If you guys and girls have been reading me long enough you know that I am not all that high on Yankees infield prospect Tyler Wade. To be completely honest I have never been that high on Wade as I feel like, at the time anyway, he was just another run-of-the-mill defensive-minded shortstop with little in the way of power and hitting in general. In terms of the future and blue chip prospects I still feel this way about Wade but the New York Yankees organization may have found a way to make him useful again, even in my skeptical eyes, and that may be the reason that the team is now so suddenly willing to part with Robert Refsnyder. The Yankees ultimate plan may have been to make Wade the super utility player that Refsnyder simply failed to be defensively.
So is it time for me to eat crow on Wade and my thoughts of him as a top Yankees prospect? I mean, maybe, but that doesn’t mean I am going to. I’m stubborn like that and I still don’t see the “need” for a guy who can’t hit but can defend at multiple positions. The Yankees have that in Refsnyder already and they also have Ronald Torreyes on the roster making three types of “no-bat but plus-defense” players redundant in my opinion hence the Refsnyder trade rumors. To be completely honest though I am not sure I am ready to eat crow on Wade just yet, not because the Yankees think highly of him. I would eat crow when I think highly of him, and I still don’t.
At the time of this writing the Yankees had played in 18 spring training games as a part of their Grapefruit League schedule and Wade has been in 13 of them collecting a .429/.478/.524 triple slash. That’s great, don’t get me wrong, but when a veteran on a minor league deal does this the media is the first to temper expectations and remind us that spring training stats don’t matter and yada, yada, yada. Why isn’t that the case with Wade? Because those same media outlets and journalist want you to click their articles that tease the Refsnyder trade rumors and the idea of the “next big thing” prospect in New York, that’s why. Wade isn’t even ready for the Major League level after spending the entire 2016 season at Double-A with the Trenton Thunder so I don’t get the direct correlation between him and Refsnyder, yet, but hey… what do I know? I’m just a guy with a blog that’s watched baseball since I was two-years old and who has watched religiously since 1994.
I get the idea and mindset behind Wade, I truly do. He is a skilled shortstop who has played third base and all three of the outfield positions but the fact remains that I could probably get out from behind my computer and hit the ball better than Wade does over the course of a 162-game season. That’s not me bragging that’s just me exaggerating heavily to show my point that Wade just isn’t projected to be and hasn’t been a huge hitter at the minor league or major league level. Period. Refsnyder has struggled since his first season in the majors but he was at least a near .300 hitter in the minor leagues before coming up to the show. Wade cannot say that and likely never will.
This isn’t the National League people, the Yankees need offense. Even late in games and even off the bench. That’s not Wade. That’s not Refsnyder right now either to be fair but at least Refsnyder projects to show some offensive prowess in his career and has at least shown an ability to handle MLB caliber pitching. Wade hasn’t and until he does I will not admit defeat on Refsnyder nor will I admit I was wrong on Wade, because I wasn’t.