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Is Ben Rice The Real Deal?

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It’s Ben Rice fever! My X feed has been going crazy about him. I understand why, he’s been refreshing to watch especially with how much this team has struggled lately. Have we seen enough yet to call him “the real deal?” The social media arguments are real!

So far, I like what I see. He’s got a good approach at the plate, which is exactly why the Yankees called him up in the first place, check it out HERE. The Yankees didn’t bring him up for his expertise at first base, they promoted him because he has a good bat. “He’s as advertised,” said one American League scout who has seen Rice in two series since being called up. “He has a calm presence at the plate, which you can’t teach. He showed it in the minors, but it doesn’t always translate here.”

So far, it translates and it’s worked, but we’re only talking about 40 plate appearances in 12 games. It’s worked for Rice, and maybe it will help DJ LeMahieu settle in at third base and find that consistency. Anything that works and gives this team that lightning in a bottle they desperately need. The Yankees are putting a lot of faith in a catcher converted to first baseman who has play 12 games in the majors, which is one more game than he played down in Triple-A. Maybe that’s why social media has some strong opinions on him.

I said social media had some strong opinions, didn’t I? I had a Facebook friend of mine send me a message yesterday. He said he didn’t think it would take long for the Yankees to ruin his plate discipline or he might end up catching the Greg Bird curse. Now that’s a name you don’t hear anymore, and a guy you don’t want to be compared to these days. I get it, Bird impressed in the very beginning and then quickly declined. I just don’t think it is fair to compare Rice to Bird. Just leave him alone and let him play.

It’s too early to make any hard opinions on Rice. As long as he continues to lay off the bad pitches and make contact with the good ones then the Yankees will have a weapon in their back pocket. When I watch him he appears to be laid back, and not letting the pressure get to him. It’s always something I look at when you have someone who gets promoted to the big stage with minimal time down in Triple-A. Oh and Aaron Boone likes his “ability to impact the ball”……whatever that means. I think it means his ability to hit the ball with authority, but Baboonie always has to add his Boone babble nonsense.

There’s always a lot of question marks when you promote someone so quickly from Triple-A and then plug them into a role that isn’t their primary position. I don’t think we have seen enough to call him the real deal…..but I’ve seen enough to want to see more.

–Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa

BYB Senior Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj


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