A couple of weeks ago I walked into Models and saw something that made me sick to my stomach... A Joba Chamberlain jersey. Here in New York, they are selling the jersey of a player who hasn't proved anything other than the fact that he is afraid of bugs. I mean, they still aren't selling John Maine shirts here. Now, I know I sound a little biased, however, say you're a Yankee fan and you walked into Models and saw a Joe Smith jersey but couldn't find a Robinson Cano jersey. You'd be upset too, wouldn't you? So I've decided to discuss Joba Chamberlain in this addition of "Prospect Perspective."
Value: Yes Chamberlain had a great end of the season. He showed that he could be dominate. Which is the sole reason he has the type of value he has today. Maybe he will be a lights out pitcher some day (highly unlikely). However, there is no reason to have him off limits at what I believe to be his peek value. Still, he would be a more valuable trading chip than any other pitcher in baseball. Overall Value: A+
Ability: There are many people who believe Chamberlain is a bonafide ace. Those people belong locked up in an insane asylum. Sure, he dominated in the Majors; but, he dominated people who were burned out and really playing for nothing. I mean, what major contenders were there for the playoffs in the AL: Red Sox (had it wrapped up early), Indians (wrapped up fairly early), Angels (No other good team in their division), Yankees (played for them), Mariners (did anybody really consider them a contender), Tigers (faded rather early). So as you see, he faced people who were either trying to save their energy for the post season, or people who didn't care about the season. We'll see his true ability in April, but until then his ability is nowhere near A caliber. Overall ability: B
Future: Unlike his teammate, Phil Hughes, Joba's future is not too bright. He will not post an ERA under 4 as a starter unless he makes some real improvements. However, I do see him as an above-average reliever. If the Yankees kept him in the pen he could be a Jason Isringhaussen type closer. So, I'll give him two separate future ratings. Starter Future: B-; Reliever Future Rating: A-
Overall Prospect Rating: A- This rating would be a lot lower if it wasn't for his value. Part of being a good prospect is having a high trade value. However, come May, his value probably will take a bit of a plunder, and the Steinbrenners are too obstinate to put him in a package for Santana. If a package of Melky Cabrera, Joba Chamberlain, and a no-name prospect could get a Santana deal done, why not do it?