Author: Derek Page 1 of 152

Looking back at the Yankees’ 2017 Draft

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This year’s draft is over and done with. You can see who the Yankees selected here. Of note: first round pick Spencer Jones, an outfielder who stands at a towering six-foot-seven with big power projection. Sound familiar? Fair or not, he’s already had a left-handed Aaron Judge comp thrown around. That sure would be a fun outcome, wouldn’t it?

Like I did last year, it’s time for a retrospective of the Yankees’ draft from five years ago. Here’s the 2016 piece I penned. Let’s dive right into the facts of the club’s 2017 selections:

  • Signed: 23/40
  • Made the majors: 7
  • Still in the organization: 8
  • WAR for Yankees: 0.7
  • Total WAR: 4.7

*Baseball Reference WAR.

Those are by far better results in terms of WAR than the ’16 draft, though the bar was very low to clear. The likes of Nick Nelson and Brooks Kriske really put a drag on the ’16 class. Granted, the Yankees made some trades out of that crop that significantly benefited the major league roster (the David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Todd Frazier trade).

Like the draft haul from a year prior, the Yankees didn’t hesitate to trade away some pieces from the ’17 class. In turn, they acquired the following players:

  • Jameson Taillon: +3.1 WAR
  • Joey Gallo: +0.5 WAR
  • Joely Rodríguez: +0.3 WAR, who turned into Miguel Castro (-0.3 WAR)
  • Andrew Heaney: 0.0 WAR

Now, there were non-’17 draft class players included in the trades for Taillon, Gallo, and Rodríguez, so their contributions to the major league team don’t totally stem from the prospects drafted and traded. Still, it’s worth mentioning how the Yankees improved the team via the draft, even if indirectly.

Now, let’s get into the players selected in greater detail:

Jose Trevino’s Transformation

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Entering this season, the Yankees essentially planned to punt offense at the catcher position. Kyle Higashioka (lifetime 63 wRC+ through 2021) and Ben Rortvedt (40 wRC+ in 98 MLB plate appearances) were set to share time behind the plate as defense-first backstops while the team showed Gary Sánchez the door. Then, a Rortvedt injury led to the Yankees making what seemed like an innocuous trade: the acquisition of Jose Trevino.

Trevino was cut from the same cloth as Higgy and Rortvedt: a plus defender without much to offer as a hitter. He posted a measly 66 wRC+ in 519 plate appearances for the Rangers pre-trade. Now that he’s donned pinstripes, he’s suddenly hitting like an All-Star: .300/.346/.490 (141 wRC+) in 107 trips to the plate. Where did this come from?

The easy answer, as always, is small sample size noise. It’s just 107 plate appearances, after all. And if you really slice and dice it, the period in which he’s been a great hitter is even shorter:

  • Through May 15: 51 PA, .170/.235/.191, .195 BABIP (27 WRC+)
  • After May 15: 56 PA, .415/.446/.755, .425 BABIP (245 wRC+)

Trevino inevitably will cool off. That’s baseball. But at the same time, there is some evidence that Trevino is an improved (or at the minimum, a different) hitter.

The State of the Blog

As you may have noticed, the frequency of posts here at Views has declined significantly over the last month or so. On Opening Day, we outlined our plans for 2022 season coverage, which noted reduced content this season for various reasons. Unfortunately, even that plan was too ambitious.

This isn’t the end of Views, at least, not yet. We’re going to keep the site running until at least next February — we’ve prepaid the server costs through then already — but we don’t want to make any promises regarding the extent of our coverage or what happens beyond February 2023. Whether it’s one post or multiple articles a week remains to be seen. At the very least, our Twitter account will remain pretty active.

My personal goal is to write one post per week, similar to what Matt does. I know I was writing a bit more often than that even after my daughter was born, but I think I was running on adrenaline. Doing DoTF, the chat, and one other post a week simply wasn’t sustainable for me.

So, that’s where things stand. We’ll do our best to keep things going, but again, our time is very limited. As always, we appreciate all the support you’ve given us over the years, and we hope you stick with us through quieter times.

VF314 Live Chat – 5/11/2022

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Happy Wednesday everyone, but especially to the first place, 21-8, best record in MLB New York Yankees. Last night’s thrilling walk off win was pretty awesome, huh? Not only are the Yankees beating up on bad teams, but they’re also 8-3 against teams with a .500 record or better. That narrative died quickly, didn’t it?

Let’s chat today at noon eastern about all things Yankees. The Bombers look for the mini sweep of the Jays this afternoon, starting at 12:35pm, so we can chat through a portion of the game as well. The message queue is open now so you can send questions in advance before things get underway. See you in a bit.

VF314 Live Chat – 5/4/2022

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Good morning everyone, and indeed what a good morning it is to be a Yankees fan. Best record in the majors, best run differential, and winners of 11 straight. Pretty great, I gotta say. The season is still young, but one couldn’t ask for a better start.

After a couple of weeks of chats during afternoon games, we’re back to our usual noon eastern chat time on a Wednesday. The message queue below is open so you can send your questions in before the chat begins, if you wish. Otherwise, come by in a couple of hours as today’s chat gets underway.

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