Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Not A Prospect Yet (But Worth Watching): Corey Black

 (Courtesy of Bill Lyons/Staten Island Advance)

The members of the 2012 draft class are the most under-represented on this year's Top 30, mainly because the majority of them have such a small sample size to evaluate, but that doesn't mean there aren't good players and future AB4AR Top 30 members included.  Such is the case with Corey Black, a 4th-round pick out of Faulkner University.  Black made a name for himself prior to the draft and in his pro debut season on the strength of his fastball velocity, which sits mid-90s and was reported to hit triple digits on more than one occasion this past season.  In some circles that would be enough to get you on a top 30 prospects list, but some uncertainty surrounding Black's ultimate role as a Yankee led me to leave him off the radar for now until his career path becomes better defined.

2012-2013 AB4AR Top 30 Prospects: Just Missed The Cut

 (A bridesmaid again in 2013.  Courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/MLB.com)

The bad part about any top prospect list, be it 10, 15, or 30 players deep, is that there are always going to be some good, worthy guys who don't make the cut.  That was the case last year with the first edition of the AB4AR Top 30 and it held true this year as well.  Truth be told, it was a pretty big chore to not only figure out who made the list and who didn't, but also to figure out which of those players who missed the cut were most worthy of these 5 also-ran spots.  There is a lot of depth in the Yankee system right now, don't forget that, and the group of players who failed to crack this year's Top 30 are just as good a representation of that as the 30 who made the list.  After the jump, check out the 5 guys who fell just short of cracking the Top 30 this year.

Lack of Logic In Latest Upton Rumors

For a team that's supposedly not interested in acquiring him, the Yankees sure have been connected to Justin Upton a lot this offseason.  The latest rumor, as reported by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports on Sunday, has them interested in putting a package comparable to what Seattle offered together for Upton but, according to Morosi, also being unwilling to take on the 3 years and $38+ mil still owed to Upton.  Morosi suggests trading Curtis Granderson to Seattle as a way to help cut payroll in advance of trading for Upton, but this is where the train starts to come off the tracks.

First, trading Granderson to make payroll room for Upton would basically be a lateral move for 2013, not a move that improves the team.  Is an Upton-Gardner-Ichiro outfield any better than a C-Grand-Gardner-Ichiro one?  Maybe just a little if Upton rebounds to his 2011 form, but giving up prospects and trading away your best outfielder to get marginally better makes no sense.  And if the hold up really is not wanting to add payroll, then trading Granderson is hardly a fix for that.  He's coming off the books after this season anyway, so to move him now and weaken your 2013 outfield when he doesn't really affect the 2014 payroll anyway would be a classic "robbing Peter to pay Paul" scenario.

Most of what was discussed in Morosi's piece was his own speculation and hypothetical scenarios, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was some truth to it based on how the Yankees have conducted their business so far this offseason.  If money really is the hold up with Upton, then it's another example of the payroll goals getting in the way of smart baseball decisions.