Who Are Socrates Brito, Greg Allen, and Jhoulys Chacín?
No Minor League signing is ever a bad signing, and the Yankees have not only done well with them in recent years (see: Urshela, Gio) but they have also shown a desperate need for these minor league signings to supplement an incredibly injury-prone team. With three recent small moves over the past week, let’s look briefly at each:
Socrates Brito (OF):
Age: 28 Years Old
MLB Experience: Parts of 4 Seasons (2015-2016; 2018-2019)
Career bWAR: -0.8
The first ever MLB player with the name of a famous Greek philosopher, Socrates Brito was signed in 2010 by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic. It took a while for him to appear as a legitimate prospect in the Arizona system (Ranking #14 in 2015) after breakout 2014 and 2015 seasons in A+ and Double-A respectively. Making his MLB debut in 2015, Brito has been a journeyman outfielder so far in his career while having good-to-great Triple-A numbers.
In his limited time in the MLB, Brito has struggled while hitting to a .179/.216/.309 (.525 OPS) triple-slash with 5 HR’s to his name over 99 games (see all of them in the video above). Meanwhile, his career Triple-A numbers would indicate a better player: .297/.345/.491 (.837 OPS) with 44 HR’s in 362 games.
After spending 2010-2018 with the Diamondbacks, Brito was selected off waivers by the San Diego Padres early in 2019 before being DFA’ed and then selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in April. He then signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2020 but sat out the beginning of the 2020 season after testing positive for COVID in July. He then opted out entirely in September, 2020 after his brother caught it and passed away. The Yankees signed him to a Minor League deal on January 1st, 2021.
With a spring training invite included in his deal, it’ll be interesting to see if the Yankees can find a way to access his talents at the MLB level. There is still time for Socrates to find a niche in the MLB and the Yankees have found magic in a bottle before.
OF Socrates Brito signs a minor league contract with the Yankees with an invitation to spring camp. Brito is represented by The MAS+ Agency. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 1, 2021
Greg Allen (OF):
Age: 27 Years Old (will be 28 in 2021)
MLB Experience: Parts of 4 Seasons (2017-2020)
Career bWAR: +1.0
Drafted in the 6th Round out of San Diego University by the then-Cleveland Indians in the 2014 MLB Draft, Greg Allen was a constant presence in Cleveland’s prospect lists. Appearing first in 2015 as the teams #30 Prospect, Allen bumped up to #19 in 2016, and then up to #7 in 2017. Allen would make his MLB debut in 2017 and has since been shuffled between Triple-A and the MLB as a speed-first player.
Over 4 different seasons in the MLB, Allen has played in 221 games while hitting to a .239/.298/.343 (.641 OPS) triple-slash with 8 HR’s (see his 5 between 2019 and 2020 in the video above). However, he has started just 139 of these games, often coming in as a pinch-runner where he has a 32:6 SB:CS record (including 21:4 in 2018).
He spent almost all of his career in the Cleveland organization before being acquired by the San Diego Padres as a part of the Mike Clevinger 2020 Trade Deadline move. He would make it into just 1 game as a Padre before being DFA’ed on December 31st after the Padres signed INF Ha-Seong Kim. The Yankees traded LHP James Reeves for him on January 6th, 2021 and he has been added to the 40-Man Roster.
Hearing the #Yankees are trading for Greg Allen who was DFAd last week by the ##Padres — Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 6, 2021
Jhoulys Chacín (RHP):
Age: 33 Years Old
MLB Experience: 12 Seasons (2009-2020)
Career bWAR: +20.0
Chacín signed as an International Free Agent out of Venezuela with the Colorado Rockies in 2004, ultimately cementing himself as one of their top prospects before his MLB debut in 2009 and his rookie season in 2010. He would go on to lead all NL rookies in strikeouts in 2010 and was a consistent pitcher through the large majority of his career.
Over his MLB career, Chacín has started 226 games (of 257) with a 78-87 record, a 4.04 ERA (108 ERA+) over 1,324.0 innings, a 1.332 WHIP, and 1067 strikeouts (7.3 K/9). A serviceable starter, Chacín has had some injury problems in his career including 2012 right shoulder inflammation (kept him out from early May to mid-August), a 2013 lower back strain, 2014 right-shoulder strain and inflammation (ended his season in late July), and 2019 lower back and right oblique strains. This has also led to a lot of shuffling around organizations going from the Colorado Rockies (2009-2014), Cleveland Indians (2015)*, Arizona Diamondbacks (2015), Atlanta Braves (2016), Los Angeles Angels (2016), San Diego Padres (2017), Milwaukee Brewers (2018-2019), Boston Red Sox (2019), Minnesota Twins (2020)*, Atlanta Braves (2nd stint; 2020), and now the New York Yankees (2021).
*No MLB appearances, spent time in organizations Minor League system
As the Yankees currently stand with a rotation of Gerrit Cole and a bunch of question marks behind him, Chacín serves as solid depth. He provided 100+ innings of work from 2016-2019 including back-to-back 180+ inning years in 2017 and 2018 alongside solid ERA’s of 3.89 and 3.50 respectively. The past few years haven’t been as kind, but having solid depth is never a bad thing.
The Yankees have signed free-agent pitcher Jhoulys Chacín to a minor-league deal, according to the leagues transactions page. — Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 8, 2021
Article By: Ethan Semendinger
Date Published: January 8th, 2021