The Yankees had enviable depth at catcher as recently as 2016, but a number of transactions had depleted much of their stock.
New York shipped big league catcher Brian McCann to the Astros after the 2016 season to create a full-time role for hot-shot rookie Gary Sanchez. A few weeks after that, the Yankees lost low Class A catcher Luis Torrens in the Rule 5 draft.
Entering the 2018 season, the Yankees had Sanchez and backup Austin Romine but little depth in the minor league system.
Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer addressed that deficit in the 2018 draft, when the Yankees invested first- and second-round picks on catchers and signed four backstops total.
“We knew we had a hole in catching depth in the system,’’ Oppenheimer said.”It was something we were hoping happened, and there was catching available to us with two guys we liked at the top—and a couple of others fell into our laps.’’
Seigler and Breaux each played at two levels of short-season ball in their pro debuts, though neither escaped unscathed. Seigler dealt with a concussion and Breaux dealt with a hamstring problem.
“They are different type of players who happen to play the same position,’’ Oppenheimer said. For instance, Seigler is fully ambidextrous and can throw with both hands.
Seigler impressed vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring with his first taste of pro ball, which culminated at Rookie-level Pulaski. Overall he hit .266/.379/.342 in 24 games.
“He is advanced for a youngster. His mechanics from each side of the plate were good. He is not the biggest guy (6 feet, 200 pounds), but he is athletic.
“He did a nice job handling some pitchers with big-time stuff throwing north of 100 (mph),’’ Naehring said.
— The other two catchers the Yankees signed out of the 2018 draft were 18th-rounder Alex Guerrero out of Eagle (Idaho) High and 26th-rounder Jack Thoreson from St. Mary’s. Guerrero passed on a chance to play at Washington to sign.