Yankees eyeing Everson Pereira as key to left field reinforcement


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The Yankees didn’t push to get reinforcements to resolve their lingering left-field issue as Tuesday’s trade deadline passed. General manager Brian Cashman clearly took the name of Everson Pereira twice in a clear indication of him getting the preference to fill the left-field gap.

As of Thursday, the Yankees had utilized nine different players in left field, collectively accumulating a 0.5 fWAR, which placed them at the 26th position in the league rankings. The left fielders’ performance at the plate was represented by a slash line of .227/.299/.381. Defensively, they ranked 25th with a minus-six Outs Above Average, as reported by Baseball Savant.

Before the trade deadline, there were multiple reports saying various potential trade candidates were considered, ranging from short-term rentals like Cody Bellinger from the Cubs and Randal Grichuk from the Rockies to more long-term prospects such as Dylan Carlson from the Cardinals. While both Bellinger and Carlson remained with their respective teams, Grichuk was traded to the Angels. Interestingly, GM Brian Cashman did not make any inquiries about Grichuk during the trade talks.

As of the moment, the Yankees find themselves relying on a mix of Jake Bauers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Billy McKinney to cover left field. While each player has made valuable contributions at various points, with Kiner-Falefa standing out in his utility role, the team still lacks consistent everyday performance from the left-field position.

On Tuesday, after the trade deadline had passed, Cashman commented on the left field position, stating that it had been a position they have been trying to improve. He acknowledged that the challenging aspect has been finding the right opportunity to acquire a suitable player. During his post-deadline press conference, Cashman mentioned an intriguing name that could be of assistance, both in the final two months of the current season and certainly in the upcoming one: Everson Pereira.

Is Everson Pereira ready for the Yankees MLB role?

Yankees prospect Everson Pereira

At 22 years old, the outfielder, who holds the Yankees’ No. 5 prospect title according to Baseball America, is currently excelling at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. After Everson Pereira’s promotion from Double-A Somerset last month, he has shown outstanding performance. In his initial 20 games with the RailRiders until Thursday, Everson Pereira boasted an impressive .337 batting average, a .963 OPS, five home runs, 25 RBIs, and recorded 26 strikeouts.

In a phone interview on Thursday, SWB hitting coach Trevor Amicone praised Everson Pereira’s hitting abilities, emphasizing that his power stands out significantly. Amicone also highlighted his consistent skill in making contact with the ball and driving it with precision. He mentioned that Everson Pereira is a well-rounded hitter, and as his approach becomes more refined, the number of strikeouts will likely decrease. Amicone reassured that Everson Pereira’s occasional strikeouts are not a fundamental concern, and it is an aspect that can be improved as he continues to develop as a player.

Being on the 40-man roster, Everson Pereira exhibits the versatility to play any of the three outfield positions, though he primarily takes on center and left field roles. This aspect positions him as a potential candidate to secure a spot with the Yankees next year, particularly given the vacancy in left field and the likelihood of center fielder Harrison Bader becoming a free agent.

Can Everson Pereira make his MLB debut in 2023?

According to Cashman, there are individuals in the team striving to establish their reputation and hold significant prospect value. Simultaneously, they are eager for an opportunity to showcase their abilities at this level, mentioning Everson Pereira as an example. Cashman added that the situation remains open, and the future will reveal how things unfold.

Back in 2017, the Yankees signed Everson Pereira, a highly regarded prospect from Venezuela, for a notable sum of $1.5 million during the international signing period. However, his journey has been impacted by several injuries that have hindered his progress, along with the setback caused by the pandemic, which led to the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season. During this period, Amicone, who had previously served as a roving hitting coach in the organization, began his remote work with Everson Pereira for the first time.

In the later part of 2020, the Yankees organized an instructional camp in the Dominican Republic for their young international players, Everson Pereira being among them. During this camp, they were conducting a drill emphasizing swing decisions, which was particularly beneficial for a prospect like Pereira, known for having a tendency to chase pitches. However, at the time, Everson Pereira wasn’t fully invested in the drill, which, according to Amicone, was common for a 19-year-old prospect.

Amicone recounted a memory of stopping the drill and approaching Everson Pereira to offer some guidance. He had conveyed to Everson Pereira that the big leagues were the ultimate goal, with all the space in between representing the opportunity to enhance his swing decisions and improve as a player.

Following the conversation, they resumed the drill, and this time, Everson Pereira displayed a significantly improved level of focus and attentiveness.

Twitter – @HALTOKBO

Subsequently, during Everson Pereira’s debut game at Triple-A on July 4, he achieved an impressive 2-for-5 record with a home run during his first plate appearance. At one point during Everson Pereira’s at-bats, Amicone joined him in the dugout and commended his progress, remarking on the incredible strides he had made in his swing decisions and plate discipline.

Amicone shared that when he conveyed his observation to Everson Pereira, the latter’s immediate response was positive. Everson Pereira acknowledged that the key to reaching the big leagues lay in his swing decisions, and he expressed his commitment to keep working on it. As a coach, this response gave Amicone a sense of pride and excitement. Moreover, Amicone highlighted that Everson Pereira remains eager to enhance this aspect of his game, which adds to his appeal as a player. Despite achieving good results in the first month, Everson Pereira is not complacent and is determined to refine his underlying metrics further.

According to Amicone, Everson Pereira’s primary focus isn’t solely on excelling as a Triple-A hitter; rather, he has his sights set on becoming the best possible hitter in the big leagues.

Amicone pointed out that Everson Pereira’s most significant progress since 2020 has been in his plate discipline, despite the fact that he has a 28.8 percent strikeout rate in his combined 277 plate appearances this season, encompassing both Double-A and Triple-A.

Everson Pereira’s mature approach to the plate has garnered admiration from those in his vicinity, particularly considering he is only 22 years old.

Amicone expressed surprise at Everson Pereira’s dedication and daily preparation, specifically tailored to the pitchers they are about to face. He noted that Pereira’s ability to adjust his swing and approach based on the pitch shapes encountered during a game is typically seen in players who have extensive experience at this level or in the big leagues. Some of his teammates have even commented multiple times on Pereira’s impressive advancement in this area, considering his young age.

According to Amicone, Everson Pereira has demonstrated a notable improvement at Triple-A by considerably reducing his tendency to chase pitches. This improvement has put pressure on pitchers to throw more balls within the strike zone, and Everson Pereira has been capitalizing on those opportunities with successful results.

Yankees prospect Everson Pereira

Amicone acknowledged that adaptation is a natural aspect of the game. He mentioned that pitchers will eventually make adjustments to counter Pereira’s success, and how Everson Pereira responds to those adjustments will ultimately determine the extent of his long-term contributions to the team.

Severino’s search for his ‘stuff’ continues

Friday night’s Yankees game against the Astros will feature Luis Severino as the starting pitcher. However, after his last start against the Orioles on Sunday, his place in the rotation was not certain. With an 11.22 ERA in five July starts, there was a possibility of him losing his spot in the rotation. Additionally, as he is in the last year of his contract, he was also considered a potential trade candidate.

On Wednesday, Severino mentioned that he was aware that he would be pitching and starting, but he was uncertain whether it would be for the Yankees or another team. He acknowledged that everyone was anticipating the outcome of the trade deadline. Despite the uncertainty, Severino expressed his happiness to be given the opportunity to start for the New York Yankees once again.

There have been inquiries about whether Severino could benefit from a minor league stint similar to what Alek Manoah experienced with the Blue Jays, enabling him to address his issues in a less pressured environment. However, there are two factors to consider: Firstly, unlike Manoah, Severino would need to give his consent to being sent down due to his more than five years of major league service time. Secondly, Severino stated that there have been no discussions about such a possibility with him.

Severino emphasized that his arsenal of pitches is intact and not a cause for concern. He clarified that he is not struggling with issuing excessive walks at every start. Instead, the issue lies in not hitting his intended spots accurately. Severino pointed out that to excel as a pitcher, he aspires to emulate someone like Gerrit Cole, who consistently works hard to improve and effectively navigate through challenging at-bats.

Bumper crop

Yankees prospect and AA Somerset Patriots' Tyler Hardman
Somerset Patriots

Following a challenging start to the season at Double-A Somerset, Jasson Dominguez recently wrapped up a remarkable performance in July. The Yankees’ highly regarded outfield prospect, who remains just 20 years old, achieved an impressive .297 batting average with a .778 OPS in 24 games throughout the month.

Despite Dominguez’s strong performance in July, he may not have had the most outstanding month among hitters on his team. Tyler Hardman, a 24-year-old third baseman, was recognized as the Eastern League Player of the Month for his remarkable display, smashing 10 home runs in 21 games while maintaining an impressive .968 OPS. Furthermore, as of Thursday, Hardman’s total of 26 home runs for the season ranked him as the leading home run hitter across all of Double-A.

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