Yesterday, Baseball America - the Consumer Reports for rating MLB farms - anointed Jorge Mateo as Our Second Coming of Jesus, (as in Jesus Montero), even though the kid has yet to shave in Double A. This means we'll probably watch the guy for two years before he appears in pinstripes, and for the rest of his career, he will carry the baggage of unlimited potential. If there is a modern day curse to be placed on a player, it is what happened yesterday to Jorge Mateo.
Anyway, a grand BA tradition is that after releasing a Top 10 list, the writer takes questions from the troglodytes. For the Yankees, this unleashes as orgy of speculative trivialism about names most Yankee fans will never even utter. It's like a Star Trek convention, where guys wearing Vulcan ears argue about the Gorn's backstory. But like those poor fools, I read it fervently for insights into the Yankee future.
Yesterday, it was scarier than a NASA report on global warming. If you dream about the Yankees' future, do NOT go here.
Here are the most distressing lines from yesterday's chat. Warning: This is NSFH. (Not Safe For Hope.)
1. "If he reaches his ceiling, he could be a Brendan Ryan type of guy." - This on Kyle Holder, our first-round pick last year at SS. Huh? We drafted a first-round SS (first SS since Cito Culver) - and at full potential, he's the next Brendan Ryan? Where's the rest room? I gotta barf.
2. "I don’t think there’s much chance Jagielo plays third base longterm. Evaluators have panned his defense since last year." - Again, a first-rounder looks compromised. We took Jagielo ahead of Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin three years ago. Now, he looks like trade bait, or the next Kyle Roller. Why can't the Yankees develop thirdbasemen? Is there a curse we don't know about? Will we be stuck forever with Chase Headley?
3. "Yoan Moncada is likely to be in our Top 10 prospects overall. The ceiling is high for both, but Moncada could be a superstar." I can't let go. I CAN'T LET GO. BA says Mateo - our number one - will make their Top 100. Whoopie. The Redsocks signed Moncada, because Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner wanted to pinch his precious pennies. Yankee fans need to start considering the B-word: Boycott.
4. "I don’t think people are as high on him as they had been." They are talking about Aaron Judge, our power forward in RF. The new line on Judge is that he's got the biggest strike zone in baseball, and he was undressed last summer in Triple A. If Judge tanks, we're back to spinning crapola about Jesus Montero. We can't afford to have another Montero.
5. "Refsnyder, even if he’s never going to be Roberto Alomar at second, has improved and is an up-the-middle type of player." It's sad that I would become angry over positive words expressed about Refsnyder, but we know the deal: He'll never get a chance with the Yankees. What's the point of discussing this guy? Our top brass speaks ill of long and bloated contracts, then we trade for Starlin Castro. And the echo chamber adores this. (The NY Post recently had a headline that went, WHY THE YANKEES ARE DROOLING OVER STARLIN CASTRO.) What crapola. Have you gone onto any Cubs web sites? Because they're delighted to be done with him.
6. "He’s got 80 innings as a professional in two seasons and change. That’s alarming for a first-round starting pitcher." This is BA defending the fact that Ian Clarkin didn't make the top 10. Yep, another first-rounder. Clarkin has done nothing to warrant a top 10 ranking, aside from being picked in the first round. It's not his fault. He's been hurt. I get that. But deal with it, folks. (Same goes for Ty Hensley, the snake-bitten first-rounder. I wish I could wave a wand and snap the curse. But once injured, many players - especially pitchers - are never the same.)
7. "Evaluators weren’t particularly high on Molina." Somebody asked if OF Leonard Molina was ready to "break out." (That's the line prospect-huggers always use, dreaming of a guy who suddenly sets his league on fire.) Molina is another guy whose only reason for hope is that we paid a lot of money to sign him. He's young and wealthier than you will ever be. And so we're supposed to be excited. So when he doesn't hit, and he's rated poorly, the huggers claim anti-Yankee bias.
8. "He could be a mid-rotation guy." This is about James Kaprielian, our first-rounder from last June. A mid-rotation guy? Wow. So we had two first-round picks: One is the next Brendan Ryan and the other is a future David Phelps? Wow.
9. "He had elbow surgery, got crushed in the big leagues (though that may have been a product of the bone chips) and evaluators want to see better command and a smoother delivery." This is on Jacob Lindgren, another top picks, whom the Yankees spent most of last spring congratulating themselves for. (This is a common theme, by the way. The Yankiverse basically acts as an echo chamber for front office spin.)
10. "... starter stuff, below-average command and could be a weapon out of the bullpen." He's talking about Bryan Mitchell, whom we consider our sixth starter. Well, maybe I should cheer up. They say we might get something for Mitchell in a trade.
Hey, here's an idea! Let's trade for Jesus Montero! I hear Seattle might be willing to let him go.