The 2020 season was a lost one for many players and prospects, even in the New York Yankees. There was a shortened MLB season, but the Minor League Baseball campaign was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues.
However, the fact that there wasn’t live baseball for catcher Austin Wells, the Yankees’ 2020 first-round draft pick, didn’t prevent him from making an effort to improve his skills.
“So far he’s been really impressive,” Kevin Reese, the Yankees’ senior director of player development, said to MLB.com. “I think what’s been impressive, too, is just throughout this downtime — I can’t imagine being a player during this time, especially a first-round pick who has to wait a year to get into a game — he’s been a total pro; communicating really well with our hitting, catching, nutrition, strength and conditioning staff.”
The drive to be better is what separates the great ones from the pack, and Wells understands that very well. He played his first professional game a few days ago in spring training, but he managed to impress players and coaches with his hitting prowess.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Wells said. “I’m not looking too far into the future and not thinking too much about the past and what’s happened, or what should have been. I’m just taking the opportunities that come to me and really taking advantage of those, for sure.”
The Yankees love his demeanor and approach
Wells’ hitting is what stands out from his game. He has a compact swing from the left side of home plate, capable of generating plenty of power but geared for line drives.
“He can hit; we really like his swing,” said manager Aaron Boone. “One of the things that stands out to me is that I didn’t necessarily know how strong he is. He’s as strong as anyone in camp, especially when you test them and everything. Some of the conversations that he’s having are pretty advanced from a hitting standpoint. This is a guy that loves hitting and understands it a little bit.”