Any die-hard baseball fan waits with bated breath for when Baseball America drops its annual list of the Top 100 Prospects in the game.
Well, if you’re a Yankees fan, that means there’s good news as you lament what’s left of the 2023 season. The Bronx Bombers’ farm system is still chugging along with a whopping seven prospects among the 100. Guess the youth really is the future and perhaps Brian Cashman is onto something?
Obviously, there are some familiar faces among the seven. Yankees fans are begging Cashman to give infielder Oswald Peraza more time in the big leagues. We’ve heard countless tales of switch-hitting phenom Jasson Dominguez, and outfielder Everson Pereira may even debut this season.
Let’s take a look at this group of seven that even Vought International would envy and see how they could potentially help New York down the road.
IF Oswald Peraza (Baseball America No. 57). Peraza is so ready for MLB that the Yankees don’t even have him listed among their own top prospects anymore. He’s batting .173 in a handful of MLB games, but that number is at .261 with 13 home runs and a .839 OPS in Triple-A. All that’s blocking his path is Gleyber Torres’ continued success this year. The Yankees’ infield is crowded, so they will have to make a hard decision on one or the other this offseason.
RHP Chase Hampton (Yankees No. 4, BA No. 58). Hampton was the Yankees’ sixth-round pick out of Texas Tech last year and has been, in a word, phenomenal. The young righty has a 3.86 ERA across two levels this year with 133 strikeouts in 95.2 innings. He’s still adjusting to pitching at Double-A, but Hampton already throws three pitches and also does a good job keeping his walks down. He could very well join the back end of the rotation after another year or so in the minors.
OF Jasson Dominguez (Yankees No. 2, BA No. 64). Dominguez was batting .197 on July 1 and looking like he would need another year at Double-A Somerset. He has since batted .336 with an .868 OPS and has his batting average up to .247. He’s still just 20 and only going to get better, but the Yankees’ outfield is also getting crowded. At a minimum, he’ll probably finish the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
OF Everson Pereira (Yankees No. 3, BA No. 79). 22-year-old Pereira is turning lots of heads after hitting better at Triple-A following his promotion from Somerset. On the year, he’s hit .304 with 16 home runs and a .917 OPS and has also played all three outfield positions. The talent is such that Pereira is also drawing lofty comparisons. Perhaps he can finally get off the farm and fill Yankee Stadium’s void in left field?
C Austin Wells (Yankees No. 8, BA No. 85). Forget any talk of changing positions. Austin Wells is a catcher and plans on being one for the Yankees. He’s hit .241 with 12 home runs and a .763 OPS across three levels in 2023, including Triple-A. Wells has also dealt with some injuries this year, but he’s a hard worker and committed to his position. He’ll start 2024 in Scranton and, if he improves his power hitting, could debut soon after.
OF Spencer Jones (Yankees No. 1, BA No. 86). Imagine having another Aaron Judge in the lineup, but left-handed. That is Jones, the highly-touted Vanderbilt product who has been as advertised in the Yankees’ system. He’s hit .263 at High-A Hudson Valley with 12 homers in 89 games. His strikeout rate is too high at 30%, but keep in mind this was Jones’ first full year in the minors. Some call him “born to be a Yankee,” so we’ll soon find out.
SS Roderick Arias (Yankees No. 7, BA No. 97). This 18-year-old phenom was considered last year’s No. 1 international prospect and signed with the Yankees for $4 million. Arias is a switch-hitting shortstop who’s held his own at Rookie ball this year, batting .267 with a .928 OPS despite minimal power. Scouts think the power will come, but Arias also has a plus glove that labels him a “no doubt” shortstop. Check back on him in two years when Anthony Volpe’s pinstriped picture is clearer.