Friday, October 3, 2008

I Haven't Ranted Against The Press Lately

Filip Bondy: I swear, you really don't have a clue about how baseball franchises are run and how the baseball talent pipeline works.

Let's talk about player talent progression, shall we? The average baseball player spends several seasons in the minor leagues before being promoted to the bigs. The average age of these players tends to be mid 20's. I can't get numbers on this, but most players progressively get better until their high 20's or low 30's.

That in mind, let's look at the current state of Yankees youth who played in the Bronx this year:
  • Joba Chamberlain: age 23, less than 1 year in the minors
  • Phil Hughes: 22, 2+ years
  • Ian Kennedy: 23, 1 year
  • Robinson Cano: 25, 3 years
  • Melky Cabrera: 24, 2 years
  • Brett Gardner: 24, 3 short years
  • Justin Christian: 28, 3 years
  • David Robertson: 23, 1 year
  • Phil Coke: 25, 3 years
I look at that list and figure that at least half of those guys should get better over the next 3 years. Bondy, however, has decided that they're all crap:

"We aren't sure about Phil Hughes or Phil Coke."

I think you might be the only person on the planet who isn't sure about Hughes. I haven't heard a scouting report ever that thinks he won't make it. And yeah, we've only seen 14.2IP of Coke, but it was a damned good 14.2IP.

"We already see that Brett Gardner doesn't have the power to play center field on a regular basis."

I guess Bondy doesn't care that most center fielders are not power hitters, but let's forget about that. Yes, Gardner had a rough year this year. Yet he went from AAA to hitting lead off for The Most Storied Franchise in Sports. I'm willing to bet he had a little bit of a shocking transition. He also had a .296/.414/.422 line in AAA this season, and that .414 OBP sticks out. Plate discipline is a skill that translates directly from the minors to the bigs.

"Robinson Cano took a serious step backward in 2008."

I'll bet you in 2009 he beats his 2007 numbers. This kid is full of talent.

"Melky Cabrera is ordinary at best."

It's boring to say at this point, but he's 24! It's very rare for a player to peak at 22 (when he took over for Bernie Williams in CF and had a great year).

"Their starting rotation requires yet another injection of free agents."

This line is what gets me. Here is the current best guess 2009 rotation: Wang, Chamberlain, Pettitte, Hughes, Kennedy/Rasner/Aceves/Giese. Aside from the #5 spot, that looks pretty awesome. The Yankees do not need CC Sabathia (but they may as well grab him if they can). Add in a AJ Burnett or a Derek Lowe and that rotation starts to look awesome.

But the best part about that line is that Bondy doesn't understand what he's saying. You don't have to trade for free agents. Cashman will be careful about signing type A free agents (meaning the Yankees would have to cough up their 1st round draft pick), and if he managed to net any picks with teams signing his type A free agents (Marte comes to mind), then that changes the game too.

The Yankees get to drop $80 million off their books this year. Cashman has been saddled with these big contracts for the entire time he's been top dog. Now is when he really gets to shine. I can't wait to watch the Hot Stove League this year.
Post a Comment
All rights reserved. Take that!