New York Yankees' X-Factor May Be Ronnier Mustelier

By Chris Ronca
Ronnier Mustelier trots around the bases after a HR
Photo Credit: Kim Klement – USA Today

The New York Yankees have had a lot of big surprises so far this season, but the guy that may end up being the biggest surprise of the year, may still be yet to come.

That guy is Ronnier Mustelier. If you didn’t pay a lot of attention to the Yankees during spring training then you are probably saying “who the heck is that?”. Well, in short, he is an exciting 28-year-old Cuban defector who can play the outfield and third base.

He also brings quite a bat to the plate as well, he hit .303 with 10 home runs and 49 runs batted in during his 89 games with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate last season. In all, he’s hit .324 with 41 doubles, 18 homers, 19 steals, 44 walks and 85 strikeouts in 595 at-bats through 150 professional games.

He was on fire for the Yankees early on in spring training and was turning heads all around the organization, to the point that Joe Girardi decided he was nickname worthy and crowned him with the name “Musty”. Due to a combination of the Curtis Granderson injury, the Yankees’ need for third base help and Musty’s versatility at both these areas of need he looked like he could have made the Opening Day roster for the Yankees.

That speculation was short-lived though as Mustelier went down with a bone bruise in his knee in late March.

Mustelier is done rehabbing now and is playing with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate once again, but he may not be there for long. As soon as Musty begins tearing it up like he has been for the past year Brian Cashman is going to have to start thinking about getting him on to the major-league roster.

Musty currently isn’t on the Yankees 40-man roster, but he could easily move onto it if his call-up corresponds with designating either Ben Francisco or Chris Nelson for assignment.

Whenever he does get to the majors, Musty will not only become a fan favorite with his vibrant personality but there is a very big chance that he will begin giving the Yankees some fantastic production on the field as well.

So, I guess, if you’re a Yankee fan, you should start learning how to pronounce Musty’s name. Which by the way, the correct pronunciation is Ronni-air Must-tel-lee-ay.

Chris Ronca is a New York Yankees writer for Follow him on Twitter; @ChrisRonca.

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