• Teams Hot For Chamberlain & Kennedy

    Posted by on June 26th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    From Jim Baumbach

    During the most recent homestand for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, the White Sox were represented by pro scout Bill Young. That the White Sox sent perhaps their most respected pro scout instead of one of their regional minor-league scouts indicates a more serious level of interest.

    And there’s no question which players they’re interested in. Two of the Yankees’ best pitching prospects are currently with Trenton, righthanders Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy. Every time they pitch, the number of scouts in attendance doubles.

    More than 10 teams have scouted each pitcher’s most recent starts, including the White Sox, Athletics, Rockies and Orioles, to name a few. The Orioles had major-leaguer-turned-scout Dave Hollins watch the Thunder when they were in Erie last week, and he was said to be extremely high on those pitchers.

    Chamberlain receives more attention from scouts than Kennedy does because Chamberlain is a power pitcher; his fastball consistently hits the mid-90s. But there is a sentiment among the scouts that right now Chamberlain is destined to be a closer in the major leagues unless he develops his changeup into a better third pitch. That’s not out of a realm of possibilities because Chamberlain is only in his fourth season as a full-time pitcher. Only 21 years old, he is 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 starts this year split between Trenton and Class-A Tampa. He was the 41rst overall choice in the 2006 draft, a supplemental first-round pick.

    Kennedy, the Yankees’ first-round pick last year, is considered a complete pitcher. His fastball tops out at 90, but those who have seen him pitch regularly say he controls it especially well. He also throws a changeup, slider and curveball, and that deep arsenal has helped him surge this year. He’s 9-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 15 games split between Trenton and Class-A Tampa. Opponents are hitting only .190 off him; he’s allowed just 55 hits and 28 walks in 84 innings.

    So, is Ian Kennedy the next Scott McGregor in Yankees history and will Joba Chamberlain be the next Doug Drabek?

    Comments on Teams Hot For Chamberlain & Kennedy

    1. rbj
      June 26th, 2007 | 4:00 pm

      Should bring Chamberlain up so Mo can tutor him.

    2. baileywalk
      June 26th, 2007 | 4:40 pm

      God, reading about minor league players — if you actually follow them — can be maddening. No one — NO scout out there — would put his name to the statement that Chamberlain is a future reliever because it’s flat-out moronic. As the article notes, he’s 21 years old and in AA. He was only drafted last year. He’s on the same track Hughes was. He has electric stuff. The idea of him going to the ‘pen hasn’t even been discussed. It frankly makes no sense. People look at Joba as having the ability to be a 1 or a 2 in the big leagues.

      It’s interesting to actually see someone say something positive about Kennedy. He — like other guys who throw in that 90-91 range — doesn’t get much respect. Because of his lack of velocity, people dismiss him as a fifth starter at best.

      The guy everyone compares Kennedy to is Mussina. I don’t think that’s a bad comp — but he’ll probably be the Mussina of ’06 and not the Mussina of ’03. But I’ll take that just the same.

    3. bobo
      June 26th, 2007 | 5:56 pm

      I am pretty sure that neither of them can be traded before the one year anniversary of their signing dates (mid-August, and September), I forget which was which. I’ll try to confirm this.

    4. Don
      June 26th, 2007 | 6:13 pm

      This is the great danger now that this overrated and over-salaried big club is once again under .500. That George and the Tampa crowd will agitate trades for over-the-hill players and the plethora of young starting pitching will be the sacrifice required to satisfy George’s hunger.

    5. Don
      June 26th, 2007 | 6:16 pm

      Kennedy or Chamberlain can always be that infamous ‘player to be named later’. That would get around any trade issue with regard to their signing date.

    6. Lee Sinins
      June 26th, 2007 | 6:18 pm

      If they are the next Scott McGregor and the next Doug Drabek, then let’s trade them right now.

      McGregor had -19 career RSAA. Drabek had 16 career RSAA.

    7. Inconnu
      June 26th, 2007 | 8:01 pm

      Thread Hijack:

      How do they know about the scouts in the park? Do they get credentials? Are the scouts just that well known?

    8. DFLNJ
      June 27th, 2007 | 8:45 am

      Kennedy or Chamberlain can always be that infamous ‘player to be named later’. That would get around any trade issue with regard to their signing date.
      I’ve heard that they can’t even do that. They can’t be involved in any trade until the 1-year anniversary, and that includes “PTBNL” arrangements. They can be the player to be named later, but the trade has to occur after the anniversary for them to be involved in it.

    9. baileywalk
      June 27th, 2007 | 12:38 pm

      I’ve heard that they can’t even do that. They can’t be involved in any trade until the 1-year anniversary, and that includes “PTBNL” arrangements. They can be the player to be named later, but the trade has to occur after the anniversary for them to be involved in it.

      This must not be true, DF, because if it was, why would teams be scouting them so heavily?

    10. Pete
      June 27th, 2007 | 12:46 pm

      At this point, I really think the Yanks need to miss the playoffs and let the organization & the fans know that it’s not the end of the world as we know it.

      Players have injuries, they have off-years, and most importantly they get old. We had our run, and it was a great one. Although Pettitte has been much more than we could have hoped for this year, the Yanks need to stop clinging to those dynasty years & move on.

      I know it might be heresy, but I think a big problem is Jeter and his ‘the season means nothing without a ring’ attitude.

      BZZT, wrong Derek – sometimes you need a stinkbomb of a year such as this one to transition for the future. I think he has to ask himself would he even HAVE his 4 rings if Steinbrenner had not been suspended from baseball and continued on his late-80’s collision course?

      Trade the dead wood and let the kids play. 2007 could be seen as a big growing pain for the next dynasty, or it could be the first of many abysmal 4th or 5th-place finishes to come.

      Don’t let this be a 1967, Cash, let it be a 1992.

    11. Lee Sinins
      June 27th, 2007 | 1:25 pm

      It is not true that, in order for a player to be a PTBNL, the trade has to be made after the 1 year anniversary.

      For example, when the Indians traded Brandon Phillips to the Reds on April 7, 2006 for a player to be named later, the teams waited until June 13 in order for Jeff Stevens to be sent to the Indians as the PTBNL.

    12. baileywalk
      June 27th, 2007 | 2:36 pm

      Pete, it’s not just Jeter who says, and believes, that a season without a ring is a season wasted. It’s a team motto. And it should be every team’s motto — if you’re not playing to win the World Series, what’s the point?

      Just the like the Red Sox, with a 130-million-dollar payroll, couldn’t simply have an off year, neither can the Yanks, who are spending 200 million dollars. The Brewers can lose. The Marlins can lose. The Rockies can lose. But the Yankees? It’s an embarrassment not to make the playoffs — and this year they don’t even have tough competition. The Red Sox are playing well, but otherwise it’s a pretty wide-open field. Which is why the Yankees still have a shot at the wild card.

      It would be great to cut the dead wood, but what dead wood CAN be cut? You can’t trade Damon. You can’t trade Giambi. They don’t want to trade Jeter or Matsui.

      You can trade Farnsworth, but you’re not getting anything back for him.

      Outside of the minor-league pitching and Wang, the only person with any trade value is Cano, and I think they want to hang onto him.

      You could trade Melky if you want. And Bruney and Proctor. But what would you get back, and would it be worth it?

      “Let the kids play” — what kids? The pitchers, yes, I agree — let Hughes start the season and get Clippard, Kennedy, Chamerlain or Horne up here. But there are no big position prospects to put on the team. The closest guy is Tabata, and he’s still in High-A. Will he be able to make an impact at the big-league level next year at 19? I doubt it. In a perfect world Eric Duncan would be ready, but he’s not.

      The Yankees need to use some of their pitching to trade for a first baseman. Maybe sign a free-agent outfielder. And they also have to re-sign Mo, Posada and give A-Rod an extension, which is going to cost them a fortune.

      They will cut probably cut ties with Abreu and Clemens, which frees up some money, but they’ll still probably end up with a 200-plus-million-dollar payroll next year.

    13. Lee Sinins
      June 27th, 2007 | 3:33 pm

      Jeter can say whatever he wants. But, it doesn’t change the fact that a season without a ring is merely a season without small sample size shit.

      The lack of a ring does not change the fact that the Yankees are the defending co-best team in baseball.

      The only reason why why people pay attention to rings is because of hype.

      If things were done correctly and the following was what was flying over Yankee Stadium since 1996, then people’s perceptions would be much different–


    14. Pete
      June 27th, 2007 | 9:55 pm

      I’m not saying ‘World Series or bust’ shouldn’t be every team’s motto at the *beginning* of the season, but there comes a time to cut bait, and that time is rapidly approaching.

      And to me, it doesn’t really matter WHO we get back for guys like Farnsworth or Abreu, as long as the other team takes on the whole salary – get single A-ball guys for all I care.

      Addition by subtraction and all that garbage.

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