The jump from Class A ball to Double-A is supposed to be the toughest one to make. It seems that Yankees prospect Peter O'Brien never got that memo.
On Sunday, in just his third game since joining the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League, O'Brien homered twice and drove in five runs. He now has three homers over his last two games. All four of his Double-A hits -- he's hit in all three games and is 4-for-15 overall -- have been for extra-bases (He doubled in his debut).
The power outburst shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed O'Brien's career. The 2012 second-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft hit 10 homers in his summer debut, then belted 22 (and slugged .544) across two levels of A-ball during his first full season in '13. He added four more in the Arizona Fall League.
O'Brien, a product of the University of Miami after transferring from Bethune-Cookman, picked up this season where he left off. Starting the year back with Tampa in the Florida State League, he hit 10 homers in his first 112 at-bats while putting up a .321/.353/.688 line. His 13 home runs tie him for the overall Minor League lead with Rangers prospect Joey Gallo, who topped the Minors in the category a year ago.
The Yankees continue to find ways to get O'Brien's bat into the lineup wherever he is. He split time between catcher and third base in 2013. This year, he's caught and played the outfield. O'Brien is likely to continue to move around, especially with top prospect Gary Sanchez getting most of the time behind the plate with Trenton.