The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Vazquez, Banuelos and Nunez early Dawson favorites

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 15, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

First, an announcement: We’ll be hosting a live chat here at the LoHud Yankees Blog tomorrow afternoon at 2:30. Not sure whether Sam is going to be around, but I’ll be back from the clubhouse in time to do a little chatting about the Yankees at roughly the mid-way point of their spring schedule. Stop by.

Second, a remarkably minor detail: For those of you who care about the lowest levels of the minor league system, it turns out the four minor leaguers brought over to face CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon this morning were Kelvin DeLeon, Jose Toussen, Damon Sublett and Neil Medchill. It was DeLeon who doubled off Sabathia’s first pitch of the day. DeLeon also had two of the four hits off Colon, and Sublett later smoked a double to center off Sabathia.

Third, an actual blog post:

Last year Jon Weber won the Dawson Award as the best rookie in Yankees camp. He was out of the organization by the middle of the season. The year before last, it was Brett Gardner who won the Dawson Award. Now he’s the everyday left fielder. Basically, the Dawson Award is about as reliable as a spring training batting average for predicting long-term success.

But, let’s face it, part of the fun of spring training is seeing the new guys.

If I had to vote today, I would pick Jorge Vazquez for this year’s Dawson Award. There’s much more hype around Manny Banuelos, and Eduardo Nunez is much more likely to play his way onto the team, but Vazquez has been the Yankees best hitter. And that’s in a camp with a red-hot Alex Rodriguez.

Look at it this way: Imagine Vazquez were a Top 10 Yankees prospect. Imagine he came into camp with the same sort of hype as Banuelos, then hit .463/.483/.893 with three home runs through 28 at-bats. Imagine these were Jesus Montero’s numbers.

If Vazquez had any sort of prospect hype, the entire Yankee Universe would be exploding.┬áHe doesn’t generate the same attention as Banuelos or Montero or Andrew Brackman — and he might not have the same long-term impact — but that doesn’t mean he’s not having a better spring.

Banuelos has been terrific, and if he tosses three more scoreless innings against a major league lineup, I could easily change my tune.

Nunez has been all-around impressive, and if he does play his way onto the team, that might be worth rewarding.

But right now I’ll take Vazquez’s production.

Associated Press photo of Vazquez with Montero

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