Thursday, March 16, 2017

Do These Yankees Veterans Need to Watch Their Backs?


*In My Best Paul Revere Voice* The prospects are coming, the prospects are coming. The New York Yankees are in the midst of a rebuild and a youth movement and there may or may not be a few veterans currently on the team that have to watch their backs and their jobs going forward. Times are a changing here in the Bronx and it all starts and ends with these key Baby Bombers.

The leader of the pack known as the Baby Bombers is Gleyber Torres, the Yankees top prospect and the third best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com, the shortstop the team acquired last summer from the Chicago Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Torres, who is fresh off an Arizona Fall League MVP Award at just 20-years old, has impressed many in Yankees camp this spring not only at the shortstop position but at second base as well which presumably has to have Starlin Castro at least thinking about how secure his job is going forward.

The man that Torres dethroned for the Yankees top prospect spot was Jorge Mateo and Mateo, after a down season in 2016, is well on his way down the path of rebuilding his prospect status and value in 2017 with a strong showing this spring. Mateo has been learning the center field position as of late due in large part to the strength of the Yankees farm system at the shortstop position right now. If Mateo can learn the position, and his athleticism and youth are both working to his advantage right now in that department, then Jacoby Ellsbury better be shaking in his boots after a couple of down seasons in the Bronx. If Mateo cannot fully grasp center field then he still has a ton of value at both shortstop and second base so the options are a plenty for the Yankees regarding the 21-year old Mateo.

The third man in the trio of top prospects for the Yankees that could make a huge impact as soon as 2017 is Clint Frazier. Frazier was the outfielder acquired from the Cleveland Indians last season in the Andrew Miller trade and after reaching Triple-A last season Frazier could be the outfielder that unseats one of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge or Aaron Hicks. Frazier, just 22-years old, will likely start the season back in Triple-A after a lackluster showing there in a small sample size in 2016 but after working with Matt Holliday this spring and with another year of work and maturity under his belt he may not be long for the affiliate in 2017.

The fourth and final prospect that could push his way onto the scene as soon as this season is a guy we discussed earlier in the week on the blog, Tyler Wade. Wade is a guy that can play all infield positions other than catcher and a player that can play all three outfield positons so name a player currently penciled into the Yankees bench not named Austin Romine that he couldn’t potentially replace. Aaron Hicks? Check. Aaron Judge? Check. Robert Refsnyder? Check. Ronald Torreyes? Check. Chris Carter? Check. The list just goes on and on and on.

You guys thought I was going to go a single prospect post without bringing up Chance Adams, James Kaprielian or Jordan Montgomery didn’t you? Maybe next time! Any of those three could and likely will make the majors at some point this season or next but I feel like I’ve beaten all three like a dead horse here on the blog so I’ll spare you from reading it again. Just know that I am extremely high on all three and I absolutely cannot wait until all three make their Major League debuts.


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