Tyler Wade has been bouncing between the minors and the New York Yankees for years now. Does he have a future in the Bronx?
A speed demon? Check. Smooth on the base paths? Double-check. Reliable defensive player? Check again. A lefty batter? Okay, this is just getting ridiculous.
So what’s holding the New York Yankees back from committing to a young player who has done nothing but answer the call at every turn?
The Yankees aren’t quite ready to commit to Tyler Wade. He hasn’t produced much on the offensive side. His biggest asset has been his ability to switch into late-game substitutions for defense and base running.
Wade won’t be an everyday player unless a devastating injury opens up the slot. Right now, Wade is looking at a role as a utility player. That seems to be the spot he’s most suited for as long as he wishes to stay in the Bronx.
Think about it; Gleyber Torres has the shortstop position locked down with his bat. Torres’s bat is a necessary component to the Yankees’ lineup so there’s no way Wade could take his place.
DJ LeMahieu will be their second baseman, the position that Wade played the most in 2019. Third base? Even if Wade could play third base, Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar are already duking it out for the rights.
Left field is another option. With Brett Gardner as the primary left fielder shifting over to center, there’s a small window of opportunity. However, Giancarlo Stanton will likely get the extra time out there. Not to mention, Wade’s fellow Scranton shuttle buddy, Clint Frazier.
Can he pitch? Maybe then he’ll actually get a fair shot to earn a starting role in the Bronx. Otherwise, the odds are stacked against him.
That’s not to say he won’t get an opportunity in spring training. He very well could show off improved skills at the plate and outplay his competition. Will that happen? it’s highly unlikely, but anything seems to go in this sport. Stranger things have certainly happened.
Right now Wade is the odd man out. He’ll likely make the roster, but not quite in the capacity that he deserves. The majority of lineup spots are already filled leaving no room for Wade. With another team, Wade could become a starting player. Beyond that, who knows!?
He’s a good player. The problem is, there are better players out there. They’re all blocking his shot at potentially earning a starting role. For now, Wade will serve in a utility role even though he deserves a far better opportunity.
That’s something he’ll simply have to get used to. Even with his slick slides, he will always be in the shadow of his fellow teammates. The real question is, how good can the New York Yankees be with a full season of Tyler Wade? They may never know.