Yankees protect promising young catcher from being stolen

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Frank Becerra Jr. / The Journal News / USA TODAY NETWORK

In anticipation of the Rule 5 Draft, the New York Yankees have taken proactive steps to shield their promising talents from other clubs. Key prospects, pitcher Clayton Beeter and catcher Agustin Ramirez have been added to the 40-man roster, reflecting the organization’s commitment to their development and future contributions to the team.

Focus on Catcher Agustin Ramirez

Agustin Ramirez, a young and talented catcher, is garnering attention within the Yankees’ system. Despite the spotlight on Austin Wells as the likely starter in 2024, Ramirez’s potential at just 22 years old should not be overlooked. His impressive performance in High-A with Hudson Valley, marked by a .384 batting average and a .430 on-base percentage, highlights his offensive capabilities. Although Ramirez faced challenges upon his promotion to Double-A Somerset, his defensive strengths and developing skills make him a valuable asset for the Bombers.

As prospect specialist Ryan Garcia of Empire Sports Media referenced, Ramirez recorded a single over 114 mph and has phenomenal power and contact rates, which are translatable traits that will help him as he climbs the minor-league system.

Development and Expectations for Yankees’ Catchers

Austin Wells’ Emergence and Growth

Austin Wells, at 24, is another catcher in the Yankees’ system showing significant promise. With a .229 average and a .257 OBP in the past season, Wells demonstrated his potential, especially in the final two weeks, with a remarkable 161 wRC+. His low strikeout rate and potential for improving his walk rate indicate his capacity for growth. As a left-handed batter, Wells is well-positioned to capitalize on the favorable dimensions of Yankee Stadium, and his defensive skills have been improving, much to the satisfaction of the team’s pitchers.

Ramirez’s Defensive Prowess

Agustin has displayed considerable defensive prowess, as evidenced by his +4.7 Defensive Runs Prevented last season. The Yankees’ decision to protect him in the Rule 5 Draft underlines their belief in his ability to excel defensively and contribute significantly to the organization. Ramirez’s power and contact rates are attributes that the Yankees expect to serve him well as he progresses through the minor leagues.

Looking Ahead for the Yankees’ Catchers

The Yankees are currently focused on developing Austin Wells, who is dedicating the off-season to refining his skills in Tampa. Meanwhile, Agustin Ramirez’s journey through the minor-league system continues to be monitored closely by the organization. Both catchers represent the future of the Yankees’ catching corps, each with unique strengths and potential for making an impact at the Major League level. The Yankees’ approach to nurturing these catchers will be crucial in shaping the team’s success in the coming years.