Age: 27 (28 on April 20, 2018)
2017 hitting stats: Yankees, .000 average, 18 AB, two runs, 0 hits, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 9 games. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), .264 average, 53 AB, 5 runs, 14 hits, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 11 RBIs, 4 BB, 7 K, 14 games. Staten Island (shorts season A), .455 average, 11 AB, 5 runs, 5 hits, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 BB, 3 K, 3 games. Pulaski (rookie), .800 average, 5 AB, 3 runs, 4 hits, 1 double, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 games.
2017 fielding stats: Yankees, no errors, 1 passed ball, 2 SB, 0 CS, 8 games (5 starts). Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), 4 errors, 2 passed balls, 12 SB, 5 CS, 14 games (14 starts). Staten Island (short season A), no errors, 2 SB, 0 CS, 2 games (2 starts). Pulaski (rookie), no errors, 0 SB, 1 CS, 2 games (2 starts).
September role: Higashioka received his first two big-league call-ups this season, and although he didn’t hit at all, the Yankees like his work behind the plate and the power that he’s shown in the minors and during spring training. Injuries, however, have derailed his season, and a shoulder issue has had him on the disabled list for all but one day since June 22. With both of their big-league catchers facing short suspensions in September and Higashioka still on the DL, the Yankees added a veteran catcher on Aug. 31 by trading for Erik Kratz, who has been in Triple-A all season but has 225 games of big-league experience. Higashioka rejoining the Yankees at some point in September seems very unlikely, but he told a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre reporter this week that he’s now 100 percent healthy. He has been throwing the last few days and he took batting practice on Thursday, but his only game action since the third week of June have been five low-level rehab games plus one with Scranton. Now that Kratz is aboard, Higashioka probably needs an injury to one of the Yankees’ three catchers to avoid spending the rest of the season in the minors.