The New York Yankees have really stepped up their effort to land star international prospects the past few seasons. Ranging from Jasson Dominguez to Roderick Arias, the Bombers are in a good spot developing 5-tool players. All of them have tremendous potential if developed properly.
The most recent acquisition, Arias, signed a $4 million deal out of the Dominican Republic in January. He stands out among the biggest names in the farm system, and he’s just getting ready to start his professional career in the minor leagues.
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“We identified Arias as a premium follow, and then we kept following him and following him, and his tools got better and better and better,” International scout Donny Rowland told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview. “He evolved to the point where you’re talking about a plus-plus arm, a plus defender, a plus swing from both sides and emerging power with exit velos up to 106.”
Per MLB.com, Roderick Arias is the top-rated international player from the 2021-22 class:
MLB Pipeline’s top-rated prospect in the 2021-22 international class, Arias signed for $4 million out of the Dominican Republic in January. He added to the greatest position of strength in a Yankees system headlined by standout shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. He has the potential for at least solid tools across the board and could be significantly better than that if he reaches his ceiling.
The Yankees are a breeding ground for shortstops:
At just 17 years old, Arias is a switch hitter that plays shortstop. The Yankees have been developing a ton of quality shortstops from a young age, including Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.
Arias is dealing with a minor injury that has kept him from starting the 2022 season, but luckily it is nothing major, and he should be ready to go soon.
“It’s nothing major,” Rowland said. “Everything with Arias is fine except for this little tweak he’s got going on, but things can linger.”
Otherwise, Roderick has looked phenomenal in his growth and development behind the scenes, now, he just needs to put it on the baseball diamond.
“Arias has looked fantastic,” Rowland said. “The last time I talked to our player development people down here in the D.R., the only thing they said to me is ‘special talent, special talent, special talent.”
We’ve seen plenty of big names fail to live up to their potential in the past, but the Yankees have Arias at such a young age with plenty of time to continue his development. At 6’2″ and 178 pounds already, he could climb his way through the minors quickly with enough reps.