Today is round two of the Yankees pro scouting meetings, that mean Brian Cashman, Billy Eppler and the Yankees team of scouts are sitting around a room going over every little detail of the Yankees minor league system and the potential trade and free agent targets who might make the team better next season.
How much would you love to be in that room?
Divulging exactly what is said would be in the best interest of no one involved. Sure, we’ll get bits and pieces of the conversation, but we’ll never get the full story. It’s one thing for opposing scouts to give their opinions — those are certainly helpful in forming our own perceptions — but in terms of the Yankees decisions moving forward, it’s the opinions in that room that matter most.
Wouldn’t you love to know…
What exactly the Yankees think of Jesus Montero behind the plate
The Yankees say publicly that Montero can catch at the big league level, and I’ve heard some opposing scouts say the same– heard some others disagree — but the Yankees were clearly hesitant to use him behind the plate in September. How the Yankees handle their catching situation in 2012 and beyond could seriously depend on just how much faith they have in Montero’s ability to play defense.
Whether the 2011 ups and downs are a sign of things to come
The Yankees don’t only scout other teams, they also scout themselves. I’m sure they’ve been talking about everything they saw in the Bronx in 2011. Did they see second-half changes that suggest Derek Jeter can remain productive? Was Curtis Granderson’s power display a sign that he’s truly turned a corner to be a middle-of-the-order threat? Is Mark Teixeira’s offensive decline fixable, or is he no longer one of the best all-around hitters in the game? Can Alex Rodriguez be himself after all these injuries? Is Ivan Nova’s success real? Is 2010 or 2011 more indicative of the real Phil Hughes?
How much CC Sabathia’s weight gain affects his performance and value
Sabathia’s a big boy, that’s no secret, and he’s pitched well at a heavy weight throughout his career. But he’s also had some knee problems, and after reporting to spring training noticeably thinner, the weight went back on through the course of the season. Obviously Sabathia can pitch well when he’s also eating well — and Joe Girardi dismissed his weight gain as a non-issue — but how much does Sabathia’s size factor into the Yankees willingness to commit more money and more years if he opts out?
Which unexpected free agents have grabbed the Yankees attention
This winter, signing Andruw Jones made some obvious sense — everyone knew the Yankees could use a right-handed outfielder with a history of success against left-handed pitchers — but guys like Eric Chavez and Freddy Garcia weren’t so obvious. A corner infielder made obvious sense, but Chavez was coming off a series of injuries and the Yankees must have had him on the radar. A starting pitcher made sense, but was Garcia the first name on your mind? Equalling as interesting… Which “obvious” free agent targets are quickly dismissed.
How many minor league starters are on the cusp
It was Phil Hughes in 2010 and Ivan Nova in 2011. Even after the struggles of the young 2008 rotation, the Yankees have proven they’re willing to give young starters a shot in the big leagues. It’s also well known that the Yankees have a ton of young pitching talent. Which of those have truly grabbed the Yankees attention? For obvious reasons, the Yankees are going to speak highly of Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, etc. What would be interesting would be a true ranking of which of those upper-level starters the Yankees honestly believe could open the season in the big leagues.
Associated Press photos