Monday, February 29, 2016

Yankees Photo Day

Dellin Betances

Andrew Miller

Michael Pineda

Luis Severino

Masahiro Tanaka

Jacoby Ellsbury

Alex Rodriguez

Starlin Castro

Aroldis Chapman

This Has Been Prospects Month 2016

Wow, what a month. I love the month of February and I especially love the month of February when we get blessed with a 29th day like we did in 2016. It allows an extra day of research, an extra day of teaching and an extra day of Prospects Month! I love having Prospects Month in February because when most blogs are strapped for content or simply shoveling snow while the fans are hungry for news we get to bring you content all day long on a daily basis. I also love it that we don’t hide our material behind a pay-wall or anything like that like some other premium sites, which FYI it is worth the subscription I’m just saying in general some of us can’t afford it or justify it. I’m just grateful that we have people that come to the site, read our work and like what we do. Thank you for that.

So another month is gone and so is another Prospects Month here on the blog. Now we can turn all of our attention to Spring Training and the upcoming 2016 season. Let’s get to it. This has been Prospects Month 2016 and we hope you enjoyed it. 

Prospects Month ICYMI: 2016 Pre-season Top 30 Yankees Prospects (via The Bronx Empire)

by: Ben Embry from The Bronx 

Ladies and gentlemen, it's prospect season! And every high profile baseball publication/website is in the process of issuing their Top 100 overall and top 10 system rankings. I like to publish my own and have been doing so for the past few seasons. Before I reveal my top 30 prospects in the Yankees system let me make this disclaimer: I'm not a scout, nor am I pretending to be one. These rankings do not reflect my personal opinion but rather the collective opinions of publications like Baseball America and ESPN as well as other blogs dedicated to the Yankees such as River Ave Blues and Bronx Baseball Daily. My only involvement is doing a weighted average of the source material. Without further delay, here's the top 30 prospects in the Yankees farm system:

I tend to agree with this board and in fact the first 6 picks match what I ended up with last Fall. I was way low on Fowler, which happens every year in some way or another. Sometimes when you're reading the tea leaves you just mis-interpret how well guys are liked or not liked. I thought two years ago the industry was relatively high on Jaron Long and ranked him 30th in my postseason rankings. Then the pundits weighed in and it was clear that was nowhere close.

I also do separate rankings for hitters and pitchers, which can be found here. First the hitters:

And now, the pitchers:

Any thoughts? Let me know at @thebronxempire on Twitter. I love the conversation. Have a good day!

Most Popular Article of the Week: Rob Refsnyder the Third Baseman?

Hey guys, remember like two or three days after the New York Yankees acquired Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs to be their everyday second baseman and I, Daniel Burch, suggested that Robert Refsnyder either learn the third base position or be traded? Well that was initially scoffed at and immediately dismissed due to defensive “concerns” for the kid who was drafted as an outfielder and still learning the second base position and the infield as a whole. Well until Joel Sherman of the New York Post says it, then it’s a brilliant idea.

Some will say that the Yankees aren’t high on Refsnyder or that they don’t trust his defense but those same people are ignoring the fact that the team called him up not once, but twice last season. The second call-up also resulted in him starting at second base in the AL Wild Card Playoff Round against the Houston Astros, an eventual 3-0 loss to Dallas Keuchel. The bat looked like it could stick, albeit in a short sample size, as he batted .355 in September and .302 overall in both call-ups while his defense looked to be adequate. Refsnyder got to the balls he was supposed to and he made the plays he was supposed to, anyone who doesn’t think that’s sufficient at 25-years old and with just two years of experience at second base professionally should just turn in their Derek Jeter jersey’s now.

The possibility of Refsnyder learning and playing the third base position is still up in the air. Brian Cashman seems adamant that the team will keep him at second base only while Refsnyder is said to be open to the idea. Then again Refsnyder is “up for anything” as long as it means he is sticking with the MLB squad. We already know that Starlin will be playing some third base this spring but keep your eyes out for Refsnyder, if he starts playing third base some then you know the plan is in motion. The plan I originally set forward and the plan Joel Sherman will once again get all the credit for. And that’s okay.

TGP Prospects Month Top 29 Prospects List - #1 El Gary Sanchez

We've made it Yankees family, all the way down to #1. It's bittersweet, you want to keep going but you also like closure. It's human nature. This is closure, this is El Gary Sanchez, the Yankees top prospect in their system according to The Greedy Pinstripes.

There is absolutely nothing I can tell you that I did not say yesterday in Jorge Mateo's Top 29 post and I cannot say anything that you don't already know so with that said I will simply say congratulations to Sanchez and say thank you to everyone for reading.

1. Gary Sanchez
2. Jorge Mateo
3. Aaron Judge
4. James Kaprielian
5. Robert Refsnyder
6. Domingo Acevedo
7. Dustin Fowler
8. Wilkerman Garcia
9. Ian Clarkin
10. Brady Lail
11. Jacob Lindgren
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Drew Finley
14. Mason Williams
15. Slade Heathcott
16. Abi Avelino
17. Hoy-Jun Park
18. Luis Torrens
19. Cale Coshow
20. Chance Adams
21. Miguel Andujar
22. Jonathan Holder
23. Tyler Wade
24. Nick Rumbelow
25.Jordan Montgomery
26.Trey Amburgey
27. Ben Gamel
28. Austin DeCarr
29. Thairo Estrada
30. James Pazos

Meet a Prospect: George Steinbrenner

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!

Leap Year Giveaway for February 29, 2016!!!

Good morning Yankees family and welcome to another week and another Monday. This Monday is a little different than most Monday's though because it is February 29, 2016 which is also known as Leap Year Day! Why is this important? Well besides the fact that this comes only once every four years it is also important because we are giving something away this morning!

The Saturday Evening Post has been gracious enough to give me a special collector's edition copy of their book "Baseball: The Glory Years." This book contains dozens of rare illustrations by Normal Rockwell and other great post artists as well as classic profiles of Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and more. it also comes with a free poster inside so you can't really go wrong with that. The book is not just illustrations though it also has stories covering everything from the beginning of the game, the setting of the rules in the rule book, the Black Sox Scandal, Babe Ruth and so much more. This book is incredible!!

So how do you enter for the giveaway? We're not hard to please, we just want to know you're reading. If you're a follower of The Greedy Pinstripes on Twitter you're automatically entered and if you're not then head over and give @GreedyStripes a follow. Every tweet at us, like and retweet gets you an extra entry. Also if you subscribe to us via email or comment in the comments section you are also automatically entered. The final way is to send us an email at thegreedypinstripes at gmail dot com telling us you'd like to be in the running.

We will announce a winner Friday!

This Day in New York Yankees History: Holy Leap Year Batman!

Leap Year only comes once every four years so why limit ourselves to just Yankees history? Let's go!

On this day in 1903 Major League Baseball set the height of the pitcher's mount to a max of 15 inches. It has since been lowered while the amount of Tommy John surgeries has increased ten fold with the move. Coincidence?

Also on this day in 1967 Commissioner General William Eckert approved the BBWAA's plan to select a Cy Young Award recipient for the American and National League. Since 1956 the award had gone to just one pitcher from either league each season.

Also on this day in 1969 Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from Major League Baseball after hitting 536 home runs and batting .298 in 18 seasons. Why? Because he "can't hit when I need to."

Also on this day in 1993 George Steinbrenner was reinstated from his lifetime ban from the game after missing two-and-a-half seasons.

Also on this day in 2007 Arlington Park in Texas was announced for the Rangers organization.

Also on this day in 2012 Jason Varitek retired from MLB and the Boston Red Sox.

And finally on this day in 2012 Yadier Molina signed a five-year extension with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $75 million.