Yankees are patiently waiting for rookie catcher to change the offense for good

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Yankees announced that rookie catcher Austin Wells had made the active roster heading into the 2024 season, many were excited about the idea of having an offensive weapon at a position that traditionally sports weaker production in the batters box and better defense behind the dish.

Wells had made significant strides regarding his defensive attributes as a catcher, and paired with offensive upside, the Yankees still believe he can be one of the best players at his position in the game.

At 24 years old, Wells currently sports a 48.1% strike rate defensively, well below Jose Trevino’s 61.2% strike rate. At the moment, Wells ranks 14th in the MLB, which would still be slightly above average and even better if the minimum number of pitches were 200 or more.

However, there is simply no comparing Trevino to Wells, who is known for his defensive efficiency, and the other for his lefty bat.

The Yankees Are Waiting on Wells to Show Off his Offensive Upside

Despite taking a step in the right direction behind home plate, Wells is still looking to pick things up offensively this season. Over eight games, he’s hitting just .130/.300/.130, scoring four runs, picking up one RBI, and a 49 wRC+. His 20% walk rate is certainly encouraging, and his 16.7% strikeout rate isn’t bad at all; he’s just looking for more frequent contact. he has three balls this year with a 15.8% barrel rate, which is 2% better than his 2023 metrics over 19 games.

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We saw a glimpse of what Wells could do offensively last year during the final two weeks of the season when he hit four homers with 10 RBIs, so the Bombers are remaining patient as he acclimates to the season ahead and starts to pick up more momentum.

Baseball is just as much a mental game as it is physical, and Wells simply needs to get a few hits under his belt to get a better feel for the strike zone. Ultimately, he’s not the only one struggling on the team at the moment, with Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres failing to do that part in most respects.

With that being said, when the Yankees eventually start firing on all cylinders, they will be incredibly difficult to defeat. Wells will be the cherry on top since having an offensive catcher with good enough defense is a luxury in today’s MLB.

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