Staten Island Yankees' Thairo Estrada in the dugout on Sunday,...

Staten Island Yankees' Thairo Estrada in the dugout on Sunday, August 30, 2015. Credit: AP / Gregory Payan

TAMPA, Fla. — The chaos that has been a part of everyday life in Venezuela in recent years impacted one of the Yankees’ top prospects during the offseason.

Thairo Estrada, a 21-year-old infielder whom Baseball America rated the ninth-best prospect in the organization, was shot in the right thigh area during a robbery attempt in late January in his hometown of Bejuma while entering a restaurant with his wife.

“It was two guys, probably 15, 16 [years old],” Estrada said Friday through his translator. “They asked me for money and my cellphone. Right now, the situation in Venezuela, people don’t walk around with cash and I didn’t have my cell on me. That’s when I got shot.”

Though the bullet remains lodged in soft tissue, he said no further surgery is anticipated and he expects to be able to ride an exercise bike by next week. Manager Aaron Boone said Estrada — who had a .301/.353/.392 slash line with Double-A Trenton last season and can play shortstop, second base and third base — is questionable for the start of the season but should be ready soon thereafter.

Estrada said one of the first things that went through his head upon being shot was that his career might be in jeopardy.

“In the moment, you can’t really believe something like that is happening,” he said.

Though he was born and raised in Venezuela, Estrada said what happened to him gives him pause about going back. It’s a concern of just about every Venezuelan in the majors. The mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was kidnapped last week and was returned several days later.

“Definitely,” Estrada said of second thoughts about returning. “The situation there is not very good, not very safe. Us as baseball players, it makes you think about even going back anymore. It’s not very safe.”

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