Thursday, November 01, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Justin Yurchak!

I got to be honest with you. I was a bit disappointed that the Dodgers never called up Manny BaƱuelos from Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. Sure, his arm wasn't needed to get us into the playoffs, but I just thought he pitched well enough over there to warrant a flyer. After all, the guy was once a highly-touted prospect and he is still young enough to regain some of that former glory. Nevertheless, his excellent season has gotten us a young prospect out of the White Sox organization who could lead to some dividends down the road. Announced this afternoon, the Dodgers have traded BaƱuelos to the Sox for 22-year old lefty infielder Justin Yurchak.

So who is he?

Yurchuk was drafted in the 12th round of the 2017 draft out of  SUNY-Binghamton, but actually started his college career at Wake Forest in 2015. There, he batted .313 with an OBP of .424, 5 homers, 33 RBI, and 30 walks with only 22 strikeouts in the ACC -- earning ACC All Freshman Team honors. He then transferred to Binghamton to be closer to home and slashed .320/.474/.442 while walking 41 times and striking out only 12 times in 2017. He would then get drafted and signed for an overslot deal of $150,000.

During his first pro season he continued to impress, slashing .345/.448/.520/.968 with eight homers and 27 RBI's for the Great Falls Voyagers of the rookie-level Pioneer league -- showing the plate discipline exhibited in college. Unfortunately, he took a step back this past season in Single-A for the Kannapolis Intimidators in the Sally League. There, he slashed .256/.348/.326/.674 with just one homer. He also struck out 53 times versus only 45 walks... Ouch!

Now, he's in the Dodger organization and I'm sure they'll look to see if they can rekindle that magic he found in rookie-ball. For some time, he was regarding as a sleeper prospect, so he's certainly worth the gamble... and who knows, maybe he develops some power as a result. Heck, maybe the approach that has seen dividends for the likes of Chris Taylor and Max Muncy is the way to go.

In celebration of entrance into the fabled Dodger Blue I made a couple of Dodgers fantasy custom Baseball cards. Check them out above.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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