Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Has Been Prospects Month 2015

Whew, what a month. I literally work on Prospects Month for a month or more before the month even happens. Then I work on it as much as I can throughout the month making a ton of work and a ton of content in a time when the news and content is pretty barren elsewhere. I really hope you guys enjoyed what we put together for you this month and we hope you remember who was putting in the work this offseason when other bloggers and beat writers took the winter off to hibernate.

This has been Prospects Month 2015 brought to you by The Greedy Pinstripes.

Keith Law's Top 10 Yankees Prospects List

Keith Law proved to the world that he was not very high on Yankees prospects Luis Severino, Greg Bird or Gary Sanchez earlier in the week when he released his Top 100 prospects list and ranked the Yankees farm system as a whole. The Yankees had two players that ranked in the Top 100 in Bird and Aaron Judge while Severino and Sanchez were notable omissions from the list. Law ranked the Yankees system the 20th best in Major League Baseball and yesterday evening he ranked the Top 10 Yankees prospects.

1. Aaron Judge, OF
2. Greg Bird, 1B
3. Gary Sanchez, C
4. Luis Severino, RHP
5. Tyler Austin, OF
6. Jorge Mateo, SS
7. Domingo German, RHP
8. Ian Clarkin, LHP
9. Luis Torrens, C
10. Eric Jagielo, 3B

OJ Mayo's Top 10 First Base Prospects

OJ Mayo of is at it again releasing his Top 10 prospects at every position and yesterday's position was first base. Naturally we wouldn't be here if a member of the Yankees didn't make the list but thankfully for us Greg Bird is the third best first baseman on the list. CLICK HERE for Mayo's complete list and see below for an excerpt from the article:

3. Greg Bird, Yankees
Speaking of patient hitters at the position, Bird led the Minors in walks in 2013 and has a career .407 on-base percentage heading into the 2015 season. While back issues have hampered him in the past, he's shown more than enough power for the position, including during an MVP performance in the Arizona Fall League in 2014.

Yankees unlikely to use six-man rotation this season

The idea might sound neat, but at least for now, the Yankees don't plan to use a six-man rotation this season. 

"In a perfect world, it's something that's a great concept," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Thursday. "But I think more realistic would be seeing someone taking a sixth spot and pushing a guy back or skipping a starter's turn in the rotation."

The Yankees currently have just four guaranteed starters for 2015 -- Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi. The usual fifth man of that group, Ivan Nova, is presently recovering from Tommy John surgery, and isn't expected to return until June.

So a minimum of one more spot must obviously be filled, and most speculation this winter says the next in line is either veteran lefty Chris Capuano or second-year reliever Adam Warren. After re-signing with the Yankees for $5 million in December, however, Capuano does appear to be the favorite -- given his notable experience in the role.

Still, the Yankees aren't completely discarding the concept of adding another arm after that, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild says they will look into all options early in the season. 

"We do have the opportunity, if we need a sixth starter at times, we'll probably run him out there," Rothschild said. "We're looking at 30 games in 31 days, April through May. So we'll look at a lot of different scenarios."

The Yankees have also reportedly considered Esmil Rogers, Chase Whitley and Bryan Mitchell for starting jobs in recent weeks, but chances are their futures are already known. Rogers -- the most likely of the three to make the big league squad -- will presumably head back to the bullpen this year, and Whitley and Mitchell seem set for another stint at Triple-A. 

But that doesn't mean whoever loses between Capuano and Warren will definitely be out of throwing first innings for good -- at least according to Cashman.

"If we're ever in a position where we're fortunate enough to have six quality arms that can compete for a win on a daily basis for the rotation, I think we'lll be in the position to implement that," Cashman said. "But first things first."

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: Luis Severino

Luis Severino is the Top and best Yankees prospect. Everyone knew it coming in and everyone knows it now. I won't build it up because everyone knows the deal. Congratulations to Severino. 

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Severino:

Current Level/Age: AA/20.9, 6’0/195, R/R
Signed: IFA at age 17 on December 26, 2011 out of Dominican Republic by NYY for $225,000 bonus
Fastball: 65/70, Slider: 40/50+, Changeup: 50/60, Command: 40/50

Scouting Report: Severino wasn’t a high profile signing, but stood out to me in instructs the fall after his 2012 stint in the Dominican Summer League. He sat 92-94 mph in both outings I saw and threw a solid average slider, but didn’t work in a changeup and his delivery/command needed work. That said, he was a loose athlete and definitely an arm to watch; many big league arms looked like this at age 18. Clips from these two 2012 instructs outings are at the end of the video while the beginning and bulk of the video is from a 2014 instructs outing.

In the two year interim between the video clips, Severino grew from his listed 6’0/195, getting a little taller, stronger and generally more physically mature. In the 2012 video, his mechanics needed work and in 2014 he’s made almost all the necessary adjustments: he was more upright at release with a shorter stride, worse posture at release and this inefficiency led to less explosion, less stuff and less command.Severino Load
Severino was mostly 91-95 mph in 2013 and early in 2014, then got stronger as the year went on, flashing 94-97 mph heat at times later in the year and sustaining it for innings. For about 40 pitches in the 2014 instructs in the video, he sat 94-97, with no fastball below 93 mph. It’s obvious that maturing physically and mechanically in those two years is a positive indicator, but one of the things that stood out to me from the beginning with Severino is how quickly he loads his arm. In the picture to the right, you can see his arm in the loaded position with his foot still a couple frames from hitting the ground.
I’m not a doctor, but the short version is that if that when the front foot plants and the hips are about to explode toward the plate, if the arm isn’t in the right place, the body takes it along for a ride anyway. 

So, if the arm isn’t ready yet, it goes sailing through the throwing motion with lots of stress, which is really bad, both for command and health. Many relievers create arm speed by doing this and that’s part of the reason they get injured so often and typically have bad command.
This sort of thing happens more often with a high effort delivery and Severino’s is pretty easy, though there’s a little stiffness in the finish at times. I don’t usually break down mechanics like this, but throwing 94-97 mph regularly with some command and not cheating via loading the arm late is very rare.  It bodes well for health and usually is seen in pitchers with “pure” velocity and quick-twitchiness and they’re often starting pitchers, like Yordano Ventura and Pedro Martinez. Pedro is an all-timer, but multiple Yankee execs mentioned Ventura as a comparable for Severino, though they were quick to caution to not raise expectations too high. Yankee fans would never do that, though.

Severino took quickly to using a changeup regularly after arriving in America, developing it as a plus pitch in about a year of using it, though it can sometimes play to 55 on certain days, as he’s still developing consistent control of his off-speed offerings. His slider is still a third pitch, but it flashes 55 at times. The concern is that he’s throwing one pitch and, in the 2014 outing in the video, the velocity of it ranged from 82-91 mph, looking like a cutter, slider and a hybrid third pitch between them. He “accidentally” threw a 91 mph pure cutter one time in the outing that was plus, further underlining the arm talent but lack of feel for how to consistently spin the above average breaker that he clearly has in there somewhere.

Summation: Severino should spend 2015 in the upper levels of the minors and be ready for a big league audition either late in 2015 or at some point in 2016; that’ll likely depend on his performance and the needs of the big club. There’s still some markers here that make some scouts say reliever and that may be how he breaks into the big leagues, but the Yankees see starter all the way. Severino’s ability to make adjustments to his delivery and repertoire along with the good health indicators of his delivery suggest he’ll figure out a way to stay in the rotation, with the upside of a #2 starter and realistic outcome of closer or #3 starter. For reference, scouts think there are 8-12 number one starters at any given time (5+ WAR) and maybe 15-20 number two’s (4 WAR); these numbers are a guide rather than a rule.

FV/Role/Risk: 60, #3 starter, Medium (3 on 1-5 scale)
Projected Path: 2015: AA/AAA, 2016: AAA/MLB

1. Luis Severino
2. Aaron Judge
3. Greg Bird
4. Jorge Mateo
5. Robert Refsnyder
6. Gary Sanchez
7. Jacob Lindgren
8. Ian Clarkin
9. John Ryan Murphy
10. Luis Torrens
11. Tyler Austin
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Miguel Andujar
14. Eric Jagielo
15. Jake Cave
16. Austin DeCarr
17. Tyler Wade
18. Juan DeLeon
19. Dante Bichette Jr.
20. Domingo German
21. Slade Heathcott
22. Nick Rumbelow
23. Jose Ramirez
24. Ramon Flores
25. Gosuke Katoh
26. Chasen Shreve
27. Taylor Dugas

28. Johnny Barbato

Meet a Prospect: George Steinbrenner

Honestly, at least in my generation, there would be no New York Yankees (relevant anyway) and there would be no Greedy Pinstripes if it were not for George Steinbrenner. The Boss was the Yankees for a long time and one of the most recognized faces in the game. We love The Boss, he's showcased in our logo on Donald Trump's body, and we finish Prospects Month here with the showcase to the Boss. Enjoy!

George Michael Steinbrenner III is the final Meet A Prospect post that we will do for Prospects Month on The Greedy Pinstripes. The Boss was born on July 4, 1930 and passed to hang with the baseball Gods on July 13, 2010. George bought the New York Yankees organization in 1973 and held the ownership for 37 years until his death and subsequent transfer of ownership to his sons Hank and Hal, who we also showcased in our Meet A Prospect series this week. George would see the Yankees win seven World Series championships and 11 American League pennants in his tenure as the Yankees owner, the longest tenure in club history. George was not always the "hands on" owner, fiery figure head, and one to meddle in every day operations, drive up players prices, and investigate free agents before signing them. George was not always the one to hire, fire, and re-hire managers at an alarming rate. Let's meet George Steinbrenner before he was known as "The Boss."

George was born in Bay Village, Ohio as the only son of Rita Haley Steinbrenner and Henry George Steinbrenner II. His mother was an Irish immigrant who had her name changed from O'Haley to Haley and his father was of German descent who eventually made his name in the freight shipping business. George III was named after his paternal grandfather, George Michael Steinbrenner II, and had two younger sisters growing up, Susan and Judy. George spent his college years at the Culver Military Academy starting in 1944 and graduated in 1948 only to go back to college to get his B.A. from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1952. George was quite the social butterfly and athlete in school with highlights such as being a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, being a very successful hurdler on the varsity track and field team, played piano in the band, played halfback on the football team his senior year, and served as the field editor for The Williams Record. After college George immediately joined the United States Air Force and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. George would have an honorable discharge in 1954 and would go back to school to complete his masters degree in physical education at Ohio State University. 

While at Ohio State George would be the coaches assistant in the year the Ohio State Buckeyes would go undefeated and win the Rose Bowl and National Championship in 1954.George would meet his soon to be wife, Elizabeth Joan Zieg, in Columbus, Ohio in 1956 and would marry and have two sons, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner. They also had two daughters Jessica Steinbrenner and Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal. In 1957 Steinbrenner would join the Kinsman Marine Transit Company, a company his great grandfather Henry purchased in 1901, and would be rebuilt and revitalized before George would purchase the company a few years later from his family. George would later buy the American Shipbuilding Company and see annual revenue sales soar over $100,000,000. Steinbrenner did not initially use that new found wealth to get into baseball though because his first sports team investment was the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League against the advice of his father. The Pipers would hire the first African American coach in professional basketball in John McClendon and would see an ABL Championship in the 1961-1962 season before the ABL folded in 1962. Steinbrenner paid his debts and took his talents to Broadway briefly in a 1967 play named The Ninety Day Mistress, the 1974 Tony Award nominated Seesaw, and the 1988 Legs Diamond play.

In 1971 George Steinbrenner attempted to buy the Cleveland Indians and failed but would buy the New York Yankees from CBS, with help from investors, in January of 1973. The original sale of the organization was $10,000,000 but the deal included two parking garages that CBS bought back after the deal was final for $1,200,000 making the final total for George and company coming in at $8,800,000. George wasted no time causing controversy and hiring and firing personnel as he went through 20 managers in his first 23 seasons including hiring and firing Billy Martin five times and went through 11 general managers in 30 seasons. George did win two World Series in 1977 and 1978 behind Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson though while the Bronx was Burning. George also ruled with an iron fist creating the policy that all Yankees players, managers, and male executives were forbidden to have any facial hair other than a mustache and Yankees players hair was not allowed to touch the collar of the shirt, which is still the Yankees policy today. George and his policy is the reason that Goose Gossage grew, and still has to this day, the extreme mustache that he has now after George forced Gossage to shave the beard that he was growing in 1983. Don Mattingly was even benched in 1991 after refusing to cut his mullet hair cut that did not fall within Yankees policy which causes a media backlash. Mattingly would not learn from the incident though as he would be back in the Yankees facial hair spotlight as he started to grow a goatee in 1995 and saw Mattingly trim it to just a mustache.

George also caused a ton of talk after handing out Dave Winfield a 10 year contract worth $23,000,000 making him the highest paid player in the game at the time. George bashed Winfield in the 1985 season after a poor September performance calling Winfield "Mr. May" and saying that the Yankees needed a "Mr. September or Mr. November, not a Mr. May." This criticism would cause players like Ken Griffey Jr. to publicly state that he would never play for the New York Yankees because of George Steinbrenner. On July, 30 1990 George was officially banned from the game permanently as far as day to day operations go by MLB commissioner Fay Vincent for paying a gambler to "dig up dirt" on Winfield. Winfield was suing the Yankees because they did not contribute $300,000 to his foundation which was a stipulation of his 10 year contract. These were just some of the reasons that Winfield went into the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Padre and no a member of the New York Yankees. With George out of the game how would baseball, and specifically the Yankees, respond you ask? Keep reading...

George was reinstated back into baseball in time for the 1993 season and it was just in time for the 1994 MLB strike and the beginning of a Yankees dynasty. George was willing to leave the day to day operations to Gene Michael these days and even got behind a Yankees farm system and letting players like Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada to develop rather than be traded for veteran players. George saw this new found patience pay off as the Yankees were in the AL East chase all the way until September before losing the title to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees were also leading the AL East before the 1994 strike wiped all the hard work away, the season, and for the second time ever the World Series. Obviously anyone reading this knows the rest as we saw the Yankees make the playoffs for the first time since 1981 when they were the first Wild Card winner in the 1995 season and saw the Yankees win World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009. The Yankees made the playoffs ever year from 1995 - 2009 except for the 2008 season, Joe Girardi's first season, and saw World Series losses in the 2001 and 2003 Fall Classics.

George would officially retire from being the Yankees principal owner and would transfer the day to day operations to his sons, Hank and Hal, in 2006. From 2006 until his eventual death in 2010 George spent most of his time at his home in Tampa, Florida while rarely showing his face at the stadium or giving interviews and sound bites. George did make a special appearance at the 78th Annual MLB All Star Game which was held in Yankees Stadium in it's final season in 2008 in the Bronx. George was wearing dark sunglasses and walked slowly onto the field with the help of many people helping him walk. George would get one last ring in 2009 and was presented with the ring in person by Derek Jeter and manager Joe Girardi on April 13, 2010 in his stadium suite leaving, according to reports, Steinbrenner almost speechless. Steinbrenner, if anyone, deserved this private ceremony as he built the Yankees brand to the first sports team to have a net worth over $1,000,000,000 plus having a $1,200,000,000 television network aptly named the Yankees Entertainment and Sports network, or the YES Network.

George died on July 13, 2010, the same day as the 81st annual All Star Game, at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Tampa due to a heart attack. His death came just nine days after his 80th birthday and just two days after long time Yankees announcer Bob Shepard passed away. The Yankees would wear a patch honoring Steinbrenner and Shepard from July 14th until the end of the 2010 season to commemorate these two Yankees legends. The Steinbrenner family also added a monument in Monument Park to honor their late family member in September of 2010 to honor George. George was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Trinity, Florida. The Boss, Manager George, George Steinbrenner, whatever you call him or known him as you know he will never be forgotten, replaced, or emulated. May George rest in peace now.

We want to take this time to honor and thank George Steinbrenner for everything he did as the owner of the Yankees. If it were not for Steinbrenner the Yankees would not be who they are today, both in class and in championships, and we would not be the site that we are today. The Yankees would not be the financial super power they are today, would not be as respected league wide as they are today, and may have went by the wayside in the 70's and 80's if it were not for the boss. Thank you George and I hope you are reading this from up in Heaven, we love you!

Looking at the 2015 Draft: Number 1

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #1 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #1 prospect, Brendan Rodgers. If Rogers name looks familiar it's because it is. I am a complete idiot and had him ranked as the #4 prospect. He wasn't the #4 prospect, Walker Buehler was. Rodgers is at the top of the list so once again, here we go. 

Here is the write up from

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60

Rodgers is bidding to become the first high school shortstop to go No. 1 overall in the Draft since the Astros selected Carlos Correa in 2012. That's fitting, because he drives the ball with more consistency than any prep shortstop since Correa.

A Florida State recruit, Rodgers has gotten considerably stronger in the last year and he generates power with an easy, compact stroke. He doesn't have to muscle up to hit home runs, and his bat speed and all-fields approach bode well for his ability to hit for average as a pro.

A quality athlete with solid speed and above-average arm strength, Rodgers should be able to remain at shortstop. He has soft hands and good instincts in the field. His all-around toolset is reminiscent of that of Addison Russell, who went 11th overall in the 2012 draft to the Athletics and joined the Cubs as part of the Jeff Samardzija trade last July.

1. Brendan Rodgers
2. Michael Matuella
3. Brady Aiken
4. Walker Buehler
5. Nathan Kirby
6. Kyle Funkhouser
7. Kolby Allard
8. Daz Cameron
9. Dansby Swanson
10. Ashe Russell
11. Justin Hooper
12. Carson Fulmer
13. Alex Bregman
14. Nick Plummer
15. Trenton Clark
16. Ian Happ
17. Phil Bickford
18. Mike Nikorak
19. Kyle Cody
20. Cody Ponce
21. Riley Ferrell
22. Chris Betts
23. James Kaprielian
24. Jake Lemoine
25. Beau Burrows
26. Richie Martin
27. Kyle Tucker
28. D.J. Stewart

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano to Meet in Third-Annual Dover vs. Pocono Celebrity Softball Game

Trenton Thunder to Host Game on April 21

Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway will meet for the third time in their annual Dover vs. Pocono Celebrity Softball Game, featuring the two most recent winners of the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014) and Joey Logano (2015). The game will be played at ARM & HAMMER Park, the home of the Trenton (N.J.) Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.
Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS, is scheduled to captain Team Pocono, while Logano, who pilots the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Fusion, will lead Team Dover. The softball series between the two tracks is currently tied at one game apiece. Pocono came from behind to win the inaugural game in 2012 and Dover evened the score with a walk-off victory two years ago.
In addition to Earnhardt and Logano, the rosters from each team will be made up of members of national and local motorsports media, as well as other local media personalities, and a few other special guests.
Access to the celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to the April 21 matchup between the Thunder and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Tickets for the Trenton Thunder's baseball game start at just $11, and all children ages 12 and younger receive a free hot dog, popcorn and drink. Additionally, it will be "1-Dollar Dog Night" for all fans, courtesy of Black Bear Franks. Tickets for the Thunder game are currently on sale for groups of 20 or more and for ticket plans; individual game tickets will available beginning March 14For tickets to this special event, please call 1-609-394-3300 or visit

Gates for the softball game will open at 4 p.m. with the event beginning at 4:30 p.m. Following the softball game, time permitting, Earnhardt and Logano will throw out the first pitch for that evening's 7 p.m. baseball game versus the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Throughout both the softball and baseball games, both tracks will be promoting and giving away tickets to their respective NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races being held on Sunday, May 31 (Dover) and June 7 (Pocono).
NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway May 29-31, 2015 and includes the May 29 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the May 30 "Buckle Up 200 Presented by Click It or Ticket" NASCAR XFINITY Series race and the May 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, which will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET. For race tickets or more information, call 1-800-441-RACE or visit
Just one week later, NASCAR's premier series heads to Pocono Raceway for the June 5-7, 2015 Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 race weekend. In addition to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET), the race weekend includes the June 6"Pocono 200" ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards race. For race tickets or more information, call 1-800-RACEWAY or visit
All dates, times and attendees are subject to change without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are sponsors of this promotional event.

This Day in New York Yankees History 2/28: Cocaine is a hell of a Drug

Last day in February and last day of Prospects Month, let's go out with a bang.

On this day in 2000 Yankees outfielder and DH Darryl Strawberry is suspended for one year after testing positive for cocaine last month. Bud Selig would not allow Strawberry back early from the suspension based on good behavior. This would essentially mark the end of Strawberry's career.