The Yankees Are Deep At A Spot You May Not Think


Young second base slugger Jose Pirela. Mandatory Credit: Trenton Thunder

Everyone knows about the Yankees’ catching depth. From Brian McCann and (when healthy) Francisco Cervelli to John Ryan Murphy and Gary Sanchez (not the movie production company). Peter O’Brien was a catcher, but they have moved him because of their depth. There is another position the Yankees have more depth at than you might think.

Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson aren’t exciting. Heck it’s possible come August 1, neither will be in the organization. Why? Because of the depth the Yankees have at second base in the minor leagues.

Jose Pirela has been the primary second baseman in Triple-A. The Yankees have experimented in moving him around the infield. Why? One reason is that he’s not exactly Roberto Alomar with the glove. Secondly, they want to expand his versatility because the dude can flat out rake. Going into last night’s action, he has a .329/.369/.459 line with four homers, 27 RBI and nine steals. Pirela is also just 24-years-old.

Another reason for Pirela moving around, is the emergence of the former fifth round pick in the 2012 draft, Rob Refsnyder. Refsynder makes Pirela’s numbers in Triple-A look like child’s play. He was tied for fourth in the Eastern League with a .342 average, second in hits, and led the league in doubles, . He was also fifth in slugging percentage, fourth in total bases and got two hits in his Triple-A debut.

The Yankees also have last year’s second round pick, Gosuke Katoh, who has struggled in Charleston after hitting .310 in his pro ball debut last year.

If the Yankees continue to lack production at second base at the Major League level, they may go from within instead of making a trade.  That’s because of the depth at second base that doesn’t get much publicity.