Prospecting &’The Hall’ Calls

The hot stove has been burning for the New York Yankees of late. Robinson Cano is a Mariner, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann headline the additions to the Yankees fold, and for the minor league squads, prospect lists are hitting the interwebs.

The most historically esteemed of those lists comes from the good folks at Baseball America, the preeminent publication for this great game, particularly when it comes to the rising stars of tomorrow. The talented Josh Norris (@jnorris427), who had the Double-A Trenton Thunder beat for more than half a decade with The Trentonian, assembled these lists:

Baseball America’s Top 10 Yankees Prospects

1) C Gary Sanchez

2) OF Slade Heathcott

3) OF Mason Williams

4) C J.R. Murphy

5) 3B Eric Jagielo

6) OF Aaron Judge

7) LHP Ian Clarkin

8) 1B Greg Bird

9) RHP Luis Severino

10) 2B Gosuke Katoh

Baseball America’s Best Tools (New York Yankees Farm)

Best Hitter for Average: Greg Bird

Best Power Hitter: Gary Sanchez

Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Greg Bird

Fastest Baserunner: Mason Williams

Best Fastball: Jose Ramirez

Best Curveball: Nik Turley

Best Slider: Mark Montgomery

Best Changeup: Jose Ramirez

Best Control: Vidal Nuno

Best Defensive Catcher: J.R. Murphy

Best Defensive Infielder: Cito Culver

Best Infield Arm: Cito Culver

Best Defensive Outfielder: Mason Williams

Best Outfield Arm: Slade Heathcott

Baseball America’s Top 15 Players 25 & Under (New York Yankees)

1) C Gary Sanchez

2) OF Slade Heathcott

3) OF Mason Williams

4) C J.R. Murphy

5) RHP Michael Pineda

6) 3B Eric Jagielo

7) OF Aaron Judge

8) LHP Ian Clarkin

9) 1B Greg Bird

10) RHP Luis Severino

11) 2B Gosuke Katoh

12) LHP Manny Banuelos

13) SS Abiatal Avelino

14) RHP Jose Ramirez

15) RHP Jose Campos

For Baseball America subscribers, there are other pages of note: the top 10 prospects plus scouting reports and a chat session Norris had with fans.

DECK THE HALL

Big-time congrats go out to the incredible triumvirate of Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa on their shared, unanimous entrance into the Hall of Fame. Each of the three ranks among the top-five winningest skippers in Major League history in terms of total wins. As the Barry Bloom‘s article cites, “Only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763) won more games than La Russa (2,728), Cox (2,504) and Torre (2,326).” Mark your calendars – they formally enter the hall on the second day of the 2014 induction weekend (July 26-27) in Cooperstown.

You all know of Torre’s exploits with the Pinstripes. But some of our younger readers may not know that Bobby Cox only played a total of 220 games in the bigs. Every one of those was played as a New York Yankee. Furthermore, he later got his managerial start on the Yankees’ farm in 1971. FUN FACT: Perhaps his best year in that time came with Syracuse in 1976 when he led the Chiefs to a Governors’ Cup win. Some guys named Ron Guidry and Gil Patterson were on that team. Syracuse has not won the title since. Cox won another title the next year though, as first-base coach for the 1977 New York Yankees and manager Billy Martin. A few weeks later, he was hired by the Atlanta Braves as chronicled in this great piece by Patty Rasmussen (@patty_rasmussen) who co-authored Billy Wagner‘s memoir, A Way Out.

OFF THE RAILS

- Josh Norris authored a sincere and moving goodbye to his readers in mid-August.

- His successor, Nick Peruffo (@nickperuffo), has taken over the beat and authors a solid blog that covers the Thunder, Minor Matters. He is also covers college basketball and among his beats is one of PIP’s old gigs, Princeton men’s basketball. He blogs on that as well in FullCourtPress.

- The other day, Eddie Mata (@eddiemata), sent over this video interview clip with former Yankee Jesse Barfield telling a tale of another former Yank, “Prime Time” Deion Sanders. The first Yankees teams that I watched on a regular basis were the Barfield/Mel Hall/Steve Balboni/Roberto Kelly-era squads of the late ’80s/early ’90s. Really enjoyed their chat. The full interview is available online as well.

- Another notable signing with RailRiders ties had Curtis Granderson going to the New York Mets. He is one of the game’s best people on and off the field and was nothing but a gentleman during his stay in NEPA. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) fielded quotes from Granderson and Yankees GM Brian Cashman on the latest addition to the Yankees-Mets rivalry.

- Hoch had an interesting tweet on who teams are asking Cashman about for possible trades

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