When it comes to the New York Yankees’ future, everybody talks about shortstops Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Anthony Volpe, and Trey Sweeney, not to mention potential All-Star Jasson Dominguez. Another infielder with a similar talent and performance level is not getting the recognition he deserves: Andres Chaparro.
Capable of playing first and third base, Chaparro has never been in MLB Pipeline or Baseball America’s top 30 despite his impressive power tool. Even though he was one of the Yankees’ cuts in early March, the hulky infielder sure made a lasting impression.
In 15 games and 28 at-bats, Chaparro hit .321/.424/.750 with four home runs, 11 RBI, and an incredible 1.174 OPS. Better yet, his BB/K ratio was a solid 4/7.
It has already been confirmed that Chaparro will start the 2023 season with the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. It’s a deserved promotion after the kind of season he just had with the Double-A Somerset Patriots last year.
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In 2022, he hit .289/.369/.594 with 19 home runs and a 158 wRC+ in 271 Somerset plate appearances. The Yankees, and the whole world, could see the type of power potential he has with that .594 slugging percentage.
Chaparro is one of those prospects whose outlook changed completely after the pandemic. Before 2020, he didn’t have the kind of power he is showing now.
Despite his home run prowess, his lack of elite defensive play, and the sheer number of top infield prospects, the Yankees have made him somewhat underappreciated. But make no mistake: Chaparro showed in 2022, and in his short 2023 spring training cameo, that he has a future in the big leagues, and it could be a big one.
If he masters Triple-A like he did with Double-A, he might find himself in the Bronx at some point in the summer, much like Cabrera last year.