Chad Jennings has a good update on the upper level Yankees pitching prospects, including one on my boy Eric Hacker. Guys profiled include: Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke, Alfredo Aceves and even Kei Igawa. Because I got to interview him here, Hacker's review is below:
Eric HackerI'll be down in FLA right after P&C report. Eric, if you're reading this, I'll give you a call/email when I am down there. How's about a tour of the ballpark/facilities?
25 years old
Where he's been: Hacker is older than you might expect because he too has been hampered by injuries which cost him all of 2004 and 2006. When he's pitched, though, Hacker has a 2.70 ERA in the minors and he was outstanding last season in Tampa and Trenton.
Where he's going: I've been thinking he'll open back in Trenton, but Hacker is on the 40-man and he'll turn 26 before opening day, so a push to Triple-A has merit, especially if he gets in some games in big league camp and opens some eyes on the major league coaching staff.
Ticket to New York: Consistency. Health is too obvious and goes without saying. Hacker doesn't have massive strikeout numbers, but he also doesn't walk many guys and he gets a lot of outs on the ground. If he's steady in Triple-A, he should earn a shot. That consistency, obviously, requires that he not go back on the disabled list.