Yankees have an outfield spark plug waiting to be promoted

Syndication: Poughkeepsie Journal, yankees, everson pereira
Patrick Oehler/Poughkeepsie Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Yankees are in dire need of rejuvenation. Their recent 5-0 defeat against the Atlanta Braves, marked by a single hit in 24 at-bats, underscores the urgency. The emerging consensus: it’s time to infuse fresh talent and let younger players shine.

Service Time Manipulation: A Barrier to Youth Promotion?

Speculation suggests the Yankees’ front office might be stalling for the service time manipulation date. Once this passes, promoting younger players won’t add to their service time, thus delaying their eligibility for free agency by six years. Given the Yankees’ historical hesitancy in promoting fresh talent, this strategy is puzzling, especially as their playoff hopes continue to dwindle.

The current stance leans towards established players, which might not be bearing fruit. Players like Jake Bauers and Harrison Bader, despite their struggles, still dominate the batting lineup. For instance, Bauers boasts a meager .160 average and a .218 OBP in August, striking out in half his at-bats. His performance against the Miami Marlins, where he struck out in all five at-bats, is particularly telling.

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Everson Pereira: The Outfield Prospect the Yankees Need?

One name continually popping up in debates is Everson Pereira, the 22-year-old outfield prospect. His recent statistics from Double-A Somerset show promise: a .291 average, a .362 OBP, 10 homers, and 31 RBIs in 46 games. Progressing to Triple-A, he continues to impress with a .310 average, a .364 OBP, six homers, 31 RBIs, a 27.9% strikeout rate, a 5.7% walk rate, and a 117 wRC+ across 31 games.

However, the Yankees’ hesitation to capitalize on his form might put him in a challenging position, promoting him during a seven-day stint where he’s batting just .158. This trend of disrupting momentum is not new – the Oswald Peraza episode stands testament.

Pereira possesses desirable attributes. He showcases an athletic prowess fit for centerfield and wields a bat that surprises many with its power and precision. His aggressive style, especially early in counts against fastballs, can be a double-edged sword, leading to both spectacular hits and avoidable strikeouts.

Originating from Venezuela, Pereira’s journey as an international prospect has seen him evolve into a player with commendable speed, defensive intuition, and a growing slugging profile. While the Yankees might have not seen him as a power hitter initially, his current performance challenges that notion. The team’s preference for power over low strikeout rates seems to align with Pereira’s style.

A Glimpse into the Future

With the present scenario in mind, Pereira offers more promise as a future asset than the likes of Bauers. Integrating him and other deserving prospects into the roster can provide valuable insights into their potential at the MLB level. Rather than sporadic mid-season promotions, a more strategic approach could steer the Yankees in the direction they need to go.