New York Yankees' Dean Anna: End of a 'long journey'
Dean Anna led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with a .331 average in 2013 and didn't even get the courtesy of a call up from the parent club San Diego Padres in September. Fast forward to an under-the-radar trade early in the offseason and Anna was part of the most storied franchise in baseball, the New York Yankees.
Better for him, there was some room for movement in the organization with the Yankees losing Robinson Cano to free agency and a slew of question marks around the infield.
Anna reported for spring training and put in his work. He hit .262 this spring and played well at three different infield positions. The Yankees announced over the weekend that the 27-year-old lefty hitter made the Opening Day roster as a reserve infielder.
With Brendan Ryan on the disabled list, Anna will be the primary back up for starting shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter is expected to have off days penciled into the opening of the season and Anna will take the role until Ryan is healthy.
Anna, through a press release delivered to The Baseball Stance by his management company Worldwide Career Management, expressed his enthusiasm.
'It was a long journey to get to where I am now, but it was all worth the ride,' said Anna about making the Opening Day roster. 'Every step of the journey has been leading to this moment, and it's great to finally be here.'
Anna, an Illinois native, will wear number 45 in homage to his childhood hero Michael Jordan. Jordan wore 45 when he came out of retirement.
I believe that Anna has a chance to excel in the Yankees organization. His versatility will allow him to see a good number of plate appearances this season. It is feasible to suggest that Anna will have every opportunity to continue to grow with the Yankees and has a promising future ahead in the Bronx.