Lets pick up right where we left off in the infield. If you haven’t read the Part I this is how it works I will name the player, what I believe their chances of making the 25 man roster are, something good about them,something bad about them and what to expect.
Robinson Cano: 100% chance of making the opening day roster. Something good : Cano is is young second baseman who has finally found his power stroke. The short porch at the new stadium helps. Last season he hit a career high 25 HR and batted .320 with 85 RBI’s.Something bad: Cano is another one who it’s hard to find anything bad about. One thing that does come to mind is although he is not horrible for someone with his speed he should get around the bases a little better. Also on occasion he gets a little to cocky about his arm and his seemingly routine throw ends with disastrous results. What to look for: We all know that Robinson has one of the best young bats in the game. Although I don’t think he will win the gold glove this year his arm strength will certainly put him in the conversation. I do however believe that he may have a breakout season again with the bat and take a hard run at the batting title. Projection: BA.345 25 HR 88 RBI
Reggie Corona: 25% chance of making the team out of spring training. Something good: Corona won mid season all star honors last season with Trenton and between Trenton and Scranton batted 257 (120-for-467) with 69 runs, 28 doubles, six home runs, 40 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 129 games. Corona is a switch hitter and can play both SS and second base. Something bad: At 23 Corona still needs some seasoning . The Yankees lost Reggie last season to the Mariners via the rule 5 draft but was returned to them at the end of spring training. It is possible that Corona could win the utility infielder position out of spring training but unlikely. Reggie needs to work on taking a more patient approach at the plate. A full year at Scranton will either make or break him.Projection : Reggie will probably start in Scranton at 2nd base. BA .255 HR 4 RBI 47 25 SB. Corona may help the Yankees come September off the bench as a pinch runner or backup infielder. Am impressive spring may buy him some clout if someone is injured.
Derek Jeter: 150% chance of making the 25 man roster. Something good: No player in the history of baseball has ever been the face of the Yankees as much as Derek Jeter. As the team captain he is the true leader of this ballclub. People keep saying that he wont be able to play another two seasons at Short and they will move him to the outfield. I have to disagree with this statement. Jeter seems to just be getting better every season and shows no sign of decline. I have no reason to doubt that he will be playing short stop for the bombers as long as he wants to. Last season at 35 years of age he batted .334 with 18 HR and 66 RBI’s he also stole 30 bases and had over 200 hits. Moving him back to the leadoff spot was a brilliant move that paid off huge dividends. Something Bad: The only bad thing about Jeter is that eventually he will start to slow down. I know that’s lame but It’s really hard to say anything bad about one of the greatest all around players of all time. Projection BA. 308 20HR 70RBI’s and 27 SB. A slight decline over last years numbers but still the best of any short stop in the American league.
Eduardo Nunez : Chance of making the team out of spring training is 5% Something good: Nunez is a talented young shortstop with a decent ceiling. At 21 years old he still has a ton of learning to do . Something Bad: Nunez is not going to hit a ton this year. He will probably end up at Trenton and we may see him in September to come up and ride the bench till the playoffs.Projection: Trenton BA.255 13 HR 66 RBI
Kevin Russo: Chance of making the 25 man roster 45% Something good: Russo can flat out hit. He has a strong arm at second and terrific speed on the base pads. Something bad: Russo hasn’t had enough time playing short to really determine if he can handle the position. Also he has been plagued by freak injuries the last few years. Projection: Kevin will get a good hard look and if he has a good spring could beat out Pena for the utility job.Although Pena is probably the better fielder of the two Russo is certainly the better hitter. BA .290 HR 10 80 RBI and 30 SB. If he doesn’t get the utility job out of spring training he will definitely be a regular in Scranton.
Ramiro Pena: Chance of making the opening day roster 60% . Something good : Pena took advantage of the long look he got last spring because of Jeter’s involvement in the WBC and won the utility infielder job. Because of his fielding ability I am calling him the favorite to win the job again. Something Bad: No power at all . He hit for a decent average last year but only had 1 hr in 115 at bats. Projection: because of his strong fielding and ability to play anywhere’s in the infield and a little outfield , Pena should get the utility spot. (Unless Russo has a great spring) BA .245 0 HR and 35 RBI
Alex Rodriguez: 1000% chance of making the 25 man. Something good: Alex will benefit from a full season of play. If he gets off to a strong start don’t be surprised when he wins the MVP . Something bad: Not this year Projection BA 325 HR 55 RBI 136 will win the AL MVP in 2010
That Wraps up all the infielders on the 40 man roster. Tomorrow we will continue with part three where we will examine the outfielders. Till then make sure you follow us on Twitter at Yankeesmagazine.