The Yankees have acquired second baseman Wendell Rijo, who is officially the player to be named later in May’s Erik Kratz trade with the Brewers; the club’s PR department has announced the acquisition.
Nothing about the 22-year-old Rijo immediately jumps off the page. Originally an international signee of the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic, Rijo’s played all of 374 games at the Double-A level and hasn’t been particularly impressive with the bat overall. This season, Rijo sports a .200/.304/.375 slash line with four homers across 93 plate appearances.
Notably, though, his walk rate has made a significant jump in 2018. In a limited sample, he’s walked 12.9% of the time, which is up from just 7.7% at Double-A last season. Even more intriguing is the fact that Rijo’s suffered from some severe bad luck thus far; his .214 BABIP indicates that he likely deserves a higher batting average than the mere .200 he owns at present. Rijo was also active on the basepaths in his first three pro seasons, swiping at least 15 bags during each minor league season from 2013-2015. Though he hasn’t done nearly as much of that in recent seasons, one has to imagine he’s still got the potential to kick it up a notch on the bases.
Regardless, the Yankees will be happy to get anything in exchange for the veteran Kratz, whom they re-signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason following using him mostly in a defensive replacement capacity and during just four MLB games in September of 2017. He’s been surprisingly effective for the Brewers this season: the backstop has three homers and a .511 wOBA across his 29 plate appearances in 2018.