The New York Yankees are uncharacteristically not hitting home runs in 2014, so should home-run machine Peter O'Brien be promoted to the big leagues to help drive some runs in?
— Athlete Appearances (@cravetheauto) June 17, 2014
The Yanks could certainly use the boost. After all, New York is ranked No. 21 in hitting the long ball this season and knocking in runs altogether has been just as difficult.
Meanwhile, O'Brien's homers are lighting up the minor leagues. He hit two more on Monday to up his total to an astounding 25 in 73 games between Single and Double-A. If he were able to translate that into the majors, O'Brien could give the Yanks a huge lift.
The only problem is his current game wouldn't translate into a successful major-league career just yet. O'Brien simply isn't a good enough hitter to get it done.
While he hit to an impressive .321 average in Single-A, O'Brien is sporting a dreadful .223 average one level up despite hitting the ball out of the park on a consistent basis. There isn't a prayer O'Brien will be able to deal with big-league pitchers enough to make an impact now until he becomes a better, smarter hitter.
That means he won't be a candidate to come up from the minors this season, barring a total act of desperation on the Yanks part. Not to mention, he's better off staying in the minors and improving in the batter's box by doing and not watching only.
While that is a reality, O'Brien can still contribute this season.
O'Brien's REAL Value
That value comes from the ability to trade O'Brien, who is a very attractive asset when taking his incredible power into consideration. O'Brien hits tape-measure shots that would raise the eyebrows of even the most experienced scout.
Even if he becomes just marginally better as a hitter, O'Brien can still be a big bat in the majors as a run-producer and a guy who can get you a .250-.260 average. Granted, that average doesn't sound great, but how many high-paid players fit that mold? Heck, the Yankees have some of them.
O'Brien has also seen some time at different positions as defensively he isn't a good catcher. He's played at third base, first base and right field during his time in the minors, so he isn't a one-trick pony.
Because of the negative in his batting average, O'Brien alone won't get anything huge done for the Yanks on the trade market. Instead, he's a very nice addition in a trade package and perhaps one of the more attractive pieces the Yanks can offer when combined with other prospects.
Sure, the Yanks need some offense desperately, but O'Brien has a better chance of delivering that by being traded than called up.
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