Yankee’s prospect Ben Rice breaks for second against Rochester.

The New York Yankees are promoting catching and first base prospect Ben Rice to the big league club in wake of Anthony Rizzo’s fractured forearm. Joel Sherman of the Post was first with the news:

Rice is the Yankees’ No. 12 prospect and was, fittingly, a 12th round pick out of Dartmouth College in 2021. His playing time in college was limited, largely because of the pandemic. He only managed 110 plate appearances in two seasons and hit .242 with a single home run.

But as NJ.com’s Max Goodman noted in a Tuesday feature, the infamous Yankee Way of scouting prevailed. A local area scout sold the team on Rice, and here we are today.

Ben Rice first turned heads at three different minor league levels last season. He hit .324 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI…in just 73 games! Imagine what he could have done had he stayed healthy all year.

Rice picked up right where he left off in 2024 and quickly slugged his way through Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was batting .261 with 12 dingers at Somerset this season before getting promoted and playing even better. Rice hit .333 with three home runs and a 1.059 OPS in just 11 games with the RailRiders.

This was enough for general manager Brian Cashman to deviate from his usual route of going to the bench and calling up an extra reliever. For once, he’s letting the kids play. Rice is expected to see most of the reps at first base while the veteran DJ LeMahieu remains across the diamond at third.

As the great poet Eminem once said, Ben Rice is very well facing his one shot, his one opportunity, to seize everything he’s ever wanted in one moment. Anthony Rizzo is injured, no longer effective, and playing on an expiring contract.

It’s all on Rice, and right now. Will he capture the starting first baseman’s job, or let it slip away?

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.