Greetings. I've been working on my next showing off my pickups at once post, this time involving hitters, but I wanted to show this particular pickup on it's own first.
This, my friends, is one of Topps/Bowman's newest parallels. I understand that these are referred to as static refractors.
These are numbered to 35 (because we really needed more oddly numbered refractors don't we?). I basically got this for the price of one pack of 2014 Bowman Chrome (S&H included) which is worth it in my book. The parallel's gimmicky nature aside, Thairo Estrada is a player I've had my eye on for a while and I'm glad I was able to pick this up for that low. Before Torrens was assigned to Staten Island on a rehab assignment, Estrada was arguably the best prospect on the Staten Island Yankees. And had Torrens never come to SI (and had Estrada managed to stay in SI a little longer) Estrada might've been my newest PC guy.
Anyway Estrada was signed out of Venezuela (Venezuela keeps pumping out my PC guys doesn't it) as a 16-year old non-drafted free agent in 2012 (along with LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS and soon to be minor league sensation Jorge Mateo). As such Estrada was sort of an afterthought/sleeper pick amongst prospectors who were more interested in LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS and Alex Palma. That said he managed to turn some heads in 2013 when he arrived to the US ahead of schedule (many thought he'd spend a little more time in the DSL), hit for a solid .278/.350/.432 slash line and was even ranked as the 20th best prospect in the GCL by Baseball America. Considering how he was just picked up for $49k (a small amount compared to what the high profile players from Latin America usually get) it looked like he came out of nowhere.
In 2014 Estrada had a chance to really take a step forward and force his way into the Yankees shortstop of the future conversation after being assigned to the Staten Island Yankees as an 18 year old, which is young even by NYPL standards. And he sort of did, hitting for a .271/.348/.288 slash line (take it with a grain of salt, it's SS-A after all) before he suffered a leg-injury and went to rehabilitate it in Tampa. After he got his leg back in order he spent the rest of the season down in the GCL (meanwhile the Staten Island Yankees gave the starting SS job to newly-signed Vicente Conde while also testing out Billy Fleming) and the GCL Yankees managed to go all the way to the finals before dropping the last game in the Championship Finale to the Boston Red Sox GCL affiliate.
I have a feeling that Estrada will be back in Staten Island next year, although he could very well be a candidate for Pulaski or, worse yet, Charleston. He's not on too many radars now, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if by this time next year Yankee-prospects heads like myself will be talking about how the Yankees have too many good shortstops in the low-mid minors and guys like Estrada were behind it. Thanks to the insanely huge international free agent haul the Yankees brought in this summer, coupled with a few notables from past drafts and signing periods, we'll have (at least) Tyler Wade, Abietal Avelino, Thairo Estrada, Jorge Mateo, Yancarlos Baez, Dermis Garcia, Diego Castillo and Hyo-Joon Park all competing for jobs at the lower levels (up to high-A Tampa) and eventually the higher levels as they slowly move up.
Anyway thanks for stopping by again and take care :).