• Salfino Talks Yankees Prospects

    Posted by on January 24th, 2009 · Comments (6)

    Michael Salfino, over at SNY.tv, talks to Baseball America editor John Manuel and a Major League scout who specializes in scouting American League prospects about the “gems” in the Yankees farm system. Click here to see Salfino’s feature. Here’s a few snips:

    But first let’s address Manuel’s suggestion that [Austin] Jackson could possibly propel himself into the Yankees lineup as the starting center fielder as early as this upcoming season. Our scout disagrees.

    “He’s not close enough. Jackson is like the Mets’ Fernando Martinez. He has to do something. Let’s see some numbers, not just scouting reports. He’s going to fall somewhere between Melky Cabrera and Bobby Abreu. Is that too big a range? Yes. But he’s all projection now. While he passes the eyeball test, the numbers haven’t been there.”

    This exchange on Jackson set me up to mock those who compare [Jesus] Montero to Mike Piazza. Our scout quickly chastened me. “He does have Piazza-type bat speed. The bat projects even at first base, and [that's] even in New York, which doesn’t settle for anything less than top shelf at a corner spot given their payroll. He’s very impressive in the cage. Behind the plate, he’s much less so and my sense is that he probably can’t play there.”

    Our scout sees [Zach McAllister] as a taller Brad Radke in that he’s a control specialist with no real out pitch. “But he can be a ground-ball guy,” our scout said, unlike Radke, who allowed a relatively high number of fly balls. Our scout would have McAllister ranked slightly lower and thinks he’s in the Tyler Clippard category — not stylistically, but insofar as he’s a No. 4 or No. 5 guy at best and thus someone who will be shipped off in the near future.

    Manuel suggested that [Alfredo] Aceves is comparable to Ian Kennedy but better in many key areas. That’s how far Kennedy’s stock has fallen in a year — being unfavorably compared to a No. 7 system prospect. Our scout says he’s a lot like McAllister. “Good ground-ball ratio. He can touch the low 90s with his fastball but works best in the high 80s. He’s durable and doesn’t waste pitches. But he’s out of my system top 10 because I think he projects only as a big-league long reliever.”

    Reading all this brings me back to the early ’70′s when Scott McGregor and Otto Velez were the “family jewels” in the Yankees farm system…and that ol’ line about counting chickens before they are hatched.

    Comments on Salfino Talks Yankees Prospects

    1. thenewguy
      January 24th, 2009 | 8:56 pm

      …and that ol’ line about counting chickens before they are hatched.
      ———————-

      I think you’re being unfair here, Steve. The Yankees had a very good farm system a couple of years ago. Joba obviously is the real deal, so that’s one huge plus. The jury is definately still out on Hughes, and still slightly out on IPK and Aceves as to whether they can be effective major league pitchers. Tabata and Ohlendorf were used for trades, so thats a plus. Coke, Bruney, and Melacon seem likely to be decent additions to the major league roster in the bullpen. And you love Brett Gardner. None of these guys are really Yankees ‘prospects’ anymore, either because of ML duty or trades.

      After an above avg. farm system renders its products, it is logical that it will have a lull for a year or two. This is because the system WAS good. So yes, Steve, the farm system is down now, but mostly because many players are no longer ‘prospects.’ So it’s a little unfair to make it sound as though the system is completely pathetic.

    2. January 25th, 2009 | 7:57 am

      So the total yield from the “rendering” of our glorious farm system is nine marginal Major Leaguers and Joba? “IPK” (on whom any sensible “jury” has already delivered its verdict: Can’t Pitch), Tabata, Hughes, and Ohlendorf have been complete disasters; Coke, Bruney, and Aceves are bullpen filler; Gardner–no matter who “loves” him–hasn’t done anything to indicate he can play at this level; and Melancon is still a prospect. Just because you think he’ll be added to the roster and perform well doesn’t make it so. You were probably saying the same thing last year about Kennedy.

    3. January 25th, 2009 | 10:03 am

      So, here’s a question: Say it’s October 2011. And, say that the Yankees have not made the post-season since 2007 and the only “prospect” to come out of the Yankees farm system to do anything at the big league is Joba. What does that say about Brian Cashman’s run as GM where he had “total control”? Six years should be enough time to assign a grade on that, no?

    4. thenewguy
      January 25th, 2009 | 12:21 pm

      If there is one guy in 6 years years, then yes. But if Tabata and Ohlendorf really DO suck, aren’t you then really giving Cashman a backhanded compliment for trading them above their value? They turned into Nady, so isn’t that a good thing? All prospects don’t have to brought up to the ML to benefit a team- since they can be traded this is another way teams can benefit by having prospects.

    5. Raf
      January 25th, 2009 | 1:52 pm

      If there is one guy in 6 years years, then yes. But if Tabata and Ohlendorf really DO suck, aren’t you then really giving Cashman a backhanded compliment for trading them above their value?
      ——
      Goalposts’ll probably be moved to say that Cashman sucks because had a player in the minors been ready, there would have been no need to trade for Nady.

    6. January 26th, 2009 | 8:24 am

      Say it’s October 2011…
      ================
      And, say that the Yankees have made the post-season every year except one since 1995, and they have developed an entire roster’s worth of prospects and given everyone a pony. What does that say about Brian Cashman’s run as GM where he had “total control”? Six years should be enough time to assign a grade on that, no?

      Hypothetical situations are fun!

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.