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October 19, 2007

Juan Miranda In The Yankees '08 Mix?

From Baseball America -

The Yankees’ future at first base is somewhat clouded, but it appears Cuban defector Juan Miranda has emerged as the frontrunner from within the organization.

Miranda started the year with Tampa and finished with Trenton; overall, he batted .265/.350/.471 with 16 homers and 96 RBIs. The Yankees assigned him to the AFL, and he has drawn praise from not only Franklin but from scouts as well.

“This guy’s got huge power,” a scout from a National League club said. “He’s a legitimate threat regardless what his ceiling is age-wise.”

Age is a question with Miranda. His official birthdate provided by the club after he signed for $2 million in 2006 is April 23, 1983; but several Cuban sources have the former Pinar Del Rio player with a 1981 birthday (some have a March birthdate, some April), which would make him 26.

“I don’t really care if he’s 26 or 30,” said another scout from an American League club. “The bat has a higher ceiling than a lot of people thought, and he will hit for average too.”

Miranda has been pushing the envelope at first base since he signed, and it appears he’s worked his way past 2003 first-rounder Eric Duncan on the depth chart despite not playing for two years after leaving Cuba.

“I would think that after this season we’ll really be able to get a handle on where he stacks up,” Franklin said. “What I like about Juan and what I think the organization’s tried to do with him is to have him to be as aggressive as he can while being selective as he can be. He’s going to strike out some–that’s inevitable–but we don’t want him to give up anything where the power is concerned.

“He’s got the capability to take a ball that’s away from him and (drive) it out of the yard. He can hit a ball that’s up out of the yard and has the ability to hit balls down low in the strike zone and somehow make solid contact. He has enough power to hit balls out of any park no matter where it’s pitched.”

This is a pretty glowing report. It will be interesting to see what Miranda does this spring - and then at Triple-A, if that's where he starts next year. Perhaps he could platoon with Shelley Duncan at first, in the Bronx, next year?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at October 19, 2007 09:13 AM

Comments

How is he defensively?

Posted by: redbug [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2007 12:42 PM

I'm surprised by this report. Miranda was a bit of a disappointment this year. He started out slow, then had some really hot streaks, but overall I got the impression people were disappointed in his performance.

Anyway, it's good to hear someone sees him as a legit big leaguer. Although, rising on the depth chart above Eric Duncan is like crowing about being taller than Danny DeVito. Duncan (who's still very, very young and unfairly brutalized by fans) had another subpar year with the bat.

I still very much like Duncan's swing and he made great strides in his strikeout/walk numbers. I hope the Yankees haven't grown impatient with him, because I think he can turn out to be a pretty decent player one day.

And reports were that Miranda wasn't much of a first baseman.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2007 01:23 PM

IIRC, the day I saw him play, he was at DH. But, I haven't heard that he was great, or a butcher, with the mitt. So, he's probably in between.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2007 01:23 PM

he destroys RHP, but has a lot of trouble with LHP. anyway, i'd like to see a platoon of betemit/duncan to begin 08 and if miranda is doing well at Scranton, maybe he replaces betemit (if he's not cutting it) as the LHB in that platoon.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2007 02:53 PM

bailywalk what is exactly yuour complaint of duncan? He played well when they got him in there, and that was the problem. He played sparingly, and for a guy to go from playing every day to once a week its hard. Ask Giambi, a former all-star.

Posted by: Corey [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2007 03:46 PM

Reading the entire paragraph usually saves you from faux pas -- trust me, I've learned the hard way.

I was talking about AAA first baseman ERIC Duncan. I think Shelley Duncan had a fine year and I would love to see him on the big-league club next year.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 19, 2007 04:19 PM