The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Look who’s coming to camp: Corner infielders

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 02, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Seems silly to lump first basemen with shortstops just because they both play in the infield. Based on the current makeup of the Yankees roster, there’s some legitimacy to putting first basemen and third basemen together for a list like this.

40-MAN ROSTER
Assuming health, we know the Yankees starting corner infielders are already on the 40-man roster.

David Adams
Although he can play second base, the Yankees expect Adams to be the regular third baseman in Triple-A. Finally healthy, he’s coming off a terrific year in Double-A and the Arizona Fall League.
Alex Rodriguez
Won’t be playing in spring training, which doesn’t mean he won’t get as much attention as anyone.
Mark Teixeira
The Yankees starting first baseman has four years left on his contract.
Kevin Youkilis
Former Red Sox third baseman was signed after the Yankees found out about Rodriguez’s latest hip problem. Trying to rebound from a bad 2012.

MINOR LEAGUE FREE AGENTS
Clearly the Yankees didn’t focus much offseason attention on minor league corner infielders. They did sign one, though. 

Dan Johnson
The left-handed hitter has played a little bit of third base, but he’s mostly a first baseman and designated hitter. Has some power. Has spent time in the big leagues in seven of the past eight seasons.

ORGANIZATIONAL PROSPECTS
All of the minor league infielders the Yankees invited to camp are generally considered either middle infielders or first basemen (or outfielders in the case of Ronnier Mustelier and Rob Segedin).

Greg Bird
Drafted as a catcher, the Yankees now consider Bird a full-time first baseman. Probably heading for Low-A. Nowhere near the big leagues. Surprised he was invited, but only because he’s so far away. Legit young hitter.
Luke Murton
Led the minor league system in home runs last year. Spent all of last season in Double-A. Will Johnson take away an opportunity in Triple-A this year?
Kyle Roller
Kind of similar to Murton in that he hits for good power but has never been considered a huge prospect. Spent last year in High-A.

COULD SEE TIME AT THE POSITION
Naturally there are a lot of players who aren’t necessarily considered corner infielders who could see some time at the corners at some point. Russ Canzler could fit into this group if he clears waivers and stays with the Yankees.

Jayson Nix
Probably considered more of a shortstop, but will need to play all over the infield to have a chance at winning back his big league utility job.
Eduardo Nunez
Is he really restricted to shortstop at this point? Yankees might have to see whether he deserves another shot at a utility role.
Corban Joseph

A second baseman by trade, he has also spent a little bit of time at third. Showed good power last season and versatility could be the key to a big league job.
Travis Hafner
Pure speculation, but I wonder if the Yankees might want to give him a few reps at first base. They generally like at least a little defensive flexibility from their regular DH.
Ramon Flores
Probably won’t happen in big league camp because of all the other options, but Flores — generally a left fielder — does have experience at first.
Juan Rivera
In camp to try to win a job as a right-handed outfielder. Primarily played first base last year in Los Angeles.
J.R. Murphy
Young catcher who’s played some third base in the minors. And I believe he played at third at one point in big league camp last year when he was called up from minor league camp for a day.
Ronnier Mustelier

Listed as an outfielder, but certainly could be considered a third baseman.
Rob Segedin
Converted from third base to the outfield last year, but still got some time at third.
Gil Velazquez
Has an outside shot at the utility job, so he’ll probably move all around as well. There are other minor league middle infielders who can play third, but there’s little reason for them to do so in big league camp.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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