• More Praise For Ramiro Pena

    Posted by on March 29th, 2009 · Comments (7)

    Via Bill Madden

    Whether Derek Jeter realizes it or not, Joe Girardi’s proposed move to bat him leadoff may well be a prelude to a much more dramatic switch in the not-so-distant future.

    Jeter’s decreased range at shortstop, especially to his left, has been an increasingly hot topic around baseball – which the Yankee high command has pointedly chosen to ignore, because there didn’t appear to be any bona fide prospects in the system. That, however, all changed this spring with the emergence of 23-year-old Ramiro Pena, whose dazzling glovework has made him the frontrunner to win the utility infielder’s job until Alex Rodriguez comes back in May.

    Fact is, Pena has always demonstrated world class defense since being signed by the Yankees out of Mexico in 2005, but his improvement with the bat is what’s elevated him to legitimate major league prospect status.

    “When I first saw him three years ago, you could knock the bat out of his hands,” said one veteran scout whose primary assignment is in the minor leagues. “But he was a magician with the glove and that made him someone to keep an eye on. Now that he’s gained a little weight, put on a little muscle, he’s no longer an ‘out.’ He can handle the bat. I always felt his glove would get him to the big leagues, but now I can see him as an everyday shortstop.”

    “Best looking young shortstop I’ve seen in a couple of years,” said one National League scout.

    So assuming Pena is the real deal, it would seem that with another year of Triple-A apprenticeship, presumably mixed with stints at the big league level, he’ll be ready for regular duty with the Yankees. Jeter will be 35 next season, the last year of his contract, and, his pride aside, he can’t expect to extend his career as a shortstop.

    Not the first time we’ve heard someone singing a happy tune over Pena.

    Me? I think if anyone is going to push Jeter off short, it’s going to have to come via a Wally Pip case – where someone fills in for Captain Derek, over an extended period, due to injury, and just plays so well during that time that it forces the Yankees and/or Jeter to make a move. Now, the twist to all this, of course, is timing. If such a situation should occur during Jeter’s last year of his current contract, well, then it gets really interesting, doesn’t it?

    Comments on More Praise For Ramiro Pena

    1. Tresh Fan
      March 29th, 2009 | 9:45 am

      “But he was a magician with the glove.”

      Holy Alberto Gonzalez, Batman!

    2. March 29th, 2009 | 10:20 am

      Bill Madden doesn’t know much when it comes to younger players. I don’t think Jeter is at risk of losing his job to Pena. Even if they move him from short I don’t think Pena has the bat to last as a starter in the Bronx.

    3. Corey
      March 29th, 2009 | 10:37 am

      i must be missing something…i’ve watched all the ST games that have been televised, and …I just don’t see it

      this sounds to me like when the yanks got rico bergman and everyone was so excited about his glove and that his bat was serviceable…and we all know how that turned out

    4. March 29th, 2009 | 10:55 am

      Long live Rico Bergman!

    5. March 29th, 2009 | 2:32 pm

      How many games could you have seen really? 10? That’s a big difference than 100. When he boots a ball that’s no big deal. His range is superior than most. He’s getting to balls other people can’t.

    6. March 29th, 2009 | 2:47 pm

      This was written by Peter Abraham 45 minutes ago.

      “Wow, Ramiro Pena just made a terrific play. Nyjer Morgan bunted and Pena raced in from third, bare-handed the ball and made a strong throw across his body to get the runner by a step.

      Great play. The Yankees have an interesting decision to make with that utility spot. Angel Berroa is a “name” but Pena has played his way into consideration.

      To me, you keep Pena. He’s twice as good on defense and he can pinch run. Isn’t that what you want from a utility infielder? Berroa has a better bat but how often is that player going to hit?”

    7. Corey
      March 29th, 2009 | 3:10 pm

      ok, we aren’t talkin about a utility infielder roll here, im refering to the part mentioned: “but now I can see him as an everyday shortstop.””

      tell me, were you a fan of doug mienkevitz(close?)? cause thats what i see

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