Thursday, November 13, 2014

TBT Meet a Prospect: Nick Swisher Edition

Since this was the day back in 2008 that the New York Yankees traded for Nick Swisher and since it’s Throwback Thursday I figured why not take a look back at our Meet a Prospect post for Swisher. Enjoy.

Nick Swisher was born on November 25th 1980 in Columbus Ohio. Swisher is the son of former catcher Steve Swisher who played in carious National League teams in parts of  the 70's and 80's. After his parents divorced when he was 11 years old he went to live with his grandmother, who he claims to be the closest person to him. Swisher honors his grandparent, who are now both passed away, by looking up into the sky before every single pitch. We all in Yankee land and The Greedy Pinstripes thank her for that because without her we might not have had Nick Swisher to be talking about in our next edition of Meet a Prospect, the special edition.

Swisher was a two sport star in Parkersburg High School, where he played both football in baseball and Swisher also lettered in basketball. After being recruited as a Strong Safety by many team, including Notre Dame, he decided to quit football and pursue his baseball career. He was not selected in the draft after his high school years so Swisher decided to go to College at Ohio State University.

At Ohio State he was named Big 10 Freshmen of the Year in 2000 and was a All Big 10 selection in his Sophomore season of 2001 while leading the league with 15 home runs. After his college career he was drafted by the Oakland A's in the first round of the 2002 MLB First Year Players draft using a compensation pick for losing Johnny Damon in free agency. Swisher was the first draft class that the popular term "money ball" was used in as Swisher was one of the few players that sabermetric heads and traditional scouts could agree on.

Swisher had a minor league career that was pretty much run of the mill to be completely honest. His own shining star was his 102 walks, which led the league, in the 2005 minor league season. Swisher made his major league debut in September of 2004. 

Swisher has done okay as a major leaguer with his shining achievement being his World Series ring he now wears from the Yankees 2009 World Series team and his sole all-star selection in 2010 for the Yankees. He also married television Actress, and hottie (see in Yankees wives and girlfriends section of the site), Joanna Garcia. All the time he still had time to have his own foundation called "Swish's Wishes", which I highly recommend everyone check out, that helps children who are facing medical crises.  

Yankees, Mets Both Showing Interest in Drew

The Yankees and Mets are both showing interest in Free Agent Shortstop Stephen Drew, The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports.

Drew, 31, is coming off a rough 2014, a season in which he didn't even sign with a team until May 20. He was traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees in July, hitting .176 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI with them in 39 games.

From Sherman's piece:

"Both New York teams are looking into the shortstop market trying to improve on what they have – Wilmer Flores for the Mets and Brendan Ryan for the Yankees. Both clubs appreciate this could be a drawn-out process that perhaps does not even get resolved by the Winter Meetings next month.
And both see Drew as a guy who could linger on this market as an alternative if other avenues close."
Those other avenues likely consist of Korean stud Jung-Ho Kang and ex-Dodger Hanley Ramirez for the Yankees, both of whom are expected to ask for a lot this winter. Yankees' GM Brian Cashman recently said that he doesn't plan to pursue this offseason's top pitchers, but has yet to mention his stance on offensive players.
The Yankees are looking to fill the position left by Derek Jeter, who retired this September after two decades in their uniform.

Yankees Bring Back Prospects, Lose Prospects

Just a quick catch me up regarding what the Yankees are doing down on their farm system this offseason.

 - New York has re-signed minor league free agent Ali Castillo for at least one more season. Castillo has been playing shortstop in Double-A Trenton and has been lighting up the ball in Winter Ball this season.

 - Fellow shortstop Walter Ibarra left the Yankees and has signed on with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a minor league deal. Yeah, like they need more shortstops.

 - Zoilo Almonte has signed a major league deal with the Atlanta Braves. World War Z is local for me now. Chien Ming Wang will be joining him in Atlanta on a minor league deal.

 - Russ Canzler has been in the Yankees system for two straight seasons but now finds himself with the Philadelphia Phillies.


Los Angeles – The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announced the winners in its Cy Young category Wednesday, with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw winning the group’s National League award, and Felix Hernandez, of the Seattle Mariners, being selected in the American League.
Kershaw, in winning his second straight IBWAA Cy Young election, was a unanimous selection, receiving all 158 first-place votes.
Hernandez received 69 first-place votes, 815 points, and was named on 156 ballots. Kluber received 75 first-place votes, 765 points, while being named on 149 ballots.
Election results are as follows:
NL Cy Young
1st Place:                  Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – unanimous, 1106 points
nd Place:                 
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds – 513 points
3rd Place:                  
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals – 470 points
4th Place:                  Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants – 179 points
5th Place:                  Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals – 73 points
AL Cy Young
1st Place:                  Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – 69 first-place votes, 815 points
nd Place:                 
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians – 75 first-place votes, 765 points
3rd Place:                  Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox – 11 first-place votes, 435 points
4th Place:                  Jon Lester, Oakland Athletics – 221 points
5th Place:                  Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers – two first-place votes, 192 points
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates, using the Borda Method.
Below is the remaining IBWAA Awards announcement schedule:
MVP, Thursday, November 13, 2014, 11:00 a.m. PST.
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
In 2010, the IBWAA began voting in its own relief pitcher category, establishing the Rollie Fingers American League Relief Pitcher of the Year and the Hoyt Wilhelm National League Relief Pitcher of the Year Awards.

Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Jim Caple, Mike Petriello, David Schoenfield, Mark A. Simon andDan Szymborski,; Kevin Baxter Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck,; Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; King Kaufman, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy, Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Jonah Keri, Grantland; Vlae Kershner,; Chuck Culpepper and Will Leitch, Sports on Earth; Jill Painter Lopez,, Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder,; Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News; Eno Sarris and Wendy Thurm, FanGraphs; Tom Hoffarth and J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Pedro Moura, Orange County Register; Neil Payne,, Tracy Ringolsby,, Ken Rosenthal,, Dan Schlossberg, USA Today and Jesse Spector, Sporting News.
Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20, or $35 lifetime. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit


Howard Cole
Founding Director, IBWAA

Are Chris Young's Incentives Achievable?

The Associated Press released the details of fourth outfielder Chris Young's contract Tuesday and we reported it here on the blog. This got me thinking, are Chris Young's incentives actually achievable? If the Yankees plan on contending in 2015 then I would hope not.

If Young achieves his incentives, seen below, that means that Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and/or Brett Gardner are injured and/or not playing up to par. There is absolutely no reason that Young should get 300 at bats for the Yankees next season let alone the 550 and 600 at bats mark.

Once again courtesy of the AP here are the details of the contract:

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Young can earn up to $6,325,000 under his one-year contract with the New York Yankees.
The outfielder is guaranteed a $2.5 million salary under the deal announced Sunday and can make $3,825,000 more in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.
Young would earn $150,000 for 250, $200,000 for 275, $300,000 for 300, $350,000 for 350, $375,000 each for 375 and 400, $475,000 for 450, $500,000 for 500 and $550,000 each for 550, and 600.

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Will Hire a Hitting Coach This Week

The New York Yankees are still without a hitting coach but I predict that they will sign one by the end of the day Sunday, November 16.

Vote in our poll!!

Kenta Maeda Just Got Expensive This Week

As many of you know there is a Japan All Star Series going on right now between players from Major League Baseball and the players from Japan. The ace of the Japanese pitching staff is Kenta Maeda who is expected to be posted this winter in search of a major league contract. Maeda had one more shot to showcase his talents for major league scouts and teams as he started the first game of the Japan All Star Series and he made the most of it.

Maeda pitched five scoreless innings as Japan beat the USA 2-0 in the first of a five game series between the two clubs. Maeda only gave up two hits while striking out two and walking two in Osaka, Japan in the Kyocera Dome in front of a crowd of 33,000. Robinson Cano singled in the first inning and Dexter Fowler doubled in the fifth inning for the only damage the Major League Baseball All Stars could muster off the right hander.

Maeda made the most of it against major league caliber hitters on a semi-big stage. While I don’t read too much into this outing as these players have not played in two months it still speaks volumes for Maeda. He proved in this start that his stuff is good enough to get major league players out and that just possibly made him really expensive. Good for him. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/13: Enter Nick Swisher

On this day in 2008 the Yankees landed right fielder Nick Swisher and AAA right handed pitcher Kaneoka Teixeira from the Chicago White Sox for pitching prospects Jeffrey Marquez and Johnny Nunez, as well as infielder Wilson Betemit.

Also on this day in 1998 the first home run ever hit in Yankees Stadium, thrown by Red Sox pitcher Howard Ehmke and hit by none other than Babe Ruth, was sold at auction for $126,500. Mark Scala was the seller after finding the historic ball in his grandmother’s attic.

Also on this day in 1978 the Yankees signed free agent pitcher Luis Tiant to a two year deal worth $875,000.

Finally on this day in 1931 the Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert would buy the International League's team out in Newark, New Jersey. The Newark Bears funneled many good players to the Yankees big league club while under Ruppert's watchful eye.