Link Dump: Mauer, Damon, Prospects

The RAB Radio Show: March 1, 2011
Another Kickstarter Project: Baseball History Audio App & CD

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Mauer on Montero

While we discussed the merits of using Jesus Montero as the backup catcher this morning, Joe Brescia of The Times was busy talking to Joe Mauer about the Yankees’ uber-prospect and the perils of being a big catcher. “Too big. Not quick enough. I heard everything under the sun,” said Mauer, who stands 6-foot-5, two inches taller than Montero. “My advice to him is try and learn as much as you can. He’s lucky he has Jorge Posada, a pretty good catcher to learn from. And he has Russell Martin there now, too, another good one to help him. Those two guys that have been around the block. He should follow those guys around and learn as much as he can.”

The former AL MVP also emphasized the importance of getting to “know your customers,” meaning the pitching staff. “Know your staff and the little things that they respond to. You have to learn the pitchers and what they are capable of doing and not doing. Try to put your pitchers in the best situations they can to succeed.”

The Pitch to Damon

Before he signed on with the Rays, we heard that the Yankees had expressed some interest in bringing Johnny Damon back to the Bronx, presumably as a part-time outfielder and part-time designated hitter. RAB fave Ken Davidoff spoke to Johnny recently, who informed him that the Yankees pitched the idea of using him twice a week in the outfield and once a week at DH. Damon just wasn’t ready to commit to being a glorified bench player yet, so to Tampa he went.

The Yanks still would have needed a right-handed power bat for the bench if they had signed Damon, but not necessarily an outfielder. If Johnny had agreed to that arrangement, perhaps it would have opened the door for Montero to break camp with the team even more. Who knows.

BA’s Top 150 Prospects & More

The crew at Baseball America published their annual list of the top 100 prospects in the game last week, and a whopping six Yankees prospects made the cut. But you knew that already. What you may not know is how the list is compiled, which is what Jim Callis explained in this week’s Ask BA. Their six editors each put together a personal top 150 prospects list, then they mash ‘em all together in a spreadsheet and talk out the individual rankings. In addition to the guys that cracked the top 100, three other Yankees farmhands appeared in the personal top 150’s: Slade Heathcott (two ballots, peaking at number 133), Hector Noesi (4, 92), and Eduardo Nunez (4, 109).

Within the same piece, Callis says the Yankees have the best group of catching prospects in baseball, and that’s even if Montero ends up having to move off the position. That’s some hefty praise right there.

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The RAB Radio Show: March 1, 2011
Another Kickstarter Project: Baseball History Audio App & CD
  • Reggie C.

    Mauer’s body type differs significantly from montero. Mauer never heard a whispering of weight issues. I love Montero’s potential but to think there’s hope the kid can catch bc Mauer has overcome “adversity” is nuts.

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

      Mauer’s also a much better athlete. Montero’s better than your average male, but Mauer’s a world-class kind of athlete.

      • steve s

        Maybe Mauer’s advice should really be find another position because, even as a world-class athlete, Mauer shows more than his fare share of wear and tear at an early age and was only able to catch 109 games and 112 games, respectivley, the last 2 years and has caught over 120 games just once in his career. For comparison purposes Jorge averaged 136 games caught per year from 2000-2007 never dropping below 131!

  • Brian Cashman is Watching

    I’d love someone to explain to me the love of Eduardo Nunez.

    • ManBan Bet Montero

      He plays SS…

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Maybe you should explain why he’s so terrible compared to the other shortstops in MiLB.

      • Brian Cashman is Watching

        After looking at the other shortstops on that list. . .you have a point. Then again, there might be better shortstops in the Yankee system like Culver based on ceiling. Jon Manuel has said in podcasts he likes certainty, and I think BA prefers more certainty than a prospect analyst like Keith Law (who loves to dream on ceiling).

        I just take Mike Axisa’s word on prospects as bible (Eduardo Nunez ranked 27).

    • Ted Nelson

      Go to fangraphs.com and go to the leaders tab and/or teams tab. Look at the numbers put up by SS in 2010. They are pretty awful. SS is a position where offensive talent is really scarce. To be a league average-ish SS Nunez doesn’t actually have to be good. He can be downright bad and still start on a few teams.

      This is a guy who did ok in AAA last season and pretty decent in a small sample size in the bigs. On a lot of team he’d be competing for a starting SS job as we speak… while Culver, for example, is 4 levels away and hasn’t really shown anything in pro ball. Nunez is also a player who has made some improvements in the minors. He’s gotten better offensively in the high minors than A ball. He cut his errors in 2010, so we’ll see if that lasts.

  • Dick M

    Callis is full of it. All he does is overrate the Red Sox prospects — Anderson, Bowden, Reddick etc. He had a list of top 15 pitchers under age 21 and Banuelos didn’t make the cut.

    And how is it possible that of the 6 writers who voted, not one put Nova in their top 150?