Thairo Estrada
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The New York Yankees have a plethora of young stars on their hands but they better keep a good hold on Thairo Estrada.

Allison Case

With Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres bringing down the average age of the infield for the New York Yankees, it’s easy to think that Thairo Estrada could be the odd man out once Didi Gregorius returns from the injured list.

In fact, the days are looming closer for Gregorius’ return. Starting his rehab down in Triple-A Scranton, the infield is about to be a lot more crowded.

DJ LeMahieu has done his due diligence for the Bombers in numerous ways and Gio Urshela has been a knight in shining armor under the harsh spotlight in the Bronx.

Perhaps the most underrated piece of the infield is one of their youngest on the 40-man roster. Although there is no room at the moment, the Yankees should do everything in their power to keep a young player like Thairo Estrada on their roster.

Estrada certainly has small sample sizes when it comes to his stats. Estrada has only played in 22 games on the season after a late call-up but has given Yankees fans plenty to cheer about.

His current batting average of .304 is certainly something to cheer about and his second career home run literally powered the Tropicana Field. However, there is far more stock in his blinding speed on the base paths, something the Yankees have been hurting for in the past couple of seasons.

While only recording two stolen bases on the season, Estrada still serves as a viable threat on the base paths. Every time he gets on the bases, he’s a legitimate threat to swipe an extra base on a misplay by any fielder.

Estrada has been used multiple times as a late-game pinch-runner, a high honor for a 23-year-old who just had a bullet removed less than one year prior.

Not only that, but Aaron Boone had some choice words when describing Estrada’s presence in the lineup before Tuesday night’s game.

The infielder has been logging time at second base, shortstop and even some stints in left field. In those 16 games, he has yet to commit an error and has even made a few stellar defensive plays.

Yet another benefit to having him in the lineup is his calm and collected presence at the plate. A prime example is his bases-clearing double on May 19 against the Rays.

With two outs in the inning and a 94 MPH fastball hurtling his way, Estrada turned on the inside pitch to drive in his teammates and put the Yankees far enough away from the Rays for the victory.

This may be have been Estrada’s first appearance with the bases loaded but it wasn’t his first rodeo with runners in scoring position. In those at-bats, Estrada is slugging a cool .455/.500/.909 with eight RBIs.

At only 23 years old, Estrada’s shown that he has the makings of being a star in the Bronx. All of his strengths on the field have come out to play with his first shot in pinstripes.

There are naysayers out there who are convinced that Thairo Estrada will be a solid trade target, which he absolutely will. But this is a guy who probably should be donning pinstripes for years to come.

If the Yankees should do everything in their power to keep Thairo Estrada in it for the long haul. While their infield is crowded, Estrada is something special and letting him slip away would be a massive mistake.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.