New York Yankees‘ rookie catcher Austin Wells may only have three games under his belt, but what he’s shown on the field thus far has already created a buzz. In those three games, the Yankees have conceded a mere seven runs against the Houston Astros, a team known for its potent offense.
Defying Defensive Doubts
Before Wells made his debut, critics pointed out several potential flaws in his game, particularly regarding his defensive skills behind the plate. However, Wells is quickly quashing those criticisms. Both his teammates and Yankees catching coordinator Tanner Swanson have praised his capabilities.
“I’ve been extremely impressed with just kind of the aptitude and how he’s stepped into this environment,” Yankees catching coordinator Tanner Swanson told the Daily News. “All things considered, he’s been able to step back there and kind of manage the moment and really just lock in on the task at hand, which is a challenge for a lot of young players.”
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A Standout Performance Against the Astros
During the Yankees’ most recent triumph over the Astros, Wells was the catcher for Michael King, who’s transitioning from a bullpen role to the starting lineup. King allowed just five hits and one earned run while striking out four batters. Wells’ calming presence behind the home plate seemed to enhance the team’s efficiency.
“He had a great gameplan going in,” King said, unprompted. “He’s phenomenal at adjusting and a real great communicator. We had a ton of conversations in between innings about what we think they were doing, what they were sitting on, different sequences to use. I loved working with him.”
On the Offensive: Wells’ Hitting Stats
Though Wells is batting .200 with a .250 OBP, his 12 plate appearances are too small a sample size to make any definitive judgments. The stats do reveal two RBIs, a 33.3% strikeout rate, and an 8.3% walk rate. As the season progresses, the Yankees look forward to gauging his offensive prowess more accurately.
The Yankees Have an Opportunity Against the Detroit Tigers
With a series against the struggling Detroit Tigers on the horizon, the Yankees are in an excellent position to score and offer Wells some invaluable game time.
Clubhouse Camaraderie and Future Prospects
Wells feels the support from the clubhouse as he navigates through this transitionary phase. At 24, the Yankees are optimistic about his upside, envisioning him potentially as a starting catcher next season. A league-average offensive output from the catcher’s spot would mark a significant win for the team.
“It gives me all the confidence in the world to have the guys on the mound be able to trust me right off the bat.”
Though it’s early days, Austin Wells is already showing signs of becoming a valuable asset for the New York Yankees, both defensively and offensively.