New York Yankees: Can Tyler Wade be a starter for the Bombers? What does the evidence suggest?

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Tyler Wade
Sep 12, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade (14) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Wade the early years

The New York Yankees Tyler Dean Wade was born on November 24, 1994, in San Diego, California. He played baseball as a boy, and from the age of ten was a Yankee and Derek Jeter fan. He played ball for Murrieta Valley High School in California, where he developed into a shortstop who played several times at second base. Yankees scouts took notice of Wade and particularly liked his athleticism. They thought so much of him that they selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB draft when he was just eighteen.

Wade’s history with the New York Yankees

Tyler Wade had committed to play college baseball for San Diego State University but chose to forgo his commitment and sign with the Yankees, He made his pro debut in the rookie Gulf Coast League. At the end of the season, he was batting .309 with 12 RBI’s and the Yankees promoted him to the Staten Island Yankees. In the same year, he also played at the Charleston River Dogs and for the Trenton Thunder. He ended playing in 129 games for an average of .273 with 51 RBI’s.

He started 2015 with the Tampa A team but ended the season back with the Thunder. Between the two teams, he played in 127 games for an average of .262 with 31 RBI’s and with three home runs. He was an invitee to 2016 spring training but spent the season with the Thunder. He began the 2017 season with Scranton Wilkes/Bare but was called up to the Stadium on June 27. He ended up taking the shuttle between the Rail Riders and the Yankees multiple times. He was finally called up for the rest of the season on the 4th of September. He batting .310 for the Rail Riders but .155 for the Yankees in just 30 games. During the 2018 season, he was back and forth between the teams again. During the winter he played in the Arizona fall league where he worked on his outfield skills.

Last year he started his season with the Rail Riders but was up and down again. While at Scranton Wade was honing his outfield skills while his natural position is as a shortstop. As it turns out Wade is a pretty good utility player even playing second base, although he isn’t the greatest hitter. He is still young (25) and still developing. Wade was again called up when the roster expanded and has made some exciting catches in left field. Last season in the majors, he hit .245 with 11 RBI’s. In his short time up, he had seven stolen bases. The Yankees like his best on the team speed. He can pinch-run and cover vast areas of the outfield.


Wade is not married, and there are no scandals attached to his name. In the offseason he lives in southern California. He has an older brother Kyle. Tyler attributes his hard-working style to his military father. He became a Yankee fan at the age of ten when going on a family trip to Cooperstown he got to see a Yankee game at the old Stadium. In that game, he got to see Derek Jeter do his famous jump throw; when he returned home, he practiced that throw in backyard Whiffle ball games. Wade carries a tattoo behind his left wrist the says “Confidence is key” For female fans, he is a bit of a heartthrob with his good looks.

Can Wade make a starter when the season begins?

In the shortened spring training season Wade did not make the case that he should be in the opening lineup.  He hit only .133 in 11 games.  He started in none of them.  His 30 at-bats only resulted in four RBIs.  Two of his hits were home runs. Even though his early stats were not very good, the New York Yankees should take into consideration that he is genuinely the super-utility player that can play almost anywhere with good defense.  He is a lefty hitter that is much needed in an otherwise right-hand heavy lineup.  He also can, at times, hit with power.  Tyler Wade may just be that player that can excess if he is ever given the opportunity to be an everyday player.

Interestingly, the New York Yankees could be looking at those two long balls in just 11 games.  In a standard 162 game season at that pace, he would hit 30 home runs and drive in 60.  Those two home runs match his entire 2019 season.  It could be that his maturing in the game is beginning to show his ability to hit for power.

Unfortunately for Wade is that everything that points to him being a good everyday player also makes him the perfect player to have on the bench. Also, a consideration is another bench player that can play left field well, Mike Tauchman who is also a lefty. With Miguel Andujar surely in the starting lineup as a left fielder or DH, there will be a competition between the two for the most playing time.  To this writer, Wade gets the edge because of the number of positions he can fill.