The Yankees announced Monday afternoon that they signed pinch-runner extraordinaire Quintin Berry to a minor-league deal, and have assigned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Berry, a 33-year-old who was a fifth round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2006 draft, hit .258/.330/.354 in 94 games for the Detroit Tigers in 2007. That was the last time he played regularly in the big leagues, but appeared mostly in a pinch-running and late-inning defense role for the Red Sox in 2013, Orioles in 2014, Cubs in 2015 and Brewers in 2017. He’s appeared in 38 games in that span (all after Sept. 1), and has a .357/.400/.571 line (all hits came in 2013 for Boston). Berry has gone 8-for-10 in stolen base attempts since 2013.
The speedy outfielder re-signed with Milwaukee in the offseason, and played in 42 games for their Triple-A team, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the Pacific Coast League. Despite the PCL’s penchant for inflated batting lines, Berry batted just .214/.290/.321 (62 wRC+) with a 33.3% strikeout rate. He stole 10 bases in 11 attempts. The Brewers released him August 23, and he signed with the Yankees four days later.
Wearing No. 26, he debuted for the RailRiders that night in a 9-to-8 win over Lehigh Valley, pinch-running for Mike Ford in the top of the 10th inning and scoring on a Devyn Bolasky single.
Having someone like Berry on the roster will be incredibly valuable down the stretch, especially for the Yankees, who have been using Neil Walker out of position in right field for 11 starts so far. Berry is capable of providing fresh legs and competent defense to a Yankees outfield that has been brutally depleted by injuries all year.