|Congratulations to Phil for winning the "Kevin Lawn Minor League Player of the Year Award"!! Yeah, I've never heard of it either.
Philip Hughes, prospect numero uno for the Yanks
, has been assigned to AAA for the 2007 season, but the baseball world will have a keen eye trained on him all year. He's only 20 years old, but he's already made quite the name for himself and his major league debut is highly anticipated. Are you excited? You should be.
Here are a few reasons why:He is ranked higher than almost any other prospect. Baseball Digest
put him 2nd on their list of the
top 50 prospects for 2007, right behind Kansas City's potential future 3rd baseman Alex Gordon, and MiLB.com
ranked him 4th (behind OF Delmon Young, the aforementioned Gordon, and RHP Homer Bailey). In 2006 Baseball America
called him the Yankees # 1 prospect
, even saying that he had the best control in the Yankee system - - and projected him as the Yankees # 1 starter in 2010 (3 more years?! Blast.). It should also be noted that the Red Sox
have just one player on MiLB's top 50 list (outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury at #36) and 2 on Baseball Digest's list (Jacoby at #38 and RHP Clay Buchholz at #47)...not that it really matters, but pointing out Boston's weaknesses makes me happy
so I thought I'd mention it.His performance last year was pure golden magic
(that's a technical term). In 26 games between A Tampa and AA Trenton he had a 2.13 ERA and struck out 168,
and in the 146 innings he pitched he gave up just 5 home runs. For comparison, MiLB's #3 prospect, RHP Homer Baily (whose name is quite unfortunate for a pitcher) pitched 138 innings, struck out 156, and gave up 7 homers.The big kids are impressed.
Jorge Posada called him the "best arm in camp
" during last year's Spring Training, and Giambino
went so far as to compare him to a young Roger Clemens (they said those nice things and then made PH sit down and practice his autographs for 24 straight hours with no Gatorade breaks; see right)
. That is high praise for a kid who was just in high school 3 years ago... I think the best compliment I received at age 20 was something like "good job on that statistics test".
He hasn't been traded. The Yanks have historically used their farm as little more than trade bait factories, but despite many offers the Yankees have deemed PH essentially off-limits. If Steinbrenner can be convinced to hang on to a youngster rather than trade him for immediate gratification, one can assume that the kid has proven talent worth waiting for.
We most likely won't be seeing Mr. Hughes this season - barring a bad Pavano injury and a Kei Igawa implosion - but we'll be keeping close tabs on him down in Scranton/Wilkes. Excited yet?
Labels: farm hands