Wednesday, June 12, 2013


So, what ever happened to Ronnier Mustelier? This was the guy who surprised everyone with his hitting and play at third base this past Spring, in the midst of the injury madness in the Yankees camp.

Alex Rodriguez was to be out until after the All-Star break, and the Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis to play third. Then Mark Teixeira got injured and the thought was that Youkilis might be able to play first. Mustelier made a strong play for that 25th roster spot, either as the starting or backup third baseman.

His record this past Spring was impressive, actually. He hit .314 with an OPS of .940 and a .917 fielding percentage due to one error at third. Despite that, and hitting a walk-off home run in his penultimate game against the Rays, it was not meant to be. Nevertheless, he is maintaining his focus and having a good season in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. As of this writing, through 34 games he is hitting .294 with four home runs, an OPS of .753, and a fielding percentage of .927. This stretch includes a recent nine-game hitting streak.

The only thing standing in his way is the success of Jayson Nix, who is doing a fantastic job as the roving backup everyday infielder. In addition, the fact that he is 28 years old may prove to be a limiting factor in how long the Yankees may choose to invest in him. They may choose to use him as trade bait, for a team in need of a good-hitting third baseman with decent defense skills. With their current wealth of infielders, it may be the Yankees’ best play. If nothing happens by the trade deadline, look for him possibly to come up in September for his first exposure to the major leagues, which will give scouts and Yankees management a look. Either way, this kid is someone to keep an eye on.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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