• Yanks Fans Inconsistent Towards Prospects?

    Posted by on September 15th, 2008 · Comments (23)

    This is a tale of two Yankees prospects.

    One is a batter who is just 23-years old. The other is a pitcher who is just 22-years old.

    Let’s look at the pitcher, first. He’s ripped through the minor leagues – making stops at Rookie Ball, Low-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A. To date, in his minor league career, he’s logged 310.6 IP and allowed an ERA of just 2.40. Further, he’s only walked 77 of the 1,186 batters that he’s faced – while whiffing 348 of them.

    In the big leagues, he hasn’t done all that well – so far. In 94.6 IP he’s allowed an ERA of 5.51 – and, he’s only won 5 games in 19 starts. Yet, because of his age and minor league track record, many are convinced that he will be a major league star in the near future.

    Now, let’s look at that batter. He’s ripped through the minor leagues – making stops at Short-Season A-Ball, Low-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A. To date, in his minor league career, he’s logged 1,489 At Bats while posting a batting average of .296. Further, at the Triple-A level, his lifetime batting average is .325 – and on top of that he’s a plus defender in the outfield with a strong throwing arm.

    In the big leagues, he hasn’t done all that well – so far. In 1,425 At Bats he’s batted .266 with no power – and he’s hit just .242 in his last 401 At Bats. Yet, despite his age and minor league track record, many are convinced that he will never be a useful, full-time, player in the major leagues.

    Seems sort of inconsistent, doesn’t it? Both are very young. Both have shot through, and excelled, in the minors. Both have struggled in the majors. Yet, one is seen as a future ace in the Yankees rotation and the other is seen as a bench player, at best.

    Oh, by the way, the pitcher is Phil Hughes and the batter is Melky Cabrera.

    Now, I’m not saying that Hughes will be a bust. And, I’m not saying that Cabrera will be a star. But, when you look at their resumes, they’re not all that different, are they? And yet, they are looked upon differently – by many Yankees fans. And, that seems unfair – at least to me.

    Comments on Yanks Fans Inconsistent Towards Prospects?

    1. MJ
      September 15th, 2008 | 12:47 pm

      And yet, they are looked upon differently – by many Yankees fans. And, that seems unfair – at least to me.
      ————————–
      Seriously?

      Beyond Yankee fans, what about what scouts have to say? Find me a scouting report that has Melky Cabrera anywhere near the top-100, hell, the top 10, and you’ll have a case. Until then, this is transparent Hughes-bashing at its worst.

    2. September 15th, 2008 | 1:07 pm

      Are these the same scouting reports, etc., that said Scott Ruffcorn was the best pitching prospect, in all of baseball, back in 1995?

    3. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 1:17 pm

      Hmmm, to date Phil Hughes has a 2.40 ERA, and a 0.92 WHIP.

      For context,
      Clay Buchholz: 2.57/1.15
      Jon Lester: 3.33/1.31
      Justin Verlander: 1.29/0.90
      Ervin Santana: 3.60/1.23

      Melky to date has posted a .296 BA along with a .767 OPS.

      For context,
      Johnny Damon: .318/.870
      Bobby Abreu: .290/.830
      Xavier Nady: .298/.888
      Jacoby Ellsbury: .314/.816

      Their resumes are different.

    4. dingman08
      September 15th, 2008 | 1:17 pm

      isn’t there a big difference between 1425 AB, which is almost 3 full seasons worth, and 94.6 IP, which is less than half of what you’d expect from a SP? I suspect if Hughes keeps up his ERA in another 300IP, yankees fans would be cursing his name under their every breath as well.

    5. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 1:25 pm

      Are these the same scouting reports, etc., that said Scott Ruffcorn was the best pitching prospect, in all of baseball, back in 1995?
      ———-
      Scott Ruffcorn: 3.14/1.21

      At this stage, Hughes has better numbers, coming out of HS. Ruffcorn started his career after college.

    6. September 15th, 2008 | 1:27 pm

      Raf – Hughes and Melky played in the same system, at just about the same time, in the same leagues, facing the same opponents, thereabouts. Can you say the same for the other on your list – compared to them?

    7. September 15th, 2008 | 1:29 pm

      Raf, fine, then sub Pavano for Ruffcorn:

      http://tinyurl.com/6zlfqr

    8. MJ
      September 15th, 2008 | 1:41 pm

      Are these the same scouting reports, etc., that said Scott Ruffcorn was the best pitching prospect, in all of baseball, back in 1995?
      —————————
      Not really the point, though. If your argument is that Yankee fans are being inconsistent because they should rip Hughes as much as they ripped Melky this year, it doesn’t matter that Scott Ruffcorn or any other prospect failed. The point is that Melky never had the same pedigree as Hughes (not even close).

      Ruffcorn being a bust doesn’t matter. Those fans that are giving Hughes the leeway that should be afforded to a 22-year old phenom are doing so because the chance exists — however slim or however great — that Hughes pans out. Cabrera was never viewed as much by any scout and, 1425 MLB AB’s later, the scouts are being proven correct for their skepticism.

    9. September 15th, 2008 | 1:46 pm

      Oh, MJ, you’re just a Melky basher! ;-)

    10. MJ
      September 15th, 2008 | 2:12 pm

      Oh, MJ, you’re just a Melky basher!
      —————————-
      Actually, no, I love him. I’m sorry he had a bad season and I wish 2008 didn’t spell his doom.

    11. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 2:16 pm

      Raf – Hughes and Melky played in the same system, at just about the same time, in the same leagues, facing the same opponents, thereabouts.
      —————
      And given the numbers they’ve posted, it’s no wonder why Hughes has gotten the press and Melky hasn’t.

    12. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 2:39 pm

      Raf, fine, then sub Pavano for Ruffcorn:

      http://tinyurl.com/6zlfqr
      ——–
      Hughes: 0.92

      Paul Wilson (Mets): 1.10
      Carl Pavano (Expos): 1.12
      Bruce Chen (Braves): 1.18

    13. September 15th, 2008 | 3:43 pm

      “when you look at their resumes, they’re not all that different, are they?”
      One difference is that Melky helped the Yanks for 2 years (prior to this one)Hughes has never done a thing in the show.

      Melky’s lighthearted demeanor doesn’t fit with Girardi’s approach. Gardner has been completely overmatched at the plate but is getting preference over Cabrera, that’s not fair either.It’s not likely to change.

    14. MJ
      September 15th, 2008 | 4:08 pm

      Melky’s lighthearted demeanor doesn’t fit with Girardi’s approach.
      ————————–
      You think THAT’S the reason Cabrera was sent down? Isn’t it fair to say that his 68 OPS+ might’ve contributed just a wee bit more than any “personality clash”?

    15. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 4:40 pm

      Isn’t it fair to say that his 68 OPS+ might’ve contributed just a wee bit more than any “personality clash”?
      ———–
      Yes, but a “lighthearted demeanor” shows that a player doesn’t care. Yes, I know it doesn’t make any sense, but I’ve seen people interpret it as such.

      Melky is a better player than Gardner (.291/.774; similar production, but Melky has done it at a younger age), but I’d be willing to wager that Gardner will get a longer leash than Cabrera, probably because of his speed.

    16. MJ
      September 15th, 2008 | 4:45 pm

      Gardner will get a longer leash than Cabrera, probably because of his speed.
      ———————-
      Perhaps. But I’d say that 2.5 full seasons was a long-enough leash for Melky, no? I don’t think Gardner will be our everyday CF 2.5 years from now so I’m not sure your prediction will come true.

      I agree that it doesn’t make sense to interpret “lighthearted demeanor” as not caring but obviously people do that. Especially when those players are Latin American who already come into the game with an unfounded but very real reputation for being lazy.

      I love Melky but he wasn’t cutting it anymore. I truly don’t believe he was sent down for anything beyond poor performance, not this personality stuff.

    17. yanksofny
      September 15th, 2008 | 5:28 pm

      YES!!! I love it when bloggers continue to beat a dead horse.

    18. September 15th, 2008 | 5:36 pm

      Yes, it’s almost half as good as when commenters have nothing to add other than to take a swipe at the blogger.

    19. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 5:36 pm

      But I’d say that 2.5 full seasons was a long-enough leash for Melky, no?
      ————-
      Yes, but this was the only season where he seemed to be completely lost at the plate. IIRC, he was the worst hitting regular in the league, if not in the bigs.

    20. Raf
      September 15th, 2008 | 5:38 pm

      Also, it seems that Girardi likes Gardner, so I’d expect him to get every chance to win the CF job next year.

    21. September 15th, 2008 | 6:01 pm

      “You think THAT’S the reason Cabrera was sent down?”

      No, he was demoted because of abysmal offense and deserved to be sent down. His first 2 seasons show he can be an asset. I’m suggesting he’s not getting a 2nd chance because his demeanor doesn’t mesh with the manager (“Melky plays like he’s in the park”–Torre.) Gardner’s scouting report is of a 4TH outfielder with 0 power (Baseball Prosp. 2008 guide)Cashman was asked to predict the 1 young position player in the system who would have an impact this season his answer–Gardner.

    22. antone
      September 16th, 2008 | 10:07 am

      Just a thought but how much of Melky’s bad season could be because of something between him and Girardi? Seems odd that both Melky and Cano who are good friends both had their worst seasons now that Girardi is the manager. Is their something behind the scenes we don’t know about? I’m not trying to make excuses for either one but it does seem interesting.

    23. May 15th, 2009 | 11:37 pm

      [...] this game, I can’t help but think back to what I wrote about Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera back on September 15th of last [...]

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