Williams stays hot in Tampa win

Thursday Wednesday Night Open Thread
Heyman: Yankees called Padres about Chase Headley

Lots and lots of notes:

  • 2B Corban Joseph is done for the year following shoulder surgery, Brian Cashman confirmed to Chad Jennings. He’s had shoulder trouble in the past as well. Have to think this makes him a call-up/60-day DL candidate to free up a 40-man spot in the second half.
  • Both OF Brennan Boesch (shoulder) and LHP Vidal Nuno (ground) received PRP injections, according to Jennings. Cashman indicated Boesch is closer to returning than Nuno, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be back soon.
  • 1B Kyle Roller has been activated off the Double-A Trenton DL, reports Josh Norris. I guess that serious ankle/leg injury wasn’t so serious after all. OF Shane Brown was placed on the phantom DL to clear a roster spot.
  • OF Tyler Austin had the MRI on his right wrist today, according to Norris. The results won’t be available until tomorrow. He’s currently on the DL and x-rays showed no fracture.
  • Both UTIL Addison Maruszak and OF Fernando Martinez were retroactively placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL according to Donnie Collins. No idea what is wrong with either guy or how long they’ll be out.
  • In his collection of Futures Game notes (subs. req’d), Keith Law said RHP Rafael DePaula has “a very quick arm and threw hard, 92-96, flashing a changeup, but not showing enough secondary stuff to make any kind of evaluation.” He only threw a handful of offspeed pitches in his scoreless inning of work.
  • The Yankees have signed Princeton IF/RHP Mike Ford as an undrafted free agent, reports Norris. He hit .320/.443/.503 while pitching to a 0.98 ERA with a 32/13 K/BB in 64 innings, and became the first player in history to win both the Ivy League Player and Pitcher of the Year Awards. Ford will join Short Season Staten Island, though I have no idea if he’ll play the field or pitch.

Triple-A Scranton is off until tomorrow for the All-Star break. Here is the box score for the All-Star Game, which started late because it’s out on the West Coast. OF Thomas Neal and RHP Chris Bootcheck were the only Yankees farmhands elected to the game.

Double-A Trenton (6-5 loss to Reading)

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 1 R
  • RF Yeral Sanchez: 3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI — up from Tampa to cover for Austin
  • DH Andrew Clark: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI — came into this game in an 8-for-36 (.222) slump
  • SS Carmen Angelini: 0-4, 2 K — Double-A has not been nearly as kind as High-A was earlier this year
  • RHP Graham Stoneburner: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 12 of 18 pitches were strikes
  • LHP Cesar Cabral: 1 IP, zeroes, 0/3 GB/FB — all six pitches were strikes … three hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and zero runs in his last seven innings

High-A Tampa (4-3 loss to Jupiter)

  • CF Mason Williams: 3-5, 1 R — .334/.367/.418 in his last 150 plate appearances
  • RF Taylor Dugas: 2-5
  • 3B Peter O’Brien: 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — leads the system with 16 homers
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 1 K — picked a runner off first
  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-2, 1 BB — .102/.179/.102 in his last 14 games
  • RHP David Herndon: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GB/FB

Low-A Charleston (4-3 loss to Greensboro)

  • SS Cito Culver: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • 1B Greg Bird: 1-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB — walk rate is up to 19.8%
  • 2B Angelo Gumbs: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS — either two hits or zero hits in each of his last ten games
  • 3B Dante Bichette Jr.: 0-3, 1 BB
  • CF Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B
  • LHP Dan Camarena: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2/8 GB/FB — gave up a homer to 3B Colin Moran, the sixth overall pick in last month’s draft, in his first pro at-bat … four walks in his last 42 innings (0.88 BB/9)

Short Season Staten Island (8-6 loss to Batavia)

  • LF Michael O’Neill: 0-5, 3 K, 1 E (throwing) — threw a runner out at the plate … 39 strikeouts in 121 plate appearances (32.2%) with only five walks (4.1%)
  • 3B Eric Jagielo: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — seven hits in his last 13 at-bats (.538)
  • RF Yeicok Calderon: 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — Yeicokshot!
  • CF Brandon Thomas: 0-5, 4 K
  • RHP Cale Coshow: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 4/2 GB/FB — 16/8 K/BB in 17.1 innings
  • RHP David Palladino: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GB/FB

Rookie GCL Yanks1 Game One (4-0 win over GCL Braves in seven innings) completion of the July 2nd game, which was suspended due to rain in the middle of the fifth inning

  • SS Tyler Wade: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB
  • 2B Gosuke Katoh: 0-3, 1 BB
  • RF Austin Aune: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Hayden Sharp: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 Balk, 8/2 GB/FB — pitched the original game, not today
  • LHP Tim Flight: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2/3 GB/FB — last year’s 17th rounder has a 45/27 K/BB in 52.1 career innings

Rookie GCL Yanks1 Game Two (8-3 win over GCL Braves in seven innings) completed early due to rain

  • SS Tyler Wade: 2-2, 2 R, 2 BB — .347/.492/.388 with 13 walks and 13 strikeouts in 16 games
  • 2B Gosuke Katoh: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — .302/.441/.604 with 12 walks and ten strikeout in 17 games
  • 1B Chris Breen: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI — nine hits in his last 22 at-bat (.409) with three doubles, a triple, and a homer
  • RF Austin Aune & 3B Chris Tamarez: both 1-3, 1 R — Aune struck out once
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 6/2 GB/FB — rain-shortened, yes, but it’s not often you see a complete-game at this level … 29/4 K/BB in 25.1 innings for one of my Not Top 30 Prospects

Rookie GCL Yanks2 (4-1 loss to GCL Pirates)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 0-3, 1 BB
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 0-2, 1 K — first game of the season following an unknown injury … he played five innings in the field
  • LF Nathan Mikolas: 0-4, 2 K
  • RF Daniel Aldrich: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 K — just sent down from Staten Island
  • LHP Jose Diaz: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HB — pro debut for last year’s 29th rounder
  • RHP Angel Rincon: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 11/1 GB/FB — hooray ground balls
Thursday Wednesday Night Open Thread
Heyman: Yankees called Padres about Chase Headley
  • Different Josh

    Hey Mike, what ever happened to Jose Mesa Jr? There was a lot of hype when we drafted, and then signed him over slot.

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

      I have no idea whatsoever, sorry.

    • https://twitter.com/AngeloInNY Angelo

      Weird, I forgot all about him…

    • YankeeGrunt

      He didn’t get much overslot. He’s a lotto ticket, needs a lot of work. He’s on the 60-day right now, not sure what the problem is.

  • DERP

    Ford was having a really good year at the Cape. This post from Fangraphs today says he was the best hitter there.


  • Robinson Tilapia

    Jagielo’s lines keep on looking like a guy who’s just going to keep on climbing that ladder, and quickly.

    This feels empty without a Tyler Austin line.

    I’m glad Austin Aune only struck out eight times today.

    Maybe Stairs will rise again.

    • Laz

      Sadly, we could have previously said the same things about Bichette and Aune.

      • Greg

        Not really. Bichette looked like a pretty good prospect, albeit an overhyped one, but GCL competition is weak to the point that it’s extremely rare that you can say that based on a player’s performance there. And who would’ve ever said that about Austin Aune?

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Yeah, Eric Jagielo is pretty much the exact opposite of Austin Aune as a prospect.

        • Mac

          Aune did K a lot last season, but it was more in reasonable territory and he also put up a 130 wRC+. I don’t know if people were saying he’d climb the ladder quickly, but I certainly didn’t expect him to struggle this much being a year older at the same level. Thought he’s at least be holding his own in Staten Island.

      • Samuel

        Jagielo’s bat is tons better than Bichette’s. Very advanced and he is more patient. He is also a better fielder at third. I have not seen Aune play at all, but from video he appears to have a good swing. Just needs time. Not everyone can be Arod right out of high school.

        • Mac

          I’m not sure that Jagielo is a better fielder. There are definite concerns about him sticking at 3B, while Bichette has really quieted such concerns since he was drafted.

          I think the point, though, was only that short season results are unreliable. That applies to NCAA guys in NY-Penn as well as HS guys in GCL.

          • Samuel

            When I evaluate players, I do not go by results. I go by hitters swing, approach, instincts, etc. On defense, I go by glove, quickness, range and instincts.

            After I forge my own opinion, I also talk to various coaches in the Yankee system about their thoughts.

            Jagielo is better than Bichette.

  • Bryan

    I had four ABs against Flight while he was in college. He had a big ‘ol lefty curveball. Always cool to see him do well.

    • Rick in Philly

      As a fellow SNHU Penman, Flight is the guy I really keep an eye out on. You have no idea how excited I was last spring when the Yankees drafted him after he carried that team to the D2 CWS.

      • Bryan

        It was crazy how fast SNHU rebuilt that program. Flight was the ace but Mendez and others were really good too.

  • crawdaddy

    KLaw is a joke at times. De Paula only had one inning, of course, he’s going to throw mainly fastballs.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Hence why he said it was hard to evaluate him.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Dammit, Tilapia, you’re doing it all wrong! You can’t actually read what Law wrote!

        • Tom

          It’s not what he wrote, it’s the “subtlety” of what he implied.

          Did I miss the story where KLaw ran over RAB’s dog?

          • Manny’s BanWagon

            If Law says anything even slightly unflattering about a Yankees prospect, people around here attribute it to his “hatred” of the Yankees.

            • Mac

              I would say that it goes both ways. If Law calls HS middle IFs the Yankees drafted “shrimps” or something (having probably seen them play once or twice), there are a bunch of commenters on here ready to jump off a bridge.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            If you read every third letter of what Law writes, it will always spell out “Cashman failed.”

            • Pinstripes4

              Got to admit Brian Cashman ain’t the smartest guy in the room. He convinced George not to sign David Ortiz after he left the Twins. That was pretty good advice, huh? He should stick to fantasy league.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                You seem like a brian surgeon yourself.

    • Curtis

      Well yea. That’s why he said DePaula couldn’t be evaluated. Weird thing to take offense to

    • HTD

      Not sure if this was sarcastic or not, but I still don’t understand why so many RABers believe that Law has an agenda against the Yankees. God forbid that a scout (who is pretty well-respected within his field) says something negative about a Yankees prospect

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I honestly don’t think it’s that many people. It’s just a few that like to hug extra-tight.

        I form my opinion on a combination of what I read from everyone. I also understand what Law’s comments are based on and find his snapshots uniquely informative.

        • HTD

          Somewhat OT but kinda funny:

          My favorite anti-Law story comes from a few years ago, when I still read LoHud when Pete Abraham was the writer. There was this poster named Betsy (or Betty I forget which) who would legitimately go on an anti-Law rant any time his name was mentioned, just because he once said something negative about Phil Hughes in an espn chat or something. It was pretty amusing, and the other LoHud posters would have a great time riling her up if I remember correctly

  • Joe

    Mesa is listed on the DL

  • SDB

    Please come back soon, Boesch.

  • D-Lite

    Sanchez has picked, what, 3 guys at first this week? He’s crazy back there.

  • Tom T

    My friend who played with Ford says his biggest problem is that he is relatively small and wide, but has no position. Has had multiple knee surgeries already, which means catching is an even bigger long shot.

  • Dan

    Any chance Williams earns a call up to AA sometime soon based on how well he’s been hitting lately?

    • Laz

      Might be, many forget he was pretty mediocre last year in Tampa, so just now after most recent 150 ab it is clicking.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        He wasn’t mediocre in Tampa, he was nothing in Tampa. 86 PA isn’t demonstrative of anything.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    mike, how is o’brien not a top 15 prospect for you? i think i got a crazy prospect crush on the guy, but he’s been hitting pretty well and was a high round pick

    • YankeeGrunt

      I agree. Positional premiums are great, but a middle of the order bat, even one that K’s too much, is difficult to come by. He could stand to walk a little more, but a high BA and big power numbers is a valuable player, and if he can do that while playing a Victor Martinez sort of role – catching lite, corner IF/DH the bulk of the time – he could be very valuable.

      • Mac

        I think a higher ranking is definitely justifiable, but at the same time you can’t look at someone’s BA in Advanced A and decide that’s what he’s going to hit in MLB. Guys with big swing and miss problems tend, obviously, to do worse against better Ps. The Ps are going to get infinitely better between A+ and MLB. A guy like Mark Reynolds or Adam Dunn can sport a nice BA through the minors, but then become a low BA guy in the bigs. Other guys get tripped up a lot sooner than that. And O’Brien’s K% is really, really bad. Certainly he can recover from it going forward, but it’s really bad. Reynolds and Dunn were more low-20s than high-20s, though I think Reynolds did hit 29% at one MiLB level.

        I tend to agree that Mike is overstating the position thing (he currently plays not one but two premium positions and has a cannon arm… let’s see how it goes) and it’s a really harsh stance to exclude him from the top 30 (not the first time he’s excluded an obvious choice, and he’s not even watching these guys play… it’s just a fans list of what he’s read), but there are some real questions with the bat. If he were a great bet to be a middle of the order bat, sure, he’s be a top prospect regardless of what position he played. There are some questions, though, between Ks and age for the level.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Have you seen anyone, anywhere say that O’Brien might be able to stick at 3B?

          I’m asking, since no one thinks he’s going to be able to stick at C.

          • Mac

            I said let’s wait and see where he sticks. Not that he will stick. Have you seen a flood of reports saying that O’Brien won’t stick at 3B based on a few games at the position?

            I have no idea where he’ll stick. No one thought Cano would stick at 2B or Posada at C, either, so some sort of a reported consensus doesn’t mean he can’t actually stick somewhere (especially a position he’s just picking up). As a guy with a big arm, though, he might at least be able to fake 3B. He hasn’t fully moved off C, yet, and might be able to play part-time at the position.

            The point in saying he’s currently at two premium spots is that if he doesn’t stick at those spots maybe 1B and RF are options (though I don’t really see 1B if he can’t field 3B… the arm is not an issue). Not having a defensive position today doesn’t mean you won’t find one if you’re still relatively high up the defensive spectrum. Worst case, he’s a DH. If you are truly a great hitting prospect (like Montero, for example, not O’Brien), you will still be highly regarded without a defensive position. The issue is not the defense as much as the Ks. Sure it’s a combination of the two, but if he were doing everything else and only K’ing 15% I imagine he’d be much higher on everyone’s radar.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was genuinely curious.

              He’s a much more interesting guy if he can stick at third, because he’s not a starting first baseman with that many Ks as a 23 year old in A-ball.

              • Mac

                Fair enough. I haven’t heard any reports either way about his D at 3B, though I imagine there’s judging him so soon would be inconclusive.

                While I disagree with all the people ignoring his Ks, I also wouldn’t go too far the other way. Someone like Mark Reynolds didn’t K consistently in the high-20s, but I think he did have one A ball season at 29% (granted, younger than O’Brien). O’Brien certainly could cut the Ks next season and going forward. Saying he’s 23 is accurate, but a little deceptive as he just turned it. The bday is late enough for B-R to list him in his 22 year old season.

                • Cool Lester Smooth

                  Reynolds was in AA (and pretty much exactly O’Brien’s age) when he had that 29.1 K%. Also, he hit for more power and walked more, so he had a 10 point higher wOBA despite a 50 point lower BABIP.

                  I really hope he can beat the odds and turn into a Mark Reynolds type, though. That would be awesome.

                  • Mac

                    Yeah, it’s not a perfect comparison. Just saying he’s not doomed. I think that one could easily put him in the top 15, 20 Yankees prospects without blinking. All these guys have to beat the odds.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      Yeah, they’re all pretty interchangeable from 20-40.

                    • Mac

                      I think he could go as high as 10-15, really.

        • nycsportzfan

          He was drafted for his big bat, and a 2nd rder at that. Hes supposed to tear the cover off the ball, and thats what hes done. Hes a top 15prospect all day long, simply just for his bat. 321BA 16HR 67RIBS 981OPS is bigtime, and you can’t blame him for doing what he was supposed to at a lower level. O’Briens bat is for real!

          • Mac

            His bat is striking out 30% of the time in A-ball as a 22/23 year old. He was not supposed to do that at a lower level. That is not bigtime. We can’t just cherry pick the stats we like and ignore the ones we don’t.

            I specifically said that a higher ranking could be justified, I just said that you cannot ignore all the Ks nor his age.

            Being drafted at the end of the 2nd round also does not give you much shot at working out in terms of historic performance of guys around that point in the draft. He’s a solid prospect, but there’s no reason to ignore his weaknesses.

          • Preston

            He was drafted for the slot savings, although they didn’t save as much as they probably thought they would.

            • Mac

              I think that was a false narrative constructed by people with no idea, just reacting to his being a Sr. (Similar rumors were started with no inside source on this site when they took Katoh.) He signed for slot, so they saved nothing. He was a legit prospect around that point in the draft. #90 on BA’s February list and #69 on the May one. I’m quite sure that the Yankees did consider expected bonus in making the pick, but I don’t think there’s any actual evidence that they expected to save money let alone picked him for the savings. Just that he was a Sr. He had improved his draft stock as a Sr., though, by playing at a major program for the first time and improving his D to the point where people thought he had a good should to stick at C. The major leverage that any prospect has over a team is that team’s desire to get the kid into their system vs. re-using or losing the pick.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Never seen him play, obviously, but this all makes a ton of sense to me.

          As for Mike, I tend to again agree with his own take that your 31-35 or 31-40 guys can sometimes easily be interchanged with your 21-30 guys.

  • CONservative governMENt

    Maybe O’Brien could have a career like Dave Nilsson. Glad to see Mason Williams doing well.

    I don’t care what you people think – I like our farm system.

  • YankeeGrunt

    I was at the Charleston game, I’ll just cut and paste my observations from something I posted elsewhere.

    Camarena had his first shitty outing in awhile. His velo in the first couple innings hovered around 85 and he surrendered two HRs (including one to sixth overall pick Colin Moran in his first pro AB). In the 3rd his velo improved and sat at 87 or so and he became a lot tougher to hit. His breaking stuff was very good and he controlled it well but if he sits mid-80’s good hitters are going to wait on the FB and hammer it. Those extra couple ticks made a lot of difference.

    Culver made an “error” but the throw wasn’t going to get the runner so it was a shitty scoring job. Slow roller, fast runner. Culver looked silly on one pitch that might have been a hit and run – low and away on a breaking ball and he looked like he had to swing, Oh swiped second on the play. The rest of his cuts looked very good.

    DBJ looked like shit. He swung from the heels twice, the first time went to the warning track, the second time it didn’t go that far. His fielding was okay but he just wasn’t very good at the plate.

    Cave looked okay. Struggling but you could see the potential, not unlike Heathcott earlier in the year.

    Bird looked great. Patient approach, wasn’t getting much to hit and he didn’t bite on anything out of the zone. Hard line drive single, one of his outs seemed like it was off the end of the bat and still went warning track to the opposite field. Fielding was solid too, he’s reasonably nimble for a man his size.

    Rey Nunez is a fucking monster. He looks like Frank Thomas. Doesn’t hit like Frank Thomas (and probably never will) but he is huge.

    Angelo Gumbs came oh so close to what would have been a game-winning HR. He looked the part too, solid fielding, very fast, pro-style approach. Not dialed in at the plate by any means but the talent is there.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      It makes sense that Bird’s pretty quick, he was originally a catcher, after all.

      Good stuff, it’s especially nice to see something positive about Culver.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Everyone’s curious about O’Brien. I’m more curious as to why Mike left Camarena off his list. He’s always been big on him.

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

        I do like Camarena, but he was #30 on the preseason top 30. He just got pushed out by the new guys.

  • Dave M

    I think O’Brien might be better than people think as a hitter. I’m just not sure what position he’s going to play.

    • ChrisS

      He’s a college hitter, a good one, so I don’t think he should be a positional project. If he was 18 and ripping the cover off the ball in A-, sure, experiment a bit. But’s he’s 23 already. Just stick the kid at first, call it a day and develop the bat if they think it’s a ML tool.

      • Samuel

        There is nothing wrong with making a guy who can really hit (and O’Brien can really hit), into a multi-positional player who wont kill the team defensively, and can fill in where needed until a position develops for him.

        That is how Albert Pujols began his career until he settled at first base. Pujols played 3B, LF, RF, 1B, even a little SS/2B during his career.

        And I am NOT comparing O’Brien to Pujols, just pointing out what Albert did early in his career.

        Stop trying to say if O’Brien can or can’t play a position. Very few people here have actually seen him play to accurately comment.

        BTW, I have seen O’Brien play about a half dozen times, and, except for CF or SS, I feel he could play anywhere on the field without killing a team. If his bat continues to produce who cares where he plays? With practice, it’s not that hard to learn how to field a ground ball, track a fly ball or know where to go with the ball once you field it. It’s not rocket science, it’s baseball; a sport where MOST players with any semblance of athletic ability can learn to play MOST of the positions.

        O’Brien is a solid gap to gap hitter, with power from the LF line to right center. The ball jumps off the bat, and he makes solid contact most of the time. I thought Ks weren’t that important if the hitter has solid power?

        His bat speed and ability to adjust will allow him to advance pretty well up the ladder with few hiccups.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Ks aren’t that important at the MLB level if a player has good power. O’Brien is an older guy in A-ball, so the question is whether he’ll make enough contact for AAA, or if he’s a Cody Johnson redux.

          • Samuel

            Cody Johnson had more holes in his swing than Finlandia Swiss cheese. He stunk.

            O’Brien’s bat is way better than Cody Johnson, whose first name should be changed to Kody for all the K’s he accumulated.

            I really don’t think age is much of a factor in the minors unless the guy is 3-5 years older. Most college bats drafted last season are still in High A or even Low A. Only TWO are in AA and one (Zunino) is in the majors. Most are not even producing like O’Brien is in High A, which is NOT a great place to hit for average or power. Brutal playing conditions and large parks.

            This is the proper progression for college bats, so save me the “old for this level” crap. I don’t care if a kid who can really hit makes the majors at 26/27. But 26/27 at High A would be different.

            O’Brien would be able to hit AA pitching right now.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Cody Johnson actually had a lower K% as a 21 year old in High-A than O’Brien has as a 22/23 year old.

              Just to put things in perspective.

              • Samuel

                People need to really stop with this percentage bullshit and actually watch games and the players. So, if a player has a higher K % but hits for higher average and extra base hits in his other at bat, isn’t that better?

                Kody wasn’t able to adjust to better pitching and the holes in his swing were ginormous. O’Brien doesn’t have those holes in his swing, and he has a better approach which will allow him to adjust better to better pitching at higher levels.

                O’Brien is a better HITTER than Johnson ever was or ever will be.

                • Mac

                  BECAUSE I SAY SO!

                  I don’t think anyone is dismissing the value of watching games, but at the same time pretending that K% is not a good indication of how often a guy Ks is just ludicrous. Your argument is that “Kody” Johnson Ks way more than O’Brien. It’s just not true. It’s silly to keep pretending it is.

                  • Samuel

                    No where did I ever say that O’Brien DIDN’T strike out more than Johnson in A ball.

                    My “argument” is that O’Brien is a better overall hitter than Kody Johnson regardless of anybody’s K percentage.

                    O’Brien hits for higher averages, hits more for extra bases (esp. doubles) and has fewer holes in his swing than Johnson did. That will translate to better ability to hit for average and power at the higher levels.

                    It’s silly to keep pretending that O’Brien isn’t a better hitter than Kody Johnson based upon his K percentage.

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

                      Cody Johnson has nothing to do with anything.

                      There are very serious concerns about O’Brien because of his plate discipline. He’s mashing A-ball pitching, but wait until he gets to Double-A and faces pitchers know how to get hitters to chase something off the plate before we declare him anything more than an interesting bat.

                    • Samuel

                      Cool Lester Smooth brought up Cody Johnson as a possible example of what O’Brien could turn out to be.

                      I disagree based upon my actually seeing both Johnson and O’Brien play. O’Brien does chase pitches out of the zone with two strikes, but a lot hitters do. I feel O’Brien could hit Double A pitching right now, and with the dearth of infield talent in Trenton it would be great to see. But the Yankees rarely bump two levels in one season.

                      And Mike, if you are going to come on and post in a thread, have the decency to not close off the ability to reply directly.

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

                      I didn’t close off anything, the replies automatically turn off at a certain nesting level.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      You’re right, Johnson was a stretch.

                      He looks a lot more like a poor man’s JP Arencibia

                    • Mac

                      He doesn’t hit for any more power than Johnson, actually. About the same or less.

                      No one is saying that he is exactly like Cody Johnson. He is hitting for more average, but he is also K’ing more. People are saying that guys with poor disciple and/or big holes in their swings tend to get exposed by higher level Ps.

                      You can keep arguing that you’ve seen his ability to hit AA or MLB or alien Ps with your own eyes, but it’s not convincing. I have no idea who you are, that you’ve actually seen him, or why I should trust you to project a kid you’ve seen hitting in A-ball to the AA level let alone higher than that.

                      Since you are so incredibly upset that anyone would dare compare him to Cody Johnson, who can you point to that K’d 30% of the time in A-ball and went on to be a successful MLB player?

                    • Mac

                      Honestly, Samuel, that you don’t realize why a sky high K% makes a player less likely to hit at higher levels makes it basically impossible for me to believe you can project a guy from one level to another.

                      And this has nothing to do with the mathematics of representing his Ks as a % of PAs. It has to do with understanding baseball.

                    • Samuel

                      Guys who K at the 30% rate usually don’t hit for a .325 average either. O’Brien hits for a high average, indicating he makes solid contact on those BABIP PAs.

                      My advice to him would be to shorten the swing with two strikes to put the ball in play. Before two strikes, let ‘er rip. That would cut down on his Ks, improve his slash line and create more value on offense. SLG percentages are notoriously low on most hitters with two strikes, so cutting down his swing COULD actually improve SLG %.

                      And, the Yankees do not really go out of their way to help kids play instruction wise until they get to Tampa, which is the actual prospect launching pad for the Yankee org.

                      I have seen O’Brien play at Staten Island several times, seen him play for Charleston at a couple times during his season there. I was also planning my annual trip to Tampa, but had to cancel at last moment.

                      So, I really do see these players – and at different levels. I might have seen about a couple hundred minor league games.

                      Mac – Chris Davis K’d 29.4% of the time in High A ball. And he looks to be a pretty good MLB player. Mike Napoli K’d 25.6% of the time in A ball, but played three separate season in High A and four years in A ball. Very solid comp there.

                      I like Arencibia as a comp, but JP is better at defense.

        • Mac

          The Ps only get better from High A. They will exploit holes that High A Ps just aren’t capable of exploiting, plus just be harder to make solid contact against on the balls he does hit. He’ll have to adjust, obviously, but most guys prove incapable of that. (Plenty do adjust, of course, but most prospects fail and some are more likely to fail than others.)

          O’Brien has a good bat with very good power and I have no problem if he plays a few different positions, but I think you’re really oversimplifying things to not worry about K’ing that much for the second year in a row and to pretend anyone can play any MLB position with a little practice. Especially C, which is arguably the hardest position to play. 3B is not a walk in the park, either. Positions like 1B, cOF, and DH are easier to hide a bat at, but the offensive bar is that much higher because of it (and there are still negative consequences to a bad fielder at 1B or cOF).

  • Dave M

    Hey Mike, any chance Sanchez and Williams move up to Trenton before the year is done? I think now would be a good time. :-)

  • Chris

    I’m continuously amazed at how fragile baseball players are. The amount of injuries are staggering in general

    • Samuel

      It’s because they play everyday.

  • nycsportzfan

    Just curious, what would it take to get Mark Trumbo from the Angels? Would Murphy and Phelps get it done, or no way?

    • nycsportzfan

      Nah, i’m answering this myself. I don’t think they’d do it. The angels that is.

  • entonces

    Disabled List this year is more like the Disappearance List. Guys go out with seemingly mild muscle pulls and don’t come back for months. Is this just Yankee issue or problem all around baseball?

  • nycsportzfan

    The marlins woulden’t even listen to Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Rapheal Depaula, and Jose Ramirez for Giancarlo Stanton? I don’t know, if i was the fish, i’d have a tough time turning that down, regardless of not having one prospect on cusp of ml’s. I don’t even know if i’d want the yanks doing it, to be honest.

    I only brought this up because the deadlines around and mike has brought up what it would take for stanton and i believe he dosen’t think we have enough to do it.

    • HTD

      My personal opinion but I think that the Marlins would definitely want a consensus top-20 prospect that is very close to the majors to headline the deal (a la Xander Boagaerts or Taijuan Walker). Don’t get me wrong, Sanchez and De Paula are studs and both were ranked in BA’s midseason top 50, but both are in Hi-A and are far enough from the majors that there are still questions about them as prospects

      • nycsportzfan

        Ya, but it wouldbe really tempting based on the upside, though. Talk about adding to a farm system! You are prob right though, and it would not be enough, and not near enough ML ready talent. Still, it’d be something for Miami to know they could add 4guys like that in one trade.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          The only guy who’s even gotten past AA there is Ramirez, who’s upside probably isn’t high-probability, and whoever the hell Raphael DePaula is. No latin people there in Pitt, MA, Joe Z?

          You’re not going to acquire a guy like Stanton all on extreme upside. There has to be a balance somewhere between pie-in-the-sky projection and probability.

          • Mac

            Yeah, the issue isn’t that the package isn’t intriguing. It’s that there are other teams who want Stanton and that Stanton has value to the Marlins in a Marlins’ uniform. We can rationalize in a vacuum, but in reality the price is likely to be bid up sky high if the Marlins actually move him (which they don’t seem interested in doing right now).

  • jsbrendog

    when does Stairs Cabral’s rehab window end? I’m intrigued by what he could possibly bring to the ML bullpen

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Ended long ago. They snuck him through waivers and put him in AA. He’s probably terrorizing the Trenton Thunder blogosphere as we speak.

  • Pseudoyanks

    Yeah, I know, stats below AA, yada yada yada…and DBJ raked in GCL, yada yada yada…
    But, still, Gosuke raking in GCL is impressive to me because of the extra base hits. He was supposed to be the guy at risk of having the bat knocked out of his hands? His reputation, despite a strong senior year (see quote below) was of a punch and judy hitter. I’ve been impressed so far.
    “Katoh opened eyes at the Area Code Games last summer, ripping a triple off the right-field wall at cavernous Blair Field. His stock continued to rise during a big senior year this spring, and he was batting .451 with 12 doubles and eight home runs, belying his reputation as a contact-oriented hitter.”

    • Mac

      I don’t think he was actually supposed to be that guy, at least not in GCL. Just that fans, old fashioned scouts who look at body type as much as anything, and people who had barely seen him play turned him into that guy because of his build. The reports from people actually watching him play did not match the fan reaction.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It’s impressive. It also needs to be taken in context. It’s small fry in the grand scheme of things.

      While Chad is a bit oversimplistic about this all, I tend to like his “focus on them when they get to AA” approach more than putting a ton of stock into GCL numbers.

      Except for Austin Aune. That’s just perversely funny and sad to watch right now.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Sounds like we got a helium guy before he could finish inflating.


    • SD Charlie

      Just googled Katoh. He went to a local HS (Rancho Bernardo). Now I really want to keep tabs on this kid. It also reminds me to try to keep up with local prep baseball. Of course, with no kids of my own, I have to make sure I don’t look like a creeper.

  • Michelle Axisa

    Yay for cock!!!

  • Shittyshittybangbang

    Austin, your career’s been pip’d !!! Yeral Sanchez shout out !!!

  • JohnC

    Katoh has been very impressive so far. Gotta say that he was the guy I hoped for in that spot. Wanted Yanks to take OF Jordan Paroubeck, whom Padres took 3 picks later

  • JohnC

    meant to say, “not” the guy I hoped they would take aT THAT spot in the draft