Cleat Geeks

O’Boy, O’Brien

Last year the Arizona Diamondbacks made a trade with the New York Yankees. They traded veteran utility player Martin Prado for catcher Peter O’Brien. This is the classic case of why, in my opinion you trade away veteran players for young controllable prospects. Prado did do well in Yankee pinstripes for the 37 games in which he played for them. His batting average was .316 and he slugged .541 with a 145 OPS+. But again it was for 37 games because being sidelined by an appendectomy.

O’Brien will likely start the season in the minors this year, but is putting himself on the Diamondback top prospect list with the power he has shown in the Arizona Fall League and so far in Spring Training where he is wearing number 72. In 277 minor league games O’Brien has a career average of .267 while slugging .434 with an On-base plus slugging percentage of .853. And he is controllable for the next several seasons. Martin Prado, by the way, is not even with the Yankees anymore. He was subsequently traded to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi on December 25th.

Then Yankees prospect Peter O'Brien taking batting practice while playing for Team USA.

Then Yankees prospect Peter O’Brien taking batting practice while playing for Team USA.

A number of front office executives, who not only see him for his bat, but also his improving defense came out to the field to watch O’Brien hit Tuesday and after he blasted one off the batter’s eye in center, former D-backs outfielder Luis Gonzalez joked with coaches behind the cage saying, “Hang in there. The power will come soon.”

O’Brien heard that comment loud and clear. “It’s pretty funny when guys joke like that, so I like it,” O’Brien said. Fellow catcher Tuffy Gosewisch agrees, “I think he’s on a different level,” Gosewisch said. “Sometimes there’s guys in BP where you see them hit a few home runs and you might yourself try to hit some home runs to match them, but he’s on another level and it’s fun to watch. You can hear [it], [the ball] just sounds different coming off his bat. There’s a few guys in the game that have that sound, and he’s one of them. He’s got some kind of power.”

I personally was able to see him in the Arizona Fall League this past season, and was equally impressed. I witnessed him hit his fair share of moon shots over the fence. While playing for the Salt River Rafters he hit 5 home runs with 44 total bases, which were both tops on his team while batting a respectful .256.

They definitely traded someone in the twilight of his career for someone with a bright future.

 

Some material in this story provided by Steve Gilbert of MLB.com

 

 

 

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