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New York Yankees non-roster invitees to watch this spring

Ji-Man Choi

After the ineffectiveness from the first base position in 2016 and the uncertainty that comes with the recovering Greg Bird, effective depth is invaluable.

Last season, Girardi was stuck trying to replace 31 homers (thanks to the drought of Mark Teixeira) with Dustin AckleyChris ParmeleeRob Refsnyder, Ike Davis and eventually Billy Butler. It was a mess.

Although Ji-Man Choi’s name doesn’t sound appealing, if he could finally tap into his potential, he’ll be a valuable asset for the Bombers as an emergency option.

He slashed a mere .170/.271/.339 in 54 games with the Los Angeles Angels in 2016, but in 53 games in Triple-A, he slashed .346/.434/.527 with 31 walks compared to 34 strikeouts.

Over six seasons in the minors, the South-Korean owns a .308/.408/.488 slash line but has yet to see the power demonstrated (18 home runs in 2013) since being suspended for testing positive for methandienone.

Tyler AustinRob Refsnyder and maybe even Matt Holliday will likely rank ahead of Choi on the first base depth chart to begin the 2017 season, but injuries happen.

Choi will, at least, present the Yankees with some depth. If he has a successful Spring and stint as the starting first baseman in Scranton, he could be used to provide even more flexibility to the bench — a unit that is already a strong suit.