The Yankees are gearing up for spring training in a few weeks, dropping their non-roster invites on Tuesday afternoon.
The Yankees have tall expectations for the 2024 season after acquiring Juan Soto. They’re likely not done making improvements, having engaged on Corbin Burnes before the Baltimore Orioles swept in and acquired him from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Nonetheless, the Bombers have several prospects joining the team for spring training, and they will be looking to leave a positive impression for the future.
Yankees Invite Five Promising Prospects to Spring Training to Watch
1.) Spencer Jones
One of the Yankees’ top outfield prospects is Spencer Jones, a 22-year-old lefty. Jones spent 100 games with High-A Hudson Valley last year and 17 games with Double-A Somerset. He hit .268/.337/.450 with Hudson Valley, including 13 homers and 56 RBIs.
Jones swiped 43 bags and showcased generational power. He’s trying to improve his swing path and launch angle to promote more home runs and better contact. The goal for Spencer this upcoming season is to reduce his strikeout rate, improve his walk rate, and frequently connect with the barrel of his bat. Expectations are high for Jones, but he has all the talent in the world to exceed them.
2.) Will Warren
Promising pitching prospect Will Warren has been spending the last few weeks in Tampa with some of the Yankees’ established players.
Warren expects to make his MLB debut in 2024, coming off a good season with Double-A and Triple-A last year. He pitched 99.2 innings with Scranton, hosting a 3.61 ERA and 52.7% ground ball rate. His primary weakness was against left-handed batters, but his numbers improved late in the season, and he is starting to quiet those concerns.
Warren has an opportunity to feature out of the bullpen or even make a few spot-starts if the Yankees need to supplement any injuries or inconsistencies.
3.) Chase Hampton
Many believe that Chase Hampton is the team’s top pitching prospect at 22 years old. He spent last season in High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset. His 2.68 ERA with Hudson Valley showcases potential, but he struggled a bit with Somerset over 59.2 innings, recording a 4.37 ERA.
However, Hampton has elite stuff and simply needs more time to acclimate, having only spent one season in the Yankees’ minor league system.
[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]
4.) Caleb Durbin
Another promising prospect is Caleb Durbin, a 23-year-old infielder. At 5’6″ and 185 pounds, Durbin is a bit undersized but has great upside.
In Double-A last season, Durbin played 47 games, hitting .291/.361/.440. He smashed four homers with 17 RBIs and stole 21 bases.
Most impressive, Durbin struck out at just a 4.6% clip, displaying elite plate discipline. He will be looking to make the transition to Triple-A and continue his growth offensively. His primary position is at second base. With Gleyber Torres in his final year of arbitration, the Yankees may have big plans for Durbin if he takes a big step forward in 2024.
5.) Ben Rice
One of the Yankees’ top young players is Ben Rice, a 24-year-old catcher who has also worked in at first base over the past year.
Rice won the team’s Developmental Hitter of the Year award in 2023, hitting .327/.401/.648 across 48 games in Double-A. He recorded 16 homers with 48 RBIs, including an 182 wRC+, indicating he was 82% better than the average player. Rice could be the future at first base once Anthony Rizzo departs, but he needs to continue showcasing consistency, especially once he reaches Scranton.