The New York Yankees have finally embraced the youth movement over the last couple of years as Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have become household names across all of baseball. Most people will talk about the concerns the Yankees have in the rotation, but take a look at the corner infield spots.
With Greg Bird on the disabled list due to an ankle injury, New York had to use Chris Carter at first base (now DFA’ed) and is now going with Tyler Austin at first base, If you move to the other side of the infield, Chase Headley was battling a back injury and is hitting .253 at the plate.
With Gleyber Torres out for the year due to Tommy John surgery, one name that you will hear a lot going forward in the Yankees organization is Tyler Wade. Before the season began, John had Wade ranked as the 16th best prospect in a deep Yankees farm system. Here’s what he said about Wade:
Wade is in his first season at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, but he has had good success at the top of the order for Al Pedrique’s club. Over his last 24 games, he is hitting .360 with a .454 on-base percentage and is 11-for-12 on stolen base attempts.
Of course, Wade wouldn’t hit at the top of the order in the big leagues in all likelihood, but he has the ability to hit the ball to all fields. According to MLB Farm, he has hit the ball at least 39 times to all three parts of the outfield, but all five of his home runs have been to right field, which would help him at the big league ballpark:
In terms of his approach at the plate, Wade is fourth on the Railriders in strikeouts (55), but he is also second on the team in walks (34). When he walks, the opponents need to watch out because he is always a threat to steal. On Friday night, he stole three bases against Pawtucket. He is now 24-for-28 in steals this year and 11-for-12 for the month of June.
This season, Wade has predominately played shortstop defensively, but he has played 12 games at second base and 10 at third base.
Wade would be the player that would give the Yankees flexibility at second, third, or shortstop should they decide to give Starlin Castro or Didi Gregorius a day off. Check out this great play he made against Rochester earlier this month:
When you look at Wade’s swing, he has been able to hit the ball more in the air this year compared to previous years. According to Fangraphs, his flyball ratio of 34.8% is up from the 28.9% he had last year.
Wade is not going to draw the same hype as Torres or even Miguel Andujar, who just got called up to Triple-A when Torres got hurt. However, he has shown that he can hit Triple-A pitching consistently. It will eventually be time for a new challenge for him.
Now that Aaron Hicks is on the disabled list due to a oblique injury, maybe it’s time for the Yankees to move Austin to right field, Headley to first base, and give Wade an opportunity to wear the pinstripes.