Jorge Vazquez Slugging His Way into Yankees' Lineup

Julian ClarkeContributor IMarch 2, 2011

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Jorge Vazquez #94 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

At 28 years old, Jorge Vaquez seems like an unlikely candidate to break the Yankees' big league lineup, but with the way he performs, I would not be surprised to see him as a backup corner infielder and all-around utility man.

Vazquez has been a member of the Yankees since 2009 when New York found him hanging around the Mexican League playing for the Quintana Roo Tigers where he was dominating the competition, posting a .313 batting average over eight seasons.

After tearing apart AA level pitching with the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees promoted him to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 76 games, Vazquez batted .270 and hit 18 dingers while tallying up 68 RBIs.

However, his focus is not on his past success, it is on making the major league squad by the end of the preseason.

So far, Vazquez has played out of his mind. In his share of preseason at-bats, he's hit two home runs, he's slugging 2.000, and he's only gotten out once.

If Vazquez can keep it up, he'll surely be on the Opening Day roster. And he won't be used sparingly either. He will be a regular component to the team. Like Marcus Thames was last year, I see Vazquez being a situational guy and backup, but he could be moved into a starter role at DH if Jorge Posada begins to slump or if Russell Martin never gets it going.

Look for him to be used as a valuable option at corner infield, and he's even played a little catcher. So if all else fails, maybe he'll end up behind the plate. 

Expect most of his work to come from the batter's box, though. He looks pretty comfortable in there.