Thoughts After London

Thoughts After London

This past weekend was one of the most unique set of regular season games that I’ve ever witnessed the Yankees play. Prior to the London series, I viewed the series with little more than my typical interest in Yankees vs. Red Sox outings, but I think that the series said a lot about the state of both the Yankees and baseball as a whole.

Overall, I think that the London series was a little off, but overall a fun event. I wouldn’t put the viewing experience on plane with a playoff series, but despite some issues, I think that the on-field product was exciting. I’ve got some thoughts about London and other hot topics in the Yankee Universe here:

(Photo Credit: Frank Augstein/AP)

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Looking at the Last Ten Years of First Round Picks (Part 1)

Looking at the Last Ten Years of First Round Picks (Part 1)

With another MLB Draft in the books and Anthony Volpe signed, I decided to look back at the last ten years of Yankees first round picks. A first round pick may ensure that the person signing will garner a hefty bonus check, but it certainly doesn’t mean the draftee will ever see a big league pitch. It is no surprise to see the Yankees have had mixed results with their first round picks lately. Some crashed and burned pretty hard, others are still working their way through the system - and then you have Aaron Judge.

Cito Culver (SS):
Drafted: 2010, 32nd pick out of Irondequoit HS (Rochester, NY)

Yankees career: Culver seemed like an odd first round pick when the Yankees made it, but he had a compelling story that made people cheer for the New York native. His father had started a prison sentence for burning down the family’s house on Easter in 2008 in an attempt to kill Culver’s mother.

Culver worked his way through the short-season leagues, as well as the lower levels, despite rarely having good offensive numbers. A solid defensive player, Culver was never able to adjust to professional pitching and continually struggled at the plate. In 2015, he spent time with both Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Trenton. He was never called up to the majors and bounced between the RailRiders and the Thunder until he became a free agent after the 2017 season.

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Who Is Mike Ford?

Who Is Mike Ford?

Greg Bird is down with yet another lower body injury, this time succumbing to plantar fasciitis. The Yankees have stated that Bird will be out for at least a month, but based on their track record in estimating IL time and Bird’s propensity for extended absences, the Yankees will likely have a hole to fill for longer. The Yankees have allowed Bird to occupy a spot in the lineup despite the fact that his production when healthy over his last 500 plate appearances has been abysmal. The injury to Bird’s foot finally allows the Yankees to give Mike Ford a shot. Ford has started this season scorching hot at Triple-A Scranton, but there’s more to his story than just a flash in the pan.

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Looking Back At: Former Yankees Prospects (2017/2018 Offseason Traded)

Looking Back At: Former Yankees Prospects (2017/2018 Offseason Traded)

The Yankees had set themselves up pretty well for the 2018 season when they went into the offseason after a disappointing exit from the postseason at the hands of the Houston Astros.

They had some extremely amazing seasons from their young developing core, from all the major fixtures of a baseball team with outfielder Aaron Judge (8.1 bWAR), starting pitcher Luis Severino (5.3 bWAR), catcher Gary Sanchez (4.1 bWAR), starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (2.9 bWAR), and reliever Chad Green (2.7 bWAR).

Veterans like Brett Gardner (4.9), Aaron Hicks (3.9), Didi Gregorius (3.7), and CC Sabathia (2.8) were the remaining players who collected over 2.0 bWAR for the Yankees in 2017…and all these players were coming back!

They had a wonderful young core and powerful veteran presence, yet Brian Cashman and Co. saw opportunities to make trades with the Miami Marlins and a three-team deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks/Tampa Bay Rays to round out both the MLB roster and add to a diminishing farm system.

Let’s take a quick look at how those prospects from those two trades, and how the former Yankees traded away fared in their first season outside of the Yankees organization.

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Prospect Profile: Justus Sheffield

Prospect Profile: Justus Sheffield

As I have done in the past, I figured it would be a good use of the offseason to examine some of the Yankees top prospects. The youth movement has made the Yankees last couple seasons quite exciting, and there are still some exciting prospects in the Yankees’ system. So, we might as well start at the top and look at Justus Sheffield, a young, hard-throwing southpaw who saw his first taste of Major League ball in September.

Justus Sheffield:
DOB:
May 13, 1996 Hometown: Tullahoma, TN Position: LHP
B/T: L/L Height: 6’0” Weight: 200

Sheffield, a native of Tennessee, passed on his scholarship to Vanderbilt when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round (31st overall pick) of the 2014 draft. He signed quickly and started his professional career. He came to the Yankees in 2016 via the Andrew Miller trade, along with Clint Frazier.

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