MLB

2015 New York Yankees Organizational Position Depth – Third Base

on

Until the New York Yankees acquired Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres during the 2014 season, third base had been a revolving door for a couple of years.  A parade of in house minor leaguers and veteran journeyman utility infielders had attempted, without success, to replace an injured and then suspended Alex Rodriguez.  The above average combination of offense and defense that Headley brings to the park everyday has solidified this position, and going into 2015, will be one that will more than likely see little competition for playing time.

The starter:  Chase Headley

Headley was acquired last July in a three player deal to help bolster a struggling Yankee lineup.  He immediately endeared himself to the fans in New York with a walk off hit in his first game.  In 54 games with New York, Headley  hit .262/.371/.398.  This combined with excellent defense rewarded him with a 4 year/ $52 million contract in the offseason.  Steamer projects Headley to hit 17 HRs with 68 RBIs, which would be an upgrade over recent production the Yankees have received.

The backups:  Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod is listed as the backup going into the 2015 season, but for all intents and purposes should only see time at DH if he stays healthy and can produce.  It would be doubtful that a 39 year old player that hasn’t been on the field in a year and a half due to 2 hip operations and a suspension would be capable of holding up in the field on a regular basis.

Brendan Ryan would be capable of filling in as a stopgap measure if need be.  If on the roster, Jose Pirela would also be capable of spelling Headley occasionally.  More than likely, the Yankees will need Headley to be the iron man in 2015 and play nearly every game of the season.  He played 161 games in two different seasons with the Padres, so this is a definite possibility.

The Minors:

Rob Segedin:  Segedin was the Yankees third round draft pick in 2010.  He has progressed, slowly but surely, in the minors, but at 26 years of age, is seen as too old to be a big time prospect.  The Yankees have to be at least intrigued by his power numbers, however.  His line of .283/.398/.428 in AA earned him a promotion in 2014 to AAA Scranton, where he struggled in his short time there.  His defense is nothing to wow you, but could be adequate to hold down third base for a short period of time.

Dante Bichette, Jr:  Bichette, a first round pick in 2011, burst onto the scene immediately and hit .342 in rookie ball.  He has struggled to maintain his swing amid injuries the past three seasons and the bloom on his prospect status has fallen off.  There are also questions as to whether his defense is good enough to stick at the hot corner, but his power numbers will keep his name in the mix for now.

Johnathan Galvez:  Galvez was signed as a minor league free agent after being one of the Padres top prospects for several years.  He has put up respectable numbers at AAA in the past and also has experience playing 2B and the outfield.  His signing was more than likely just to provide depth and would not be in line for a call up barring a lightning quick start to the season.

Eric Jagielo:  A former first round pick out of Notre Dame, Jagielo has plus power.  He hit .256 with 18 HRs and 68 RBIs between rookie ball and High A Tampa last season.  He has problems with making consistent contact and his defense is seen as somewhat of a liability.  A potential move to first base would damage his prospect status, but at age 22, still has time on his side to refine his approach at the plate and  become a top prospect.

Miguel Andujar:  Andujar held his own as a 19 year old at Charleston in the South Atlantic League last season.  He hit .267 with 10 HRs and 75 RBIs.  His plus bat speed and an above average arm will move him along quickly in the Yankees minor league system and he could end up as their top 3B prospect by the end of the 2015 season.  If the bat speed ends up translating into a higher batting average, Andujar could find himself on the verge of a spot in the Bronx, possibly as early as 2017.

Down the line:  Nelson Gomez

Gomez is a 16 year old Dominican prospect signed by the Yankees during 2014.  He gets a ton of raw power out of his 6 foot 2, 220 pound body.  The biggest debate about his future seems to revolve around his glove, possibly making way for a move to 1B or LF.  He definitely has time on his side and will be an intriguing one to watch as soon as he steps foot stateside.

Chase Headley is the go to guy at third in the near future for the Yankees.  The organization has some good prospects in the pipeline, but most are still at least 2-3 years away.  This will make Headley’s re-signing seem all the more important as quality third basemen are a scarce commidity in the big leagues right now.

Next up:  Life after Jeter begins with a look at SS

 

New York Yankees Position Preview:

First Base

Second Base

Third Base

More coming as we get closer to Opening Day!