As a follow to his morning post on Pat Venditte, I asked Frankie Piliere for his thoughts on the newest member of the Yankees 40-man roster: Greg Golson.
“I think it’s a fantastic deal,” Piliere wrote. “Zero risk. (Mitch) Hilligoss was pretty limited, I think. Golson can absolutely fly and can play the outfield. I think it’s a great gamble. It wasn’t very long ago that he was a top prospect. He wasn’t awful in AAA, not great but not bad. I think he can continue to develop.”
At the very least, the Yankees have added a plus defensive player who can provide speed off the bench. If Golson grows into his tools, the Yankees might have found a legitimate young outfielder. As we’ve noted before, the outfield depth is thin in the upper levels of the Yankees system. They had to search through independent ball to fill last year’s Double-A outfield, then they traded away Austin Jackson.
Colin Curtis remains an interesting young outfielder, but he’s a little bit like Golson in that he has obvious talent without especially good numbers. The Yankees have also signed 24-year-old power hitter David Winfree, speedy 29-year-old Reid Gorecki and 32-year-old veteran Jon Weber to minor league deals, but outfield depth remains a concern. That’s why it makes some sense to take a shot on Golson.
Piliere said he spoke to a baseball source who labeled Golson as having two plus-plus tools: His arm and his speed. The same source called Golson a premier athlete with great makeup, but noted the obvious: He hasn’t hit. The Yankees are hoping that changes. If not, no real harm done.
At this point, it makes more sense for the Yankees to take a chance on a Triple-A outfielder than a Class-A infielder.