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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/9/24

The 20-80 exit velo scale; the 5 Ws of spring training; grounding the bullpen

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game One Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Baseball America | Eli Ben-Porat: It’s prospect ranking season, which means we’re seeing a lot of the 20-80 scouting scale. Most baseball fans probably have a decent idea of the scale, so why not apply that to one of the most-cited stats in the modern vernacular? Eli delves into 90th percentile exit velo, a good measure of a guy’s ability to make hard contact, and maps the Statcast distribution to the 20-80 scale we’re all familiar with. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both feature 80-grade exit velo.

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: Pitchers and catchers report to Tampa next week, and Hoch has us all covered with what to look for as the Yankees begin to show up at camp. Between the 26 non-roster invitees and prospects looking to make an impact and the first real look at Juan Soto in a Yankee lineup, hope does spring eternal for a team that’s entering what seems to be an “all-in” season.

New York Post | Dan Martin: If there’s one element of the team I trust unconditionally, it’s their ability to churn out strong bullpens year over year. The 2024 version should be as solid as always, although with a slightly different look than what we’re used to. The Yankees have prioritized relievers with higher groundball rates than you might expect from bullpen arms. Multiple pitchers, including new acquisitions Victor González and Caleb Ferguson, feature hard-moving sinkers that can engineer whiffs, but are more built at getting the ball on the ground. Joining similar players like Clay Holmes and Ian Hamilton, expect a lot of dead worms in front of home plate from the sixth inning on.