Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Yankees Prospect List, A Work In Progress

Will Manny B. Be Number 1?

Over at our favorite Yankees sports forum, Daily Sports Pages, we are currently voting and debating while making our very own Yankees prospect list. You do not have to be a prospect guru or statmatician to join, we only ask that you are somewhat versed in the New York Yankees minor league affiliates and systems. You never know, you might learn a thing or to. 

This is the list that we have compiled so far, in case you were wondering, and we are currently voting for prospect #10! Hope to see you there!


Adam Warren wins #10 voting
David Phelps wins #11 voting
Tyler Austin wins #12 voting

1. Manny Banuelos
2. Dellin Betances
3. Gary Sanchez
4. Austin Romine
5. Mason Williams
6. Ravel Santana
7. Jose Campos
8. JR Murphy
9. Dante Bichette Jr
10. Adam Warren
11. David Phelps
12. Tyler Austin

Why I don't want Johnny Damon

He looks so happy to be an "idiot"

Recently, on Twitter, I voiced my displeasure with Johnny Damon, especially concerning him possibly returning to the Yankees this season. Unfortunately I didn't have a really good answer, just pointing out my personal dislike without backing up that opinion, and pointing out that he can no longer play the field. Note... I really don't like guys that can't play the field. I liked Hideki Matsui, and will never forget his heroics in the 2009 World Series, but it bugged me to have a guy on the roster that is all bat and no glove.

Anyway, back to Damon, I decided to write up my feelings about the guy, and why I don't want him coming back to New York.

1. I'm going to get my personal feelings out of the way first, because they aren't really based on facts. It's really an opinion I formed based on things I've read and seen.

As much as I like seeing a guy turn his back on the Red Sox, it never sat right with me that he'd leave a team for their rival. From the time he joined Boston in 2002, Johnny Damon seemed to epitomize the Red Sox. An idea that was driven home when he was the apparent leader of the "idiots". The fact that those "idiots" came back from a 3-0 ALCS lead by the Yankees doesn't help matters at all, either.

Then there's the fact Damon was happy to be a Ray after signing, and said that he wanted to return to Tampa, but when the Rays signed Luke Scott he was obviously not happy with the team. I understand being upset or disappointed, but to publicly display that displeasure tells me that he was never actually loyal to the team. I wouldn't go as far as to say he "ripped" the team like The Sporting News suggest in that article, but still...

2. Johnny Damon just can not play the field anymore. As I pointed out in the opening of this article, I don't like DH-only types. If you don't believe that's true then just click here and show me why I should be okay with Damon playing LF after pinch hitting for Gardner later in the game. 84 innings in the OF last season? 268.1 innings in the OF in 2010? And all of those innings were below average to poor. Sorry, but no thanks.

It would be different if Johnny was still hitting .316/.366/.439 like he did in 2005 with Boston (he finished 13th in AL MVP voting... the best finish of his career), but he's hit .271 the last three years, with an OBP that's gone from .365 in 2009 to .326 last season, so I think it's safe to say his days of garnering MVP votes are well in the past.

3. Everybody seems to think he'd be a good fit, seeing as how he's a left-handed hitter and he did a good job of taking advantage of the short porch in RF of Yankee Stadium in 2009 (he hit 24 HR, 17 of which were at YS). But I looked at his splits last year and Damon actually had a reverse split, as he hit .255/.314/.401 against RHPs in 457 Plate Appearances and hit .277/.354/.458 vs. LHPs in 190 PAs. Not only do we already have Andruw Jones to hit against LHPs, but last season he was better at it, hitting .286/.384/.540 in 146 PAs.

So, in summary, I see no reason to feel okay with bringing back a guy with loyalty questions, who can't play the field, and doesn't hit that well vs. RHPs (we already have a guy that hits better against LHPs).