Thursday, September 6, 2018

Off Day Meet a Prospect: Luke Voit

The New York Yankees have gotten some youth and excitement out of the first base position here in 2018, finally, with the addition of Luke Voit from the St. Louis Cardinals. Could Voit be the one that finally unseats a healthy Greg Bird out of the position? Let’s meet the man that just may do that. This is Meet a Prospect: The Luke Voit Edition.

Louis Linwood Voit was born on February 13, 1991 in Missouri where he attended Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Missouri. While at the school he caught the eye of the Kansas City Royals who drafted him in the 32nd round of the 2009 MLB First Year Players Draft, but instead Voit did not sign and attended Missouri State University. While at the school Voit played college baseball for the Missouri State Bears and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals after his senior season in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Voit was drafted as a catcher and played the position within the Cardinals minor league system until the 2014 season when he was moved to first base. Voit continued to learn the first base position until the time when the Cardinals would need him at the position at the Major League level.

That time came on June 25, 2017 when the Cardinals brought Voit up from Triple-A to play first base inside Bush Stadium. Voit compiled 114 at-bats for the Cardinals that season while batting .246 with four home runs, 18 RBI and a .736 OPS. In 2018 the Cardinals had Voit back down in Triple-A before trading him to the New York Yankees, along with international bonus pool money, for LHP Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos.

Welcome to the organization and welcome to the family!

Off Day Meet a Prospect: Adeiny Hechavarria

The New York Yankees made a couple of moves before the August 31st trading deadline here in 2018 to solidify the team for their postseason run, and one of those moves was to acquire infielder Adeiny Hechavarria from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Let’s meet the man who is probably happy that the Yankees don’t showcase last names on their uniforms. This is Meet a Prospect: The Adeinu Hechavarria Special Edition.

Adeiny Hechavarria Barrera was born on April 15, 1989 in Santiago de Cuba to Diosmede and Mirta Hechavarria. Hechavarria was a Cuban defector that made his way to the United States after he and 11 others fled the country via boat from Mexico during the Pan Am tournament in Mexico in 2006. Hechavarria worked out and showcased his talents for teams in the Dominican Republic in 2010 before eventually signing with the Toronto Blue Jays on a four-year deal worth $10 million. Hechavarria toiled around in the Blue Jays minor league system until August 4, 2012 when Toronto called him up to the Major Leagues for the first time. Hechavarria finished the 2012 season with the Blue Jays before being traded to the Miami Marlins along with Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, Yunel Escobar, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino in exchange for LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Josh Johnson, INF Jose Reyes, catcher John Buck, and INF Emilio Bonifacio. #Blockbuster.

Hechavarria was named the Marlins starting shortstop on Opening Day for the 2013 season and finished the 2013 campaign with a .227 average with three home runs and 42 RBI in 148 games played. Hechavarria was much better in 2014 posting a .276 average with just one home run and 34 RBI in 146 games. Hechavarria saw his numbers continue to improve in 2015 as he posted a .281 average with five home runs and 48 RBI in 130 games for the Marlins and even won National League Player of the Week on April 26, 2015. Hechavarria saw a slight decline in 2016 as his numbers dropped to a .236 batting average with three home runs and just 38 RBI in 155 games. Hechavarria was back with the Marlins for the 2017 season before the club ultimately traded the infielder away to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor leaguers Braxton Lee and Ethan Clark.

Hechavarria finished the 2017 campaign with a .267 batting average and a career-high eight home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays designated Hechavarria on August 1, 2018 to clear a roster space for the newly acquired outfielder Tommy Pham and was quickly traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed pitcher Matt Seelinger and cash. The Pirates then flipped Hechavarria to the New York Yankees on August 31 of this year for a player to be named later, thus starting his tenure in the Bronx. Welcome to the organization, Adeiny, and welcome to the Yankees family.

Off Day Meet a Prospect Special Edition: Andrew McCutchen

The New York Yankees needed an outfielder before the August 31st trading deadline with the recent injuries to Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and others and the outfielder they chose was former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants player Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen brings a certain veteran presence and swag to a young Yankees club in the midst of a pennant race and is the perfect choice for this particular team in my opinion, so let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect Special Edition for this off day, the Andrew McCutchen Edition.

Andrew Stefan McCutchen was born on October 10, 1986 in Fort Meade, Florida to Lorenzo McCutchen and Petrina Swan. Andrew’s father was a start running back with the Carson-Newman University football tea, in Jefferson City, Tennessee, but quickly gave up his dream to head to the NFL to be closer to his son and to Andrew’s sister, Loren. Instead Lorenzo helped Andrew follow his dream of being a professional baseball player and led Andrew to becoming eligible to play varsity baseball as an eight grader at Fort Meade High School. That season McCutchen hit .591 for the school’s team while also playing football and running track. McCutchen was one of the top football recruits in the state of Florida but ultimately decided to continue playing baseball, a decision that led him to the University of Florida and eventually to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

With the 11th overall pick in the 2005 MLB First Year Players Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Andrew McCutchen out of the University of Florida, immediately assigning the center fielder to their minor league affiliate. McCutchen spent four seasons in the Minor Leagues and was a Top 50 prospect in all four seasons according to Baseball America including a #13 ranking before the 2007 season. On June 9, 2009 the Pirates called up McCutchen to the big leagues after trading away starting center fielder Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves. McCutchen made his MLB debut the very next day against the New York Mets. McCutchen singled in his first at-bat off Mets starter Mike Pelfrey and ended the day with two singles, one RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in a Pirates victory. McCutchen finished his rookie campaign with a .286 batting average, 12 home runs, 54 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 108 games, finishing fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award voting.

McCutchen was back on the Pirates big league club on Opening Day in 2010 and never looked back. While McCutchen had a strong 2010 campaign he did not make his first All-Star Game appearance until the 2011 season, replacing injured Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers. McCutchen was rewarded for his strong 2011 campaign with a new six-year deal worth $51.5 million to stay with the Pirates through his arbitration years that also came with a $14.75 million club option for the 2018 season. McCutchen was also named to the National League All-Star team for the second time in 2012 while also representing the Pirates in the 2012 Home Run Derby, replacing Giancarlo Stanton. McCutchen only hit four home runs and failed to make it out of the first round of the derby that year, but overall had a great season for Pittsburgh that resulted in a third-place finish in the National League MVP Award vote.

McCutchen was the cover athlete for the Playstation game MLB 13: The Show before the 2013 season beating out Yankees starter CC Sabathia for the honors. McCutchen also made another All-Star team in 2013 as a reserve for the National League, his third straight season being honored in the mid-season classic. 2013 also marked the first season that the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season and clinched a playoff birth since Barry Bonds led the Pirates to the postseason in 1992. The Pirates were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in five games that season, but McCutchen was named the NL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season after hitting .317 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI and stealing 28 bases. McCutchen was the first Pirates MVP award winner since Bonds won the award back in 1992. The Pirates were back in the postseason in 2014 behind another strong campaign from Andrew McCutchen, but this time the team ran into Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. Mad-Bum was able to shut out the Pirates, thus ending McCutchen’s season after a fourth straight All-Star Game appearance and a second consecutive trip to the postseason.

Another year in 2015 and another trip to the All-Star Game for McCutchen and a third straight playoff appearance for the Pirates. In the All-Star Game the Pirates center fielder hit a home run off then Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer to become only the fifth member of the Pirates to ever hit a home run in an All-Star Game, joining a few familiar names in Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Dave Parker. McCutchen also joined Clemente in the hearts and minds of the Pirates fans in 2015 after being named the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, thus becoming the first Pirate to win the honor since Willie Stargell in 1974. Unfortunately, the Pirates season ended once again in the Wild Card round after a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta. 2015 was a high for McCutchen, and 2016 began the decline for the Pirates center fielder. McCutchen finished the 2016 campaign with a .256 batting average, his lowest-ever batting average at this point in his career, and just 24 home runs.

McCutchen was dangled in trades after the 2016 season and was reportedly almost dealt to the Washington Nationals before the 2017 season before the deal fell through. McCutchen represented Team USA as a member of the Pirates before the 2017 season and was a huge part of the team that won their first ever World Baseball Classic gold medal for the United States. McCutchen continued to decline in 2017 somewhat finishing the season with a .279/.363/.486 with 28 home runs in his final season with the Pirates. Before the 2018 season the Pittsburgh Pirates sent McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants in a trade for Kyle Crick, Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 of international bonus slot money. McCutchen hoped to lead the revitalized Giants to the postseason as a right fielder, but San Francisco quickly fell out of the playoff chase leading McCutchen to be traded for the second time during the 2018 season, this time to the New York Yankees.

On August 31 of this season the Yankees acquired McCutchen from the Giants for infielder Abiatal Avelino and RHP Juan De Paula. McCutchen shaved his beard to join the Yankees and changed his jersey number from 22, the number he had worn throughout his entire career, to 26 since Jacoby Ellsbury currently wears #26 for the Yankees. McCutchen is now playing right field for the Yankees in the absence of the injured Aaron Judge and also appears to be learning left field before the Yankees series with the Seattle Mariners starts inside Safeco Field this weekend in Seattle.

Welcome to the organization, Andrew, and also a huge welcome to the Yankees family from everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy your stay because you never know, we may be seeing you in 2019 as well. Stay well, Cutch.

Hello… Coming Back For An Off Day

Good morning Yankees family and, finally, welcome back to the blog. It figures the day that life and my job would allow me to come back to the blog that the Yankees would be off. Funny how that works, but oh well. I missed you guys and girls and I missed talking with you. I started a new job this week and let me tell you, it sucks. I am going to be patient and see it through to the end, because truth be told I knew I “hated” it before I even tried it, and it has been all of just a couple days now. Things will get better, I just have to make them get better rather than look for an excuse to be unhappy. I refuse to be unhappy anymore, and I refuse to let this damn place ruin a Yankees off day for me and keep me from the blog.

And my baby, my sweet, sweet Kari Ann Burch. I love you with all my heart and all my soul. I always have, and I always, ALWAYS will.

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/6: George Fires Gene Michael & Releases The Alou Brothers

George Steinbrenner bought the struggling New York Yankees franchise in 1973 for a meager $10 million and eventually turned the team into a perennial winner. Along the way George went through a lot of players, a ton of personnel, and more than his fair share of managers. On this day in 1981 The Boss made the "most agonizing" decision he ever made during his tenure as the Yankees owner when he fired manager Gene Michael and replaced him with Bob Lemon.

Michael announced in a press conference that he could no longer tolerate Steinbrenner's constant threats of dismissal which angered Steinbrenner. George demanded an apology and when Michael refused he was let go as the manager of the New York Yankees.

Also on this day in 1973 both of the Alou Brothers were released from the Yankees squad. Felipe Alou was sold to the Montreal Expos while Matty Alou was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals.