Prospect Stock Poll: Shaeffer Hall


(Photo Credit: Mike Ashmore)

It’s easy to lose track of all the quality pitching prospects the Yankees have in their farm system, especially at the upper level. One guy seemingly flying under the radar is left-hander Shaeffer Hall, part of the club’s 2009 draft class. Hall, 23, is currently doing a fine job of holding down a rotation spot for Double-A Trenton after splitting last season between Low-A Charleston (2.61 FIP, 57% grounders in 68 IP) and High-A Tampa (3.30 FIP, 49% grounder in 69 IP). The performance is definitely there, no doubt about it, but the issue here is that the stuff doesn’t match up, which is often the case with these late round guys.

Hall came out of Kansas as a 25th round pick in ’09 with command of three pitches: a mid-to-upper 80′s fastball, a good changeup, and a slurvy breaking ball. His college coach, Ritch Price, went so far as to compare him to Jamie Moyer for his ability to pitch will less than knock-out stuff, and it’s usually not good when someone is drawing those kinds of comparisons before his 25th birthday. But still, Hall’s a strike thrower and he’s left-handed, a combination that will earn him plenty of chances to show he can contribute at the big league level.

There’s a chance that Hall could cut it as a back-end starter in the lesser league, but his most likely role on a contending team in the AL East is a situational lefty out of the bullpen. Since his best pitch is a changeup (historically used to combat batters of the opposite hand), he doesn’t exactly fit the profile though. Without a clear long-term role or the skill set to force anyone’s hand, Hall is right on the edge where quality prospect meets fringy player.

Slap a grade on Hall as a prospect.
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Categories : Minors, Polls


  1. Jonathan says:

    Has there been any indication that his stuff has gotten better? So pro instruction might have added more to his FB, and maybe Nardi got him throwing a curve.

  2. nacho says:

    I like this article… always nice to see parts of the farm system not really shown that much. Can we get a profile on these fringe guys too? I wanna know if he’s projected to get bigger/gain velocity.

  3. Steve H says:

    How are his splits? Potential LOOGY?

  4. I wonder who gave Hall an “A”?


  5. Fred Phelps says:

    Why should we care about any pitching prospects for the Yankees? They’ve shown no willingness to actually depend on them for any period of time. For all the talk – of the newfound approach and emphasis on pitching – 4/5th’s of the current rotation is from outside the organization. Had Nova punted last night (and against a weak team he wasn’t all that impressive) it would be 5-for-5.

    TINSTAAPP, especially not in the Yankee organization. They’re bullpen fodder or trade bait. Nothing more.

    • Frigidevil says:

      …not sure if serious

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Yea it’s serious lol

        • Fred Phelps says:

          “Killer B’s” after “Big Three”. LOL.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            I wonder what comes next after the Killer B’s. What’s the next trio of pitchers to come through the Yankee farm. I know what your reaction will be when the hype starts :D

            • Fred Phelps says:

              Hype needs substance. The Yankee hype has no substance. Hughes and Joba were as hyped as any prospect in baseball. Neither will amount to much of anything.

              • The Big City of Dreams says:

                They might not live up their ceilings because the expectations were through the roof.

                • Fred Phelps says:

                  Then don’t ever trust a prospect guru again. They had the talent and the performance. Too bad they were in the wrong organization.


                  • The Big City of Dreams says:

                    I think a change of scenery would help Joba. Not sure if he will ever become what he was suppose to be with another club but I wouldn’t be surprised if him switching teams helped him in the long run.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Is this a reaction to the status of the big 3 or just everything in general?

      • Fred Phelps says:

        That’s a big part of my rant, yes. But also how they approached this season. Now the upper levels of the farm are stacked with pitching talent and they’re giving major innings to the likes of Colon, Garcia and soon Millwood and Silva. If they’re aren’t sticking to the new “philosophy” now, why should I ever hope they will?

        Fool me once…

        • Now the upper levels of the farm are stacked with pitching talent and they’re giving major innings to the likes of Colon, Garcia and soon Millwood and Silva.

          The upper levels are stacked with pitching talent, but that talent probably isn’t ready to actually join the rotation in 2011. Banuelos, Betances and Brackman need to build up more innings/arm strength to be fulltime rotation candidates and could probably use a bit more seasoning at AAA (maybe face some adversity and learn how to pitch around not having your best stuff on a given night); Warren/Phelps/Mitchell/etc. still have a ton to prove since their raw stuff isn’t as good.

          I’m bullish on a lot of these guys being good pitchers soon, but I totally get why a team like this would give low-risk/high reward tryouts to vets like Colon/Garcia/Millwood/Silva. The youngsters are really green, and it helps to have some veterans to bridge the gap and serve as insurance. If Banuelos/Betances/Brackman are really that much better than the old fogey crew, they’ll force the team’s hand in short order.

          I’ll be more concerned when/if the Killer B’s actually get to the bigs and then get yanked around or demoted too soon.

          • Fred Phelps says:

            Please. That stops no other organization. Just because the Yankees can pay guys like Colon et al. doesn’t mean they should. It’s saying something that for all the need of pitching in baseball they Yankees bit on *four* guys that no other team wanted.

            As for your hope with the “Killer B’s” you’ll learn soon enough. We’re looking at bullpen fodder and trade bait. The Yankees have no patience for developing starters. Cashman has buried it completely following half a season of effort. Of course, then he went out and got Ponson and Rasner.

            • Just because the Yankees can pay guys like Colon et al. doesn’t mean they should.

              Just because the Yankees can pay guys like Colon et al. doesn’t mean they shouldn’t, either. Colon, Garcia, Millwood, and Silva all represent near-zero risk with their dirt cheap and super-short contracts. You try them out and see if they can perform, and dump them if they can’t. Building a rotation is a war of attrition. Getting more options is always a good thing. Cashman’s doing it smartly in buying guys that can be dumped at a moment’s notice if they start sucking or if Banuelos keeps forcing the club’s hand. You should be thankful we’re filling our rotation with Bartolo Colons and Freddy Garcias and not with John Lackeys or Diasuke Matsuzakas.

              It’s saying something that for all the need of pitching in baseball they Yankees bit on *four* guys that no other team wanted.

              It’s saying that many of those teams wish they’d have bitten on the four guys the Yankees bit on instead of some of the underperforming contractual albatrosses they did actually bite on this winter.

              Look, putting green young prospects in the rotation in the AL East involves a long and arduous growing process (see Hughes, P. and Chamberlain, J.) I can understand why a team that has a goal to win the World Series every single year wants to limit its exposure and only give one rotation spot at a time to an unproven young pitcher while filling the rest with more reliable options. Just be thankful we’re in the habit of signing reliable options that can be DFA’d at the drop of a hat.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                “Getting more options is always a good thing.”

                Look up: Opportunity cost.

                “Look, putting green young prospects in the rotation in the AL East involves a long and arduous growing process”

                Exactly why the Yankees will *never* do it with any rigor. As it is, they’ve already chosen poorly from the Big Three. My problem is with process, and your arguments are only reiterating that same point.


                There is no such thing as a pitching prospect in the Yankee organization.

                • But the point I’m making is, the opportunity cost is limited, because non of these veteran alternatives the team is accumulating represent any length of opportunity cost commitment. As soon as they start pitching poorly, they’re gone, and the opportunities for Betances/Brackman/Banuelos are right back where they were.

                  Furthermore, you’re jumping the gun a lot. None of them were even close to the readiness points of Joba/Hughes/Kennedy when they joined the rotation for the first time. All of them have an ETA of 2012. Signing a bunch of vets to one year deals in 2011 doesn’t change the timetable for the Killer B’s at all.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    You’re saying young pitchers need commitment but they’re smart for not committing? That makes no sense.

                    If they’re not willing to even try guys like Noesi and Phelps and Warren, this year, then you’re dreaming if you think it will be any different with Brackman and Betances (neither of whom are very good). Banuelos they’ll baby through 2013.

                    Cashman will do the exact same thing next year or throw major money at a Lewis or Darvish. There is no “new” philosophy. It’s the same as it ever was.

                    • Noesi, Phelps, and Warren don’t remotely have the upside of Banuelos, Betances, and Brackman. There’s no reason to believe they’ll approach the development curves and track to the majors identically between those non-identical prospects.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      You’re dreaming if you think either Brackman or Betances will be a long-term starter for the Yankees. They will require the patience even you admit young pitchers need. The Yankees have no patience.

                      All of the AAA guys this year could easily be league average starters if you accept the growing pains. The Yankees won’t. Back to trade fodder or bullpen arms.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      You’re dreaming if you think either Brackman or Betances will be a long-term starter for the Yankees.

                      Not for nothing, but you’re not exactly going out on a limb. Pointing a finger and saying “that young starter won’t work out” is the safest best in baseball.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      That’s five times in this thread that you’ve put words in my mouth. Not succeeding with the Yankees and not succeeding in baseball are two very different things.

            • The Big City of Dreams says:

              I’m not happy with how the big 3 has gone so far but to be fair Colon and Garcia have worked out. I don’t expect them to be lights out all yr but for right now they are doing the job.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                Except they’re sucking up innings that should go elsewhere. That’s only going to embolden Cashman to do the same damn thing year after year.


                • The Big City of Dreams says:

                  But are those guys on the farm ready? I’d love to see Man Ban or Dellin up here but they aren’t ready yet.

                  • Which is a huge reason why we signed all those old lottery tickets.

                    Another reason why we signed all those old lottery tickets: Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte didn’t sign here.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Great point! There wouldn’t even have been room for a fringe guy like Nova.

                      They have the arms. They don’t have the patience. They never will. I’ve awoken to that sad fact. When will you?

                    • Cashman’s desired Opening Day rotation:

                      1. CC
                      2. Lee
                      3. Hughes
                      4. AJ
                      5. Pettitte

                      If you’re seriously complaining that Ivan Nova was going to be pushed into the bullpen or the 6th starter slot so we could sign that rotation, I don’t know what to tell you. Ivan Nova isn’t a prospect good enough for you to refuse Lee or Pettitte.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      No, I’m pointing out that the one thing even you agree young pitchers need was never coming from the Yankee organization.

                      Of course, that preferred rotation leaves aside the fact that Cashman said developing young pitcher would free them from expensive contracts via free agency.


                    • The Big City of Dreams says:

                      Yea if Lee and Andy signed here things would have been very different.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Great point! There wouldn’t even have been room for a fringe guy like Nova.

                      You made a point against your argument. Nova’s a fringe guy, so is Warren and Phelps and Noesi. You don’t make room for those guys if there’s a Cliff Lee or Andy Pettitte available, not a contender anyway.

                    • Which is why all of this is a fallacy of equivocation.

                      Fred Phelps ackowledges that Nova is a fringe guy and uses his possible demotion from the rotation following struggles to imply that the team would also demote a non-fringe guy (like Hughes) from the rotation as if they are identical prospects, and thus, by extrapolation, that the team never shows any patience with any young pitcher ever.

                      The Joba mess does agree with Fred Phelps’s argument, but Hughes doesn’t.

                • Fred Phelps says:

                  By that standard, Mike, The Yankees have exactly one pitching prospect in their organization. So why waste your time pretending otherwise?

                  • Mike Axisa says:

                    Who’s pretending? I’ve always said that the Phelps and Warrens and Noesis and Novas are spare parts for the Yankees, fill-in starters or relievers or trade bait. That doesn’t mean they’re useless. Banuelos might have a future with them long-term, maybe even Brackman or Betances, though nothing’s guaranteed.

                    You’ve put words in my mouth no fewer than three times in this thread, you should stop trying to be a tough guy and start understanding what people say to you.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Umm, you call these guys prospects every chance you get. Your hype is a huge part of the problem for the lemmings. How are the “Big Three” looking? Can I still buy a T-Shirt?


                      For Brackman and Betances to become anything, their organization would have to stick through growing pains. The Yankees aren’t that organization.

                      Have you woken up to that sad fact yet?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Good to see your argument is the out-dated TINSTAAP attention grab. Compelling stuff. Do you even know what the word prospect means?

                      Whatever man, people that come here and preach about prospects not working or getting chances with the Yankees are a dime a dozen. Say something original next time.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Fuuny how you won’t even defend the T-shirt any more.

                      Did you guys make $250 at least?

                      See, you want to pretend these kids are prospects. They’re not. Not for the Yankees. When given a chance, the Yankees will always choose the retread – or four of them.

                      Bullpen fodder or trade chips. Every single one of them outside of Banuelos.

                      So drop the act cause you clearly know better. Or would that hurt your page views?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      The last thing you want to do is make this personal.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Hmmm, sounds like chest puffing…what are you gonna do, tough guy?

                      The plain fact is you hype these prospects worse than anyone. Then you act all holier than thou when someone points out they’re not prospects for the Yankee rotation. They’re not. So why don’t you drop the act and admit the obvious?

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  “They have the arms. They don’t have the patience. They never will. I’ve awoken to that sad fact.”

                  You need to awaken to reality. The vast majority of prospects fail. That’s true for every organization. What organization is out there consistently pumping out good MLB starters that they didn’t draft high in the first and/or didn’t come up as highly touted prospects? It’s not that teams like Oakland and Tampa put mediocre prospects into their rotation, wait patiently, and BOOM they become good pitchers. Tampa’s guys were almost all drafted very highly. Oakland’s guys were all good prospects. They didn’t just take a bunch of Hall’s and magically turn them into Price’s. When they have the starting prospects with the ceilings to become good MLB starters, they consistently give them a chance. When they have mediocre guys they give them a chance till they fail/are upgraded on and/or trade them to basically buy veterans. This is exactly the approach they should take. Obviously it would be nice to acquire more top end pitching talents (which they have been doing consistently since 2004), but short of that this is the approach that makes sense.

                  Your views are largely detached from reality.

          • Tom Zig says:

            Not to nitpick, but I wouldn’t consider Colgarmilva to be high reward.

            • The two who are here have already shown that high reward.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                How’s that crow going to taste in July?

                • If they suck in July, nobody will be eating crow, because the point of adding them wasn’t for them to be dynamite Cy Young candidates all year long. The point of adding Colon/Garcia/Millwood/Silva was to see if they could be non-sucky for even a brief moment (which they’ve done) and thus help the team weather the long slog of the season (which they’ve done) and then dump them when they turn back into pumpkins (which we will).

                  Seriously, I don’t get what part of this is so hard to understand for you. Colon/Garcia/Millwood/Silva are inexpensive stopgaps added to serve a useful purpose, namely, fungible depth. We use them while we can and dump them when they’re not useful anymore. They’re not blocking anyone, because the prospects good enough for them to theoretically be blocking aren’t ready to contribute in April or May.

                  What part of that don’t you get?

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    Look up: Opportunity cost.

                    They’ve shown exactly no inclination to do what even you agree must be done: Stick with young pitchers through growing pains.

                    Hughes is the exception to the rule. Shows where their judgement lies too.

                    • Not sticking with Ivan Nova through his growing pains is not the same as not sticking with Phil Hughes through his growing pains.

                      They get treated differently because they have drastically different upsides.

                    • the Other Steve S. says:

                      your trollin’ in a circle, dude.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Talk to me when Nova gets even 200 innings.

                      Hughes is over 320 and he’s no better than his rookie year. He wasn’t last year either.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I am well aware of what opportunity cost is, and still find your points to be ridiculous. The only AAA starters with more than a few innings in AAA entering the season were… wait for it… DJ Mitchell and Kei Igawa. Huge fucking opportunity cost…

                      You need to get in touch with reality. First you saw that the Yankees need to stick with their young starters… then you say that when they stick with their starters it does work… Come on. You’re contradicting your own ridiculous points.

          • Epy0n says:

            I agree our prospects need to keep working on their arm and execution and that’s fine especially since our veterans are dealing.

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          I understand where you’re coming from. You want to see more guys get a shot instead of retreads that have been around for yrs. I think the response to that would be the Yankees gave Nova the 5th spot in the rotation. With this being the Yankees only certain number of guys are going to get that chance.

          • Fred Phelps says:

            Nova is hanging in by a thread at this point. It doesn’t help that he’s not that good.

            • The Big City of Dreams says:

              It’s early with Nova. Last night might have been his 10th career start.

              I will say this I’m starting to see more and more ppl have a problem with the Yankees and developing. It’s a topic that has always been discussed but over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen numerous fans express how angry they are.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                You have to start with something and Nova’s always been fringe. That’s fine if you need a 5th. But he’ll never be better than that.

                • The Big City of Dreams says:

                  Good point

                • SWB YAnks says:

                  Why is that a problem though? The Yanks were paying a seasoned vet $11.5 million to the be their 4th to produce 5+ ERA and not make the postseason roster. Wouldn’t it be better to have a Nova, Hughes, Brackman, et al pitching in that spot saving $10 million a year to fill other holes??

                  I don’t think the Yanks need to develop front end starters when they will always be a team that can afford front end proven pitchers on the free agent market. The key for the Yanks is to balance the veteran presence with youth. You can’t go all in on free agents like they did from 2002 to 2007.

                  Guys like Schaffer Hall could be very valuable to the Yanks for the simply reason they don’t have to pay them premimum money and don’t own they a role. Right now the Yanks are locked to Soriano in the 8th inning because they are paying him $10 mill this year. A prospect like Robertson who has earned his roster spot isn’t costing the Yanks anything and that is what their farm system can be and should be.

                  • The Big City of Dreams says:

                    “I don’t think the Yanks need to develop front end starters when they will always be a team that can afford front end proven pitchers on the free agent market.”

                    The problem is the days of getting front end starters has come to an end. These guys either don’t make it to FA or if they sign somewhere else.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                “over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen numerous fans express how angry they are.”

                It’s an ignorant anger with the lack of results. These fans don’t actually know what training programs these guys are on and coaching they receive compared to prospects in other organization. You can put two similar prospects in the exact same situation and one may develop while the other doesn’t… it’s not all on the organization. Clearly the Yankees haven’t done a great job developing starters in recent years. Whether that’s luck, talent acquisition, development… who knows? If Felix Hernandez takes the Yankees offer instead of the M’s… I’ll bet you these same fans shut the hell up. It’s a totally arbitrary way to judge an organization: one success would completely change their opinion on how they’ve “developed” all these guys. They see Tampa taking top 5 picks and getting MLB starters a few years later and assume they’re better at “developing” starters… No. They just had a ton of early picks. They don’t have the money to go out and get veteran starters like CC, so they don’t. If Manny alone becomes a strong MLB starter, these fans will shut up. If he doesn’t–even with the exact same treatment from the org as if he did–they’ll keep bitching.

                • They see Tampa taking top 5 picks and getting MLB starters a few years later and assume they’re better at “developing” starters… No. They just had a ton of early picks. They don’t have the money to go out and get veteran starters like CC, so they don’t.

                  That. Teams like Baltimore and Tampa Bay and Oakland have homegrown rotations for three reasons:

                  1.) They each have tons of high draft picks and use them to get tons of quality pitching prospects and let the natural attrition rate separate the wheat from the chaff
                  2.) They each trade away dynamite players on the cusp of free agency (and thus, punt on the occasional season here and there) to get more pitching prospects to add more possible quality young starters and replenish the stock
                  3.) They each can’t afford to go sign the Sabathias and Burnetts and Pettittes and Mussinas and Cones and Clemenses and Wellses and even the Pavanos of the world, so they just fill up the rotation with 5 kids and hope they win each year instead of taking real steps to come as close as possible to guaranteeing they’ll win each year.

                  If other teams who are supposedly “better” at developing young starters could trade places with our pitching staff assembling philosophy, they’d do it in a heartbeat. Billy Beane would gladly have a rotation that’s only 1/5th homegrown if it meant he could sign Sabathia and Burnett and Pettitte and ride them to a World Series appearance with Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez in the bullpen.

                • The Big City of Dreams says:

                  You made some valid points I think what happened and it happened with me is you get so wrapped up in the vision that when it doesn’t work out it creates anger toward the ppl in charge. When Cashman talked about rebuilding the farm many fans were waiting to hear those words for yrs and were excited to see what the future had in store. But with the big 3 being a mixed bag some fans have begun to question the ppl in charge which is what I have done. Is it dumb or stupid sure it can be but at the same time there is some merit to it.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    It’s not dumb to question them, though I think it’s fairly pointless in the short-term. It is dumb to jump to conclusions in my opinion, though… Not accusing you of that, but plenty of fans like this Fred guy have done that without actually knowing what’s going on.

                    It’s frustrating–especially for Yankees fans who are used to things breaking the Yankees way a whole lot of the time–to have 3 highly touted prospects not live up to the best case expectations. I agree. However, we first have to put it in the context of 3 first round picks resulting in 3 MLB pitchers (one starter, one reliever, one trade piece) being great draft success. Had they taken worse players in the draft who never amounted to anything it would have been worse than Joba and Phil not becoming Roger Clemens (yet anyway) or IPK becoming Moose, even if it was less frustrating. Then we also have to realize it’s a really small sample. And finally that we don’t even know a lot of what went into trying to develop those guys vs. other org.’s policies.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And also that they’re still in their mid-20s, and the two most promising ones are still Yankees who might have long, successful careers.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “Nova is hanging in by a thread at this point. It doesn’t help that he’s not that good.”

              Duh…………………….. This is what people are saying. You don’t put guys in the rotation just because of their age and which organization they came through. What matters is performance and expected future performance. If Nova isn’t good now and you don’t expect him to get better in the near future and you have better options, you don’t stick him in the rotation just to placate homer fans like yourself who want homegrown guys.

              That you can’t see the contradictions in your own points is hilarious.

    • A.) It would be 3/5ths of the current rotation (being imported and not homegrown) if Phil Hughes’s arm hadn’t suddenly come up lame this spring.
      B.) It could easily be 2/5ths by this time next year, when Phil is back and guys like Noesi/Banuelos/Brackman/Betances/Warren/etc. have more age/experience to compete for a rotation slot (and possibly Joba’s exile to the bullpen is finally ended).
      C.) The rotation is only half of the pitching staff; several of our relievers are homegrown (and several candidates to join the bullpen soon are homegrown). They count too.
      D.) Pitching prospects developed to have a tangible trade value matter a crapload too. If there was no Ian Kennedy, there would have been no Curtis Granderson. If there was no Jeff Marquez, there would have been no Nick Swisher.

      • Fred Phelps says:

        A) If, biff, stiff. They’ve babied Hughes for years. His treatment was supposed to be the template for the organization. I shudder to think about the future of any Yankee pitching prospect. They have no clue.

        B) Keep dreaming. Cashman tried it once and when the Big Three came up limp, with no backup plan, in 2008, he’s overgeneralized to never try it again. They could be doing the same this season with all the AAA/AA arms. They’re not. They have no patience to develop a pitcher. Hughes was the exception because they forced him to be so. Too bad he sucks. To the bullpen!

        C) As I said, bullpen fodder – 6th and 7th inning editions – or trade bait.

        D) That’s fine. I’m just not going to get my hopes up any longer. Betemit was the piece in the Swisher deal. And he’s showing why in KC.

        • Let’s wait and see what happens. Cashman has given no indication that Phil Hughes is somehow now going to the bullpen forever just because he has a dead arm after pitching about 100 innings more than he had done in three years.

          • Fred Phelps says:

            Hughes should be in the bullpen or traded. He sucks as a starter – 4.97 career ERA in over 300 innings.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                Stats don’t make sense? Oh-kay.

                • Steve H says:

                  Roy Hallday thru his age 24 season as a starter

                  282 innings, 4.95 ERA.

                  He sucks.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    If you think Hughes, with all his homeruns, is going to turn into Halladay, I have a rookie card for you.

                    Hughes has shown no promise outside of one month.

                    • Steve H says:

                      So did Halladay suck too then? Because you’re “proof” that Hughes sucks is his ERA. Same standards should apply, right?

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Halladay was getting groundballs…

                    • If you think Hughes, with all his homeruns, is going to turn into Halladay, I have a rookie card for you.

                      If you think that was the point of mentioning Roy Halladay, I have a logic course for you to take.

                      Nobody’s claiming Hughes will be as good as Halladay. The point of citing Halladay’s struggles (or any number of other guys, like Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling, etc.) is to remind you that a young pitcher struggling before the age of 25 (or even into his late 20s) doesn’t mean he’s going to suck forever. Plenty of good pitchers didn’t have it all figured out by 25. Plenty of them went on to be solid or ever great starters.

                      You’re writing Hughes off way too prematurely.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Sure, the Yankees will keep throwing a guy out there with a career 5 era. Keep dreaming. It’s a foregone conclusion that Hughes is written off. The only question is whether they can dump him for anything with a pulse.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Halladay was getting groundballs…

                      Not back then he wasn’t. The difference between his HR rate at that age and Hughes’ is one HR every ~40 innings. And that’s not even adjusting for ballparks.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I am not jumping on either side. I just want to state a fact that might change opinions or enlighten opinions.

                      It’s widely known, and accepted as fact, that Ro Halladay altered his delivery and his approach. He didn’t debut his his new delivery and approach until after he turned 24 (for 105.1 ip in 2001). His first full year of his new deliver and approach was 2002.

                      Hughes has not altered his delivery to my knowledge.

                      Not taking sides, just adding a fact.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Meant debut his new delivery and approach in the big leagues after he turned 24.

            • Steve H says:

              He’s a young pitcher in the AL East who has been up and down. he doesn’t suck.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                Joba’s been better. So has Marcum. And Lester. And Buchholz. And all of the O’s starters…

                • pat says:

                  Lol Buchholz had a 5.36 ERA in 168 innings during his age 23 and 24 seasons. Matusz was a 4th overall pick and Arritea and Tillman havn’t done shit. Lester is the only stud out of that group.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    Hughes has now thrown twice as many as a starter as that season from Buchholz. When do you give up on the fantasy?

                    Arritea is better than Hughes. Hell, Brett Cecil is better than Hughes. So is Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Jess Litsch…

                    Shall I name more?

                    • Arritea is better than Hughes. Hell, Brett Cecil is better than Hughes. So is Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Jess Litsch…

                      None of those pitchers have had the league adjust to them yet and been forced to learn how to pitch around it, like Hughes.

                      There’s a reason it’s called a sophomore slump and not a freshman slump.

                    • pat says:

                      Arrieta is better than Hughes? He threw 100 ip with a 1.5 whip last year. And lols, Romero was the 6th overall pick in his draft and almost two full years older than Hughes.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Looks like I stepped into the middle of a Hughes lovefest! Too bad all the evidence shows he sucks. And pitchers don’t simply get better.

                      There are two things working against your Hughes love:

                      1) His career 5 ERA as a starter.
                      2) The Yankees showing no patience for growth

                      Mark my words: Hughes will never become the pitcher you want him to be in pinstripes. Never. Ever.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Arritea is better than Hughes. Hell, Brett Cecil is better than Hughes. So is Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Jess Litsch…

                      Haha. Where is Brett Cecil now? Where was Jesse Litsch last week? Romero’s like, two years older than Hughes, where was he at his age? Check out who leads the league in walks, hint: it’s Drabek.

                      You keep bringing up other pitchers as if it’s somehow relevant to Hughes. Every pitcher is different, you’re not even comparing apples to oranges, you’re comparing apples to single-cell amoebas.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Also, Hughes hasn’t learned to pitch around anything, not even homeruns.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      I didn’t bring up the lame point that young pitchers should get extra credit in the AL East.

                      Apart from one month and scattered starts, Hughes has shown nothing. If this injury turns out to be major, he’s finished with the Yankees.

                • Steve H says:

                  Good pitchers have been good? Fantastic research. Jon Lester being an awesome pitcher doesn’t make Phil Hughes suck.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    The proof is young pitchers who don’t suck can do just fine in the AL East.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You don’t have to either be Jon Lester or suck. There’s a lot of middle ground between the two. Your logic is appalling.

            • The Big City of Dreams says:

              I’m not a big Hughes guy but it might be harsh to say he sucks as a starter. You can say outside of a relief role and the 1st half of 2010 he has been up and down.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                Harsh? He had one good month in 2010 and otherwise has been meh. His career ERA as a starter is over 5 if we leave out that one solitary month. It’s the organization that keep propping him up. Worse they seem to be relying on old skool logic – He’s looks like an “ace” so there must be one in there.

                • The Big City of Dreams says:

                  “He’s looks like an “ace” so there must be one in there.”

                  That literally made me laugh out loud.

                  But you did make an interesting point outside of a yr and a half Phil has been a mixed bag.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    That has been the Yankee criteria. It certainly hasn’t been his performance.

                    • The Big City of Dreams says:

                      He is the last one left of the big 3. If he doesn’t pan out than things really get weird. He’s going to get as many opportunities as possible because they want to prove they can develop a starter. In many ways they need Hughes to make it.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Exactly they why treat him differently outside of his horrible performance.

                      A major injury will allow them to cut bait.

                    • The Big City of Dreams says:

                      I don’t think they will cut bait on Hughes but the injury might cause them to think about if they lock him up long term.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      They will never, ever, ever lock up a pre-arb pitcher long-term. Nor should they.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Your first criticism was that the Yankees never, ever, ever stick with young starters in the rotation. Now your criticizing them for sticking with a young starter who hasn’t dominated in the rotation. You can’t have it both ways. Stop trolling and start making some semi-logical comments if you want to earn anyone’s respect.

            • pat says:

              Yea dude. Most pitchers are studs when they’re 23 and 24 and pitching in the AL East.

              • Fred Phelps says:

                The young Jays and O’s have been better. Joba too.

                The problem is with Hughes. He’s just not good. He’s had plenty of time to prove otherwise. He’s the only pitcher they actually have stuck with long enough.

                • Steve H says:

                  He’s had plenty of time to prove otherwise.

                  Repeated: Roy Hallday thru his age 24 season as a starter

                  282 innings, 4.95 ERA.

                  He sucks.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    Denying the antecedent. Logic. Fail.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      And you’re assuming that Hughes will never change. Your logic is actually worse, at lease he provided evidence that change is possible. You’re just puffing your chest out and making declarations.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Wait, what? Evidence from another pitcher is evidence for Hughes? And you’re supposed be the prospect expert around here? Dude, stop wasting your time commenting and learn to actually analyze something.

                      Someone else here used Randy Johnson as an example. Wow, awesome analysis!

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Nice straw man. All I said was that he gave an example that shows players can change, whereas you seem to disregard the possibility.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Affirming the consequent. Logic. Fail.

                      Hughes, and Hughes alone, sucks. 320 innings as a starter says so. He’s shown nothing different from when he first debuted…five years ago.

                      When do you let the fantansy die?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Dude, if you cut bait on every pitcher or position player after 320 bad anything, the big leagues would be empty. You don’t just give up on talent because the early results haven’t been good, that’s as stupid as it gets.

                    • Fred Phelps says:

                      Why are you putting words in my mouth? The Yankees cut bait. Every other organization seems to understand what it takes to develop starters, even those who are after pennants.

                      Cashman has had 14 years. How many starters has he developed?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      Every other organization seems to understand what it takes to develop starters…

                      Confirmation bias at its absolute finest. I’m out of here, I’ve had this same argument twice this month already.

                • The Big City of Dreams says:

                  I don’t know if Joba has been better but I will say it’s closer than ppl think.

                  • Fred Phelps says:

                    The stats say Joba was significantly better – > K numbers and fewer homeruns.

                    • The Big City of Dreams says:

                      I’ve seen ppl bring it up more than once that the gap between the two pitchers is not as big as ppl make it out to be. Hell I’ve heard ppl say there was no gap but do the numbers really say Joba was significantly better.

                    • Jason M says:

                      Gotta say Fred I was on board when you were arguing the fact that the Yankees don’t develop pitchers very well (Not really a secret anyway) and that chances are the Killer B’s would either end up in the bullpen or in a trade but this Hughes talk has me thinking you lost all your ground… Hughes has the stuff the be great at some point give him time, remember how bad Cliff Lee was and now he’s one of the best in the big leagues. No one really knows if he will end up being great with the Yankees maybe he will be traded but to say he sucks is ridiculous.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            True Phil isn’t going to be chained to the bullpen forever but we all know who is

  6. Frigidevil says:

    Lack of fastball is disappointing, but the question is: will the velocity go down with age, or will he be able to have the same stuff in 10 years that he does now?

  7. Plank says:

    What is the scale used? I think of someone projected to be able to stick around in the show for a few years as a C. For me, I was deciding between D and “non prospect.” These seem way too high.

    Banuelos is an A, Brackman is a B, and Nova is a C, to me. Schaeffer Hall doesn’t come close to any of their levels.

  8. bonestock94 says:

    I felt generous and went with a D. There has to be dozens of guys like this around the league.

  9. Monteroisdinero says:

    Sisco kid!

    Come on up-you’re the next contestant on…..

    Loogys from Lackawanna!

  10. Accent Shallow says:

    I give him a C. Results matter, but so does stuff.

    I see a young LHP who’s throwing in the 80s, and I’m skeptical.

  11. The Big City of Dreams says:

    “They have the arms. They don’t have the patience. They never will. I’ve awoken to that sad fact. When will you?”

    Are you counting all the pitchers they have given up on/traded or just starters like Joba and Kennedy?

  12. Kosmo says:

    Yanks are doing what they always do ,slow bleed their farm system.Then they go out and sign 35 yr old retreads and way overpay for the likes of Burnett and Soriano.

  13. pat says:

    Pitchers don’t simply get better.

    Quote of the day.

  14. The Big City of Dreams says:

    Umm, you call these guys prospects every chance you get. Your hype is a huge part of the problem for the lemmings. How are the “Big Three” looking? Can I still buy a T-Shirt?


    I think some guy on here said he used it to wash his car last week. So yea the t-shirts are still useful

  15. BavarianYankee says:

    I give him a D. Like most of us I’ve never seen him pitch live or on tv so it’s hard to rate him but his stuff is so non-prospect like that I can’t rate him any better than a D. Maybe he provides some value as a trade chip for the Yanks but I think that’s it.

  16. The Big City of Dreams says:

    Cashman has had 14 years. How many starters has he developed?


    Does Lily count?

    • Rick in Boston says:

      I didn’t know Cashman was the one developing the pitchers by himself. The development of pitchers falls on the coaching staffs of the farm teams, the minor league pitching coordinator, the farm directors and the scouting groups.

      Cashman’s job is to oversee the entire organization, all 175+ players, dozens of coaches, and other assorted staff. If anything, he needs to get tougher on the less high-profile people and let them know that they need to develop better pitching. If the last few years are any sort of indicator, the Yankees are moving in the right direction. The scouts are brining in the right arms, the coaching staffs are working on them, and they are proving themselves in the minors, both in terms of stuff and production.

      The Yankees have three pitchers in AA/AAA who have high-impact potential, as well as a number of guys who have a chance to come in, pick up innings at the end of the rotation or in the ‘pen. Right now, they aren’t in the rotation because they haven’t shown they belong there. The Yankees don’t have the ability, right now, to push guys into the rotation in place of “retreads” because they don’t have the guys to do it with.

      (Big City – the snark wasn’t meant at you, you just pulled the line down from above to clean it up).

    • bonestock94 says:

      Judging Cashman’s prospect development over the entire course of his career doesn’t seem fair. That might sound like I’m a Cashman defender or something, but bare with me I’m not. Isn’t the high emphasis on building a farm system a relatively recent development? After the batch of prospects that brought the dynasty of the 90′s, things were pretty barren until recently, with a few exceptions. That always struck me as a Steinbrenner decision, the mentality of punting the farm system and signing free agent veterans instead.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Very good point but I think a number of ppl are also looking at what he has done of the past couple of seasons. They see pitchers on other teams flourish and they look at Hughes and Joba and think something is not right.

        I think the Joba situation bothers a lot of ppl. I know it bothers me

        • bonestock94 says:

          It bothers me too, but the other side of the Joba argument makes a compelling argument. Apparently he’s not durable enough to start, even Cashman said it.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            Cashman even went as far to say that he failed as a starter.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            My thing is this if they determined that he was not durable enough to start why hold back on a trade for Haren?

            • Maybe they held back on a trade for Haren because they knew the Angels offer of Skaggs+Corbin was going to be so hard to top that it wasn’t worth getting involved in.

              Joba and Nova are the names we heard, but that doesn’t remotely mean that’s the names Arizona would have accepted; they probably wanted Joba+Nova+ some other legit top-flight SP prospect, like maybe Banuelos. They got a very nice package from LAAANAAAAA (Skaggs is a stud), and I can see why Cashman thought he wouldn’t be able to top it.

              Especially with Cliff Lee still available at that time for nothing other than money. We didn’t know he’d hold the silly notion that the Phillies would somehow give him a better chance to win and he’d make a poor decision.

              • The Big City of Dreams says:

                It’s interesting you said that about Skaggs and Corbin because a number of Yankee fans I hear look down at that package. Maybe they look at Saunders being the headliner and think the deal could have been topped.

                • Yeah, the deal sounded underwhelming at the time because the best part of it, Skaggs, was a PTBNL due to the restriction against trading picks. So when all you hear is “Saunders and two prospects and a PTBNL”, your first reaction is “That’s it?”

                  It would be like us trading for Haren with Joba, Noesi, Steve Garrison, and a PTBNL; we’d all say “What a steal!”… until 6 months later that PTBNL turns out to be Manny Banuelos or Gary Sanchez. It turns from a steal to a solid deal where you gave up a lot to get a lot.

                  • The Big City of Dreams says:

                    Thanks for putting that in perspective.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Totally my own speculation, though with some logic behind it… I think the D-Backs were probably asking for Manny. And at a time when Manny wasn’t as high profile as now, so they probably thought they could steal him and/or weren’t valuing him as highly as the Yankees. The reason I say this is that Haren was traded for 4 pitchers, and 3 of them were lefties. Seems like Arizona might have been seeking LHSP for Haren… but who knows. Manny is the only LHSP the Yankees could have offered.

                      Saunders isn’t a good pitcher, but he’s a solid inning eater so to speak. That’s about all Joba was on the whole as a starter and his track record isn’t as long as Saunders… so I can see valuing Saunders and Joba about equally. Joba has more upside, but Saunders is more of a sure thing as a starter.

  17. Bryan says:

    There’s a reason why Oakland has one of the lowest SP ERA’s in the league and it is not all based on playing their home games in the safe confines of Oakland. Many of them do not have absolutely dominating stuff. They are smart pitchers and pitch on the black. They change speeds and they are hard to gauge. No reason to say Shaeffer can’t start in the bigs until he proves he can’t. Having a starter is 23586878x more important than a LOOGY (I may have rounded a bit on the number)so it makes far more sense to see what he can do until he actually shows that he will not work as a starter.

    • Bryan says:

      Also missing from the analysis includes

      1) What about a 4th pitch? Has he been working on one?

      2) What about his windup? Is it very simple and easy to replicate? How about from the stretch? Is it similar to that of Manny’s which is a big time deal because it could mean the difference between TJ and not.

      3) Fastball movement. Lot? Little? Any? Does he have a 2-seamer as well?

      4) Changeup is his best pitch. I would expect it considering his fastball is not exactly blazing. What is the difference in speeds. Does he conceal it well? Does it resemble a fastball until it is too late?

      No way can I make a good judgement call based on what has been said. There are things we don’t know. All we know is that Shaeffer Hall in a little more than a year time of minor league ball has kept the ball from going over the fences very well, hates walking batters, and has a propensity for throwing strikes. Given his stuff isn’t overpowering it will probably lead to a significant difference in FIP from his ERA in one way or another. But until proven otherwise, he should be allowed to try and succeed as a starter. Because up to this point…he has.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        If you want to actually scout Hall… go to Trenton and watch him pitch. This is just a casual blog post.

      • Samuel says:

        Glad we are back on Shaeffer Hall. I found this online:


        If has begun to develop and command a good cutter, then all the better for him and the Yankees.

        That might take him from the Moyer-type comps into the (gasp!) Pettitte-type comp of the last couple years when Andy could not break 90 MPH and used location, movement and change of speeds as his “stuff.”

    • Ted Nelson says:

      You’re largely wrong about Oakland’s starters. Anderson and Cahill were both 2nd round picks who entered 2009 as BA’s #7 and #11 prospects, respectively. Gio Gonzalez was a 1st rounder who spent 4 years on the BA top 100. Brandon McCarthy was the #49 prospect in baseball before injury. These guys were not Hall’s. I’m not even big on velocity, but not one of them is averaging below 89.5 mph on his FB this season. Gio is averaging 92.

      Dallas Braden is the only light-tossing, not highly-touted starter they have. And he came up splitting time between the pen and rotation.

      Of course the Yankees are hoping Hall makes it, but let’s not act like Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, and Trevor Cahill had similar prospect profiles… they didn’t.

  18. David says:

    He added the changeup last year and is currently working on a cutter.


  19. Johnny O says:

    Given that this post was about Shaeffer Hall, I deem all 150 comments as Off Topic.

  20. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    I gave Mr. Hall a B. More inline with B- because indications his stuff is not sharp or overpowering but he has good control. The only way to advance prospects is to keep pitching them with excellent coaches who can develop more speed or plus breaking pitches, possibly. Its about spending time on the guys in the minors. Lee was sent down. Now, he’s practically untouchable.

    I like this segment of RAB.

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