New York Yankees Prospects: Alexander Vargas

Daniel Cunningham
New York Yankees, Aaron Boone
Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone in the field during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Coming in as the 20th ranked prospect in the New York Yankees is a smooth shortstop from Cuba. That prospect would be young Alexander Vargas. Vargas who is just 18 years old, is a very good shortstop prospect who defected from Cuba back in 2018. There was a lot of hype behind him due to the fact that he was playing for Cuba’s 18 and under team at just 15 years old. There was smoke around him and the Reds, but the New York Yankees swooped in and gave him $2.5 million which tells you a lot about what the Yankees think of Vargas as a prospect. I’ve seen a lot of the infield prospects in the farm system, and Vargas might just be the best defending prospect the Yankees have. Combine his defensive ability with the fact that he’s a switch hitter and you have yourself a very quality prospect. Did I mention his plus speed as well? That might be his best attribute of all with his running ability grading out at a 65 on the 20-80 scale. There is a lot to like about Vargas who made his rookie ball debut for the Yankees last year.

2019 Debut

2019 was a big year for Vargas as he made his professional debut for the Yankees organization. Vargas played in 48 games in rookie ball for the Yankees. In those 48 games, Vargas batted .233 with an OBP of .313. One of the positives is that Vargas was able to swipe 15 bags in those 48 games. There is a lot of reason to believe that Vargas would be a 40+ steals man over the course of a full season. One of the biggest areas of weakness for Vargas at the moment is in the power department and that showed with Vargas only hitting one home run in 193 at-bats. Vargas needs to add a lot of strength and learn how to hit more with his legs. Right now there is not a lot of movement in his swing, but his swing is all in his upper body. There is no power that is being used from the waist down. Vargas is coming in at 5’11 but only weighing 148 LBS. I think the Yankees will focus on adding some weight to him and tweaking his swing over the next couple of years.

What to work on

Vargas was one of the prospects I really had my eye on going into the 2020 season. He’s such a dynamic prospect with his ability to run and his smoothness at the shortstop position. He makes a ton of contact with the bat and just has a great feel for the game overall. The Yankees need to have him add some strength and work on generating power from his legs. While he might never be a huge power guy, it will be important for him to at least threatening teams with the long ball. Vargas isn’t a prospect that you should expect to see anytime soon, but he will definitely be one to keep an eye on whenever the season kicks off in 2020.