Friday, February 1, 2013

Yankees Make It Official With DH Travis Hafner

The New York Yankees have officially signed Travis Hafner to be their designated hitter this season just 11 days shy of the opening of Spring Training camp. Travis passed a physical so the health, for now anyway, seems to be there after right knee meniscus surgery shortened his 2012 campaign. Hafner signed a one year contract worth up to $4 million after what the Yankees call $2 million in "reachable incentives" thrown in there. Hafner will be entering his age 35 season and will be our primary DH for 2013, especially against right handed pitching.

Travis Hafner has a left handed power swing that was made for the new Yankees Stadium and takes his walks, 12.7% BB ratio in the last three seasons, so he seems like a perfect fit when healthy. Hafner has hit .278/.385/.470 over the last three seasons against right handed pitching and has put up a triple slash of .267/.363/.447 overall over those same three seasons. The only thing that will keep Travis Hafner from being the next Raul Ibanez in the Bronx will be his health as he has only played more then 95 games once in the last five seasons, that one season being in 2010.  He will not steal bases and he will not play the field but "Pronk" will crush the ball and that is something we desperately need right now.

Yankees Designate Russ Canzler For Assignment

The Yankees have announced that they have designed former Indians player Russ Canzler for assignment after making their contract with another former Indians player, Travis Hafner, official today. This will be the fourth time that Russ has been designated for assignment this off season. Entering his age 26 season I really had high hopes of him making the team and making a big splash, especially with the 2014 plan looming, but what can you do. No way he clears waivers so this is officially goodbye to Russ Canzler.

The Greedy Pinstripes Top 25 Prospect List

I have decided in honor of "prospect month" on The Greedy Pinstripes for the month of February that I would wait until now to post my own personal Top 25 prospects list. Love it or hate it but either way here it goes. Here is a little bit of a spoiler, I am guaranteed to turn some heads with my #1 selection.

25. Corey Black

24. Matt Tracy

23. Adam Warren

22. Nick Goody

21. JR Murphy

20. Cito Culver

19. Corban Joseph

18. Austin Romine

17. Bryan Mitchell

16. Greg Bird

15. Dante Bichette Jr. 

14. David Adams

13. Nik Turley

12. Jose A. Ramirez

11. Angelo Gumbs

10. Mark Montgomery

9. Ty Hensley

8. Brett Marshall

7. Manny Banuelos

6. Rafael DePaula

5. Jose Campos

4. Slade Heathcott

3. Mason Williams

2. Gary Sanchez

1. Tyler Austin

Meet A Prospect : Greg Bird

Gregory Paul Bird was born on November, 9th 1992 in Aurora, Colorado and attended Grandview High School in Aurora. Greg Bird will be entering his age 20 season in 2013 and will be bringing a great frame with him, towering in at 6'3" and 224 lbs with a classic power hitters swing to go with it from the left side. He may be the best pure hitter, when healthy of course, that we have had in the system since some guy named Jesus used to wear the pinstripes. Bird was drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 MLB First Year Players Draft after signing a $1.1 million deal with the Yankees, bypassing a commitment to Arkansas University.

Greg hit an astonishing .553 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs in his final season for Grandview before being drafted in the 2011 draft. He was always projected to be a first basemen in the Majors because he is really a big guy to be a catcher with his 6'3" frame. After missing most of the 2011 season with an injury and a back injury that had Greg Bird missing a huge chunk of 2012 the Yankees decided to move him from catcher to first base and saw immediate dividends from it.

In 2011Bird only got in 4 games for the Gulf Coast Yankees since going down to the wire before signing for first round money and hit an unimpressive .083/.154/.083 with a .237 OPS after only collecting one hit in twelve at bats. In 2012 Bird split his time between the Gulf Coast League Yankees and the Staten Island Yankees hitting a combined .337/.450/.494 with a .944 OPS in 28 games which included 30 hits, 23 strike outs, and 17 walks.

ETA: Late 2016