I have just been informed that this year’s Yankees Annual magazine has been sent to the presses, and is also now available for pre-order. I had the privelege of writing two articles for this year’s Annual, which also includes articles written by MLB Trade Rumor’s Howard Megdal, AOL Fanhouse’s Dan Graziano, Baseball Daily Digest’s David Golebiewski and a whole bunch of other writers who are universally more qualified than I am. Over the four years that I have been writing for it, the magazine has evolved from a basic spring training and fantasy baseball preview to a real hub for high quality Yankee writing. It will include everything from an interview with Pat Venditte to Professor of Physics and Baseball Analyst contributor Alan M. Nathan’s attempt to measure the length of a legendary Mickey Mantle home run.
My first article is called, “A Good Harvest”, and recaps the 2010 season in the minor leagues. I offer a few big picture thoughts that I haven’t typed here, plus a great summary of everything that happened this season. The first two paragraphs:
2010 may have been a disappointing season in the major leagues for the Yankees, but news was different down on the farm. The Yankees experienced a true prospect renaissance in the minors, with good news on all fronts. Over a dozen players pitched and hit their way onto the prospect radar, and already-defined prospects almost universally boosted their case for major league consideration. .
Much of the action for the team occurred at Double-A and Triple-A. This means that many of the big farm system names will spend 2011 very close to the major leagues. The Yankees vastly improved their starting pitcher depth heading into 2011, with as many as 8 talented young starting pitchers potentially competing for spots on the depth charts. The team continued to build the major league’s best catching depth. And finally, the Yankees’ extensive, and at times risky, financial investments on draft day paid off in big ways.
The second article is called, “Spreading the Wealth”, and takes an in-depth look at the 2010 draft. My basic thesis is that the Yankees adopted a drafting strategy that on the surface looked routine (The Yankees spent a lot of money), but in reality was much different from past years. An excerpt:
The Yankees unveiled a new draft strategy in 2010; they spread their bets. Rather than spend big on one or two high-round draft picks or international free agents, the Yankees paid moderately big money to a dozen players.
Signing bonuses for drafted players in baseball generally follow a rigid, hierarchical order. The Commissioner’s Office recommends signing bonuses for each draft, gradually lowering the bonus level for each successive pick. Players drafted in the first round will usually top a million dollars, while players drafted after the 4th round often garner just a few tens of thousands. This is called the slotting system, and most teams use it to figure out how to pay their draft picks. Teams that veer too far from slotted bonuses will draw anger from Bud Selig, and most teams don’t like to upset the order of things.
You can either pre-order the magazine now, or pick it up all over grocery stores, gas stations, book stores, and any where else magazines are sold in the tri-state area beginning March 1st.