The Yankees spent the big bucks on 28-year old switch hitting 1B Mark Teixeira this winter. He played in 157 games for the Braves & Angels last season in which he was 177 for 574 (.308 avg, .962 OPS) with 102 runs scored, 33 homers and 121 RBIs. He is also a good defensive player making on 5 errors in 153 games at 1B last season and that should make Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez happy. Teixeira has averaged 94.3 runs scored, 33.8 homers and 112.7 RBIs per season in his career and he’s never been around a supporting cast like he will have in 2009.
25-year old lefty swinging Juan Miranda is a pretty good prospect. He played in 99 games in AAA-ball last year and he was 102 for 356 (.287 avg, .833 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 12 homers and 52 RBIs. He also played in 5 games for the Yanks last season in which he was 4 for 10 (.400 avg, 1.000 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI. Miranda didn’t make any errors last season in 5 games at 1B for the Yanks in 2008. Miranda will be prime trade bait for the Yankees if he gets off to a good start in AAA this season.
29-year old righty swinging Shelley Duncan had a poor year in 2008. He played in 23 games for the Yanks last season in which he was 10 for 57 (.175 avg, .543 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBIs. Duncan also has a iron glove at 1B as he made 3 errors in 16 games there for the Yanks in 2008. Duncan also played in 60 games in Rookie+AAA ball last season in which he was 49 for 212 (.231 avg, .825 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 12 homers and 44 RBIs. He must have a good spring to get back into the good graces of the Yanks.
Nick Swisher would likely play some 1B if Mark Teixeira were injured.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A