Monday, March 12, 2007

Yankee Blogger Fantasy League

I'm participating in a fantasy league set up by Patrick from Yanksblog. Mike from River Ave Blues reviewed his team here. I drafted the following team:

C Kenji Johjima
1b Mark Teixeira
2b Chone Figgins
SS Julio Lugo
3b Bill Hall
OF Lance Berkman
OF Jermaine Dye - accidently picked
OF Corey Patterson
Util Derrek Lee

SP Johan Santana
SP Jeremy Bonderman
RP J.J. Putz
RP Eric Gagne
P Brett Myers
P Curt Schilling
P Rich Hill
BN Javy Vazquez
BN Mark Prior
BN Josh Beckett
BN Tim Hudson
BN Ian Snell

I love my team. I really think that I have a big edge in this league with the guys that I drafted. I have three bona fide first round sluggers in Berkman, Lee, Teixeira, and Jermaine Dye should give me at least 30/100/100. I've got two huge SB threats in Figgins and Patterson, plus Lugo. My batting average won't be pretty, but it shouldn't kill me too much in a head to head league.

My pitching is beautiful. This is a standard 5x5 league, so I was giddy to pick up Santana with my 4th overall pick. I think that Santana is top-2 material. Bonderman is a big breakout candidate, and he was still damn good last season. Putz is my primary closer, and I'm betting on a Gagne comeback season. I love the Ks out of Schilling, Myers, and Hill, and their ERA/WHIPs should be good as a result.

Overall, I think my team is going to be a powerhouse. I may be the new kid on the blogging block, but this championship shall be mine!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

It's Official

I am officially writing for MVN at Pending Pinstripes as of tonight. I will still update this blog occassionally (writing about the MLB Yankees), but not as frequently. Besides the change in address, don't expect a whole lot of change. Thanks for sticking with me this far, and I am looking forward to this next step!


John Sickels on Phil Hughes

I'm a fan of John Sickels, though I personally think that he really stretches to fill his blog with new material every day. There is a lot of fluff in between the good stuff. Sickels is a genuine prospect expert in the stat-head mold, and his opinion is golden. One of those fluff pieces that he likes to project his opinion on he calls his "Crystal Ball". He'll take a prospect or young player and try to guess what he thinks the player's career will look like.

The Crystal Balls are incredibly arbitrary and ultimately meaningless as a whole. Sickels projects things like trades and injuries. The important information that can he gained from Sickels in this case is about a player's peak. How good does Sickels think this player will be?

Sickels recently took a look at Phil Hughes. He predicted Hughes to go down with Tommy John at age 26, ruining the better part of his upper peak. This is a meaningless besides that Sickels expects any young pitcher to have injury problems. What does Sickels expect out of Hughes?

First off, he's going to have a transition period to the majors. He'll pitch a little over 200 innings of 4.20 ERA ball his first two seasons. Starting his third season (age 23) Hughes will put together three bonafide ace seasons, where he should win a Cy Young or two. Sickels has him throwing 230 innings of 3.00-3.15 ERA ball. He sees him retaining his excellent control in the majors (2.20 BB/9 during this time). He sees him striking out about 7.5-8.0 per 9. After the Tommy John surgery, Hughes has a few ace-like seasons, but for the most part becomes an innings eater. He finishes with a David Cone type career.

I disagree with Sickels on a few things here. First off, he's not going to the minors in 2008. He may very well post an ERA in the low 4s, and the Yankees very well may put an innings limit on him, but he's not making only 25 starts. Second, I don't think that Hughes is a Tommy John risk at his peak. He has no mechanical red flags, no max-effort red flags, and no workload red flags at this point. He is as good of a bet to stay healthy as any top-flight prospect. Third, I don't see Hughes as maxing out at 8.00 K/9. Hughes doesn't strike a ton out by accident in the minors. I see him with the occassional 8.50-9.00 K/9 season, which will result in one or two sub-3.00 ERA seasons.

I do agree with Sickels that Hughes will become a major innings eater due to control. I love how Sickels sees him maintaining a league-low HR rate of 15-20 in a 230 innings season. Bottom line, Sickels thinks that Hughes is the real deal, and he very clearly is not a Yankee fan.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

In Transition

Yeah, it's been a slow week. Spring training has started and we're all getting excited for baseball again. I'm still in the process of transitioning over to Pending Pinstripes, but the webmaster at MVN is being really slow about it. I have a few things prepared, but I'm saving some minor league analysis for the new site.

On a plus note, there is a cool little blog tracking site out there called They track and rank blogs by "influence" - or the number of incoming links to the blog. Somehow the stars have aligned to make me the #4 Yankee Blog on the internet today (Though the omission of Peter Abraham's blog is a crime). I'm still far behind the "big three" of RLYW, Bronx Banter, and Yanksblog, (and WasWatching is usually up there) and will remain so for some time.

Bragging rights? Yeah, that's pretty much all this means. The numbers fluctuate from day to day. But #4 baby... #4.

For now, it's simply a matter of waiting for MVN. My apologies. I'll be posting a lot on spring training this week.