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Great Stuff From Chad Jennings

The Scranton Times-Tribune beat writer Chad Jennings has a fascinating Q&A up with Deric McKamey, a grad of MLB's scouting school and an author involved with scouting the minors for BaseballHQ.

You should definitely check out the full transcript, but here's highlights on some Pinstripe Alley favorites:

On Juan Miranda
Miranda has good bat speed and proved he can hit for moderate power, but he'll struggle to hit for batting average and doesn't hit LH pitching well. His defense is well below average, so he is likely to be a platoon player at best... [He] would have made several other teams' top 15 list, but as loaded as the Yankees organization is, there just wasn't room for them.
On Humberto Sanchez
The TJS not-withstanding, I feel he doesn't change speeds well and his arm action has some recoil at the finish, which may always present stamina problems. A move to the bullpen should preserve his arm and since he can focus on his fastball and two solid breaking pitches, he should do very well in that role.
On Kevin Whelan and Mark Melancon
Whelan, despite being used as a starter in 2007, projects as a reliever for me. He has a very nasty splitter and exceptional movement to his 88-94 MPH fastball. His command can be erratic at times, but he misses bats easily.

Melancon missed the 2007 season with TJS, but his recovery has gone well and is expected to be ready for spring training. He throws hard (90-95 MPH) and can notch strikeouts too, but relies more on groundball outs than Sanchez and Whelan. He utilizes a curveball as his secondary pitch.

And Santana trade-bait Jeff Marquez
What I like about Marquez is his smooth/quick arm action, which gives him excellent pitch movement. He can touch 95 MPH, but hasn't been able to hold it deep into games. He did pitch 155.1 innings, which alleviated any stamina concerns, but I feel he could add some strength to help him maintain his velocity. Both of his secondary offerings (curveball and change-up) are at least Major League average and he nows how to pitch.

Regular readers know that I'm most excited by the relievers, especially Sanchez and Whelan. Both were products of the Sheffield trade and I feel that there success would kill several birds with one stone:

  • It would give those in the middle ground about Cashman another counterpoint to the haters.
  • Their success would validate a buy and trade approach, which would discourage the distribution of no-trade clauses.
  • Short-term, the better our bullpen is the longer Joba stays in the rotation.
  • Long-term, if either of those players reaches their potential it answers the looming "Post-Mo" question.