Bench Brawl (WOW that's clever, I'll try to get Jack to change his pitching comparison to Pitcher's Duel) coming up soon, but first, we're gonna get close and personal with a Yankee player/prospect. This'll be a weekly thing where I outline a Yankee player, what I see happening, etc. Next week Jack'll do the same for a Mets player, and then the process will repeat itself. There's about thirty weeks until the season ends, so you can't expect big names or even starters every week. In fact, I'm gonna go ahead and start with a prospect. Well, the prospect.
Philip Hughes: P NYY A Charleston
Okay. First, keep in mind that the guy is 19 years old. He's only 19. Then, listen to this statline last year with Charleston.
7-1 in 12 games, 1.97 ERA, 4.5-1 K-BB ratio, giving up only 6 H, 0.13 HR, 2.10 BB per 9 while striking out 9.44 per 9.
We've got a winner folks. He's good. For all those who ask redundant questions, you're probably asking something along the lines of "Are you telling me that this guy, at the age of 19, in single A, went 7 and 1 with a sub 2 ERA while striking out more than one batter an inning?" Yes. He's really good, people. And he's sooooo young. People are calling him a Mark Prior or Josh Beckett kind of figure. I mean granted, Mark Prior is a joke, (Brad Hawpe, anyone?) but there's no questioning how utterly dominant he was when he wasn't being the Marcus Camby of baseball. Josh Beckett... well enough said, the bastard. To go even further with young Philip, compare him to often revered Mets prospect Mike Pelfrey. You look at Mike's last year at Wichita and the numbers are eerily similar.
12-3 in 19 games, 1.93 ERA, a 4.75 to 1 K to BB ratio, giving up 6 H, 0.26 HR, and 1.93 BB per 9 while striking out 9.21 per 9.
Compare the two again. Indistinguishable. It seems the only differences are that what Pelfrey's doing as a 22 year old senior in college, Hughes is doing as a 19 year old in single A. So the answer on the table stands. Can you tell me why Pelfrey's held in higher regard?
Our rotation is old. OLD. And that's what seems to be nagging everyone as we look 3, 4, 5 years down the road. Sure, The Big Unit and the Moose seem to be on their way out (they're still kickin though), but what we also have is some hidden youth. Wang's not even 25. Chacon, who people seem to think is the real thing, is 29. Pavano is 29, and we've seen what he can do when in the right spot at the right time. And then to top it all off we've got this 19 year old Hughes who's dominating in A ball. We're not in any trouble. (And hell, even if it doesn't work out, we can always get Daddy Warbucks to bail us out. ((oooo it's fun to be spoiled!))
Apparently, when A-Rod stepped into the box against Hughes the other day, he had no idea who Hughes was. That is, until he came at A-Rod with a 95 MPH fastball. Joe Torre says Hughes' curveball is really good. Giambi drew comparisons to Clemens after he and Hughes faced off.
"He has the best arm in camp, no doubt about it. Better than all these guys," said Posada, pointing to a row of lockers which included Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera. "I don't care how old he is. He's unbelievable. It's effortless the way the ball comes out of his hand at 95-96. He's that impressive. He's the best prospect we've got. It's fun to see."
I like the way that sounds.