Can the Yankees avoid the missteps of the Red Sox and Mariners?
Too Hot of a Corner
There was a time when it seemed Boston had as many great young prospects at third as the Yankees once did at catcher.
Yet, four years after the planning began, and two years into what is supposed to be a real run, the hot corner continues to be a black hole. Will Middlebrooks, Deven Marrero, Pablo Sandoval, Brock Holt and Devers have all had chances to man the bag in recent years, with limited success.
It’s why the Yankees will be loath to trade 22-year old Miguel Andujar. I think Blake Swihart got some reps there as well, but could not find enough confirmation. Sox fans?
That’s not a good sign for a team trying to compete. And the same situation can be found behind the dish. Boston hoped one of their two most recent catching prospects would round into a fully formed player.
Sandy Leon, 28, was the main-man in 2016 but his .310 BA was offset by his only hitting seven home runs. So in 2017, 26-year old Christian Vazquez got 324 AB’s, with slightly worse results. He also had a great average (.290) but even less power (5 home runs in 324 AB’s). Vazquez is 26, so he has whatever power he is going to.
He’s Still Better Than Ellsbury
And then, of course, there is Hanley Ramirez, the inconsistent hitting, consistent clubhouse cancer. His bat and abilities on the field should not be minimized. And his offense can still make a big difference in 2018.
But signing him proved to be a bad roster decision. They hoped he would be the replacement DH for David Ortiz when he left, but his bat is no longer good enough in the AL East for that role.
His slash of .242/.320/.429 with 23 home runs and 63 ribbies would be fine if he were Mark Teixeira. But Mark was a premier perennial gold glove player while Hanley is, well, let’s just leave it there.
Sadly for the Sox, the problems his signing have created are many.