Prospect Spotlight: Thairo Estrada

Anytime someone thinks of a Yankees middle infield prospect, their focus will automatically go to Gleyber Torres. No one else really is considered, due to the fact that Gleyber is widely considered to be a future superstar, no matter where his position is. However, there is another middle infield prospect in the Yankees’ farm system that is currently making a name for himself, and that is Thairo Estrada.
Photo Credit: Martin Griff

Thairo was born on February 22, 1996, in Bejuma, Venezuela. The Yankees signed him as an international free agent out of his home country in 2012 for a cheap $49,000, and he’s quietly put up solid numbers as primarily a shortstop ever since. From 2013-15, he never really had an opportunity to play a full season, averaging just 45 games for each of the three years. However, his breakout season came last year in 2016, where he played 118 games between the Low-A Charleston Riverdogs and the High-A Tampa Yankees. His numbers? .290/.346/.391, with eight homers, 49 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, and 18 doubles. Not too shabby.

Wait, he’s even more impressive though. At the end of the 2016 season, Estrada was just 20-years-old, which was about 2.3 years younger than the average player between Charleston and Tampa. He also isn’t exactly a big guy, coming in at 5 foot 10 inches, and 185 pounds. You wouldn’t think that translates to much power, but that remains to be seen; eight homers as a 20-year-old isn’t exactly nothing.

Thairo actually played with the Yankees during Spring Training, and slashed a productive .429/.429/1.429, with two homers and four RBIs in a small sample size.




Once he was sent to minor league camp, Thairo was promoted to Double-A Trenton following last season, and so far in 2017, he’s put up even better numbers: .347/.424/.458, with two homers and seven doubles. He’s also just 21, which is a whopping 3.2 years younger than the average Double-A player. He’s also split 2017 between second base and shortstop, as other middle infield prospects for the Yankees have done in the past to increase versatility (most notably Torres). However, with Torres’ recent promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, it’s likely that Estrada inherits the bulk of time at short. 

If Thairo keeps up his production, I would say he gets promoted to Triple A towards the end of this season. He isn’t a Gleyber-like uber prospect, so the Yanks won’t want to get him to the majors as soon as he shows that he’s ready. Maybe he replaces Torres in Scranton? They essentially play the same positions, so that would make a good bit of sense. But anyways, keep an eye out for Thairo, because he’s the sleeper prospect no one is talking about. 

Article by: Alex Weir

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