Yankees are hoping to plug 4 starting positions with prospects

jasson dominguez, yankees
Oct 26, 2022; Surprise, Arizona, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Jasson Dominguez plays for the Mesa Solar Sox during an Arizona Fall League baseball game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had five rookies in the lineup on Friday against the contending Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. They were facing a pitcher that always seems to have the Yanks’ number in Justin Verlander, and the Bombers hit four home runs off the three-time Cy Young winner and former MVP.

Beginning a youth revolution

For months, the Yankees looked old and uninspiring. Many of their stars were struggling, others were injured. As a result, they fell out of contention relatively early. Now, however, they have decided to start a youth revolution and the early results are incredibly promising.

On Friday, the Yankees defeated the Astros 6-2. It’s not like Houston was relaxed: they are in the middle of a three-team race for the AL West, and every win counts. They certainly did not want to lose.

But for a night at least, the prospects proved that this renewed approach can work for the Yankees. Making his MLB debut, Jasson Domínguez homered and drove in two runs, while Austin Wells also played his first game in the majors and collected his first hit.

The Yankees are hoping that Domínguez can take over in these last few weeks of the season at center field and show the world that he has what it takes to be penciled in as the starter next year. In Double-A, he hit 15 homers, stole 37 bases, and was tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A before getting the call. He has a calm aura that only those who trust their talent have, and it’s clear he is confident in his abilities.

Can Wells handle the everyday catching duties?

The Bombers would also love for Austin Wells to show he can handle the everyday catching duties in MLB. The bat is there: he had a 129 wRC+ in Somerset last year and a 107 mark this season, then got up to Scranton and finished a 33-game stint with a 100 wRC+. The offensive upside Wells boasts is much, much greater than that of Jose Trevino, Kyle Higashioka, and Ben Rortvedt. With him, it’s a matter of adjusting to MLB pitching and showing he can be a catcher.

The Yankees have other positions to fill with prospects

Outside of the shortstop position, currently filled by Anthony Volpe, there are two additional positions that the Yankees would love to fill with prospects: third base and left field. That’s where Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira, respectively, will play for the remainder of 2023.

With an 11 wRC+, Pereira has looked overmatched at times but it’s important to exercise patience here. He had a 144 wRC+ in Somerset and a 131 mark in Scranton before getting the call, demonstrating his abilities. He needs to struggle, adjust, and thrive in order to develop. He hit 18 homers between the two upper-minor levels and has 25+ homer potential next year.

Peraza hasn’t been the Yankees’ favorite prospect for a while, but they also need to give him regular at-bats from this point to the end of the season. He has had success in the minors and is capable of hitting 15 home runs and stealing 30 bases while playing slick defense all over the infield. That’s a valuable player, one that the team is hoping can take a step forward in the upcoming weeks.

The Yankees have a bright future ahead

The future, for the Yankees, is here, and it’s exciting. And we are not even mentioning the incredible talent on the pitching side: Matt Sauer, Richard Fitts, Yoendrys Gomez, Will Warren, Luis Gil, Chase Hampton, and Drew Thorpe can all be realistic options to get some important innings next year.

Sauer, for example, had a brilliant start in Double-A on Friday. It’s a deep, talented pool of pitching prospects waiting for their chance in the upper minors. The future looks bright for the Yankees, despite their disappointing season.

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