Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Juan Miranda's Chances in MLB

A few hours ago on Twitter (yes folks, I am on Twitter SiscoKid027 in case you want to look me up) I saw something of a suggestion by blogger TheYankeeU that Jason Giambi could possibly return to the New York Yankees to fill the role that Lance Berkman will inevitably leave behind. I asked him whether Juan Miranda could be a viable younger and cheaper option for the Yankees to consider instead of Giambi. He felt that Miranda wasn't MLB material. Fair enough but I decided to look into Miranda's stats to see if maybe he would be a career AAA player or a diamond in the rough.

Miranda is a Cuban born, Dominican nationalized player who was signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He spent 2007 in between the A+ Florida State League Tampa Yankees and the AA Eastern League Trenton Thunder. Since 2008, Miranda has mainly played with the AAA International League Scranton/Wilks Barre Yankees with a few stops with the parent team. For his minor league career, Miranda has batted .281 with 63HRs and 273 RBI in 423 games. His OPS was .845 (.367 OBP/.478 SLG) and his strike out to walk ratio was almost 1.5 to 1 (357-195). His numbers while with the New York Yankees break down like so: in 83 at-bats, Miranda batted .253 with 4 HRs and 14 RBI. His OPS was .788 (.367 OBP/.458 SLG). Miranda struck out 20 times while walking 9 times.

What does this actually mean. To me it shows that Miranda is a capable hitter in AAA. I don't think that the brief times that he has spent with the parent club can be a fair assessment of his abilities. With Mark Teixiera signed for another six years, Miranda's time with the parent club might be in the role of a part-time DH. With Jorge Posada's skills being less and less what they were, the grumblings from Yankeeland seem to suggest that for the 2011 season he will platoon behind the plate with prospect Jesus Montero and take more and more at-bats as the DH. Can Miranda be productive? Possibly. Will he get the chance with the Yankees? Probably not. A change of scenery could possibly help. Maybe the example of Alex Ramirez (who plays for the Yomiuri Giants in the NPB) is something that Miranda can consider. A productive stint in Japan has been known to increase the value of a player in MLB and in the case of Ramirez lead to a fruitful career in Japan (Does Cecil Fielder ring a bell?).

Miranda will be playing in the Dominican Winter Leagues with the Tigeres del Licey and hopefully he can put together a productive campaign in the Dominican to help his chances in the pros. I'll check back on him during the season.

For Further Reading
- Click Here for Juan Miranda's statistics page from TheBaseballCube.com
- Click Here for the press release on Miranda's signing with the Yankees in 2006 from ESPN.com
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