Feb 6, 2007

SB XLI, Hughes comps

- I was back in Boston this weekend for a Superbowl party. I didn't know about half the people, but it was still a good time. Most of the partygoers were pulling for Chicago because of Boston's hate for Peyton Manning. I also was pulling for Chicago, but because I have several relatives in the Chicago area. A very entertaining game, and it was funny to see all the corporate seats empty because of the rain. If those tickets go to real fans, no way are they empty. Anyway, congrats to Peyton and Dungy, and may Arod be next. But will it be with the Yanks?

- Hughes vs. Verlander
- Hughes vs. Prior & Beckett

But these articles don't tell the whole story.

Minors career stats:
(age 22) Verlander
1.29 era, 118.2 ip, 136 k, 26 bb (5.2 k/bb), .91 whip, .30 HR/9, 10.36 k/9

(ages 20-23) Beckett
1.75 era, 216.1 ip, 295 k, 51 bb (5.8 k/bb), .89 whip, .54 HR/9, 12.29 k/9

(ages 21-25 due to rehab stints, but primarily 21) Prior
2.96 era, 88.1 ip, 131 k, 24 bb (5.5 k/bb), 1.04 whip, .51 HR/9, 13.38 k/9

(ages 18-20) Hughes
2.13 era, 237.1 ip, 269 k, 54 bb (5.0 k/bb), .86 whip, .23 HR/9, 10.21 k/9

Ranking each of these categories:
Verlander: age - 4, era - 1, ip - 3, k/bb - 3, whip - 3, HR/9 - 2, k/9 - 3 = 19 (16)
Beckett: age - 3, era - 2, ip - 2, k/bb - 1, whip - 2, HR/9 - 4, k/9 - 2 = 16 (14)
Prior: age - 2, era - 4, ip - 4, k/bb - 2, whip - 4, HR/9 - 3, k/9 - 1 = 18 (14)
Hughes: age - 1, era - 3, ip - 1, k/bb - 4, whip - 1, HR/9 - 1, k/9 - 4 = 15 (14)

Wow. So adding up the rankings of age, innings pitched ('experience'), ERA, K/BB, WHIP, Homers per 9 ip and Ks per 9 ip, Hughes comes out on top (he's superior in WHIP, HR rate, innings pitched, and all while doing it at the youngest age). Even if you discount innings pitched, Hughes is still tied with Beckett and Prior. While Beckett and Prior are the pure power pitcher, strikeout/flyball guys, Hughes is more of a strikeout/groundball guy. ERA, K/9 and K/BB are the only stats where Hughes is below Beckett. But he excels in WHIP (he doesn't walk anyone), and HR rate (due to great groundball tendencies). Project Prospect only looked at BB/9 and K/9, but didn't mention how Beckett and Prior gave up over twice as many HRs per 9 than Hughes has. That's big. Hughes also has better BB/9 than Beckett or Prior, but slightly worse than Verlander. And Hughes already has more minor league innings than any of the others, a testament to his durability (knock on wood), experience, and adaptability.

- In other prospect news: TPA did a write up on Staten Island's Tim Norton -

A 7th Round pick of the New York Yankees in the 2006 Draft, pitching prospect Tim Norton got his career off to an impressive start and is another quality young arm to keep an eye on in the Pinstripers talented farm system. The 6'5" righthander was signed following his senior season at UCONN where he posted a 7-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 92.2 innings of work during his senior season. Norton continued his fine pitching as a pro going 3-3 with a 2.60 ERA and a New York-Penn League runner up 83 strikeouts in 72.2 innings at Staten Island. He held opposing hitters to a .222 batting average, allowed only one homerun on the year, and walked just 14 batters. Expect Norton, who turns 23 in May to begin 2007 at either Low-A Charleston or possibly even High-A Tampa due to his four years of collegiate experience.
And Pete Abraham reports -
Jorge Posada and Kei Igawa, as well as prospects Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Dellin Betances, Jose Tabata and Jesus Montero have already reported to the Yanks training facility in Tampa. Good to see that work ethic.

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