Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Poor Humberto Sanchez

Baseball America came out with its top 10 Yankee prospects, and Humberto Sanchez didn't make the top 10. This was the biggest surprise to me. Clearly they must think that the Tommy John surgery will have an extreme negative impact on him.

Last season he didn't make a top-10 list either, but that was just logistical. He got traded to the Yankees after they had come out with the Yankee top-10 list and before they came out with the Tiger top-10 list.

One can reasonably assume he was #3 on the Yankees top 10 list last year as he was #57 on the top 100 prospects, behind Philip Hughes (#4) and Jose Tabata (#27), and ahead of Joba Chamberlain (#75). Hughes is no longer eligible, and not surprisingly Joba topped the Yankee list. For Sanchez to sink due to the surgery is natural, to sink out of the Yankee top-10, I don't see why. The Yankees do have a much better system than in previous years, but I don't think good enough that Sanchez isn't even in their top-10 prospects anymore.

I think I can say, without doubt, that the Yankees will have in the range of 4-6 prospects when Baseball America comes out with their top 100. #7 on the Yankee list is Jeff Marquez (although this is where I think Sanchez should be slotted), and I don't see Marquez as one of Baseball's top 100 prospects, and #4 is Ian Kennedy, and I don't see anyway possible that he wouldn't be top 100 considering he was a 1st round pick who pitched to a 1.90 ERA at four levels last season, including a 1.89 ERA in the big leagues.

That means to me that Chamberlain, Austin Jackson, Jose Tabata, and Kennedy will definitely be there, with Alan Horne and Jesus Montero as possibilities.

#8 with Brett Gardner, #9 was Ross Ohlendorf and #10 was Andrew Brackman. Brackman is also coming off of Tommy John surgery. I would put Brackman ahead of 7 through 9 (although behind Sanchez). Also I would have preferred to have seen catcher Francisco Cervelli over a guy like Brett Gardner.

I don't like Garnder being in the top-10 as he really projects to be a 4th outfielder, and the Yankees have more than 10 prospects that project better than that. One could argue he deserves it due to the fact that the other high-end prospects also have a much larger downside too. Gardner could be a 4th outfielder on many teams right now, Cervelli, who has a much higher upside, probably couldn't catch for any major league team yet.

I still think everybody is still underestimating David Robertson. Keep that name in mind as I expect by 2009 for him to be the primary setup man to Rivera.


Ross said...

Speaking of how many players a team will have in Baseball America's Top-100, I don't see the Mets having more than 1, just Fernando Martinez.

#2 on the Mets list is Deolis Guerra. And while being 18 at High-A is impressive, his 2-6 record, 4.01 ERA in a pitcher's league, and 66 K's in 89 innings is not. I just don't see him as a top-100 guy.

I would say the Red Sox are only guaranteed 2 spots, with Buchholz and Ellsbury. Then it gets hard. I like Jed Lowrie (#5) better than #3 Lars Anderson or #4 Justin Masterson.

One could put up an argument for #6 Ryan Kalish making the top 100, but one could argue that Anderson, whose #3 shouldn't. The Red Sox have the largest range of 2 - 6. My guess is 3 make it.

Warren said...

John Sickles ranked the Yankees prospects like this:

1. Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Grade A
2. Jose Tabata, OF, Grade B+
3. Ian Kennedy, RHP, Grade B+
4. Alan Horne, RHP, Grade B
5. Austin Jackson, OF, Grade B-
6. Bradley Suttle, 3B, Grade B-
7. Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B-
8. Austin Romine, C, Grade B-
9. Jesus Montero, C, Grade C+
10. Dan McCutchen, RHP, Grade C+
11. Brett Gardner, OF, Grade C+
12. Damon Sublett, 2B, Grade C+
13. Andrew Brackman, RHP, Grade C+
14. Jeffrey Marquez, RHP, Grade C+
15. George Kontos, RHP, Grade C+
16. Kevin Whelan, RHP, Grade C+
17. Frank Cervelli, C, Grade C+
18. David Robertson, RHP, Grade C+ (stunning numbers)
19. Jairo Heredia, RHP, Grade C+
20. Zach McAllister, RHP, Grade C+

So he didn't event have Sanchez in the top 20. Sickles also has Lowrie as the Red Sox #3 prospect.

I think I may have lost my $0 bet to Ross about whether or not Joba will be in BA's top 5 prospects, but we'll see. I don't think he'll be ahead of Jay Bruce and Evan Longoria, but #3 is certainly possible.

I'm sure my anti-Yankee bias has something to do with this, but I'm not completely sold on Chamberlain (don't get me wrong, I'd love for him to be on the Mets, though). Coming out of college, he had great stuff, but people were worried about his conditioning. It's unclear to me how one (admittedly great) season can change people's perspectives about his long-term future so quickly. I think people are rushing a bit to The Next Big Thing, and that Hughes is still the better bet long term.