Link Dump: Org. Rankings, Int’l Money, Sanchez


Earlier today we pointed you in the direction of John Sickels’ interview with Mark Newman, but here’s a few more minor league links to pass along…

Goldstein’s Organizational Rankings

A few days after releasing his top 101 prospects list, Kevin Goldstein released his farm system rankings today, placing the Yankees fourth overall behind the Royals, Rays, and Braves. You don’t need a subscription to view the whole thing. Instead of posting a generic paragraph on each system, KG added a haiku, and I give him points for originality. His Yankees’ offering: “Slugger with no glove. The B’s need to prove themselves. Yankees or trade bait?” Pretty much everything you need to know right there.

International Free Agent Clearing House

Baseball America posted a trio of great charts regarding international free agency today, one looking at the top 30 signing bonuses from 2010, another with each team’s spending in 2010, and the last with the top 20 bonuses of all-time. None of them require a subscription. The Yankees gave Wilmer Romero and Christopher Tamarez $656,500 and $650,000, respectively, the 19th and 20th largest bonuses of the year. Rafael DePaula got just $500,000 (26th), and some kid named Eduardo Rivera got $475,000 (30th). The $5.27M they spent overall was the second most by any team, so everyone complaining that the team wasn’t spending enough internationally, just stop.

As for the all-time records, Gary Sanchez‘s $3M is the third largest ever, behind Michael Ynoa and Miguel Sano. Wily Mo Pena ($2.44MM) is the ninth largest of all time, and for a while was a record. I still can’t believe the Yankees gave Wify Mo a big league contract as a teenager.

KLaw on Sanchez

Jesus Montero is the cream of the Yankees’ position player prospect crop and rightfully so, but further down the later resides Sanchez, who has to potential to be every bit as good as Hey-Zeus. Keith Law looked at six prospects yesterday (Insider req’d), six guys with the potential to jump into the top ten prospects in all of baseball next year, and Sanchez was among them. “Sanchez can hit, and looks like he’ll hit for power,” said KLaw. “A full year behind the plate and another year of physical development will go a long way toward answering the question of his defensive future, but there aren’t many questions about his offensive potential.”

Law says he believes Sanchez can catch long-term, and at the very least he has a better chance to do so than Montero. It’s unfair to compare Sanchez to Montero but it’ll inevitably happen. If he’s 75% of Jesus, that would be amazing.

Yankees sign Nick Ebert

The Yankees have signed former South Carolina first baseman Nick Ebert as an undrafted free agent, reports Matt Eddy. The 23-year-old hit .302/.448/.638 with 30 homers in 440 plate appearances with the Game Cocks over the last two years, before which he was at a junior college. Baseball America ranked Ebert as the 36th best prospect in the state before last year’s draft, just saying that he was a solid college senior with some power. The right-handed hitter is probably nothing more than minor league depth, a guy that can mash Single-A pitching and help keep the pressure off the youngsters.

Categories : Links, Minors
  • long time listener

    I give the Ebert signing a thumbs-up.

    • steve (different one)

      Maybe he and Andy Sisco can room together…

  • The Real JobaWockeeZ

    Yankees or trade bait?

    Well we know someone’s gonna go whether it’s Cash behind it or not. Anyone have bets?

    • Ted Nelson

      Some of the prospects will inevitably be traded, yeah. I guess if I have to pick one top 5 prospect I’d go with Sanchez since he’s so far away. Lots of time to get traded for whatever reason(s). Also a guy some team might love that the Yankees are willing to part with because he is so far away. Not saying let’s trade Sanchez, just that I give him a higher probability than any other single top 5 guy since the other guys are closer to contributing. Romine is near the top 5 and he’s an obvious candidate to trade.

      I can see a scenario where none of the top 5 are traded, though. The rotation would have to start at least solid. Nothing spectacular, but 4 of 5 guys reaching expectations (CC probably can’t be the one who doesn’t for this to work). Come June/July Montero is in the Bronx, if he doesn’t open there. Brackman does well in AAA and is ready for a call up. Banuelos and Betances destroy AA and are already in AAA. They could get call-ups in 2011 and will almost definitely in 2012. Sanchez is doing to A-ball pitching what he did to rookie-ball pitching in 2010. And some of the 6-20 type prospects are having very good years, making them attractive trade targets for solid-to-ok MLB players (Romine, Adams, Eduardo Nunez, Nova, Noesi, Phelps, Slade, Warren, Stoneburner, Brett Mitchell, Bryan Marshall, Mason Williams, Ramon Flores, etc.).

      In that (best case) scenario, the rotation doesn’t have a gapping hole. Brackman can come up and give you 15-ish MLB starts as a 3-4 type starter, and you only need to go for that front-end type veteran starter if the right guy comes along at the right price.

      Then again, even in that best case scenario if the right guy is available for the right price I’m sure anyone can be traded.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        They do seem to like to trade their high ceiling prospects while they are early so I agree. Sanchez seems like a trade target. I want to keep him though because you can never be sure at catcher…

        Romine I think they’re going to keep because he’s the only catcher int he system that doesn’t have defensive concerns. There’s Higgie but meh.

        I think Betances and Banuelos are safe too. Cash isn’t an idiot that he thinks Pena and Nova will get someone like Liriano but it seems that he isn’t willing to go far. Can’t really blame him there.

        But if there’s a Cliff Lee this year at the deadline I hope Cash doesn’t fall for it again. Rangers just lost Smoak. If there’s someone you gotta trade Jesus for then I hope he’s 27 or younger number one/two with not a lot of injury concerns.

        Though if I gotta place a bet I think Jesus is gone due to gut feeling. I so hope I’m wrong.

        • bexarama

          They do seem to like to trade their high ceiling prospects while they are early so I agree.

          Who, Arodys? The other prospects I remember trading are Tabata, Austin Jackson, and Ohlendorf, if I’m forgetting someone please remind me because my memory can be kinda barfy sometimes. I don’t consider any of those high-ceiling guys, that might just be my opinion though, and Austin Jackson and Ohlendorf were in AAA.

          Sanchez seems like a trade target. I want to keep him though because you can never be sure at catcher…

          You can also never be too sure with 18-year-old kiddos who had less than 200 professional PAs.

          Aren’t there a bunch of concerns with Romine? I mean he’s not Montero but he supposedly wore down a lot at the end of last year. I think if he’s considered the centerpiece for something, you make that trade easy.

  • CS Yankee

    If he’s 75% of Jesus, that would be amazing.

    Actually, he got 5 times the signing Jesus did, so…


    • Ted Nelson

      And his rookie-ball OPS was about .250 higher…

      No, as much as it pains me to say it I think Sanchez is as likely to take a step backwards this season as forwards. Obviously he doesn’t have to OPS anywhere near 1.000 to have a good season (especially as a C), but it was a small sample in rookie ball.

  • Sabermetrically Challenged

    Can’t find any info on Eduardo Rivera

  • art vandelay

    awesome. hah

    30. Milwaukee Brewers
    We got Zack Greinke!
    No! Seriously! Greinke!
    Zack Friggin’ Greinke!

  • radnom

    The $5.27M they spent overall was the second most by any team, so everyone complaining that the team wasn’t spending enough internationally, just stop.

    I think its fair to ask why the Yankees highest signing was still 19th on the overall list. Sure, spending a lot is great, but for a team in the Yankees position I would rather they use that money to get a couple of really high upside guys than a ton of filler.

    And usually they do (Sanchez is a good example) but the past couple years they haven’t. If that has to do purely with whats out there, fine I get that, but if its a shift in strategy then I think the people questioning why the Yankees pass on the top shelf IFA have a valid point.

    • AndrewYF

      “I think its fair to ask why the Yankees highest signing was still 19th on the overall list. ”

      Because they didn’t value those guys as much as the other teams did, perhaps? Or maybe those other teams had an in with those players since they were age 12?

      The international free agent market isn’t exactly like the domestic one. You have to have a LOT of feelers out to even get a glimpse at some of these players. The Yankees are one of, if not the best team in the majors at acquiring talent through this route. I have no idea why fans continue to complain that they just don’t sign every single international free agent on the planet. It doesn’t work that way.

      • radnom

        I have no idea why fans continue to complain that they just don’t sign every single international free agent on the planet.

        Not sure why are you arguing against things I’ve never said.

        And obviously its not the same as the domestic free agent market, again that was not something I said. Still, going after many lower priced IFAs (like the Yankees did this year) vs a couple high priced IFAs are two contrasting strategies and in my opinion the former is the best strategy for the Yankees (but not for every team). That being said, I’m not sure the results from the past year indicate a change in strategy – it could just be that the Yankees didn’t like the top guys this year. Fine, but if the trend continues for a couple years that excuse goes away.

        • Ted Nelson

          The Yankees have 2 of the top 10 bonuses of all-time, one of them in 2009. They were apparently bidding on the guy who got the highest bonus of all-time, and also on #2 the year they signed #3.

          In 2010 they had 4 of the top 30 bonuses. 13% of the top 30, when they represent only 3% of the league.

          I’m not sure why you criticize them for not going after top guys.

          Also, do you have any evidence that getting a couple of bonus babies is better than spending a lot of money on a lot of good players? Do you know that the big 2010 bonus babies were worth the money? This is what the Yankees do for a living. Certainly they are not above reproach. However, unless you have an intimate knowledge on IFAs and quantifiable proof to back up your position… why bother criticizing a team that has done so well in this regard?

          • Ted Nelson

            Same year that Joel Guzman got $2.255 mill the Yankees signed Robinson Cano for $150,000.

            The same year they gave Wily Mo Pena $2.44 mill, Miguel Cabrera got $1.9 mill.

            Around the time Jesus was signed, the Giants gave Angel Villalona $2.1 mill.

            Paying the most money does not assure you got the best prospect.

      • 28 this year

        exactly because the players go to certain baseball academies and stuff so many times, the team that runs a particular field or academy is in a better position to sign those who come out of there.

        The Yankees, like how they picked Culver instead of the consensus first rounders, have their own strategy which so far is working. The IFAs, the players that get hyped are not necessarily the best, they are just the ones that the media has seen. A lot of times, the other players could be better but just arent in a position to get noticed beyond a few scouts. The Yankees choose to spread their money across multiple people. For example, if there is a 5% chance a top IFA ends up good, signing two of those yields less talent than say signing 10 or 15 prospects with a 2% chance of making it.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not saying you can’t criticize their approach, but I’m not sure that’s a valid criticism.

      Sanchez was a 2009 signing. That was within the last couple of years. They have 2 of the 18 bonuses over $2 mill and Jesus was close to $2 mill, as I recall. They reportedly tried to sign Ynoa–largest bonus ever back in 2008–which so far has been a blessing that they didn’t get him. Still has a ton of upside and talent and is only 19, but has 9 IP in the US.

      If you don’t have an intimate knowledge of the IFA market I wouldn’t criticize their approach in terms of quality vs. quantity in a given year. They might feel, for example, that Romero/Tamarez was the best OF/SS prospect on the market despite others getting far more money. Or at least that he was by far the best bang for their buck. Not paying the most doesn’t mean they didn’t get the best prospects.
      Or they might just have felt like this was a deep class without much quality at the top. It was generally considered a down year. They got both Tamarez and Romero for the same amount they could have gotten another SS.
      DePaula was reportedly in-line for a much larger bonus in 2009 before he was accused of misrepresenting his age, so the talent is there to some degree.

      And just in general… who is to say that going all-in on a couple of prospects is preferable to getting a bunch of good guys? Yankees have found studs in guys who were not million dollar bonus babies like Banuelos and Cano.

      Sometimes they do offer a prospect the most money and he simply decides to sign elsewhere, as was reportedly the case with Felix Hernandez.

      When you look at the guys the Yankees have given big bonuses… their success rate is quite high. Some of that is probably a result of those being the best prospects. However, Pena and Tabata both at least made the bigs. Montero and Sanchez are top prospects at a premium position. Vizcaino is a top prospect. They seem to do a pretty good job of deciding when to go all-in on a bonus baby.

      • 28 this year

        Plus, its like the draft. The number 1 pick with the most money doesn’t end up as the best player. Mike Trout was the 25th pick. Sometimes the 25th best player ends up as the best. The guy who is the best at 16 is not necessarily the best at 24+

        • 28 this year

          *16 and 24 are years old

      • bexarama

        Also, a lot of it, frankly, is who chooses to go where. The Yankees supposedly offered guys like Felix and Teheran more money than they took to go to the Mariners and Braves, respectively. Can’t stop stuff like that.

        I get criticizing but IDK. I can’t really argue with anything said here.

  • awy

    i think they should be spending more in the IFA still.

    • awy

      instead, you know, signing middle relievers.

    • 28 this year

      but that number doesn’t factor in the other work the Yankees do for IFAs. The Yankees also operate baseball academics, employ scouts and other people to find those worth spending on. It is difficult to find all the people that are worth the money to spend on. The Yankees have to truly feel like a person is an asset to the organization and that is not the case. They shouldnt just spend to spend. Plus, I think if the Yankees go overboard, a CBA or something will change the rules stopping the Yankees from spending. Also, you need room for all these people that you sign. You can’t just sign people and then not have leagues or places to put them and develop. There are only so many coaches the Yankees feel are good and teams for these players that signing everyone won’t lead anywhere.

      • awy

        “it is difficult to find players to spend money on”
        this scenario can be true, yes, but i don’t think we are at that point yet. my attitude on the IFA is formed through looking at the IFA products empirically. At the very least, the IFA is more efficient than ML free agency, and we are not yet at the limiting case where severe and spectacular inflation has made bidding on players there inefficient.

        the yankees have shown interest in a lot of IFA players that the failed to sign. given their resources, i don’t think this should be happening, especially for players that they love.

        • Jess

          Yes, the Yankees should destroy everyone with their money argument. If the Yankees operated the way you and certain fans would like, you can bet a World Draft would be a front and center issue in the next CBA. Right now it’s not because even small market teams like the Pirates and Reds spend on international FAs.

          But if the Yankees used their “resources” to sign most of the top talent each year the way a few spoiled Yankees fans want, there would be a World Draft. Which would hurt the Yanks longterm.

          Cashman is smart. He uses our advantages without flaunting it. The same thing with over slotting. Too many Yankee fans only want to spend, spend, spend. It’s a sickness.

          Oh and signing Soriano has nothing to do with the IFA market. How ridiculous.

          • awy

            fantastical arguments all around there.

          • Ted Nelson

            Totally agree.

        • Ted Nelson

          “At the very least, the IFA is more efficient than ML free agency”

          I don’t know if that’s true. If you are looking at it empirically, where’s your evidence? The Yankees spent $6 mill in 2010 and may not get a single MLB player out of that. Orlando Hudson was the 8th best 2B in MLB last season in terms of WAR, and has been 3 WAR 3 of the past 4 seasons. He’s making less in 2011 than the Yankees spent on IFAs in 2010. In MLB free agency you have a much higher probability of getting a MLB contributor than with amateur IFAs.

          “the yankees have shown interest in a lot of IFA players that the failed to sign. given their resources, i don’t think this should be happening, especially for players that they love.”

          Even if they “love” a 16 year old player, his chances of becoming a strong MLB contributor are limited. Everyone “loved” Ynoa so much that he got the largest bonus in history, and he’s pitched 9 innings in his first two pro seasons. The Yankees loved Wily Mo Pena enough to give him a record bonus, and he was a borderline MLB player. The Dodgers loved Joel Guzman $2.255 mill worth, while the Yankees loved Robinson Cano $150,000 worth the same year.
          So, it’s not necessarily wise to break the bank for all of the promising 16 year olds. If you really love one kid, but he’s getting $2.6 mill and you can get 5 kids you also love for that same money… what’s the right move? The Yankees might have loved Carl Crawford, for example, but not enough to match the Red Sox contract offer. As I point out above, spending the most money does not guarantee that you will get the best prospect.

          Also, these guys are free agents. They can sign where they want. The Yankees loved Cliff Lee and he didn’t sign. The Yankees offered Felix Hernandez and Julio Tehran the most money as IFAs, reportedly, and they didn’t sign with the Yankees. Take that up with them, not the Yankees. A lot of these kids have handlers who are telling them what to do and getting benefits for pushing them in a certain direction. It is a super corrupt system.

          • Ted Nelson

            “we are not yet at the limiting case where severe and spectacular inflation has made bidding on players there inefficient.”

            And that’s why the Yankees spent the 2nd most money of any team on IFAs in 2010. Unless you have personally scouted all these 16-19 year old Dominicans, Venezuelans, Mexicans, South Koreans, etc… I don’t think you’re in a great position to criticize which players the Yankees choose to spend all that money on.