Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 MLB Draft: Final Scores

by: Ben Embry

Well...better late than never. I've been sitting on this since the weekend and am finally ready to just push it out on the street.  Following the draft, I scored each team's haul using my top 200 prospect list. Each player was assigned a separate score based on their rank and the team's total was the accumulation of all the players they drafted. But we all know not all players sign, so a more relevant score would be is the one after adjusting for those unsigned.  Below you'll see four columns for each team: pool, drafted, signed, and efficiency. The pool column represents the value of all of the picks had going into the draft; the draft column is the accumulated value of all of the players drafted; and the signed column is for all of the players they eventually signed.  Finally the efficiency % is based on their eventual haul compared to the pool they had to work with.  As you'll see, there were interesting variations between the three score columns.

Team Pool Draft Signed Eff. %
HOU 1 1 1 7
COL 2 3 2 8
TEX 5 4 3 4
ARI 3 5 4 10
MIL 7 2 5 3
TB 21 7 6 2
CIN 9 12 7 14
SF 8 11 8 16
CLE 14 10 9 11
CHW 23 14 10 5
LAD 15 6 11 12
CHC 10 9 12 17
NYY 6 15 13 21
MIN 12 13 14 18
ATL 4 16 15 23
STL 19 8 16 15
BOS 20 17 17 13
PIT 11 18 18 20
PHI 13 19 19 19
OAK 24 21 20 6
KC 16 20 21 22
TOR 25 22 22 9
SD 29 24 23 1
BAL 22 25 24 25
DET 17 23 25 26
LAA 26 27 26 28
MIA 18 28 27 30
SEA 27 26 28 24
WAS 28 29 29 29
NYM 30 30 30 27

The efficiency ratings were better than I anticipated.  There were 6 players from the top 200 that went undrafted and 40 of the ones that were declined to sign.  Yet 8 teams, which is roughly 1/4 of the league, scored more points than the value of their slotted picks.

Know this: this scoring system is strictly about accumulating the most talent.  The Yankees, finishing 13th in the league, accumulated a roughly median amount of talent.  Because they started with the 6th best pool, they fell in the bottom 1/3 in efficiency.  Of the 6 players the Yankees drafted from the Top 200, (Kaprielian, Holder, Finley, Degano, Gilliam, and Hendrix), only Finley and Gilliam were came at a premium, which is to say they were drafted lower than their rank.  Hendrix was the biggest "reach", being drafted at 123 despite being ranked 193.  Getting Gilliam with the 603 pick, who was ranked 186, was the best value. 

Looking at the rest of the league, Houston clearly had the best draft.  In fact, the Astros accumulated 32% more points than Colorado, who had the second best draft.  Having the 2nd and 5th picks helped obviously, but the move to give 37th overall pick Daz Cameron some of the savings from those picks was the checkmate.  Colorado, Texas, and Arizona were also able to convert top 5 pools into top 5 classes.  Arizona should have done even better, but for some reason they left $1.7 million in pool money on the table.

Tip of the hat to San Diego, who used their pool most efficiently.  The ended up with the 23rd best class, which doesn't sound like much until you realize they had the second smallest pool to work with.  Getting 38th ranked Jacob Nix at pick number 86 was a tremendous value pick.  Tampa Bay also did tremendously well, converting the 21st best pool in the draft into the 6th best class.  They got 22nd ranked Chris Betts at pick 52 and 45th ranked Joe McCarthy at 148.

Atlanta had the most disappointing draft, in my opinion.  The finished in the middle of the pack despite having the 4th largest pool.  Ironically they signed all of their draft picks, they just whiffed severely on two of their picks; they took 65th ranked Mike Soroka with the 28th pick and 136th ranked Austin Riley with the 41st pick.

I'll be back with my mid-season top 30 Yankees prospects after the signing deadline passes.  I'm ready now, but have a feeling a couple of these kids may be gone so I'll hold off.

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins 7/24

Hello Yankees family and welcome to the game thread for tonight, It is an hour later than it should be but it is game time nonetheless. The New York Yankees made the trip to Minnesota and Target Field to take on the Minnesota Twins this weekend in what could potentially be a big series for both ball clubs. The Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound looking to win back the “Big Mike” moniker while Phil Hughes looks for a big start against the team that drafted and developed him. The game will be played at 8:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

The Yankees are out on the road for a considerable amount of time giving you plenty of time to click that Yankees Tickets link at the top of the blog and purchase a pair for when the team comes back home to the Bronx. While you wait for the team to come back to Yankee Stadium jump on twitter and give @GreedyStripes a follow to root for the home team while they are away on the road.

Pineda and Hughes should be a fun one for the fans so let’s get to it. Go Yankees!

MLB Trade Deadline Could Be Moved Back From July 31st

Commissioner Rob Manfred hasn’t been on the job for a calendar year yet and has already made radical changes to the replay system and other facets of today’s game. Commissioner Manfred wants to continue making changes to the game including holding exhibition games inside Cuba, expanding from 30 MLB teams, possibly expanding playoff formats and moving back the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline.

With the addition of the second Wild Card playoff team in both leagues there are more buyers than ever and not nearly enough sellers in the trading market every year leading Manfred to at least discuss the possibility of moving the deadline back. The July trading deadline was first seen in 1920 after the rest of the American League owners feared the New York Yankees financial advantage in the wake of the Babe Ruth purchase/acquisition. Although no date was officially set in stone until 1923, when teams could not trade after June 15th, the deadline was active and unchanged until 1986. In 1986 the deadline was moved back to where it stands now, July 31st, as a part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The new deadline, which could conveniently come with the new CBA that expires after the 2016 season, could be set somewhere around August 15th giving the contenders and the pretenders two additional weeks to figure themselves out and evaluate before making potential franchise changing decisions. Honestly, and this is just my opinion, how many times have we seen a team sell off a few pieces at the end of July only to climb back into things by mid-August? Never? Once? I’m all for changes that help the game but I am very much against change for the sake of change and this may be just that. Again, just my opinion but this isn’t an issue I see myself beating a drum for. Remember, there are plenty of trades that happen between August 1st and August 31st through the waiver trading deadline and even trades happen into September when players become ineligible for the postseason. It happens, it’s always happened and I don’t see a need in changing it now.

Just my two pennies.

Houston Buying Early Helps The Yankees

Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics are no strangers to jumping the gun and setting the tone and the market around this time every single season and the 2015 season will be no exception. Yesterday the Athletics made one of probably many trades this season when they sent left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros for a pair of minor league players. This news is both good and bad for the Yankees as New York has shown at least minimal interest in acquiring Kazmir before the deadline and he is now off their board. The good news for the Yankees is that this presumably takes one more team out of the running for Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and David Price.

It is far from set in stone that New York will even acquire a starting pitcher at this year’s trading deadline and if they did it would have to be on their terms. New York is not going to part with Luis Severino and they’re not going to part with Aaron Judge so the Yankees are unlikely to acquire a big-time starting pitcher anyway or a rental. Taking Houston out of the mix, who was said to be interested in all three of the aforementioned pitchers, can do one of two things. It can raise the price initially as supply and demand fluctuates but it also lowers the pool of interested teams.

Let’s fathom this for a second, Cueto is going to be traded and so is Price because they have expiring contracts but Hamels may not since he is due so much money for so many years on the wrong side of 30 years old. Cueto and Price will now become uber-expensive but honestly unless a team comes out of left field and shocks Ruben Amaro Jr. with an overpayment I believe Hamels just got less expensive. The amount of teams that have legitimate prospects and the ability to absorb a large contract just got smaller with Houston’s acquisition of Kazmir.

Will this push Hamels into the Yankees arm in a deal centered around Robert Refsnysder, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird? Maybe, maybe not but the acquisition of Kazmir by the Astros and the subsequent acquisitions of Cueto and Price could continue to drive the price down for the Yankees and drive Hamels from Philadelphia up to the Bronx just in time for another World Series run. 

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins 7/24

Tonight an old foe and an old nemesis face off head-to-head tonight in Minnesota as the Minnesota Twins play host to the New York Yankees. This will be an entertaining matchup tonight as former Yankees top prospect and pitching star Phil Hughes takes the mound to face off with current Yankees pitching star Michael Pineda. The game will be played in Minnesota’s Target Field at 8:10 pm ET and can be seen on the YES Network and MLB TV.

  • Pineda has alternated quality dominating starts with mediocre starts ever since the Yankees started messing around with his routine. New York has skipped starts of Pineda’s to limit his innings and pushed him back days with a sixth starter and Pineda has suffered since his 16-strikeout afternoon on May 10th, Mother’s Day 2015. Pineda has been good against Minnesota in his career sporting a 1.64 ERA so maybe tonight we’ll be treated to a dominating start and not a mediocre one.

  • Hughes makes his first start against his former team this season after two lackluster performances in 2014 against the Yankees. Hughes owns a career 5.65 ERA against New York in two starts but he does own a very respectable 3.13 ERA over his last eight starts. Whether “Homer Hughes” of “Philthy Phil” shows up tonight is anyone’s guess but I am definitely hoping for the former and not the latter.

This should be an interesting series for both clubs because both teams are contending in 2015. The Minnesota Twins have long been like the little brother that always gets picked on and beat up to the New York Yankees but Minnesota is in that stage now where they are growing up and getting old and mature enough to defend themselves. New York needs another series win and no win would be sweeter than top get one against their former teammate in Hughes. We may also see Eduardo Nunez lose a helmet or 12 while running down the baseline which always makes for good television. Go Yankees!

Remembering Yankees of the Past: Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes starts tonight against the team that drafted and developed him as a member of the Minnesota Twins giving us an opportunity to look back and remember a Yankee of the past. Hughes was a member of the Yankees big league club from 2007 through the 2013 season after being drafted by the club in the 2004 MLB First Year Players Draft. Hughes had a lot of good times in New York and he had a lot of bad times with the Yankees leading to the team allowing him to walk to Minnesota via free agency. Hughes will be a Twins player tonight when these two teams face off head-to-head but at least for now we’ll remember his time as a Yankee.

Hughes was drafted 23rd overall by the Yankees in that 2004 MLB Draft and was immediately assigned to the Rookie Gulf Coast League Yankees. Hughes was committed to Santa Clara University before the Yankees came calling and drafted him with the compensation pick they received when Andy Pettitte left for the Houston Astros. Hughes got his feet wet in 2004 before splitting time with the Charleston Riverdogs and the Tampa Yankees in 2005, his first professional career, posting a 9-2 record with a 1.24 ERA immediately skyrocketing him into one of the premier top prospects in all of Major League Baseball. Hughes would go on to win the Kevin Lawn Pitcher of the Year Award in 2006 donning him as the top Yankees minor league pitcher before taking over as the Yankees #1 prospect in 2007. Hughes was also arguably the best pitching prospect in all of minor league baseball which warranted him an invitation to spring training that season and eventually a call up to the Bronx in April of 2007.

The MLB debut for Hughes against the Blue Jays in 2007 was something to be forgotten but in his second start the right-hander took a no hitter into the 7th inning against the Texas Rangers before a hamstring injury cut his start, and season, short. Hughes would be out for much of the 2007 season as he was limited to just 17 starts where he posted a 5-3 record with a 4.46 ERA as a rookie. Hughes pitched twice in the playoffs that season including earning a victory in a start where he relieved an injured Roger Clemens getting New York their only victory of the series with the Cleveland Indians.

The 2008 season, the season where the Yankees spent all offseason pondering over whether to include Phil Hughes and one of Joba Chamberlain or Ian Kennedy in a deal that would have sent Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana to the Bronx. The long and the short of it was that Santana went to the Mets for a lesser package than what Minnesota was asking of New York and Hughes was back in pinstripes and back in the starting rotation in 2008. Hughes started the season with a 0-4 record in six starts with a 9.00 ERA before being placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique and a cracked rib. While sitting out until September with the injury Hughes visited an optometrist and started wearing glasses while pitching on the mound. Hughes was recalled in September after leading the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to an International League title in Triple-A but Hughes was unable to improve on his 0-4 season as he finished with a 6.62 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 34 innings and eight starts.

Hughes began the 2009 season in Triple-A after heading down to the Arizona Fall League over the winter to build innings and arm strength but was not long for the minor leagues as a Chien-Ming Wang injury led Hughes back to the Bronx. Hughes managed a 3-2 record with a 5.45 ERA in seven starts before being moved to the bullpen when Wang returned from the disabled list. Hughes became the primary setup man for Mariano Rivera and flourished there due to injuries to Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte. Hughes led the Yankees team to the postseason and eventually the World Series collecting his first World Series ring as a member of the Yankees. Hughes success in 2009 led to him being bumped back into the rotation in 2010 as the team’s fifth starter and for the second time in his career Hughes responded by taking a no-hitter deep into a contest. Hughes would give up a single to the Oakland Athletics third baseman Eric Chavez to end the no-hit bid but his success didn’t stop there in 2010.

Hughes had a pair of five-game winning streaks as a starter in 2010 and earned his first All-Star Game appearance with the Yankees. Hughes finished the season with 18 wins in 2010 to just eight losses and pitched to a 4.19 ERA due in large part to 6.48 runs of support, the highest in MLB that season, from the Yankees offense. Hughes was back in the rotation to start the 2011 season but was also unfortunately back on the disabled list that same season after suffering from dead arm syndrome. Hughes was also battling shoulder inflammation and made only three starts before sitting on the DL until July. Back stiffness caught up to Hughes shortly after his return and he was once again delegated to the bullpen by Brian Cashman where he remained for the rest of the 2011 season.

Hughes avoided arbitration in 2012 with the club and signed a one-year deal worth $3.25 million plus incentives to be the team’s third starter. Hughes bounced back from a disappointing 2011 season with a strong 16-13 record after a tough 1-3 start with a 7.88 ERA in his first four starts of the season. Hughes finished with a 4.19 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 191.1 innings in 2012 before another bout with back stiffness ended his 2012 season in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. The 2013 season was the final season in pinstripes for Hughes and he began the season with a bulging disc in his back and a DL stint. Hughes pitched to a 4-13 record and a 4.86 ERA in 2013 before being removed from the starting rotation and inserted back into the bullpen. Hughes became very home run prone and hated pitching in New York, which was evident by his 1-10 record inside Yankee Stadium in 2013, thus ending his tenure as a Yankee on a sour note.

Hughes bounced back in 2014 with the Minnesota Twins after the Yankees let him walk in free agency and has been better of late this season for the Twins. No matter what happens tonight and no matter what happens going forward Hughes will always be the one that could have been and the one that ultimately got away in New York. Good luck tonight Phil, but not too much luck. 

TGP Daily Poll: Another Series, Another Series Win

The Yankees have made it a habit of winning every single series they are a part of and that won’t change this weekend in Minnesota. New York may not sweep the Twins but they will definitely take two games out of three.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Robert Refsnyder

You know how last week I started out the Friday morning check in by saying that this should be the last one for Robert Refsnyder in a while? Refsnyder was up in the big leagues with the Yankees hitting home runs against the Boston Red Sox and showing everyone how far his defense had come since spring training. Joe Girardi was impressed enough to basically play Refsnyder every day and in not so many words hand him the starting job while Stephen Drew eased into a utility role. Then the All-Star break happened, Brendan Ryan came back and Brian Cashman showed his idiot side and sent him back down to Scranton so here we are again once again checking in on Refsnyder with the RailRiders, but I’m not bitter or anything like that.

Many beat writers believe that Cashman wanted Ryan and Drew on the roster through the July 31st trade deadline and will bring Refsnyder back up on August 1st but that remains to be seen. Either way Refsnyder is saying all the right things to the media and is seemingly keeping his wits about him in the whole situation but while that’s encouraging he needs to let his bat do the talking for him. Refsnyder needs to hit the ball so well and so consistent that the Yankees have to call him up and leave him up, for good this time. Refsnyder can do it, let’s just hope that he does and doesn’t fall into the discouraged and depressed state that many Yankees prospects fall into after earning but not being given a shot in the Major Leagues. 


This Day in New York Yankees History 7/24: A Rod and Varitek Fight it Out

One of the best and longest rivalry in Major League Baseball is the rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This rivalry was especially heated in the early and mid-2000's as both teams were perennial winners. These two teams met 27 times a season and ended up fighting for the American League pennant more times than not.

The rivalry continued on this day in 2004 when then Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the previous night's hero with a game winning home run, with a pitch. A Rod stared down Arroyo as he went down to first base causing the Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek to get in Rodriguez's face. Varitek pushed his glove into A Rod's face that initiated a benches clearing brawl between the two teams.

Also on this day in 1999 the Yankees routed the Cleveland Indians on the way to their biggest margin of victory in 46 seasons with the score of 21-1. Chili Davis would go 5-6 with six RBI in the game in the Bronx.

Also on this day in 1983 the Kansas City Royals and the Yankees played in what is widely considered to be the Pine Tar Game. George Brett's ninth inning home run was disallowed when the umpires ruled that there was too much pine tar on his bat. American League president Lee McPhail would overrule the decision and the game would resume on August 18th. The Royals would ultimately beat the Yankees 4-3.

Also on this day in 1978 Billy Martin resigned as the manager of the Yankees. George Steinbrenner would replace Martin with Bob Lemon and Lemon would lead the Yankees to their second consecutive World Series title.

Finally on this day in 1926 Gehrig stole home for the second time this season. Gehrig would steal 102 bases in his career and 15 of those was a steal of home plate. I'm not entirely sure if that's a record or anything but it's still an awesome stat.

Oh and also on this day in 2014 the New York Yankees acquired Chris Capuano from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for cash considerations. Yeah I don’t care either.