The Yankees acquired first baseman 25-year old first baseman Ryan McBroom on July 23 this past summer from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Rob Refsnyder. McBroom was initially selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 36th round of the 2013 draft but opted not to sign and was drafted a year later in the 15th round by Toronto out of West Virginia University.
As an advanced college bat, McBroom figured to move quickly through the Toronto system, and he debuted in 2014 with the Vancouver Canadians as one of the older players in the league. In the short season North Western League that season, McBroom showed great power by blasting 11 home runs driving in 59 runs while batting .297 to earn mid-season all-star honors. He also added 23 doubles in those 70 games.
After an impressive pro debut, McBroom built off of that remarkable showing in the Midwest League with the Lansing Lugnuts in his first full season. In 127 games with Lansing, McBroom batted .315 with 39 doubles, 12 home runs, and 90 RBI. His hot season earned him league MVP honors when all was said and done.
McBroom moved up to High-A Dunedin in the Florida State League to open 2016, and he picked up right where he left off in his 2015 MVP season. In a league where power numbers are low, McBroom crushed 21 home runs and added 26 doubles to go along with 83 RBI and a .274/.323/.468 slash line. His numbers earned him a brief nine-game promotion to Double-A New Hampshire to close out the season. McBroom was honored as both a mid and postseason Florida State League all-star.
In his first full-season in the upper levels of the minor leagues, McBroom slashed 243/.321/.402 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs, and 54 RBI in 96 games with New Hampshire and was named an all-star for the fourth consecutive season before being traded to the Yankees. McBroom was already in Trenton when the trade was consummated and had to walk a few feet down the hall to join his new teammates in the home clubhouse. In 38 games for the Thunder following the trade, McBroom slashed .257/.327/.379 with four homers and 16 RBI.
Here is what our friends over at 2080 Baseball had to say about McBroom:
“McBroom brings double-plus raw power to the table, and with enough at-bats, it could project to average in-game power. He’s got above-average bat speed, with a long swing with some bar out action, though he’ll get extended at times. His swing appears grooved at this point, and he needs to make better adjustments versus secondary offerings to be more effective; otherwise he has a dead-red profile with high strikeout rate of 23% rate this year, though he is finding his way into more walks, leading to an almost-100-point delta between his average (.225) and his OBP (.324) this season, the OBP of which is consistent with his 2016 OBP of .323, but still below average. Overall, he projects as a below-average hitter.
On defense, he is limited to first base, with fringe-average hands that can catch the balls he gets too, but with below average footwork and range, and limited agility around the bag. He is a labouring runner, with well-below-average home-to-first times (4.75-to-4.89 seconds), and he can be a baseclogger trying to score from first on a double – he’s really a base-to-base guy. Power is his carrying tool, and he reminds me of a right-handed version of former Blue Jay Kevin Barker (1B/PH) offensively, while Barker was with the Jays in 2006. McBroom projects as a Role 35 up/down first baseman, capable of emergency duty at the big league level, but otherwise limited to a regular role at the Triple-A level.’
I would expect that McBroom will get a good look in Triple-A this season, depending on what other moves the Yankees make this winter and any other additions that they make for system depth. After losing Mike Ford in the Rule 5 Draft, the system was already lacking in first base depth, and now McBroom is probably the most big-league ready first base option that has not already reached the major leagues.