Yankees Top 10 Prospects Countdown: No. 2 Spencer Jones

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Miami Marlins
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It’s prospects season! The New York Yankees have a sneaky deep farm system that has a lot of big-bodied pitchers and players in toolsy positions. Here at Empire Sports Media, we will be ranking the top 10 prospects on the Bombers

Almost every time the New York Yankees target a star player in trade discussions, the other team asks for outfielder Spencer Jones. It’s almost automatic. And every time, the Yanks refure to include him and talks fall through. Having seen him in 2023 and in the 2024 spring training, it’s easy to see why the organization is so high on him.

Jones might have some issues consistently making contact: it’s relatively common for a player of his size to have a big zone. However, the tools are evident even for those who don’t have a trained eye: his power and speed combo is off the charts, he is athletic, he has an idea of what to do in an at-bat, and his defense is improving.

A former two-way player, he has been a full-time hitter since the pandemic. The Yankees made him their first-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, and he sure hasn’t disappointed.

The 2023 campaign was a success for Jones, even though he still hasn’t shown his true potential. Between High-A and Double-A, he hit 16 home runs and stole a whopping 43 bases, a shocking total for a 6’6”, 235-pounder. He had a 114 wRC+ in the first stop and a 104 mark in Double-A, meaning that while he has been better than the average hitter, he still hasn’t lighted the world on fire.

That could come in 2024, though. MLB Pipeline certainly thinks he has the tools to do so, ranking him second among Yankees prospects behind Jasson Dominguez.

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The Yankees have rightfully refused to trade Jones

“Jones offers an intriguing combination of power and uncommon athleticism for a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder. His bat speed, strength and leverage produce well-above-average raw power and exit velocities, though there are some concerns about how much of his pop will play in games,” they wrote.

They do point out that he has things to work on, though. “He rarely turns on pitches and must prove he can handle quality velocity on the inner half at higher levels. His naturally long left-handed stroke results in a lot of strikeouts, including 155 with a 29 percent whiff rate in 2023,” they added.

His big size and athleticism help him greatly in two departments: defense and baserunning. With his big strides, he can cover a lot of ground in the outfield and steal quite a lot of bases; and if he keeps learning both crafts, we are talking about a potential WAR darling for years to come.

Jones represents the foundation of the future of the Yankees, and he won’t be traded unless it’s for a controllable young star. With his .455/.538/.727 line in spring training so far, he is showing the world he is capable of hanging with the best; and even though he is highly unlikely to make the team, he will be tested in the high minors in 2024 and could potentially earn a call-up in the summer. This is a special player, and the Yanks are certainly treating him that way.

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