This season has been tough on the New York Yankees on all levels. Not only are players on the Major League club suffering injuries and struggling on the field but it is happening in the Minor Leagues as well. One bright spot this season has been catcher Peter O’Brien.
O’Brien was the second round pick of the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of Miami where he was named to the first team All-ACC. He had previously been selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2011 draft but did not sign. O’Brien began his professional career in somewhat typical fashion, struggling to adapt to the new lifestyle and nuances of the game. He hit .212/.256/.401 with 10 home runs and 10 doubles in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues. He began this season in the South Atlantic League with the Charleston RiverDogs and immediately started to show why the Yankees had picked him in the second round. He hit to the tune of .325/.394/.619 and 11 homers with Charleston before being promoted to High-A Tampa.
While he hasn’t crushed the ball like he did in Low-A he has still hit a respectable .289/.297/.521 and has hit six home runs in 30 games. O’Brien can hit, so much so that the Yankees have flirted with moving O’Brien to various positions to keep his bat in the lineup. O’Brien leads all Yankees Minor Leaguers with 17 home runs on the year. He follows in a long line of good-hitting catchers that the Yankees have seemingly built their farm system around.
O’Brien can be good enough to stay behind the plate but won’t be anything super-special behind the dish. It is his bat that makes O’Brien a prospect to watch and one that should find himself in several Top 20 lists after this season.