It's time to option Hicks and Torreyes to Triple-A for familiar prospects
Throughout the years, the front office and manager Joe Girardi have stuck with players that quite frankly don't deserve to be in the majors. Right now, they have two of those players sitting on their bench. Not only do they have liabilities on the bench in outfielder Aaron Hicks and utility man Ronald Torreyes, but they have guys in Triple-A that deserve a chance to prove themselves, as the Yankees look destined for sell-mode in late July.
|Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson | AP|
The other putrid hitter that the Yankees still haven't sent down is Aaron Hicks. Acquired in a trade this offseason from the Twins for John Ryan Murphy, Hicks has continued his underwhelming career. In 186 at-bats on the year, he has hit just .194. Despite his lack of ability to hit, Girardi continues to put him in the starting lineup, particularly against left-handed pitchers. Part of the reason for this is he has fallen in love with Aaron’s defensive abilities. The young outfielder tends to get bad jumps on fly balls and relies on his world-class arm to bail him out. To put it frankly, Hicks certainly deserves a trip to Scranton. When arriving in the Bronx via trade, he was expected to at least be a serviceable backup and possibly a future starter for the club. While both are still possible, this season has shown the opposite and it's time for him to regain his swing in the minors.
Now, talking about the prospects, Judge is obviously the one that stands out. Considered one of the “untouchable” prospects in the Yankee farm system with his massive frame and tremendous power, Judge has been much improved in 2016. In 318 at-bats in Triple-A, he has batted .261 with 16 homers, which is much improved over the .224 batting average with eight homers in 61 games in Triple-A last season. The downside of his offensive game is the alarming strikeout numbers, as he has 86 on the season in 83 games. Unfortunately, Judge is currently injured, so the hope is that the Yankees feel that he is ready when he returns from injury.
Another option to fill the void of Torreyes/Hicks would be Ben Gamel, who has already had a stint with the Yankees this season. Just 1-8 at the plate in in his short stint, he has continued doing really well in the minors, batting .304 with 14 stolen bases. Not known for hitting home runs, the young lefty’s solid speed and hit-for-average could help the Yankees this season and in the future.
|Photo Via @SWBRailRiders|
The last and probably best option is outfielder Tyler Austin. The former first-rounder has struggled in the minors the past few years, despite having really good years in 2011 and 2012. This season has been up and down as well. Starting off in Trenton, he had a very pedestrian slash line of .260/.367/.395 in 50 games. Since being promoted to the Yankees Triple-A affiliate, he has upped his game in just about every category. In 137 at-bats thus far in Scranton, Austin has a slash line of .307/.392/.642 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs. Not only are his numbers better than Gamel and Judge, but along with being able to play the corner outfield spots, he can also play first and third base, which would be very valuable to the big league roster.
Despite not having many infield options, the aforementioned outfielders deserve a chance in the big leagues over Hicks and Torreyes. It appears the staff has realized these two as liabilities, as neither had made an at-bat in over a week, until Wednesday’s contest against Baltimore. As the Yanks will most likely miss the playoffs, it's time to give the prospects a chance to prove themselves this year, in order to be ready to go in 2017.
Article by: Spencer Schultz
Article by: Spencer Schultz
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