• BA Talks With Former Yankee Farmhand Tabata

    Posted by on September 9th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    Courtesy of Baseball America’s website, there is a feature story on former Yankee prospect Jose Tabata.  Among other things, Tabata talks about his (and his father’s) idol, Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.  As a big Clemente fan myself, I can definitely relate.

    Besides talking of his hero, the article quoted Indianapolis (AAA) Indians manager Frank Kremblas on Tabata’s developing game:

    “He has an above-average throwing arm.  He can play any of the outfield spots, but I think he’s most comfortable in right.  And his speed is above average – he’s a lot faster than people think.”

    More importantly, Kremblas said he hasn’t seen any of the negatives that cropped up for Tabata at the end of his time with the Yankees.

    “He always plays hard – there’s never a time when he doesn’t play hard,” Kremblas said.

    The one thing Kremblas said Tabata needs to continue to improve is more opportunities to play.

    “Defensively, he needs more repetitions in the outfield,” Kremblas said. “He needs to learn positioning against certain players and situations, and you can’t get those things any other way except by repetitions. And he needs as many at-bats as he can get.

     “But I think he’s capable of being an everyday big league player. I think his power will come with time, and he’ll become a 25-30 home run guy if he remains healthy and plays every day.”

    Nady and Marte and a failed run at the 2008 playoffs or a potentially bright future with Tabata.  I know what I would’ve picked.  There’s obviously no way of knowing if Tabata will develop the way his Triple-A manager thinks he will.  But it sure would’ve been nice to find out.

    -Posted by MJ

    Comments on BA Talks With Former Yankee Farmhand Tabata

    1. yagottagotomo1
      September 9th, 2009 | 12:14 pm

      The Yankees were 2 games out of a playoff spot when they made that move, and Tabata had some major disciplinary problems. It was the right move at the time, but it has not worked out on the Yankees end. We will see what happens with Tabata.

    2. YankCrank
      September 9th, 2009 | 12:15 pm

      I’d make this trade 10 out of 10 times.

      It was 2008, and the Yankees gave up Ohlendorf, McCutchen, Karstens and Tabata. At the time Ohlendorf was mediocre and sent back to the minors, Karstens and McCutchen weren’t even on the Yankees radar for meaningful innings and Tabata was causing problems and leaving camp. His development had basically stalled out at that point. The way the trade breaks down, we basically gave up a troublesome and slumping Tabata for Nady and Marte.

      At the time, we were only two games out of a wild card spot and very much in the thick of the playoff race. Nady and Marte were big pick ups and helped us a lot.

      I know it’s fun to look at it now with Marte and Nady being hurt all of this year, but at the time it was a deal that needed to be done. I’m still ok with it, and like MJ said, let’s wait and see what becomes of Tabata.

    3. September 9th, 2009 | 12:25 pm

      Every time I think of Tabata, I see Pedro Munoz

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/munozpe01.shtml

      But, what do I know?

    4. MJ
      September 9th, 2009 | 12:26 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      Nady and Marte were big pick ups and helped us a lot.

      I’d have to disagree with that statement.

      Marte w/PIT 2008: 46.2 IP, 3.47 ERA (119 ERA+), 1.157 WHIP, 47 K
      Marte w/NYY 2008: 18.1 IP, 5.40 ERA (80 ERA+), 1.309 WHIP, 24 K

      Nady w/PIT 2008: 327 AB, .330/.383/.535,
      Nady w/NYY 2008: 228 AB, .268/.320/.474

      Both came to NY and performed at or below league-average for the remainder of the 2008 season. I won’t say they were responsible for why the Yanks missed the playoffs but they certainly didn’t contribute a whole heck of a lot.

      I won’t dispute anything else of what you wrote but I can’t accept the argument that “they came here and helped us a lot.”

    5. yagottagotomo1
      September 9th, 2009 | 12:29 pm

      Marte did not help much. Nady, on the other hand, was better than what the Yankees were using at the time (Justin Christian). He therefore improved the team, and helped plenty. Also, he came here and was excellent until the last 15-20 games, when the Yankees had basically fallen out of the race.

    6. YankCrank
      September 9th, 2009 | 12:34 pm

      MJ wrote:

      I’d have to disagree with that statement.

      Your numbers prove me wrong, good research there.

    7. MJ
      September 9th, 2009 | 12:40 pm

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      Nady, on the other hand, was better than what the Yankees were using at the time (Justin Christian).

      Considering Christian only played 5 games in LF before Nady showed up, that’s not exactly an accurate statement.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?n1=chrisju01&t=b&year=2008

    8. yagottagotomo1
      September 9th, 2009 | 1:03 pm

      That’s fair. He replaced the revolving DH/1B/OF door of Christian, Ensberg, Betemit, etc. Either way, it was certainly a major improvement.

    9. MJ
      September 9th, 2009 | 1:11 pm

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      That’s fair. He replaced the revolving DH/1B/OF door of Christian, Ensberg, Betemit, etc. Either way, it was certainly a major improvement.

      IIRC, he simply replaced Melky (demoted to AAA) and the Yanks moved Damon over to CF for a one month period from mid-August to mid-September, when Melky was called back up.

      Was he better than Melky last year? Of course. But not so good on his own merit that I’d call the trade a good one. 268/.320/.474 over two months isn’t exactly spectacular…

      Anyway, my overall point was simply that Tabata was a young, exciting and promising player whose behavior could’ve been dealt with. Petulance is not something that can’t be overcome…

    10. yagottagotomo1
      September 9th, 2009 | 1:25 pm

      Tabata was not performing, nor was he behaving. If that isn’t the type of prospect that you give up to try and make a playoff run, then you end up holding on to all your prospects. The trade was widely hailed as a steal for the Yankees because of the questions surrounding Tabata and the probability that the two guys the Yankees were getting would perform better than what they had at the time. (Also, let’s not leave out the fact that the Yankees may still get draft picks for those players.)

    11. MJ
      September 9th, 2009 | 1:36 pm

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      Tabata was not performing, nor was he behaving. If that isn’t the type of prospect that you give up to try and make a playoff run, then you end up holding on to all your prospects…Also, let’s not leave out the fact that the Yankees may still get draft picks for those players.

      I guess we have a philosophical difference here because I think that’s exactly the kind of prospect that you try and hold onto at all costs. We sold low on a guy that was ranked as our #3 prospect by Baseball America the previous winter. Petulence and poor performance aren’t a good combo but I don’t think selling short at the first sign of trouble is the most prudent course of action either. It’s not like he’d been a busted prospect from Day 1. He had a bad few months. It happens.

      Regarding the draft picks:

      -Marte is signed through 2011 so there’s plenty of time for him to play his way down to below a Type B and thus yield us no compensation picks. At the rate he’s going, that’s certainly the more likely outcome…

      -As for Nady, given the fact that he’ll probably still be rehabbing well past Opening Day 2010, I wouldn’t offer him arbitration on the chance that he accepts it and soaks up $7M for less than a full season. If the Yanks bring back Damon (seems likely) and Matsui (not impossible), there’d be no room for Nady. Trades are always possible but Nady would be the least valuable of the trade chips…

    12. Corey
      September 9th, 2009 | 1:44 pm

      one part of this trade i remember hating was the fact that the yanks parted with Mccutchen…I liked that dude..although he’s a little old , i’m glad he’s doin well in AAA

    13. yagottagotomo1
      September 9th, 2009 | 1:46 pm

      Oh, I get not wanting to sell low. I just mean that if you are going to trade a top prospect to improve your team, I would prefer to get rid of the guy with attitude problems.

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