Tag:Prospects
Posted on: December 3, 2008 9:59 am
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Manuel talks Hawaii

Yankee specific excerpts from B.A.'s John Manuel's chat on his rankings of the top prospects of the Hawaii Winter League:

John from Pensacola, FL asks:
How far is the separation between Bleich and Jonny Venters? Do you see Venters getting selected in the Rule V even with his injury history?

John Manuel: Pretty big. Bleich's fastball command, velocity and movement are all better, as is his breaking ball. Venters could be popped as a lefty with a plus pitch in the change, and he pitched at full health in Hawaii, so while the Tommy John surgery in his past will be a concern, all these Rule 5 eligible players have a wart or two or three.

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John from Stockton, CA asks:
At some point, doesn't Brackman have to put up some decent #s to justify his high rankings on all of these lists? His #s were poor his last year at NC State and are equally as poor as a pro.

John Manuel: I think it's fair to ask him to perform in 2009. His HWB performance was more about him being healthy, getting innings, throwing games that matter for the first time since May 2007. I don't think the results mattered, but the stuff was the best stuff in Hawaii and it really wasn't close. He showed two present plus pitches and one average pitch (changeup), and if you believe that athleticism leads to the ability to repeat a delivery (and thus throw strikes), then it's very easy to believe in Brackman. He creates unique angles and is quite athletic. Scouts uniformly were impressed with his delivery and arm action, he just needs experience repeating his delivery. He just needs experience, really. He's a great test for the Yankees; we've definitely been on the high side, so far, with several of their pitching prospects in recent years. They could really use a guy like Brackman actually reaching his ceiling. Actually if he comes close to his ceiling he'll be a stud. His ceiling is pretty damn high.

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Pat from Canandaigua, NY asks:
Where would you put Jeremy Bleich's ceiling, 3rd or 4th starter? Thanks

John Manuel: I'd say third starter because he can pitch off the fastball, knows how to move it in and out. Very tough decision leaving him out of the Yanks' top 10, I keep going back and forth on that one, ended up with him at 11, I'm a bit worried about his elbow and the possibility he'll miss more development time down the road, but if he's healthy I could see him as a solid mid-rotation guy.

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JAYPERS from IL asks:
Could you please compare Andrew Brackman's mechanics to Jeff Niemann's? Is their physical stature the only thing they have in common?

John Manuel: I haven't broken them down side by side because that's not what I do, but their height is their biggest commonality. No offense to Jeff but he's a bit of a slow-twitch guy; Brackman is not. He's athletic, not for a 6-11 guy, but for any guy. That's a big difference.

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TG from NYC asks:
I understand it's somewhat delusional to expect a good projection so early into his professional career, but I've heard conflicting reports on Brackman. Most agree his FB is back to pre-TJ levels [hitting the mid-90s consistently], but some anonymous scouts say he doesn't and never did offer much besides his 4-seamer. Is his curveball really that inconsistent and could it be a by-product of rust?

John Manuel: Brackman hadn't pitched in a game since May 2007. Throw in Tommy John surgery, an appendectomy, and the fact that '07 was his first time ever as a full-time baseball player, plus the fact he's 6-11 . . . he's a pretty unique character. To expect consistency for him in HWB is expecting too much. He's shown a premium breaking ball in the past, and he showed it in Hawaii, just not with any consistency. His changeup was a shade too firm but also flashed very good potential. I think Yankee fans should be very encouraged by how he threw out there.

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Mitchell from NYC asks:
What about Austin Romine??

John Manuel: He has obvious potential but didn't perform out there and didn't wow anybody. His receiving and blocking were described as "rough" by a manager and a scout and he was thought to be worn down. I think he suffered in comparison to Castro and Posey, he just is so far behind those guys, not in terms of ceiling but polish and physical maturity. He'll be fine, just didn't have a great turn in Hawaii.

 

The full chat is here:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/toda
y/prospects/winter-baseball/hawaii-
winter-baseball/2008/267269.html

Category: MLB
Tags: Prospects
 
 
 
 
 
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