Legends On Deck

Will Peter O’Brien Finally Get His Chance?

GOODYEAR, AZ – MARCH 11: Peter O’Brien #7 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Cleveland Indians during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 11, 2017 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

It has been a long journey for Florida native Peter O’Brien.

After a successful collegiate career as a catcher at the University of Miami, O’Brien was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Seen as a “catcher of the future”, O’Brien had his work cut out for him as he tried to climb the Yankees’ ranks alongside highly touted prospects in Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine and even Kyle Higashioka.

O’Brien made a name for himself in the Yankees’ Organization and received numerous honors including an appearance in the Future’s Game; he even became more versatile by learning both infield and outfield positions.

His time with the New York Yankees however came to an end on July 31, 2014 when O’Brien was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for second baseman Martin Prado.

With the D-Backs, O’Brien continued to show his power at the plate at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels before making his Major League Debut on September 11, 2015 against the LA Dodgers. In 2016, ranked as the 7th best prospect in Arizona’s Farm System, he bounced back and forth between the D-backs and the Triple-A Reno Aces and saw most if his time in the outfield or as a designated hitter in some cases. His season ended with a .254 batting average and 75 RBIs, which considering he wasn’t a constant on either roster, still noteworthy.

But, in December 2016, the Arizona Diamondbacks designated Peter O’Brien for assignment and later traded him to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for right-handed minor leaguer Sam Lewis.

The initial expectation is that the Royals will be able to use O’Brien as a designated hitter, ending a home run drought the team has sometimes suffered through and also as depth on the bench. An outfield position would most likely be where O’Brien would find his spot seeing as the Royals have franchise players Salvador Perez at catcher and Eric Hosmer at first base.

This Spring, O’Brien has done all he can at the plate, showing that he has what it takes to make the Opening Day Roster. He is currently tied for most home runs (with former Yankees’ teammate Greg Bird) in Spring Training play with seven, is hitting .294 with a .362 OBP and a 1.127 OPS.

Now, at twenty-six years old, entering his sixth season of pro ball, position versatility that includes all outfield positions, first base, third base and catcher, will Peter O’Brien get the “Royal” welcoming that he has worked all these years for?

Or, will it be an assignment to Triple-A Omaha where he will wait for his next opportunity?

We Shall See!

 

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen