The Yankees signed a few players to minor league deals in the last week, and included in this number is pitcher Jason Johnson, outfielder John Rodriguez, and shortstop Angel Berroa. For those of us who have never heard of these players, rest assured that you are not alone. As always, Respect Jeters Gangster has your back.
Angel Berroa: A product of the Kansas City farm system, Angel Berroa was set for greatness after he won 2003 Rookie of the Year award batting .287 with 17 homeruns and 73 RBI's. He beat out our very own Hideki Matsui for the award. Since then he's been on a downward slide and eventually lost the shortstop role to Tony Pena Jr., son of our beloved first base coach. Last year he played for the Dodgers, but barely made a dent with his anemic .230 average. The best way to describe Berroa is an energetic player with a Vlad Guerrero strike zone but an Adam Dunn strikeout rate, and David Eckstein type power. The Yankees hope he can give depth to the middle infield in the event that Jeter or Cano and Cody Ransom are unavailable. Berroa has played some second base, and played one out at third, but is by and large a short stop, and not a good one (.966 career fielding percentage).
Jason Johnson: A right handed veteran Johnson made his debut with the Pirates in 1997, and since then has played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, Reds, Indians, Dodgers and the Seibu Lions of Japan. His most active year was 2006 where he played for three different teams including the Red Sox, where Carl Crawford had a three steal game against him, including swiping home. What makes the steal more impressive is that Johnson is right handed and thus faces third base. Johnson has a ton of big league experience, but not a ton of big league success. He did lead the 2005 Tigers in quality starts, but has had a losing record in every season except for 2 in Baltimore where he went 8-7 and 10-10. His career record is 56-100. However, he could help to spot start every now and again, and perhaps fill a hole in the rotation for a couple turns through.
John Rodriguez: A left handed outfielder who played with the Cardinals, Rodriguez is originally a product of the New York Yankees farm system. He has a championship ring with the 2006 Cardinals, but his only world series at bat ended in a strikeout. In fact he has zero hits in the post season, though admittedly its a small sample size. He did help his team in the NLCS by drawing 2 walks, driving in a run, and scoring a run all in one game. He spent the majority of the 2007 season on the DL, and opened spring training of 2008 with the Rays, but did not make the team. He's currently playing in the Puerto Rican winter league, but not particularly well. He has a .298 average with a .378 OBP in 332 at bats for his career.
So there you have it. Now you can repeat this information to your friends so you look really cool, and then all the girls will flock to you.