Yankees Non-Roster Invitee Profile: Cole Figueroa


Continuing our series here at Yanks Go Yard, we will look at second baseman Cole Figueroa.  Figueroa, who turns 28 at the end of June, finally got his first big league action last year with the Tampa Bay Rays.  He has also spent time in the San Diego Padres organization after they took him in the 6th round in 2008.

Across his seven minor league seasons, Figueroa has never hit more than five home runs, though he did steal 26 bases, however that was all the way back in 2010.  He has hit for a high average throughout his minor league career, but relatively no power, posting a slash line of .288/.377/.388.  Unfortunately, in his 49 big league plate appearances, that ability to hit for contact did not transfer over, and he posted a slash line of .233/.286/.326.

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Combine his inability to his big league pitching (even in a small sample size) with the fact that the New York Yankees have Stephen Drew, Rob Refsnyder, and Jose Pirela all above Figueroa on the depth chart, and fighting for big league playing time, and it is highly unlikely he will make the team.  Figueroa does have the ability to play second base, shortstop, third base, and both corner outfield positions, which could help his case.

The Yankees will likely take a 12 man rotation to New York for the home opener following Spring Training.  While nobody expected Yangervis Solarte to win a job, there were more openings on last years roster entering the spring.  Barring injury, there aren’t much openings for position players, besides the back up catcher role.

Figueroa will likely start the season at AAA, unless he has an incredible spring and forces the team to consider bringing him north instead of Brendan Ryan.  We could see Figueroa at some point later this season if injury or lack of production occurs, considering his ability to back up every position besides catcher, first base, and center field.

As a lifelong minor leaguer, at this point Figueroa must know the odds are against him.  He can look to last year for motivation when Solarte shockingly was able to break camp with the big league club, and make his major league debut at the age of 26 after a similar minor league career to Figueroa.

Next: Yankees Non-Roster Invitee Profile: James Pazos

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