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Yanks Lose Out on Jeter’s Replacement

By Mike Silva ~ March 15th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

I have to admit I was surprised by Adeiny Hechevarria’s decision to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees, by the sheer power of their brand name, always seem to get their man in the international market. According to reports Hechevarria spurned the Yanks, not for money, but because he saw a better opportunity to play with Toronto.

We all know it’s going to be impossible to replace Derek Jeter. Just like Ron Blomberg and Bobby Murcer were not the next Mickey Mantle, no shortstop will every live up to Jeter’s on the field legacy. Hechevarria seemed like a perfect transition because of his age (19) and upside. Even though you won’t replace Jeter, is there a solid shortstop in the system? Someone that you can groom over the next 3-4 years?

Ramiro Pena would be logical. He can “caddy” Jeter and learn from the best in the business. The industry has a new found value for players who save runs and in his rookie season Pena was impressive, although his UZR rating at shortstop didn’t match up. He better be good because his career minor league OPS of .635 means his glove needs to be like Rey Ordonez for him to ever be more than a utility man in the big leagues. Chances are the Yankees view him as the latter since they asked him to learn multiple positions in Scranton last season.

As you start to work your way through the minor league system, Eduardo Nunez is the first name that jumps out. Ranked #8 on NYBD’s Top 50 Yankees Prospect List, Nunez is a butcher in the field, but hit for average (.322) and power (9 homers) in a pitchers park. He is 22, not particularly young, but would be entering his prime presumably when Jeter’s time runs out. After Nunez there is little else. Reegie Corona played a little shortstop and Carmen Angelini took a step back in Staten Island last year.

Obviously Jeter is not going anywhere and there is no indication his skills are deteriorating. Who knows what player will be available on the free agent market in 2014. Perhaps this year’s amateur draft will yield the next Yankees shortstop. The shame of it all is Hechevarria was so perfect, but you can’t blame him for going to a team that paid him more money and allowed him a clearer path to the big leagues.

Replacing Jeter will be tough enough when the time comes. Perhaps even more so now that Hechevarria is off the market.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Yanks Lose Out on Jeter’s Replacement

  1. Kevin Davis

    Thank god the Yanks didn’t waste their money on another over -hyped Cuban player. Can we stop talking about Jeters replacement for at least another year please? Besides Jeters’ replacement isn’t even in the system yet. Look for how high in the draft the Yankees go for a shortsop this year and you’ll probably find Dereks replacement.

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