When the New York Yankees traded relief pitcher Nick Nelson to the Philadelphia Phillies last year, they gained a no-name first baseman, adding him to their farm system.
Nelson, who hosts a 5.14 ERA this season over three games, is making his value known at the MLB level. While he’s struggled to some degree, the Yankees cashed in in favor of a younger Prospect in TJ Rumfield.
Rumfield, who is only 21 years old, is a 6’5″, 225-pound lefty-hitting first baseman. We all know how much the Bombers love left-handed hitters, especially at first base, which is why Rumfield could be a long-term solution at the position. Last season with the Phillies’ affiliates, Rumfield hit .250 with seven RBIs over 76 at-bats.
However, to start the 2022 season, Rumfield is hitting .354 with two homers and 11 RBIs over 48 at-bats. While he’s curated 11 strikeouts, it is quite clear the Yankees have changed his batting approach to a more heavy-hitting style, sacrificing strikeouts for power.
There is a legitimate possibility that Rumfield ends up being an absolute steal for the Yankees, who gave up on Nelson prematurely, despite being just 26 years old. The team was clearly more invested in Clarke Schmidt and Michael King, who have both been phenomenal out of the bullpen this year.
King currently hosts a 0.84 ERA over 10.2 innings, recording a 15.19 strikeouts per nine rate. Schmidt, on the other hand, has earned a 1.23 ERA over 7.1 innings of relief action. Their contributions have been phenomenal, and clearly, management made the right decision by letting Nelson go in favor of a young prospect with upside.