Beyond the Boxscore is running an interesting series on fielding by minor leaguers, and two Yankees have come up in their discussion. The results for Austin Jackson were not pretty, as he posted a -20 Runs/150 in 2008. Here is what they had to say about A-Jax:
Austin Jackson is probably the Yankees’ future right fielder rather than center fielder. He also was a -14 season in 2006. His bat doesn’t profile nearly as well in a corner position. Brett Gardner is not in Jackson’s class as far as prospect status, but has posted +13, +1 and +9 at different points in his career.
The Yankees are not likely to move Jackson to right, being that his value is much higher in CF. He is an exceptional athlete, so hopefully he can improve at the position as he matures. If he does not, his status as a top prospect will be diminished, as his bat would be fringy in right field.
The other Yankee addressed was Ramiro Pena, who posted a 2 Runs/150 in 2008:
For some weird reason Ramiro Pena has become the darling boy of the New York media, who seem ready to anoint him as the next Yankee shortstop. He is a good defender, with Runs/150 of 21, 15 and 2 the past three seasons, but he hit for a career high .312 wOBA repeating AA last season. Jeter most assuredly should be moved to another postition, but for this guy?
It seems that the numbers do confirm Pena’s wizardry with the glove. However, as EJ noted yesterday, Pena is awful with the stick, and is unlikely to be anything more than a utility man and defensive replacement in the major leagues.
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