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Justin Christian lands with San Francisco

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 05, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Former Yankees outfielder Justin Christian — once one of the feel-good stories of the Yankees farm system – has signed a minor league deal with the Giants. The deal does not include an invitation to big league camp.

Undrafted out of Southeast Missouri State, Christian slowly built some prospect stock and played his way to the big leagues in 2008, hitting .250 and stealing seven bases during his brief tenure on the Yankees bench. He was non-tendered that winter — and wound up injured in 2009 — but the Yankees brought Christian back last season and he hit 297/.374/.472 in Double-A, with a handful of games in Triple-A.

He went to Mexico this offseason and hit .356/.452/.561 in winter ball, and he’s now Mexico’s center fielder in the Caribbean Series (the team’s first baseman is Jorge Vazquez).

Christian was always easy to dismiss as a prospect, partially because he went undrafted out of a small school and partially because he came through the system with Brett Gardner (a similar but much more highly touted player). Covering minor league ball, I always appreciated guys like Christian — or J-Sizzle, as the guys called him — who had to earn absolutely everything.

He’s a good guy, with a good story. Good luck to him.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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97 Responses to “Justin Christian lands with San Francisco”

  1. Against All Odds February 5th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Good for Justin

  2. Nick in SF February 5th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    An asset no more.

  3. rb from LI February 5th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Hmm. Actually, he’s a Giant asset. :)

  4. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I was going to say: No longer part of the Yankees’ inventory. :smile:

  5. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Nick in SF,

    You like to bet on things. If you had to make a bet now, which 2 pitchers make the Opening Day roster as starters?

  6. rb from LI February 5th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Breakage in aisle 3?

  7. Nick in SF February 5th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Right now I’m sweating out a bet on the Harvard-Penn game while I watch Cal-Arizona.

    Betting on the Ivy League is not for the meek…go Fighting Quakers!

    As for which two pitchers, it’s pretty early to speculate too much, but based on absolutely nothing concrete, my guess today would be Nova and Garcia.

  8. Mell February 5th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    “Betting on the Ivy League is not for the meek…go Fighting Quakers!”

    Got a lot tougher when Penn and Princeton came back to the pack.

  9. Nick in SF February 5th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Penn lost the game, but Penn +3.5 pays out!

  10. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    My Dad went to Penn. You should have had me rooting earlier.

  11. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks Nick. Anyone one else want to fathom a guess as to which 2 pitchers are the opening day starters?

  12. Nick in SF February 5th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    An ex-gf went to Penn; I was okay with them losing but covering. ;)

  13. Mell February 5th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Looks like Garcia and Nova to me too.

  14. jacksquat February 5th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    SAS February 5th, 2011 at 9:41 pm
    Thanks Nick. Anyone one else want to fathom a guess as to which 2 pitchers are the opening day starters?

    Opening day, I’ll guess CC -> Mariano

    ;)

  15. exiledintampa February 5th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    opening day starters will be sabathia and halladay

  16. jacksquat February 5th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Oh, “starters”. CC vs. Verlander.

    Ok, I think you meant the 4/5 starters for the Yankees. I’ll go with Garcia and Nova.

  17. exiledintampa February 5th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    sorry i was thinkin first game st.

  18. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    jack…

    good job. everyone seems to agree. amazing on here. got to go eat dinner.

  19. BoJo February 5th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Did his shelf life expire?

  20. BoJo February 5th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    SAS February 5th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks Nick. Anyone one else want to fathom a guess as to which 2 pitchers are the opening day starters?
    +++++++++++
    CC and Hughes

  21. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    CC will be the opening day starter

  22. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Bojo,

    My question was: who will be the 4 and 5 pitchers as of opening day?

  23. Bronx Jeers February 5th, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Christian was a victim of too much inventory.

  24. Nick in SF February 5th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    FIFO.

  25. rb from LI February 5th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Overstock.com

  26. pat February 5th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I just saw a picture of Alex Rodriguez and Eli Manning and I never realized how big a guy Eli is.

    Standing next to 300+ lb linemen is more slimming than pinstripes.

  27. Sweet Swinging Cano February 5th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I suspect Garcia and Nova.

  28. SAS February 5th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    pat,

    You do have the best goodies on here. :smile:

  29. GreenBeret7 February 5th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Garcia and Nova, unless something happens in ST. I’d like to see both Garcia and Colon make the rotation and use Nova for spot starts and long relief and if Colon are doing pretty well move one of them to a team in need of starting pitching and pick up a good minor league prospect or a couple of decent ones and move Nova into the rotation. It would buy more time for the youngsters in Scranton and Trenton.

  30. GreenBeret7 February 5th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    and if Colon ***and Garcia*** are doing pretty well move

  31. GreenBeret7 February 5th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Happy to see that Justin Christian is getting a chance somewhere else. He wasn’t going to get it with NYYs. Not sure why he wasn’t offered a ST invite by SF, though. Hopefully, he pushes his way onto the team early and hammers the ball into the gaps and runs wild.

  32. Rich in NJ February 5th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I want to see Brackman win a spot in the rotation in ST.

  33. BIG AL February 5th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Justin Christian is a fine young man, hope he does well and gets a chance at a ML career, he has the tools, if he stays healthy.

  34. tyanksfan36 February 5th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Soo I’m watching Minka Kelly on Jimmy Fallon from last night. She is really pretty but she’s got a big chin.

  35. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:01 am

    SAS February 5th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Bojo,

    My question was: who will be the 4 and 5 pitchers as of opening day?
    ++++++++++++++
    :lol:
    I am going to go out on a limb here and guess Garcia and Nova…But hope it is Nova and Burnett (due to an acquisition)

  36. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:02 am

    tyanksfan36 February 5th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Soo I’m watching Minka Kelly on Jimmy Fallon from last night. She is really pretty but she’s got a big chin.
    +++++++++++++++
    There are so many ways I could reply to that, but none of them are appropriate for a family blog.

  37. SAS February 6th, 2011 at 12:07 am

    GB, Bojo,

    Thanks for answering my question. I would have chosen them too, but I didn’t want to say anything before some of the people I respect said anything.

    Everyone who answered said the same thing. Can you imagine agreement on this blog about anything…lol

  38. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Watching Dana Carvey on SNL….he would ask me “Well, and just who gave you all those inappropriate thoughts…hmmm….the DEVIL?”

  39. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:10 am

    SAS–

    I suspect that–as much as I would love a trade for Gio Gonzales and as much as there may be rumors floating around–Cashman won’t make any moves prior to end of ST, to let him see what he has….Then, if no one steps up and Garcia flops and Colon bursts, and the prospects aren’t doing it, he might press for a trade in May. But I get the feeling the real trade will come in July. I suspect Santana will be the guy.

    In reality, the only rotation roster to worry about is the play-off rotation…and I’m sure we’ll be fine by then.

  40. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:12 am

    A more fun question might be who the play-off rotation would be. That projects who we thin will be the targeted acquisition…or prospect to step up. It would be way cool for example if Betances was so overpowering during season that he pulled a Mel Stottlemyre circa 1964 and played a big role…or a Brackman or Banuelos…

  41. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Actually, it could be way cool if at some point Chad had a series of threads devoted to predictions for the season, including:
    1) Opening day roster
    2) Trade acquisitions
    3) Post season roster predictions
    4) Awards predictions
    5) Standings predictions and play-offs predictions

    All the threads would be in a 1 week timeframe so they could be easily found at year end.

    Don’t know if he does this, as I don’t recall last year.

  42. tyanksfan36 February 6th, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Bojo

    It was be really messy if Colon bursts if you know what I mean. Wouldn’t wish that on anyone, especially the Yankees ;)

  43. SAS February 6th, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Bojo,

    I was at Stottlemyre’s first start.

    I don’t even presume to know about who will be in a play off rotation. We have to get there first. I was bored with the conversation so I asked the question.

    I look forward to seeing the ‘B’ team at work one of these days. The Yankees have rarely had great rotations with 4 or 5 really good starters at once. GB knows the answers to all those things…not me.

    I am just an ‘old’ lady’ on here who has been a fan as long if not longer than anyone else on this blog.

  44. SAS February 6th, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Bojo,

    I thought CC should have won the CY award last season, but they gave it King Felix with half the wins or thereabouts. I think the Yankee players have to be so far superior to win these awards that it is silly business.

  45. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Jerkface, you’re right about Cash and CC. I do recall CC appreciating that Cashman (despite his desperation) not rushing him to make a decision, recognizing that it was a career-changing decision. Lee was quoted recently as saying the same thing.

  46. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Still, treating a player or referring to him as a piece of meat to be bought, sold and traded as if on the stock market is pretty chilly terminology

  47. tyanksfan36 February 6th, 2011 at 12:35 am

    So I was asked by my friend who knows nothing about baseball to look at her husbands stat line to give my opinion on whether he is a good pitcher or not. He won’t be making any prospect lists anytime soon. I kinda feel sorry for the people who watch those games. He allowed 33 runs on 48 innings. He has a career ERA over 6. Surprisingly he only lost 2 games last year.

  48. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Tyanks, that had to have been hard – were you honest with her?

  49. 4 NYY February 6th, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Banuelos looks more the part of a M L pitcher right now than any of the young guns.

    What form and control to go along with a good curve and great change.

    Could be a combo of Santana-Lester.

  50. Jerkface February 6th, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Who is this guy? Is it Bobby Bell?

  51. Jerkface February 6th, 2011 at 1:43 am

    No wait I change my answer to Taylor Lewis

  52. West Coast Yankee Fan February 6th, 2011 at 3:37 am

    4 NYY February 6th, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Banuelos looks more the part of a M L pitcher right now than any of the young guns. What form and control to go along with a good curve and great change.Could be a combo of Santana-Lester.

    **************

    Don’t you think that’s a bit premature? You’re talking about a AA pitcher.

  53. Jerkface February 6th, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Don’t you think that’s a bit premature? You’re talking about a AA pitcher.

    Clayton Kershaw pitched 37 innings as an 18 year old. The next year pitched 122 innings, ending in 20 innings of AA. At the age of 20, he pitched 67 innings in AA and then was called up to the majors.

    He struggled in his first season then went on to pitch 2 sub 3 ERA years right after. Is Banuelos Kershaw? Maybe.

  54. tyanksfan36 February 6th, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Betsy

    Know you’re not up anymore but no, I wasn’t totally honest with her. I told her it was pretty bad to allow that many runs in that many innings but he gets a good amount of groundballs(43%) so maybe he just doesn’t have good infielders backing him up. He also walks a ton of guys. When I compared him to other members of his bullpen, he wasn’t the worst so I told her that. She supports him so that’s all that matters.

  55. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Jerkface February 6th, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Is Banuelos Kershaw? Maybe.
    +++++++++++++
    Cool!!! We not only get a pitcher who can be 2 places at once, we also get a master of disguise!!!!

  56. tyanksfan36 February 6th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Betsy

    Also in his 48 innings pitched he only allowed 1 homerun, in his mninor leage career he has only allowed 7. So he doesn’t give up a lot of fly balls, just a lot of hits(but that can be dependent on infielders) and a lot of walks which is all on him. Also, having other bad pitchers in the bullpen can’t help. I looked up one start, he allowed no hits but walked 2 and was replaced and was charged with 2 runs when the next guy allowed a double and his walks to score.

  57. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 6:41 am

    You can also tell her pitchers take time to mature at each level sometimes….they learn new pitches….improve their mechanics…get stronger as they fill out…get better steroids, etc.

    Maybe he can learn a trick pitch like the knuckleball as one example of how they adapt

  58. tyanksfan36 February 6th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Bojo

    Haha, well she did tell me he was learning the sinkerball and was only supposed to use that when he went out to pitch. He definitely isn’t the worst on his team, and he has spent a year at every level. Maybe this year will be better for him. I’m interested if he stays in the same level or gets promoted this year.

  59. Doreen February 6th, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Good morning, morning people. :)

    I just read an article in the Wednesday WSJ (my husband brought it home from work, so I’m now catching up before the Sunday papers arrive) about retiring from baseball. FROM FANTASY CAMP.

    I had always viewed fantasy camp baseball as something of a one-time special thing to do (if you could afford it). Apparently, there are men who go year after year after year after year. And the article talks about how some of them find it hard to “retire” from fantasy baseball.

    I guess it’s no different than going on a yearly golf outing with the guys. Probably costs as much, maybe even less.

    I had never thought about the idea of retiring from a hobby.

  60. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Morning folks.

    I’m ready for the SB. It’s party time.

    And P and C’s about a week later.

    :)

  61. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:32 am

    And by the way, I would have given Justin Christian a ST invite.

    I think he would make an excellent 5th OF’er, or even better.

    I wish him well. Hope he gets a a chance to show what he’s got.

  62. Doreen February 6th, 2011 at 7:34 am

    MTU -

    I agree about Justin Christian. I wish him the best of luck. Sometimes a person needs a change, though. There probably was some “stuck in a rut” feeling for him with the Yankees.

  63. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Doreen-

    Yeah. Maybe so. He looked good in the short time he played for us.

  64. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:40 am

    My opening day rotation :

    CC
    PH
    AJ
    X
    Y

    :)

  65. upstate kate February 6th, 2011 at 7:44 am

    good morning all…nice to see so many people up early :)

    we got a monster snowstorm, so I guess I will be spending my day digging out

  66. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Is Z the long man out of the pen?

  67. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Bojo-

    Not if Mitre doesn’t make the rotation.

    If he does, yes.

    With X and Y in there we might need 2 long men though.

    ;)

  68. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Kate-

    I don’t know how all you people put up with it.

    Stay safe.

  69. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I wonder if Colon would be interested in working out of the pen as a
    swingman ?

    He still hits 93-94 on the gun and he might hold up better.

    Just a thought.

  70. MaineYankee February 6th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    kate

    It sounds like you got it worse than I did.

    I haven’t been out yet but I think we got about 7″.

    I think we got another one coming during the week too.

    MTU

    5th outfielders are easy to come by.

    I think they have options that are on the 40 man roster.

  71. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    You know what’s disgusting about this year’s Superbowl.

    No cheerleaders for either side.

    Next they’ll be removing the great traditions started by the “budweiser frogs”.

    What’s this World coming to ?

    :(

  72. MaineYankee February 6th, 2011 at 8:08 am

    MTU

    I’m not sure what happened but Colon quit on the RS before the season was over a cple of years ago.

    I don’t like to see that.

    Of course I guess I can’t blame him for not wanting to stay with the RS. :lol:

  73. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Maine-

    Your probably right but I think of JC as an upgraded version of Golson.

    He can hit in addition to defend and it would have cost us little or nothing to let him strut his stuff.

    He absolutely tore up the Mexican league after a great campaign in the Minors this past season.

    C’est La Vie.

    :)

  74. MaineYankee February 6th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    MTU

    Just watch the lingerie bowl. :lol:

  75. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Maine-

    Thanks for the tip. I’m gonna call up Pat M. and see if I can come over when his pool cleaner shows up.

    ;)

  76. upstate kate February 6th, 2011 at 8:16 am

    or the puppy bowl on animal planet

  77. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Kate-

    Rather see the full monty and go with the Westminster Kennel club
    show.

    :)

  78. DaSaint007 February 6th, 2011 at 8:20 am

    MTU,

    I don’t understand why Justin didn’t get an invite to ST. Surely he could have competed well against Golson and Curtis. And not to get an invite to ST for the Giants must really hurt also.

  79. Abe Peterham February 6th, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Is the MLB the hardest , most time consuming pro sport to get in?
    Statistically I wonder, it seems like a ton of people waste time in minors…

  80. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Saint-

    Me neither. I think the guy can play. He sure couldn’t cost much.

    He’s a little like a MiLB version of Rodney Dangerfield.

    One underdog who I am definitely rooting for.

  81. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    These next 2 seasons for the Yankees are going to be very interesting.

  82. KPB February 6th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Why didn’t we get anything for Justin Christian? Was he a FA?

  83. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Here’s a question.

    Recently the Yankees farm system was ranked #5.

    That’s near the top and it considers our entire Farm system.

    How high would we be if the rankings were based solely upon pitching and catching in the Minors ?

    #1 ? #2 ?

  84. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:37 am

    KPB-

    I believe he was.

  85. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:39 am

    What the heck are all you people doing up so early ?

    KPB-

    I hope you got some rest.

  86. KPB February 6th, 2011 at 8:41 am

    How accurate do you guys think this assessment is?

    http://www.minorleagueball.com.....s-for-2011

    Would you change anyone around?

  87. KPB February 6th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    MTU

    Thanks. That’s what I was leaning towards, since they didn’t get anything in return.

    Rest. Strange couple of days. I was awake from 8:00 am Thurs.- around 7:30pm Fri. I would sleep 45 min- an hour, then be up 2-3 more. Finally fell asleep about 1:00 am- about 7:15am. Still dog tired and thinking of going back to bed. Thanks for asking. :smile:

  88. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:50 am

    KPB-

    Not sure I would or that it would make much difference.

    One thing I would nitpick on is that I am not sure I would rank Warren higher than Phelps.

    And why is Sanchez ranked so high when Marshall isn’t ?

    Many think Marshall is one of the best arms in our system.

    Both in lower the lower levels despite the obvious talent.

    Another guy to keep on your radar would be DePaula.

    He has great potential. Super arm. Just starting out though.

    Ask GB. He’s our Scouting Director.

  89. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    KPB-

    Christian might also just have been released.

    Not sure on which.

  90. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 8:56 am

    KPB-

    Good people to ask on farm questions are :

    GB, SJ, Phil the Thrill,and Yankeefem among others.

    They all have seen some of these guys play. Some on TV. Some live.

  91. KPB February 6th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    MTU

    There’s a few things I want to ask GB about MiLB. As far as why Sanchez is ranked higher…I have no idea. I’ve never heard of any of them, except for big names on here. I plan on trying to follow the “kids” this year and learning a little about the MiLB.

  92. KPB February 6th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Good people to ask on farm questions are :
    ——————

    Scary you wrote that while I was responding about it.

    Stay out of my mind! :smile:

  93. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    KPB-

    Your timing is good. They are going to play a bigger and bigger role over the next few years.

    I look forward to your reports. I may get in on the MiLB viewing this season too.

    It’s fun to watch them come along. This is one area where Cashman deserves a world of credit. For rebuilding the Farm.

  94. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    KPB-

    That’s what Blake would say but he’s out of luck as we share a brain at this point.

    Perhaps you are part of our “hive mind” too.

    We’re just like a grove of Aspen trees. Many individual trees all coming from the same root.

    :)

    :)

  95. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    New thread =====>

  96. 108 stitches February 6th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Not seeing Justin Christian’s name in the previous thread now explains the pickup of Justin Maxwell.

  97. joe b February 6th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    2nd or even 3rd place in their division this year. OLD, OLD, OLD !!!!!!!


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