Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mini Minors Update

I just finished updating the minor league stats, and I’ve come to an important conclusion: I’m no good at picking out minor league talent. Not yet, anyway, as I had quite a few pre-season picks who are now batting on the interstate. Fret not, for this is my first foray into the world of minor league baseball, and my ability to pick out telling qualities in prospects can only rise from here. But instead of continuing to beat myself up over it, I’m just going to do what I do best: take a look at what’s happened to this point.

First off, while this section will still be titled, "Quest for the 2008 Roster," I’m going to add and subtract people who could be there well before 2008. For example, I’m tracking Darrell Rasner in this space, though it’s quite possible that he will make his pinstripe debut in 2006. Mainly, it’s just a way to keep tabs on the minor leaguers. Unfortunately, I’m neither the first to do this nor the best, as there are quite a few other Yankees sites taking a look at the farm.

As if his writing wasn’t enough to keep me glued to his site, I’m absolutely enamored with Mike A.’s Down on the Farm section over at In George We Trust. Also of note are Pending Pinstripes and the always useful Yankees Prospects. All are highly recommended if you want to keep up with what’s in store for the future.

Guy in jeopardy of losing their spots on the table in the right sidebar: Eduardo Nunez, Tim Battle, Jose Gil, Kyle Larsen, Edwar Gonzalez, Justin Christian. Sure, there are other guys performing as bad or worse than these guys, but most of them are legitimate prospects (read: Vechionacci). Another week or two of fleeting performances, and they’ll find themselves replaced by better performing players. But for now, I’ll stick with my original list.

Guys I want to see move up: T.J. Beam, James Conroy.
Guys I want to see demoted: Eric Duncan, Justin Christian, Nunez, Battle

Normally, I’d make a case for the promotion of Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata, as they are among the elite players in Low A ball. However, seeing as they’re still teenagers, keeping them in Charleston may be for the best. I just can’t justify promoting a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old before at least a half season in Low A. If they’re still rapping base hit after base hit by the All-Star break, we’ll talk. But there’s no reason to rush anything (::ahem:: Eric Duncan).

And while I do like Duncan, he’s clearly overmatched in Columbus. Send him to Trenton, let him get comfortable and begin to beat up on AA pitching, and then think about re-promoting him. Especially with Carlos Pena in the fold for the next month (as well as an able Shelly Duncan available for promotion from Trenton), this is the prime time to give Duncan his chance to get in a groove. Actually, it was prime time a few weeks ago; now we’re just seeing the window narrow.