Tyler Wade is considered as one of the candidates to start at shortstop for the New York Yankees. But he’s simply not ready for the assignment.
While there are experienced options like Ronald Torreyes, Starlin Castro, Pete Kozma and Ruben Tejada in the running for the spot, some youngsters are being closely assessed by the Yankee brass.
One of the names thrown around has been 22-year-old Tyler Wade, but the truth of the matter is while he’s a promising young prospect, he is, by no means, ready for The Show.
Yes, he’s having a tremendous spring. New York’s fourth-round pick of the 2013 MLB draft owns a .351/.385/.432 slash line with 16 total bases in 22 games, but 37 spring training at-bats are rather meaningless and the kid is coming off a regular season that makes it apparent that more seasoning is needed.
In 2016, Wade made 20 errors in 352 total chances at shortstop with the Thunder (.943 FLD%) and hit just .259 and stole 27 bases in 133 games.
The speed is there, but factoring in his performance on the field and at the dish, it’d be dangerous to not only his development (as you’re asking a kid not ready to jump straight from Double-A to the majors), but his performance under the spotlight wouldn’t be ideal.
FanGraph’s ZiPS projection is calling for a mere .224 batting average, .598 OPS, a strikeout rate of 25.8 percent and just 61 Weighted Runs Created (wRC). Considering the unattractive defense demonstrated in Trenton last season that won’t improve in the Bronx, Wade as an option is a major subject of concern for both his growth and the team’s success during Didi’s absence.
Plus, a guy like Ronald Torreyes fits the bill as the ideal replacement until Gregorius returns. It may not be the most exciting name, but for this situation, the boring option would be the reliable route.
Torreyes spent the entire 2016 season on the 25-man roster and went 40-for-155 (.258) with a .680 OPS in 79 games while making just one error in 99 innings at shortstop. From Aug. 19 to Sep. 20, he slashed .367/.415/.551 and gave third baseman Chase Headley a run for his money.
As for Wade, he hasn’t seen time in Triple-A at all. What needs to be the focus right now is giving him time in Scranton to work on his offensive tools and reach his potential with the glove. 2017 is about patience, not hindering prospect’s development by throwing them into the water with no swimming lessons.