The Cincinnati Reds have signed catcher and first baseman Andy Yerzy to a minor league contract for the 2023 season.
The 24-year-old Canadian was a 2nd round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016 out of high school. He worked his way up the ladder with Arizona, reaching Double-A in 2022 where he hit .220/.338/.402 with 50 walks, 85 strikeouts, 15 doubles, a triple, and 12 home runs in 346 plate appearances.
Andy Yerzy was selected to play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, but he declined the invitation. After opting to become a minor league free agent following the 2022 season he was still unsigned and it’s possible he felt that it could boost his chances of landing a deal without being away from an organization to start spring training.
Drafted as a catcher, he spent the majority of his time behind the plate early in his career, but starting in 2019 he began to see regular time at first base as well. Last season in Double-A Amarillo he played in 48 games at first and caught in just 31 games (and he pitched in a game, too). While behind the plate in 2022 he threw out just 16% of attempted base stealers. For his career he’s been at 29%.
You can see the career stats for Andy Yerzy here.
Certainly a depth piece, but where?
I wonder if some of the players cut or soon to be cut have opt outs coming sooner v later.
I always think of opt outs as early season, unless they sign later. Obv could be any time in a contract.
I believe that will need a first baseman at AA. Free or Yerzy could find time there until Ibarra or Trianna are ready to move up mid season and can provide some catching depth there as well.
Betting somebody has opt outs. Plus, he is 24. They could keep a younger player. Still a 2nd round pick