With Spring Training officially underway, today we take a look at the outfield for the New York Yankees. This season’s outfield is quite expensive and has a different look to it. Let’s take a look.
Gone is Curtis Granderson, who had been with the squad since 2010. In comes Carlos Beltran to play right field. Beltran will probably miss some time this season, because he always does, but when he’s healthy, he still gets the job done, especially in the playoffs. Alfonso Soriano will see some time in the outfield, but will see a good amount of time at DH. Back to left field goes Brett Gardner. This is a very important season for him with it being a contract year. He’s in left with the acquisition of Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury will hit at the top and the Yankees hope he can be the catalyst he’s been for the Red Sox in years past.
To the bench goes Ichiro Suzuki. I’ve talked about how he could be a potential trade candidate before the season starts and I still feel that way, though one injury could change all that. If he is traded, Zoilo Almonte could find himself on the bench. You had to like his approach when he came up last season, but like most Yankees, injuries cut his season short last year.
If injuries happen, the Yankees have some interesting guys in the minor leagues. Adonis Garcia is non-roster invitee this spring. He reached AAA last season appeared in just 56 games at that level. Ronnier Mustellier wasn’t invited, but he almost made the team last season. Someone who could find himself there this season is former number one pick Slade Heathcott. Heathcott has had injuries and off-field issues but still has some talent.
The AA level is where it gets interesting. Ramon Flores is also on the 40-man roster. Flores is 22 years old and reached the level for the first time. The two big prospects are Mason Williams and Tyler Austin. Both have had injury issues which saw their rankings drop, but if healthy, they could be looked as a future pieces for the Yanks.
An interesting guy who hasn’t been talked about is Jake Cave. The 21 year old came back last season in Charleston and stole 20 bases with a .282/.347/.401 line and 37 doubles. Ben Gamel was fourth on Tampa in RBI. One of the three Yankee first round picks last year, Aaron Judge, will make his pro debut this year. Keep a look out for two players who were with Staten Island last season. Yeicok Calderon advanced to Charleston last year after leading Staten Island in homers and RBI. Michael O’Neill (Yes. he’s related to Paul) may join him there this season after being the Yanks third round pick in 2013.
There’s a lot to like with the outfield at all levels. If guys are healthy and continue to develop, it will be right up there with catcher as the deepest part of the organization for position players.