Yankees Prospect Over/Unders - Part Two

Brandon Laird should hit for a higher average

In Las Vegas fashion, we set various over/under marks for various Yankees prospects in 2009 and will continue the discussion in our subscribers-only forum. What is the over/under for Bradley Suttle's home run total? Will Brandon Laird go back to approaching .300 again? How many stolen bases will Jose Pirela have in 2009? We discuss all this and more.

Over/Unders

Batting Average For Brandon Laird - .290: The slugger hit .339 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in his debut season in 2007 and then hit 66 points lower [.273] with the Charleston Riverdogs last season. He can get a little home run happy at times and that does get him off-track - making it less likely he'll come close to his '07 average - but he is a shade better than his second-half showing [.282] in 2008. OVER.

ERA Mark For Wilkins De La Rosa - 3.25: Considering he has posted just a 2.20 career ERA since moving to the mound in 2007, it doesn't seem like too far of a stretch for De La Rosa to keep his ERA under our mark. With a secondary arsenal still needing a lot of work, however, and considering he will be pitching at the higher minor league levels going forward, it isn't the slam-dunk some may think it is...although we believe he's got what it takes. UNDER.

Home Run Total For Bradley Suttle - 15: Suttle goes from hitting in one pitcher's park last year in Charleston to another in Tampa this coming season. He hit eleven home runs for the Riverdogs a year ago in an injury-shortened debut season, but he just barely missed going over the fence more than a few times and that kept his total lower [he had seven triples and he's not exactly a fast runner]. Even with his immediate future clouded by his recovery from labrum surgery, he's too powerful a hitter to not approach our mark. OVER.

Number Of Levels For Eduardo Nunez - 1.5: As toolsy as they come on both sides of the ball, he has spent parts of each of the last three seasons in the Florida State League. He gave up switch-hitting two years ago, however, and as a result he was in some ways trying to reinvent himself offensively. Time is running short for him to start tapping his immense potential and he needs to start making up for lost time. He has the talent to move quickly and he just might need to do that now to save his place in the organization. OVER.

Number Of Strikeouts For Arodys Vizcaino - 100: The young Dominican hurler has one of the more electric arms in the organization and some legitimate swing-and-miss stuff. He is still a bit raw in the other phases of his game, however, and that could have him destined for Staten Island this coming season. It would take 75-80 innings for him to have a shot at reaching our over/under for him and even then it would require some substantial pitching performances, or even some time in the long-season leagues. He has the talent to do both. OVER.

Stolen Base Total For Jose Pirela - 20: Pirela stole just four bases with the Gulf Coast League Yankees last season, although he played through a groin injury. Long-season league slots will be at a premium this coming season and he's not assured of one of those spots, but he proved in '07 [15 stolen bases in the Dominican Summer League] that he can be a difference-maker in just half of a season should he not secure a spot in Charleston. OVER.

Home Run Total For Carlos Urena - 9: Like most young position prospects who have yet to break into the long-season leagues, Urena is nowhere near a lock to break Spring Training with the Charleston Riverdogs this year. That makes him a stronger bet to play in one of the short-season leagues. However, he did hit eight home runs in the Dominican Summer League two years ago so he has proven he can hit dingers in bunches. We're banking on him taking advantage of his second-life after getting shot last summer and we think he'll be out to prove himself. OVER.

ERA Mark For Andrew Brackman - 4.00: The Yankees 2007 first round pick will finally make his eagerly anticipated professional debut this season and will do so as one of the rawest pitchers in the organization. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, the biggest key for Brackman this year will be staying healthy more so than the actual results. He will surely have his ups and downs, but we think overall he'll be able to keep himself relatively in-check. UNDER.

Batting Average For Kyle Anson - .290: One of the bigger mysteries in the Yankees farm system over the past couple of years is how Anson has been able to post just a .255 career average. Possessing smooth hitting mechanics and a keen understanding of the strike zone [he has more walks than strikeouts in both his college and professional career], he's a much, much better hitter than he's shown. We believe now that he's finally comfortable behind the plate that it will allow him to be more comfortable at it. OVER.

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