Reegie Corona made his Triple-A debut this season, and the result was … unimpressive. He was fine defensively, especially at second base, but he hit just .200 with a .241 on-base and a .300 slugging. He was a speed guy who seemed to hit everything in the air.
But I wouldn’t rule him out for the big league utility job next year.
Corona hit .355 with two home runs and two stolen bases in his last eight regular-season games. He kept hitting in the International League playoffs, batting .295 with twice as many walks (6) as strikeouts (3). Now he’s hitting .328 with a .447 on-base percentage in Venezuela.
Upgrading the bench has been a low priority for the Yankees this winter, and last year they were willing to go into spring training with Cody Ransom as their top utility candidate and into the season with unproven Ramiro Pena on the big league bench. Unless the Yankees bring in a veteran, the utiilty job could very well come down to the four young guys on the 40-man: Pena, Corona, Eduardo Nunez and Kevin Russo.
Nunez and Russo have the best bats, but Pena and Corona are the best defensive and most versatile players in the bunch. Corona has a better career batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage than Pena. And while Pena has never stolen more than nine bases in a season, Corona had three straight years with at least 24. Pena has a better glove, but Corona can handle short. He’s not great there, but he’s good enough to play the position 10 times a year.
Corona wasn’t especially good when I saw him. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be good when the Yankees see him this spring.