Saturday, September 23, 2017

Quick Hit: Billy McKinney to Learn First Base This Winter


The New York Yankees presumably teach a lot of things down on their farm systems and in their various minor league affiliates but one thing more than anything this team may teach is versatility. Flexibility is the name of the game here in Major League Baseball these days and the Yankees are trying to keep pace, whether it be for usefulness on the field or whether it be to boost a prospects trade value is anyone’s guess but nonetheless the efforts are there. These efforts will be on full display once again this winter in the instructional leagues when one of New York’s up-and-coming prospects learns a new position, first base. His name is Billy McKinney and he is one of the many outfielders currently being blocked by the wall that is Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and Jacoby Ellsbury to name a few.

The Yankees announced this week that the 23-year old will learn first base this winter in the instructional league as well as playing both corner outfield positions. McKinney was sent to the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs last summer in the Aroldis Chapman trade along with Gleyber Torres and has paid immediate dividends for the Yankees, especially since New York ultimately ended up getting Chapman back this winter via free agency. Now McKinney faces the possibility of playing for a third team in his minor league career as New York is faced with the decision to protect McKinney and add him to their 40 man roster or leave the outfielder unprotected for any team to snatch him up in this December’s Rule 5 Draft.

McKinney, a left-handed bat, broke out in a big way this season after being promoted to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and has opened a lot of eyes not only within the Yankees organization but outside the organization as well. Is this a power move for the Yankees as they prepare to trade McKinney in lieu of a roster crunch or does the team truly want and need another left-handed compliment to Greg Bird? The things that make you go hmmmmm. Stay tuned.



10 comments:

  1. We already have some ex-Yankees farm guys kicking our ass, do we need one more?

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  2. Depth is a great thing to have, but it is possible to have too much. The Yankees have too much. Start trading some of it away. We're too deep at third and outfield. Go get some young, major league ready pitching this off-season. Trade Gardner, Headley, and Ellsbury. Even if you have to eat salary.

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    1. Not sure what Jeff's trading chips are going to bring back.
      Next to no big deal, is my guess.
      Don't forget to include Tanaka, in your house cleaning.
      Hans....When you post, even for four words, this site is has
      hope.
      Beach day tomorrow, 88 degrees, no clouds, no wind !

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    2. If we get nothing, it's something. Because it clears spots for younger, hungrier players.

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    3. Great point, Jeff.

      And I think until his recent power outage that Gardner had some great trade value, especially with so little in terms of years and money left on his deal after this season. But you're right, clearing those spots are invaluable to a team like the Yankees right now not only in their mission for austerity but in their 40 man roster crunch as well.

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  3. Hans you SOB! Where have you been? I miss arguing with you.

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  4. Patrick and Levin if you guys posted more I would as well as you guys make it interesting and fun especially when we disagree. Reed always disagrees with me so its like the wife always repeating the same shit in my ear, after I while I block it out. I like Bird but he's an injury waiting to happen. Reminds me of another first baseman with a sweet lefty swing who got injured walking over the white line and that was Nick Johnson

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    1. That's actually a great comparison. Nick Johnson was deemed by many to be the first baseman of the future but he just couldn't stay on the field. It's a good thing that Javy Vazquez is retired or he may be wearing Yankees pinstripes a third time and Bird may be gone.

      I like what I saw in short glimpses from Garrett Cooper this season too. He may be a good one for the Yankees, underrated.

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  5. Never made the Nick Johnson connection. Perhaps you're right. Time will tell. I'll give him the benefit of doubt right now.

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