New York YankeesOur expert from ScoutPRO.com,Shawn Childs, helps you prepare for your big fantasy baseball draft.
New York Yankees Team Projection
Here is my breakdown of the
1. SP C.C Sabathia
Sabathia had a disaster season in 2013 after delivering 7 straight plus seasons with 122 wins and an ERA under 3.40 in each year.? C.C. had surgery in October of 2012 to have a bone spur removed from his elbow, so maybe he wasn't 100% healthy in 2013.? His AFB (91.1) was a career low and his velocity has declined by 2.7 mph over the last 2 years.? His slider continues to be his #2 pitch, followed by a solid change up.? Last year, he pitched well in April (4-2 with 3.35), but delivered negative stats in every other month of the season (May - 4.14 , June - 5.11, July - 5.11, August - 5.94, and September - 3.90).? Late in the year, Sabathia was battling a hamstring injury.? C.C. allowed 2 runs or less only 9 times in his 32 starts.? He has a long resume of success and his decline in velocity in 2012 may have been a result of his elbow issue.? Last year, Sabathia may have taken it easy in the offseason, which led to him being more out of shape than he normally is.? I respect his motivation and see him as bounce back candidate.? I expect 15+ wins with a sub 3.50 ERA.
2. SP Hiroki Kuroda
Kuroda pitched his 4th straight solid season in the majors in 2013.? The change from the NL to the AL hasn't hurt his success.? His command (1.9) continues to be elite, but his K rate (6.7) has declined ever so slightly over the last 3 years.? As good as he has pitched, he has a losing record in the majors (68-70 with a 3.40 ERA).? Last year, Hiroki had a 2.41 ERA in mid August after 25 starts.? Kuroda was crushed in his last 3 starts in August (8.10 ERA and 1.86 WHIP) and pitched poorly in September (5.70 ERA and 1.50 whip).? His AFB (91.5) has declined in 4 straight years.? He throws a slider has his #2 pitch.? Last year, he threw his split-finger fastball a career high 21% of the time.? Over his last 3 seasons, his LOB % has been above the league average, resulting in a lower ERA.? New York signed him to a 1 year, $16 million contract in December.? Solid major league arm pitching for a team that will score runs, but his success has to end at some point.?
3. SP Ivan Nova
Nova was drilled in his first 4 starts of the year (6.48), which led to him losing his slot in the starting rotation for 2 months.? When he returned as a starter in June, he was a totally different pitcher.? He then allowed 3 runs or less in 12 of his next 13 starts to lower his ERA to 3.02 in early September.? Over his last six starts of the year, he pitched 2 complete game shutouts.? Ivan's command (2.8) was a career best.? His K rate (7.5) was a step down from 2012, but it was much stronger than his first season in the majors.? Nova was a much better pitcher at home (2.44 ERA - 4.40 ERA on the road).? His AFB (93.0) was in line with 2012.? However, he really only has one other pitch (curve ball), which is a bad sign for this season.? His 1st pitch strikes % (54) was very low and it could lead to a spike in his walk rate this year.? Nova will have an attractive resume in some fantasy players minds, but I see regression in 2014 unless he develops a 3rd pitch and throws a higher % of strikes.? Nice arm, but he will be over drafted this year.
4. SP Michael Pineda
Pineda was able to return to the minors last year, but was shutdown in mid August with right shoulder stiffness. In his 10 starts in the minors with low pitch counts, he had a strong K rate (9.1) and batters only hit .206 against him.? He also showed better command (2.3) with a higher K rate (10.0).? Pineda has one solid season on his major league resume.? With a full offseason, he should be ready to compete for a starting job with New York. His innings will most likely be limited to less than 150 in 2014.? It will be important to follow his progress in spring training.? His average fastball (AFB) in 2011 with the Mariners was 94.7.? If he has his fastball, the rest should follow.
5. SP Masahiro Tanaka
The Yankees were the big winners in the Tanaka chase. Masahiro signed a 7-year, $155 million contract. He had a career 99-35 record in Japan with a 2.30 ERA with 1238 K's in 1315 innings. Tanaka has had elite command (1.3) over the last 4 seasons, but his K rate (8.5) has only been elite twice during his career (9.5 in 2007 and 9.6 in 2011). He throws a mid 90's fastball with a plus slider and plus split-finger fastball. When you compare his resume to Yu Darvish, Tanaka has better command. Both pitchers averaged over 7.5 innings per start, but Darvish was much tougher to hit (6.5 H/9 innings - Tanaka - 8.1). Masahiro will enter the majors with a declining K rate (7.8), while Darvish was coming off a career high (10.7). Tanaka has a plus arm, but his skill set may be a slight step down from Darvish. However, his strike throwing ability should lead to more success during his rookie season than Darvish. I'm going to set the bar at Jordan Zimmerman in 2013 (3.25 ERA) with a few more K's.?
6. SP Vidal Nuno
Nuno gave the Yankees 3 quality starts (2 runs in 17 innings) in May when Nova was struggling.? He was sent back to AAA in early June where he suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season.? In his 5 starts at AAA, he had a 1.44 ERA with 2 walks and 30 K's in 25 innings.? He had solid command (2.7) in his brief stint in the majors, but had a real short K rate (4.1).? In his minor league career, he had 8.6 K's per 9 innings.? Vidal has a short fastball (88.0) and relies on a high % of sliders.?? He also throws a solid curve ball and an occasional change up.? Of the 3 options for the 5th slot in the starting rotation, Nuno may have the most upside.? He is 32-18 in his minor league career with a 2.84 ERA.
7. SP Adam Warren
Warren pitched well for the Yankees last season, but his ERA was lower than expected due to a high LOB % (84.7).? His walk rate (3.5) needs to improve if he wants a shot in the starting rotation.? He allows too many HR's (1.2) and LH batters hit .301 against him.? New York gave him one start in the last week of the season.? He threw 5 shutout innings with 4 K's.? He has a solid fastball (92.7) with 2 pitches that he trusts (slider and change up), plus he throw a curve ball.? Adam showed upside in 2010 in the minors when he went 11-7 with a 2.59 ERA and 126 K's in 135.3 innings.? Warren's arm will have some upside if he can throw more strikes.
8. SP David Phelps
The Yankees gave Phelps a chance to start after a couple of injuries, but he was ineffective (5-4 with a 4.93 ERA).? His K rate (8.2) was much weaker as a starter (7.3 - 11.1 as a reliever).? Also, he strained his right forearm in early July, which led to a 2 month stint on the DL.? He returned to New York in mid September as a reliever (2 runs allowed in 4 innings).? His AFB (89.9) was almost a full MPH lower than 2012.? David throws a slider and curve ball about the same % of the time (plus an occasional change up).? His command was poor against RH batters (17 walks in about 45 innings).? Phelps has a career 2.53 ERA in the minors with 92 starts.? He isn't an overpowering pitcher and his forearm injury may be a sign of Tommy John surgery down the road.? Possible backend option for the Yankees, but his window could close very quickly via a trade or a couple of shady starts.? I won't dismiss totally, but won't chase him in the draft either.?
9. CL David Robertson
Robertson is probably in a no win situation.? He will take over for Rivera and his 652 career saves.? David has been exceptional pitching as a set up man for New York over the last 3 seasons (1.91 ERA with 258 K's in 193.7 innings.? His fastball (91.7) has declined in two straight seasons and really only throws one other pitch (curve ball).? Robertson's command (2.4) was a career best last year and it has improved steadily over the last 2 seasons.? He has dominated LH batters (.179) over the last 3 seasons, but righties have hit .255 against him over the last 2 years.? Last year, he had a sore shoulder early in spring training and had another issue in September. Robertson appears to have the tools to close, but we need to see if he has the guile to handle the job over the long haul.?
10. RP Matt Thornton
Just looking at the options for the 7th and 8th innings for the Yankees, it looks like there could be a lot of blown wins.? New York signed Thornton to a 2-year contract in December.? His K rate (6.2) was a career low and it has declined in four straight seasons.? His AFB (94.2) remains strong, but it has also declined over the last 4 years. Matt has tried to use his slider more over the last 2 seasons and added a cutter 3 years ago, which he uses a low % of the time.? Thornton has never had the stones to close and his skill set is on the decline.? Righties hit .333 against him with more walks (12) than K's (10) in 2013.? No chance at saves if Robertson fails.
11. RP Jose Ramirez
Ramirez really struggled in his limited exposure in AAA (4.88 ERA with 21 walks in 31.3 innings).? The Yankees bullpen is short on arms with plus fastballs, so I'm adding Ramirez as a possible reliever.? His fastball can reach the upper 90's as starter and his 2nd best pitch is a change up.? He'll enter 2014 at age 24 with only 8 starts at AAA.? I think it's time for him to pitch in the bullpen, but he doesn't have the command (3.4) to close.?