Oct
09

Seventh-round pick Higashioka ready for full-season ball

By

After a quick tour through the Yankees fall instructional league, seventh-round pick Kyle Higashioka is heading back to his home in southern California. The team has high hopes for the prep school catcher who, like most high school draftees, is a raw product now. He’ll begin his first full season in pro ball next year, likely starting out at Low-A Charleston, which saw two excellent catching prospects pass through this year in Austin Romine and Jesus Montero. So a once barren system in terms of catching talent is starting to fill out. MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo has some info on Higashioka up at the official site.

In the quotes department, Higashioka is a lot like catching brother Crash Davis. He comes off as positive, eager, yet unoffensive, which is basically the formula for speaking to the press these days.

“A bunch of people told me how hard it’s going to be once I get into full-season ball,” he said. “I’ll try to get as strong as I can, and keep working on my hitting and catching, maintaining quickness as well as strength. I want to come to Spring Training in really great shape and impress all the coaches and staff, so hopefully they put me in the full-season level.”

“There are certain things that are different in professional baseball that I wasn’t accustomed to,” Higashioka said. “This minicamp helped me adjust to the lifestyle of playing professional baseball.”

Known mostly for his slick defense, he could still be a force with the bat. It’s tough to tell when they’re still 18 years old and not fully developed physically. The Yanks paid $500,000 to keep him away from Cal, so clearly they see something in him. He’ll definitely be one to watch in the 2009 edition of DotF.

Categories : Minors
  • Anthony

    Just out of curiosity, anyone know how to pronounce this?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      th-i-s. Rhymes with “bliss” and “kiss”.

      • Anthony

        Oh you. You’re good you.

  • http://www.mvn.com/milb-yankees Ashish Skaria

    Hee-ga-shee-o-ka

  • Anthony

    Where’s the accent though? In my head i can pronounce it about 3 different ways.

  • http://www.mvn.com/milb-yankees Ashish Skaria

    Also, Kyle is a brilliant dude. If you might remember, after I interviewed him (if you want to check that out: http://mvn.com/milb-yankees/20.....igashioka/), I asked him a couple of questions about his senior year at high school since we’re the same age and all. He told me how he was taking so many APs his senior year. Specifically, we talked about AP Calc. I dropped that class 2nd semester cause it was so freaking impossible, but Kyle seemed to think that it wasn’t all that bad. I know he was being modest when he said it, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he was acing that class while I was flunking it. No doubt, this kid is a well-rounded individual.

    • jsbrendog

      i’m oging to leave the stereotypical comment alone :-)

      AP calc AB wasn’t bad

      now the second yr AP calc…..sweet jesus

  • cult of basebaal

    so, we can start calling him “Crash”ioka?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yes, yes we can.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Here’s my question: Is Kyle’s mom a bitch? Is she a big fat bitch? Is she the biggest bitch in the whole wide world?

        (Yeah, I went there.)

  • pat

    so are weems and higa gonna do a romine/montero and switch between c and dh at charleston next yr?

  • Hitman

    I think Weems may be moved to another position.

  • ortforshort

    Has anyone told Cashman that you can only play one catcher at a time? Aren’t there any infielders or outfielders out there to draft?

    • Ol Dirtay

      That’s kind of silly for two reasons. It’s always easier to move out on the diamond rather than in. Biggio, Yount, they started in the infield, Biggio as a catcher, and ended up as outfielders. I understand those are the pinnacle of converted players and it depends on their athleticism, but hey, it’s just for argument sake.
      Also, young catchers are a very rare commodity in baseball. If Cashman decides to only hang onto, let’s say Montero and Romine four years from now, and Higashioka is doing well, he’d fetch quite a bit on the market.