Former Yankee prospect Juan Miranda is likely to get a shot at the full time 1B gig in Arizona. The Yankees, you’ll remember, traded Miranda for pitcher Scottie Allen a little more than a month ago.
This is definitely encouraging news. Miranda had a solid minor league track record and if not for Mark Teixeira, he could’ve been at least a platoon option at first base for the Yankees. But, as it usually is with Yankee minor leaguers, Juan was the victim of blockage and timing.
With Juan Miranda joining personal favorite Ian Kennedy, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the Diamondbacks this year. Kennedy had some success in the rotation last year and should improve. With regular playing time, I think Juan Miranda could at least be an average player.
While it hurts to see guys like Kennedy, Miranda and Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson with non-Yankee organizations, the team should take pride in the fact that they’ve developed a fair amount of players lately. It shows that the system is healthy and is graduating players. This is something we should get used to in the next few years.
Scott Allen has had two seasons in the minors. In 2009, he relieved in 12 games in the Pioneer League. He struck out 16 in 17.2 (8.2 per nine) innings while issuing 3.6 BB/9. The strikeout and walk numbers both improved in 2010. His BB/9 fell all the way to 2.5 and he struck out 9.1 per nine. However, a 10.2 H/9 jacked Allen’s WHIP up to 1.410. But, in what we like to see–strikeouts and walks–Allen produced good results.
In terms of stuff, I found this scouting report on Allen from Yard Barker:
via Baseball America: Allen throws four pitches, three of which grade as average at times, but lacks the one dominating offering to put batters away. He sinks his fastball at 87-91 mph and occasionally breaks out a swing-and-miss slider in the high 70s or a changeup in the same range. His curveball is less refined, but he’s around the zone with it and all his pitches. Wiry strong, Allen has a quick arm, but he tends to tire visibly by the fourth inning. Still, he’s worth taking a flier on because he’s a teenager who already shows a feel for pitching.
The sink on his fastball is encouraging, as is the swing-and-miss slider. However, we’ve seen the Yankees eliminate the slider in prospects before (Phil Hughes) and focus on the curveball. Hearing that he has a feel for pitching is also good, though there are apparently concerns about his stamina. That’s something, though, that can be improved with more time in the minors.
Allen is still young–he doesn’t turn 20 until July ’11–so there is still time for him to develop into something useful. While the D-Backs will get more immediate returns on this trade from Miranda, but in the long run, we could see Allen give something to the Yankees.