Friday, March 23, 2007

Yankees of 2012

This article will be the way I predict the 2012 Yankees using only the farm system for players. Their will be no current MLB players on the team so lets just say they all retired (I know Robinson Cano will still be on the team but just ignore that). Here we go:

Catcher: Jesus Montero
At 6'4 and 225 pounds, Montero is a huge force at the plate. He has tremendous power very rarely found in 16 year olds. It rates at an 80 on the 20-80 scale and is raved about by all scouts. As the case with most young player, he does have flaws in his swing. They are now working on correcting it at instructs and don't believe it will be a problem for long. They say once he gets to the majors he could also hit for very high average. A problem people see going forward is if he out grows the catchers spot. This is a reasonable concern but guys like Joe Mauer have shown it could be done. He also has a very strong arm behind the plate and is adept at blocking balls. He just needs to work on how to call a game.

Back-Up Catcher: Francisco Cervelli
Cervelli is a defensive wizard behind the plate. Hes has the kind of great defense you could want from a back-up catcher. Although I say he will be the yankees backup, do not sleep on him because he has shown ability to hit and is still very young. IF he can continue in his development and pan out, a switch to first base might be necessary for Montero.

1st Base: Eric Duncan
After being a first round pick in 2003, Eric Duncan has failed to live up to expectations. He hasn't done horrible but he was significantly rushed and has had a series of back problems. He has always shown huge power potential and makes people wonder what he could do if he was 100 % healthy all season. He doesn't project to hit in the 300s but his power potential more then makes up for it. Defensively he is a decent 1st basemen. He not exactly fluent after he switched from 3rd to first due to 3rd being locked up. IF he cant put all his talent and potential together he could really be a force in the majors.

2nd Base: Abraham Almonte
Almonte is a a 17 year old coming to play in the states for the first time this year. Scouts have been ravings about his upside and potential. Comparisons to Jose Reyes are already being made as his power is evident and his speed ranks an 80 on the 20-80 scale. He also has great patience was 55 times and only striking out 46 times in his first year.The only real apparent flaw in his game now is his defense. He needs to get his footwork and glove work. He is definitely one to watch going forward.

Shortstop: Eduardo Nunez
Nunez is yet another young player from the yankees system that has tremendous upside. After a great year in Staten Island the Yankees tried to rush him and it backfired. He seemed over matched in Tampa and obviously wasn't ready fro it. While he struggled that season he still impressed with his attitude and still have great tools. At the plate Nunez is a solid hitter. He doesn't show plus power but enough to be respected. He can hit for solid average and projects to be more of a doubles guy. Defensively, he is very talented. He has amazing range and a very strong arm. The problem is he trys to make plays there is no shot of making so his error totals have piled up. If a good coach could teach him to harness his abilities he could be a gold glover.

3rd Base: Marcos Vechionacci
Vech has one of the highest ceilings of any yankee position prospects. He started his career off great but struggled last year as the yankees felt the need to implicate changes in his swing. Though he struggled all through last year, it appears as it was worth it. His swing is now short and quick. He able to hit the ball to all fields and has shown plus power. Defensively, he is an incredibly smooth 3rd basemen drawing raves from even Joe Torre. Look for him to be a gold glover in the future.

Outfield (the yankees are very deep in the outfield so I am going to just pick my top 3):

1. Jose Tabata
As most of you know, Tabata is an absolute beast. He has shown everything you would want to see. Last year he was one of the best hitter in Charleston at the age of 17. He projects to hot 25-35 homers a year and to be a great average hitter. He is also fast on the base paths and is very aggressive. Defensively, he could play any outfield spot with gold glove ability. He has a strong arm,good range, and good first steps. This is the guy to watch for in the future.

2. Austin Jackson
Jackson is simply one of the best athletes in the Yankees farm system. He has an exceptional combination of power and speed. 2006 was the first year he really focused only on baseball, as he was a 2-way star in college and couldve played B-ball for a division 1 school, so its no wonder the fatigue set in at the end of the season and he struggled. His strikeout totals were very high but he has also shown good Patience and the ability to go the opposite way. He is very raw but his talent is unquestionable.

3. Brett Gardner
Gardner is the safe choice here as I could go with a number of younger higher ceiling guys but Gardner has earned his spot. Gardner is the ideal lead-off man. He shows great patience at the plate taking many pitches. He is an extremely fast center fielder who has done well at every stop in the minors after being drafted in the third round. He is a great center fielder with a surprisingly solid arm for a little guy. The main problem with him is his loss of power since Staten Island, where he hit 5 homers in short season. This could be a problem as pitchers wouldn't respect his power at the higher levels and wouldn't be afraid to give him fastballs. He needs to develop just enough to power for the pitchers respect. If this can happen he will be a solid replacement for Damon.


PITCHERS TOMORROW

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