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Jorge Vazquez Could Provide Bench Depth from Within

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Jorge Vazquez #95 of the New York Yankees poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 25, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst IJuly 7, 2010

Where would the Yankees bullpen have been last season without Alfredo Aceves? Probably right about where they are right now without him. And LHP Manny Banuelos is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization.

What do these two players have in common? The Yankees signed both of them out of Mexico.

They actually have a third player they signed out of Mexico, and he could do for the bench what Aceves did to the bullpen.

Jorge Vazquez, 28, was signed by the Yankees on December 7, 2008 and has been in the minor leagues ever since. However, that could change soon.

He started out with Double-A Trenton last season where he played in 57 games hitting .329 with a .935 OPS. This year he missed a lot of time thanks to an appendectomy in spring training, but he’s back and playing for Triple-A Scranton. In 22 games there so far this year he has a .307 average and a .913 OPS.

Statistically speaking, there isn’t much of a reason to keep him in the minors any longer. A call-up could come any day now. The Yankees could really use him too. He plays both first and third, so he could spell Alex Rodriguez at third every once and a while. He could also serve as a part-time DH until Nick Johnson comes back.

With all of the trade talk surrounding Ty Wigginton, Vazquez might be able to duplicate his numbers on the field. He doesn’t provide quite as much versatility, but with Marcus Thames back from the DL, the Yankees don’t have as much a need for an outfielder. Wigginton doesn’t play shortstop, and Robinson Cano never really needs a day off.

Calling up Vazquez could be the best thing for the Yankees to improve their bench and keep the prospects necessary to land Wigginton, who probably won’t keep up his first half numbers anyways.

Vazquez’s numbers are certainly no lock to carry over to the major leagues, but with the success they had with Aceves last season, the Yankees should at least give him a shot. If they did it now, they would have a few weeks to evaluate him before deciding whether or not to make a trade for further bench help.

One thing I know is that his numbers are too good to ignore. I think he has a real shot at getting called up any day now. It’s likely only a matter of time.

Here are his career numbers:

Year Tm G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2000Mexico City Tigers4166916229320.242.296.364.659
2001Mexico City Tigers912323566115241455.284.340.397.736
2002Mexico City Tigers671892952101035450.275.298.487.785
2003Mexico City Tigers8024735691114601965.279.327.502.829
               
2005Angelopolis71285611082033961455.379.413.7961.210
2006Angelopolis75284611021531982546.359.419.7391.158
2007Quintana Roo5822345721217491860.323.383.605.988
2008Quintana Roo562243076718592045.339.398.6121.010
2009Trenton572253074151356845.329.357.578.935
20102 Teams32129224311625334.333.348.558.906
2010Trenton104141640618.390.405.488.893
2010Scranton/Wilkes-Barre228818277619226.307.323.591.913
10 Seasons6282104357678114149511128475.322.367.591.958
AAA (9 seasons)561183832358895136449119422.320.368.595.963
AA (2 seasons)672663490191362953.338.364.564.928
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com : View Original Table
Generated 7/7/2010.

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