Friday, June 1, 2012

Yankees Draft 2012: Mitch Gueller

Being Borrowed From River Avenue Blues

The 2012 amateur draft is exactly one week away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Mitch Gueller | OF/RHP
Raised just outside of Olympia in Chehalis, Washington, Gueller is a two-way star at West High School. He’s committed to Washington State.
Scouting Report
At 6-foot-3 and 205 lbs., Gueller is the best athlete from the Northwest in the draft class. He’s a legitimate prospect both on the mound and as an outfielder, and the Cougars will allow him to do both if he makes it to school. On the mound, Gueller runs his fastball up to 94 with an advanced changeup and a slurvy breaking ball that is likely to settle in as a slider. As an outfielder, he offers a well-rounded game and all five tools. Gueller has the speed to steal bases and enough raw power from the right side to hit the ball out of the park, plus his arm is obviously strong. He is considered more advanced as a pitcher.
Gueller has quite a bit of helium at the moment. Keith Law ranked him as the 39th best prospect in the draft (as an outfielder) while Baseball America ranked him 107th (as a pitcher), and it’s definitely worth noting that the Yankees have been connected to him with their first rounder (#30 overall) by both Law and BA recently. New York selected a similar two-way prospect in Jake Cave last season, but Gueller has more athleticism and louder tools. Gueller could be surprise pick in the back-half of the first round.

Series Awards: 2 Angels, 5/28 - 5/30

Jake Taylor Award
Although he was pretty much useless with the bat in Game 2, going 0-for-5 with 2 strikeouts, Curtis Granderson was pretty good in the other two games. For the series Curtis went 4-for-14, with 2 Home Runs and a Double. Those two homers put Granderson in a tie for 4th place in most HRs in MLB. If only Granderson would start running again (he has only 1 SB in 2012, after stealing 25 last season), then he could turn in another MVP-caliber season.

Gentry Award
Eric Chavez was not slated to be a regular starter for the Yankees, but in the series with the Angels he started all 3 games (DH twice, 3B once). Unfortunately he didn't help at all with his bat, going 0-for-10 in the series. He did reach base twice in Game 1 on a couple of walks, but I'm sure I'm not the only Yankee fan who can't wait for Gardner to return from the DL so we don't see Eric and his .253/.293/.427 triple-slash often at all.

Rick Vaughn Award
Like the Kelner Award in the last series, I can't give this award to anybody this time. All three starters for the Yankees, Hughes, Pettitte, and Nova, failed to give the team a quality start. In fact, Hughes gave up 7 earned runs, while both Pettitte and Nova gave up 5 earned runs a piece. And no relievers stood out well in the series either. Cory Wade did do well in Game 3, going 1.1 innings while not allowing a single baserunner, and striking out 3. But in Game 1 Cory gave up the walk-off home run to Mark Trumbo.

Kelner Award
As you could tell from the Rick Vaughn Award write-up, there were plenty of pitching performances to give this award to. But it was Phil Hughes that stood out to me as the worst. In Game 1 Phil lasted 5.1 innings, giving up 7 earned runs off of 11 hits. The one good thing that came out of the start? Hughes didn't walk anybody.


*The awards are named after one of the best baseball movies of all time... Major League.

Jake Taylor Award - Awarded to the most valuable position player. Named after the hard-nose veteran catcher that, despite making the league minimum, was the heart and soul of the 1989 American League East winning Cleveland Indians.

Gentry Award - Awarded to the least valuable position player. Named after the very first man cut from the 1989 Cleveland Indians, #47 Gentry. A man so insignificant he wasn't even given a first name.

Rick Vaughn - Awarded to the best pitcher in the series. This one is, of course, named after the "Wild Thing". The man that made Clu Haywood look silly in the division deciding game.

Kelner Award - Awarded to the worst pitcher in the series. Named after the Opening Day starter for the '89 Indians. Not a good game for Mr. Kelner, as Indians' announcer Harry Doyle famously quipped "thank God" after Kelner left the game. And yet another bad player without a first name.

Yankees @ Tigers 5/31/12


Derek Jeter walks with the bases loaded to tie the game at 1 a piece. 

Curtis Granderson hits a grand slam to put the Yankees up 5-1. So much for him NOT being a home run hitter.

Chris Stewart hit a rbi single to put the Yankees up 6-3

CC Sabathia goes tonight for the Yankees and faces Casey Crosby for the Detroit Tigers. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES and MLB Network. The Yankees are coming off a win against the Angels and an off day for travel so look for them to be fresh.

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Jayson Nix LF
Chris Stewart C

Here is what we need to do to every one of those Detroit Tigers, including Jimmy Leyland.

Yankees Draft 2012 : Nick Wittgren

Being Borrowed From River Avenue Blues

The 2012 amateur draft is less than one week away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Nick Wittgren | RHP
Wittgren was raised in Lafayette, Indiana and attended Parkland Community College (Illinois) for one year before transferring to Purdue. He was a shortstop in high school and didn’t begin pitching full-time until arriving at Parkland.
Scouting Report
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 lbs., Wittgren is a career reliever and owns an 88/19 K/BB with 21 saves in 84 innings for the Boilermakers over the last two springs. Although his fastball only sits at 89-91 and touches 93 on most days, the pitch plays up and generates swings and misses because of the deception in his delivery. His power curveball in the upper-70s/low-80s gives Wittgren a legitimate put-away offering. He throws both pitches for strikes despite his relative inexperience.
Considered a 7th-10th round type of talent, Wittgren starred on the Cape Cod League last summer is exactly the type of prospect the Yankees usually target in the later rounds — a strike-throwing reliever with two good pitches and a track record of success. Slot money for the post-fifth round is under $160k and that won’t net you any future stars, but it’s a solid investment for a potentially quick-moving bullpen arm. The expected return on a pick that late is basically zero anyway.