Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cool FanGraphs Feature On Heathcott & Austin

If you need a little something to do to kill time before this afternoon's game, go ahead and check out this FanGraphs interview of sorts with Yankee prospects Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin.  David Laurila spoke with both players and their Double-A hitting coach on their respective offensive games, approaches at the plate, and what they're trying to work on, and provided some brief scouting report information on each.

The best part about this is that it's not a typical "Q&A" piece where you just get little snippets of what each player said.  The entire article is basically Heathcott and Austin talking uninterrupted about their games, swings, approaches, and it gives you a really good idea of where each guy is as a player.  The overall theme for Heathcott, from his coach to the scouting report to his own first words, was the need to improve his approach and get more at-bats.  Despite his age, he's low on reps for a Double-A player and he's already missed some time this year with a neck issue.  Austin came across as much more mature in his approach and techniques at the plate, and the constant reference to his multi-field power is very encouraging when thinking about his future as a Major League prospect.

It's not often you get in-depth discussion like this from top MiL prospects like Austin and Heathcott, who were 3rd and 5th respectively in this year's AB4AR Top 30.  Definitely a good read if you're a prospect hugger.

Game 15 Wrap-Up: NYY 9 TOR 4

(So much Pronk.  Courtesy of the AP)

There were obviously far more important things going on in the US when the Yankees and Blue Jays took the field in Canada for the first game of their 3-game weekend series.  But that didn't stop the Bombers from doing their job and it didn't stop them from putting a whooping on the new-look Jays in their first meeting of the season.  They had Andy Pettitte back on the mound after an extended period of time off to recover from some back stiffness, and they had their regular lineup back on the field against right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow.

Game Notes:

- They didn't waste any time getting to Morrow in the top of the 1st.  A 1-out double-HBP-double sequence from Cano, Youkilis, and Hafner made it 1-0, and Vernon Wells chipped in an RBI groundout for another run.

- The Jays got 1 run back in the bottom half after a leadoff triple and RBI groundout by Melky Cabrera, but Pettitte was money after that, retiring 11 batters in a row through the 5th.  He had a lively 4-seam fastball and a nasty slider going, and struck out 4 in a row at one point.

- He got plenty more help from his offense, starting with a Travis Hafner solo HR in the top of the 3rd and ending with an errant Colby Rasmus throw home that plated 2 more and made it a 5-1 Yankee lead.

- The onslaught continued in the top of the 6th.  Lyle Overbay hit a 1-out solo HR and Francisco Cervelli hit a double to end Morrow's night, and Brett Gardner welcomed Brett Cecil to the game with an RBI triple of his own.  One more RBI groundout tacked on and it was 8-1.

- Jose Bautista crushed a 2-run HR to center in the bottom half to make it 8-3, Pettitte's only really bad mistake of the night, but he still made it through 7+ innings on just 90 pitches, showing no signs of lingering back issues.

- Vernon Wells chipped in a solo shot of his own in the 7th and Shawn Kelley sloppily finished the game for Pettitte.  Good start to the series if you're a Yankee fan.