The Yankees have added a bit of minor league depth, signing outfielder Michael Hermosillo and right-hander Demarcus Evans to minor league deals, according to each player’s MLB transaction log (here and here).
Hermosillo, 28 next month, has spent the past two seasons with the Cubs. He hit just .115/.250/.148 without a home run across 73 plate appearances and 31 games in 2022. He spent much of the year on the injured list with a left quadriceps strain, and only made an additional ten appearances at the Triple-A level, hitting .324/.400/.559 in 40 plate appearances. While that sort of sample size is far too small to draw accurate conclusions, he did hit .306/.446/.592 over 186 plate appearances a year earlier at that level, so he certainly can hit at the highest level of the minors.
Originally drafted in the 28th round by the Angels in 2013, Hermosillo came up through their system and made his big league debut in 2018. Despite tallying some promising numbers coming through the minors, Hermosillo never hit enough in the big leagues to stick, putting up a .188/.287/.288 line over 118 plate appearances in three years with the Angels. Combined with his Cubs work, that makes for a career .167/.268/.283 line with four home runs over 229 plate appearances.
Defensively, Hermosillo logged most of his time in center field, but also spent some time in left as well. On the whole, he’s been worth 3 Outs Above Average in 312 2/3 career innings in center, 1 OAA in 115 innings in left and 1 OAA in 126 innings in right. So even if the bat doesn’t show up in the big leagues, there’s a solid glove-first depth piece for the Yankees to cover any injuries.
Evans, 26, didn’t pitch in the big leagues last year but made appearances over the prior two seasons for the Rangers. Originally drafted in the 25th round in 2015, Evans came up through the Rangers’ system flashing big strikeout stuff, averaging a 13.5 SO/9 over his minor league career. He got a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2020, pitching four innings to a 2.25 ERA. A longer stint was ahead in 2021, but the results didn’t come, as Evans was tagged for a 5.13 ERA over 26 1/3 innings. Despite striking out batters at an above-average 27.5% clip, the walks were an issue for Evans, as he handed out free passes at a 13.3% rate.
At Triple-A this year, Evans tossed 33 innings of 3.82 ERA ball. The same issues that plagued his big league stint were evident in the upper minors, as Evans offset a strong strike out rate (30.1%) with a poor walk rate (15.1%). His fastball sits in the low-90s, and he mixes in a cutter and a curveball. He’ll give the Yankees a bit of minor league bullpen depth at worst, with a bit of upside there if they can straighten out his walk problems.