Yankees state of the system: Second Base

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Tyler Wade
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Tyler Wade /
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Yankees /


If Gleyber Torres opens the year in Scranton, he’ll be part of a talented crew of middle infielders.

Four-year major league veteran Jace Peterson is coming to Spring Training on a minors deal.

Peterson began his career in San Diego before the Padres dealt him to Atlanta in the Justin Upton trade before 2015. He was underwhelming in two seasons as the Braves’ second baseman and was relegated to reserve duty following the acquisition of Brandon Phillips in 2017.

Peterson is your standard highly-athletic, slap-hitting middle infielder. His best offensive season was 2016 when he hit .254/.350/.366 with seven home runs.

Jace has a keen eye at the plate. He walks more than 10% of the time, and he figured out how to cut back on strikeouts. But he doesn’t steal bases or hit for much power.

The Braves utilized Peterson at all four infield positions in 2017 and even gave him some time in the outfield. His experience and versatility make him a contender to win a roster spot out of camp, although he would need to be added to the 40-man.

The Yankees’ signing of Peterson reminded me of last spring when they brought Ruben Tejada to camp. Tejada earnestly competed for a spot on the Yankees’ bench but was dispatched to Scranton, never to return.

I briefly discussed Billy Fleming in the first base preview. He’s a 25-year-old Pennsylvanian whom the Yankees inked as an undrafted free agent following three years at West Virginia University.

Fleming spent most of 2017 in Double-A, although he reached Scranton for 16 games at the end of the season. He can’t play short, but he split time evenly between the other three infield positions.

Last year, Fleming registered 28 starts at first, 30 starts at second and 27 starts at third base.

He’s an ok right-handed bat. He posted a line of .254/.300/.411 with 10 home runs and only 44 strikeouts in 338 at-bats across three levels in 2017.

Fleming likely opens the season as Scranton’s all-purpose utilityman. His versatility makes him a candidate for a midseason call-up although he would need to be added to the 40-man.