Pronk to the Bronx?


Travis Hafner bats on June 21, 2008. (Image via Wikipedia Commons)

Today’s Yankees rumor is that the team is reportedly interested in former Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner.

Hafner, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound lefty hitter, has a powerful bat…when he’s healthy. Hafner has played in 100 games only once over the last five seasons, making six trips to the DL over that span. He’s had various knee and back injuries.

During Hafner’s peak – 2004 through 2007 – he was a beast at the plate, hitting for average, power – homers and doubles – and driving in runs.

Let’s take a look at his splits.

He’s hit 30 points higher against righties, but he’s also had more than two times as many at-bats against righties than he has against lefties.

In his career at Yankee Stadium, both the old and new versions, he’s hit .264 (23-for-87) with four doubles, two home runs and 13 RBI. Over the course of a full season, should he be able to stay healthy, he would surely make use of the short porch in right field.

He got the nickname “Pronk” as a combination of his two other nicknames: The Project and Donkey.

It’s not a done deal, but ESPN reports that if the Yankees do pull the trigger, it would be a one-year major league deal that would no doubt be heavy on the incentives.

I’m not sure if the Yankees need any more lefty hitters, never mind creaky old guys who can’t stay healthy, but if the price is right, Hafner could hit a ton of home runs at Yankee Stadium. The only questions are: will he be healthy and will the Yankees be able to find a spot for him in the lineup on a regular basis? If Jeter needs to play significant time at DH this year, Hafner doesn’t have a spot since the only place he can play is at first base and Mark Teixeira has that job locked up.

What do you think about a potential Hafner signing? Is he a fit in the Yankees’ lineup? Let me know on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery.

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    Will Montgomery

    Will Montgomery covers boys' soccer, girls' basketball, boys' and girls' swimming and diving, boys' lacrosse and baseball (including the Hudson Valley Renegades) for and the Times Herald-Record. Prior to joining the TH-R in November ... Read Full
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