Good afternoon everyone, it’s time to dive back into the mailbag and answer some of your questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
MSP Giant asks: Hicks is gone. Assume Donaldson is too. Is there a place for BOTH IKF and Oswaldo Cabrera on this team?
Honestly, if there isn’t, it might be to Cabrera’s detriment. I’ve held out hope that the young utilityman would find his form after a brutal opening to the season, but the bat just hasn’t gotten going in the slightest. Couple that with Kiner-Falefa’s recent hot streak and overall acceptance of his role as a role player, and the team may be better suited rolling the dice with IKF for the time being. Cabrera has shown that he’s capable of more, but perhaps a stint back down in the minors would get him readjusted like Oswald Peraza has seemingly done down in Scranton.
John O asks: For at least a decade and probably longer, the Yankees position player draft strategy has been to draft up the middle — SS, 2B, CF, C. After all this time, they’ve come up empty at catcher, even after drafting lots of early round catchers (unless you count Gary Sánchez a success — I don’t). Why do you think they have seen such poor results here?
Let’s start with the contention that Sánchez doesn’t count, because I completely disagree. Besides the fact that he was an amateur signing rather than a draftee, putting up an insane rookie season that nearly won him the Rookie of the Year award and coupling that with a pair of All-Star seasons is far and away a success at a position that severely struggles to find star power. Yes, the defense was always a concern on varying levels and his last two years in pinstripes were poor, but the lifespan of a catcher in this league is far from lengthy — it’s incredibly hard to live up to the careers of the Yadier Molinas and Buster Poseys.
Now, as for the results from their actual draft classes at the position, I think it’s far too early to judge when they haven’t even begun to pan out. Austin Wells is developing into a quality prospect that could push for a big-league debut in the next year or two, and looks like the long-term future at the position if he sticks through with it in the minors. Behind him is another talented prospect in Anthony Seigler, and though he’s injured currently Josh Breaux stands in as a decent depth catcher that’s nearing the major leagues. That’s more talent than most organizations can boast at catcher, and they’re all nearing the point where you could get serious about envisioning their future in pinstripes.
Hector H. asks: With the Hicks DFA, do we feel better about the FO?
I don’t necessarily feel better about the front office because of the move, it was telegraphed for a long time that it was coming sooner or later. I do think it was odd that acquiring Greg Allen was the tipping point in the decision, but that being said he does bring an extra element to the team in his speed so perhaps they were simply looking around for anyone with a penchant for base stealing that they could add to justify cutting the cord at last. There’s still a lot of patches to be applied to this roster to get it in top form, and currently some of them can’t be made or are stuck in limbo like Hicks was for so long — which will make for an extremely interesting trade deadline season to see which way the front office is leaning going forward.