Today, its time to look at probably the guy with the most helium in the system right now, Hector Noesi. His stat line is a thing of beauty:
|2008||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A-||3.33||14||48.2||43||23||18||7||10||55||8.0||1.3||1.8||10.2||5.50|
|2009||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||2.92||26||117.0||96||42||38||6||15||118||7.4||0.5||1.2||9.1||7.87|
Now that he’s finally in Trenton, Noesi will have more eyes on him. We’ll be able to get a read on a key remaining question: is he a starter or reliever on a first-place team? I think he is a starting pitcher, and could lock down a rotation spot in New York as early as mid-2011.
However, I do think that Noesi faces several significant road blocks along the way. Injuries will always be a concern for him following his 2007 Tommy John surgery. He followed that up with a 2008 suspension for a positive drug test. The result is that Noesi’s 117 innings in 2009 represented his first full minor league season at the ripe age of 22. We don’t know if he can handle a full major league workload as a starting pitcher yet. We do know, however, that he can get hitters out, and go deep in to games when his leash is let go.
The Yankees promoted Noesi to Double-A, and he will probably start there Thursday. To make room for him, the Yankees finally made the necessary move and pushed Ryan Pope to the bullpen. I think he’ll be in Trenton for the rest of the season. While the Yankees have shown a willingness (Kennedy, Joba, Melancon, Aceves) to move more experienced prospects quickly from Double-A to Triple-A in the past. Still, I think that Noesi needs some time to build up his innings. With Nova and McAllister hanging out in Scranton, there is no pressing need. The Yankees hold option years for Noesi for both 2011 and 2012.
I hesitated to pull the trigger on Hector (and others) in my fall top-30 prospect ranking, but I won’t make the same mistake again. I plan on being very aggressive across the board with my spring ranking. A preview: Hector is the third best starting pitcher in the organization, behind Zach McAllister and Ivan Nova. Now hopefully he doesn’t burn me.
Tomorrow, its time to look at Brandon Laird.