Some Sunday morning links for your reading, including a few draft related with the draft upcoming tomorrow.
Here is a good draft piece at ESPN by Jerry Crasnick examining some of the biggest hyped prospects ever. Even back in 1989 and 1990, when the baseball draft was a blip on the radar, I remember the hype surrounding Ben McDonald and Todd Van Poppel. If they were coming out today, I’m sure it would be pretty Strasburg-esque. Also some interesting “what ifs” in there as both Mark Prior and Bo Jackson were drafted by the Yankees but did not sign. With the careers they ended up having, it’s fun to wonder how much differently things could have turned out.
The Stephen Strasburg hype is hitting new levels as his first start is upon us this week. A town in Virginia is looking to change its name to Stephen Strasburg. It’s going to be tough to live up to the hype, yet I have a feeling that he will come as close as possible to meet expectations.
This article on Bryce Harper, while a few weeks old, is a very good read. I still cannot believe the way his character is being attacked. He’s 17 years old. He can’t even legally buy a scratch ticket yet. Everyone who is saying bad things about him, including calling him “just a bad, bad guy” needs to take a long look in the mirror and remember what they were doing as 17 year olds. Even though he doesn’t have the underdog status that so many people love, I’m really going to root for this kid.
In the way back machine, it’s interesting to read Keith Law’s piece when the Yankees hired Joe Girardi and how he thought they made a good call. Of note is the fact that while Joe Torre hadn’t developed much starting pitching in his time with the Yankees, Girardi in his one year with the Marlins got solid seasons out of Anibal Sanchez and Scott Olsen, as well as Josh Johnson. Johnson clearly has moved into ace status, but Sanchez and Olsen haven’t done much since. Is that because Girardi was good developing them, or that he overworked them and they’ve battled injuries since? It’s an interesting question to ask when thinking about the future of Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain under Girardi’s watch. That being said, if overwork was an issue with the Marlins pitchers, I think that Girardi has likely learned from that, and the Yankees have a much better infrastructure in place to handle these young guys.