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Posts Tagged ‘Jorge Vazquez’

Yesterday, I reviewed the Baby Bomber’s pitchers and catchers and evaluated their chances of making the opening day roster. Today it’s time for the infielders and outfielders. Unlike the wealth of talent behind the dish and on the rubber, there isn’t any outstanding talent in these spots, but there are some intriguing guys who might help out somewhere along the line.

Infielders – Let’s face it. As fans, we don’t want another season of Ramiro Pena’s average glove and Mario Mendoza bat. And while Kevin Russo seems like a nice kid, he wasn’t any better. Who might replace him?

Eduardo Nunez: If any of the young infielders in camp have a sincere chance of unseating Pena, this is the guy. He continues to hit decently, showing some line-drive power and decent speed. He isn’t the smoothest guy in the field, but he isn’t a liability, either. Besides, he is the guy who was supposed to replace Derek Jeter had Armageddon come to the Bronx this past winter.

Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Nunez

Reegie Corona: Quite frankly, I don’t see much difference between Corona and Pena. Both of them get the bat knocked out of their hands by anyone who throws harder than 85mph. Both are competent, but not other-worldly, fielders. He looks targeted for AAA Scranton and will likely be first guy up should Jeter or Robbie Cano get injured.

Brandon Laird: The Yankees are sending the natural 3B to AAA Scranton to learn a “super-utility role” – 3B, 1B, RF, LF. It makes sense since both 1B and 3B are sewed up for the next few years. And I doubt the front office wants to keep bringing in retreads for reserve RH bench spots, when there may well be a better option in the high minors.

Jorge Vazquez: Look, when you’re 29 and never been on a major league roster, you might want to start thinking about taking the Crash Davis route. Vazquez possesses a slider speed bat but can’t hit breaking balls. He plays the corner spots, but is known in the minors as a defensive liability at third and barely adequate at first. He does have power and displayed it against other minor leaguers early in camp. He’s a classic “AAAA” player – too good for AAA, but will get eaten alive in MLB.

Outfielders – Fortunately, the Yanks don’t really need anything other than competent bench players here, because this is easily the most underwhelming part of the minor league system.

Justin Maxwell: Ok, so he isn’t exactly a rookie, with 122 major league appearances over three seasons. But the Nationals aren’t exactly a MLB club, either. He has a career ML slash line of .201/.319/.379 with a .698 OPS. What he brings to the table is decent speed, the ability to play all 3 OF positions adequately and the high expectations from his college career at Maryland. Hopefully, a full season at AAA (something he never got from Washington) will help him rediscover the form that made him a 1st round pick.

Colin Curtis: Yankee fans got a glimpse of Curtis last year, when he appeared in 31 games for the Bombers. He didn’t really impress, putting up a .538 OPS in 64 plate appearances. (Although he did hit a memorable homer against the Angels). The former Arizona State standout may have reached his limit. If so, that would be a shame because he certainly has a compelling back story.

Greg Golson: Yet another player that fans have seen in Pinstripes, the 25 year old Golson also saw MLB time while with the Phillies and Rangers. He has become a speedy defensive specialist, and his arm proved invaluable in a key game against the Rays last year. Still, he needs to do better than his career MiLB slash line of .263/.309/.398 if he wants to stick with the big club.

Melky Mesa

Melky Mesa: Another long shot, the 24 year old Mesa has played 5 seasons of MiLB and never reached AA. He does have speed and power but his strikeout percentage (.319) is higher than his on base percentage (.307), never a good sign. I hope he figures it out, since he is the prototypical 5 tool player. The Yanks are taking something of a chance, assigning him to AAA to start the season and skipping AA entirely.

Jordan Parraz: In 7 minor league seasons, the 26 year old former Astros and Royals farmhand has compiled a MiLB slash line of .289/.376/.438, which is decent. But he may be another case of the classic “AAAA” player, since he has yet to see the majors despite an ability to play all three OF spots and good peripherals in the minors.

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I’ve been hearing a lot of rumbling from some folks about the lack of offense during Spring Training. Folks, it’s only Spring Training. What’s more, it’s early in Spring Training. If you’re thinking you’ll be seeing this much of Ramiro Pena come the regular season, then you are probably a lost cause. Of course, if you also think this is really a preview of things to come, then I suppose we should fit Ivan Nova for a Cy Young trophy now, as he’d have the most incredible season in history. For that matter, unheralded Jorge Vazquez would slam 72 homers (career high in MiLB: 33, 5 years ago). In other words, you can’t place any faith in Spring Training statistics. Guys don’t play complete games, the level of competition is all over the place and both managers and players are trying different things to see how they work. But in case you’re the type who does place a misguided faith in the numbers, consider this: so far, the nine guys who comprise the Yankee’s starting line-up have accounted for just 39% of the team’s plate appearances this spring. As a group they’ve combined for an .282 batting average and slugged their way to an .831 OPS. That is otherworldly production. Here’s the breakdown: 

ST Stats through March 13, 2011

I’ll take this level of production over 162 games, along with Nova’s Cy Young. :)

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It’s time to kick it in gear as the baseball season is around the corner now. These links should catch you up on everything:

Chien-Ming Wang is headed to the Washington Nationals this year, receiving a one year contract worth $2M with $3M in incentives.

The Yankees invited five more players to Spring Training yesterday. Those players are: Brandon Laird, Jorge Vazquez, D.J. Mitchell, Dustin Moseley and Ryan Pope. That brings them up to 25 non-roster players in their 2010 camp.

Dave Eiland has stated that the ‘Hughes Rules’ won’t be the same as the ‘Joba Rules’. Eiland says, “But you’ve got to remember, Joba had restrictions because he never had a full season in the professional Baseball as a Starter. Phil Hughes has had several minor league seasons as a Starter.” What does Phil think he’s going to throw this season? Hughes has also taken a guess himself about his innings limit saying, “Just a guess, I’d assume it’d be around 175-180 innings, but that’s pure speculation,” said Hughes

Curtis Granderson is keeping an open mind on playing left field. “People forget that I came up as a left fielder,” Granderson told Bryan Hoch. “In the Minor Leagues all the way up to Double-A, I didn’t start playing center field consistently until my second year in the Minors. Even when I came to the big leagues, I played a few games in left. I have no problem going back over there if that happens to be.”

A few days ago, we found out that the Yankees plan to be heavily involved in trying to get Cuban prospect Adeiny Hechevarria.

According to Anthony McCarron, Francisco Cervelli sat out a month of winter ball after getting hit in the head with a bat.

Brian Cashman confirmed that the Yankees offered Johnny Damon two deals (one for two-years and $14MM).

Last week the World Series trophy took a trip to West Point

Joba Chamberlain attended the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway this past Sunday at Daytona Beach, Florida.

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(Photo Courtesy of The LoHud Yankees Blog)

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