YGY Winter League Players To Watch

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

2B Jose Pirela (.281, 3 HR’s, 9 RBI)

This winter could be a big stepping stone for Jose Pirela in the 24-year-old’s goal of being the opening day second baseman in 2015 for the Yankees. Pirela got off to a nice start to his Winter League season with two home runs in his first three games. Eight of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases over the course of the 13 games he has played. In the month of November alone, Pirela has two three-hit games in seven starts.

One of the intriguing things about Pirela’s Winter League games so far is that his team down in Venezuela (Aguilas Del Zulia) has tried him out at different positions throughout the diamond. On Sunday night, he was batting third and playing left field on a team with Yankees’ prospect Ali Castillo and the Phillies’ Freddy Galvis. In fact, Pirela played 12 games at first base last season in Scranton.

While all the talk has been about Robert Refsnyder, Pirela was able to make his first impression with the big league club during the month of September. In seven games, he hit .333 and had two triples with the New York Yankees. With the position versatility and the bat that Pirela can bring to the table, you have to think that he at least is going to start the season with tbe big club. The question is will it be as a starter or a key utility player off the bench?