A large question this offseason has been about Dean Anna and what exactly he could provide for the NY Yankees. Anna is a career minor leaguer that the Yankees acquired from the San Diego Padres for RHP Ben Paullus back in November. What we know about Anna is that he plays the middle infield and hit for a pretty fantastic stat line in the hitter friendly PCL. What I want to do is compare him to a name that I have heard NY fans ask about from time to time (myself included), Arizona Diamondbacks SS/2B Chris Owings.
Owings was ranked as the #2 prospect in the Arizona system back in 2013 and got a taste of the big leagues toward the end of the season. Once in the majors, he hit to a .291/.361/..382 slash line in 55 plate appearances. I will admit that I'm not to up on scouting reports and I rely mainly on statistical reference for any comparisons, but what I see in the PCL numbers for these two players may give Yankees fans something to look forward to.
In 2013, Owings (21 years old) hit to an astonishing .330/.359/.482 slash line with 12 HR and 20 SB in 546 AB. Anna (27 years old) hit to a similar, or slightly better .331/.410/.482 slash line with 9 HR and 3 SB in 498 AB. Owings appears to have more speed, but Anna shows better on-base ability while sharing an identical slugging percentage and a nearly identical batting average. Looking at their fielding in the PCL leagues, Anna shows better versatility, as he played 2B/SS/3B/LF while Owings stuck with 2B/SS. Anna displayed a .982 FLD in 592 innings at 2B and a .979 FLD in 474 innings at SS. Owings displayed a .981 FLD in 93 innings at 2B and a .943 FLD in 981 innings at SS.
All in all this may not mean a whole lot, but for a lot of fans, this may be something that allows them to take a deep breath and think about what Dean Anna could provide for the team. Count me on the side of wanting Dean Anna to take a hold of the utility bench spot on the 2014 Yankees, with the hopes that his left handed swing will take advantage of the short right field porch.