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Category Archives: New York Yankees

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A Possible Impact Rookies for Every AL East Team in 2019

Despite the dozens of scouts watching, the thousands of MLB players who have played a substantial amount of games in the Minor Leagues, and the overage of statistics on every AAA player, it’s still incredibly hard to project a prospect’s MLB career before it happens. Although the top prospects, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna, won the 2018 Rookie of the Year awards, there are always surprises such as Joey Wendle and Harrison Bader, as well as disappointing rookie seasons such as Scott Kingery and Lewis Brinson.
At this point in the offseason, it is slightly premature to look at what prospects will make the biggest difference in the upcoming season. Nobody has shown off in Spring Training, top prospects can still be traded, and a number of free agents have yet to sign and could ultimately take away a starting role from a rookie that currently slots into the lineup. Nonetheless, rookies can make a huge and unexpected impact on any team’s season, and it is important to know who can make a name for themselves.
Baltimore Orioles: DJ Stewart, RF

Stewart has never been ranked among the top prospects, and none of his tools particularly stand out. However, he’s been productive at every level, including a short 17 game stint in the MLB. He’s currently projected by Roster Resource to be the team’s starting right fielder. He won’t be a great defender as scouting reports say, but his bat is intriguing as a three-true-outcomes type hitter.
Stewart had walked over 10% of the time in each of the last 3 minor league seasons, and although he strikes out more than the average player, it has never been at unbearable rates. In his short MLB stint, Stewart had a 12.1% whiff rate, which is certainly playable. Considering his plate discipline and the fact that he sprays the ball all over the field, Stewart’s hit tool may translate better to the MLB than many had previously thought.
Whether Stewart’s raw power translates as well will make or break his career. He showed off his power with 3 home runs in his first 43 MLB plate appearances. His average batted ball distance in September of 2018 was 195 feet, and although that’s not always the best predictor for future home runs, it is notable that he sits around Jose Ramirez, Daniel Murphy, and Matt Kemp.
The Orioles are expected to play plenty of rookies this season, as they won’t be making a strong attempt to compete so they will put an emphasis on development. Not many of their top prospects will play a large portion of the season on the MLB roster, especially if they choose to manipulate the service time as many teams choose to do with their prospects.
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Boston Red Sox cannot afford to have bullpen on mound

The Boston Red Sox have come out of two divisional series games with one clear glaring weakness: their bullpen. After a disastrous performance from David Price, the New York Yankees made it clear that they will abuse their bullpen, taking away what could be a clear pitching advantage with the starting rotation.
The Red Sox had a bullpen that almost ruined a masterful Chris Sale performance, and the Yankees feel comfortable with anyone out of that bullpen not named Craig Kimbrel, who they already have a home run off.
The offense takes some blame too, because they need to generate more offense against the Yankees no matter who is on the mound. The difference, however, is the Red Sox have all the confidence they need in their bats to get to any pitchers on the Yankees. With the bullpen, particularly the middle relievers, there is little to no confidence, putting even more pressure on the starting rotation.
After Sale and Price, the Red Sox lose an additional edge with their starters, and they cannot expect anything impossible. No one can expect to shut out an offense as explosive as the Yankees, but having their starter get to the seventh inning with a lead can make all the difference for this team.
Going deep is the most important thing. These pitchers can afford to make mistakes here and there, but it all about mitigating the damage. With Price, things derailed far too quickly and he needed to be taken out of the game.
The rest of this rotation now knows how important it is to avoid that kind of disaster and play consistent enough to get through six innings without letting any inning get out of hand.
The Red Sox now have to try and win in a ball park that favors the Yankees tremendously, so it will be even harder for the pitching. Right now, it is clear that the Red Sox need to win with their offense, but balance is the only way to establish consistency.
Outside of Sale, the Red Sox do not have another pitcher they can expect to dominate, but they cannot get pushed around on a regular basis. It is always about containing the power against the Yankees, and making sure they do not get runs in chunks with runners in scoring position.
Nathan Eovaldi knows how important his performance against the Yankees is tonight, along with an offense that is yet to unleash their full potential. Timing is everything in baseball, but the Red Sox know they have the tools to overwhelm anything the Yankees are trying to do.
The fear, however, is that the Yankees blow everything they are trying to do up but getting to a pitcher early on. From there, the Yankees can easily breakdown their bullpen and put far too much pressure on the offense.

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