate appearances (34/119)

  • Randy A.

    Best article ever from the foremost authority on baseball conjecture:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-.....id=5154760

    Great argument. Compelling.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Greg Oden is writing for ESPN now?

  • The Ancient Mariner

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leade.....38;month=0

    Good for him, I wish the guy well…I know a few people who met him in Trenton and had nothing but nice things to say about him.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    …and Eduardo Nunez was coming off a three year stretch in which he hit .243-.286-.329.

    Somehow Mike, I think that this was the most enjoyable thing, to you, that you wrote in this post. :)

    • Thomas

      The only thing that could have made it better was if it followed a year in which Nunez hit 1.000/1.000/4.000 in the Dominican League.

  • theyankeewarrior

    And while AJax pretends like he’s the second coming of Willie Mays….

    Could the trio of Vazquez, Granderson and Johnson have given any more food to the trolls?

    It’s getting harder and harder to explain to the Baseball Tonight / ESPN fantasy baseball followers why these offseason moves make sense. Especially after Granderson hits the DL while weak-knees Matsui and calf-strainer Damon play every day. Meanwhile Johnson and Vazquez are walking disasters. (Pun intended for Nick-the-Stick)

    Please, fellas, for the sake of my text messaging inbox, can you all just have a league-average Mays? Well, besides you, Curtis. You can just focus on getting all of your charity work out of the way while you sit in the rocking chair that we all assumed HazMat would be occupying by now.

    /end rant

    • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

      Nick Johnson, despite hitting .141, has a higher OBP than any regular starter on the Boston Red Sox

      • vin

        Yeah, but how many runs has he prevented?

        • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

          More than these guys (sort by R/G)

        • http://enternight.mlblogs.com Ana

          about as many as any regular starter on the Boston Red Sox

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            As many as David Ortiz.

  • Opus

    I think with those strikeout numbers, AJax would need to produce like this all the time to not become a vilified player among NYY fans.

  • YankeeScribe

    AJax is going to be a good all-around ball player though he’s unlikely to put up the kinds of numbers he’s putting up now throughout his career. Ultimately, I think he’s a better fit with the Tigers and Granderson is a better fit with the Yankees.

    My position was always that Cashman gave up too much. If we could have gotten Grandy without giving up IPK as well I’d be more happy with that trade. The fact that we gave up two good players for one who is one-dimensional offensively(can’t hit lefties throughout his career) is what annoys me about the trade. If the trade was just AJax and Coke or AJax and a player to be named later, I’d be more satisfied with it.

    • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

      I can understand this POV but I gotta say I don’t really believe this because you haven’t really said anything about IPK, just Jackson.

      And just because Grandy struggles against lefties doesn’t mean he’s one-dimensional.

      • YankeeScribe

        “I can understand this POV but I gotta say I don’t really believe this because you haven’t really said anything about IPK, just Jackson”

        IPK is doing what he was expected to do so there’s not much to say about him other than I’d rather see him than Javy Vasquez in the rotation.

        AJax is playing far above anyone’s expectations while Granderson is slumping so inevitably this is going to be a topic worthy of debate until Granderson comes back and gets hot or AJax cools off and comes down to earth.

        • Doug

          “IPK is doing what he was expected to do so there’s not much to say about him other than I’d rather see him than Javy Vasquez in the rotation.”

          did you feel this way at the beginning of the season or only after vazquez imploded in april? be honest

          • YankeeScribe

            I didn’t post here often during the offseason but I gave Javy a chance. I thought most fans were being irrational in being against Javy for what happened in the 2004 ALCS. After his last few starts, I’m almost convinced that his problems are mental and he just may be another Carl Pavano.

            In hindsight it seems that if Cashman didn’t trade IPK to get Granderson, he may not have felt that he needed to make a trade for Javy.

            • Zack

              Ian Kennedy has a 5.29 FIP right now.

    • TheLastClown

      My position was always that Cashman gave up too much. If we could have gotten Grandy without giving up IPK as well I’d be more happy with that trade.

      But we couldn’t have. Arizona was a key component in this trade, and they wouldn’t have shipper Scherzer to MoTown if IPK to ‘Zona was not part of the deal.

      Also, IPK was the pariah of the *MSMish* Yankee fanbase. If someone were to ask you on the eve of the trade if you’d rather have IPK starting over a pitcher of Vazquez’ accomplishments, you probably would choose the latter. You might not if I said it was Javy, because he has some misplaced stigma floating around his name.

      • YankeeScribe

        “Also, IPK was the pariah of the *MSMish* Yankee fanbase. If someone were to ask you on the eve of the trade if you’d rather have IPK starting over a pitcher of Vazquez’ accomplishments, you probably would choose the latter. You might not if I said it was Javy, because he has some misplaced stigma floating around his name.”

        I agree that he wasn’t the most popular Yankee farmhand but a “Pariah”? That’s a little bit of an exaggeration to put it nicely. The accuisition of Javier Vasquez last offseason was met with tons of negativity from the NY media and Yankee fans. I remember reading mostly positive stuff about IPK returning to pitch for the Yankees last fall.

  • Yankeescribe

    The luckiest man alive just had another multi-hit game and now leads the AL in hits and batting average lol

  • Scooter T

    Very hard to get a good read on Jackson with all the noise and distortion. Just some observations of a Tiger’s fan who has seen almost every at bat. 32 k’s in first 82 ab’s, 4 k’s in last 31 ab’s, which feature a second go round with a couple of teams. Baker and Minnesota tonight for instance. He is not the second coming of Ichiro, but he is a legitmate .300 hitter at the Major League level. He uses the whole field. His leg kick has been regressed by the Tigers to what it was before the Yankee org messed with it. Probably because they wanted a little more power while we want a classic leadoff hitter. He can take a fastball up to 92mph and go to right with it, wheter it be inside our outside. He has absolutely no fear of hitting with two strikes on him. Some youngsters look lost at 0-2 or 1-2, but not Jackson. All FWIW. The BABIP has to come down of course, but focusing on that too much detracts from the fun it has been to watch this kid so far.