Yankees’ little-known catcher prospect could have tremendous upside

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

While the Yankees certainly do have some weak spots on the roster, one of the deeper positions at the major and minor league level is catcher. For the 2024 season, Jose Treviño and Austin Wells project to be the team’s primary two options, but they have several prospects ready to support the team if need be.

Aside from Ben Rortvedt, Ben Rice, and Agustin Ramirez, Yankees manager Aaron Boone gushed about 25-year-old Carlos Narvaez on Wednesday. Narvaez reached the Triple-A level in 2023, hitting .240/.373/.387, including 10 homers and 39 RBIs over 84 games. His offensive metrics have certainly been inconsistent throughout the minor league levels, but he’s been phenomenal during spring training over a five-game sample. He’s hitting .333/.556/.833, including a homer on Wednesday.

The Yankees Will Likely Stash Narvaez For Now

However, Narvaez hasn’t been considered for the team’s active roster this season, but Boone indicated he has “elite” framing qualities behind the plate and is a premium-level defensive catcher. Of course, the Yankees have several of these, but at this point, Narvaez may be a trade piece this off-season or come the deadline over the summer.

The Yankees have so much depth at catcher that they will likely need to start offloading some since they all can’t sit at the Triple-A level waiting for opportunities to arise. For the time being, Wells will get the first crack at being the backup alongside Treviño, but given his offensive upside and developing defensive qualities, it is possible he will take the starting job at some point in 2024.

READ MORE: Yankees reassign 3 more players to Minor League camp

Wells is Still Searching For His Offensive Groove

Wells has had a tough start to spring training over six games, hitting .154/.267/.154. It is fair to give him plenty of action to find his groove and develop a rhythm. Wells has done a good job adjusting to the pitching staff and developing chemistry behind the dish, so the expectation is he will start the season supporting Treviño coming off a calf strain. in the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the Yankees utilize a player like Narvaez, who could make his MLB debut if they favor him over Rortvedt.

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