Link Dump: Javy, Cano, Romine, Draft

Johnson still trying to find a groove
Yankees recall Golson, option Melancon

We have links, and not the sucky kind either…

What’s wrong with Javy Vazquez?

It’s the question everyone’s trying to answer these days, though there’s only one guy who can truly answer it. That’s not going to stop us, though. Tommy Rancel at Bloomberg Sports looked at the numbers, and while there’s definitely some unsustainably high rate stats working against Vazquez (3.13 HR/9 (!!!)) so far, the root of the problem might be his fastball. Not so much that the lost velocity means he’s afraid to throw it, but that the lost velocity has closed the gap between his heater and changeup. Instead of one pitching losing effectiveness, it’s two pitches.

Also, make sure you check out this Baseball Prospectus piece by Jay Jaffe’s mustache on the same topic (subs. req’d). He notes that Javy’s strikeout rate drops with men on base, which is bad news for a fly ball pitcher. The Yanks are skipping their Opening Day fourth starter this turn through the rotation, so hopefully he can iron some things out during the break.

Is Cano’s hot start for real?

Well, it’s hard to imagine Robbie Cano maintaining his current production over the remaining 137 games, he is on a 58 homer pace after all. Dougbies at Beyond The Box Score went deeper into Cano’s start, and while the Yanks’ second baseman has certainly enjoyed some good luck early on, none of it is out of world insane like Austin Jackson’s BABIP (up to .532!). Long story short, Cano is legitimately having the best season of his already very good career, which really isn’t all that uncommon for a player in his age-27 season.

Love for Austin Romine

While Jesus Montero has scuffled a bit in his first 100 Triple-A plate appearances or so, the Yanks’ other elite catching prospect has been hitting the snot out of the ball in Double-A. Romine is up to .351-.429-.554 (.418 wOBA) following last night’s 2-for-5 effort. In his Daily Futures piece at ESPN (Insider req’d), Kevin Goldstein mentions that Romine is probably the Yanks’ catcher of the future, because “his overall tools are well above-average for a backstop and scouts project him as an above-average defender down the line.”

It’s great to see him off to such a fast start, but the key is for Romine to maintain it all season. Catching is a grueling job, and this is the first time in his career he’ll be a full-time starting catcher from wire-to-wire.

Top draft picks by round

In the latest Ask BA, Jim Callis digs through the first 25 rounds of every draft over the last five years to find which player was the best pick in that round. Unsurprisingly, Tim Lincecum took the 1st round honors, but three Yankees’ picks joined him on the list: Joba Chamberlain (sandwich round), Austin Jackson (8th round), and Graham Stoneburner (14th round). The Yanks have done a nice job of turning late round picks into useful players, even if they’re just relievers like David Robertson (17th), Phil Coke (26th), and Mike Dunn (33rd). Those guys developed into far more than what their round usually produces.

Johnson still trying to find a groove
Yankees recall Golson, option Melancon
  • Stephen R – formerly tafka (sic)

    It’s getting harder and harder to avoid buying the ESPN Insider subscription.

    • whozat

      Is that because they’re getting better authors who generate better content? Or because they’re just putting more and more stuff (good, bad or otherwise) behind the “insider” wall?

      • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        The latter.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Just get a subscription to ESPN the magazine, then the insider is free with it. I bought a years subsription for like $14.99

      • Rose

        They don’t have it available now…but every once in a while they have a coupon code that comes out for this site.

        A 1-year subscription is $4.00 with the coupon code. 2-years is $7, 3-years is $10, and 4-years is $13. Pretty good deal.

        Again, it’s not available right now…but every once in a while they have the deal available…

      • Steve H

        And dispose of the magazine immediately, it’s hazardous to your health.

  • A.D.

    Graham Stoneburner (14th round).

    Bit unexpected, but looking through the 14th round has been a bit of a dud, especially since the Sox weren’t able to sign LaPorta.

    • A.D.

      Ahh, if he went back to ’04 we’d have Fowler or Adenhart.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    Cano: Triple Crown Winner. I’m still saying it.

    • Thomas

      But he already lost the Derby to Super Saver!

    • YankeeScribe

      I think he can win the batting title and getting over 100 RBIs. I can’t see him hitting 40 or more homers this season

      • Ray Fuego

        I do, he does have the power to do it.

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          he’s clearly got the power…does he have the ability to keep up what he’s been doing is the question!

  • YankeeScribe

    After striking out 30 times in his first 80 ABs, AJax has only struck out 4 times in his last 31 ABs.

    I think his success comes from the Tigers using him as a leadoff hitter rather than trying to develop his power as the Yankees tried to do…

    • bexarama

      is your last name Jackson? JW

      • YankeeScribe

        First name Reggie hehe

        I followed his progress through the minors and I’m happy to see him doing so well even if his numbers will inevitably come down.

        It’s not just Jackson. I generally keep up with the progress of Yankee farmhands after they’ve been traded to other teams. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who does that around here.

        • bexarama

          Oh, yeah. No, I agree, I’m happy to see him doing so well. You just really like AJax, haha.

          • YankeeScribe

            Like everyone else around here, I’m surprised that he’s been promoted and is making a big impact in the majors so soon. Fluke or not, his luck couldn’t have happened to a cooler former Yankee

    • Accent Shallow

      But that’s still 34 Ks in 111 ABs, which is still way too many. I wish him a long and successful MLB career (which he’s probably going to have), but he’s going to have to cut that rate (which he may already have, although 31 AB is too few to tell), or hit for more power (which all the scouting reports say he should).

      • YankeeScribe

        Well his last 30 atbats are a good sign since they have come against LA and MIN. Those teams have gotten their second look at Jackson…

    • Steve H

      One week sample sizes FTW!

  • Stryker

    ah, the rule IV draft. cannot freaking wait ’til it all starts to heat up and we see more and more legit mock draft boards.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I can’t wait for the draft. I’m expecting the Yanks to drop some serious coin in the draft this year after this offseason of trades. Also I think its crazy to me that people are suprised at Cano’s year. We have known all along how much talent he had? Next to Utley he probably has the second most natural ability of any second baseman in baseball. Even more than the pest to be honest. The only thing that I hate is that even if he keeps this up he is going to be hurt by playing with Jeter, Arod, and Tex. Darn you MVP voters.

    • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

      With a new CBA coming up, I doubt the Yankees will drop serious coin. Too risky. They may add a few pricey IFA guys. Still, I wouldn’t count on more than two seven-figure guys.

  • Beamish

    While Romine’s offensive outburst is quite welcome in AA, I am almost relieved to see Montero’s slow start with the bat in AAA. If he were crushing the ball there would be that many more stupid Sports Page stories about bringing him up right now as DH.

    • Jammy Jammers

      That would be horrible.

  • Mike

    Josh Reddick over David Robertson to me just smells of, how can we get the Red Sox to have the most players on this list.

    BA would look pretty foolish if the Yankees came out on top of that list after their being so lukewarm on our system for so long and so high on the Sox.

    • AndrewYF

      Everyday players are much more valuable than relievers.

      Although he does look like the second coming of the immortal Brandon Moss.

      • Mike

        I would agree if either he (or Kalish, who they picked over Melancon) had established at any point that they were likely to become everyday players. Neither has had any success above AA yet. Reddick’s minor league OBP is .336, I still don’t think that’s more valuable then a pitcher who led the AL in k/9 last year and contributed in the bullpen for a World Champion.

  • CS Yankee

    Question for Mike…

    Austin Romime is owning AA with the bat and glove which is great news (but a SSS). Jesus has a much higher projected bat but has not raked (maybe they promoted the 20 yr old too early) to date. I expect his bat to catch up but last I looked he is 1 for 20 on base stealers.

    Is there much difference between our farms (High A, AA & AAA) that Jesus could of been better developed as a catcher at a different level or was the bigger concern that his bat needed the challenge moreso?

    Either way, Austin seems like the entire package (if his bat holds up) to take over for Posada versus the Jesus (who maybe is only Piazza behind the plate).

    • Mike Axisa

      Tampa might have been the best developmentally because it’s the home base. The instructors are around all of the time, better facilities, etc. His bat’s AAA ready though, regardless of how he’s done this year.

      • CS Yankee


        We all see the bat and hopefully he can develop into a decent catcher. Frankie & Austin do seem more likely to be the better choice at the #2 position. Possibe C-1B-DH platoon is what they might be thinking, but full time catcher is where most scouts doubt that he can deliver.

        In Posada, we have had a decent catcher that can rake…but decent gets 20-30% of basestealers. I would hate to see a sub 10% catcher full time. Could his D-stats be added to his update/tracker stats easily?

        • Doug

          he’s caught 6 of 28 would-be basestealers, for a not so terrible 21.4%

          • CS Yankee

            Thanks, great. That is great improvement, hoping he can stick at the position. I’ll be good to see which two are here in 2012, and who gets traded.

  • josh

    Im not say i disagree that monteros value is higher as a catcher but if romine is the catcher of the future at what point do they change monteros position? obviously if everything goes right romine will catch and montero will hit like miguel cabrera but where would he play? outfield seems more likely than first base right (texiera)? i would imagine he has a rightfielders arm and would benefit from the small area in right at the stadium.