The New York Yankees have faced a challenging scenario at the catcher position, a situation worsened by José Treviño’s season-ending wrist injury. The rumors of the team looking for additional catchers at the trade deadline weren’t a surprise.
With mainstays like Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt not entirely filling the void, a look at Triple-A prospects, including the promising Carlos Narvaez, is warranted.
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The Current Catcher Landscape for the Yankees
Post Treviño’s injury, the Yankees have primarily relied on Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt, but there is increasing dissatisfaction with the current performance.
Kyle Higashioka’s Struggles
At 33, Higashioka, or “Higgy,” is considered a below-average defensive catcher and has struggled offensively this year. His time with the Yankees could be nearing its end.
Ben Rortvedt’s Performance
Rortvedt hasn’t impressed either, hitting a meager .115 with a .258 OBP across 14 games in the MLB.
Emerging Yankees Prospects: Austin Wells and Carlos Narvaez
While Austin Wells has received a significant share of attention, there’s another young prospect who deserves to be in the spotlight.
Austin Wells: The Primary Option?
Wells, known for his lefty bat, has been considered the primary future option, but his defensive skills might be a concern.
Carlos Narvaez: The Forgotten Slugger
Carlos Narvaez, a 24-year-old slugger, is putting together a strong performance with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.
Narvaez’s Triple-A Performance
Narvaez has been hitting .267 with a .393 OBP and a .442 slugging percentage across 51 games in Triple-A. His season includes eight homers, 24 RBIs, a 23.2% strikeout rate, a 16.1% walk rate, and 112 wRC+.
Spring Training and MLB Opportunity
During spring training with the Bombers, Narvaez showcased good at-bats, even hitting a Grand Slam. He seems to have found his bat with Scranton and appears ready for an MLB opportunity, but the Yankees have hesitated to give him the chance.
Compared to Wells, Narvaez is a better defender behind the plate, allowing only one passed ball this year. His strong arm and solid framing skills promote his qualities as a potential MLB contributor.
Looking Ahead to 2024: A Natural Successor?
It is likely that the Yankees will offer Narvaez another opportunity during spring training in 2024. With Higgy’s potential exit, Narvaez may be the natural successor the Yankees need.
The New York Yankees’ catcher dilemma requires strategic thinking and exploration of untapped potential. Carlos Narvaez is a name that should not be overlooked. His strong Triple-A performance, combined with solid defensive skills, makes him a promising candidate for the MLB.