• Baseball America’s Top Ten Yankees Prospect List

    Posted by on December 16th, 2009 · Comments (41)

    Here’s their list published today:

    1. Jesus Montero, c
    2. Austin Romine, c
    3. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp
    4. Slade Heathcott, of
    5. Zach McAllister, rhp
    6. Manny Banuelos, lhp
    7. Gary Sanchez, c
    8. J.R. Murphy, c
    9. Jeremy Bleich, lhp
    10. Andrew Brackman, rhp

    More from BA:

    In the postseason, every New York reliever except for Brian Bruney was a product of the farm system.

    Senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, who has overseen scouting and player development in the organization for the better part of the last 13 years, says the Yankees aspire to more.

    “We’re not in this to develop relievers, but starters, starting pitchers and impact hitters,” he says. To that end, both Chamberlain and Hughes are likely to be given another shot at the rotation in 2010, though scouts who once considered Chamberlain a future No. 1 starter now admit that he’s a different animal out of the bullpen.

    As for impact bats, New York points to Jesus Montero, the Venezuelan catcher they signed for $1.65 million bonus in 2006. Montero took a significant leap forward last season, dominating Double-A pitching at age 19. The Yankees had similar hopes for outfielder Austin Jackson, who ranked No. 1 on this list a year ago. But after he hit .300 with just four homers in Triple-A, they included him, as well as Coke and 2006 first-rounder Ian Kennedy, in a three-team trade that netted Curtis Granderson from the Tigers.

    Several of the system’s top pitching prospects had down years, with 2007 first-rounder Andrew Brackman having a truly awful season at low Class A Charleston and Dellin Betances and Jairo Heredia, among others, succumbing to injuries. But Newman said that on the whole, the Yankees’ pitching injuries were down. And those setbacks were offset by the emergence of arms such as Arodys Vizcaino and Manny Baneulos, plus aggressive spending in the draft and internationally that landed prospects such as outfielder Slade Heathcott and catchers Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy.

    I dunno…when Brackman makes your “top ten” that’s not a good sign. Plus, many of these guys like Heathcott, Sanchez and Murphy, have yet to fully tested yet. If you ask me, the Yankees really don’t have many quasi-exciting prospects in their system outside of Montero, Romine, Vizcaino, McAllister and Banuelos.

    Further…Montero doesn’t have a position, and, Romine projects more to be a solid player – and not a star. Vizcaino, McAllister and Banuelos? Yes, they’re promising…but TINSTAAPP suggests that you never know…

    Comments on Baseball America’s Top Ten Yankees Prospect List

    1. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 1:30 pm

      Can they take the man away from the catching position before we call him positionless? At 19 (20), the kid has plenty of time to learn, no? And I don’t want to hear the “he’s too big to catch” nonsense, he just needs to be pushed and has to work at it. There’s too many Molina’s in this league for me to buy that he’s too big. (Not to mention Mauer)

    2. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2009 | 1:46 pm

      Corey wrote:

      There’s too many Molina’s in this league for me to buy that he’s too big.

      Hahahaha, so true. Love that line.

    3. December 16th, 2009 | 2:27 pm

      It’s not just size with Montero – it’s a lack of quickness and reaction time. I’ve heard that some even question his ability to receive a major league fastball – because his mitt is so slow. And, since forever we’ve heard that his footwork behind the plate is too slow to block balls or throw out runnners.

      Think: Cliff Johnson as a catcher.

    4. #15
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:29 pm

      Catchers are like Goldilock’s porridge… Too small is no good, they get beat up or blasted on plays at the plate, and too big is no good, too slow to reposition on balls in the dirt and too much mass to move and unfold on quick throws. Molina gets way to0 much credit for defense. Throwing, yep, he’s plus, plus. But, his refusal to push away from the buffet means he has to set up to early, potentially tipping pitches, and he has to Ole! balls in the dirt with his glove, rather than using his body. I will admit that his Ole! work is better than most, but it still lets too many balls get through. I haven’t seen enough of Montero to gauge his build. If he’s just thick through mid-section that’s bad. Mauer’s build is fine. Montero’s 6′ 4″ 225 will work if he’s well built and proportioned. But, there will be a premium placed on conditioning and weight control. If he “fills out” he’ll be a DH or nothing.

    5. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:31 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s not just size with Montero – it’s a lack of quickness and reaction time. I’ve heard that some even question his ability to receive a major league fastball – because his mitt is so slow. And, since forever we’ve heard that his footwork behind the plate is too slow to block balls or throw out runnners.
      Think: Cliff Johnson as a catcher.

      If you discount the size portion, this sounds like our current starting catcher. Didn’t Pena work wonders on Posada upon his arrival? Like I’ve been saying for a while now, they should do a mini-camp over the offseason where Pena works with all the catchers on things such as the above.

      In any case, he’s way too young to write him off as not being serviceable behind the plate.

    6. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:31 pm

      #15 wrote:

      too big is no good, too slow to reposition on balls in the dirt and too much mass to move and unfold on quick throws. Molina gets way to0 much credit for defense. Throwing, yep, he’s plus, plus. But, his refusal to push away from the buffet means he has to set up to early, potentially tipping pitches, and he has to Ole! balls in the dirt with his glove, rather than using his body. I will admit that his Ole! work is better than most, but it still lets too many balls get through. I haven’t seen enough of Montero to gauge his build. If he’s just thick through mid-section that’s bad. Mauer’

      Montero is not fat, by any means.

    7. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:36 pm
    8. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:37 pm

      I made a comment to you #15 with links to images of Montero, but they are awaiting moderation…so check back later once Steve had read it.

    9. MJ
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:47 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s not just size with Montero – it’s a lack of quickness and reaction time. I’ve heard that some even question his ability to receive a major league fastball – because his mitt is so slow. And, since forever we’ve heard that his footwork behind the plate is too slow to block balls or throw out runnners.

      This is as good a time as any for me to come back with a comment.

      Steve is on point here. The simple notion that one bad-body ballplayer (Molina) means that all bad-body players can catch makes no sense. I’ve seen this same mistake being repeated in the comments at RAB — that with a little more practice and training, if a fatso like Molina can catch then a younger guy like Montero can as well.

      The issue isn’t the body type but the raw athleticism needed for the position. There’s no reason to think that Montero can’t improve in that regard but I think scouts all agree that he’ll never be a natural defensive catcher. It’s the same paradigm as thinking that any Olympic sprinter can be a wide receiver in football. They might have the raw speed but there are other factors at play: body control, good hands, precise foot movement for sudden cuts or stops, etc.

      Montero may or may not ever develop into a guy capable of playing catcher in the big leagues but to simply believe that a catcher can be trained and coaxed into the position is unrealistic. It discounts what Molina has done in his career. It’s not as easy as it looks a lot of catching is natural athleticism which, surprisingly enough, Molina has in abundance (not that you can tell by looking at him).

    10. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 2:59 pm

      MJ wrote:

      The simple notion that one bad-body ballplayer (Molina) means that all bad-body players can catch makes no sense.

      Is it that much of a stretch to say that a kid (kid!!) who’s in much better shape then any Molina (there are 3, don’t forget) could get better at his position and learn better footwork?

      I don’t care if he’s a natural defensive catcher or not. We’ve lived with Posada who is no Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate for well over a decade. And by all accounts, Montero’s bat should be better then Posada’s.

      To say a 19 year old kid can’t improve at the catcher’s position, IMO, is unrealistic. Would I bet on it? No. I never said that. All I said, and what i continue to say, is can we to see before casting aspersions and judgment?

    11. MJ
      December 16th, 2009 | 3:00 pm

      To back out a little further and address the post in general, here are my thoughts on the top-10 list:

      1) These are the opinions of John Manuel, with some imput from the staff at Baseball America. LIke with every other matter of opinion, some perspective is needed. This ain’t the gospel, folks. That being said, I only have a few quarrels with the list.

      2) I find it utterly preposterous that Andrew Brackman made the top-10. Although he still remains a high-ceiling pitcher, the odds of him reaching his ceiling are much longer now than they were one or two seasons ago. He utterly flunked low-A ball last year and is due to repeat that level again this year. That pushes his likely MLB debut for another two seasons (at best). Adam Warren would’ve been a far more suitable #10 prospect, since he is a polished college arm that can realistically debut in the big leagues this year, and certainly by 2011.

      3) I’m surprised Ivan Nova was left off the list. I guess BA’s take is that he’s not as high-upside as Brackman but he moved up from high-A in 2008 all the way to AAA in 2009 as a 22 year old. I find it hard to imagine that he doesn’t rate higher than 11-30.

      4) Similarly, I’m surprised that BA dropped Mark Melancon off the list entirely from last year. He did nothing at AAA this year to diminish his prospect status.

      5) As much as this list is slightly underwhelming — I figure the Yanks’ system is in the bottom half of the majors at this point, if not in the bottom third — it bears mentioning that the system is the reflection of its parent club, a club that signed three Type-A free agents last year, didn’t sign its top pick from the ’08 draft, just traded away what was surely it’s #2 prospect and has picked in the lower fifth of the draft in each season since who knows when. The Yanks system is about where it should be, give or take a smidge.

    12. MJ
      December 16th, 2009 | 3:18 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Is it that much of a stretch to say that a kid (kid!!) who’s in much better shape then any Molina (there are 3, don’t forget) could get better at his position and learn better footwork?
      I don’t care if he’s a natural defensive catcher or not. We’ve lived with Posada who is no Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate for well over a decade. And by all accounts, Montero’s bat should be better then Posada’s.
      To say a 19 year old kid can’t improve at the catcher’s position, IMO, is unrealistic. Would I bet on it? No. I never said that. All I said, and what i continue to say, is can we to see before casting aspersions and judgment?

      1) His age has nothing to do with it. I don’t believe you can just “learn” footwork and that’s the end of it. You’re completely discounting natural, innate ability to do something.

      2) His bat being better than Posada’s also has nothing to do with it. If a team has a tolerance for poor defense behind the plate in exchange for a big bat, then obviously they’ll be fine with Montero as a full-time catcher. But that tolerance (or lack thereof) is independent of what Posada’s skills are. As for the point to Posada’s defense, of course Posada is a poor defensive catcher. We all know that. However, you yourself cited the presumption that Posada briefly improved behind the plate when Pena arrived as a coach. I agree with that observation and Posada’s defense has regressed for reasons that I can’t quite explain. To me, his mistakes seem to be ones borne out of a lack of concentration and not of a lack of skill. Additionally, despite Posada’s shortcomings, the fact remains that he still possesses the athleticism and intuitive assets required of the position, if only because we’ve seen him succeed defensively for a period of time, however brief it may have been (I know Posada was never Pudge but he’s gotten much, much worse over the past few years).

      3) I’m not sure I follow on the wait-and-see approach. We’ve been watching him in the minor leagues haven’t we? Are you suggesting that we promote a guy that may not be able to catch AND THEN wait and see if he can catch at the big league level? If he can’t catch as a minor leaguer, we can obviously stall his development and hope that he improves in the minors. I wouldn’t promote him and then try to sort out his defensive shortcomings. The big leauges are no place to be learning your craft if you’re as raw as they say. Matt Wieters and Buster Posey obviously aren’t finished products but they’re certainly advanced enough that they can figure out the last bits and pieces of the craft on the 25-man roster. Montero isn’t anywhere close to that, is he?

    13. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 3:45 pm

      @ MJ:
      While we’re talking about Posada…let’s not forget that Posada STARTED catching at age 20.

      And I’m not sure if that tolerance is independant of Posada’s skills. Posada is, to many, a border line HOFer (not to me, but I’m just saying). He is one of the top players of the decade. All with poor defense. I’m pretty sure anyone would have taken him behind the plate for this past decade.
      =====================================
      Are you suggesting that we promote a guy that may not be able to catch AND THEN wait and see if he can catch at the big league level?
      =====================================
      No, I’m saying let’s give him some time. Then we’ll see.

    14. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 3:48 pm

      Weiters and Posey were 22 and 23 when they got called up. Jesus is ENTERING his year 20 season. 2-3 years is a big difference with development, I’d say.

    15. MJ
      December 16th, 2009 | 4:05 pm

      Corey wrote:

      While we’re talking about Posada…let’s not forget that Posada STARTED catching at age 20. I’m saying let’s give him some time. Then we’ll see.

      Posada was converted at age 20, caught for 421 of his 486 MiLB games and was promoted as a 25 year old. Montero has caught for 153 of his 186 MiLB games. If your “wait and see” involves giving him aother 250 or so games behind the plate (approximately 2 full seasons at AAA) then, fine, I’m happy to revisit the discussion of his catching future before the 2012 season.

      I’m not sure that’s the best allocation of this resource, given the presumptive trade value Montero carries around the big leagues but, in truth, there’s nothing wrong with saying that we’ll have a 22 year old in the minors ready to go.

      Ultimately, we’re having this discussion because I think there’s a rush to graduate Montero because his bat appears ready. If people want to bring him up to the big leagues because he’s just about ready to hit, it’ll have to be as a DH. While I certainly don’t believe that you can just learn athleticism and the other skills that go into being a competent catcher — and therefore I’m not sure that another two years in AAA will do him any good with regards to his defensive shortcomings — I’m all for giving him a few more years to try and learn the position in the minors.

      Corey wrote:

      And I’m not sure if that tolerance is independant of Posada’s skills. Posada is, to many, a border line HOFer (not to me, but I’m just saying). He is one of the top players of the decade. All with poor defense. I’m pretty sure anyone would have taken him behind the plate for this past decade.

      But you’re making an assumption that for as bad as Posada’s defense is, Montero’s would be no worse (all with a better bat). I don’t discount Montero’s offensive potential — today’s report from BA.com only reinforces the view that Montero is an offensive beast, the likes of which the Yanks probably haven’t developed in decades — but that doesn’t change the fact that there is a good chance that Montero’s defense is not only marginally worse than Posada’s but significantly worse. I’ve seen people compare him to Piazza but even that assumes that Montero hits his true ceiling. What if Montero “only” hits like Posada but fields slightly worse than Piazza? That’s pretty lousy.

    16. MJ
      December 16th, 2009 | 4:07 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Weiters and Posey were 22 and 23 when they got called up. Jesus is ENTERING his year 20 season. 2-3 years is a big difference with development, I’d say.

      Wieters and Posey were polished college catchers so, yes, there was a developmental advantage in their favor. My point wasn’t so much that they’re more advanced as it was that they’re natural catchers who will finish their training in the big leagues. Montero is nowhere near ready to catch at a big league level, even though his bat is ready to graduate.

    17. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 4:16 pm

      What if Montero “only” hits like Posada but fields slightly worse than Piazza? That’s pretty lousy.
      =============
      then the Yanks have done what I said, and waited and saw, and if at that point he has to be moved I’m A-OK with that.

      Remember, originally Montero and Romine were supposed to be the solution for when Posada’s deal expires. He has 2 years left.

    18. MJ
      December 16th, 2009 | 4:29 pm

      @ Corey:
      You’re the first person to ever say that the Yanks should keep Montero down in the minors for at least two more seasons. Just about everyone else believes that he’s MLB ready (or close to it), his defense be damned.

    19. Corey
      December 16th, 2009 | 4:49 pm

      @ MJ:
      The way I see it, there’s no immediate need that would supersede the need for him to develop his catching skills. So what’s the rush?

      Would I like him to be up sometimes next year utilizing that prescious bat? Sure, the fanboy in me wants it more then anything. But, if you kept him down a little longer and he develops into an actual catcher to go along with his bat…that’s special. If it doesn’t work out, he’s so young that the set back would be a blip in his career.

    20. December 16th, 2009 | 5:07 pm
    21. BOHAN
      December 16th, 2009 | 6:39 pm

      MJ wrote:
      <1) His age has nothing to do with it. I don’t believe you can just “learn” footwork and that’s the end of it. You’re completely discounting natural, innate ability to do something.
      2) His bat being better than Posada’s also has nothing to do with it. If a team has a tolerance for poor defense behind the plate in exchange for a big bat, then obviously they’ll be fine with Montero as a full-time catcher. But that tolerance (or lack thereof) is independent of what Posada’s skills are. As for the point to Posada’s defense, of course Posada is a poor defensive catcher. We all know that. However, you yourself cited the presumption that Posada briefly improved behind the plate when Pena arrived as a coach. I agree with that observation and Posada’s defense has regressed for reasons that I can’t quite explain. To me, his mistakes seem to be ones borne out of a lack of concentration and not of a lack of skill. Additionally, despite Posada’s shortcomings, the fact remains that he still possesses the athleticism and intuitive assets required of the position, if only because we’ve seen him succeed defensively for a period of time, however brief it may have been (I know Posada was never Pudge but he’s gotten much, much worse over the past few years).
      3) I’m not sure I follow on the wait-and-see approach. We’ve been watching him in the minor leagues haven’t we? Are you suggesting that we promote a guy that may not be able to catch AND THEN wait and see if he can catch at the big league level? If he can’t catch as a minor leaguer, we can obviously stall his development and hope that he improves in the minors. I wouldn’t promote him and then try to sort out his defensive shortcomings. The big leauges are no place to be learning your craft if you’re as raw as they say. Matt Wieters and Buster Posey obviously aren’t finished products but they’re certainly advanced enough that they can figure out the last bits and pieces of the craft on the 25-man roster. Montero isn’t anywhere close to that, is he?

      you most definately can learn footwork and become more athleric as you get older. as i got into college i became more athletic not as a catcher but as a pitcher. and my catcher in hs was a shortstop by trade and then became a college level catcher. my catchers in college can in with so so footwork and 1 on of them ended up gettining drafted by the red sox becaus he was a great defensive catcher all around. all it takes is some hard work and drive. theres alot of agility drills plyos and other baseball specific workouts you can do to improve footwork and athleticism.

    22. BOHAN
      December 16th, 2009 | 6:44 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Corey wrote:
      Weiters and Posey were 22 and 23 when they got called up. Jesus is ENTERING his year 20 season. 2-3 years is a big difference with development, I’d say.
      Wieters and Posey were polished college catchers so, yes, there was a developmental advantage in their favor. My point wasn’t so much that they’re more advanced as it was that they’re natural catchers who will finish their training in the big leagues. Montero is nowhere near ready to catch at a big league level, even though his bat is ready to graduate.

      posey played shortstop originally. he moved to catcher because FSU didnt have a catcher and they had a pretty good shortstop behind him

    23. December 16th, 2009 | 7:17 pm

      We seem toeither draft pitchers or catchers.. 4 of the top 10 are Catchers… i was absolutely shocked to see Brackman in the top 10.. thats a sign that there is not much there depth wise.. reading other blogs and reports.. i thought Nova was in the top 10 of our system.. its also troubling to see JR Murphy, Heathcott and Sanchez in the top 10.. either we had a home run draft (and Latin america signing) or our system needs a lot more replenishing… what has continued to trouble me is the complete lack of development of position prospects… lets hope that gets addressed this year.. not sure if Kevin Towers can give a new set of eyes there…

    24. clintfsu813
      December 16th, 2009 | 7:26 pm

      Love to see you guys talking about Posey on here. He was a god here in Tallahassee! I may root for the Giants in the future just because he’s there.

    25. Jake1
      December 17th, 2009 | 9:23 am

      any list of prospects that has andrew brackman on it is a joke

    26. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 10:07 am

      @ BOHAN:
      You’re proving my point for me by arguing that ex-shortstops can play catcher. The very point I’m making is that catchers are very good athletes, thus to argue that Jose Molina’s ability to play the position means that Montero can too is dismissing Molina’s athleticism (even if he doesn’t look athletic).

      Of course shortstops can play behind the plate. They’re fast, they have good footwork, good hand-eye coordination, and soft hands to catch the ball on all sorts of hops. That’s EXACTLY my point. The fact that Posey is an ex-shortstop only reinforces why I think Montero probably won’t make it behind the plate if he’s considered so unathletic right now as a 20 year old.

    27. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 10:10 am

      Jake1 wrote:

      any list of prospects that has andrew brackman on it is a joke

      Agree completely.

      A friend of mine and I talked about it yesterday and we came to the conclusion that John Manuel (the guy at BA that did the Yanks write-up) had so much invested in defending the Brackman pick that to drop him from #3 on last year’s list to off the list entirely this year would be an admission of error.

      We forget that as much as we think BA is completely objective in these matters, their writers still do take positions on players and they’re human. They defend their opinions and I think that’s what we saw here. There’s no way Brackman can be considered a prospect at this point consider that he’s a college pitcher who is at least two (if not three) years away from the big leagues.

    28. Corey
      December 17th, 2009 | 10:31 am

      MJ wrote:

      @ BOHAN:
      You’re proving my point for me by arguing that ex-shortstops can play catcher. The very point I’m making is that catchers are very good athletes, thus to argue that Jose Molina’s ability to play the position means that Montero can too is dismissing Molina’s athleticism (even if he doesn’t look athletic).
      Of course shortstops can play behind the plate. They’re fast, they have good footwork, good hand-eye coordination, and soft hands to catch the ball on all sorts of hops. That’s EXACTLY my point. The fact that Posey is an ex-shortstop only reinforces why I think Montero probably won’t make it behind the plate if he’s considered so unathletic right now as a 20 year old.

      So with that logic, Jose Molina would be a fantastic defensive short stop?

    29. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 11:19 am

      @ Corey:
      Huh? Isn’t a SS or a CF considered the best athlete on the field? Why would the reverse be true of Jose Molina or any catcher?

      His athleticism is being underrated by those that steadfastly believe that any fat-ass can be a catcher but I never said that all catchers can be shortstops. A few truly unique guys like Craig Biggio (C, 2B, CF) can play all over but not a guy like Molina. Maybe Pudge could’ve, but I have no clue since no one ever asked him to move.

    30. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 11:26 am

      @ Corey:
      I don’t know why this is such a hard or unique concept to grasp. You’re trying to prove that (1) any person that looks unathletic must indeed be unathletic such that (2) someone that is recognized as a poor athlete can therefore be a catcher.

      I am simply saying that there are subtle, nuanced aspects of athleticism that have nothing to do with what you look like. The catcher’s skill set requires a level of athleticism that is clearly being ignored.

      If Montero can hit the way he’s projected to hit, it’ll become a club decision on their tolerance for how poor a catcher he is. But I think it would have to take a Hall of Fame-level hitter to get a team to completely ignore defense behind the plate. The Dodgers and Mets lived with Piazza’s shortcomings but we don’t even know if Montero hits or fields at that level.

      I thought we settled yesterday that you were the only one calling for him to remain in the minors for another two seasons such that the team can find out if he can improve or not. Why are we re-hashing this today?

    31. Corey
      December 17th, 2009 | 12:16 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Why are we re-hashing this today?

      slow day? lol I need something to debate involving baseball man! :P

    32. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 12:23 pm

      @ Corey:
      LOL! OK, let’s find something to debate then.

      Here’s one: Will the Yanks sign Chapman? It’ll take at least $15M and probably closer to $25M to get him signed. Should they?

    33. Corey
      December 17th, 2009 | 12:28 pm

      @ MJ:
      I could see the Sox over-bidding on him. From what I’ve read about his 2 bullpen sessions, he was topping off at 96 and his control left much to be desired.

      I would sign him, but I don’t know about for $25 mil. It’s not like he’s a 16 year old amateur free agent, ya know? I’d top the initial Red Sox offer with a $15 million dollar offer, and if someone wants to top that send them their blessings on their newest aquisition.

      Side topic: Does anyone else hate Mitch Williams? He’s absolutely horrible. Baseball TV shows need to put a ban on members of the ’93 Phillies.

    34. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 1:09 pm

      @ Corey:
      Obviously these international signings are completely risky. I’d still go out and get him, even if it cost $20M. It’ll take a lot to convince me that the $20M they might spend on Chapman would be money they can’t spend elsewhere among amateur talent and the June 2010 draft. Not to mention, if the next round of labor negotiations intends to change the amateur free agency rules and forces guys like Chapman into the draft, the Yanks would be wise to blow the money now, while it’s still a “Wild Wild West” environment. In two or three years’ time, the Yanks may never have a chance to draft a Chapman or someone like him again.

      I haven’t seen Mitch Williams but I agree…John Kruk on ESPN is absolutely horrendous. I think I hate John Kruk even more than I hated Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips and that’s saying something.

    35. Corey
      December 17th, 2009 | 1:40 pm

      MJ wrote:

      In two or three years’ time, the Yanks may never have a chance to draft a Chapman or someone like him again.

      Ok, I can totally get into that line of thinking.

      MJ wrote:

      I haven’t seen Mitch Williams but I agree…John Kruk on ESPN is absolutely horrendous. I think I hate John Kruk even more than I hated Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips and that’s saying something.

      Check out MLB network. He’s all over it. If you think Kruk is bad, Williams might even be slightly worse.

    36. BOHAN
      December 17th, 2009 | 3:28 pm

      @ MJ:
      i was also making the point thats u can learn the footwork to being a catcher quickly. only a couple years ago he was a shortstop so its possible to learn the footwork especially when uve being catching ur whole life and u can very good coaching around you.

    37. BOHAN
      December 17th, 2009 | 3:31 pm

      @ MJ:
      pudge was move from second base to catcher i believe. with ur logic of any shortstop being made into a catcher only cause of athleticism do u think jeter wouldve made a good catcher or arod???

    38. BOHAN
      December 17th, 2009 | 3:34 pm

      MJ wrote:

      @ Corey:
      I think I hate John Kruk even more than I hated Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips and that’s saying something.

      i love john kruk tells it how it is and is that old school mentally type guy and peter gammons is the best baseball sportswriter ever. how could u possibly hate him?? cause he;s red sox partial? he grew in the boston area u cant blame him for that. ever sportswriter is bias to thier hometown team no matter how hard they try to be. u would be partial to the yankees if u were a sportswriter as well.

    39. BOHAN
      December 17th, 2009 | 3:37 pm

      @ Corey and MJ:
      chapman threw his 2 bullpens at half speed pretty much he wasnt airing it out. all his stuff is real good just his control is off. which can be learned with work. lets of short boxes and what not. hes probably going to get strasburg type money. if had control he would get alot more.

    40. MJ
      December 17th, 2009 | 9:30 pm

      @ BOHAN:
      re: Catchers/Shortstops…

      Read what I wrote to Corey. You’re totally missing the point.

      re: Kruk

      Kruk is a moron. For the past three seasons, he’ll tell you on May 1st that Team X is going to win the World Series based on their hot start. For the past three seasons, he’s been dead wrong. He is an ex-ballplayer, not a baseball analyst. While I’ll certainly defer to him on matters of pitch recognition, swing plane/swing mechanics and what life is like inside the clubhouse, when it comes to serious baseball analysis, he knows absolutely nothing.

      re: Gammons

      He might’ve been a good baseball writer before I became a hardcore fan but over the past 10 years, he’s done nothing to distinguish himself in my eyes. I find his “if…” statements to be a waste of time given how obvious they are. Like Kruk, he’s no analyst.

    41. BOHAN
      December 19th, 2009 | 9:04 am

      @ MJ:
      on kruk and gammons… kruk is there to give you the baseball player point of view. every program and network has a guy like that. when u watch games they have a former player giving you the player point of view. i dont always agree what what he has to say but thats the great thing about this game everyone has their own opinion and way of thinking about the game. as for gammons hes there to give you the “if…” statements. its baseball dude the whole game is based on “if…” moments. to you these statements might be obvious but to the casual fan (which most people are today) they might not be obvious statements. the guy was around the game for over 40 years you cant tell me he doesnt know what hes talking about. he wouldnt have had a job for those 40 years if he didnt know what he was talking about.

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