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George M. Steinbrenner Field (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)


Yankees invite 11 homegrown prospects to Spring Training

In a brief tweet yesterday, the Yankees revealed their list of 29 non-roster invitees to Spring Training camp in Tampa for the 2023 season.

Among those listed were the following homegrown prospects:

  • Infielders Jesús Bastidas, Andrés Chaparro, Anthony Volpe
  • Outfielders Jasson Domínguez, Elijah Dunham
  • Catchers Josh Breaux, Carlos Narváez, Anthony Seigler, Austin Wells
  • Pitchers Sean Boyle, Mitch Spence

Notably, the depth of catchers within the Yankees system will be on display as all of the top prospects aside from Anthony Gomez were invited to the MLB camp along with the primary catcher of the 2022 High-A Hudson Valley team, Carlos Narváez. Narváez is likely the biggest surprise among those invited given he isn’t on anyone’s top 30 list.

Top Yankees prospects Anthony Volpe and Jasson Domínguez will also showcase their talents to Yankee Universe after having stellar 2022 campaigns. Domínguez will be the youngest prospect at MLB camp, having just turned 20 years old on February 7.

INF Jesús Bastidas primarily played 2B with AA Somerset last season, hitting a slash of .240/.323/.427/.750. Bastidas drastically increased his fly ball rate to 48.8% in 2022 and lowered his ground ball rate to 31.4%. That may have lowered his BABIP compared to what he recorded in 2021 (.323 vs. .289), but he also nearly tripled his wRC (20 to 59) in that same span.

RHP Sean Boyle posted a solid 2022 campaign after visiting all 4 full-season levels in 2021. While his ERA and WHIP may not be as impressive as 2021, he did overall have more consistent stats and left many more batters on base (89.8% in 47.1 IP with AAA Scranton). Boyle also had more successful starts in 2022 overall, winning 13 of the 28 games he started compared to 8 of the 27 games in 2021.

C Josh Breaux may be remembered as the 2nd round selection from 2018 that former Yankee and current assistant to the GM, Nick Swisher, was ecstatic to call up to the stage, but he hasn’t necessarily put up the numbers that fans may have been hoping for. Breaux has always had high strikeout & low walk percentages, posting a nearly 28% K average and nearly 7.5% BB average between AA & AAA in 2022. That said, Breaux did post a personal best BABIP post-pandemic in 2022 with AAA Scranton of .308 in 41 games, so there’s still some potential but he’s definitely a defense-first catcher.

INF Andrés Chaparro really broke out in the latter part of his time in Single-A Tampa in 2021 and has been on fire since then, relatively speaking. Chaparro did suffer an injury in early June 2022 which took him away from the AA affiliate for nearly 2 months. Despite the shortened season, Chaparro still posted nearly the same amount of extra-base hits and had more home runs than he did in 2021. While he may not have the speed you may expect for an infielder, Chaparro is still plenty agile and has an above-average glove to defend the hot corner.

OF Jasson Domínguez being described as a “refrigerator full of dynamite” by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel is appropriate if you’ve ever seen The Martian play a handful of games. We’re starting to realize the potential of Domínguez after having a significantly more successful 2022 season compared to the stats that he put up in 2021. Domínguez still needs work on his swing decisions given his high strikeout ratios he’s held in professional ball but does know when to take a pitch as shown by a relatively high walk ratio. Domínguez is a stronger lefty bat than righty bat but does have power on both sides of the plate and has shown it whenever possible.

OF Elijah Dunham showed off his power and speed in 2022 by hitting 17 home runs and stealing 37 bases with AA Somerset. Dunham is another prospect that could use some work with plate decisions, with a 21.2% K ratio and 12.2% BB ratio in 2022. His glove should be what gets some attention as he only committed one error last season in 824 innings and was perfect in 425 innings in left field. Good stuff for an undrafted free agent signing.

C Carlos Narváez is another defense-first prospect in that his offensive stats aren’t necessarily the best, posting a slash of .194/.327/.383/.710 after a full 2022 season with High-A Hudson Valley. Narváez is the best in the system at throwing runners out attempting to steal at a 33.67% success rate (34 CS of 101 attempts), and only committed 9 errors and had 5 passed balls in 524.1 innings.

C Anthony Seigler played the greatest number of games in 2022 of his professional career and really started to turn his offense around compared to past seasons. In 417 PA, Seigler had a slash line of .236/.405/.369/.774, with the OPS and on-base percentage being the best in a single season thus far. The ambidextrous batter & thrower is also the best defender on paper, with a .995 field percentage (3 errors in 635 total chances) but did have 10 passed balls last season. He doesn’t have the best pop time (that award would easily go to Antonio Gomez) but is the among the best defenders in the organization.

RHP Mitch Spence made his debut in 2021 with High-A Hudson Valley, skipping Single-A Tampa altogether, and posted an admirable 3.94 ERA in 105 IP. He’s since rocketed up to AAA Scranton, ending the 2022 season with an average 4.70 ERA in 130.1 IP. Spence can be forecast to be a back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever given his ability to go the distance. A concern is lack of consistency. For example, in June of 2022, Spence allowed 0 ER on 4 H in 6 IP, then in his next appearance allowed 6 ER on 8 H in 3.2 IP. There are flakes of inconsistency throughout the 2022 season, although he did appear to become much more consistent once he was promoted to AAA Scranton.

INF Anthony Volpe will showcase his talents as the top prospect in the Yankees’ system this Spring and will work to prove to the front office whether he deserves the starting SS role for 2023 or not. Volpe had above-average strikeout and walk ratios (11.5% and 17.7%, respectively) in 110 games with AA Somerset in 2022, but also had 53 XBH in 422 AB in that span.

Volpe only played in 22 games with AAA Scranton but struck out in over 30% of the at-bats there, but curiously posted a .321 BABIP during his time with Scranton. Volpe’s agility and ability to get rid of the ball quickly will likely mean he eventually stays at SS, if not makes a move to 2B, and that will ultimately come down to how the Yankees determine his throwing capabilities to be. That said, Volpe did play 27 innings at 3B in Tampa and had 5 putouts in 9 chances.

C Austin Wells is still fielding questions by fans and reporters alike if he’ll “stick” as catcher. In short, yes. Wells was never a “bad” catcher; he had a .993 fielding percentage in 2021 and .992 in 2022. Wells did cut down the number of passed balls last season by 75% compared to 2021 (4 in 2022 vs. 16 in 2021), and more than doubled the runners caught stealing (12.5% in 2021 vs. 24.62% in 2022) by improving his pop time to a double-plus grade of under 2 seconds.

Regardless, the tools that draw the most attention are his hit and power tools. Wells hit more home runs overall in less games in 2022 (20 HR in 92 G) vs. 2021 (16 HR in 103 G), but his stats overall were improved as well. Something else Yankee fans will appreciate: he only grounded into double plays in 10% of the opportunities over the past two seasons.

Written By

Originally a native of Southern Connecticut, John has lived in the Tampa area since 2010 and has been a Tarpons fan since 2012. John is excited to bring you along as the Baby Bombers work their way up to The Bronx.

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