The New York Yankees set their non-roster spring training invites in motion on Tuesday, and while most of them have a long shot to earn an active roster spot, the team did include four of their top prospects in the equation.
We know that general manager Brian Cashman gave Anthony Volpe the green light to compete at shortstop, but there are a few other players that could make an impact in the near future, and a solid spring will go a long way toward justifying their promotion.
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Yankees include four big prospects in spring training plans:
As mentioned, Anthony Volpe will have a ripe opportunity to justify being promoted during the 2023 season. Coming off a fantastic 2022 campaign where he dominated with Somerset in AA and made a strong impression in AAA with Scranton, expectations he will need a few more weeks at the AAA level before being elevated.
However, at 21 years old, Volpe is just about ready to make the transition, but he’s a player that requires consistency and live at-bats to adjust and assimilate to different levels of talent.
One way or another, Volpe will be a major leaguer at some time within the next few months, but it’s just a matter of what position and how soon he can convince management to make the move.
One of the most exciting young prospects in the Yankees farm system is Austin Wells. Once thought to be a defensive liability behind home plate, Wells showed tremendous growth in that category last season, proving he should stay in the position and continues developing.
He hit .261 with a .360 OBP, 12 homers, and 43 RBIs last season across 55 games with Somerset. He’s well on his way to making it to Scranton this year and could be an impact player for the Yankees down the stretch. Having an offensive catcher is a luxury, and Wells may be the future of the position for the Yanks.
Everybody’s excited about Jasson Dominguez leaping AAA this upcoming year, which is a probable scenario.
Dominguez was elevated from Tampa to Hudson Valley and then to Somerset in just one season but spent only five games with the Patriots. In Hudson Valley, he hit .306 with a .397 OBP, six homers, and 22 RBIs across 40 games. His dominance at the minor-league level has justified an opportunity to showcase his talents this spring.
Coined “The Martian,” Dominguez has all the tools to be a phenomenal player down the road, but he still needs a few years of experience until he can transition to the majors. Having just turned 20 years old, there’s a good chance he will find his way to the Yankees late next year or as a starter in 2025.
Not many discuss Elijah Dunham and why he could be a potential solution in the outfield. Dunham is an exciting young player at 24 years old.
The lefty is capable of playing in the outfield and at first base. He spent 110 games with Somerset last year, hitting .248 with a .349 OBP, 17 homers, 63 RBIs, and 37 stolen bases. He has tremendous athleticism, providing good defense and some pop to his bat. As a lefty, he has the skill set to hit double-digit home runs in Yankee Stadium regularly, and given he’s a bit older than the other top prospects on this list, the Yankees may want to elevate him into a position where you can feature at the major league level within the next year or so.
For a player like Dunham, the spring training opportunity means the world.