American League 2010 Playoff Teams: New York Yankees Young Player Review
Continuing a look at young talent on each of the 2010 playoff teams, here is a look at the New York Yankees. The focus here is on players who were rookies, or any player 24 years old or younger
NEW YORK YANKEES
Francisco Cervelli, C: 24 year old rookie, hit .271/.359/.335 in 93 games for the Yankees. A Venezuelan signed in 2003, he entered the season with a reputation for outstanding defense, although he ended up throwing out just 14% of runners this year. He lacks power and probably won't develop any, but he should have a long career as a reserve if his throwing comes around.
Joba Chamberlain, RHP: He's been around awhile but spent most of '10 as a 24-year-old, not turning 25 until last month. Joba hasn't fully lived up to his potential and many Yankee fans seem to love hating on him, but he still fanned 77 guys in 72 innings this year, and his component ratios were much better than the 4.40 ERA would imply: his FIP was 3.63, his xFIP 3.77. I think he can rebound significantly in 2011 and beyond.
Colin Curtis, OF: 25 years old, a fourth round pick out of Arizona State in 2006, hit .186/.250/.288 in 59 at-bats for the Yankees this year. His minor league career has been OK but unspectacular, and I don't see him getting much beyond reserve outfield status, for the Yankees or anyone else.
Phil Hughes, RHP: He's also just 24, but had a very good season: 18-8, 4.19 ERA, 146/58 K/BB in 176 innings, 162 hits, completing a successful transition to the rotation full-time after working mostly as a reliever in '09. I love Hughes and if he stays healthy, he has the ability to become the next great Yankee ace.
Juan Miranda, 1B: 27-year-old Cuban rookie, hit .219/.296/.422 in 64 at-bats for the Yankees this year, after a .285/371/.495 mark in Triple-A. He has some power and hitting ability, albeit a bit short of that necessary to be a regular first baseman for the Yankees. He could slot into a DH role if he gets hot at the right time and depending on what happens with other players.
Ivan Nova, RHP: 23 year old from the Dominican Republic, 4.50 ERA with 26/17 K/BB in 42 innings for the Yankees this year, starting seven games and relieving in three. Had a 2.86 ERA with a 115/48 K/BB in 145 innings in Triple-A. He doesn't have amazing talent but has enough stuff to survive in the majors if his command is there. He could be a fifth starter or long reliever going forward.
Eduardo Nunez, INF: 23 year old from the Dominican Republic, hit .280/.321/.360 in 50 at-bats for the Yankees, stole five bases. He has speed and defensive flexibility, and should have a long career as a utility player, although I don't think he'll hit quite enough to be a regular for a good team.
Ramiro Pena, INF: 24 years old most of the season, from Mexico, hit .227/.258/.247 in 154 at-bats. Not much of a hitter, but runs well and has defensive versatility. He could hang around for awhile as a utility guy.
Kevin Russo, 3B: 26 years old, 20th round pick out of Baylor in 2006, hit .184/.245/.224 in 49 at-bats for the Yankees. Hit .259/.333/.328 in Triple-A. Marginal player, lacking great tools or skills that stand out, basically roster filler at this point.