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The Guys Who Are Close

I want to pick up on a theme I read over at NoMaas.

What is comforting though, is that the Yankees are not relying on Andrew Brackman to be their first-round, franchise-saving dominator like other teams would have to, given the amount of money he required to sign. Instead, this was a chance for a wealthy organization with a brimming farm system to get even richer, and by a lot, too. The natural inclination to be impatient with prospects is what subconsciously drives people to be upset with this deal

Our 'franchise-saving' players are in the big leagues now, with several more valuable pieces on the way.  That makes the high risk moves like Sanchez and Brackman more palatable.

In response to a question (though one devoid of question marks) by yankeesRfirst, I thought I'd share an update on the 5 minor league pitchers we traded for now that they've finished their first year in the Yankees system.

Ohlendorf (RJ trade) was unspectacular this year as a AAA starter, but when he was shifted to the pen he added a few mph to his already decent fastball (now topping out around 97).  
I'm hoping he makes the transition well next year with the benefit of the the Arizona Fall League and the offseason to train differently.

Jackson (RJ) was better after his demotion to AA, but that's only in comparision to the 1.76 WHIP he put up in Scranton.  He's a sinkerballer (2.03 GO:AO, for comparision Wang's is 2.43) with a good 6.6 K/9 (Wang's was 7.06 in the minors).  
I don't have the data to back it up because they don't keep splits for the minors, but I'd bet that his struggles come in the first inning just like Wang and Kevin Brown.  Hopefully it's something he'll figure out how to work around.  Jackson will also be in the AFL.

Whelan (Sheffield) is filthy but has shown control issues.  He began the season as a starter in A ball, giving up only 11 hits in 28IP but he walked 12.  He was promoted to AA and moved to the bullpen, where he allowed only 34 hits in 54.1IP but again walked the yard 42 BB(!).  On his whole year (82IP) he allowed 45H, 54BB, and 96Ks.
I haven't seen any video recently, but Whelan is a converted catcher and there was a lot of talk about reconstructing his mechanics.  Obviously, there's a ton of talent there and he'll be playing for the Javelins in the AFL.

Claggett (Sheffield) wasn't great in Single A, but he showed good control.  Given his postseason call up to AAA, I expect him to start the season at AA.

Sanchez (Sheffield) has the highest ceiling of these players.  He had his TJ surgery on April 17th.  Hopefully he'll be back to full strength by the end of next season.  

As for the other two guys in the RJ trade, Luis Vizcaino alone has been worth more than Johnson, and Alberto Gonzalez is with the big club as a September call-up.