According to Trenton Thunder beat reporter Matt Kardos, the Tampa Yankees hard-hitting catcher, Peter O’Brien, has been promoted to Double-A Trenton Thunder. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after O’Brien’s strong start to the season. He should be making his debut within the next two games.
O’Brien, who has been Tampa’s primary catcher this season, experimented a bit at third base last season. Most recently this season, O’Brien was shifting and playing outfield. Gary Sanchez, the Yankees’ number one overall prospect, has a stronghold on the catcher position in Trenton and Austin Romine and Francisco Arcia are manning the plate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, seeing O’Brien in the outfield this past week seemed to be hinting that a promotion was inevitable. What position he will fit in is yet to be determined, but his bat will be a welcomed addition.
It is very well deserved as there is not much more O’Brien can do at the plate in Single-A ball. He has been an absolute terror to Florida State League pitchers. He is currently batting .321 with ten home runs (good for the FSL lead) and 19 RBI over 30 games. None of this should come as a surprise as he belted 22 home runs with 96 RBI and a .291 average last season split between the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs and the T-Yanks. His bat has never been the problem. His catching ability, although not terrible by any means, certainly takes a back seat to Romine and Sanchez.
The Trenton Thunder, the 2013 Eastern League Champions, currently are a half game out of first place behind the Portland Sea Dogs. The Thunder are arguably the strongest team in the Yankees farm system and O’Brien’s addition makes them that much stronger. He will replace 1B Kyle Roller as the big bat in the heart of the Thunder line-up. Why you ask?
Kyle Roller, the Eastern League leading home run basher with nine, has received his well-deserved call to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Donnie Collins reported via Twitter that he will immediately step in and help the RailRiders anemic offense this season. Roller, who already has one Eastern League Player of the Week Award under his belt, will be looking to add some power and lend some protection to outfielder Zolio Almonte in the heart of the RailRiders line-up. The two should combine as a very formidable force. Roller can shift to DH and allows Ramon Flores to continue his experiment at first base and lee his hot bat in the line-up. Regardless, it seems the Yankees are turning towards their youngsters in hopes of a true back-up for Mark Teixeira.
To make room for Peter O’Brien, Kyle Roller is being promoted to Scranton as per @jnorris427. The EL HR leader makes room for FSL HR leader
— Matt Kardos ⚾ (@mattkardos) May 9, 2014
The once barren Yankee farm system seems to be putting together some nice pieces. The bats are certainly clicking. If they can get these youngsters to adjust to playing new positions in the bigs, the Yankees future is looking brighter than ever.