Prospects In The Burnett Deal

Here is a little bit of info on Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones, the two prospects the Yankees received from the Pirates in the A.J. Burnett deal.

Diego Moreno, RHP- Here is a complete scouting report on him from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2011 season, where he ranked Moreno 9th in the Pirates system:

DOB: 7/21/86
Height/Weight: 6-1/177
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2006
2010 Stats: 1.17 ERA (38.1-14-5-57) at High-A (28 G); 7.04 ERA (7.2-10-3-12) at Double-A (7 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Velocity/slider

Year in Review: This flame-throwing Venezuelan smoked the Florida State League before struggling a bit after a late-season promotion to Double-A.
The Good: Prior to the 2010 draft, Moreno had the best pure arm in the system, sitting at 94-96 mph with his fastball and routinely touching 98. Unlike many power-armed relievers, he has plus-plus control, walking only eight of the 174 batters he faced in 2010. He's also unique in that his best secondary pitch is a changup with deceptive arm action and good late action.
The Bad: Without a plus breaking ball, some scouts have trouble seeing Moreno as a future closer, as his slider if often overthrown in the upper 80s and lacks two-plane break. His fastball can be a bit flat at times, and he lives in the upper part of the strike zone. He can wear his emotions on his sleeve when pitching and has trouble getting out of trouble because of it when he's not dominating.
Ephemera: Right-handed hitters facing Moreno in the Florida State League went 7-for-80 (.088) with two walks and 31 strikeouts.
Perfect World Projection: Some see closer potential, some see a set-up man.
Fantasy Impact: He's the kind of pitcher who could pick up saves, as long as he's on a second-division team.
Path to the Big Leagues: Moreno will begin 2011 back at Double-A, but if he keeps putting up numbers, he could move quickly.
ETA: He has an outside shot at late 2011, but 2012 is more realistic.

It should be noted that Moreno was left unprotected during this winter's Rule 5 draft, and wasn't selected. Moreno has a big arm and has shown the ability to control his stuff, but needs to prove it at the upper levels of the minors (18.2 IP total at Double-A in '10, '11). PiratesProspects.com suggests the way he was handled may indicate something was going on behind the scenes. He posted an impressive 11.45 K/9 and 2.45 BB/9 at Double-A in his brief midseason stint there, but was quickly demoted, finishing with only a 8.29 K/9 and 4.01 BB/9 at High-A. These numbers are very puzzling. Moreno suffered a shoulder strain during the '10 season, and was also suspended that year due to "unprofessional conduct".

His fastball graded out as an 80 pitch according to Baseball America's Ben Badler in 2010, so he's dealing with at least one plus offering. Moreno was very effective in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason (20.2 IP, 3.07 ERA, 20/3 K/BB). I'd be shocked if he didn't start off in Double-A at the beginning of the year.

Exicardo Cayones, OF- Cayones is a 20-year-old left handed outfielder who signed for $400,000 out of Venezuela in 2008. He's posted a solid on-base percentage in his time in rookie ball ('09: .393, '10: .367, '11: .381), but struggled with his first taste of Low-A in a small sample (.063 avg, 35.1% K%, 37 PA).

Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing adds this:



As with most players like this, odds are Cayones never makes it. There is a slim chance he could make it, and a slimmer chance he could make it and be good.


He's a fringy guy who will need a lot of things to break right in order to amount to something. Basically, he's a lottery ticket. But hey, ya never know!!!

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