The Scout's View: Yankees
SI asked big league scouts who have closely followed the playoff teams to help prepare these reports. The scouts were promised anonymity in return for their candor, and here's what they revealed.
Posted: Wed October 7, 1998
OF Tim Raines loves to hit to leftfield from left side. Dives into the ball. Can get him out with hard stuff inside. C Joe Girardi is a singles and doubles hitter with a short stroke; very good catcher. OF Chad Curtis likes ball up and will chase pitches too high. Infielders Homer Bush and Luis Sojo are adequate but have a tendency to take too big a swing. OF Ricky Ledee is a good, not great, all-around player.
David Wells, LHP
David Cone, RHP
Andy Pettitte, LHP
Orlando Hernandez, RHP
RH closer Mariano Rivera has plus fastball that seems to start out at hitter's belt and ends up at his eyes. Good cutter. Last month started showing a slider with a little bigger break. You never know which Hideki Irabu will show up. Sometimes righthander looks like he doesn't want to be out there. Body language is pathetic. Fastball has tendency to be straight. Lives off his splitter. RH Jeff Nelson's nasty sinker is tough on righthanded hitters. Lefties hit him, though, because they get good look at his sweeping slider. LH Mike Stanton has straight fastball and is up in the zone a lot. Gives up too many homers. With his long arms LH Graeme Lloyd is tough on lefties: "Wraparound" breaking ball gets them to flinch. RH Ramiro Mendoza has excellent sinker that runs away from righthanded batters. Slider has short break.
Can't see anybody beating this team. Yankees can hit, pitch, run and catch, and they have a good manager. They don't panic and don't beat themselves, so opponent better be near perfect.
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