Via YES Network
At 29 years old, Steve Pearce may not be a “young prospect” anymore. And, with only seven weeks or so of service time in the Yankees organization, he’s not even a long-time farmhand that has worked his way up the ladder.
But if he continues hitting the way he has been so far this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then it wouldn’t be a surprise if Steve Pearce’s next taste of the Major Leagues came in pinstripes sometime this summer.
Pearce, who turned 29 in April, was signed to a Minor League deal at the very end of Spring Training after being released by the Twins organization, and it turned out to be one of the franchise’s shrewdest spring signings.
Through May 13, Pearce had a slash line of .361/.444/.631 at Triple-A with seven home runs, 18 RBI, and 77 total bases in 122 at-bats. Five of those six totals led the team (with Pearce trailing only Jack Cust in RBI), and his average was the best in the International League as of that date – with his slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and total bases placing third in the IL as well.
Those hitting totals are certainly impressive, but his versatility is just as valuable. Mostly a first baseman both this year and throughout his career, Pearce also has experience at third base and in both corner outfield spots – the kind of versatility that earned Jayson Nix a promotion from Triple-A earlier in May and could help Pearce reach the Bronx as a bench bat this summer.
Pearce certainly knows that routine, as he has spent parts of the last five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, hitting .232 with nine homers and 52 RBI in 185 games played. The Pirates had drafted Pearce in the eighth round of the 2005 MLB draft, and after rocketing through the farm system in less than two years, he spent the next five going back and forth between the Steel City and their Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis before leaving as a Minor League free agent last winter.
And now, after five years of uncertainty and a release by Minnesota, Pearce is making the most of his “second chance” with the Triple-A Bombers, hoping that his hard work will make his Major League dreams come true once again.
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES