Kevin Long is back as the hitting coach, signed to a 3-year deal (will all the coaches be getting that to match Girardi’s deal?). It presumably is more than his previous $1.2 M, 3-year deal.
Interesting. Maybe the Yanks still target Crawford, but LoHud reports that:
Brett Gardner won the Bill James Fielding Bible Award for left field. Gardner was picked as the best defensive left fielder in the game, not just the American League, giving him one more triumph of his breakout season as an everyday player.
With that 399 to LCF, I’ve always advocated a LF who also can be a CF, or who has the speed to cover that gap.
Some prospects to watch for in 2011, age in 2011 on opening day (and where they may start out at):
Jesus Montero (21.) C. Traded for a major talent, AAA or Majors? 2010 Numbers: AAA .289-21-75. Bat good but can he catch?
Austin Romine (22). C. AAA. Longshot majors? AA .268-10-69. 41 AB in AFL (Arizona Fall League) so far. .244-0-7. If Montero goes back to AAA, then what to do with Romine? Would the Yanks platoon the two at AAA? I can’t see that, and Romine is AAA ready (some scouts think MLB ready). You can’t have one prospect slowing up the other, which is what you probably would get if both Montero and Romine are at AAA.
Brandon Laird (23) 1B/3B/OF? AAA. combined AA/AAA .281-25-102. In AFL to learn corner OF. Played 1B/3B. Corner OF would help. Righty bat can fill OF role if he can adjust. Can play vs. lefties while Gardner or Granderson sits. Probably start at AAA to get more OF corner reps, but a 2011 callup? 52 AB in the AFL so far. .288-3-10.
Manny Banuelos LHP. (20) AA. Combined 0-4, 2.51 last year, came off injury. 3 levels. 85 K in 64 2/3 IP. 0-2, 4.85 in AFL right now.
Adam Warren. (23). RHP. AAA or AA. 11-7, 2.59 between High A and AA in 2009. 126 K in 135 1/3.
Dellin Betances RHP (23). AA. 8-1, 2.11 between High A and AA (only 3 games). 108 K in 85 1/3.
Eduardo Nunez. SS/3B. (23) Majors. He’ll battle Pena for the backup infielder spot. If not majors, then AAA. If he hits in spring training… Would love to see him make it, and play 30 games each at SS and 3B giving Jeter and A-Rod days off. Pena has the glove and some speed, but if Nunez hits, his bat and his speed are better than Pena’s and hopefully Nunez’ glove isn’t that far behind. MLB .280-1-7 with 5 steals. Just 50 AB. AAA: .289-4-50 with 23 SB in 118 G.
Greg Golson. (25) OF. AAA. .263-10-40, 17 SB. I don’t see room for him on the MLB roster unless he really hits in S.T. I see him going back to AAA. The Yanks will probably bring in a veteran (would they bring Melky back as a backup OF? He switch-hits, plays all 3 OF Positions, has NY experience, was DFA’d by Atlanta, and was popular in NY. Melky will still be just 26 on opening day 2011. .255-4-42, 7 SB for ATL in 2010. He (in my mind) isn’t a starter, but wouldn’t make a bad backup, def. replacement, 4th OF type. The Yanks may want someone with more pop, however, and could you have Melky and Thames both on the team? If not, no Melky).
I may have missed someone. If so, I’ll comment on him in a future post. Yes, I know that I did NOT mention Juan Miranda. Frankly, the Yanks have to decide what to do with him. He’ll be 28 in April 2011, too old to be a prospect, and that is why I didn’t list him. .219-3-10 in 64 AB with the Yanks this past season. .285-15-43 in AAA. The SWB/NY yo-yo, wearing out I-80. The Yanks should probably do him a favor and deal him. Fill a need. I don’t see him getting playing time in NY.
Colin Curtis will be 26 on opening day 2011. Same with Kevin Russo. I don’t see either playing a major part. Good to watch out for, maybe a callup. Both probably back at AAA.
Oh. I should mention that it’s 39 degrees where I am right now (7 pm) in Eastern PA. 39. Imagine game 5 at if it were at the Stadium tonight. The low tonight is expected to be about 28 or 29. Yup. 28 or 29. Baseball in November. Yuk. … and Buddy Boy Selig wants to add 2 more wild-card teams in 2012. I don’t know how he is going to work that one out. I am opposed to it. Hey Bud? It’s cold here. The Fall Classic should be OVER by November 1st.
Update: Re: Melky. Maybe getting rid of him was good for Cano (his buddy gone, not hitting those nightspots with him… better concentration). So no Melky = better Cano?
Update II: I knew I’d forget someone.
Hector Noesi. 24. AAA. 14-7, 3.20 at 3 levels (Mostly AA) in 2010. RHP. 153 K in 160 1/3.
Melky Mesa. 24. AA. OF. .260-19-74 with 31 SB at High A. 129 strikeouts. Power, speed, but 24 and AA bound, still only a .236 minor league hitter. Late bloomer?
Update III: 11/5/10.
It’s coming out that Montero may be given every shot at the 2011 starting job, with Cervelli as backup and Posada being mostly a DH. If Romine is ready mid-season, he might even come up, replacing Cervelli. Things are getting interesting.
Also, I didn’t mention
David Phelps, above. (24), I project AAA to start 2011. 10-2, 2.50 combined AA/AAA in 2010. RHP. 141 K in 158 2/3.
AAA Phelps, Warren, Noesi
AA Banuelos, Betances, Brackman
That’s a nice five pitchers at the AA/AAA level. I will list Brackman here, and didn’t above, because Brackman’s numbers weren’t as good. He is still a prospect, but at 25 and AA is not only a prospect but a project. 10-11, 3.90 in 2010 (High A/AA). 126 K in 140 2/3. 5-4, 5.10 at High A, but things started to kick in at AA. 5-7, 3.01. He had an awful 2009 (coming off surgery) when he went 2-12, 5.91. Very, very much a project.
But some very interesting pitching at AA/AAA and you wonder if Aldred, who I’ve touted for the Yanks’ pitching coach, may be more valuable where he is—at SWB.
I see J. R. Murphy, who was only 19 this year. I didn’t list him, only because he is yet another catching prospect. If Sanchez starts 2011 at low A Charleston, Murphy could move up to High A. At low A last year, Murphy hit .255-7-54 in 83 games. Not bad, but Murphy, 20 next May, seems to be overshadowed by Montero, Romine and Sanchez.