The Baseball Prospectus kids are the smartest on the block. They not only know all the numbers, they know how to explain them to you.
Here are their notes on the prospects of the 2010 Yankees from the current Baseball Prospectus 2010 (Wiley and Sons, $24.95): “As the 2010 season dawns it is apparent that [GM Brian] Cashman is trying to walk a tightrope, one eye on the future and the budget, another on the clock ticking on the remaining minutes in the careers of his Fab Four veteran corps of Jeter, Posada, Rivera and Pettitte. Rather than trying to force something with one of the least exiting free agent classes in recent memory, he jumped on the possibility of improving in center field when the Tigers made [Curtis] Granderson available as part of a rather dubious downsizing. Taking similar advantage of the Braves’ desire to pare payroll, he shipped Melky Cabrera, Michael Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino south for alumnus Javier Vasquez. Vasquez … should provide important stability to a rotation at risk”
On Robbie Cano: “With his hack-at-anything ways in RBI situations, he’s far better at setting the table than cleaning it. Combine this with his solid defense and you have a flawed but valuable player.”
Derek Jeter: “How many years will the Yankees give him? How many years does he want to play? How many years can his professionalism, dedication, and training stave the effects of age?”
Alex Rodriguez: “A-Rod got the barest consideration in the AL MVP voting, but think of the impact that he had. While Rodriguez was off recovering from hip surgery the Yankees had 28 games of Cody Ransom, Ramiro Pena, and (unbelievably) Angel Berroa. That motley crew combined to hit .202/.248/.283. And the Yankees went 13-15. Rodriguez came back on May 8; although he came back slow, he hit .322/.421/.572 over his final 83 games, with the Yankees going 58-25 in those games and 81-41 overall in his starts, a 108-win pace. Talk about absence making the heart grow fonder … “
Edwar Ramirez: “(His) changeup remains a thing of beauty, but he lacks the command to set it up properly, resulting in what is colloquially referred to as ‘batting practice.’ “
Later this week, Baseball Prospectus on the Mets.