I’ve seen hundreds of at-bats by Juan Miranda. Literally hundreds of them. I’ve talked to scouts about his talent, I’ve talked to Miranda about his family and I’ve long believed he can be a viable hitter at the Major League level. I like Miranda as a player and as a person.
I know next to nothing about Scott Allen.
But I’m still convinced the Yankees made a good trade this afternoon.
It wasn’t a great trade and certainly not a big trade, but I think it was a good trade. Miranda no longer played a role in the Yankees system. When he signed, he seemed like a guy who might move quickly and eventually takeover for Jason Giambi at first base (I always thought Miranda’s glove was better than advertised). Then the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira and Miranda became an afterthought. Even when Nick Johnson was hurt this season, opening a spot for a left-handed hitting DH/1B, Miranda got only a small look.
Out of options next year, Miranda could not have returned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and I don’t believe he would have cleared waivers. His only spot on the Yankees would have been more or less exclusively as a designated hitter, and the Yankees don’t seem likely to carry one of those. His bench impact would have been limited by his lack of versatility.
So, the Yankees did the smart thing and traded him out of the league to a team that needs a first baseman. In return, they got a 19-year-old kid who’s not a huge prospect – Miranda was never going to fetch that – but who seems to have some legitimate upside.
I talked to two people about Scott Allen today. The first, a scout in the Yankees organization, said he wasn’t the guy assigned to check on Allen, but he has heard good things about him. “Young with a chance,” he said.
The second was Mark Newman, who emailed this brief scouting report: “Projectable kid with FB up to 93. He has a good feel for spin and the change. Does miss bats and we think there may be some upside.”
Most likely, Newman said, Allen will open in the High-A Tampa rotation.
Obviously Allen’s not a sure thing, but his chances of playing a significant role in New York might actually be higher than Miranda’s.
Associated Press photo of Miranda.