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Saturday News: The Tools of Ignorance

Chad Jennings caught up with Yankee VP of Baseball Operations, and asked (among other things), about moving a minor league catcher (*cough* Montero *cough*) to the outfield.

Sometimes if you have depth at a premium position, and quality depth, you can turn those guys into another player by trades.  Sometimes that’s the way it works out. But I don’t see that with any of our guys because we’re going to need catching in the big leagues.

I understand the impulse- there are 4 catchers within 3 years of the big leagues, 2 within 1 year.  But something is going to happen to some of those guys.  If all 4 graduated  to the bigs on track, even if a couple brought less bat or less defense than they're projecting now, it would be an insane turnout for the Yanks.

Prospects miss, and the miss comes quickly and often with little warning.  Dominate one level, can't handle the next.  So the Yanks will hoard their prospect until they're sure of what they've got.

Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs takes a look at what makes an underrated ball player, using Kurt Suzuki as an example.  The pre-arbitration years of a league average bat with a plus glove are cheap, and easier to acquire by draft or trade than the same years of an elite player (I think elite prospects are a little overvalued at the moment).

What's this have to do with the Yankees?  They moved Melky Cabrera at exactly the right time: while the Melkman is still young, he's done being cheap.  Randy Winn brings a similar tool set, and he cost $1M less.

Frankie Piliere ranked the Yanks farm system 15th overall.

The Yankees have plenty of depth. What they don't have right now is a great deal of impact talent behind Jesus Montero. They have a lot of potential in the low levels, and it's a solid system, but at the moment much of their high-upside players are early in their development. 

I wouldn't have ranked them that high.  I don't have Frankie's knowledge of all the systems, but I value major league ready talent, even if it comes with a lower ceiling than a player in A-ball.  Too many projections never pan out for me to value a fresh draftee too highly.  So it's probably good I don't have a front office job with the Yanks.

Frankie has been a friend to the blog for several years, and we've got a Q&A lined up.  Send your questions in.