• Newman: Nobody Talks About Kontos?

    Posted by on February 4th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    From George King via Baseball America

    Righthander George Kontos could be the best-kept secret in the Yankees system, according to farm director Mark Newman.

    “He was named among the top 10 prospects in the Hawaiian league and nobody talks about him,” Newman said of the 22-year-old Kontos, a fifth-round pick from Northwestern in 2006. He completed his second pro season at high Class A Tampa before heading for Honolulu.

    “His stuff is really good,” Newman said of Kontos, whose fastball ranges from 90-94 mph. “He also has a quality slider and an emerging curveball. A changeup makes him a four-pitch guy.”

    “He is a smart guy who works at it and is committed,” Newman said.

    The Yankees are expected to part with young arms for a proven big league starter at some point. But based on Kontos’ first two seasons, they believe he’s at least in the discussion with the likes of prized righthanders Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy.

    Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, Horne, Betances, McCutchen, Brackman, Marquez, and Kontos. How many of these guys will actually be with the Yankees in 2012? All nine? Three? None? Anyone want to guess?

    You never know. How many people thought, in the summer of 2006, that Tyler Clippard would be gone from the Yankees before the 2008 season?

    Comments on Newman: Nobody Talks About Kontos?

    1. festus
      February 4th, 2008 | 11:24 am

      Steve, sometimes your half-empty routine cracks me up. Most would look at a plethora of young pitching talent and feel happy to have such a deep system that could potentially churn out quality starters for the forseeable future. Almost every post you’ve given on this great potential is about the high rate of failure. Here, you’re already asking for the young talent’s obituary.

      Sure, okay, fair enough, skepticism is a healthy human instinct: I say 3 of them are there in 2012, 2 starters, 1 reliever.

    2. antone
      February 4th, 2008 | 11:46 am

      Isn’t part of the reason why you stockpile young pitching talent because you know not all of them can make it?

      That way the more talent you have the better chance there is that you will have a decent amount of them make an impact. I’d rather have 9 stud minor league pitchers and only have 5 of them make it, than only have 3 studs who all make it.

      It shouldn’t be looked at as a failure because some of them don’t make it. We already know there is a very high chance that some of them aren’t going to make it that’s why they are stockpiling them and letting things play out.

    3. February 4th, 2008 | 2:04 pm

      Nobody talks about Kontos because he sucks. Between four years of college and pro ball, he’s been good for just three months.

      Foprget the discussion, George Kontos doesn’t even belong in the same thought process as Hughes, Joba, IPK, Horne, McCutchen, etc.

    4. SteveB
      February 4th, 2008 | 3:17 pm

      Steve, I’m not really sure I get your agenda. It’s pretty much understood that if you have 12 hot pitching prospects, like 10 of them are going to wash out. There’s nothing groundbreaking there.

      So what is your point? That Cashman is/was wrong to emphasize stockpiling young pitching talent because it isn’t a “sure thing?” What’s the alternative? The “old school Yankee way” of overpaying for every past his prime free agent?

      How would YOU run the team if it were your job? Your ad hoc cherry picked skepticisms are kinda pointless because you offer no alternative blueprint.

      I’m really tired of the petty and foolish Cashman bashing. When the Yankees used to go out and trade for or sign every Kevin Brown, Javy Vaszquez, Felix Heredia, Aaron Boone, Jason Giambi, etc. people used to moan about the fact that the team was just a bunch of hired guns, and “oh my wouldn’t it be nice for once if we had a team full of home grown fellas we could all rally behind.” So now that Cashman is doing more of the latter than the former, where are the fucking ticker tape parades in his honor?

      Where are all the small market beat writers thanking him for staying out of the Santana circle jerk?

      Where are all the bloggers who pissed and moaned about the Yankees buying championships?

      Are you happy that you are the ringleader of the new breed of Yankee basher? Because that is what you are. I would HATE to be a “fan” of your ilk. Who takes issues with almost everything the team does, yet doesn’t have a POV on how to plot a true alternate course.

      If you would come out and say,

      “look, I think Cash is full of shit. The Yankees should forget this ‘build the farm’ nonsense, and instead get the best available free agent, no matter the cost in prospects. Then you are trading unknowns for knowns, and that’s the way to build a winner.”

      I’d respect that. I’d disagree with you, but I’d respect that you have a real idea of how you would shape the team’s future. But you don’t, you just snipe and snipe and snipe.

      So, have fun “rooting” for the Yankees, if that’s what you call it.

    5. #15
      February 4th, 2008 | 5:37 pm

      The best position for the Yankees, and any other team, to be in is to be loaded up with young arms. Some will make it, some can be traded, and many will wash out/get hurt and never recover. When was the last time we had this much pitching depth below ~ 25 years old? Answer…Probably never. At least not in my lifetime. Maybe the ~ 64 team, Stotts, Downing, Bouton, Stafford and a few others (that’s actually a nice group), throw in Fritz a couple of years later, and the Bahnsen Burner a couple after that. After that it’s mostly one (or none!) good young arms at a time coming to the big club from within the organization. By the mid 70’s only Guidry stood out as young, home grown and effective. Later Rags in the mid 80’s +/- Drabek if you are feeling generous and later Leiter (although he didn’t get effective until much later). Maybe add Wickman in the eary 90’s, Andy and Mo in ’95 (Mendoza hanging around the conversation shortly after). Then, fast forward to Wang, then the current crop. Not much of a stretch to say this is the best crop of arms the Yankees have had come from within the organization (more or less), in at least 50 years. Moreover, it’s also not a stretch to say the Yankees have been flat out awful at developing pitchers for decades, though it appears to have changed in the lst 2-3 years. That being said, if a stud pitcher or catcher is available. I’d deal some young arms to get us get the right person. There is enough depth in the current set of arms to use a couple in trades.

    6. Rich
      February 4th, 2008 | 6:05 pm

      It sounds like the Yankees could be pumping up Kontos’s trade value in order to maximize the return.

      But I don’t think the Yankees need another veteran starter.

    7. Yu Hsing Chen
      February 4th, 2008 | 11:54 pm

      Kontos is a nice little sleeper prospect, but as other’s pointed out, he has never been consistently good, his stuff show flashes but even then it’s just above average at best.

      Kontos doesn’t even quiet belong in the same talk as Jeff Marquez and Daniel McCutchen until he can put up a good season in AA.

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