Don't get me wrong, the Yanks are truly holding their own in what I consider to be the toughest division in baseball. Considering the onslaught of injuries, slow recoveries and even setbacks for a majority of the traditional offensive producers - we're doing alright.
But it's still great to see a youngster come up through the system, report for duty and provide some excitement! That's what Zoilo Almonte has done for the Bombers and I hope he gets a chance to continue as long as possible!
I was able to obtain my first card of Zoilo, this 2010 Topps minor league card. Almonte is featured playing for the Yanks' Class A affiliate, the Charleston RiverDogs. A team I desperately need to take a drive and go see!
The light is kind of poor to make out the foil print, but overall it's a really sharp, colorful card. As you can see, Zoilo is a lefty, which will undoubtedly come in handy from time to time as long as he manages to see at-bats in Yankee Stadium. The design is right in line with that used for the big league release but it's always a lot of fun to enjoy the minor league mascot logo's. From my time in various places across the country, I've always found them to be a lot of fun and pretty imaginative.
Since being called up, Zoilo is batting .342 with a respectable .881 OPS. He's only gone deep once but has scored four times and shown tremendous patience at the plate ( 2:1 K:BB) with a flair for clutch hitting, netting him 7 runs batted in. As an extra bonus, he's also swiped 3 bags!
Here's the back of the card:
The offensive boost he's provided has been fantastic for our box scores but the intangible contribution of youthful excitement on a team of aging veterans and injury "fill-in's" has been a breath of fresh air. I wonder if he'll be included in the Update Series from Topps?
Welcome to the Show, Zoilo and welcome to the Ryan's Pitch Yankees collection!
Thanks for reading.