Yankees’ trade acquisition could be a sleeper to take over 2nd base position long-term

Syndication: The Oklahoman

Every year, a team relies on its farm system and depth to patch up holes on its roster, and the New York Yankees won’t be any different in 2024. Last year’s Texas Rangers had multiple first or second-year starters in their lineup, including Josh Jung, Leody Taveras, and Evan Carter, who all played pivotal roles in their World Series run—even looking at other contenders across the league, Bobby Miller and James Outman stole the rookie show in Los Angeles, and the Orioles rode on the backs of rookies and second-year starters to win the American League East.

One of the key additions the Yankees made this winter was trading for Victor Gonzalez to add a left-handed arm to their bullpen, but it also came with an interesting infield prospect. Jorbit Vivas could become an interesting name for the team to watch in Triple-A this season, and he could become a starter in their infield if he can improve upon a strong 2023 campaign.

Jorbit Vivas Could Debut With the Yankees in 2024

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers
Feb 25, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Jorbit Vivas against the Milwaukee Brewers during a spring training game at American Family Fields of Phoenix. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If you watch Jorbit Vivas connect with a baseball, you can instantly see how the New York Yankees could slot him into their lineup. The left-handed infielder has excellent skills at the dish that project well for a ballpark like Yankee Stadium, and we could see him in 2024. His contact-oriented profile and strong hit tool, coupled with excellent patience, gel for a high OBP profile, and if the Yankees can get Vivas to generate more game power, he could be their long-term option somewhere in their infield.

There are some pretty strong projections for Jorbit Vivas, given how much he struggled in Triple-A, but in his age-22 season, he looked like a pretty well-rounded hitter. He hit 13 home runs with a .269/.381/.407 slash line, which resulted in a 111 wRC+ across 138 games in Double-A and Triple-A, and the Yankees are hoping they can get him to consistently hit the ball in the air, considering his pull-side power is strong.

I’m not exactly sure how he makes contact at a high rate, given his extremely lofty swing, but that’s a swing that should play at Yankee Stadium. Jorbit Vivas needs to just consistently get out in front of the baseball and use that ability to crush the ball to right field to his advantage, the short porch in right field can mask his subpar raw power. He’s kind of a weird hitter, but he doesn’t have to be an elite one to provide value on the field. His glove and speed are highly impressive, and Jorbit Vivas will accumulate WAR value based on those two attributes alone.

He had +8 Davenport Runs and +7.2 Defensive Runs Prevented between 2B and 3B this season, and he swiped 25 bases in 30 attempts as well. Due to his excellent value outside of the bat, Vivas has a 2.1 WAR projection on ZiPs despite a 94 wRC+, but there’s a chance he could evolve into a quality infielder for the Yankees.

jorbit vivas, yankees

The Yankees are looking for depth in their infield, and while Oswald Peraza stands out as the obvious next-man-up, his job isn’t a sure thing either. All it takes is a strong Spring Training and Minor League season for the organization to shuffle their depth chart around, and Vivas has the contact and on-base skills that the team could sorely use. If he were to reach that 80th Percentile outcome, you’re getting a high-average hitter who could even lead off for the team if the OBP exceeded .350.

What impresses me the most with his offensive profile are his swing decisions, as Vivas has done an excellent job of swinging in-zone while not chasing much, either. The pitch recognition is impressive, and that should make his transition to the Major Leagues a little easier as he won’t run into massive strikeout problems or get too swing-happy at the plate. Striking out just 11.6% of the time in a season, even at the Minor League level, is extremely impressive, and he could add a new dimension to this new-look lineup.

READ MORE: Yankees preparing to deploy interesting Oswaldo Cabrera strategy

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers

Third base is a massive question mark for the Yankees entering 2024, with the lack of reliable depth and a starter who is one of the older position players in the game. Jorbit Vivas has a chance to earn a job at some point during the season with the Major League team when an opportunity opens up, and it’ll be important for him to get off to a hot start in Triple-A and find his swing so that a chance doesn’t pass him by. He’ll have to leapfrog some hitters on the depth chart, but this year could be a chance for Vivas to break into the big leagues with the Yankees in his first year with the team.

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