The New York Yankees have signed utilityman Jace Peterson to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Peterson was non-tendered by the Braves last month rather than go to arbitration with him. He’s 27 and is a career .234/.319/.331 hitter across parts of four major league seasons. The Braves tried him out as their everyday second baseman in 2015 but he didn’t hit enough to carry the position. Used more strategically (i.e. less, and at multiple positions) in 2016, he was almost average at the plate but last year he was a bit of a train wreck. He has a modicum of plate patience but can’t do much else. He can, however, play anywhere, having appeared at all positions other than pitcher and catcher.
Everyone needs a utilityman. No telling if he could actually make the Yankees as one, though. I presume he’ll spend a hefty amount of time in Scranton as organizational depth.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.