Yankees’ star outfield prospect showcasing elite potential

mlb: spring training-toronto blue jays at new york yankees, spencer jones
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees star outfield prospect Spencer Jones has started off the 2024 spring training with a bang. In his first outing, Jones launched a three-run homer that traveled 470 feet, collecting two runs and an additional two RBI singles.

In other words, Jones is starting to showcase the elite upside the Yankees invested in two years ago. However, teams have been calling on Jones in potential trade packages this off-season. General manager Brian Cashman has refused to move Jones, even for superstar pitching, which indicates the Yankees view him as a legitimate piece of the puzzle in the outfield either later this season or in 2025.

Yankees Are Ecstatic About Jones’s Development

Jones backed up his spring training opener with another stellar outing on Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays. In the team’s 12–6 win, Jones collected another two hits and two runs. In fact, the 22-year-old lefty hasn’t swung and missed on a pitch just yet, which is incredible, given he’s already enjoyed seven plate appearances.

The expectation is that will start in Double-A this upcoming year, but if he continues to play at this level, the Yankees may promote him to Triple-A immediately.

Last season, he played 117 games in total, hitting 16 home runs with 66 RBIs and 43 stolen bases. He struggled to a degree with his batting average and on-base percentage, but he’s worked diligently this off-season to refine his swing and create more loft on his swinging path. Elevating the ball and utilizing his generational power to his advantage, Jones should see a significant improvement in home runs and make quality contact at a more frequent pace.

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Refining Skills and Looking Ahead

“It feels like a more athletic move now,” Jones recently said of his swing. “I’m able to stay grounded a lot better, and my eyes are in a better position for release and seeing spin. Simplifying my moves and allowing myself to be in a more athletic trigger spot allows you to create multiple reads off the ball. If your initial read isn’t great, you’re still in an athletic position to fire from, which allows you to make decisions a little bit later. Ultimately, the goal was to put myself in an athletic launching position and, once you get there, practice on firing towards different pitches in different directions.”

The Yankees have had Spencer playing centerfield recently, having him watch Kevin Kiermaier’s film to refine his technique and understand angles. The work he’s put into building his offensive toolbox and boosting his defensive value has been palpable, and the early signs are exciting.

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