The Yankees’ spring training gets underway tomorrow, and we’ll finally have Yankees baseball officially back. In the first game of what should be an extremely entertaining spring, there are a few guys I’ll be playing close attention to.
Though I’ll be watching the game and will be thrilled to have baseball back, it will be quite competitive for a number of players. I’ll break down three guys I think you should watch tomorrow against the Fightin ‘Phils.
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#1: Jasson Dominguez, the Martian
Jasson Dominguez gets his first start of spring and will be the guy everyone has their eyes on, including me. The former top international signing finally gets his chance to impress and will run with the big boys. I’m excited to watch him get the opportunity to show the front office just what he’s made of and maybe even crack the Opening Day 26-man roster. Though it’s a long shot, Dominguez has the tools to be something special.
In his first full season of professional ball with the Yanks, he dominated High A at Hudson Valley to the tune of a 145 wRC+, paired with a .906 OPS. He got a very late call-up to AA Somerset to help with their late-season push and rewarded their trust in him with a phenomenal display in the championship. He crushed two HR, one from each side, worked a walk, and swiped a bag. It was his swan song moment, and he didn’t waste a second.
Dominguez is a long shot to make the roster, but I’ve learned to never say never. In a hypothetical, assuming he bats 1.000, maybe the organization will just toss him into the deep end and let him earn his wings. I would love it if the Yanks gave him a shot right out of the gate, but I don’t see it happening. Dominguez should be a guy everyone watches closely, and his 5-tool skillset makes him one of the best baseball prospects.
#2: Ryan Garcia’s guy, Andres Chaparro
Andres Chaparro is another guy that I believe will be in the lineup tomorrow, and for right reason. The slugger possesses mammoth power, and what better way to showcase that strength than to hit a no-doubter in the first game of spring? I think he’ll see plenty of reps and could be another potential guy that nabs a spot on the roster as a backup corner infielder and occasional DH.
ESM’s Ryan Garcia has done countless fantastic write-ups on what makes Chaparro so special, and maybe that elite ability to put barrel to the ball translates to the major leagues better than anticipated. Some questions arise over his defensive abilities, but when you have a bat like he does, sometimes that can be dealt with. The 23-year-old Chaparro clubbed 20 HR over just 71 games total last year and posted roughly a 165 wRC+ across both High A and AA.
He has absurd pop and bat speed and could easily find himself on the roster at some point this season. His value is at an all-time high, yet, despite his fantastic ‘22 campaign, he went undrafted in the Rule 5 draft, meaning there may be more questions about him than we care to admit. Regardless, he is a guy that will surely make a splash this spring and if he doesn’t make the roster, will certainly find himself at AAA Scranton. He also posted a career-high FB% at 47.0%, which could translate to more HR and gap doubles.
#3: Former first-round pick, Anthony Seigler
The final guy I’m excited to watch is Anthony Seigler. He was named as one of the two catchers that will be on the roster tomorrow, and I feel like he should easily get the start to kick off spring. The former first round pick has struggled a bit to adapt to the minor league life, but he did post astounding BB rates in his time across both Low & High A last season. He walked 21% of the time with Hudson Valley and a whopping 24.8% of the time in Tampa.
He’s also got sneaky speed for a catcher, and his 153 wRC+ at Low A leads me to believe he certainly has something to prove. All eyes will be on Austin Wells when he is declared healthy to play, and they should be, but some other catchers will catch my eye this spring. Seigler and Josh Breaux are both playing to show that they belong, and I can see both guys reading the cover off the ball. For the latter, his immense power will be on full display.
Look for all these guys to take their opportunity and run with it. Spring for the youngsters is all about making an impression and proving you belong. I know everyone knows the name Jasson Dominguez, but even for the casuals, if they don’t know him, they will, soon. Baseball is finally back, and I cannot wait for the Yankees to take the field.