A Merry Opening Day Eve to one and all!
Johnson Yanked! (after fouling a ball off of his knee). We all see what we want to see in this one. If you want proof that NJ is fragile, here it is. If you want a story of a ball player with bad luck just before Opening Day, here it is. If you want a funny headline, well, we aim to please.
Fangraphs has finished their Organizational Rankings, and the Yankees are at the top of the heap. Maybe it's because I have so much respect for Dan Cameron's work that I'm giddy to hear him say things like:
the Mets have access to the same media market and spend money like drunken sailors, but they don’t win, because they’re not using their resources well.
It’s not just the size of the Big Apple that gives the Yankees the advantage they enjoy. It’s their place in the history of the game, and how well they’ve leveraged that into developing a fan base that perpetuates itself constantly. The combination of the market, the nostalgia, and the winning have created a perfect storm, and the result is a franchise that towers over the rest.
There are no real surprises in Fangraphs' Current Talent or Future Talent portions of the Org. Ranking, but if you were thinking about starting to follow some prospects this season, you could do worse than Montero, Romine, Melancon, and Heathcott.
It's interesting that Fangraphs talked about the lesser depth in the minors for the starting rotation. If by fall off, you mean the team doesn't have two of the best pitchers in the game under age 22 anymore, then yes, I agree.
Pending Pinstripes takes a look at the Yanks organizational depth at starter. In 2009 and 2003, the Yanks used 9 starting pitchers. They averaged 13 starters in all the years in between (always between 12 and 14).
If we believe the Yanks that Joba won't be in the rotation this season (grr!), then to get to 9 means Mitre, Aceves, Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova. To get to thirteen means we'll see Zach Sergovia, Josh Schmidt, Lance Pendleton and Kei Igawa.
Thankfully, to make that seem like not such a bad thing, Greg Fertel gives a write up of my current prospect-crush Zach McAllister.
McAllister primarily works off of his sinking two-seam fastball. With it, he breaks a ton of bats and gets a ton of ground balls. Reports on his velocity differ. Near the end of last season, Baseball America reported that he wasn't even reaching 90 with his four-seamer. Contrary to that, I've heard that his four-seamer hit upwards of 93 at certain points this season. I'd say that he needs his two-seam fastball to come in at 89-91 for it to be successful in the majors.
If that sounds a lot like former Yankee Ross Ohlendorf to you, remember that Ohlendorf just finished a season of 176 IP at league average ERA with less than a hit per inning and 5.6 K/9. League average is the most underrated commodity in baseball, and on a superstar team like the Yankees, cheap league average means more money to spend on the big cogs.