— Athlete Appearances (@cravetheauto) June 17, 2014
O'Brien has become well known for his power with 23 long balls this season and each one is hit longer than the next. His original position was supposed to be catcher, but the Yanks have moved him around the field because he isn't thought of as good defensively behind the plate.
In 2014 alone, O'Brien has seen time at catcher, first base and right field, and he's even played third base after doing so in Single-A in 2013.
While being a catcher doesn't seem to be in the cards for O'Brien, there may be another reason for moving him around on the diamond.
John Harper of the New York Daily News believes the Yanks are showcasing O'Brien's abilities to play other positions because scouts around the league don't have faith that O'Brien will be an adequate catcher:
They also have something of a wild card in Double-A slugger Peter O’Brien, whose 23 home runs this season have created a buzz. However, while scouts have been wowed by his tape-measure power, they don’t think he’s agile enough to handle catching in the big leagues, so the Yankees have tried him at other positions, most recently first base, in part to showcase him.
Moving O'Brien around gives him some versatility and adds to his value in a deal. Teams that were otherwise jammed at the catcher position in their respective farm system may be more inclined to take a chance on O'Brien if he can play multiple positions.
The downside of O'Brien is that he doesn't hit for a very high average.
Sure, he's decimating minor league pitching with all of his homers, but the 23-year-old is only sporting a .266 combined average and a .224-mark after being promoted to Double-A Trenton. Before moving up, O'Brien slugged his way to a .321 average in Single-A.
O'Brien is an impressive young player, although he isn't impressive enough to land a big deal for the Yanks alone. O'Brien could be one of multiple prospects to be involved in a trade depending on how big the return is for the Yanks—like an impact starting pitcher.
While the Yanks need power in their lineup this season, O'Brien isn't someone who can help the team right now since, as Harper points out in his piece, scouts don't believe he's anywhere near ready for MLB pitching.
So, if you can't help the Yankees now, chances are you will be traded. As quickly as O'Brien's star rose in the Yanks' minor-league system, it could be gone just as fast.Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Peter O'Brien, Trenton