Monday, October 24, 2016

Weekly AFL Prospects Check In w/ Greg Bird

Another week in the books already, where does the time go? I'm not sure it's the same way in the world of an MLB player but the work week seems to drag only for the weekend to fly by. It's not right and it's borderline not fair but I digress. This morning rather than discuss things we cannot fully understand nor things we cannot change I'd rather just check in with Greg Bird and see how he is doing down in the Arizona Fall League. 

Remember the stats are not as important as his health. Greg Bird is playing in his first live game action since his shoulder surgery back in Spring Training of this season. 

.231/.355/.385/.739 with six hits, four doubles and three RBI in 26 at bats. 

Cubs vs. Indians 2016 World Series Schedule

The 2016 field is set for the World Series and it will be the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs going at it head-to-head. The Cleveland Indians will have home-field advantage throughout this series after the American League won the 2016 All-Star Game inside Petco Park while the Cubs don't care where they win it as long as they can reverse the Curse of the Billy Goat. Let's look at the schedule for this upcoming series.

Game 1 - Tuesday October, 25th
Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians

Game 2 - Wednesday, October 26th
Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians

Game 3 - Friday, October 28th
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs 

Game 4 - Saturday, October 29th
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs 

Game 5 (if necessary) - Sunday, October 30th
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs 

Game 6 (if necessary) - Tuesday, November 1st
Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians

Game 7 (if necessary) - Wednesday, November 2nd
Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians

All games are 8:08 pm ET and all games can be seen on FOX.

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/24: El Duque Orlando Hernandez

Orlando Hernandez was a God send to the New York Yankees during their Dynasty run during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, especially in the postseason. El Duque started his career 8-0 with a 1.90 ERA in the postseason before the Mets got to him on this day in 2000. The Mets beat the Yankees on this day in the Subway World Series after Benny Agbayani hit a game winning 8th inning double to give the Metropolitan's a 4-2 win. New York native and Mets closer John Franco secured the victory for the Mets ending the Yankees 14 game World Series winning streak.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Arizona Fall League Weekly Check In: J.P Feyereisen

Same thing as before. Who is J.P Feyereisen and why is he representing the New York Yankees at the Arizona Fall League in 2016? Unlike Koerner from earlier on in the day Feyereisen had a full season in 2016 with the Akron (Cleveland Indians) and Trenton Thunder affiliates. As far as I can tell the Yankees simply want to evaluate more of what they got in return this season from the Andrew Miller trade and sent Feyereisen to the Scottsdale Scorpions to accomplish that.

Who is J.P. Feyereisen? Feyereisen is a relief pitcher that was drafted in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft by the Cleveland Indians before being traded to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal because the team got tired of putting his last name on their jerseys. Or something like that.

Four games pitched in with a 1-1 record and a 7.20 ERA. It's not what you want but it's a small sample size.

Yankees Rank Three in Baseball America’s Top 20 Short Season/Rookie Ball Prospects List

The final prospect list from Baseball America that we will cover is the Short Season and Rookie Ball affiliates in Minor League Baseball. The Yankees have four short season and rookie ball affiliates including the Pulaski Yankees, the Gulf Coast Yankees 1 and 2 and the Staten Island Yankees but somehow the team only managed to send three to the list. According to reports I’ve read there are many Yankees that “just missed the cut” which makes sense for them and a lot of teams. Short season and rookie ball are for recently drafted prospects and international free agents who signed at 16-years old who are working their way towards the Major Leagues with a long road ahead. There are generally more questions than answers at this point so don’t look too much into these rankings either way unfortunately.

Blake Rutherford was the Yankees first round pick from this year’s draft and he was ranked #2 in the Appalachian League after just a few months there. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the only prospect in front of him in the Appalachian League after Baseball America was quoted as saying Rutherford “performed like a college hitter.” For a High School hitter that’s quite the compliment.

Right behind Rutherford on that list was outfielder Estevan Florial, an 18-year old prospect who just made his debut in the United Sates. Florial has nice power with good speed all while playing a natural outfield. Florial has a long way to go and is a raw prospect by all accounts but he is closer than most at this same level.

The final prospect to make the list for the Yankees is shortstop, yes another shortstop, Diego Castillo of the Gulf Coast League. Castillo was the only Yankees prospect ranked in the Gulf Coast League prospects after showing some promise at the plate and in the field this season. 

Arizona Fall League Weekly Check In: Brody Koerner

Who is Brody Koerner and why is he down in the Arizona Fall League for the New York Yankees? Koerner is a college reliever who the Yankees drafted that they transitioned into a starting pitcher like they have become known to do in recent years. Koerner was a 17th round pick in 2015 out of Clemson. That's the who, the why is because Koerner missed a lot of time in 2016 due to injury. All told Koerner only pitched in five games and in 34 innings total with the Charleston Riverdogs and the Tampa Yankees.

One of my good friends from prior to us both entering the blogger game Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily has a nice write up about Koerner after picking him to be the breakout candidate for the Yankees system in 2016. You can read that here. 

Koerner has only been in two games thus far this winter posting a 24.30 ERA with nine runs allowed. Sample sizes and health are key, not the stats.

MLB Postseason Schedule for 10/23: Game 7?

Will there be a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series? Will the Cubs have already punched their ticket to the World Series or will the Dodgers live to fight another day? At the time of this writing that is still undetermined so just in case here is the Game 7 schedule for the NLCS.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs (Game 7 if necessary) @ 8:08 pm ET on Fox Sports One

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/23: Enter Bob Watson

Watch the entire Game 3 of the 1996 World Series right here for FREE. Click above. 

On this day in 1996 David Cone shut down the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the 1996 World Series with the Yankees down two games to none. This would be the first of 14 consecutive World Series games victories for the Yankees before the New York Mets ended the streak in the 2000 Subway World Series.

Also on this day in 1995 the Yankees hired a new GM, replacing Gene Michael, in former Astros GM Bob Watson. Watson would only last two years in the Bronx before the Brian Cashman regime started after being upset with the "chain of command" in the Yankees organization, I think that probably means George Steinbrenner. Watson would be the GM when the Yankees would win their first World Series in 1978 when they were crowned the 1996 champions.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Recapping Yankees Postseason History: 2001

2001. What a year. What a year not only for baseball but for the entire country of the United States. Who can forget that day on September 11th when our freedom was tested for the first time in most of our lifetime’s and who could forget every day since it happened. The world, and specifically the city of New York, needed baseball and the Yankees were there to deliver.

The 2001 World Series between the Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks was the greatest World Series of all-time in my opinion and I cannot see the amount of drama, hype and flat out entertaining baseball that was in that series being topped any time soon. The walk off hits, the clutch home runs and the epic pitching performances by both sides. Mr. November. The Yankee Stadium crowd as they cheered Paul O’Neill off the field in the Bronx for the final time.

So many memories and one memory that we all want to forget. The loss. 

Yankees Rank Four in Baseball America’s Top 20 A-Ball Prospects

As many of you probably already know the Class A Ball of Minor League Baseball is broken down into Low-A, for example the Charleston Riverdogs, and High-A Ball, the Tampa Yankees, but for the sake of the Top 20 prospects from Class-A Ball from Baseball America we have combined the two leagues into one. Despite the pool being twice the size as the pool in Double-A and Triple-A the Yankees still managed to send a whopping four prospects onto the list. We will showcase all seven for you here today as they represent both the Florida State League and the Carolina League respectively.

Gleyber Torres had just one prospect in front of him in the Florida State League rankings making him number two overall. Torres was also ranked 4th in the Carolina League behind top prospects in all of MLB like Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi and Victor Robles. Torres came over from the Chicago Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman deal and is currently representing the Yankees down in Arizona with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.

The man that Torres displaced at the top of the Yankees prospects list, at least temporarily, was 5th in the Florida State League. His name is Jorge Mateo, maybe you’ve heard of him? Mateo’s prospect stock took a bit of a nose dive after failing to live up to great stolen base numbers and numbers overall from 2015 while the Yankees shortstop prospect also had a two week suspension for violating team rules. Mateo is a young kid and he needs to mature, that’s all. I can remember when the same questions about maturity were surrounding Gary Sanchez’s career as a minor leaguer and he turned out to be okay, I think.

Chance Adams made a second list when he ranked 18th overall on the Florida State League top prospects list. Adams has a ton of talent in that right arm so don’t be surprised to see him on the Double-A and Triple-A list next year as well.

Finally we have the 11th best prospect on the Carolina League prospects list, left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield. Sheffield is just 20-years old and was last seen dominating Double-A pitching in the playoffs for the Trenton Thunder after a spectacular season with the Tampa Yankees and the High-A Ball affiliate in Cleveland. Sheffield looks to be the real deal and may start the season in Double-A in 2017.